Sunday, February 17, 2008

"I'm doing it!"

These were Hannah's words to me tonight as she raced across the kitchen floor with her walker. And she's right: she's finally, truly using her walker. It's amazing!

Thanks has to go out to a wonderful mom on the CPMoms support group who suggested, when I expressed some of my frustration that Hannah was not that into walking with the walker, that I take her to someplace outside of the house, like the mall, and let her give it a go.

This was a great suggestion because at home, things are not novel and Hannah knows all the tricks to getting out of doing things that might be a little bit hard or scary. But at the mall, where there were wide open aisles and lots of novel and exciting things to check out, she quickly forgot that she was walking with her walker and marched all around with pride and excitement.

It didn't happen right away. When we first got there, she was definitely unsure and just sort of stood there looking at me. With a lot of coaxing, she took some steps but then petered out pretty quickly. We took a break, got a snack, and came back to this circular open area right near a toy store with a great window display and this time, she did much better and walked more than she ever has walked, under her own steam. After we got home, she promptly took a two hour nap!

I also want to thank a good friend of mine and her two year old son, someone we have lots of playdates with. They met us at the mall and having that support and another friendly face made the outing much easier on me emotionally and physically. Thanks, LPM!

With this success under my belt, I decided we should take the walker with us again today when we went to a kiddie activity at an environmental education center near us. At first, Hannah wanted only to be held as there were a lot of kids there, and noise and activity all around. Even Isabelle was sticking pretty close to us until she warmed up to the place. But they had chickens and a bunny for the kids to pet and that sealed the deal for both girls: they got very comfortable there and by the time we left, Hannah was literally trying to run with her walker down the hall so she could go wash her hands (she actually turned to me and said, "I'm running!" with a HUGE smile on her face).

Now, whenever she gets up from her high chair, or wants to go into a different room, I pull the walker over and plunk her down into it and off she goes, without even a moment's hesitation. She is on FIRE and we're so THRILLED that she's finally tasting the freedom of independent mobility.

Now I'm all worked up about getting her new walker ordered, pronto, because the loaner we have is lacking a few key options that I think Hannah's really ready for now, like swivel wheels so she can turn and a seat that flips down if she needs to stop and take a rest. I'm also very eager to get her casted for her orthotics because she is doing a lot of toe walking with her left foot and both feet are turning in and I want to be sure that as she learns to walk more, she is doing it with the correct leg/foot positioning.

It's so great to finally have some progress in this area, and I'm already daydreaming about how great it will be when spring comes and we can be outside together and Hannah can do some serious independent exploration. It's only onward and upward from here!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

She's doing it!! So exciting! Keep up the great walking, Hannah!