b Papa Dog's Blog: Baby Steps

Papa Dog's Blog

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Baby Steps

We took Baby Dog for her consultation with the orthopaedic surgeon today, and it went quite swimmingly. He confirmed what’s been my conviction all along – that there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with her physically, and she’s just moving along at her own pace learning to walk. The fact that she’s been slow at every stage of mobility development but has reached the necessary plateaus eventually makes it seem quite likely that the same thing will happen with walking. We need to continue to be patient and work with her. He recommended working with a physical therapist to suggest things we might try to help her along, but at the rate she’s going now, it’s entirely possible that she’ll be walking before we even get the appointment. There remains a possibility of neurological problems behind her slow progress, but we only have to worry about that if she continues to be unable to find her walking balance.

With all that in mind, when I took her out to Wally’s World to get Daddy some Coca-Cola, I decided to leave the stroller at home. Part of the problem could be that we’ve made it too easy for her to avoid walking. Baby Pirate rebelled from the stroller early on, wanting to get on with the walking already. Baby Dog has always been content to sit back and be wheeled about. Probably there’s something there. So I took her hand and we walked to the corner, then I picked her up to cross the street. We walked all the way there in that fashion. She’s hold my hand and walk for a while and then I’d pick her up to cross a street, or if she fell down, or if I just had the whim. When my arm got sore from carrying her, I’d set her down again. It took about three times longer than usual to make the short walk to the store, but it was kind of fun.

I soon realised how much more interest Baby Dog took in her surroundings now that we were passing them at her own pace. Ordinarily, we just sail on by at Daddy speed, slowing down only when the wheels of the stroller get hooked up on something or when Daddy stops to point out something he deems worthy of notice. Moving at her own pace, Baby Dog was able to decide what was worth pointing out. “Lots of flowers!” she exclaimed at the dense thicket of weeds on the corner. She pointed flowers out all the way. Her new things is colour, and she correctly (for the most part) identified flowers of yellow, purple, white, and red.

I figured out eventually that all the times she suddenly plopped down on her bum indicated not that she was tired and needed to be picked up, but that she had spotted something on the sidewalk that demanded closer inspection. Unfortunately, what a curious child thinks warrants further inspection is not always savoury. That interesting white splotch, for example – “No, sweetie, that’s bird poop.” “No, honey, that’s a rock. Not good to eat.” “No, that’s a rock, too.” “No, sweetie, garbage cans are dirty.” At one point when I thought she was stooping down to examine a bit of foliage it was actually to scoop up a bit of topsoil for a taste test. My earliest memory is doing almost the same thing, in a sandbox. We had the same reaction: made a face, spat it out.

As advanced as Baby Dog is with language and all, it does seem we’ve been holding her back a bit in other ways. Or at least not sufficiently encouraging her to move herself along. She is moving, though, and every day will bring her new challenges and new experiences, just as it does for any of us. We’ll be there to help her along when necessary and let her take her own steps when not. And to show her the difference between a chalk drawing and a bird dropping.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Lila's mom said...

What a bright child. She sounds lovely. Glad to hear everything went well with the doc.

11:12 PM  

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