I suppose it could seem that I favor Bama because so many of the photos I post are of her but the truth is less nefarious. Rabbit is usually in my arms or on my back or in a stroller. He is a champion crawler and avid climber, but walker, no.
- oh! his sister does everything for him!
- did you finger walk with him?
- does he get to stand enough?
- you should encourage him to walk!
- you should … why didn't you …
in reality, we tried, especially Mister, to finger walk, to stand, to do anything and the boy was having none of it.
But he didn't. So I called the state which has an early intervention program. I didn't hear back, but we saw our doctor two weeks later for his check-up, now at 19 months because we moved the 18 month appointment. Our doctor put his name in for evaluation and a few weeks later, a behavioralist and then a physical therapist checked Rabbit out.
The behavioralist was surprised at a few things he does — he sits in a W, knees forward, ankles back, like a squatter who's plopped down. It's bad for the knees, doesn't strengthen the core muscles, and is because of and exacerbates loose ligaments in his ankles. The PT said we need to stop him doing that now. So, we all cheerfully call out Pencil Legs! and turn his feet forward. He can also sit cross-legged, but that infuriates him.
The day the behavioralist came, the bugger did a loop around the sofa. "He doesn't usually do that," I said. When the PT came three mornings later, Sunday before she met friends for brunch, he marched from one end of the front room to the back. "Yeah, I've never seen that before," I said, feeling lame.
But I hadn't. We hadn't. He hadn't walked that far, and when he walked at all (six steps at most though I once inflated it, in excitement, to 10), I thought he had a perfect 45 degree angle in his legs. Mister said he moved along like John Wayne in one of his Westerns.
The PT assured me he'd be walking within a month but that there are a couple of issues, chiefly, she thinks, that his core muscles are weak so he's not as stable. He does tend to tip over a bit. His overall walking/motor development is that of a 12-month-old, not a 19-month-old.
This is our everyday. He walks to and from the park and anywhere we'll let him. The natural history museum, today at the transit museum. Yesterday, it took us 45 minutes to walk to the market for a snack as part of our rain walk in the afternoon. I picked him up for the last two blocks because he'd worn himself out. He is improving, but as I expected: not fast enough or consistent enough.
We still have to go before the state to see if he qualifies for therapy (it's free). If not, we'll likely move forward on our own. The PT's concern is not only the walking portion,but she said he'll be behind for next big developments like jumping if we don't intervene now. She's also concerned about his balance given his weak muscles and loose ligaments.
I'll have an update of some sort later in the month.