We are, finally, back in the swing of things. After mountains of paperwork and lots of phone calls and weeks of waiting around, we are back in therapy. Avram qualified for Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy through First Steps here in Fort Wayne, so he is back in full Baby Boot Camp mode.
The first therapy appointment always feels like a sort of blind date; this stranger comes to your house, meets your family, hears your story, asks personal questions. It's a bit awkward, not knowing what their sense of humor is, or if they will be super personable or a total drill sergeant. It's pretty anxiety-ridden: Will they do a good job? Will they be tough enough? Will they be patient? Will they think we're weird? Will Avram like her?
Every time the door bell rang last week Avram & I sort of looked at each other like, "Well, how do we look? Do we look ok? Please tell me you brushed your teeth."
So far, so good. All three of our therapists seem like incredibly gifted and compassionate professionals. I am always amazed at the suggestions they make, at how changing one tiny thing makes such a huge difference in Avram. Just one small adjustment in how he holds his leg, and all the sudden he's pulling up to standing. Just changing the placement of food on his highchair tray, and he's got the pincer grasp down like an old pro. It's blows my mind. It's freaking magic.
The funny part of it all is how much Avram has changed since our last therapy sessions in Chicago. He was still pretty dependent and generally immobile back then. It's amazing how much our new house has encouraged him to explore (Especially the carpet. Oh, wonderful, soft, fall-buffering carpet! It makes me forgive how industrial-looking you are.) and become independent. I set him down on the floor to play, and bam. He's gone. He's in a cabinet somewhere, or sliding down the hallway on his belly, or sitting at the front door looking at the window, or chatting it up with himself in a mirror somewhere. Just like that, he's all big and independent. I go check on him every few minutes and he always looks at me with surprise, like, "Oh, are you still here?"
Which is wonderful.
Except for during therapy.
Where Avram used to sit and (usually) happily comply with Baby Boot Camp, now he knows he can simply turn the other way and take off. "You want me to do that? No, no thank you. I'll see you later. Thanks for stopping by though. Nice seeing you, really."
Approximately half of our therapy time so far has consisted of me chasing him down and dragging him back to the therapist.
I tell you one thing, you have to have some solid self esteem for that job. Avram is a sweet guy, but when they say "bye bye," he claps.
"You're leaving? Oh thank God! Here, let me applaud you while you exit. I'm so happy this moment has come."
He's just started cruising, he's still army crawling. He hasn't said any words, he can't stack things or smash things together yet. He sends sippy cups soaring across the kitchen. But he's babbling, he's figuring out how to pull back a car and make it go, he's opening up cabinets. He's drinking out of cups (take that, stupid sippy cups). In reality, he's more like a 9-12 month old then a 17 month old.
To others it may seem that we are progressing at a snail's pace, that we are behind. "Delayed," as they're so fond of saying in the medical world. I see the look in people's eyes when we go out, wondering why this big guy isn't walking or doing the other things he looks old enough to be doing.
But in our little world, we are flying at the speed of ten thousand horses, stampeding through fields and woods, jumping over hurdles and roadblocks, running farther than anyone ever thought, or said, we could go.
The wind is at our back again, and the little buddy shall be victorious.