May 23, 2008

The Worry Diminishes, for Now

The purpose of this blog is to give me a place to talk about what's on my mind, obviously. At first it was an outlet for the frustrations over the miscarriages and trying to get pregnant; it then morphed into a pregnancy journal of sorts to keep people informed. When KT was born I started her own website and have tried to put the majority of kid-related "stuff" there. I don't want this blog to be about my kid. I want it to be about me as a wife, mother and scientist. There are times when I find myself torn as to whether or not to talk about some things on here in regards to her and my parenting. For no matter how carefully you choose your words, there is always the chance that what you say will hurt someone.

But I know that I need to use this blog as the outlet that it was intended for. So if some of my parenting posts bother readers, I truly am sorry.

Only a handful of people have been aware of one of the biggest issues in our household the last few months. Part of me was embarrassed to talk about it; part of me was trying to downplay it as much as possible. But no matter why the lack of disclosure, the last 10-12 weeks have been wrought with much concern.

At her 15-month check up, KT's pediatrician was concerned that she wasn't walking on her own. We were told that if she wasn't walking within a month that she needed to be evaluated for occupational therapy. Month 16 rolled around and still no walking on her own. She'd walk using her push toys and would walk while holding onto our hands or a piece of furniture, but nothing independently. I was incredibly conflicted on what to do. The average age for children to start walking is varied and every source has a different timeline for when you should be concerned. The more I looked and read, the more confused and concerned I got. So I made an appointment with a 2nd pediatrician in the practice for another opinion. He agreed that she should be walking by that point and recommended an evaluation for OT. He also had concerns about her own hip as her leg kicked out at a considerable angle (even more so than normal) when she stood on her own.

In true fashion, KT took her 1st tentative steps 8 weeks ago, 2 days before her evaluation. The therapist understood the pediatrician's concern but wasn't convinced that there was anything physically wrong. Her thought was that it was purely a confidence/personality issue. Mainly that KT knew how to walk but was choosing not to. To make sure there wasn't anything physically wrong we had her seen by a pediatric orthopedist when he was in town. He also agreed that it was completely personality driven.

Over the last 8 weeks she hasn't shown much improvement in her walking. At most she would take 15-20 steps at a time and then drop to her knees to crawl. She was still only walking a handful of times a day. When my sister was here after my surgery she would walk fantastically for Aunt K. As soon as she left, KT would refuse to walk for me.

With the length of time that had passed since she first took steps, we certainly thought she'd primarily be walking by now. So once again I made an appointment with the therapist to see if there was anything that we could do to encourage her to walk more. The therapist told me that I need to not push so hard to get her to walk because it is turning into a power struggle and she's resisting because she knows I want her to do it (can anyone else see this being problematic in 15 years?? *sigh*). That C is to try to encourage her to walk more.

As a parent this is a hard thing to do. I want to encourage her to walk; I want to help her gain confidence in herself. Janice told me to act like I was ignoring her when she would walk and not try to force her. Be nonchalant and non-committal about it. If I wanted her to walk I should get her to stand up, but make her thing it was her choice and then walk away. In the hopes that she would follow. Try to trick her into walking and making her think it was completely her doing. I suppose that I was encouraging and helping, but indirectly. But for someone who wants to help outright it's a challenge to change your ways.

I'm not sure if it was the threat of seeing the therapist here in our house (she really does like Janice) or the amount of time we've spent outside in the last 10 days (she's not fond of crawling in the grass), but something changed in the last few days. All the sudden she went from primarily crawling to walking 75% of the time! And it's looking more and more like a normal walk. Not the lumbering Frankenstein-ish walk that babies do until they gain confidence in their balance.

I think this has been the first of many situations where we have to understand that KT will do things on her own time. And sometimes pushing her will only result in her dragging her feet.


Bryant & Candice said...

She's doing so well! I love that video. So, she's being stubborn already. Hmmmm...;)

Jessica said...

Awwww! That video is super cute. I'm so glad she's finally decided to walk. Kids can be so stubborn sometimes huh? It's like their way of telling us to chill out and we can't rush them. Gotta love it.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend. Love you guys!

Kristen said...

OMG!! Now that is some serious progress girl. I am so thrilled that she is making such tremendous progress. It amazes me how as soon as we start to REALLY worry about our kiddos they seem to know it and make a huge jump in progress. Keep up the good work momma!!

Flying Monkeys said...

She's awesome! Stubborn? Who'd a thunk it?

Thoughtful said...

It is hard not to compare children and feel inadequate when our child isn't doing as well as the others, or *should* be doing something by now according to some studies.

I think KT is doing beautifully and I bet she is ahead on a lot of other things that children her age *should* be doing but aren't.

KT is beautiful and I am sure you are one proud mama!

Kristin, Rod, and Victoria said...

Looking good. I know it's so hard when you've don all the searching you think you can do, have tried about all you can think of, and still can't figure it all out.

And I know as much as you can say and hear "It'll come in her time, on her schedule" it's one thing to say it, it's quite another to embrace that opinion.

So glad to hear she's taking off. Maybe now outside time will be more fun for both of you!

pam said...

Sometimes I get frustrated with Miss L and the pottytraining aspect. Because it is a power struggle...I just have to remind myself that I have a strong personality too.