Flying

Even after two years I continue to be amazed at the creativity of Abbie’s therapists. Today they got out a bright fuschia colored “sling swing” for her PT/OT session. We have used this before, but never like we did today. We laid the lycra swing fabric on a big wedge mat, then laid Abbie on the fabric in the prone position. After cinching up the swing Abbie looked like Supergirl, flying through the air with the greatest of ease. It was fun for her, and I really enjoy chances to watch her having fun.

After a twirl at flying, we did some more exciting things. We used the swing to support most of her body weight, which allowed us to get Abbie on her hands and knees. She amazed us as how relaxed each of her limbs were. Her knees were bending past 90 degrees while her arms stretched out to the floor as her soft hands touched the mat. She did so well we practiced crawling motions while she was suspended. This makes sense because she doesn’t really have the strength yet to support her entire body weight, so when she is asked to she becomes tense under the pressure and strain. Without the requirement to bear all her weight she was able to relax and enjoy the movements.

The past couple of days have tested my commitment to reinforcing her language opportunities. I’m talking about Abbie having her switch at night. It has been a blessing to have her tell me when she is cold, wet, uncomfortable, needs to cough or even bored. However, it has not been conducive to great sleep. Last night I finally had to tell her, “Abbie, I am going to sleep. You have a new diaper, you are all comfy and warm, and Mommy is tired. If I hear your switch I won’t be coming again.” It took about six hits on her switch for her to believe that I really wasn’t going to respond, and then she fell back to sleep. I smiled under the covers though, with how reminscent it was of toddler bedtime battles.

She is so “with it” now, that every interaction is a joy and filled with anticipation. Hearing her little voice as she was “crawling” today, with differing inflections, tones and the sweetness that has been missing for so long erased all the fatigue of sleepless nights. What we really need prayer for now are our own stamina and imagination, as we seek new ways to keep pushing her and new ideas to bring joy to her life.