The Daughter Chronicles

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A disconcerting event

You know, there are times when I tend to forget that Mia is handicapped. Not totally, of course - she's four years old and doesn't speak much or stand up, and I'm reminded whenever I put her in her gait trainer - but very often it's easy to forget just how handicapped she is. I mean, she's a charming little girl, she communicates relatively well (even without speaking), she is the same size as her classmates, and she's a joy to be around. So even though it's obvious she has some issues, it's easy to forget how poorly off she is.

And then she fell off the sofa. Twice.

I don't mean to be flippant, but she did fall off the sofa twice in the last week. I usually put her in our armchair, but its bottom broke and I haven't called the upholsterer yet. So I've been putting her on the sofa. Last Wednesday I put her down and went to the bathroom. When I came back she was underneath the coffee table chewing on one of Norah's bibs. I'm not quite sure how she got underneath the coffee table without banging her head off of it and screaming, but she was perfectly happy. Then, on Sunday, I put her on the other sofa to get Norah's bedtime bottle ready. I was in the kitchen and could see her perfectly, but I wasn't looking when she tumbled off the sofa. This time she hit her head a bit and started crying. After a few minutes of me comforting her, she was fine. It was still disconcerting.

One reason she falls, I think, is because she likes to rock back and forth. Apparently she does this because small children like a lot of motion, which is why they love swings so much. Mia doesn't move a lot, so she takes advantage of the chances she has to move, one of which is rocking back and forth. This is fine in her high chair, because she's strapped in. This is not so fine on the sofa, because she can't control herself all that well, and she can easily tumble. She also does not like to sit up, even when she has support, so she bends over her legs and loses her balance more easily. It's frustrating.

I felt horrible, but I can't watch her every single second, so it might happen again. The thing that's perhaps most distressing about it is she's still not learning that her actions have consequences. When I put her on the sofa yesterday and this morning, she began to rock a little. I don't know when "normal" kids begin to learn that their actions have consequences (I know it's not 15 months, because Norah sure doesn't know!), but it will probably take longer for Mia.

So, like I said, every once in a while, I get reminded that she's, unfortunately, a lot worse off than she might seem. But that's okay - because she's still working very hard to catch up, and doing very well. I just wish she would stop with the damned rocking.


  • I'd be tempted to just put a lot of cushions on the floor near the sofa. Because you CAN'T watch her all the time. Because maybe although it might hurt to fall, maybe she enjoys the chance to move all by herself. (and she appeared fine the first time she fell).

    By Blogger Custancia, at 22/9/06 12:49 AM  

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