The Daughter Chronicles

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mia B.: Unstoppable!

Today Mia was outside in her gait trainer, walking along the sidewalk. It has gotten warmer here the past week (as in approaching 90; any wonder why I hate Arizona's weather?) and this week is Spring Break, so I've been taking her outside to walk. She has done a really good job, too: using both her legs consistently, keeping straight so she doesn't go into the street, and going for long distances without getting tired. She loves walking in her gait trainer, and she likes being outside.

Demon Child #2 walks along with us; she likes to wander down the sidewalk for a bit until I call her name and she stops and smiles, as if she's getting away with something. Today as we were walking back toward the house, Norah decided that instead of wandering into our front yard, she would stand in front of Mia. Mia ignores her, and one time bumped Norah slightly. I told Ms. Norah to stay out of Mia's way, and Norah whined. She whines a lot - she's 20 months old, after all.

So the second time Mia bumped her, Norah simply crumpled to the ground. I was standing right there and could see that she wasn't hurt; she just didn't want to get out of Mia's way. Mia, undaunted, kept walking, and Norah kept crouching further down. She was almost flat on the ground and Mia was able to move the front bar of her gait trainer over her. So then Norah was right at Mia's feet, and Mia just kept moving. She stepped over Norah with her right foot but got a bit hung up on her left. She doesn't lift that leg as well as the other one, so usually it barely leaves the ground when she moves it forward. This time it was getting stuck on Norah. Demon Child #2, meanwhile, kept whining, and I bent over and told her it was her own fault for not getting out of the way. I gave Mia just a tiny bit of help, moving her to her left slightly so her leg could get unstuck, and she took and step and blew right over and past Norah. Norah looked a bit stunned, as if she couldn't believe her sister had just so cavalierly ran her down.

Norah wasn't hurt, obviously, and I thought it was great. Not because I want one child knocking the other down, but because Mia was able to navigate some difficult terrain - in this case, a human body - and keep on course and not get frustrated. She often gets frustrated if she can't do something right away, and if a therapist or parent isn't forcing her to do something, she occasionally gives up. It was nice to see her power on past the impediment posed by her squirming, whining sister.

And maybe, just maybe, Norah will stay out of her way the next time!


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