The Daughter Chronicles

Friday, November 28, 2008

A deliberate, purposeful life

One of the things that is most frustrating about Mia's situation is that she often seems to have no interest in doing the things that she needs to do to get better. She does the work, but she doesn't want to do it, so she whines about it a lot. Her therapists often tell us that if she could ever figure out that she wants to do a lot of stuff, it would be a lot easier to teach her to do it. Even if she works well, she never gets to the point where she wants to do it, so it's a bit pointless, although we keep trying (of course).

Recently, however, it seems like she's been more deliberate with what she does. She still whines a lot when her PT and I help her walk, but her steps are better and she's more sure of herself. She still doesn't walk very well in her gait trainer, but when she's being helped, she seems to understand that this will help her get around and therefore she can get in more trouble. And isn't that what motivates kids?

In her speech, she's definitely more interested. I have a feeling it's because of school, where she likes to interact with the kids, and because of Norah, who speaks more and more every day. She is using longer sentences and more appropriate language, which is nice. She's also more interested in using utensils and writing implements, especially when she signs her name. She loves signing her name, and while she used to hold a pen or pencil rather limply, she now grips it very well and forcefully writes the letters, even though she's still not very good at writing them. She is very engaged in her therapy and in school, which is what we always wanted. Even though she isn't very good at a lot of stuff, that's relatively unimportant, because we have time. What we've been looking for is the effort, the desire to better herself, and recently, it seems like that's been there.

As I've always said, we take the long view with regard to Mia and her progress. That's easier to do when you can see her making the effort, rather than just being propelled along by her PT or prompted endlessly by her speech therapist. If she realizes how much her life would improve if she were motivated, then it will come easier for her and spur her to more improvement. So we're hoping that this isn't a temporary burst of excitement about her therapy but rather a permanent change, because it would make life easier for her (and us, of course, but that's not all that important). It's amazing how much an attitude change helps!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Norah gets a new toy!

Last Thursday, I bought Norah a bike. Now, before you get all like my mother and sister and say, "Why didn't you just wait until Christmas?" I'd like to remind you that here in the Basin, the weather is currently gorgeous. Why would I wait until Christmas and lose almost two months of great weather? We don't follow your snowy winter paradigm, man!

She was very excited about getting a bike. I wasn't sure how she would take to it, what with the whole thing of being scared of everything recently, but she hopped right on. She had to learn two things: She stopped pedaling when one leg was completely straight, and as anyone who's ridden a bike knows, that's probably the hardest place from which to start up again, so she had to learn to keep her legs moving; she had to learn not to move her feet backward and engage the brake. When she was riding on her Big Wheel, she would often turn the pedals backward because it was easier for her. When she got on the bike, she would pedal forward and then backward and stop suddenly. So she figured those things out, and she was off!

She's very excited about riding. She never wants to get off the thing! She's going very far afield, too, so although I'm not riding my bicycle as much, I'm getting plenty of exercise because I'm walking alongside her! I figure in two weeks or so she'll never want to ride it again, so we're making sure she gets plenty of riding in right now. She whined briefly about wearing the helmet, but only a little bit.

So she's having a grand old time riding her bike. Our camera is a bit screwed up right now, but bike-riding is better captured ... with video! Here's some of the scenes of Norah riding:

This last video is after she took her helmet off. I pointed out to Krys that her hair looked like Tobey Maguire's in Spider-Man 3 after he becomes "Evil Peter." Oh no, it's Evil Norah!

Enjoy the videos!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Norah rejects Bono!

Norah and I were at the supermarket the other day. She was sitting in the shopping cart facing me, as she usually does. The supermarket plays music over the PA, and at one point they played "Mysterious Ways" by U2. I often sing along when it's a song I know, partly because Norah enjoys it, but when she doesn't, she says "No singing Daddy!" and it's very cute. Either way, she's cute. So I was singing along to "Mysterious Ways" and I told her, "If you wanna kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel." She looked at me and in all seriousness said, "I don't want to kiss the sky, Daddy."

It's not quite a rejection of Satan, but it was quite impressive. Sorry, Bono: Norah doesn't want to follow your advice!