Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I should be either folding laundry or sleeping, but I need to share.

My little guy has the softest cheeks in the world (with apologies to other mamas of wee babes). It's true. Soft. Smooth. So fat the sweet little peach fuzzy skin is taut. So fat that if he opens his mouth wide you can see the fatness hanging over his gums into his actual mouth. I've never felt the need to say this with any of the other kids, but I could just eat him up. Or at least nibble him 'til he's annoyed. Cheeks, fingers, stinky cheesy baby niblet toes (doesn't matter how often or with what I wash them). His belly is round and soft, squishy even when it's full. His legs are like overgrown sausages, adorable in their roly-poly-ness. Even his feet are fat, with the toes as sort of an afterthought, stuck onto the roundness. I love fat babies, this one best of all.

An update, then: Last week, Q's PT said that she's seeing a lot of "real progress." He was happy, babbling, engaged and responsive--more than he's ever been during his therapy sessions. He's gaining on the whole sitting thing. I went today and got him a little chair at Target. It's just like the one he uses at therapy, right down to the color.

Q has three sets of splints, two (one to wash, one to wear) for daytime use, one for nighttime. The night splints are rigid, seeming to me (paranoid mama) to resemble some sort of infant torture device. He seems unbothered by them, though we're still only working up to him wearing them for extended periods of time and he does wiggle marvelously well when I'm trying to get his hands and arms positioned correctly. I don't know why they seem menacing (to me). They're quite soft inside and they have little sections of ducky ribbon sewn on the straps. Maybe that's it. Maybe they seem like they're pretending to be cute when it's perfectly obvious that only a baby facing some serious issues would ever possibly need such contraptions.

I shall post pictures of all these things. I don't feel I could describe them adequately and to attempt to do so is more than my psyche can take just now.

I've been asked lately what Q does. The short answer is not much, for his age. He rolls accidentally--because he's top-heavy--from front to back, but not back to front. He doesn't wiggle much when left lying on a flat surface, though when he does, he seems to do it in spurts. He'll rotate and creep on his back during several days consecutively, then nothing for weeks. I think he's more mobile recently. He sometimes holds himself perfectly erect when seated or held, but often does not and will slump to the point that he has to be repositioned so he doesn't fall over or out of someone's arms. When placed on his belly, he does not reach his hands out to support himself. In fact, if one positions his hands for him to do so, he will nearly always pull them down to his sides. Sometimes his jerky, repetitive, "spastic" movements remind me pointedly of the descriptions of seizures. The ones he's "very likely" to develop. That part seriously freaks me out.

What he is very good at is being cute and engaging. To whit: he laughs and crows and gets his sisters laughing. When G talks to him, he often giggles and coos in reply. When we do bedtime prayers, he says "ngoo" after everything he's "prompted" to say as long as the person saying it pauses appropriately. He really does behave very interactively when it comes to vocalizing. He delights in exchanging sounds as in real conversation, and tones/moods are immediately reflected in his burbling. He sometimes gets things into his hands, but it's not clear if he means to or it's just a happy accident (to quote Bob Ross). His visual capabilities seem to be improving, but it's not clear to what extent. It seems like his eyes are functioning better together, though.

What I'm doing: When nursing, I pull the arm on the underside up to extend it fully over his head in order to stretch pectorals and latisimus dorsi. His PT thinks it's working. I do "This little piggy" while stretching and massaging each digit, hands and feet, with tickles on the "wee wee wee." I make his hands do the motions for patty-cake, The Itsy-bitsy Spider, and So Big. I also make his feet and legs do them, which he finds hilarious. All of this is about stretching and encouraging him to utilize what he has and be more aware of what he's got. I put his splints on and take them off, washing when appropriate. We're still doing the spinning thing, though not as often as I should be. I do lots of holding and carrying--the motion is good for him, helpful in vestibular and proprioceptive function. Of course, there's the usual toys, texture, colors, all sorts of good stimulus.

I can't think of anything else right now.

I must admit that this makes me tired. I love the little guy to bits just as he is and wouldn't trade him for the world. I just find myself stymied and exhausted by the drill, never mind trying to stay on top of something which doesn't even have a real label (whatever that would be worth, dubious value there). The funniest part, for contrast, is that I'm not dithering one bit over homeschooling subjects or curriculum or even whether or not it's the right thing for my kids--doing so seems silly now in light of Q's issues. Much that used to be life for me and mine seems silly in light of what we're living these days. Perhaps I will benefit from this experience via my continual boiling things down: if it can be simplified it should be and if it isn't useful, out it goes. Philosophy as well as tangible stuff. So if it really doesn't need fretting over, whatever it may be, I should maybe leave it in the hands of Someone who could actually do something about it. There's a thought.

I'll be back with pictures. For now, I'm off to catch some rest whilst the little ones snooze. Bless them. They sure are cute when they're asleep. ;o)


1 comment:

Under the Sky said...

That is really good on the no fretting thing. The longer I homeschool the less interested I am in the newest thing. So I guess that says something considering what I do! HA!

Anyway, it was really wonderful to read what your sweet baby is doing. It is so heartening and encouraging and I am only reading it.

Warmly sending hugs to you,