Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Walking Day

I would just plunge into the news of the day but it requires some background. I started writing about this a couple months ago, but never posted...

So here is part of what I wrote back in May.

Aiden is almost 17 months old now, and I am starting to really worry about the fact that he's not walking. Well, part of me is starting to worry. I know, I know. Lots of people assure me that it's okay, that he'll walk when he's ready. And I'm one of them. I have this weird dualistic nature where one part of me is okay with it and the other is wracked with a gnawing fear. I tell myself that it's because of his contented personality, because of the fact that he doesn't have older siblings to show him the way. Or maybe it's because he has a mother who is blogging about it, instead of leading him around the house with her index fingers.

I think it's also because he is an extremely cautious child. He gets this in strong doses from both his parents. I can't decide if that's a blessing or a curse. I think the blessing and the curse cancel each other out and just leave it a plain old thing. But I can't help but think, poor Aiden- doomed to a life of slow, methodical, careful circumspection. So, back to the walking thing: he navigates things very carefully. He's only had about three big boo-boos in his life. I think that, like his mother, any sort of change comes difficult to him. But it does worry me, this not walking thing. I hear about these wunderkind babes who leap from their parents arms at four months old and never look back, and my brow furrows. I resist my pediatricians suggestions to saddle him in a physical therapy program. Oh, please, says the common sense that I inherited from ALL my forebears. He can walk. He just doesn't want to. One of these days the walking gene will overtake him and he won't be able to escape. Right now he's slow developmentally ( he can crawl like a speed demon, so I wouldn't say he's really slow physically), but at least he's happy, and I don't want to foist my angsty timetable on him.

Now - here I am- in July again. I finally got the ball rolling looking into this program that my pediatrician recommended. It turns out that there is a real reason why he wasn't walking.
( Duh!) The physical therapist gave this diagnosis: "bilateral forefoot pronation with calcaneal valgus and tibial internal rotation." Which is, in layman's terms, the arches on his feet sort of slope and don't support his weight right and so he's unstable, which makes him hesitant to walk. The physical therapist recommended that he be fitted for leg braces which he will wear for a few months to help correct this problem. I am just so relieved to know the reason WHY he wasn't walking. We go to get him measured for his leg braces on Friday - coincidentally when he turns 19 months- and they should take a couple weeks to come. Then he will start physical therapy.

He did take his first steps on Father's Day about a month ago, but since then, I could count on one hand the number of times he has walked by himself...and that was only with much coaxing.... until today. This afternoon, I turned around and he was walking. All by himself, with no prompting. I was stunned! Thrilled! Flabbergasted in disbelief! And again, later, I caught him walking! It happened several times - seemed like every time I turned around, he was walking somewhere! It just makes me almost roll my eyes because I knew as soon as I addressed the problem and got him into the physical therapy program, he would just start walking on his own. Sure enough. Go figure! We will still get the braces to correct his feet and we'll do some physical therapy, but this has relieved me no end.

He gets up and toddles off and I follow him, just laughing. So many people have said, " Once he starts walking, you'll wish he wasn't!" Maybe, but I don't think so. I'm so, SO thankful. It's going to take some getting used to - seeing him walk upright!