Friday, June 3, 2011

Ben's Big Day!

Yesterday was a day for the record books! It seems that Ben's development just exploded! All at once!

#1: Our day started early with a visit from our home educator (birth-to-three), Sara. As Sara was trying to entice Ben with various toys, Ben became very fixated on the dangling straps attached to his walker. Sara placed Ben on the floor on his tummy, with those straps teasing him just out of reach. Now Ben doesn't usually tolerate tummy time at all, so consequently we don't really put him on his tummy all that much. So I was very surprised when, instead of fussing and complaining, Ben began to extrend his arms and really reach for those straps in earnest! Poor Ben was determined to grab the straps; he was grunting with effort. Finally Ben figured out how to do a "semi-army crawl" and inch himself close enough to get ahold of the straps. Huge!!! Ben didn't actually do a cross-pattern coordinated army crawl, but he did do kind of a concerted stretching of his arms and legs that did produce some forward motion. Its a start--a miraculous start!

#2: Since Ben seemed so enthralled with the walker, I decided to put him in it and let him hang out in the kitchen. The boys had messed up the alignment on the wheels and set the brakes, so I had to tinker with it to adjust the wheels. Somehow I was able to loosen the wheels so that they were super reactive to motion--and Ben just pedaled around! He would reach for a kitchen chair, shift his weight in that direction, and the walker would wheel him closer. So exciting to see the wheels (the ones upstairs and the ones on the walker) turning and watching Ben be able to explore cause and effect.

#3: After an eventful morning, I laid Ben down for his nap after lunchtime. Ben was still awake, but he usually drifts to sleep within a few minutes of being placed in his bed. A short time later, I went upstairs to check on Ben, and I found him knocked out cold--sitting up! As uncomfortable as he looked sleeping in the sitting up position, it was also a celebration of his learning how to go from his back to sitting up all by himself! I had laid him down in his bed, but he had apparently decided that he wasn't ready to go to sleep, so he sat up! Just like that!

#4: Ben has a few consonant sounds in his vocabulary, mostly Fs, Vs, Ws, and the occasional Bs. Several months ago, Ben began making the M sound, and saying Mama, but usually only when he is distressed, never in imitation. What a special treat it was yesterday when I was playing with Ben in his exersaucer and he let out a huge string of "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma"s! And it wasn't a one-time thing. I would say "ma-ma" and then he would imitate me and repeat it right back. I was sure to capture this first on video (and I will admit that I may have played it to myself, oh about a million times). Ah! What sweet music to my soul!

#5: Ben has been working on water therapy for many months now, but yesterday he went in the pool with a different therapist for the first time. The new therapist had a bit of a different routine, and set Ben alongside the edge of the pool, with his favorite toys outside the pool on either side of Ben. Without the effect of gravity, Ben just cruised along the side of the pool, as though he's done it a million times before, and grabbed one toy after the other! Ben? Cruising? Who knew?!

In all the world, I can't conceive of anything more precious, more inspiring, more faith-promoting, than to witness the small (but Huge!) developmental steps taken by my special son. After a day of FIVE miracles, all I can say is God is good.


Megan and Keli'i said...

Yay! What great milestones! Ben just sounds like an amazing kid!

Mindy said...

Hooray for Ben!! Keep it up buddy!!