Lost in the little things

We don’t talk much about Reese’s development. In many ways it’s her biggest problem from all that we deal with every day. Of course she doesn’t know it, well most of the time. Sometimes she looks at me and is so intently talking to me with her eyes, I feel like she must be frustrated and be trying to tell me something so important. And her brother doesn’t get it because he doesn’t have anything to compare it to. So we are thankful for that, for now.

So we focus on the little things. It’s the reason we sit on the floor with her every chance we get. It’s also why I am constantly videoing and snapping photos — we never know when we are going to have a big moment.

There are so many little milestones she hasn’t hit yet that we celebrate everything. Lately, despite the hospital set back, and her ceasing all real babble talk, we are seeing little signs of progress. I mean you would hope so, considering she does therapy 3 days a week. Plus Gymboree and music class. But so much time has gone by where we focus on the big goals like feeding herself and walking, and we don’t see a change and then we get down.

So I am reveling in the little things these days.

1. Her hands. She has been picking up more things and holding two things in one hand. She crawls around and stands up and down keeping a hold of the puzzle piece or alphabet letter. Just having this control and wanting to investigate and hold and play is great to see.

2. Her feet. We went longer than most without shoes. She didn’t need them and she didn’t like them much either. So now after a few months of being more consistent we have news.

You don’t realize this as a first-time parent but it’s a big deal to get dressed. You dress your kid every day as an infant and then one day they start pushing a little to help you get stuff on. And then without much coaxing they are doing it more and you just take it for granted. It’s normally about 9 months. Reese started working with us on arms and legs in July at about 16 months. So when she picked up her foot to put her shoe on last weekend, we were floored. She has even put a shoe to her foot showing she knows there is a connection. Also huge.

3. Her magnets. She has refrigerator magnets, both alphabet and animals. Loves them these days. Can pull them off and bang them together like a rock star drummer with his sticks. She always has one in each hand.

Last night I watched her slowly and deliberately push the magnet to the board, it stuck, and she let go just as slowly. And then she tried the other one but it was facing the wrong way. I encouraged her several more times and we clapped each time. Then she was done.

At least she was done with me. She moved over to a book and placed her two pieces on the book and studied them up close. Then picked them up, did her drummer thing and slowly put them down on the book. And clapped her hands, very proud of herself.

Amazing! Is this her mirroring me? Maybe. Is she just pleased with herself? Probably.

I realize it’s hard to not be in my shoes and still get excited. But here’s the catch. Reese throws everything. Not even throws, that would require intent. She drops. She has body awareness issues and when something in her hands moves away from her body like when she puts her arms out in the airplane pose, she forgets it is in her hand and drops it.

You have no doubt seen video of her doing this. It’s all she does. Until now. 🙂

4. Her kisses. We may have lost her talking, but I will never get tired of her little open-mouthed kisses. Somehow, somewhere in that tired brain of hers she knows this is something we do. Does she know it means I love you? I hope so.

There are times I think her instinct is to turn her head and pull away when she sees us come in for the kids. She doesn’t like people in her face. I don’t blame her. The meds, the pokes and all the doctors — it’s a lot. So sometimes she paused and looks at me and looks away but she doesn’t push me back. She holds still for the kiss and every once in a while she even leans in. We will take it.

Everything about her is little. I love her tiny feet and her soft skin. It’s wonderful to hold her and celebrate. But it’s even greater a feeling to just watch her as she figures this stuff out herself. And as far as we know from doctors of all kinds, the fact that she keeps finding new things to conquer is a good sign.

And that is why we are happily lost in the little things.