A few months ago, at a physical therapy appointment for Declan, his PT suggested trying to progress from him holding onto my fingers as he walked, and giving him an object to hold onto instead. So at home, I tried a few things; kid utensils, a wooden spoon, a toy hammer. It didn’t matter what it was, he would throw the object clear across the room, turn his head, yell and reach his hand back for me. There was no way he was ready to let go.
This scenario played out for weeks and weeks. I would try holding onto just one of his hands… but no, he wanted both. He just wasn’t ready.
A few weeks ago, I stood him in front of me and he sort of wobbled himself toward me (maybe a half of a step) and then collapsed into me. I did it a few more times, and what do you know?! He actually started taking a step or two towards me. All by himself.
The progression seemed slow to me. But really it wasn’t. 2 ½ weeks ago he was taking 2, maybe 3, steps towards me before launching himself on me. And today…he’s pretty much walking.
Walking! Just two days shy of 20 months old.
I didn’t really know when to expect this major milestone. Every kid is so different. Every achon kid is so different. But knowing that his gross motor skills have progressed very nicely for a child with achondroplasia, I thought it would be sometime this summer. My mama gut told me he would walk this summer.
When he started to finally sit independently (about 2-3 months ago), I stopped thinking so much about the walking. I had not realized how awesome just being able to sit would be! He could sit on his bum and play with his toys…a whole new perspective (as opposed to being on his tummy), he could sit on his bum at the park and have a snack, he could sit on his bum and play in the sand at the beach (and so on and so on!). Sitting was, sitting IS, awesome.
Sitting and having a fudgesicle (and then a bath!) at the campground
In the end, I wasn’t really in a hurry to let go. If he wanted to hold my fingers and walk, he could hold my fingers. But now when I set him down on his feet and offer my hands, there’s a slight push away while his body moves forward. Solo. Without the assurance of mom’s steady hands. He’s ready to let go.
Video and photos taken on my cell phone (sorry, poor quality!). But I had to immortalize this night!