We had our second appointment with the neurodevelopmentalist for Ruby. I still find the whole process approaching flood water status, but certainly we are not facing medical tsunamis, so I am just tenderly moving onto the next step, trusting the Lord for His help in all things (even if the tsunami shows up!)
The biggest challenge I have with this Can-Do program is the amount of things listed to do along with their frequencies and durations. It is certainly a mercy of the Lord that I do not carry such a list for the other children during the rest of my day or I should surely be put into despair! I cannot imagine waking to a list of every bit of minutia that I must accomplish in my day, including most things formed from habit and some from practice…and then at the end of it all trying to remember how many times I (fill in the blank) and for how many minutes. What mom could keep such a checklist?
So keeping up with the checklists and reports is a great challenge to me. I am trying. Mostly I am successful in doing them, but I ended up ripping up the last one and showed up to her appointment empty handed. Grace abounded.
As for the tasks themselves, they are not difficult. And truthfully, most of them are not things to be learned, but things which intuitively as mothers most of us do already. That in itself is encouraging and empowering. Plus, the people involved with the program have been wonderful and I certainly appreciate having objective measures of Ruby’s progress on a regular basis.
Here are some examples of the activities for Ruby’s next four months:
Listening with Mozart with headphones: This ought to be interesting, because I normally do not allow my children to wear headphones for the very reason it would be good for Ruby: it shuts everything (and everyone) else out. But we do all enjoy listening to classical music, especially in the background of everyday living.
Body works: We got a fun massager from here to use all over her body. Also we can use tactile gloves and give her lots of loving squeezes. She needs to swing and of course do the normal toddler things such as dancing around with me, bouncing, creeping and crawling. Her legs are very strong (yay!) but her arms are pretty weak (wah!) so I’ll be needing to *make* her try to use them more. Which will make her mad. My goal is to have her up completely on her hands and knees instead of commando-crawling by our next appointment in May. And for her to forgive me for making her do hard things in order to get there.
Language activities: these are mostly the normal everyday things that mommies typically do with their toddlers, such as pointing and naming objects, looking at pictures, and so forth. I’m using flash cards with Ruby, which certainly wasn’t a “normal” activity for my other toddlers, but Ruby loves looking at them, and my other children love doing them with her.
I’m so glad Ruby is home with her family. We can do everything that a therapist outside the home can do, and we are all being trained and supported in all the hows and whys of doing so. There is great joy in our household when she blows her own horn or turns the pages of a book or stacks blocks. Right now, no one else in no other building for no amount of money can give Ruby what is really going to help her succeed: her family’s total presence, love and support. And that part of raising Ruby, indeed, isn’t really so hard at all.