Sometimes it’s difficult to be patient. I want immediate results; I want him to do things “on time.” Really, it doesn’t seem like too much to ask. I remind myself all Elijah has been through and realize he is doing extremely well. I count my blessings. He really is making progress and that’s what keeps me going.
So what is the progress? Well, for one thing, Elijah is keeping his hands open a lot more. He will actually open up his hands to bear weight on them, which is a huge deal. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like much, but it is wonderful progress. In the past, we would be constantly prying his hands open so that he could strengthen them and now he’ll open his own hands at times. So why is an open hand so important? It’s because that’s the only way he will gain the strength in his hands to do fine motor things such as pick things up or to crawl and later to write with a pencil.
Elijah also seems to be using his arms more than he used to. He does try to touch things I set in front of him, but I can tell it’s hard for him. He uses more of a cupping motion than a fluid motion. He simply doesn’t have the fine motor skills he should at his age, but he’ll get there.
As evidence of his “getting there,” he did something last week that I thought was very encouraging. I am constantly placing things in Elijah’s hands since he doesn’t do it himself. I think the notion is that he’ll eventually figure out how to do it on his own. Anyway, since he cannot sit up yet unassisted, I will at times put him in his bouncer to take my shower. Last week, I was drying my hair and I glanced over at Elijah. He had a ring in his hand that I had not placed there. I was extremely excited. No, I didn’t see him grab the ring and I somehow doubt he was looking at the ring when he grabbed it. That said, I also realize it takes a lot of coordination to get your fingers around an object (and with your thumb on the opposite side) to be able to grab something and then pull on it to remove the item. Again, it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s huge.
Elijah is also getting closer to sitting unassisted. He can sit for a limited amount of time, but only when he is cooperative and in the mood for sitting. Elijah would much prefer standing and lying on his back to sitting or lying on his tummy. I’ve been trying to focus on doing the things he doesn’t like. Sure, that may sound mean, but those are the positions he needs to be in to grow and develop. He really is getting there. He can sit for longer periods of time and he is tolerating being on his tummy a lot more. To us, these are huge improvements.
Andy and I have learned to appreciate different milestones. Not to say that it’s easy to focus on the little things, but we’d go crazy if we didn’t. Those little things are the huge things that will cause Elijah to develop and “get there,” so it’s a big deal. We may have to help him along a bit more, but I continue to believe that he’ll get there with God’s help and a lot of hard work.