Nolan and his non-walking. I have been giving this so much thought lately. The doctors, who don't know him, are very worried. We, who know him well, are not.
Ok that's a lie. Of course I'm worried, how can I not be? He is almost 25 months corrected and not walking. I know that is "not normal". But do I think he has some sort of undiscovered brain damage? We're really hoping not.
There are a lot of reasons Nolan could not be walking. For starters, is it normal to be born at 26 weeks, have endless complications, and be even further delayed because of severe reflux?? Ummm, no.
And even more significant than that, is it normal to have the exact image of yourself, your best friend who happens to share your DNA, be unable to not only walk, but to move themselves at all? That's another big no.
While the doctors have legitimate reasons to be concerned about Nolan, there are so many factors that they are not considering - factors that we are considering greatly.
So what are we doing about it? Well for starters, he is going to physio. We are stretching and standing and practicing walking all the time. We have seen vast improvements in his will to walk - he rarely crawls and gets incredibly upset when we carry him, instead yelling "WALKIE MOMMY!!".
But in addition to the physical stuff, we're trying to address the social stuff too. As much as we try, Nolan does not get the attention Asher gets. In fact he doesn't get the attention Rio gets either. He is the one that has always followed everyone along wherever they need to go. He is the "easy" one and therefore his needs are often not made a priority.
So we're fixing that. We're spending more one on one time with him, trying to nurture his confidence, hoping that emotional and social confidence will help translate to physical confidence. The other day for instance, instead of taking Asher to Feldenkrais, Jordan took him and Nolan and I went out for a date. He was so proud of himself, walking (holding my hand) the entire way from the car to the coffee shop. Yes, he fell several times, and it was incredibly slow going, but he refused to stop. When I tried to hold both of his hands to speed things up he angrily pushed me away, and when I suggested I pick him up and carry him, his eyes burned a hole through me and I knew not to ask again. When we finally got to the coffee shop he sat at the table like a big boy, quietly eating his cookie and taking it all in.
Do you know that other than appointments, that was the first time Nolan and I have been out together, alone, just for fun? And you know what, it WAS fun. For both of us.
So yes, Nolan isn't walking. Maybe it will take several months before he is, and it will likely take a lot more work to get him there. But we will take all the steps we need (zing!), both physically and emotionally, to help him grow and prosper. More one on one attention with both of his parents is the right place to start.
Who wouldn't want to spend more alone time with this handsome (and apparently flexible) gent?