As Lily's ear tubes surgery approaches I am getting more excited about what she will be hearing afterwards. She's signing so much, and seems to understand so many words- and yet the doctor says she's only hearing as if she's under water. Which makes me think we are in for a huge explosion in speech and signing as well. Because if she's doing so much only hearing as if under water...what will it be like when she comes up for air?
We had her IFSP yesterday, and I was amazed at how far she's come in just six months. I remember setting a goal last fall at her IFSP of Lily walking independently for 5 feet...this was a long term goal, and I remember feeling skeptical that Lily would reach it any time soon. Lily was just beginning to stand independently for a few minutes at a time, and it took her quite awhile to get there.
But now here we are six months later and she walks everywhere- around corners, on a variety of surfaces- walking is her main mode of transportation. And I had a hard time seeing her walking five feet at this age. To say that she amazes me every day is an understatement.
So back to speech and hearing. This video to me is priceless. Because this is a little girl who has only been hearing at 50 decibels, when she should be hearing at 25. She is trying so hard to approximate words and sounds, and she comprehends so much and communicates so much in spite of not hearing well...I have a feeling that in a few months I'm going to be just as blown away by how much progress she's made in speech, as I have been when it comes to walking.
This next video is equally priceless...because I remember a little over a year ago watching a video of a friend's baby who was the same age as Lily, playing with a doll. She reached up for her baby doll and held it and rocked it so tenderly, and at the time Lily was nowhere near wanting to play with or "mother" her dolls. She didn't even have the arm strength or gross motor coordination to do that even if she did have the cognitive ability to do so. And this is where I've learned so much about Down syndrome. That extra chromosome doesn't necessarily mean Lily won't hit a milestone...it just means it might take her a little bit longer to get there.
Now Lily is obsessed with her baby dolls. She hugs them, pats their backs, rocks them to sleep, kisses them, feeds them bottles, tries to change their diapers, wraps them and unwraps them in blankies a million times...and if her nephew is over (who is a year and a half younger than she is), she tries to mother him. She holds her tiny hands out and signs "give me" and "please" over and over, until I settle him in her lap...and even though he weighs several ounces more than she does and is almost the same length, she treats him just as if he were one of her little dolls- delicately and tenderly and as if she truly is the older auntie, taking care of her baby nephew. (I wish I had caught all of that on video, but Baby K was asleep when I was filming, so I only got the doll;))
And as I'm ending this post about my amazing little girl, she's practically running in circles in front of me, laughing and grinning over her shoulder at me the whole time.... because she knows she's a big girl now.