I always say that you spend two years teaching your kids to walk and talk, and the next 16 trying to get them to sit still and be quiet.
Well, we've officially ruined Geri. She's up and walking. She's taken some pretty good first steps before, but I think every parent can attest to the huge difference between the first steps and truly mastering walking. It's the difference between playing "chopsticks" and Chopin. Those tentative first steps where your child picks a point and choppily gets to it, then clings for dear life are a far cry from watching your child let go and wander the house to whatever distant location they have in mind. And wander to a selected location, she does. Often it's one of the bathrooms, where she can entertain herself by turning on faucets and flushing the toilet. She prefers the back bedroom because I can't hear her flushing the toilet back there, so she gets away with it longer. She's a smart little cookie, this one. Clever girl.
Her stationary balance has also improved. She's able to stand upright without support and toss or throw large items. She loves throwing the hula hoop at "school" and the large balls at home. She will stand in one spot and manipulate objects with both hands, and that's pretty cool. She seems to enjoy it, because it gives her more opportunity to interact with the world around her.
Oh, and she's starting to jump! At her OT session on Thursday, she was sharing the trampoline with a cutie boy named William. She was in the harness and bungees (which give her a little extra balance so she can get a great freedom of movement) and he kept telling her (through his assisted communication board and therapist) "Jump more!" and she would gladly oblige. Every time she jumped, she would squeal with joy and William would laugh and "jump" on his hands and knees. They were having great fun together. Since that session, I've seen her attempting to jump at home, too.
Her feeding issues are starting to make progress, too. In addition to licking a scone, she has since gummed a pizza crust and licked a lollipop and licked poofs and such. She's doing very well at drinking from straws and her willingness to accept new or different flavors has been much more lately than in the past. She's also accepting forks, sporks and plasticware with ease. She occasionally tries to self-feed, too.
Her clinginess has improved somewhat as well. I can now leave the room, and I've actually left her with someone else for a few minutes one time. Woot! I see her exploring the house much more now, scooting or letting go and walking to pursue whatever interests her at that moment.
Some other random developments include... Sitting on my lap for FOUR stories!!! Exploring braille. Accepting hugs and kisses from her sister. Remembering places and locations. Letting me brush her hair. Using her rocking chair! Soothing with less effort.
Lots of progress, indeed!