My awesome little Ollie is mustering up all his bravery and bravado and has been cruising around the living room for a few weeks now, and it’s been a source of delight for the little guy.
We worked for awhile on this, Physical Therapy had us standing him up at the couch to play for awhile to develop and strengthen his leg muscles. We had a selection of “standing-only toys” that would keep his attention occupied while he unknowingly worked on these skills for the first weeks. Only an iPod, a cellphone and the remote control would really keep his attention long enough to strengthen those muscles. At first, he didn’t seem to quite understand the laws of physics and gravity, and when he was “done” standing, he would simply fall backwards; he might as well have yelled “TIMBERRRRR” when he was done. Like those Trust Exercises to help team members bond or whatever. Just flatten out and fall…
Not really the best way to get out of the standing position.
So, we worked on sitting and standing. Up-down-up-down-up-down, introducing him to his knees and what they were invented for. We bought a stool from Target for $1.00 to use as a chair. Up-down-up-down-up-down multiple times a day, poor kid was probably as sore as a Biggest Loser participant. No wonder he didn’t gain any weight this summer and fall. Jillian Michaels would have been proud.
But it worked!
Soon he was pulling up on the furniture…and doing it properly! Not hoisting himself up using only his superstrong arms, but getting those legs and knees involved, too!
And now, there’s no stopping him. He’ll pull up on anything he can get a grip on. The television has “unsightly” (and by unsightly, I mean “adorable”) little fingerprints on it – it was just a happy accident that we have a tv without buttons on the front. We’ve rearranged the living room to give him an obstacle course of sorts to let him cruise pretty much wherever he wants to go. He’s pushing a kitchen chair around, using it as a walker, and gaining confidence in his wobbly little legs, and working on his balance by standing unassisted for a few seconds. And any window provides a source of entertainment; he thinks it’s the coolest thing in the world to see cars drive by, the trash men pick up our trash or watch Matty do anything outside…
But, this little face in the window, when you have to-have-to leave the house without him, can be absolutely heartbreaking. He’s so friggen cute with that big grin on his face, but if it happens to be a sad face watching you leave….aw….Lord help you. This is the window that faces the driveway, so he’ll hear the back
door open and close and quick-like-a-bunny, he’ll scoot over to that window and pull up to see who’s leaving. Just in time for a mommy to get in her car, start it up and reverse down the driveway to see that little proud-as-a-peacock-I-can-stand-up-and-see-you(!) face grinning at her.
Ugh. It makes me never want to leave the house without him. But I do, sometimes it’s necessary.
But even with toys strewn about and windows to peer through, he is still very intrigued by technology and gadgets. We’ve been completely unable to open a laptop, pick up a phone or iPod with him awake and on the loose, since he thinks everything is his. He’ll swing by a laptop and bang on the keyboard (somehow making the lappy do things that I can’t remedy without Googling) and close the top, thereby ending many “computing” sessions — and blog post writing. He’s a whirlwind of activity, a bit of Hurricane Ollie, or as my Uncle Ronny might have called him, a true “Wrecker Brother,” destroying any sense of “tidy” the house may have had by opening his toy bin and tossing unwanted items behind him.
Its cool, though. We’ve waited for SO LONG for him to be mobile that anything he does, really, is a relief that he is catching up, albeit on his own schedule. I don’t know if he’ll be walking unassisted soon, but I don’t question if he’s ever going to. It’s clear his brain works just fine, but his body is a little wonky yet it just what it can do. He’s probably (and likely) just as anxious as we are to bust out that toddler zombie walk get to running away from us.