It only seems right that I should write a reatraction about Norah’s lack of ability when it comes to connecting two objects. Easter morning Norah lifted two weeble wobble filled plastic eggs from her basket, one in each hand, lifted them high above her head and quite expertly banged them together. It’s so funny how she doesn’t show a skill at all and then suddenly she’s doing it really well. Has she been sneeking around banging things together behind my back for practice? Has she always had the skill and just realized it might be a nice thing to do? Who knows? Who cares? We’re delighted.
And we had another encouraging development this week. Norah has started noticing and trying to interact with her peers. After 8 weeks of “Music Together” classes Norah broke out of her processing daze this week and tried to join in a few times. She smiled, ventured under the parachute with the other kids and vocalized a bit. It evidently wasn’t a fluke either, because yesterday on a playdate with our neighbor’s three little girls Norah watched them intently, tried to talk to them, played alongside them and snacked with them. We’ve played with these girls regularly and Norah almost never even noticed them before this week. She’d crawl off and do her own thing or hang on me. I came home and cried with joy at her new social skills and all of the new things she’ll learn and all of the fun she’ll have. I would be omiting if I didn’t admit that I’m excited for me too. It’s a difficult thing to continually involve your child in social activities where they don’t interact at all, don’t seem particularly interested or happy. I mean, you keep believing it’s good for them but it isn’t fun to watch and you don’t look forward to it.
Some skills with Norah have proven transient and that may be the case with any of her new ones. But I’ll try not to stay in that place of waiting for them to disappear and try to just put as many opportunities in front of her as possible. And certainly I’m enjoying all of the fun of discovering them with her. Go Norah!
Looking like daddy!
Who is this creature who brings great peace to my soul as she lay in my arms, cooing and drifting off to sleep? Could it possibly be the same creature who so thoroughly tortured me this very morning that I was searching from the living room window for which porch to leave her on? I haven’t blogged much lately and in our case, no news has definitely been good news. Norah is thriving and we’re excited to report she seems to be having a developmental spurt right now. She’s been babbling and has just started “meowing” when prompted (well, when she feels like it). Norah is really on the move, crawling quickly and correctly now. She’s crawling over and through things. She’s pulling up on anything and everything, including walls and doors. She’s turning completely while standing and holding on with only one hand. She can take steps while holding onto the back of her little chair. But don’t try to hold her hands and get her to take steps….she only does it on her own. Norah’s physical therapist instructed us early on that Norah needed to develop each new skill on her own ability. And it was difficult at first to find the difference between motivating / encouraging and helping. But now it’s just habit for all of us. I believe that Norah is strong enough and probably even coordinated enough to take independent steps. But I don’t think she feels secure yet. I know when she does, though, she will be super proud of herself and I can’t wait to see it.
Norah in her new play tunnel
Norah’s fine motor skills are blossoming right now as well. There is a marked deficit in fine motor skills for most William’s Syndrome kiddos. And certainly it seems that Norah has been practicing things like the pincer grasp daily for months with very little improvement….until now. She is now able to hold two objects at once. Her pincer grasp is getting much better. And we were surprised to discover that she is able to turn knobs….surprised because she can’t yet bang two objects together and turning knobs is considered more advanced. One more reminder that Norah will develop in her own unique way, in her own time and in no particular order.
Norah’s feeding is going well, for the most part. She has days where she doesn’t eat much but we’re beginning to recognize this as natural fluctuations for her. And then there are days like today where she’s wolfing down eggs with spinach and cheese, green beans, rice, ribs, and mango. She’s a very adventurous eater….when she’s hungry. The size of the bite she can handle has tripled recently, perhaps because of her shiny new top teeth.
Speaking of teeth, BOOOOOO teething! Norah doesn’t take the pain of teething in stride. It hurts and she wants you to know about it. So, perhaps it wasn’t a great time for us to start denying her a morning nap, but that’s what we’re doing. We’re hoping if she skips the morning nap she’ll have one good nap after lunch and maybe just maybe sleep better at night. No, we haven’t reached the coveted “sleeping through the night” goal yet. Things are manageable and after 14 months I don’t think we even have a glimmer of hope that we’ll ever sleep through the night again so I’m sure it will be very exciting if it ever happens. I think the painful reality is that EVERYTHING affects Norah’s sleep…reflux…teething…noise. So, while she will sleep through the night eventually, her life may be sprinkled heavily with sleeplessness for one reason or another. But I am reminded that it could be much worse, it was in fact, much worse for quite a while.
The Summer holds great things in store for Norah. Grass, sun and water. A trip to the beach. A trip to Minnesota to visit her uncles. And she’s packing some mad new skills so look out! No, really, look out, she’s into everything. I’m so very proud of my persistent little girl. Can you tell?