Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Ellie Development Curve Part 1

I would to thank everyone: friends, family, playgroup buddies, BCC friends, and fellow readers who jump up and cheer whenever our little Ellie Bellie Bear masters a task.  No matter how large or how small it may seem, you guys seem to recognize just how hard she works to accomplish these milestones.  Our Ellie has her own group of cheerleaders!

It might seem odd to some of you that I (we) get super excited when Ellie does something that many would deem "typical" child behavior.  Such as when Ellie figures out how to use a toy or stands while shaking her maraca.  
In our Ellie Bellie world, we celebrate EVERYTHING big or small and it is usually accompanied by my proud mama tears and shouts of "hooray!!!!" and “Ellie is a big girl.”.  Then followed by Ellie clapping for herself.  Then phone calls to the parents.  Then a posting to Facebook.  Followed by a blog post such as this one.
That is a corn puff in her mouth.  Miss Manners still has some etiquette lessons.

That big white thing is a molar.  Not food, but a BIG, HUGE tooth.

I used to take for granted that kids would just learn things like how to point or how to roll over, sit, stand, then walk.  Or how to say words or play with a toy.  Ellie's brain and body do not work that way.  She must be shown.  
For instance, muscles for crawling/walking/sitting/squatting must be conditioned and I must help her learn to use these muscles to achieve these motor milestones.  She has low muscle tone and loose joints. Boxes, pillows, and towel rolls have been used to assist Ellie in accomplishing these tasks. If it were up to her, her back extensors would be used for everything. 
So imagine how excited I was today when Ellie did something her peers have been doing for a few months now at the park.  She went down the slide.  THREE times.  

All. By. Herself.  

(Obviously I was supervising and having panic attacks over the height--she will fall and crack her head open!)   It was one of those heavy duty plastic toddler playscapes.  She crawled up the stairs--yay up stairs!  Then positioned herself at the slide.  She put one foot into the opening of the slide and then went butt first down into my arms.  She learned this by watching the other kids and also because I have gone down the slide with her countless times.  

My baby did it all by herself.  Waaa!  She doesn't need me any more.  Okay, not true, she still needs her mama, right?  Right?  I am proud of my toddler Bear.
Feeding Sophie through the baby gate.  THAT I did not teach her.

I am anxiously waiting for the day when Ellie is able to point at what she wants.  Right now, we are stuck with the same 3 signs which are used inconsistently (except for "eat"--food is the most important thing to her) and the word "mama".  Currently, I hold up two choices and watch where her eyes linger.  So Ellie is communicating.  Just not talking.

Still, I was feeling stuck.  After today, I just feel partially stuck. 
Again, at the park Ellie starts to sneeze.  I yell “AAAHHH-Choo!  AH-CHOO!”.  
Guess what the Bear-Bear does?  She starts making these arm movements.  She was doing the sign for “cold”.  You may wonder how sneezing and the word “ah-choo” translates to cold, BUT there is a song in our music class called “I’m Freezing!”

I’m Freezing. (sign cold)
I’m Freezing. (sign cold)
I hope I don’t start sneezing.

You know how much I love tutus and pigtails.
Where there is an Ellie, there is a Sophie.

Well, this is getting a bit long so I will continue later on.
Reference: K. Guilmartin. "I'm Freezing". (2010) Music Together: Sticks Song Collection.

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