So, this afternoon Finn had his first PT session in about six weeks. I've been not looking forward to it, because the truth is, as I've mentioned, Finn seems to have regressed since we decided to reduce PT from weekly to monthly. The main area in which he's regressed is bearing weight on his legs - he just won't do it. Oh, he can. When he wants to, the little booger. But he usually doesn't want to and is therefore very resistant when made to stand. And because it makes him so mad, I've given up on trying to force him. And as this PT session approached, I figured Eun would blame me for his lack of progress (a few months ago, she predicted that he'd walk by 16 - 18 months! Well, he's just about 16 months now and nowhere near walking) - my decision to reduce the frequency of PT, and my failure to therapize him myself.
She was nice. She wasn't at all accusatory. And she still seems supportive of (resigned to?) our decision to reduce services. But she did note his regression in bearing weight on his legs. And she did suggest that he has regressed because of lack of therapy. And I feel like crap. Or at least torn.
What is the right answer here? Because I really don't know anymore. She reiterated today that regardless of therapy, he will eventually walk - it's a matter of when. Well, sure, I'd love to see him walking by his second birthday - that seems like a reasonable goal. But what will it prove? How will when he walks improve his life? He's happy. He's healthy. And he's enjoying a babyhood not crammed full of therapy. Which I value a great deal for him. So there's that. On the other hand, I still often feel like I'm failing him. Should I be pushing him more? And why?
I don't have the answers.
I do know that I am not going to hold him up by the hands and force him to walk laps around the living room like Eun thinks we should be doing. I don't want to be the cause of making Finn unhappy. I don't want my time with him to be spent doing something he resents. I know that as a parent, of course I make my kids unhappy quite often by making them do things they don't want to do (like brushing their teeth, making their beds, and finishing their homework), but this is different. This is more an attempt to fix him or make him be normal, or something. At least that's how it feels.
Who was it (Julie?) who commented on one of my recent posts that if our family lived on a deserted island, Finn's disability wouldn't matter at all? The fact that he is almost 16 months old and doesn't yet walk wouldn't matter. It only matters because someone has decided that he needs to hit certain milestones within certain timeframes, or . . . or what? He fails?
Obviously I have very mixed emotions about all of this.
Anyway, Eun did suggest that we might want to buy a walker for Finn - you know, one of these:
And that this may be a way for him to exercise those muscles himself without my having to force him and make him all unhappy. So this is an option I'm considering.
On a lighter note, this is Finn's new favorite toy:
It's a purple plastic teacup he stole from his sisters' tea set. He carries it around everywhere lately, it's funny. He likes to bang it on stuff, but he also holds it properly by the handle. And holds it up to his mouth properly. Maybe I should be using this to get him to drink from an open cup!