Okay so a quick post because it's so exciting. I've been faithfully praying that Jordan would like her walker and that she'd start wanting to use it. She used it some at our park yesterday which was great but she was still resistant to walking more than a few steps and it was really tough because the wheels didn't turn and if she went anywhere I'd have to be crouched next to her moving the direction then turning her around when we ran out of room etc. Today her therapist was over and suggested something another mom had done who was facing the same situation. That mom let her daughter decorate her walker and then she made it a big deal and took her to the mall to walk. There are plenty of distractions and it's wide open and really flat. Jordan's therapist also helped me unlock the front wheels so Jordan could turn it herself. Wow, what a difference. We put bows all over it (pink and brown of course) and even put a basket on it with bows for her to put "lamby" in. It was fantastic! We started at the entrance by Nordstrom (of course) and the ladies getting their hair done in the salon there were cracking up so Jordan was hamming it up for them. She was sticking her tongue out, playing coy then laughing so hard. She didn't even notice she was working. She walked about on third of the mall then when Shan and Noah went ahead she threw a fit. I was standing firm though and let her scream like crazy while everyone stared. Finally (she almost outlasted me) she stopped and I got her to finish walking to the playground. By the end she probably walked half the length of the mall or a bit more. She was stopping to rest during the last part. She would just stop, stand there and then lift one leg like it was getting tired then she'd charge ahead. Her steering isn't so great yet though. A few times when she was really distracted smiling at someone she went in a complete circle. It was hilarious. My highlight for the night was in Baby Gap. She was doing so well. She "walked" right up to the bathing suits and grabbed one. She looked at me and was yanking at the bathing suit. It was so fun to see her able to walk right up and tell me what she wanted. Normally I would say don't touch but tonight I was so thankful. It was great to see her up on her feet finally.
So if any of you are at the mall over the next few weeks look for us because it will be our second home. If she does this well at the mall I'm happy to take her every day (such a sacrifice huh?).
One other thought...I was glad Shan went with me tonight because it's still a little uncomfortable sometimes the way everyone stares. I know they can't help it and they are probably just looking because she's so cute and small with the decorated walker but it's something to get used to - being a show for everyone. I was recently talking to someone about this and was remembering when I'd take Jordan out before her lip surgery. Oh man would people stare. I totally understand that she had a hole in her face but honestly people would run their grocery carts into displays and into other shoppers because they'd be turned completely around staring. It was funny after a while but mostly it wasn't much fun. There really isn't an answer though. What are people supposed to say? I've often thought about this. We are all afraid to say "What happened to your baby?" or "What's wrong with your baby?" because it sounds negative so we just don't say anything. Most of us are intrigued or curious so we look (myself included). It's nothing judgemental or critical it's just human nature but we forget that no one likes being a show. Kids are the best - they usually just ask and then move on.
I feel like I can speak for many parents who have children with birth "defects" (this may or may not be the current PC term but I'm okay with using it) or "differences" when I say that we, as parents, are fine talking about it. Just ask if you're curious and take a peek if your interested but please don't gawk and stare because it gets uncomfortable...and correct your kids if they do it. Model respect for them and teach them that it's okay to ask and that God makes us all different with different needs, talents, gifts, etc. Also, if your children say something rude please correct them in front of the child and family they said it to. It's nice to know that you as parents find rude comments unacceptable.
One more thing then I'll stop rambling...
I was cracking up tonight at Noah. Jordan's walker is his new favorite toy. He kept trying to take it from her so he could use it at the mall. He walked back to the car in it with his head held high SO proud of "his" decorated walker. We were walking behind him laughing because he had no idea people were staring at him and we were loving that he is so used to seeing kids in walkers and wheelchairs now that it doesn't even phase him. I love that! What a gift God has given our family enabling us to be exposed to and to have a better understanding of an entire population of people. I'm excited to see how Noah does as he and Jordan grow up together.
Okay that's it for now but I'm posting pictures tomorrow of her wheels.