While taking a break from Speech water therapy (it's their standard break), we added another office visit. Now we will start back in the pool, keeping both office visits, and kindermusik has restarted! In the midst of all this appointment juggling, we found another OT who has started a hippo (horse) therapy program, and Mila had an eval today to see if she qualifies for services.
Mila typically likes animals at a distance. It doesn't matter if it's a tiny dog, a goat, or a big horse, she likes to watch them and not make contact. She fussed when her therapist, Jamie, was petting the horse, almost as if to warn her to stop. After about 10 minutes of petting and talking to the horse, the manager suggested putting on a helmet and going for a ride. My stomach went into knots. She hates anything or anyone touching her head. There was now way she was going to be happy about sitting on that horse. After a few whimpers of fastening the helmet, Mila was off to be hoisted on "Bubba."
Well, I'll be damned and completely surprised. My girl rode Bubba like a champ! She didn't fuss, whine, or cry. She actually smiled a few times. I swear Bubba gave her body an input it had been needing and it felt good! She grabbed the saddle within a few seconds of riding, holding firm, like she had done it a million times. Ironically, every time Bubba stopped, Mila would slap the saddle. Jamie had previously mentioned a full size horse's stride mimics us humans, and the stride of a pony or miniature horse mimics walking in stilettos.
Times when I underestimate Mila's abilities, I become ridden with mom guilt. I fear situations that could make her uncomfortable. I get anxious when new situations, with new people arise. I am constantly in mama bear mode, ready to rescue her at any sound of unhappiness. Today was a reminder to me that I need to let go. Let go of sinking any doubt into Mila's new adventures. Mila can do anything! She has pretty much been a blank disc...having to learn every step, movement, motor planning skill to do the smallest of small things of daily living. There is nothing that she is incapable of...she just has to be taught how to do it! Every time she's learning new skills, I'm learning things about her. Today, she taught me to invest my full confidence in her ability to adapt, learn, and enjoy the unknown. My Mila will be strong, confident, and a world changer :).
Mila's latest praises.....
- Cruising everywhere! Wall to wall, chairs, tables, the couch, park equipment.
- Body rotation between obstacles
- Climbing stairs
- Obsessive high-five's
- Great pincer/finger control (she'll be getting a piano soon)
- Exploring the kitchen, her room, behind the couch, daddy's nightstand (houses the iPad)
- Verbal cues when she wants something
- "Sharing" a lot more when asked
- Animal/Object identification when asked once
- Helps take her diaper off when being changed (not the best idea if a hot turd gets loose)
- Encouraging play with daddy and I (she let's daddy rough play with her which makes him very happy)
- Gnarliest ball thrower in Colorado
- Initiating walking & going more than 10 feet with assistance
- Participating in texture play
- More squatting during play (helps build strength, control, balance-pertinent for walking)
- Said "ma-ma" six times in a row when she was feeling stressed the other day (this makes it her third time ever, and it's literally the most unfamiliar, sweetest sound that ever existed)
We head to Cali next week for the Global Genes Project Patient Advocate Summit and I'm beyond excited! Mila and I get to spend time with family which will be the major highlight, and hopefully I come away with new ways to help Mila and our community.