Have I mentioned that the little dude now weighs 18kg's? That's the average weight of a 'normal' five year old kid. So the slow weight gain associated with RTS has been conquered...awesome! Well...um...mostly awesome. Just the 153cm's of mom carrying those 18kg's of awesomeness around is taking a little strain. And while most of Sam's body grows sturdy and strong, those little lower legs seem to be fading just as quickly. So walk the smurfy lil dude must.
Sam is having to re-master his walker. When he first got it, he used it the wrong way round as his fears and anxieties kicked into overdrive when encountering life so far off the ground, without any form of protective shield in front of him. To start with I was just so thrilled to have him straying from his knee-walking at least a little that I didn't consider the repercussions. But seeing that Sam was adopting more of a 'pushing' stance made me realise that he was in no way strengthening his core muscles which he needs to do if walking unassisted is ever going to be an option and also, he was in actual fact being given a false sense of security...much as a baby's walking ring would. No wasted moments though, he simply would just not have used the walker at all otherwise. Baby steps, see :)
Having grown more confident using the walker correctly around the house and at therapies, I decided it was time to hit the big, bad world! Off we went to our local Spar, the same place we tried out the 'incorrect' method. Determined to avoid all things 'normal' the first place Sam heads is....the fruit and vegetables aisle! He has a fascination with, mostly, bananas and pineapples and it is very seldom we leave a store without bananas so if ever you run out, you know where to go.
It would be fair to say that using the walker this way, which makes his dragging right foot a little more pronounced, certainly makes for an awkward-looking gait but hey, my general all round clumsiness and tendency to trip over non-existent obstacles makes me look a little awkward too. His smurfy swagger usually brings a smile from others, occasionally a pretending-not-to-stare stare and sometimes...a little more often than it should...a very purposeful look of disapproval.
Disapproval? Why so?
Because I have dared to expose our 'tragedy' to those who know nought of such things, who resent you for imprinting even just briefly upon their minds the fact that such 'imperfections' even exist.
Sound like an oversensitive mommy rant to you? Tis not! And here's why I know...as the deliverer of this disapproving look squeezed passed our awkwardness, my 13yr old daughter...usually preoccupied with watching herself doing various renditions of 50 Epic Dance Moves in the shop windows or reassuring me that she would not have jayboarded straight into that oncoming car had I not literally grabbed her by the collar...paused mid-Meghaness to note how Sam and I were both being scowled at. Like, wow, really???
Now it's fairly easy to understand why, although I see plenty fellow-journeying moms at therapies or out in force at get-togethers, I very seldom run into them in random places. It's really quite sad, don't you think? Iris House Children's Hospice gifted us all with these wonderful little 'ice breaker' cards for our kiddies...I'm going to ask them to add to Sam's, in big bold print, NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS!
Nah...just kidding :D
Thankfully, our little 'really?' moment is completely overshadowed by more heartwarming incidents like when a friend, at the same store, has already packed herself, her family and her parcels into her car and is about to drive away when she spots your smurfy entourage across the parking lot and leaps out to hurry over and say hallo!!! A small happening to some, a meaningful heartfelt gesture to others xxx