Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Summer of No Carrying

I have several Ambitious Summer plans...one of them is to stop carrying Elena. In all honesty, we do it often, in certain situations--steps and stairs being the most common ones. We live in a three story house, and the steps outside do not have a handrail.

During the school year, we have been in a rush, and Elena is NOT a morning person. We would have had to wake her up a minimum of 30 minutes early to attempt to have her do all her step/stair transitions herself. Quite simply, that was not a good option.

Well, since we don't have to rush to get to a bus anymore--now's the time. The Summer of No Carrying means when the people involve Jason or myself, Elena will NOT be carried AT ALL (ideally other caregivers will do the same, but I'm not going to insist on that). No matter how tired she is, no matter the weather, no matter the footwear--Elena will move her own feet to get from point A to point B. She can hold hands, use crutches, use rails, etc. but she must move her own feet (or scoot, or crawl, depending on the situation). I typically bank in an extra 30 minutes for "getting out of the house" time, if E is going to do all the transitions herself.

I sort of sprung this on her yesterday. We had talked about it before, but in the rush of kindergarten "graduation", she forgot that being a First Grader meant we instituted the No Carrying Act. Today (day after the last day of school) was our first day.

She went down the steps in the morning herself--scooted down on her bottom (which is fine) to play before the rest of us got downstairs. We went out for a morning activity, and she held one hand and used one crutch to go down the steps outside. When coming home, she opted to go through the basement as the steps have a handrail, and opted for the other hand held. We had a flash thunderstorm before Feldenkrais today, and again she opted to go through the basement, one hand held and then got to the car herself (flat concrete). One hand held and one crutch used as we crossed the street. Same thing on the way home. Going to bed, there was some whining about how she didn't like the No Carrying Situation (I have always carried her up the stairs to bed) but she didn't complain long, and we just went up for bedtime.

I noticed immediately that after just one day, her weight transfer going up the stairs has improved--she leans forward more and pushes more with her legs (rather than pulling herself up with her arms). Practice makes perfect, no?

It'll be a challenge for Elena, both mentally and physically to adjust to this. I LOVE IT. It is MUCH easier on me to hold her hand than to carry her--she's not necessarily heavy, but she is long and her tone makes it awkward to comfortably hold her weight when doing stairs.

5 comments:

GingerB said...

Hey - there might just be a lesson in that blog post . . . let me get back to you on that.

Cary said...

This is fantastic. Just fantastic. As GingerB says "there might just be a lesson in that blog post".

Love your blog Amy....now to think about how to apply this to us...

Anonymous said...

YES AMY ME TOO... ALTHOUGH I AM TOO BIG TO BE CARRIED THERE IS STILL SOMETHING I TOO CAN BENEFIT FROM! IE GOING DOWN STAIRS ON MY BUM(I HAVE DONE SINCE I WAS 2) I TOO LIVE IN A 2 STORY HOUSE AND i ALWAYS HEAR MY MOM SAY "WALK DOWN THE STAIRS YOUR GETTING YOUR GOOD PANTS FULL OF CAT FUR" I THINK I BUM DOWN BECAUSE OF NOT FEELING STABLE GOING DOWN AND ALSO HABBIT!

MELISSA

Josephine said...

Okay, this is interesting! In the past several weeks my husband and I have been doing a lot of research on SPML (Dr Nuzzo style) and also SDR (St Louis), and around every corner, we have found your blog!! You little girl is adorable, and reminds me of our Avery. We are in Roanoke, Va, and are trying to decide what's best. Seems like you've made some really great decisions for your daughter, and I am so glad you documented it all because it is helping us make decisions for our daughter. Thanks. Oh, and that beach walker is AWESOME!! (not this post, I know, but so cool!)

twinmama said...

Hey Amy, this is a great post-we have been doing more and more with Hannah to make her as independent esp around our house as possible. It helps that we made some adaptations so she has no real excuses! But it's good life skills either way. Course, now we're post-SDR so we'll have to creep back up to this independence one day at a time...which reminds me, I've been meaning to email you forever to say thanks for all the pre-surgery advice, sorry we never got to connect by phone but I have not forgotten my idea to have H and E meet some day, time just flew by this winter and then SDR was upon us. but I thought you should know that E is providing a great inspiration to H in her recovery-she has been oft referred to as I help H understand why she had to go through this, what it means, and how it will help her in the long run. So thanks for blazing the trail and charting the course!