Here lately, Braxton has made some significant progress. As he is getting older, he is “catching up” on some things, yet far behind in others. I catch myself thinking, yup that’s what a toddler is SUPPOSED to be doing. Or saying things like, boy it’s like we have a real toddler around here! (Obviously, he’s real, but he’s not at all been a typical toddler until recently) Braxton will be 2 years old next month (I can’t believe it!), but developmentally, he is still at about 10-11 months I’d say. For instance, he is crawling fantastically and pulling up to stand and trying to cruise, which is typical for a 9 – 10 month old. Once he really starts walking, I’m certain he will make so much more progress. He’s getting pretty good. Here he is during a Physical therapy session doing some assisted walking…he took 30 steps while I was there for the tail end of the session.
Braxton is also doing really great with exploring his environment. One minute he’s at the patio door and the next he’s in his therapy room with all the toys in the middle of the floor. Yup, typical toddler leaving a path of destruction behind him. For a long time, Braxton just sat next to us, slept, and pretty much did nothing. We’d play with him and there was no registered emotion. Now, I walk in to a room and he’s pulled toys off the shelf, emptied toy bins, and crawling over to another toy and playing all on his own. When we sit and play with him, he is actually quite interactive and will laugh and smile the whole time. Especially when sister plays with him. He likes to pretend to knock her over and when she exaggerates the fall, he thinks it’s hilarious. The sound of laughter fills my home and heart.
Braxton now also knows his name. Just one other thing we don’t realize actually has to be learned. I would call him all day long and get nothing in return. But a toy goes off and his head whips around. At first, I figured he was being a typical toddler by ignoring mom and only paying attention to cool toys, but it’s just taken some time for him to learn we’re talking to him and not the wall. In the past couple weeks, I have called his name and he turns around with a big smile on his face. Or if he’s across the room, he turns around, sees me, smiles real big, and crawls as fast as he can over to me. It’s the sweetest thing, but it’s been a long time coming. I never thought it’d be almost 2 years before he understood much of anything. He knows his name now, and that’s huge.
Another typical toddler thing he’s doing is dropping things on purpose and then crying dramatically to sucker mom into picking him up. I have sat and watched him literally stick his pacifier over the edge of the play pen, swing it around, and then throw it. He then stares at it, and then goes in to full on crocodile tears and drops to the floor just to make sure mom knows he’s really upset. I just laugh.
Braxton is doing so well and I just love watching him develop. Each and every accomplishment is celebrated in our home. I am often so overwhelmed with joy that I just cry thinking of all the things he is doing that no one ever thought he’d do. I’ve read the reports, I’ve talked to our therapists..they were all really worried at first, and so were we. And now, we all rejoice with his progress. He never ceases to amaze us with his courage and determination. Some days, in some moments, he’s just like any other typical toddler, although in reality he is behind and so far from typical. One thing is for sure, he is one extraordinary little boy who is going to continue to defy the odds and surprise us all.