Wednesday, July 5, 2017
This is how you look when you climb into a car on your own for the first time
I'd just turned my back on Max for a minute to buckle Ben into the car seat. We'd had lunch at Max's favorite Italian eatery and after polishing off a ginormous portion of baked ziti, he basically waddled back to the car.
"Hold on a sec, Max," I told him, planning to give him a hand getting into the front seat, like Dave or I always do.
But I didn't have to. Because when I turned around to the front seat, Max was already sitting there.
Holy ability! Especially with a belly full of pasta!
It was yet another major milestone not in any of the development books.
As is sometimes the case with progress in Max's life, I never saw it coming. We've repeatedly shown Max how to get himself into the car seat—lift butt onto seat, swivel legs around—but he's been hesitant and seemingly uninterested to attempt it by himself. Part that resistance has likely stemmed from the fact that this kind of movement is physically challenging for him, plus he's used to us helping him.
As is always the case with progress, Max does things on his own timeline.
As I'm writing this, it occurs to me that I have no idea whether Max feels pressure when we prod him to progress. His whole life, me, Dave and a whole lot of therapists have been trying to get him to do stuff—sit up, crawl, pull to stand, take a step, hold a block, say "mmm!" and "aaaaa!", press a button, grasp a spoon, hold a cup, hold a crayon, say "Max" and "Mommy" and Daddy," hold a pencil, type a word, push the pedals, the list goes on and on.
I could not know what it feels like to be regularly urged to do things that your muscles do not naturally want to do. Perhaps to some extent, Max is used to this; he's had therapy since he was two months old. But maybe, as he matures, there's some teen rebellion happening. As in, "LAY OFF ME, MOM, I'LL DO IT WHEN I WANT TO!!!"
Driving home I asked, "Max, will you do that again tomorrow?"
"NO!" he said.
And sure enough, he didn't. But the huge grin on his face said he was super-proud of himself.
I've said before that as exciting as Max's firsts are, the second (and third and fourth) times he does something are even sweeter, because they mean that the action or behavior is really kicking in.
Still, standing in that parking lot, I felt those "He did it! He did it!" fireworks going off in my head, yet another little-but-big moment I'll never forget.