When no one else is around, I talk to the boys a lot. Sometimes it is nonsense. Sometimes it is what I’m doing (which could also be nonsense). Sometimes it is deeper stuff. What I hope for them. How few things in life are going to come easy for them. But how having to work for something makes it that much sweeter. How we all believe in them. And also how we love them exactly as they are.
I’ve warned them that life may not be easy. That if they want to beat the odds, and work their way out of a pretty poor prognosis, that life might be more “work” and less “play”. They will need to have their game faces on…all of the time.
I’d like to show you N’s game face:
That’s not his prettiest look, so let me add some context.
I had N on his belly for some tummy time. His arms and legs were tucked. They are able to lift and turn their heads in tummy time. I’m thrilled with that, and let them practice it on the floor, and on our chests when we have a chance. N threw in a little surprise this time though. With some grunting and struggling…he rolled over on to his back.
I was in disbelief. He is weak, they say. His ability to manage extending and flexing muscles is out of balance, they say. He will experience delays across the board.
Yet I had just watched him roll.
I placed him right back on is belly to determine if it was more of a fall / fluke.
He rolled over for a second time.
Mima emerged and I told her what had happened.
I placed him on his belly and for a 3rd time, and this time for another witness and with a little more effort, he rolled over for a 3rd time.
We got our cameras ready, and put him on his belly again. I could tell he was tired. It seemed he didn’t have enough strength to make it happen again, and we were content with the fact he has rolled 3 times. But he put on his game face, and made it happen one more time:
You can probably guess what I did next…it was L’s turn to try. He is bigger, heavier, and not as mobile as N. I wasn’t sure if he could do it…but he did it too. It was only once…but it happened.
The last time I recall anyone discussing rolling over was at our first care conference when the neurologist warned J and I that most Liss babies reach a developmental ceiling at the point where they are smiling and rolling over.
The boys hit that milestone at the ripe old age of two months / adjusted to 3 weeks. According to my notes, K didn’t even do that until he was over 4 months old.
Maybe the boys are almost done developing and we will still be celebrating the occasional roll months from now. I certainly am aware that is possible. But to me it feels like we’re at just the start of a lot of amazing things.
Game Faces on.