Independence is something we all take for granted in one way or another. Personal independence, the ability to handle your most basic needs on your own. It seems like a given but for many it is not, and as you get older many people lose that form of independence. We all think about it here and there as a possibility but we never acknowledge how nice it is to have it while we do. I don’t think I have ever stopped and said, “You know what? I am really happy that I don’t need help putting clothes on!” Well, sometimes I do but that’s just because I pushed myself too hard on the treadmill and can’t seem to reach my feet to put socks on. My point is, that it’s pretty awesome being able to do everything for yourself. It’s definitely not awesome when you don’t have that independence.
Aurora doesn’t have that independence. I want so badly for her to have it but I know it’s going to take some time. She also seems to have grown somewhat accustomed to having things done for her. Not good. She knows how to hold her spoon and bring food to her mouth, she simply refuses to do so. She knows a lot, it’s hard to tell how much she understands and doesn’t understand because she isn’t speaking yet but it’s apparent there are some things she definitely gets.
I believe she does what is convenient at the time (who wouldn’t) and ignores all things that take any effort. Some may say she is lazy…I think she has just outsmart us all and that is entirely on us. It’s easy to get into the mode of wanting to only make her happy all the time. She’s the perfect child, and has so much going on that we don’t want to make things harder on her. With that said, I feel guilty for not making her do the things she doesn’t like to do. I worry that our concern for her happiness in the moment is holding her back from truly being happy and independent in the future.
Gradually we have started to pull away from the idea that she needs to be happy all the time. It’s good to make things fun for her and it’s great if eventually she enjoys it but a lot of what she needs to do for independence does not make her happy. Standing and walking are a great example, she can do it, we have seen her do it on her own while holding on to the arm of the couch. She was happy and you could see how much that independence meant to her. It’s a lot of work though and she doesn’t always like it. She gets pretty vocal when she is made to stand by a PT, but it’s one of the things that she needs to do.
I’m not going to lie, it breaks my heart to see her get upset. I’m still working on realizing she has mastered the art of the fake cry. She knows how to get out of not so fun activities, and Grandma sometimes spoils her in the sense of always letting her get her way, because that’s just what Grandmas do. I hope that she is still able to move forward.
Like I said before I know it’s going to take time. I know she won’t wake up one day and start talking my ear off; telling me all about how she wants to go for a walk and wear her princess dress and eat pancakes for breakfast. That’s a fantasy world for us, at this point I am so happy with the progress she has made and only hope for baby steps to more independence for my little girl.
Baby steps like exploring the space around her, she found the sliding door to the porch the other day. She scooted/ rolled herself to the glass sliding door (which was ice cold because it was like -5ish outside) and it kind of looked like she was trying to open it. So I showed her how it slid open (briefly because it was like -5ish) and as soon as she figured it out she was giggling like crazy. Then tried to open it over and over again which I unfortunately had to stop because the little adventurer would have been a popsicle. That made me wicked happy to see though, she was genuinely interested in figuring out what was around her. That is a proud Mommy moment for me!
Another proud Mommy moment happened last weekend when I heard her make a couple new sounds/ almost words. I just want to start off by saying… don’t judge me, your baby may be 1 and know half the dictionary but I have been waiting 5 years for this moment! She said, “Mamamamama” just like that. I may have become a little too excited but oh well. It was followed with “Yumyummamama”. Totally ignored the part where she kind of sounded like she wanted to eat me. I immediately text Jeremy at work to brag and then called Grandma because it’s a huge deal. New sounds don’t come often and when they do it’s more like a giant leap rather than a baby step. This actually just turned into a double proud Mommy moment thing because earlier today I heard her say, “Ah Ah Ah Ahrara”. Pretty close to Aurora right? Yeah, she’s awesome.
While your normal world is probably amazing to you in so many ways, it doesn’t seem real to us. Which is awesome, we have completely different ways of doing things. Every little thing is incredible and we are always patiently waiting for the next incredible thing to happen. It takes some time for it to really sink in but once you realize that all of those normal milestones won’t be a part of your life, it’s a lot more exciting. It can be scary too, not knowing when she will have independence. One baby step at a time with the occasional leap is fine with me. What will Aurora surprise us with next?
Thanks again to everyone who shares, likes, follows and comments. The support makes me so freaking happy! Keep being awesome. ❤