Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beginning to wonder....

When P came home from Ethiopia, he was in rough shape. Oh, sure, I jokingly tell people that he was the healthiest child in the orphanage, and he just might have been. His teeth were perfect, not rotten and falling out, he wasn't covered in scabs, his giardia was latent, his ringworm was under control, his ascaris was easily cured, and he was a head taller than several of the other young walkers.

But he was just-turned-2 and could hardly walk. He could make it a few steps then he'd topple and take a few minutes slowly pushing himself back up. We know he wasn't carried all the time, but he didn't get much outside time (just a small, cement courtyard). And his thighs were small, much shorter than his calves, and with his huge, rock solid distended belly he had a tough time balancing.

Fast forward a few years.

We've seen counselors for behavioral issues and we feel happy that we've reached a great place, where he's bonded and happy and thriving.

And now his little brother is a toddler too, 6 months younger than P was at home coming and the same size. And the things this child can do! I mean, I know kids all develop at different rates, and P had some early difficulties, but still...

I'm starting to worry that we completely missed a component, something important or formerly important, that was right in front of us.

Walking- P could hardly walk at age 2
Running- We joke that P's the slowest kid on the playground. He can't run for long. He enjoys running with much smaller children since they go the same speed.
Jumping- He couldn't jump until age 3 or so.
Clapping- He learned how to clap shortly after coming home. It was totally new to him, like grass and sippy cups.
Potty Training- He didn't day train until 3.5 yrs and at 5.5 years still isn't night trained.
Swinging- He just learned how to pump his legs. He just couldn't figure it out until recently.
Swimming- He can swim while holding a boogy board but often forgets what to do with his legs.
Climbing- He didn't figure out how to climb into things until probably after age 3. He's a good climber now.
Eating- If he's distracted while eating or drinking he'll often tip his plate/cup/spoon, forgetting how to hold it if he's not focusing on it.

Nothing is bad or really makes life hard, nothing that requires PT or anything, and yet...

Today at the park I saw my 18 month old walk up to a climbing board and figure it out in less than 5 seconds. We spent a lot of time trying to show P how to use this same board and he couldn't figure it out until he was about age 4. He simply couldn't comprehend how to hold his body and climb up, while A just did it so smoothly and naturally.

P's catching up, certainly. He doesn't typically run with the other kids on the playground at school, but when he does he's probably about average speed, if still a little slow. And his confidence has grown immensely since he learned how to swing himself. He's growing, and I'm kicking myself for not realizing all the extra growing my little guy really needed to do. Poor thing could very well have a slight physical developmental delay and I never noticed until now....

On the other side of it, both boys have always had very, very good eyesight and hand-eye coordination, and P's problem solving skills are top notch. That kid's a survivor, lemme tell you!

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