Sunday, June 24, 2012

Celebrating Small Victories

Josie and her sister, Merryn, are sixteen months apart.  When we became pregnant with Merryn, the timing surprised us a bit.  However, many people within the special needs community, including Josie's therapists, assured us that this was the best possible thing for Josie.  We were told that having a sibling so close in age would motivate Josie to reach her milestones alongside her sister.  Sibling rivalry would be a good incentive for Josie to work harder to keep up with her sister.  We were also told that because I was tending to a baby, I would not have as much opportunity to "baby" Josie, thus, making her more independent and self-sufficient.

However, this theory seemed to have backfired a bit.  As Merryn's gross motor skills began to develop, Josie utilized this to her advantage.  We've all seen Merryn pushing helping Josie in her gait trainer...
...although she doesn't look too happy about it here.

When Merryn began to pull up and cruise along furniture, Josie simply sat back and let Merryn pull toys down for her.

No, not the school bus!  I said the singing dog!  Geez, Merryn - listen!

Josie is delighted to sit and relax while Merryn does all the climbing and heavy lifting!
And the thing about Merryn (and typically developing kids) is that the skills that we've worked tirelessly - for months and months and months - to teach Josie, simply come naturally to Merryn.  She just started pulling up, cruising, and climbing the stairs.  No one really taught her or drilled her over and over with countless exercises.  Admittedly, the contrast between the two can be a little discouraging.

However, all the effort that goes into teaching Josie new skills, and all of the energy spent, and even the discouraging moments, make victory so sweet!  Fast forward to last Friday when I heard Josie whining in the playroom.  I poked my head around the corner to see what the problem was and I saw this:
I shrieked in excitement "Josie!!!!  You pulled up!!!!!"  and I ran and got the camera.  What seems like such a small thing for most kids (I honestly don't remember when Merryn first did it) is a huge step for Josie.  I clapped and cheered and made her do it again!  Then I emailed/texted Travis, her grandmas, and her physical therapist!

Of course this is not demean Merryn's accomplishments in any way.  We are truly proud of her as well.  But Merryn is 10 months old and Josie is nearly 27 months old, so it's taken her that much longer to conquer this skill. 

Small accomplishments are big deals when you have a child with special needs.
Three cheers for small victories!

Now, if she can only figure out a better method of getting down besides standing there whining for someone to come help her.  Stay tuned!


  1. YAHOO Josie! Watch out world she will be on the go in no time.

  2. Way to go Josie! And yes..those small victories are big time :)

  3. Honestly, I suspect that if Josie was my kid I would be too enthralled by her cuteness to make her do anything. Like, at all. She's that cute. You don't want to stand up, Josie? That's okay, I will carry you everywhere because you are SO CUTE. You want to dance to Usher in the restaurant? I will bring a portable radio with us and we will play it over and over because you are SO CUTE.

  4. It was hard to watch my younger kids surpass Beth. It's an unexplainable emotion. Something that only those who have older kids with special needs can understand. Looking back over the years, we know that Sharaya (2 years younger than Beth) became the 'big sister' when she was 4 and Beth was 6. I can still remember the moment it happened.

    Celebrate every milestone!

  5. Way to go Josie! The beginning of many great accomplishment!

  6. Yay Josie! I was JUST thinking about this same thing yesterday with Charlotte & Briar! :) It's a difficult thing to explain, but I think you hit it on the head wonderfully! Thanks!

  7. Way to go Josie! I understand completely what you mean, as soon as they hit a milestone, it's a cause for a HUGE celebration! When Everleigh pulled to stand for the first time, she was prouder of herself than I was! Now I can't keep her off anything! Go, Josie, Go!

  8. Yay Josie! You go girl! Merryn's pink bloomers and hat outfit is too much!

  9. Yay, Jo Jo! That's a VERY big deal! Time to celebrate!!!

  10. Way to go! This TOTALLY reminds me of Cora. She's a few months younger than Josie at 17 months and she so far is an only child. But she is pretty creative at finding ways NOT to stand or try to walk or do much of anything gross motor. Thanks for the little glimpse into her possible future. These pics of your girls are just blow me away cute.

  11. Yay Josie!! What a cutie and what great accomplishments! Looking forward to the day my 19-month-old decides to pull up :) That will definitely be cause for celebration in our house!!

  12. You are too funny! Josie is a smart cookie putting those problem solving skills to work. Wait till she's directing Merryn on how to clean her room for her!

  13. Way to go Josie!!!!!!!
    As the mom of one with delay and one without, I understand that comparison thing completely. I'm smitten with these beautiful children and your positive energetic outlook on life!