Audrey has successfully walked on her own with a walker (both a standard plastic thing at home and a fancy rollater at conductive education)!
Yes, I cut straight to the juicy detail there. It feels so exciting and terrifying to think she might be close to walking.
When Audrey was a baby, I looked at the parameters for children with DS walking (from typical age to 5 the book said) and I thought; “well she will walk at typical age or not much later”, because I wanted to be positive, but also I believed in Audrey. I knew she was the greatest kid with Down’s Syndrome I’d ever known, I was so sure that with lots of help she could hit all those milestones as early as possible.
The reality is, even if we had been super hot on physio and/or lots of crazy gadgets for walking/improving muscle tone, Audrey would still be delayed. She has low muscle tone that is hard to deny. Plus she chose to bottom shuffle rather than crawl – this is practically walking, she has her hands free. So in her eyes, no rush!
As I look at this year, the year she will possibly walk independently, I feel a mixture of emotions. I’ve been so desperate to see her run around like her peers. She misses out on park time, outdoor play and even soft play (you need to be able to climb). However I’m worried about how it will change things – eyes needed in the back of my head? A child that’s no longer happy in the buggy or sitting in a high chair? I know this is standard progression and something mums of typical children have dealt with already by 14 months (is that the average walking age??), but Audrey is 3 in July and I still haven’t had to worry about these things.
She is just starting to realise that Rex is taking up mummy time, she is calling out for me a lot, following me around and is trickier to get settled at night time. Audrey is really growing up. I love being her number 1, but it’s so hard when I can’t devote all my time to her. I hope her improvement in walking, standing and climbing will help give her some independence and help her to need me less, although I suspect I’m in for many months of struggling with how to split my time between demand breastfed baby and demanding toddler!