I have several posts written, queued up, and ready to go, but they don't feel right (and while some are serious, there's also a contest I need to prep up and get ready and some lighthearted things) so I let them out and then I save them as drafts.
Instead, I will tell you how my heart has grown over the past few weeks.
This is definitely the summer of changes for my girl. Of course, along with leaps and milestones and inchstones come tantrums and behaviors and acting out. There are setbacks. There are problems. It's true.
Potty training/learning/teaching/whatever is coming along very well. She has her off days, she has accidents, but she is doing so well that I think we really will be able to send her to pre-K without Pull Ups. Over the weekend, when we were at a friend's house, she didn't have any accidents, told me she needed to go every time, and just did wonderfully. Last week she even was willing to go in a public bathroom (she is usually pretty freaked out by those, though she insists on me taking her to every single bathroom in the known universe, often just so she can say "No" and we can walk back out).
We had an AAC evaluation that went so well that my whole "I don't want to get my hopes up" business went right out the window. I am VERY VERY excited about this new phase for her. She so desperately wants to communicate and talk. Tonight she talked to me steadily for about 2 solid minutes, and it sounded just like a foreign language that I'd simply never learned. It had cadence and inflection and she was very deliberate. I encouraged it, and I responded to it. And some of her words are becoming clearer (and she says "Cool!" and what I'm pretty sure - because she's said it too many times for the syllables to be random - is "I did!" when I ask her to do something/say something that she just did, whether I realized it or not). But with an AAC, she'll be able to really tell us things while we continue to work on her speech. The therapists were amazed at how quickly she figured out how to use the device, kept saying "she's so smart! she's picking it up so fast!" over and over. It made me so proud, and I choked up a bit when she started asking for her turn and their turn and more and pretty and bears and.... She's only tried out one device so far - hopefully we'll get to try another one this week or next - but I already kind of know which one I want for her, and her SLP is pushing for that one too. We'll see.
She has managed to get herself from a downward-facing dog position to standing and STAY STANDING a few times. She's gone from barely being able to even get in that position to bouncing on her hands (as her PT said she would) to getting up but then falling over immediately to STAYING PUT for a few seconds.
A plus B plus C equals amazing progress. She's always moving forward, always doing things. Sometimes, when we're alone, I forget that she has cerebral palsy for a while and she's just my girl, doing what she does. When we're with neurotypical kids, the sadness does creep in - watching her play with a four-year-old girl who runs and jumps and communicates with ease, that gets me down. But then I look at what she is doing and how quickly she is doing it and I catch myself from the fall and I celebrate instead.
She'll be five in about two weeks. Five years of this. I had no idea. But I think five is her year.