‘Smiling flower’ is learning to walk. We are having to be quite creative about it. She has no balance organs in her inner ear and no balance nerve so she is a little bit wobbly. She started off in a standard baby walker and greatly enjoyed racing around our lounge. However, our house is modest – 6 steps and you have traversed the distance from sofa to bookcase. So we took to taking her to our local pedestrian High St. She absolutely loved the freedom this gave and would wind in and out of the market stalls, chase the pigeons and zoom into Waterstones which always had its doors open (bad for global warming / good for smiling flower). The townsfolk are generally utterly charmed by her giggles of excitement and engaging smile, and often say ‘she is just like the hp baby!’ So I duly came home and sourced out the advert on youtube. I am not officially endorsing the product but the advert is a cracker!
She has now progressed to a ‘K walker’. It’s like a back to front Zimmer frame and she is doing well with that too. I was nervous when I first took her into town with that. It says ‘disabled’ a little more clearly and I wondered if people would stare more, or be less inclined to think ‘how cute’. We have had our fair share of stares in the early days when she was being tube fed. We have never wanted her medical problems to stop us functioning ‘normally’ and so she was tube fed in the car, in the coffee shops, in various service stations around the country, on the beach; often with open mouthed stares from strangers which we tried to ignore.
To be honest I did need to draw on some courage to take her out with the ‘K walker’ for the first time. But I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘K walker’ reaction. She seems to be drawing as much encouragement as ever from our local townsfolk, and it is wonderful to see her literally charging around.
Kurt Goldstein, a neuropsychologist, said that courage, in the final analysis, is nothing but an affirmative answer to the shocks of existence. I like that. Existence does feel a bit shocking sometimes but facing a day with a little bit of courage can make that day amazing…