Monday, December 3, 2012


That's a funny-looking word in its plural form. I'm not sure I've ever seen it that way. It almost looks wrong. Perhaps it's one of those silly words whose plural ends in the letter i, like octopi.  Probably not. 

I'm not talking literal plateaus, here. Not those raised, flat landmasses you can find out west, or in Australia. I'm talking about those plateaus we encounter as we learn. I see them often among my students. They progress so nicely, and then they just level off for a while. It can be frustrating because no amount of effort seems to help, until one day it does. 

Children do this too. I imagine it seems pronounced in children with Down syndrome (and probably those with other types of delays) because the plateaus last longer. Max's most significant recent plateau has been walking.

I (naively) had my heart set on Max walking by his birthday. This summer his improvement was lightening fast. And then I went back to work, and he went stagnant. His interest in walking waned. His ability to take several independent steps atrophied. I was discouraged, especially knowing that as my pregnancy progressed, carrying a 30-lb toddler would become more and more difficult. I started to imagine the types of super-hero moves I'd have to learn to get a non-walking toddler that has decided to go boneless, and a newborn, across a busy parking lot, or up the stairs, or even just around the playground. As you can imagine, they all involve giant, rock-hard biceps and a midriff to rival Wonder Woman's. 

And then, last Thursday, this happened (captured on my cell phone): 

Max's walker has fixed wheels so that as users begin to walk they don't lose their balance if it turns from side to side. As you can see, the walker needs to be picked up in order to turn, which until Thursday, was always our job (or that of our feet when we got lazy). I'd never seen him turn it on his own before. 

Max's signing has also blossomed in the last few days. Today I saw him imitate Rachel on Signing Times as she signed "imagination." He did it twice. Then he signed "No!" right back to me when I scolded him for throwing his plate. Nice job, buddy. I'm so proud!

Quick pregnancy update:

Yesterday I felt the baby move for the first time. Since that first flutter, I've been feeling movement several times every hour since. This is a feisty one!

And most importantly, I had my second blood test today checking for changes in the antibodies against parvovirus B19 (fifth disease). Any change in numbers would indicate a current infection and kick-off a series of tests and observations to see if the baby is infected. (See previous post for more details.) I expect to have results by Friday. Thanks for all of your support and well-wishes. You have helped me remain calm and collected, which in turn has reduced my stress level. I'm feeling confident that everything is fine.