I had another blog that I was planning to post this week. But it’s a pretty heavy and challenging topic. And it just didn’t seem right to post it when Maddie is having such a PHENOMENAL week!
We took a much needed eight-day vacation to the southern Caribbean last week, and it seemed to do wonders for her. For the first time she’s babbling with some definite consonant sounds. And she’s moving more- lots of side sitting and lifting high when she’s on her belly! Even the teachers at daycare have noticed a big difference! Yesterday one of them said that it was “like a whole new Maddie” came back from the cruise. She noted that maybe even babies need a vacation.
The funny thing is that we didn’t do any therapies while we were gone. We normally spend time each day stretching and focusing on new skills as instructed by our therapists: sitting on her knees, being on all fours, transitioning, etc. Needless to say, she does not look forward to these exercises. In fact, she’s actively learning ways to avoid doing them. I can’t lie; I don’t look forward to them either. I feel guilty day in and day out because it never seems that we’re doing enough (but that’s a whole other blog post…)
The first day that we were on the cruise Nate and I discussed whether we should do her exercises, and we decided we ALL needed a break. So we took the week off. And you know what? Maddie spent a ton of time just relaxing, playing with her toys, and suddenly (without prompting) she began side sitting on her own- a skill that we have literally been working on for months. And she did it over and over again, without thinking. Like she’d been doing it her whole life.
I’ve wracked my brain trying to figure out what activities we could replicate from last week that would reap the same type of continuing development. But the truth is, it may have just been vacation, itself.
We had all day, everyday family time.
We went for car rides to fun places, and didn’t use a car seat (please don’t send CPS after us).
We spent time in the pool, enjoyed warm weather, and stayed up past bedtime.
None of these things can be taught in therapy, and we can’t duplicate this
routine most days (stupid real life responsibilities). I honestly think it goes back to the fact that we all need a break sometimes. We need to stop working so hard, and take time to enjoy life. The vacation was long enough that both Nate and I came back reset and ready to tackle professional and home life- and I think Maddie did, too. Better start planning the next one!