Baby Steps

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Charlie has motor planning issues. Basically, this means he has trouble getting his body to do what he wants. It takes a ton of work and repetition for him to master a movement. Aside here: this is one of the main reasons we do Feldenkrais therapy with Charlie–it was recommended for this very issue.

Charlie has always struggled with his eyes. For a long time, they weren’t super-useful and even now, he often listens instead of looking.

In the last year or so, I’ve been working with him on smiling on command. Sounds easy, but there are a ton of facial muscles involved with smiling. He smiles spontaneously–it’s the other way that’s work.

But he’s got it! If I ask him to smile for the camera, most of the time he’ll comply with my request. There’s just one tiny issue. . .

Yeah. . . gotta work on the eyes and the smile at the same time. But you know what? I think that eye/smile combo is pretty dang cute.

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  1. His eyse give the pictures a distinct “Charlie” feel. While I understand why you want to get the eyes and smile to go together, the smile as is shows how happy and loved he is! Congrats on Charlies accomplishment. That is one adorably happy little boy!

    • They do. And really, who cares if he’s still working on these things? He’s been moving at his own pace for quite a while now.

  2. Awww. That brought tears to my eyes. Good work, Charlie and Momma!

  3. I love that! He’s so cute.

  4. Elizabeth Bibart says:

    I love that guy♥

  5. MOST importantly -he has a gorgeous smile! Second, this is all soooo interesting to me. (BTW, I’m the one that was tweeting with you re pediatric ophthamologists, we’ve seen many!). Anyway, Sam’s eyes have ALWAYS just done what I like to call “quirky” things, including going what Charlie’s eyes are doing here . . . for so long with Sam, doctors seemed to think whatever “it” is that has been going on with her (we have no firm diagnosis, just a sort of CP diagnosis as an umbrella term b/c we don’t know what “it” is, but she’s had a normal MRI) was “just” hypotonia and that her eye issues were separate from that. Recently though, we heard a movement disorder specialist talk in a documentary about eye movements and explain how kids with movement disorders are often unable to coordinate movement/control of multiple body parts at once . . . e.g., their hands and their eyes for instance, so many kids with movement disorders will seem to NOT be using their eyes when reaching for things b/c for whatever reason, they just can’t. Sam does that – she will look at something, then actually let her eyes look away before she reaches for the thing yet she’s accurate. The way you explain it here is similar, and just makes sense (and makes me more confident that whatever is going on with Sam’s quirky eye movements isn’t probably another “thing” to solve, but just part of her large movement disorder, whatever “it” is; maybe someday we will have a name for it – we are seeing the movement disorder specialist from that documentary in August . . . he’s got quite a wait). BTW, happy to discuss via email more about pediatric ophthamologists/baby eye exams!

    • Sometimes I feel like doctors actually make things more complicated than they need to be–especially with regards to eyes and vision. We’ve had doctors for YEARS who weren’t convinced that Charlie could see and all I could say was, “just take out your cell phone and you’ll see how well he can see.” For me, I go with my gut and let the doctors make all the guesses they want.

  6. So sweet!

  7. I have to be completely honest. I never notice the eye thing with Charlie in pictures until you said something. Whatever, he’s still awesome.

    • A lot of times the pictures I post have Charlie flashing a spontaneous smile, which doesn’t do anything crazy to his eyes. And I totally agree–he IS awesome.

  8. Exactly what Sarah said!!

  9. aww. So cute. Go Charlie!!!

  10. He is extremely cute. Phia’s eyes do wacky things all the time, and I think her smiles are super cute too! :)

  11. He is so adorable. I’ve been lost in your blog for a bit and had no idea how much we have in common. My daughter also had a brain bleed- grade 3-4 and has mild CP, then my oldest has autism and we’ve already discussed the whole “lots of babies in not a lot of time” commonality. Looking forward to following you as you manage it all and remember the days of that many babies at once. Right now I’m doing the “I can’t believe how many people I have to potty train at once” phase.

  12. he is so adorable! The eyes make him look so gleefilled 😀

  13. I could just squeeze him – he is so darn cute! I have never thought to teach Emily to smile on command. I need to work on that. I am usually happy if her eyes are actually open in a picture, so I am guessing if I got her to smile, her eyes would be closed.