A $14.99 dancing bunny is all it took

2013-05-15 15:24:17 by Sarah Sanford, Patient Family, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

In physical therapy, Baby Jude and his crew have worked on lots and lots of skill sets over this past year.  Not the least of which is the ability to move the top of his body in opposition from the bottom.  Something about “no longer moving the entire body as a unit.”

Yes, it’s an actual physical skill.  And, it’s a skill that didn’t come easily to Baby Jude.  High muscle tone in his core and cerebral palsy are a thorn in his side (no pun intended) when it comes to moving his body in opposite directions, among other things.

On top of that, Baby Jude’s development in body recognition seems to have started with his core, moved to his arms (lots of important reflexes there- like breaking his fall so we can, FINALLY, eighty-six Boppy’s and pillows all around the house), then his hands.  We are on to his hips (crawling. . . he had to understand that his hips worked to rock that reciprocal movement).  He licked the hips about 2 weeks ago.  For me, it’s been THRILLING to see the boy on the move.  And, also, a gentle reminder to get out the old baby gates.

Back to the top of the body vs. the bottom of the body stuff - it is still tight.  Jude’s muscle tone can be really tight - his core is always tight.  He needs bounced (we love ourselves a giant exercise ball), massaged, stretched and loosened up.  His legs, if it were up to him, would be hiked up with his feet crossed, all the time.  Similar to the fetal position.  But that is not ideal for development and movement.  So, we work on it.  I should say, Jude, has worked on it.  Every week.  In physical therapy -  for a year.

Enter  the mechanical dancing bunny.  My oldest sister is a sucker for all things “As Seen on TV” that are cute, funny and something the wee ones in the family will like. It’s part of why she is the BEST Aunt B in the world. I am guessing that there isn’t a kid this side of the Mississippi who doesn’t like an Aunt with a dancing bunny and a monkey that crawls.  Aunt B comes bearing gifts to Jane and Jude all the time - one of which was this darned bunny.

Picture this: I set Baby Jude down on the living room floor. He stays still.  Mr. Mechanical Dancing Bunny takes center stage.  The  bunny bops, the bunny dances - a bit of a shimmy shake - the bunny even sings a happy little Easter diddy.  Baby Jude imitates the bunny.  He moves his shoulders without moving any other part of his body.  He shimmies ‘em!  He shimmies to the left, shimmies to the right.  Baby Jude’s upper body is moving completely in opposition to his lower body, and with a splash of rhythm to keep time with Mr. Bunny, too.  All with a HUGE grin on his face and a light in his eye.

MAJOR physical coordination and development, courtesy  of a mechanical dancing bunny.  I told ya, I get humbled a lot.

We are very Grateful, Prayerful & Hopeful.

Read more about Baby Jude and Jane from the rest of Sarah's blog, Hey Jude!.

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