Sometimes it surprises me the individuality of my children. Mason is my 7th child and loves music. We have known that for a while, he ‘dances’ to music when it catches his attention. On Sunday at church he was watching the chorister lead the congregation in singing hymns and started waving his arm to conduct. It was adorable to see but I figured it would be short-lived, only happening while there was an example in front of him.I should have known better. I’ve been turning music on to listen to at different times during the day lately. Both yesterday and today Mason has spent time ‘conducting’ the music. Neither time did he have a visual example, he simply heard the music and remembered what to do. At 16 months old!
One reason this excites me is that waving his arm around like that is a great workout for Mason’s balance and core strength. It shifts his body’s balance as he reaches and moves with the music. Shh! Don’t tell him it’s physical therapy!
The other thing he learned to do just today is drink from a straw. I’m pretty sure I need to explain why that is a big deal. You see, Mason still has some eating/oral issues. He eats solids finally but if it is something being fed to him with a spoon, like oatmeal for breakfast, we have a problem. Mason doesn’t shut his mouth to get the food off the spoon. He will literally just sit there with his mouth open. You have to scrape the food off using his upper teeth. And if you refuse then he will eventually back away from the spoon and give up on eating instead of closing his mouth.
He also had up to this point refused to suck on any sort of water bottle top or straw. It’s important he learn this so he can get enough water in each day to help combat his constipation (which is complicated by his bladder medicine). We’ve tried many different sippy cups, straws, regular cups. No go.
Today he finally closed his mouth around the straw on this water bottle. Then he accidentally sucked on the straw and got water. He was shocked. Then he was delighted and has spent a large portion of the day playing with and drinking from his water bottle.
Drinking from a straw will also mean Mason can drink without laying down. Remember his core strength isn’t enough to balance in a sitting position and tip up a sippy cup or sit without both hands? So he has still had to lay down in our arms or on the floor every time he wanted to drink anything. At 16 months old. While he still needs to use at least one hand for balance he can finally drink while sitting!
Has closing his mouth on a straw translated to closing his mouth on a spoon? Not yet, but it will eventually. It is just another example of how many small skills go into one activity that, up to now, we’ve taken for granted.