Friday, May 12, 2006

Many steps

Elizabeth has been able to walk for a couple of months now - she just hasn't believed it herself. Hold her hand and she can walk without any trouble at all. During our trip to the Yorkshire Dales, she had her first walk outdoors with reins on, and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the car after half an hour in the pouring rain. Recently, it's often been possible to let the reins go slack and she'll quite happily keep her own balance. But she won't walk without them.

Until today. This afternoon, Helen stood Elizabeth with her back to an armchair and I knelt on the floor six feet away. After a bit of encouragement, she took about four steps towards me, stopped, turned around and walked back to the armchair. She did that twice.

I backed off to the far end of the room, about ten feet away. A bit more coaxing and again she walked half way then turned back. That must be more difficult than walking in a straight line.

Finally, at the fourth attempt, she walked the ten feet from one end of the rug to the other. After many congratulatory cuddles, I put her down and she walked back. She then spent ten minutes walking to and fro across the room, until Helen went to the kitchen to make some tea. Elizabeth followed her. Now she just walks, as if she's been doing it for months.

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