Armsy (adj.): The act of moving arms a lot. This may included, but is not limited to flailing, flapping, and reaching. And yes, I made this word up.
Christian has always been able to move his arms since even being in the PICU. Of course, early on it was reflexive or lacking any purpose, but eventually, he put two and two together and started exhibiting some purposeful reaching.
It took some time, though. And the purposeful stuff was never consistent. Especially if he was going through something - a cold, crappy medication, diet changes - he would just cease all movement.
I'm pretty stoked to report that he's been rather handsy lately. And armsy. He's not that excited about reaching while sitting and he keeps his hand movements pretty small and close to his body. He fiddles with his g-tube, he's even disconnected it a few times and he likes to toy with the buckles on his safety belt.
That's why his IPad works so well for him. It can sit right up underneath him and it doesn't take much action to make it work. The picture shown above is a xylophone app. But he seems to prefer the piano app. I think because it's a softer, more melodic sound. I know he likes the piano app better because he'll play with it for longer and vocalize. But when he plays with the xylophone app, the sounds are louder and heavier. He vocalizes his contempt in about fifteen minutes.
Back to the subject of armsyness, Christian is reaching for toys while laying on the floor on his back. And he's doing it pretty consistently. Of course, he has his preferences as to what he'd like to reach for. So if you test him, make sure it's interesting or he'll stick his nose up at you and walk away. Or the Christian equivalent - he'll do nothing.
But here, he was doing something.
"I'm gonna get that ball."
"Watch me go!"
"Are you watchin', Mom?"
"I'm too fast for the camera!"
Let's try it from another angle.
"I know it's there!"
"Maybe if I flap my arms like a bird, I'll get it!"
"Let me try again."
"Great! Now I've knocked it out of reach!"
He is our baby Blackbird, you know.
You'll notice he's not really using his vision much while reaching for the ball. That's because it's a hard skill to master while trying to reach at the same time. He knows the ball is there. He wants it. But he also knows that if he flaps his arms, he'll eventually hit it. So, he technically doesn't need to use his vision. And he won't if he doesn't have to.
"Mom! My hand is stuck!"
These subtitles aren't far from the truth at all. I put this toy down next to him, walked away, and then I heard him yell.
I came back to find his hand stuck inside the winding wire. But it made me laugh because it happened over and over again after each time I set his hand free.
"Maybe this time I'll get those beads."
"Mom! Stuck again!"
And then he hooks his fingers around the wires and gets really stuck. I like this toy, though, because he always responds to it.
So I've made armsy the word of the week.
Something else I'm trying to get on film...
Christian rolling from tummy all the way over to his back in one movement. It has happened, alright. He just won't do it if there is a camera in the vicinity.
I'll get it, Christian! Just you wait!