He limped towards me , his tongue sticking out. He stumbled. I shuffled myself closer to the edge of the couch, I stretched out my arms. “Come on buddy, you can do it” I coaxed as he leaned against the table. “Ethie do it” baby D encouraged. I laughed as the the toddler smiled at Ethan, from a safe distance.
I begin to edge closer, fighting every fibre of my being not to help him walk to me. “Come on Ethie” I smile. I can feel the tear in my eye, as I watch him struggle to walk. He is stiffer than he has been in a long time. He is leaning to one side, favouring one leg over the other. Damn you hunter syndrome I scream in my head as it dawns on me this could be the beginning of his decline. I wipe my eyes.
“No cry mom” baby D walks towards me.
“Come on Ethie” I almost plead.
“Fug off” he roars; I laugh.
“Fug off” baby D laughs.
“No,no baby” I nod at the baby, trying not to smile.
Suddenly Ethan throws himself on my lap, “Tired” he roars in my face.
I felt my heart leap; yes! of course, he’s just tired! He’s been at respite for two days, he’s been busy with his friends and his carers. The relief flows from me as baby D yells “Good job Ethie, good boy”.
“Good job is right” I kiss Ethans cheek.
“Fug off” he yells. I rub his back, gently easing him off my lap.
“Lie down bud” I point to the couch. Baby D lays on the floor, in all his 22 months, he knows whats coming next.
I gently begin Ethans physio on his hips and legs, meanwhile baby D is kicking his legs screaming “Bicycle mommy, Dee Dee do it”.
Ethan laughs …thankfully he has always found this type of physio funny. I’m never sure if it’s because I’ve to dodge his kicks as he loosens up or if it’s because I sing ‘row row the boat’ really badly.
10 minutes later and he’s more free moving than before. “Good job” I give him the thumbs up. “Good job Ethie” my little parrot echoes.
Every day we do physio, sometimes we do it up to six or seven times, depending on Ethan’s walk and movement.
It isn’t always this plain sailing but the bruises and black eyes I’ve gotten are worth it!
It has dawned on me that one day physio just won’t be enough, one day it won’t loosen him and one day I’ll have to admit defeat…
Today is not that day and for that alone; it has been a great day.