a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Friday, January 28, 2011

The House Helper

Children are sponges. Most are observant learners who love to mimic adult behaviors. In this house, there are always two little eyes recording my every move. Oia can't always repeat what I say but she certainly can repeat my actions. She feels the need to be my constant shadow. Rob calls her "Mini-Mo". She follows, watches, and helps me with whatever I'm doing. Helping is truly what makes her most happy. Although this leaves me with little to no break in my day, I know she is learning just by being with me. I know this because she....

wears my oven mitt when baking in her kitchen.

wipes up her own messes.

carries her folded clothes to her dresser.

puts away dishes.

even puts dishes in the sink.

disciplines the dog, even when he's not doing anything wrong.

sweeps and vacuums.

The other day while I was doing dishes, I turned to look behind me and noticed a couple of things. 1) Oia's cup was sideways on the floor, 2) juice was spilled on the rug and 3) Oia who had retrieved her (broken) Dyson to vacuum up the spill.

I love it. We never take for granted that she is able to comprehend a situation, associate a spill with a device that is used for cleaning, and then have the physical capabilities to do such a "chore', all on her own will. While witnessing many of Oia's behaviors and movements, Rob and I still look to one another and say... "Did you ever imagine her doing this?" We know each others answer. We just shake our heads and smile.

And I'll say it again - we never take these developmentally appropriate behaviors for granted. Ever.


  1. I'm glad you get so much help, and will be even more glad when baby number 2 comes on the scene. She really will be a great big sister. I think assessing a situation and reacting exactly the way you do is amazing (can't see my teenage stepsons doing that, they are neurotypical but can't track actions and outcomes at all!) and it shows us just how smart Oia is, she needs more skills to express what she knows. You guys are doing so very, very well - your family gives me great hope!

  2. She sounds a lot like Hanna. Helping in every way she possibly can! Oia is an amazing little girl....I say it often, but it's so true. I love watching her in action!

  3. My hodge-podge of thoughts:

    This is so very cute. Oia is precious, and the more I say her name to myself the more I positively love it, which makes me excited to find out what you name your new bebe. Also, I love that you allow yourself to appreciate her current abilities.They are obviously hard-fought for, and when you really look back at where she started out, it just makes every new achievement so much sweeter.

  4. What a responsible little girl! She is going to be a great "little mommy" when the baby arrives.

  5. She's a much better daughter than I am :) I can't remember when I last used a vacuum.

  6. I'm literally dying over here because if Charlie were to mimic my activities he would NEVER EVER vacuum. He might type at a computer. He might make a sandwich. But vacuum? Not so much.