Monday, February 7, 2011

Right on Time, for once...

Elise sat, assisted, at 10 months. She started cruising the furniture at 21 months. She, now at 8, has a vocabulary of a delayed 3 year old.

While some of my friends with kids that have Downs have had minimal health problems, and their delays are mere delays, Elise is kicking some pretty substantial delays. Like, I don't think she's hit one single developmental milestone on time yet. Until now.

I'm going to go out on a limb here...You know how stereotypes are often based in fact? Have you further heard the myth about the little girls, the world over, who ask for a pony for their birthday or Christmas? Girls love horses. In my experience, it is only how much and what age. If boys are interested in horses, they view them as living cars, and obsess about their speed and power, but they are a vehicle, not a passion.

I was about 8 when I fell in love with Breyer horses. I watched the Black Stallion for movie night at the zoo, and fantasized about horses...I read all the Marguerite Henry and Walter Farley books and anything I could get that had "horse" in the title. I adored horses, and knew everything about them, but had only watched them from afar or rode them while led for a pony ride at the horse farm across the street from my house. The tiny fact that I did not have actual, real-life experience did not dampen the love affair...

Elise has had experience with horses, and has since she was about 3. As soon as she X-rayed "clean" for AAI, I had her signed up for hippotherapy. She loves it, thrives, and works harder for her horse than any therapist on the planet. We are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that allows horses, and are in a very rural area, with horses EVERYWHERE we go. She always admires them, waves at them, counts them, and watches them at every chance she gets. (I love it, myself!)

Elise, age 4, with Gus

She tends to enjoy animated movies more than live action. (Although, she loves the new Charlotte's Web.) This weekend, she found The Black Stallion. And watched it twice, without breathing, I think, while her sisters napped. Then proceeded on to Dreamer that night. I admit that I allowed it, simply because I had never seen her watch live action with that kind of attention, and I had a lot of things that I needed to do without "help".

She discovered Breyer horses this year, too. She organized her tiny herd for HOURS on our snow days. She made families, had some make friends, and had some was how other kids play dolls. Then she would just sort them...some are actual Breyers, some are tiny, some are big, and some are varying forms of knock-off molded plastic horses. She divvied them up accordingly after the relationships got out of hand! :) They are the first toys that she has played with that she has actually PLAYED with. She has only played independently with her American Girl doll and the minis before, but it only entailed dressing and undressing. The horses are the first true "play".

So, I just had to post a public celebration of her first on-time developmental milestone. The obsession with horses. The revelling in model horses. The PLAYING!! The appreciation of beautiful horse movies. Sounds like an excuse to break out the National Velvet, The Man from Snowy River, and maybe throwing a Kentucky Derby Party doesn't it???


  1. Woohoo! Hooray for horses!
    I have volunteered for several therapeutic riding programs and I have seen incredible gains in kids with all kinds of issues. Horses really can work magic! Congrats!

  2. Yeah Elise! My daughter, Aubrie would DIE to have a horse! You are right - all little girls love them. I remember when I loved them as well. I used to walk down to my neighbors just to pet his horses probably right about at Elise's age.

  3. If an animal had a soul, it would be found in the heart of a horse. God works through them. I'm glad Elise found a soul mate!

  4. YAY! Every little girl loves horses! Reading this made me think of my sister so much - all the things she loved and played and watched as a child! LOVE IT!

  5. Yes I was obsessed as a child...and the obsession lives on. With Meagan it was shorter lived. I'm so enjoyed reading about Elise's new love in life and her discoveries. Horses truly do speak and minister to the soul. It is my opinion that God gave dogs and horses special jobs when He created love his humans unconditionally. I'm sure these horse/little girl relationships bring HUGE smiles to God's face! ( and I like to think the horse/big girl relationships do too! )