Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day Three: The Big Eval and a Beginning

Today we started off with another training session. First, we worked on our overall technique. We practiced "pumping" on the trainers and they could tell us if we were doing it too hard, too fast or whatever. I think that "pumping" is kind of a misnomer--it's more like pressing.

After a bit, we started assessing Charlie for his first exercise. Charlie is small so he needs about a million less towels than when we were working on each other. Also, they decided that he would do best in my arms, so I think he'll really like that. It will be our little time together. My mom and I practiced on him some and then they videotaped us doing it correctly. That way, we have a DVD to take home.

In the waiting area I got some time to chat with Daniel and Fletcher's moms and that was fun. I like talking to people who are in a similar boat. We spent a little time talking about intellectual programs to do with the kids and I've realized that maybe I should spend a little more time on here talking about it because I've gotten a lot of comments from other people about it.

After training we went and ate at a Chinese restaurant that the administrative assistant at ABR recommended. We've been eating in downtown Montreal and the place is NOT cheap. Your average plate has been about twelve dollars. This little Chinese place was awesome. It was cold and rainy today and the first thing they brought out was hot won ton soup. Then we had spring rolls and then a plate of beef and peppers and rice that was the size of my head. It wasn't PF Chang's, but it was pretty good and you couldn't beat the price. We got all of that plus a pot of hot tea for twenty-five dollars.

Then, we basically had no time AND it was raining, so we went and hung out at the hotel for a bit, and then got back in the car and headed toward the center for our visit with Leonid, the creator of ABR.

Leonid was running LATE. We waited for probably two hours before he saw us, but we had been warned that this might happen, so we hung out, ate snacks, fed Charlie and talked to other people who were there for training or other evaluations. We trade stories and tips and it's real fun.

I realized at some point today that I can only equate the decision to ABR with joining a fraternity or sorority. Things may be unfamiliar and strange, but you really just need to throw yourself into it if you're going to get anything out of it. Just take a big swig of the Kool-aid and see where it takes you. I think the first year is a sort of "initiation." If you can gut that out, then you'll probably keep it up. I do hope that I can keep it up!!!

Leonid's evaluation was like the one yesterday, but in more detail. He examines every crease in your child's body--pointing out things that you would NEVER notice. He showed me where Charlie's Adam's apple is and let's just say that it's no wonder Charlie can't talk. If I were to sum everything up I would say that his spine is compressed and has little rotation. This, in turn, throws a lot of other things out of whack too. You know that song you sing as kids, "the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone?" Well, since all your bones are connected, when one is out of whack, it makes a lot of problems. I can look at Charlie and know that he doesn't look quite right, but Leonid and the others can tell you just what the problems are. Also, they can tell you how to fix them, which is something no one else has been able to do.

Before the end of the session, he said that we might see results in the next three months, but most probably we would see them in the next six. There are no guarantees. He listed some positives he saw as well: Charlie is very cooperative, Charlie is young, and he does have some "segmentation." He pointed to a crease on Charlie's body, which I can only describe as the top of his butt crack and said that he was the first child he'd seen all day that had that. Now I'm pretty sure everybody has a butt crack, so I'm not sure I understood that completely, but whatever, he saw some good stuff, and I like that.

It's been another long day, so I'm off to bed now.