In case you were wondering what I did manage to do during our hospital stay...one partial felt elephant, which I made in the waiting room while Flynn was under the knife. While it was nice to have busywork during those hours of waiting, there really was NO time to do anything once she came out of surgery. Maybe if she'd been one of those children who had refused to eat, and we'd had to spend more days in the hospital...but that was not the case.
Back to the present, and Flynn QiuQiu is doing amazingly well. This is yesterday morning, when we all went to the park. QQ was still looking a little dazed, as you can see. That's partly her normal morning torpor, and partly the recovery process.
She's never been a smiler in the morning.
But she was happy to go on all the rides...
...especially when daddy catered to her preference for stunts. Don't worry, she was very safe.
It just happened to be Grandpa's birthday, so we had an intimate little birthday dinner for him, with take-out barbecue and a molten chocolate cake. Daddy also brought QQ back the biggest balloon he could find in the city. So big, in fact, that QQ was uncharacteristically intimidated at first. She got over that quickly and started using it as a punching bag.
With the combination of her favorite time of day, and all her favorite people, QQ was just a bundle of energy all evening...very nearly her old self. I am so amazed and impressed by how well she is rallying. She is now taking only motrin or tylenol every six hours, plus her antibiotics, and doing just great! You can see the old expressions coming back, along with a few new sounds like "ooooh" and "maah!" and "grrrrrrr", none of which she was able to make before, and a few too many smiles and chuckles (we all cringe a little every time she does it...but there's really no stopping her.)
I had thought that this surgery would set her back in her various advances. I know they say that cleft surgery stunts growth, and that we would not see her grow as much after the surgery. I expected that to be true of all her advancements. Happily, I have been proved wrong!
...in fact, QQ has actually shown even speedier progress since her surgery. Yesterday, while standing and with one hand on her dinosaur for support, she was looking at a pamphlet that was apparently of particular interest. She was so absorbed, in fact that she let go of her handhold in order to hold the pamphlet with both hands. I was close enough to catch her, so I just watched in amazement while she stood on her own two feet without so much as a wobble for longer than she ever has in the past, before suddenly realizing she was unsupported. Of course, as soon as she looked around and saw that she was free-standing, she got nervous, wobbled, and I caught her. But I was so proud!
Also last night, with all three of us on the floor, she started playing a new game where one of us would roll a baseball to her, and she would in turn roll it to the next one of us, and so forth around the circle. She did this all of her own accord.
Perhaps because of her extra confinement - the convalescence along with her arm braces - she is more eager and more motivated than ever to be mobile. I have seen her trying to get to her feet more and more often without assitance. Today she succeeded while holding on to nothing but a small cardboard box. She also has a new way of "standing" on her knees...in otherwords, kneeling, but not sitting on her heels. She does this more often than sitting over the past couple days, and is very stable in that position...no wobbling at all.
So I think all in all, the surgery has actually made her more ambitious rather than less.
As you can see, she's back to all her old tricks, and the arm braces hinder her suprisingly little.
They certainly don't stop her from pulling herself to her feet.
The only thing they DO stop her from doing is eating neon-colored post-it notes, and that's all for the good!