Moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers – how are your backs holding up? Our Elsa isn’t walking yet, so that means lots of lifting. As a result, our backs often are aching and in need of stretching and TLC.

Elsa is 5 years old and 36 pounds. A great size. A healthy size. No complaints there whatsoever. Her g-tube has enabled us to keep her growing (up and out), and we’re grateful that she presently has some extra lb’s on her – a nice cushion, in case illness should strike.

But with every pound she gains, there’s more of her to move.

  • Up and down the stairs.
  • In and out of the car.
  • In and out of the wheelchair.
  • In and out of the bath tub.

When my husband is home, I clock out of Elsa-lifting duty. Whew, what a relief. I know I’m very blessed and fortunate to have this luxury.

It’s not that Elsa is crazy heavy, so much as that she doesn’t hold on to whomever is carrying her. Sometimes, she even leans back – into door frames, corners, shelving, appliances. Her reaching has improved, which is woooonderful. But trying to keep my balance as I come up the stairs with her, when she’s swiping at pictures hanging on the wall, can be tricky.

As life gets a little more exciting in the summer (pool time, boating, hiking, etc.) facilitating movement can become a challenge. We are committed to making sure that she’s always included, it just takes extra planning and, sometimes, some pretty awkward maneuvering.

Here’s a video of us at a park. I like her to help her access the playground in any way I can. Stairs, slides, whatever we can manage. She doesn’t always love it… as you’ll see…

It’s work, right? A lot of work. My husband and I spend a lot of time hunched over, like in this video. I’m not sure if we are doing long-term damage to our backs or not. But we do NOT want Elsa to get too comfortable in that wheelchair of hers, if there’s a chance she might walk.

Have any of you experienced “tipping points” with your kiddos, in their progress towards walking? If so, please share what’s worked in the comments section below.

Therapy techniques? Equipment? Motivators? Anything at all would be helpful.

To gather up advice and recommendations, social shares of this post (on Facebook and Twitter) are very appreciated!

Elsa’s mom Anitra also blogs about family life at


4 Responses to Living in Lockstep

  1. Grt Grmma & Pa Wessling says:

    What a fantastic job you do. One exercise that can help – if you do not already use it – laying on your back, pull your knees up and pull them slowly to your body. It helps stretch your spine and lower lumbar region. Don’t overdo it. Anitra, Dan, you and your family are a super living example of love. We could all do well to emulate you.

  2. Keely Absher says:

    Hi Anitra – Wow! Look at Elsa go. That is awesome that she seems to put weight on her legs. So far, Paige does not do that, but this video gives me some hope.

    My back hurts a lot, and Paige is only 15.5 lbs! I can’t imagine when she is more than twice her current weight. Thank you for posting this as I will look forward to other parent’s suggestions.

  3. Anitra says:

    Keely, thank you for sharing our excitement on Elsa’s walking progress – slow though it may be! I see many similarities between Paige and Elsa, I think she will do SO much. We’ll just have to keep guarding and strengthening our backs. Our girls certainly won’t be getting any lighter, which is a good thing!!

  4. Trude says:

    Wow Elsa reminds me so much of my Grace! Grace is 5 years old and 17kg! Love reading your posts about Elsa

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