The Marine Corps has a formulaic method of training it likes to call the “Crawl, Walk, Run” method. Basic principles like shooting, fighting and being an overall badass are presented slowly at first, using a building block approach, as each training block advances on the next. It mirrors the way most of us learn to run – first by crawling, then by awkwardly walking and finally running, some faster than others. While this has been an effective means of making the Marine Corps the finest gun club in the world and how the vast majority of us learned to walk and run, Kohl has no patience for such an approach.
That is why instead of the crawl, walk, run method, Kohl subscribes to the stand, pelvic thrust, walk method. For his first few months of life, Kohl was basically on par with all of the normal developmental milestones. But after about three or four months, he started to drop off. As the days, weeks and months passed by and each milestone went unmet, we experienced a slow but steady series of disappointments. We would make excuses at first and try to put a positive spin on things. But we eventually stopped sugar coating and the reality that Kohl was going to have some significant developmental problems began to set in. This manifested slowly, but we would get occasional gut checks on how far behind Kohl was and is whenever we would visit with friends with kids around the same age who were the same early on but light years ahead now. It was a tough pill to swallow.
But Kohl frequently reminds us that you should never compare your kid to others because each child is different. That is probably a cliche in the childhood development world, but it is true. This is particularly so in the world of children with developmental delays and disabilities. Sometimes this is a hard truth when you see your child falling so far behind his peers in every developmental milestone imaginable. But sometimes it is truly magical how special and individual these little people can be. Kohl has shown us this in many ways, and his journey towards one day walking unassisted is but one example.
While basic motor skills such as rolling over unassisted, reaching for objects and crawling continue to elude the little guy, he does not let it discourage him. Instead, he just skips things and chooses the most efficient method. Why bother reading the instruction manual first if you can just put the shit together?
And so Kohl’s journey to unassisted walking has begun.
First, he discovered that he likes this whole standing thing.
After he got bored with just standing, he started doing what appears to be either pelvic thrusting or handling an invisible hula hoop. Sadly, he has not allowed us to photograph or video this little gem of a development.
Not long after that, he was pounding raw eggs like Rocky Balboa and doing some road work. He is not at all a fan, however, of the treadmill or the harness that straps him to it.
But with the help of Ms. Jenn, one of Kohl’s physical therapists, he has adopted the philosophy that “what does not kill you will only make you stronger.” Or was it “pain is weakness leaving the body?” Something like that.
Once he dominated the treadmill, he skipped low-key walks in the park for more intense experiences such as scaling Monkey Hill at Audubon Zoo, the second-highest point in the mountainous terrain of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is shown here after his summit with a little assistance from two sherpas:
We hope that one day he will be able to walk by himself. Something tells me he will. Until then, we will enjoy the adventure.