Chapter 1: Why are his feet curling like that?

I loaded the boys into my white Dodge Caravan, buckling Teddy into his seat and telling Leigham to buckle up in his booster seat.  It's a fight most days, because Leigham goes in the door that Teddy's seat is beside and Teddy gets upset but today they know they are going to see the Chiropractor, so today they are happy to comply.  Usually, the chiropractor is just a mommy thing so for them it's a treat.

Driving through Red Deer is quick, the Chiropractor is downtown by the Safeway and takes about ten minutes.  Traffic is light this July morning since it's one, summer and two, after  nine.  We arrive at the Chiropractor and I take the boys in, holding Teddy's little hand tightly and we walk and he stumbles over the air.

"Come on Teddy, get up," I chide as he stumbles again, his walking has always been this way, it's like he doesn't know how to lift his toes over the cracks.  One day I fear I am going to wrench his arm out of his socket when he falls.

"Mommya do I get to go first," Leigham asks as he runs around Teddy and I. His blond hair flopping in the wind.

"Noooo!" screams Teddy, never wanting his brother to get something before he does, his little face turning red as he screams at Leigham and tries to get ahead of him as we climb the steps into the office.

I take a deep breath, they are always fighting like this and I don't always know how to deal with it, because nothing seems to work, except always doing things with them separately.  " We will let Dr. Foord decide." I answer trying to stay as calm as possible.

We are early to our appointment, an elderly lady sits in the waiting room and watches my sons fight over who gets to sit where, who goes first and everything else they can find to fight over.  I tip my head back and lean it on the wall, it's going to be a long summer if this is how they are acting less than a week into summer vacation.

"How on Earth will I be able to take them on a road trip, " I think silently in my head picturing the long days in the car with these two and my best friend and her girls.

"Teddy come here," I command in my firm but kind mom voice.

"I no want to come dere," Teddy whines in his loudest whine, a whine that could break glass. He then sits on the floor and kicks his feet.  Why are three year olds so trying?

Leigham then comes towards me with a book, directly at me, he's trying to sit on my lap. "Leigham, no," I snap quietly, "sit in your own chair, you do not need to sit on my lap."

My seven year old looks at me with his big blue eyes and pouts, "I just want to cuddle with you."

"I know Leigham, but not right now we are going to go in soon, please just read your book," I sigh when did my children become so needy, why are they such affection addicts.

Teddy has kicked off his sandals so I pick them up and put them at the front door.  Leigham has a hang dog expression on his face and he's letting his blond hair hang over his eyes.  I quickly glance at Teddy and realize he too looks a little shaggy and I will need to book hair appointments for them very soon here.

"Ah Jenn, you have the boys, come back," Dr. Foord greets with a smile on his face.

Leigham's entire demeanour changes and he jumps up, "I'm first!" he states loudly and rushes to the back room.

I gather Teddy up who has decided to be a wet noodle and carry him to the back room.  Leigham is already laying down on the table waiting to be adjusted.  Teddy watches curiously from my arms, snuggling his head onto my shoulder.  I make some small talk with Dr. Foord as he adjust Leigham, he states that Leigham needs to work on keeping his shoulders back as he has a bit of a hunched posture.

I put Teddy down on the ground for his turn, he walks to Dr. Foord in his bare feet. 'Hmmm," Dr. Foord comments, looking Teddy over, "So I am noticing his feet, he seems to be standing so his feet roll in."

"Yeah, we've noticed that too, but we weren't sure why it was happening."  I agreed.

This is when my world changed.  Teddy had always been a clumsy walker, and we'd noticed that his toes, especially his big toes were curling under his feet.  I'd assumed it was because he had been so unbalanced from his ear infections as a child.  The kid was a late walker and then he almost had to relearn after he had gotten tubes in his ears so I'd just assumed he was trying to walk the way he'd walked before.

Dr. Foord looked him over and suggested I maybe take him to our family doctor to get a referral for physical therapy to help him with his muscle tone.  The two things Dr. Foord noticed were his feet and that when he was standing he was locking his knees in an hyper extended position, and therefore was not engaging his quadriceps when he was standing.

I booked appointments with doctors and the soonest we could get in would be after our trip to Nova Scotia, which didn't phase me because my frame of mind was it's just us thinking something might be up we just wanted him to walk more, more practice might help him figure out what was going on and by working with him we might be able to help him correct his walking.  And now we had an idea of what type of therapy we could access so that he could get the help he needed.

I had no panic in those early days, I was confident with some guided practice and exercise we would find out what was going on. There was no need to worry about what was happening with his gait, little kids are often clumsy, and he was a late walker, so I was pretty positive with all the things that would be happening in the near future and thanked my lucky stars I had good insurance to cover his needs.

After our crazy trip to the east coast we came back. We had our doctor's appointment and he gave us a referral to Physical Therapy, now we were on our way to improving Teddy's gait.

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