"Amazing Abby" the Treadmill Training Toddler
I wear many hats these days as the Dad of our 3 year old “Amazing Abby.” I am her educator, entertainer, chef, cleanup crew & personal trainer. In November of 2019, I took a leave of absence from my job to became a full time Stay at Home Dad (SAHD). I had no idea what was in store.
Abby was a 78 day Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) NICU grad. Our 3lb miracle underwent surgery for duodenal atresia about a month after she was born. Flash-forward to today…this fun loving, energetic, world traveling three year old is the center of her our world. I always say “she is the light of our lives.”
In April 2020, Abby’s CHOP Physical Therapist mentioned having Abby start treadmill training. “Wait what?!?” I thought. My one year old. ON A TREADMILL. She was barely cruising! Abby’s therapist ensured both of us that it could be done and the benefits are exponential. So my wife and I went all in on treadmill training.
Since we could not access CHOP’s PT Gym because of COVID, my wife engineered a “MacGyver” style set up that includes two bar stools, one five iron & lots of duct tape. This has allowed Abby to effectively use our home treadmill. After breakfast, Abby jumps on the treadmill and watches a little Sesame Street on the iPad. This activity has been really instrumental in helping Abby to walk strong on her own. Not to mention I get the benefit of watching a little Sesame Street too.
Seeing the strides Abby has made in 3 years are so rewarding. I certainly understand that more challenges await with Abby’s development but I am hopeful that the work we are doing now will allow Abby to flourish into a strong, accepted, & admired member of our society.
Thanks for this opportunity to share.