Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tip-Toeing Through The Tulips


Okay. So, I have a question. One that needs some feedback from those of you who know. Or those of you who think you might know. ...Or those of you who probably don't know, but have a theory.

Sophie walks on her tippy-toes. Almost all of the time, even when she's wearing shoes. In fact, really the only time she's not tippy-toed is when she's sleeping. And heck, she may be tippy-toed then, for all I know.

She walks tippy-toed. She runs tippy-toed. She dances tippy-toed. She even just stands there tippy-toed. It's like she's in constant ballerina mode.

She started doing it several months ago (I don't remember exactly when, so I can't trace it back to anything specific), and she just has never stopped. It just seems to be the way she prefers to walk (run, jump, dance, etc).

What does it mean?

Is it a sign of some large oddity deep within her (larger than the other oddities)?

And even more puzzling than why, HOW in the heck does she do it? My feet start burning like fire after about ten seconds of standing in that position. It's like constantly wearing really high heels. ...But without the heel to help hold you up. The girl is going to have some seriously beefed up calves if she doesn't cut it out!

We've tried asking her why she does it. You know, the obvious: "Sophie, why do you walk on your tippy-toes?" But, as expected, that never really gets us anywhere. She doesn't really grasp the "whys" of things yet. Most of the time she asks us why she does things. For example:

Me: "Sophie Kristin! Tell me that wasn't a bean you just poked up your nose."

Sophie: "Uh oh! Why did I do that, Mama?"

If we point it out to her and ask her to walk normally (flat-footed), she does. But it's very deliberate and heavy -- clomp, clomp, clomp, like she's walking through deep snow wearing steel-toed boots.

I've done some research on the subject (yes, there actually is a "tippy-toe" subject). It says occasional toe-walking is normal in kids until the age of three. But then apparently it becomes less "normal" and more concerning. The issues associated with it are autism, CP, sensory issues, neurological deficiencies, and short/tight Achilles tendons and lower leg muscles. All of which make sense, I guess. But none of which seem to apply to Sophie. I mean, wouldn't there be signs of other things, other motor related issues, in combination with the tippy-toeing...if those problems were applicable?

Anybody got any theories I can live with? And what I mean by that is, please refrain from chiming in with: "Oh my gosh!! Not tippy-toe walking! That is the indicator of some serious deep seeded wackiness just waiting to pop out. She's gonna grow up to be a Serial Killer for sure." (I mean, even if that is what it means, I think I'd like to remain in the dark until I'm already chopped up and in the freezer. She already has the whole adopted thing working against her in that area, you know. ...Hee.)


Just thought I'd ask. For now, I'm going to continue subscribing to the "It's just a phase" theory. I guess I'll chalk it up to yet another one of those oddball things that our Little Oddball just likes to do. Now, but hopefully not forever. Because as you all know, we really don't need another thing to add to our Funky Plate. We're kind of piled high as it is.


Anonymous said...

i have a brother and a girl cousin who also always walk on their tippy toes. they are both 20 now. it's weird, but they are pretty normal! :)

jennifer brewer

Kristy said...

Oh my gosh, they still walk on their tippy toes as twenty year olds?? That must look pretty "fancy". =)


Anonymous said...

OK, here I am in PT mode....usually there IS a reason for a child to walk tippy toes other than "just doing it" but like you mentioned, most of the time it is associated with a diagnosis that Sophie DOES NOT have. I am sure that Sophie doesn't have any of the heavy hitters, which leaves 2 that are very plausable 1.SID or 2.Tight gastroc-soleus complex. Tight heel cord is easy to test, just check her range of motion at the ankle and make sure you can easily bring the ankle joint up so that the foot is at least 10 degrees up from neutral. If you can do that easily, you can prabably chalk up the walking to Sophie being Sophie. But, if that is tight or if she has discomfort, then I would definitely get a referral to PT...she might just need some basic heel down weight bearing exercises and some stretching...HTH

Anonymous said...

Sophie loves to be high up. She's just trying to get higher! Sidenote: She didn't do it much in Mena. Maybe that's because she spent most of her time on the floor with me or running outside. I think a brother or sister will cure her of it. She'll spend all her time bossing him/her around. People in superior postitions don't have to walk on their toes. They feel elevated enough just controlling others!! By the way, we had a wonderful time with y'all! Love, Mooms

Kristy said...

Thanks for the replies!

Yeah, she didn't do it near as much in Mena. I think it WAS because she either sitting on the floor with you or outside running the entire time (she doesn't do it as much in shoes). At home she does it almost constantly. Maybe I need to make her wear shoes more often in the house (although that should be a trick, since that's the first thing she takes off the second we walk in the door!)

Thanks for the tips. I was hoping you would chime in with some advice. I checked her range of motion at the ankle and it seems fine. I'm not a PT, so I'm not totally sure what to look for, but it doesn't appear tight. She seems to have a very fluid, flexible range of motion.

I know it's an odd thing to "just do". But I really think it may just be Sophie being Sophie. You know how this girl is!

Anonymous said...

Our niece walked on her toes for the first few years she could walk. We used to comment on it a lot and marvel at how she managed it. She is now 14 and I never see her on her toes. I'm sure it's a phase, just like sooo many other things!!Enjoy it, they grow up too fast!!
Love Sally

Becky said...

Maybe she just wants to be like HEATHER :)
Put those ballet shoes on her and let her dance!!

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