I have a file cabinet (in my head) that is quickly filling up with Things I Didn’t Ever Expect To Have To Teach My Sons.
I love him to death and I could easily see him becoming an actor or a lawyer or a scientist but I’m pretty sure Ace won’t become a professional athlete. He is so not coordinated and he is so totally clumsy. Unlike his one-year-younger cousin Laila, he still cannot ride a 2 wheel bicycle. At 6, he can barely even pump himself on a swing. CC and I have spent a lot of time trying to teach him how to swing. Legs out, legs back, legs out, legs back. Seriously. I never would have imagined needing to do that. Swinging (and doing acrobatic tricks while swinging) was a huge part of my childhood and no-one ever needed to be taught how to do it. Everyone just knew how.
The latest thing that I’ve added to my file is Jay and lollipops. Who knew I’d have to teach my son how to suck a lollipop?
I have never heard or read about this anywhere else so I may be the only one in this boat. That wouldn’t be much of a shocker. I mean really? A lollipop?
Let me just say that Jay LOVES lollipops. Always has. And I did notice that he would just bite into it but I didn’t think that was a problem. Actually, I’m kind of a candy biter myself. I only suck long enough to get it to a point where I can bite it.
When I was a kid I remember my Aunty Gilly always had Polo’s (a hard round mint) in her car. My friend Juddles (her daughter) and I would always ask for one when we were in the car with her. Juddles would sit there and let her Polo melt slowly in her mouth. I would immediately chomp mine into tiny pieces only to have Aunty Gilly tell me not to chew them. So I would sit in the back and chew as quietly as I could hoping she wouldn’t know. I don’t know if it was the sound that bugged her or if she was concerned about the Polos being too hard for my little teeth. But it was difficult for me to be patient with that little mint.
Fast forward 25 years and I’m in the waiting room with Jay at his therapy place. Each kid gets a lollipop at the end of their session and Jay wouldn’t have it any other way. One day as we were leaving, the owner of the place noticed Jay getting his lollipop and immediately biting into it. She asked me if he always did that and I said yes. I told her that now that she mentioned it, I had never seen him suck a lollipop. She spent the next 10 minutes or so, in the waiting room, trying to teach Jay how to suck a lollipop.
The therapist says it’s all a part of him learning mouth awareness and learning to use his mouth in different ways and to control his tongue and spit etc. She says if we keep working on oral motor skills like sucking lollipops and blowing bubbles he will begin to pronounce his words better.
It makes sense. I guess.
We tried it a couple times at home and he tolerates it for a while but then he gets annoyed and just wants to eat his lollipop his way. I don’t push him too hard with it. I do want to teach him as much as I can but I don’t want to take this simple joy away from him either.
I wonder what will be next. I can’t imagine. But then again, I didn’t imagine swinging or lollipops either.