Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Science And Music? What? September 21, 2016

Sitting around the corner and listening to Jay study science with *Shaunie.
He’s learning it folks. About condensing, melting, freezing, the physical properties of matter, atoms, molecules etc.
He’s learning science!!!! At grade level. It’s not easy for him but he’s trying so hard.
He may not get an A on his test but he’s really learning and I couldn’t be more proud.
I made the mistake of thinking back on when I never in my wildest dreams could have ever imagined this. I couldn’t have imagined anything even close to this.
I don’t have the words to explain this feeling.
Too emotional.

 

 

That was my Facebook status the other day.  Our beloved Nanas commented that she always knew he’d get here.  I can’t say the same thing.  I always had high hopes for him.  Of course.  But I’d be lying if I said I always knew my son would be in a general education classroom studying the physical attributes of different kinds of matter.  I dared not assume that he’d ever be able to answer the question “What is an atom?”  Yet, that’s exactly what was happening.  

I had to dry my tears when I heard Jay get up and I realized he was making his way to where I was perched on the stairs.  

Later in the evening, I lay on the couch with him for a few minutes.

I wished him luck on his upcoming test and asked him if he liked science.  He said yes.  I asked him about math and reading.  He said they were OK but math is hard.  He said he prefers science to both math and reading.  I asked him what he thinks about his art class.  I wasn’t surprised to hear that he LOVES art.  

Lastly I asked him about music class to which he said “It’s loud in there and makes my ears hurt.”  

Jay doesn’t have a lot of sensory issues.  If he did have one though it would be related to sounds.  He’s not a fan of out-of-tune singing for example.  I asked him if he’d like me to talk to his teacher about music class.  I told him it was possible for him to do something else instead.  I thought for sure he’d take me up on that offer but instead he mulled it over for a minute and then said “No.  I will stay.  I think I can handle it.”  

These types of back and forth conversations will never NOT be a miracle to me.  

I am blown away by this child.  

 

September 4 years ago, I published posts where the big news was that Jay sat and listened to his first story.  I published posts where Jay was getting kicked out of 2 different social skills classes.  He wasn’t yet reading.  Heck, he wasn’t yet speaking in sentences.  Not even 2 or 3 word ones.  He definitely wasn’t able to take any kind of standardized test at school.  He was in an autism class where they were just trying to get through the day without anyone getting yogurt dumped on their head.  

Before bed last night, I hugged him tight and told him how amazing I think he is and how brave I think he is.  He shrugged me off.  He doesn’t get it.  To him, I’m just a Mom being mushy and weird.  That’s alright.  He doesn’t have to get it.  

 

To all the families who are currently where we were 4 years ago … I know it’s rough.  I know everything seems impossible or implausible.  I know all you want is for your child to say your name.  You don’t even know what your baby’s voice sounds like.  How can you think about science or music class?  Your brain is full – And tired.  I know you want one night of uninterrupted sleep.  You’d do anything to be done with diapers – After all your baby is now 5 or 6 or 10.  If you could just get them to eat 1 new thing you’d be happy.  You’re not asking for much.  It doesn’t have to be cauliflower.  You just cannot make ONE MORE grilled cheese sandwich.  But you will.  Cause that’s all your kid eats.  You don’t want to hear other people telling you to stay hopeful.  You sure don’t want to hear about how their child is also a picky eater.  You don’t want to hear about the things you should be doing or what worked for their neighbours kid.  You don’t feel like you are doing anything right.  You don’t want to fight with schools or insurance companies anymore.  You just want things to be easier.

My God, I get it.  

But hang in there.  It may not happen at the same rate as my son or anyone elses son.  That doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that you don’t give up.  Keep looking.  Keep trying.  Keep working.  Keep talking.  There’s no magic pill or therapy or device.  It’s HARD.  It’s ok to cry.  But just keep keeping on.  

ASSUME THAT YOUR CHILD CAN LEARN.  ASSUME THAT THEY ARE HEARING EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND ARE AWARE OF EVERYTHING YOU DO.  ASSUME THAT THEY ARE BRIGHT AND CAPABLE.  

 

The reward just might be your kid acting like it’s no big deal that they know what the volume of a mass is because in their own matter of fact way they will say “Yeah, I’m smart“.   

 

I’m Not Lying July 25, 2016

Over the last year or so I’ve written and said a lot about how great Jay is doing.  The amount of time I spend talking about his bad days or his meltdowns or my frustrations have dropped dramatically.  That’s partly because as he gets older I feel like it’s less appropriate for me to talk about his bad days in detail but the bigger part is simply that there is less to talk about.

He really is doing great and he rarely melts down anymore and he has gotten so much better about being in new situations with new people and he is doing a fantastic job of communicatiing effectively.

 

The thing is, though, Jay does much better in familiar surroundings and with familiar people.  Even if the people are familiar, he is not a big fan of crowds or too much frantic activity.  He likes calm.

That means there are times we go to someones house for a party or we go to a show or to the zoo or camping and Jay loses his cool.  There are people there who don’t see him everyday but they follow along with me touting his progress and then what they see doesn’t jive.

Sometimes, I wonder if people think I’m lying.  They would be justified to wonder.  The rare occasion they do see him, he has one (or a few) rough moments with yelling or crying or other difficult behaviours.  They aren’t there everyday to see his good manners and his sweet overtures to his brother and to hear him randomly tell me that he loves me or to get his hugs and kisses and to laugh with him and play with him in his most comfortable environments.

 

Recently, we went to a (not for a little kid) birthday party.  I guess it was more of a casual but delicious dinner, get together, talking and hanging out with yummy yummy desserts but no candles or singing but take a way containers so I could bring delicious lunch to work and now there is left over yummy yummy lemon meringue pie in my fridge, birthday celebration.

 

It was a Sunday evening just over an hour away from home.  Going would mean not sticking to our evening routine.  We would no doubt be out past bedtime.  There would no doubt be people there who we don’t see often.  There could be loud noises or strong scents or any host of other triggers.

 

Jay was wonderful from start to finish.

 

He greeted people with hugs and kisses on the cheek and he entertained himself and he told the other children they needed to be nice to each other when they weren’t getting along and he asked nicely when he wanted things and he answered questions that were asked of him and he shared his knowledge about what the sun is made of and he tidied up the toys when it was time to go and he followed the rules about only eating in the kitchen and he threw his garbage away without being asked.

 

A friend who was there told me repeatedly how good he’s doing.  How impressed she was by him.  How far he’s come.  She thought everything he did was cute and everything he said was funny.

 

It was really nice to hear that.  I mean, I didn’t NEED to hear it.  I know he’s awesome and smart and cute and funny.  I know the important thing was that HE felt happy and content and relaxed.  But it was nice to hear from someone else.

 

 

Spreading The Support July 21, 2012

My cyber friend wrote a <post> that I think was hard for her to write.  I wrote a lengthy comment on that post, but hours later, I am still thinking about her and feeling like I need to do more.  So here I will share with you what I said to her and hopefully through spreading the word of support, we all benefit.  I encourage you to read her post.  Even those of you with no real connection to autism may see some sides of yourself there that you want to re-examine.  I did.

It could be as simple as a friend tells you they have to come up with $400 to buy a plane ticket to Texas to see their family who they only see once a year and you counter with “At least you don’t have to buy four tickets and travel with 2 children and only see your family every other year – like I do.”  We have all been guilty of this right?  Trying to one-up someone else in the stress department.  Or making someone else feel like whatever they’re going through is not as bad as whatever you’re going through so they have no reason to complain.

 

My apologies to those of you who read both my blog and Outrunning The Storm.  I didn’t mean to have you click on here today just to re-read something you’ve already read.

 

 

My comment on her post (edited slightly to hopefully get my point across better):

 

I know that a lot of other children struggle with things that my son doesn’t struggle with. I read the stories everyday.  I send lots of cyber hugs and support and well wishes and I mean them ALL and if there was anything more that I could do to help another Mom, I would do it.  But the truth is, I also think to myself, “thank God Jay doesn’t do that“. My son sleeps really well and is not violent or angry. He doesn’t have any accompanying illnesses. He is strong and coordinated and has good gross motor skills. He laughs a lot and plays with us. He transitions easily and travels well and we have no trouble going out to eat or to the movies etc. He doesn’t have any sensory issues with sound or touch or smell or bright lights. I know there are many parents who would LOVE to be able to say these same things about their children and I KNOW it must be really difficult for the ones who cannot. I recognize that we are “lucky” in those areas and I appreciate our “good fortune”. I also know that I am one of those parents who has a hard time sometimes hearing from other autism parents about the things that their children can do that mine can’t. In those cases, it’s not about you; it’s all about me and my desire for my son to not have ANY issues and for my life to be easier in ALL ways. My son doesn’t talk. He’s not on the potty training bus. Heck, he’s not even standing at that bus stop. He has pretty poor social skills and fine motor skills. He practically doesn’t eat and we live in an area that provides woefully inadequate services through the school system but we can’t afford to get him private help. My HEAD knows that this is not about comparing him to other children or competing with other parents about who has it worse but my HEART is slower to catch up. Whenever I hear another Mom talking and then find myself thinking “Oh please, I wish I had THOSE problems”, I have to stop and remind myself that those thoughts are not productive and don’t help anyone and everyone needs support for whatever their situation is. Just like I didn’t get to choose how autism would affect my son, you didn’t either and we can only deal with what our reality is.

We gotta keep talking to each other and being open with each other about what we feel. Sometimes we need a little reminder that even though we’re all in this DIFFERENTLY, we’re still all in this TOGETHER. 

 

Nothing Says I Love You and I Missed You … May 6, 2012

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 8:41 pm
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Like …

 

your son who you haven’t seen in 2 VERY long weeks roughly jumping on you while you lounge on the couch and using your face as his chair … ahh, good times

 

your son laughing – instead of pushing you away – as you repeatedly kiss his beautiful and tanned face

 

your 2 sons dumping entire 10 gallon tubs of toys onto the floor in their room and playing together

 

going into your sons room a couple of hours later and finding that it’s been cleaned up!!!

 

being asked to repeat animal names as your son goes through all the toys he didn’t have access to while he was away

 

your son proudly letting you hear all the new things he can say now like “red juice” and “i want cookie” and “sea-lion

 

your son also proudly showing you that he can now identify his elbow and his neck

 

getting a salty, cheese doodley kiss

 

your son initiating a game of peek-a-boo with you

 

having Thomas trains and animal puzzles thrown on top of you because your son wants to spend time with you but he also wants to play with his toys

 

your son doing what you told him to do just because you told him to do it – even if that thing was just to get in the shower

 

your hubby ruining your diet by bringing home lots of treats that you only find in the Caribbean and then cooking an amazing Sunday dinner

 

getting treated to a magic show courtesy of the amazing Ace and his magic disappearing wand

 

being pulled into the bathroom and watching as your son climbs onto the toilet and grabs the toothpaste as his way of telling you that he wants you to brush his teeth

 

daddy finding a picture that was drawn for him and left hidden in his socks drawer

 

your son resting his “sweaty from jumping around all afternoon” head on your “just got your hair done yesterday” head as he takes a break from playing to drink some juice

 

getting peed on     – not on purpose (he’s no r. kelly)

 

both your boys happily going to bed – in their own beds – because they have each other again

 

 

 

Oh how I missed my boys and I’m so glad they’re home and my life is back to my loud, messy, busy, crazy, love filled normal 🙂

 

I Sooo Needed This … aka, What a Difference a Day Makes… aka, Is That a Silver Lining I See? October 11, 2011

All is still not 100% well in Jay Train world, but I am happy to report that I got a welcome phone call this morning and some welcome news.  After much calling and waiting, and e-mailing and probably too much yelling and attitude-giving (luckily surprisingly no cursing or name calling) and crying and even more phone calls … Jay has finally been given a weekly speech therapy slot that we can manage.  *Whew*  It should not have been so hard but man, am I glad I stuck it out.  It’s not like as parents we have nothing else to do but harass secretaries and schedulers and even doctors or therapists and the like but it works … it friggin works.

 

The battle is not won, but this is certainly a step in the right direction and it’s a step that today I couldn’t be more happy to take. 

 

It did cross my mind that perhaps some other poor little child got pushed down the waiting list and for a brief moment I felt bad/guilty about that but since I don’t know that to be true I’m reveling in this small (except it’s really HUGE) success. 

 

I will need to call and e-mail (perhaps with a picture of a smiling Jay) a big thank you and hope that it makes its way to the correct person.  I don’t want to seem ungrateful.  I never want to come across as feeling entitled.  I don’t want to be known only for my bitching and annoying phone calls.  I want people to know that what they do matters to me and to a beautiful, smart little boy that I need to raise.  I need them to know that I value them and the work they do.  I, wemy family, Jay needs them.  Ultimately he’s what this is all about.  We are real people, not just names or numbers on a list. 

 

 

Now that I’ve gotten “more therapy” crossed of my miles long to-do list, I will start tackling the next achievable thing.  Hmm … learning all I can about the laws on Special Education and figuring out what to fight for in Jay’s next IEP and then getting it all agreed upon and approved.  Not gonna be fun … but it’s gonna happen.  You can trust this mama on that.

 

Finding the calm September 24, 2011

“Don’t worry yourself over earthly things”

Those were the 1st words spoken at Church last Sunday.  It was my 1st time going to Church since the last time I went and wrote about it.

It wasn’t an easy decision to go.  I still felt somewhat wounded since the last time but I also felt like something was pulling me.  This relationship I have with God and Church is very complicated.

I chose to go by myself this time.  To ease my way back in so to speak.  I’m so glad I went.  It was one of those services that spoke to me.  I felt like the pastor was having a conversation with me personally.  I took in the lesson.  It was one of being grateful for what you have.  Not being jealous about what others have.  There was talk of not comparing yourself to others and not complaining and grumbling about the cards you were dealt.

You see why it touched me right?

In my Church there are a lot of standard prayers that we say every week.  It’s easy to say the words without paying much attention to their meaning.  Last Sunday I went there with an open heart and I really focused on the words I was saying and singing.  I took communion and prayed afterwards.  It was a deep/meaningful prayer.  I prayed for a lot of people.  I prayed for a safer, more peaceful, more tolerant world.  I prayed that I would become a better person.

I left there feeling lighter and ready for the week ahead.

It wasn’t an easy week.  There were issues at work and Jay wasn’t his happiest.  He wasn’t unbearable but he certainly had a very short fuse this week. Ace also got into a good bit of trouble at school.  It turns out he thinks he’s the class entertainment and doesn’t like to listen to the teacher or follow rules.

I wondered if the week was rough as a test for my resolve to be more patient and less complainy.  Or if I felt pulled to Church because God knew that a rough week was ahead of me.  Either way, it did help.  During the rough spots, I often found myself recalling the words I heard and reminding myself not to complain and to be patient and to stay calm.

Tomorrow, I’m going again.  I don’t know if I’ll “feel” the same thing I felt last week but I sure hope so.  I’m going with the same open heart.  I’m also bringing Ace with me this time.  He needs practice in sitting still and being quiet so I figure (WAY in the back of the) Church is as good a place as any.

Oh and look what happened yesterday …

Do you see it?  The missing tooth at the bottom.  Why is this picture here you ask ???

… Cause everything can’t always be about autism or how I’m feeling.  🙂

 

Here’s to a peaceful week!!!

 

Square 1 September 16, 2011

Last night on FaceBook I put that I was “simply choosing not to be stressed out”. 

Who am I kidding?  I’m stressed.  I’m worried.  I’m annoyed.  I’m pissed off. 

I’m stressed for myself.  I’m worried about my son and his future.  I’m annoyed at the lack of resources available.  I’m pissed off that we have such a hard time and I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who have no insurance or are single parents or who have more than 1 child that needs any kind of services. 

Back in May, Jay had an appointment with a Pediatric Neurologist (child brain doctor) so that she could tell me he needed therapy.  (Duh!)  That lead us to take him to a Speech Langauge Pathologist so that she could evaluate him and agree that he needed therapy.  (Seemed unnecessary to me but ok).  That 45 minute appointment took us 2 months to get and we got a bill for $372.  (Lovely)  She told me, in July, that it would take 2 weeks to get all the insurance business taken care of and then the scheduling dept would call me to set up weekly sessions for Jay.  Up to that point I was still alright.  I mean, it all seemed ridiculous and round-about and it all seemed to be taking a very long time but hey we were making progress.

3 weeks ago, I figured I’d given them more than enough time to get their paperwork in order so I decided to call and check up on my boys status.  By that time a month had passed since his speech pathology evaluation.  They had said it would take 2 weeks remember? 

Voicemail.

The next day I called again. 

Voicemail.

By the way … the voicemail message says, “I’m either on the phone or away from my desk, please leave a message and I will return your call within 24 hours.”  Yeah right!

Today, I finally got someone on the phone.  They tell me that insurance cleared the therapy and our file has now been moved to the scheduling dept.  OK … cool.  I like that.  Progress. 

They transfer me to the scheduling dept and after listening to crappy music for 10 minutes I get someone who informs me that … 

“There are no openings at this time.  You’re on the waiting list and it’s quite long.”

 

WTF ?!?!?!

I spend 15 minutes on the phone with the scheduler trying to work out something.  Anything.  I need to get my son some therapy.  She tells me she can get Jay a spot on Tuesdays, 2 pm at a clinic 50 minutes from our home.

We can’t take that.  Both CC and I work, and HAVE to work, just to keep a roof over our children’s heads and feed them.  How are we to get Jay to therapy an hour away, in the middle of the day on a Tuesday?

There’s gotta be an easier way.  I don’t know what it is right now but I’m back to square one.  Back to making phone calls and googling. 

…..

Last night I was watching the TV show Bones.  There was a girl who along with being deaf had a disease that I had never heard of and can’t remember the name of now.  Her parents were having a hard time dealing with her and had resorted to beating her pretty badly at times.  Don’t get me wrong … I FEEL PHYSICALLY ILL WHEN I HEAR ABOUT CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED.  It’s unforgivable.  I’m not in any way condoning nor am I making excuses for people who abuse special needs children but maybe, just maybe I can kind of understand it.  Thank God, this doesn’t apply to Jay, but sometimes the children are just that severely affected (by whatever) that it makes life unbearable.  Sometimes, it’s that bad, that getting through 1 more day seems like torture.  Sometimes, it’s just that hard and you just can’t cope and the system just lets you down and you just have nowhere to go and no-one to turn to. 

On the show, when the parents tried telling the police officers of the hard time they had raising her, the response was “But why didn’t you ask for help?  There are services available.”

Really?  There are? 

Sell that bridge to someone who doesn’t know better.

 

1 bite at a time … and the next thing you know, you’ve eaten a plateful September 13, 2011

I was recently reminded (Hi Uncle Mike 🙂 ) of an e-mail I sent a while back telling a select few family members that Jay had been diagnosed with a “mild case of autism”.  I don’t think I would use those words had I written that e-mail today.  I think the biggest reason I did then, was that I didn’t know better.  I didn’t know what Jay’s diagnosis meant for us.  Back then I was still very naïve about what it meant to have autism.  I had some generalized notion of what lay in store for us.  I knew (from reading on the internet) what the traditional signs/symptoms were and my Jay didn’t “fit”.  There were so many things that other autistic people struggled with that Jay didn’t then and doesn’t now have a problem with.  The internet is amazing.  I love the heck out of google but it doesn’t always give you all the information you need.  And anyone who’s been through this knows that the doctors don’t give you much information either.  It’s something along the lines of … “Your son has autism, but no-one really knows what causes it or what that means or how it will affect you since every single person who has it is different, so there’s nothing I can say to help you.  But here’s a phone # for Early Intervention.  Call them.  They will set you up with some therapy.  Any questions?  (please don’t have any questions) No?  Good”. 

 

Sure, I knew Jay was behind developmentally, but the enormity of it hadn’t hit me yet.  In my ignorance, I underestimated the impact that having delayed cognitive skills mixed with virtually no communication skills would have. 

If you’ve been reading my bog, then by now you know that I’m a big believer in educating myself about autism.  I think more positive than negative things will come of people being open and sharing both the good and difficult things with others.  But … I think my initial ignorance was good too.  It has been easier on me and more manageable to have just a peek at what’s coming up next and focus on that instead of looking at the long uphill battle.  1 thing at a time.  1 day at a time.  Heck, 1 minute at a time.  That’s what has worked for me. 

 

I suppose, I’ve always been that way.  Capable of achieving more when I focus on the low hanging fruit and then working my way up instead of immediately reaching for the ones at the top. 

I wasn’t a good eater as a kid.  We ate breakfast and dinner as a family (pretty much) every day and no-one could leave the table until everyone was finished.  I would take a few small bites and then declare that I was full.  Mostly because I wanted to get up from the table and do something fun and less because I was in fact, full.  My dear Grandad, in order to keep me properly nourished, would take a bowl (so I couldn’t see how much was inside) and ask me to eat “just 1 more Deenie”.  So I would.  Then he’d say, “how about 1 last one just for me?”  OK, I’d say, because I loved my Grandad and another bite I’d take.  But then he’d tell me Grandma needed a bite too since he got one.  And if Grandma got one then Aunty Joan simply had to get one too.  And then I couldn’t leave out Millie and so on and so forth until I’d eaten the entire bowl.  I probably even took a mouthful for the dog and the cat by the time he was done with me. 

There was also this thing he did with an egg cup.  Don’t know what that is?  Since I’m good like that I got a picture for you. 

So anyway, my Grandad, would sit with me and try to coax me 1 spoonful at a time to eat the egg.  After a couple of bites, he’d tell me I was all done.  (whoo hoo!)  BUT WAIT … he’d squeeze the bottom of the egg cup and magically a little more egg would appear inside.  Then I’d eat that one to see if he could do it again.  Of course he did.  And again and again until I had eaten the whole thing.  (Kids are great in their innocence aren’t they?)

The point is … Sometimes, you can do (really) big or difficult things, if you don’t see it as a (really) big or difficult thing.

 

And they’re off September 8, 2011

4 posts in 4 days.  I think that’s the 1st time I’ve done that. 

…..

Yesterday was the 1st day of school for Jay and Ace was today.  There’s really no news on either one.  They both handled it like champs.  I’m excited to see what this year will bring and what new things they will both learn. 

I’m sure Ace will come home today with paperwork in his bag.  If there’s anything worth talking about there I’ll let you know.  For now, I’ll just tell you about Jay’s paperwork. 

Along with the obligatory emergency contact and lunch stuff, he came home with an info sheet yesterday.  There were a handful of questions that are meant to help the teacher get to know your child.  It asked about your childs interests/strengths.  (I had answers for that this time :-)) It also asked about siblings and what your child’s experience was like in school last year. 

I have a tendency to be a little long winded.  I attribute that to my years of schooling in Jamaica.  The schools I went to focused a lot on students writing.  They encouraged essay writing and giving answers in long properly written paragraphs.  I’m not good at jotting things down in small spaces so how did I manage  with the info sheet?  I filled it in and then at the bottom I said “Also see attached letter“.  Yesterday while at work (don’t tell my boss), I had written a 3 page letter outlining the things that I wanted Ms. L to know about Jay.  I broke it down into 2 sections.  1st, I let her know all the things that he does/knows now that he didn’t when she last saw him in June.  Then I told her about the things we’re still working on and how to deal with any bad behaviours that he may show.  I gave her all my contact info and told her that although I wouldn’t be seeing her much this year since CC will do the morning drop off, I still would like us to be in touch on a regular basis. 

Well, this morning, she called me to say she got the letter and that she has already noticed a lot of the good things I talked about and so far (it’s only been 1 day) she hasn’t seen any of the bad. 

It meant a lot to me that she would take the time to call me.  Teachers like her make a huge difference.  Teacher/parent collaboration is crucial.  Whether a child has special needs or not. 

I would encourage every parent to get to know their childs teacher.  I do believe that the vast majority of people who go into teaching do so becasue they want to help our children but I know enough teachers to know that if they see an active, involved parent, they will show more of an interest in that child than if the parent doesn’t care.  So while I know that my 3 page letter may have been over kill, my hope is that it will set the tone that I take his education seriously and that Jay Jay will reap some benefits of that.

…..

Be nice to a teacher today.  They do get summers off (lucky bastards) but it’s a tough and SUPER important job that they do.

 

Progress Report September 7, 2011

The above picture is there because … well, why the hell not? It was taken today before going off to school. Today was the 1st day back and the transition was seamless. No crying or anything. We’re off to a good start.

Ok so the real reason I’m writing today is that I want to take this time to acknowledge a lot of good things that we’ve noticed in Jay lately. Don’t think for a moment that it’s been all good. He was a nightmare yesterday. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt by saying it wasn’t a good weather day here and I’ve been reading that a drop in air pressure makes some of our children feel uncomfortable and therefore they behave less than saintly. So yup, yesterday both Jay and Ace (although Ace wasn’t so intolerable) got sent to bed early. Like 7 pm early.

Back to the good things. There’s a lot so I think the best way to do this is just to simply list them as they come to me.

1. Jay is showing interest in opening presents. Doesn’t sound like something worth bragging about? Well, for a long time, birthdays and Christmases were just a tad less exciting than I would’ve hoped for them due to Jay not caring about presents. They simply meant nothing to him. After they were opened, he would be interested in what was inside (maybe). But the act of opening them or showing any excitement that there was something inside the wrapper eluded him. It’s been a while since we had presents to open. The last birthday we celebrated with gifts was in January so imagine my surprise when I saw this … 

I must say here also that Ace was such a good big brother to allow Jay to help him and to allow Jay to share in his birthday excitement. I love you my son.

2. This past weekend, Jay played with his brother and his cousin. He’s still very comfortable (it would seem) playing by himself, but he’s been steadily getting better and better at joining in with other children. They rode bikes, (Jay rode a training bike for the 1st time independently) played tag, ran races and threw a ball into bushes hoping it would get stuck. (That game was invented by Jay but enjoyed by all.)

3. Jay has gotten very good at following one step instructions. He will pick things up, give things to people, throw things in the garbage, clean up etc on command. He runs, jumps, hops on 1 leg, sits down etc just by us asking him to. Yeh that’s right … he’ll do things just because we tell him to. That’s progress! (Whose kid is this???)

4. We decided to clean out the toys. It’s been a long time coming and CC was probably tired of my nagging asking. I’m more of a minimalist and CC is a border-line hoarder. (j/k babes. Not really). Jay took about 20 seconds to realize what we were doing and decided that he better keep an eye on us. He hovered and watched to make sure we didn’t throw anything out that he wanted. When he felt that a toy was wrongly being identified as garbage he took it and started his own pile of rescues. A hoarder in training? Gosh, I hope not.

5. Jay ate a Golden Oreo cookie. In my house, eating a cookie is reason for praise. I’ve talked a few times about the limited number of things that Jay will eat. Every time that we’ve given him an oreo in the past he’s split it open, eaten the cream and then discarded the actual cookie. Yesterday, he sat and took a bite of the cookie. I thought maybe it was an accident. Like he had forgotten that he wasn’t “supposed” to eat that part but he didn’t flinch or spit it out or make a face. He ate the entire thing. Today cookies, tomorrow sushi. No? I’ll keep you in the loop.

6. I don’t know why I was making kissie faces and noises at him but I was.  Guess what? He started doing it back to me. He pouted his lips and make kissie sounds. Of course, I had to take it a step further. I had to push to see how much more I could get out of him. I made a clicking sound with my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Jay did it too. I sucked my cheeks in and made the “fish” face. He tried so hard and almost got it. I blew air out (like when blowing bubbles) which Jay has struggled with before and he did that too. All these are wonderful as his doctor thinks mouth awareness is vital in getting him to talk. He needs to know what his mouth is capable of and he needs to learn how to imitate the things he sees and hears. I’m very excited about this development.

7. You all know by now that Jay has mastered saying the word “cheese”. (See photo above) I’ve told you before that when he does try to talk he ignores the consonants and just goes for the vowel sounds. He still does that but the consonants are coming. 1st there was the “ch” and “s” sounds. Then while we were at Medieval Times for Ace’s birthday he very clearly said “horse”. I realize horse doesn’t have any strong consonant sounds but whatever. Let me have that one. In an attempt to get CC to keep him company he pulled CC into his room and said “sit down”. It sounded like he had a mouth full of marbles, but it was clear enough to understand.

Ace loves attention. He is sweet and has never had a bad intention in his life. He’s friendly and loves to make people smile or laugh. There’s nothing he hates more than to be ignored. As far as he’s concerned, if he calls you, you MUST answer. It gets a little … ahm … ok fine … annoying at times. So in his usual annoying charming and loveable way he was calling for Jay over and over. “Jay come here, Jay look at this, Jay you want this?” What happened next I’m sure will become a regular occurrence. Jay yelled “WHAT???????” CC and I joked later that what Jay really wanted to say was “What the F do you want? Leave me the hell alone.” But for now all he managed was What? I have a feeling Ace is about to get told to shut up soon and it won’t be by me or his Daddy.

This just in from CC who is home with the boys now.  Jay came and gestured for a cup.  When he was handed the cup, CC asked him what he wanted and he very clearly said “juice”.  What a change this is from the kid who used to yell and scream and throw himself on the floor all because he was thirsty and we had no idea.  Yup, talking is a big deal

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Whew … you see why it took me a while to write that? I’m sure there are things that I left out and this wasn’t the most interesting thing to read but I wanted/needed to put it down in the history pages that Jay is making connections. His wires are not as crossed as they used to be and I’m very very very proud of him.