“It making de any noise”, Owen screamed. He was very upset because I didn’t put on the pre-approved pants to walk to the bus. When he is upset about what I’m wearing he screams that things are making noise. I’m not sure how noise is associated with what I’m wearing but that is how he always references it. Mommy has to look a certain way and do certain things at certain times. This morning, I broke the rules. I told him several times that I was fine and reassured him that he was fine. Let the emotional rollercoaster begin for the Friday morning shenanigans. I have started wearing some shorts around the house. This brings a whole new adventure to our days. I have to constantly be aware of where he is walking because at random times he will drop to the floor to look at my legs. There is no warning, he just falls to the ground, and grabs at my legs. This hasn’t changed since last year. All summer long he would stop in front of me to look at my legs. It’s the same with dresses and skirts. Only those he pulls up. I don’t often wear skirts when we are in public together because the skirt goes completely up. There’s no warning, he stops, turns, and up the skirt goes, so he can touch my legs. Owen is learning about the body. For the longest time, he would look at his own hands and feet like they weren’t attached to him. He didn’t understand how they moved and we have worked on many exercises, hoping to give him a better understanding of his body. It’s working. His hand-eye coordination is greatly improving. I’m thankful for his growth and I’m happy that he is making progress. We will learn and grow together because we are a team. Find your happiness in the world around you and know that you are amazing. Smiles to all and donut daze!
“The timer goes off de bus will be here”, Owen said. Every morning now he wants to set the timer on my phone when we get to the bus stop. He gets so excited. He says, “one minute” and starts jumping up and down. He’ll go through the counting process and watches as the numbers tick away. When the bus turns the corner he gets excited as it is coming down the street. He looks at the timer as the bus comes down the road. The last few days we’ve been working on time. I want him to know what time means and I think the timer is starting to help him understand it more. When I tell him we have to do something he will yell out, “fifFFteen minute” or some random amount of time. I’m glad that he is getting the concept. When he came home from school he was hungry for a big-time snack. He went to the refrigerator, retrieving his sippy cup full of milk, set it on his table, and then said, “wanna cracker veggie straw turkey pwease”. He has long called veggie straws “crackers”, but now it seems he is starting to understand that we reference them as veggie straws so he is adding both terms. I see the growth happening right before my very eyes. I put the veggie straws and turkey on his plate and within a few minutes, he was asking for more. I do believe he is growing in more ways than one. When I look at Owen I see a beautiful work of art that has so many intricate layers that are involving constantly. I tell him all the time that he is amazing and he can do anything he sets his mind to. We can let the challenges of life win or we can challenge the curveballs that are thrown at us. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I said to Owen close your eyes. But what he did instead was to squish his eye with his fingers, pulling the top lid down over his eye, screaming, and counting to ten. How did he get those instructions when I said close your eyes. I wanted to see if he would follow my instructions, but I was met with a response I didn’t expect. I tried not to show any emotions because I didn’t want him to keep pulling at his eye. I tried to distract him, telling him he did great with his counting and asked him if he was ready for dinner. I try to work with Owen every day on life skills and educational activities, but sometimes I get tired. My mind is plagued with all the things I should be working on with him every day, but it seems like there is never enough time. What’s your name I said to him, while we were waiting at the bus stop. After many tries, he responded, “Owen I’m fine”. I moved on, letting it go. All I can think about is school being out for the summer next Friday because all he can think about is going to school every day. He’s going to summer school, but it’s only twelve days. That’s twelve days that both of us will be excited about, but it leaves a lot of open days through the rest of the summer. Routine is Owen’s calm. When he knows what his schedule is and the order things are happening it makes it easier on him for everyday circumstances. We have been home from our day for about an hour. In that amount of time, he has asked to go to school at least ten times, followed closely by “take a baff”, and “crackers pwease”, even though he knows he takes a bath after dinner and there were veggie straws on his plate. He works it all through his mind, processing it as he can. Good news potty training is going amazing and I’m thinking positive about the summer ahead of us. The journey of life is ever-changing. Take one day at a time and live life forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I have to brace myself for our wake up. The mornings are filled with emotions, mixed with chaos and love. I’ve come to the conclusion that most likely Owen will scream when he wakes up. I now have nerves of spaghetti. The experts tell me to let him scream. Okay, so that doesn’t work for me. The other experts tell me to keep him from screaming. Okay, so that doesn’t work for me. I really don’t know how to convince him not to scream. Better yet, I really don’t know how to convince myself not to react to his screams. He can read me like a thousand page novel that changes languages every other word and has the words written in invisible ink. The key for Owen is redirection but even that lets him know the screams won the game. Some of his screams he can’t control. They are emotions for the situation at hand. The verge of meltdowns are comprised of screams that express more emotions that I don’t even understand. Things that used to not cause meltdowns now cause meltdowns. Just when I think I’m closer to figuring out how to keep the meltdowns at bay the rules change. I see the emotions churn through my little guy like tidal waves rushing on shore. One day at a time I tell myself. Last night he fell asleep talking about his teacher and going to school. I wanted to have my own personal pan pizza meltdown right there on the spot, my own emotions swirling heavy in my heart. School ends soon. Every single night for at least an hour he talks about seeing his teacher the next day, going to school, riding the bus. How, how on earth do we adapt for the summer. We push through. Know that you are stronger than you think and you are not alone. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I can’t stop thinking about the fact that summer will be here soon. And summer means no routine of school. He’ll go to summer school, but it’s only a couple weeks. Last night Owen had one thing on his mind and that was school. After dinner and his bath, he started asking for his teacher. “Finished de work and then I can go to school”, he said. He went on to ask for her repeatedly. “In de morning I go to school”, he went on. How do I find peace for him. At least he now understands that he doesn’t get to go to school until the morning. When he woke up this morning he was in a good mode. He was listening to instructions and followed through on what I told him to do. We got ready for school and I walked him to the bus stop. He was laughing as we walked along, staring off at things in the distance. I wish he could tell me what he found funny, but his laughter felt great. Some days I don’t feel like I can even laugh when he’s laughing. It’s like it takes great effort to express my emotions and find happiness in the moment. The sadness of not knowing what he is laughing at wins over the fact that I should just be happy my sweet baby O is happy. I try not to let it phase me because that laugh is contagious, but the sadness still sits there. I push myself to smile, to laugh, and to let the tears be gone. We stood at the bus stop, with him wanting to set the timer on my phone. “When de timer goes off de bus will be here real soon fifften minutes” he said. I started explaining to him about time. I went on to say how many seconds were in a minute and how many minutes were in an hour. I want him to understand time and what it means for our days. I reflect about our past often so I can have a better focus on our future. Let today be your guide for tomorrow. Emotions will always be part of the ever-changing rollercoaster ride, but know that you are a lot stronger than you think you are. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
When the routine breaks the sounds of chaos ring. Yesterday didn’t go according to plan. That means today is difficult for Owen. He screams for what should have happened yesterday. His screams didn’t come until today though. He doesn’t know how else to express it. And how do you explain life happens when you have something else planned. Sometimes I have to change my way of thinking and my emotions so that I can handle what’s coming at me from all different directions. He was disappointed yesterday, but today was the makeup day. That, however, comes with its own set of circumstances that we have to push through. Sundays are for church and coming home, preparing for tomorrow, so even when it’s something he wants to do it can cause him distress. And then my emotions need to find their way into a tightly sealed bottle because I want to cry. Summer is coming and this means the routine will be even further off. He’s going to summer school like he did last year, but it’s only a few weeks. It’s still with his same teacher, but at a different school. I have to look at the bright side, he gets to ride the bus and that makes my boy’s day. Today as we were driving home from our adventures it started to rain. This made Owen scream and scream some more. This is the first time he has screamed about the rain. I can’t turn the rain off, I can’t turn the screams off. Do I stop, do I keep going, do I cry. Now to help him understand that rain happens at random times. We’ve been out in the rain many times and no screams. I don’t know why today upset him, but he started screaming “raaaaaaaain” as soon as the downfall begins. It was pretty strong so maybe it startled him. Maybe he felt my emotions about the rain. He’s calm now, happy to be home. And so am I. Today I prepare for tomorrow, trying to stay one step ahead of our emotions. Sometimes in rain, there can be sadness, but watch what blooms when the sun shines. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Today’s light show is brought to you by our ever-changing times. Owen slept all night in his bed, got into bed with me, laid there only a few minutes, talked to me about his teacher, and after I explained today wasn’t a school day, off he ran. He grabbed his tablet, got back in bed with me, and promptly pulled the chain for the light. It amazes me how quickly he learned that he had to turn it on that way. He got out of bed, taking his tablet with him, only to run around the bed, switching the light off at the light switch, and putting his tablet right near my face. He said, “turn de light on” and off he ran again. He ran to turn the other lights on, but I could hear him turning them off and on quickly. He ran back to me, switching the bedroom light on multiple times, and I stated I was getting up. He quickly jumped on top of the bed, trying to keep me from getting out of bed. He said, “no you say yes ma’am”. As I was sitting up, he said, “good morning give me big hug”. He started taping his leg and I knew that today he was going to need a lot of input. He wants me to tap his leg also and then go through his joint compressions with him. He’s having a great morning, full of expression, and very interactive with me. Bowling and the coffee shop will be happening soon. I can’t wait to see how he wants to bowl today. He seems to be more interested in actually rolling the ball down the lane than using the ramp anymore. I should really say throwing the ball down the lane. Either way, I’m excited about our adventure. To see his smile and knowing that we have found something he loves brings me pure joy. Find your happiness, do something for yourself, and make today a great day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
When the dude sleeps all night that is a party waiting to happen. Not sure when I started considering five in the morning all night long, but hey it works. He got into bed with me and was asleep quickly for another forty-five minutes. I stayed in bed as long as I could, trying to soak in the last few minutes of calm. I knew as soon as I flipped a light on Owen would scream. He loves going to school, asks for his teacher all hours of the day, wants to get ready, but the light stunts all forward progress. I turned it on and he was out of the bed in two point two seconds, screaming “no light”, turning off the light, and running back to bed. I told him to come back and turn the light on. He came, turned it on, and quickly turned it right back off. Technically he did exactly what I asked. I didn’t tell him to leave it on. I told him if he wanted to go to school he needed to get up and we had to get ready. He got up again, running past me, turning the living room light on, running back to the bedroom, and tried to turn the light on in my room. This is not as simple as flipping the switch, because at night I turn it off by the light pull. The screams happened again because the light wasn’t coming on. He jumped up and down on my bed, pulling the fan switch instead of the light chain, and this time laughter erupted. He loves jumping on my bed. The more emotions I show the more he will jump, or scream. I turned the light on. We were out the door a few minutes later. It was lightning and thundering all around us, so we had to take the car to the bus stop. He handled this like a champ. Some days this is not easy for him to process. He wants the bus and me driving him to the bus stop throws him off. The more we have to do it, the more it seems easier for him to understand. I get emotional about trying to find the right steps to help him. Every day I see growth, but I also see and feel the struggles of both of us. How can you cry and rejoice in the same breath. But you do. I push forward, I tell Owen I love him, and that we are a team. Live life forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
When I think I understand something I realize I don’t. Life is interesting that way. Owen is trying to figure out how his body works and what he can do with it. If I show any emotions about his actions this increases his desire to follow through on his plans. He is learning that if he guzzles water he can make himself throw up. I hope this phase passes quickly. Until then the bath water is at a minimum, his milk glass only contains so much, and mommy has to redirect the exploration of his body often. One step at a time I tell myself. It's one of those things that I'm thankful he's growing and learning about his body, but how do I explain to him that making himself sick is not a great idea. He says the words, ”don't drink de water make sick”, but at this point, the connection to the words is not there. This morning as we walked to the bus stop he was excited and counting the minutes down until the bus arrived. He wanted to set the timer on my phone so the bus would arrive quicker. He said, “de timer goes off in one minute and de bus will come”. He opened the clock on my phone, hit the timer button, and said, “one minute”. He started counting with the timer. He was getting the seconds right as he was counting down, but when he selected the timer it was at eight minutes. I distracted him by telling him the bus was coming and I reset the timer to a minute. I started using it to help him understand the time and when events like bedtime would occur. Now he uses the expression for everything and delights when the timer goes off. We learn, we grow, we explore, together as a team. Be inspired by the world around you, find your strength, and know you are not alone in this journey called life. Smiles to all and donut daze!
”You can have it”, Owen says to me. It was more of a command than a question. He emphasizes the ”can” as more of a demand. I've said it to him a thousand times, telling him he could have something that he wanted at a certain time. But now he uses it when I tell him we have to do something else. He wanted his tablet before we walked to the bus stop this morning, but I told him it was time to go. This is when he pulled out the saying. He was happy to walk to the bus stop this morning; practically walking backwards the entire time. When we got to the bus stop I was talking to him, asking him different questions. He had sleep in his eyes so I was trying to wipe his face. He didn't really want me to do it. I asked him if he could do it, explaining why I wanted him to rub his eyes. He started singing, ”head shoulders mes and toes eyes and ears and mouth and nose”. I asked him if he could point to his toes. He immediately wanted me to do the motions. I started singing the song, going through all the motions, thinking about the world around us. My sweet baby O has taught me so much about the world. When the bus came around the corner Owen's face lit up. His little fists balled and he started jumping in place. I wish I could always show that much excitement for the world. Live life to the fullest. Find the excitement in the little things and make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.