“Donut mocha coffee and tea tea tea”, Owen walked up to me, and said. Okay, so I talk a lot about food, and especially all of the things he listed, but it really made me ponder, how he came up with that order. He loves watching the cooking shows on the Disney Junior channel, and any other ones he can find on YouTube Kids. He plays several kid apps that have to make coffee, or food. He will say, “coffee is done”, like in the apps. I started taking him to the coffee shop, so he could see the steps in real life; now he asks to go all the time. I couldn’t sleep last night, I kept waking up as soon as I’d fall asleep. Somewhere around two, Owen got into bed with me. Not much sleep after that for me, and he seemed to toss, and turn, as well. When he woke, he immediately started asking for his teacher. I told him it was Sunday, so then it changed to church. We thrive on routine. We still had many hours until we could go, but he was ready. He had a great morning, we came home from church, and he ate a huge lunch; then he got it in his head that he wanted to take a bath, and go to bed. Bath, yes, I think he wanted that, but bed, he was only saying that because it’s what follows a bath, generally. When Owen wants to do something, he repeats the words over, and over, and over again. “Let’s take a baff”, “baff it’s baff time”, “I want to take a baff pwease”, and “baff baff baff baff baff”, are a few of the phrases that he repeated for over two hours, throwing in bedtime occasionally. I try to explain to him that he can’t repeat things constantly, that he needs to work through those moments, but he still doesn’t understand anything besides instant gratification. I have to breathe. He then resorted to “when de timer goes off you can have baff time you can have it”; overemphasizing the word “can”, meaning he really wanted it. At this point he changed to asking about painting. He figured if he “finished de work you can take a baff” might work. So, he’s had his bath, and the minute he got out, he asked, “wanna take a baff”. To say the least my dude likes water, and I’ve got him signed up for swimming lessons. I used to think it was all about growing Owen, and it is, but I see where it’s about my own personal growth, as well. My emotions run thick some days. Today, I’ve tried to be strong, but I feel like my own epic meltdown will happen after he goes to bed. Learn to let go of yesterday, find strength in yourself, and make tomorrow your best day yet. Smiles to all and donut daze!
To say I’m cranky today might be an understatement. Owen’s having a great morning, and I’m very thankful for that. We had a tiny bit of a rough start, because as much as he didn’t want to get ready last night to go anywhere, even when we weren’t going anywhere, this morning he was upset because I wasn’t getting ready for us to go someplace. And I wasn’t sitting quickly enough for him. He is still learning to express what he wants, and sometimes both demands are opposite of what he needs, or wants for that moment. He wanted to go, and he wanted me to sit. Once I sat he only asked about going every few minutes. He had gotten into bed with me around three, asking for his teacher. I told him it was nighttime, and soon he was asleep again. His words are becoming more fluid, but still our conversations consist of rote phrases he knows, or has learned from different videos. I can see more connections every day. As we were getting ready for our day, Owen started running around the house. I told him to take his shirt off, so I could change him, and off he went to his bedroom; the whole time yelling about wanting to go bowling. I try to figure out if these actions are caused by the little boy that’s trying to not listen to directions, or him not being able to process all the steps we need to do for us to go. Most school days, he quickly complies, and we can get him dressed without too much of a fuss. It seems like on the weekends it’s a whole other ballgame. He wants to go, is happy when we are out, as long as we are doing the things he wants to do, but it still takes him awhile for us to walk out the door. And me, walking out the door can be hard, too. One day at a time, I remind myself. He is making huge progress, and doing amazing. I want him to know that he can do great things, and anything is possible if he goes after it. Never give up, and know that you can make your dreams come true. Smiles to all and donut daze!
“I’m not get ready”, Owen said. He walked closer to me, adding more words, “I’m not get ready later nopedy nope”. First, I think the dude wants to stay home. Second, I could see the concentration wash across his face, as he told me. His eyes shifted off, almost like he was looking on the wall for what to say. He really wanted to get his point across. He’s had a great week. He’s slept pretty good, and he is really starting to express more of his feelings. Some days his emotions are like a rippling pool, that flow into a big waterfall; I try to catch every drop in a tiny, little pail, with my own emotions in there, as well. I’ve been cutting parts of his hair for about a week now. Every night I try to cut a little section. I’ve been cutting his hair since he was a baby; often wondering why I never became a hairdresser to non-squirming people. Haircuts are hard for him. That’s why I’ve chosen to do a little at a time. It seems though, as soon as I’m done with it I have to start again. He doesn’t like the sound of the scissors moving, or the hair falling on him, even if it is on his clothes. He says, “cut cut cut”, over, and over again as I do it. Over the years, I’ve tried it different ways, giving him the full haircut at one time always seemed the hardest, with huge tears from both of us; mine always coming later, after I’d put him to bed. Its hard to imagine that something like a haircut could be so hard on my baby, but it is. I’m thankful for his words, and being able to tell me what’s wrong, even if I still don’t understand everything he is trying to explain to me, I know he has made incredible strides. Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how big, or small, they might feel. Every step forward is a step in the right direction. Celebrate your victories, and celebrate ours. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen came to my bed a little after four. He immediately started talking about going to school. I answered, it’s nighttime, get in bed with me, pulling him up as I was saying it. He was asleep again in a few minutes, but I could tell this was going to lead to a rough morning. I tossed, and turned for a bit, knowing sleep would be hard to come by. When it was time to get up, I laid there as long as I could. I wanted to shed the tears as soon as I got up. His cries for “sweep” got me immediately. Sometimes, he has a hard time processing his first moments when he wakes. I have a hard time, too. He generally wants the lights on when he first wakes, running through the house to turn them on. Today, he screamed from my bed, as I turned the kitchen light on. “No”, he yelled, “sweep”. He came to the light, flipping the switch, still screaming. I told him to go turn the other light on; hoping to distract him. I try to just keep moving forward. The screams get you, they come in droves, never knowing when the will start. We had to get ready for school. I hoped that if I kept talking to him he would calm, or maybe I would. Luckily, he wanted to go to school, but then he focused on what we would do after school. “Today is Monday”, he said. I told him it was Thursday. He wanted to go bowling, and to the coffee shop. I have a scheduler that shows the days of the week, months, weather, and other events we may be doing; like our bowling days. It has taken him months to even want to look at the calendar, and I know that he still doesn’t understand what it means. Yesterday, he sang “happy birthday dear Owen and fwiends”, followed by several Christmas tunes, and then wanting to talk about Santa being at the North Pole. The North Pole, for us, seems to be pretty busy these days. Anything he can’t see goes to the North Pole. I had told him he couldn’t see Santa at the store, until he came back from the North Pole. Now everything goes there. Some days my emotions run thick, sitting heavy on my heart. I look at Owen’s smile, and that gives me a whole new motivation. Find your passion, and keep moving forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I remember driving Owen to preschool, what seems like a million years ago now. He hardly spoke then, only just beginning to talk; it takes bigger breathes to fill my lungs with air thinking about it, drinking my hot tea, trying not cry. I talked the entire time we would be in the car, most days; depending on traffic it could take us twenty-five minutes to get there. If I wasn’t talking I was singing to him. I always tell Owen we sing loud, and we sing proud. One day, I’ll never forget it, I was singing The Wheels On The Bus, and when I would get to the end of the verse I would always pause, hoping Owen would sing it. “All through the”, and I’d wait. From the back of the car, in his carseat, he sings “townNa”. I immediately rejoiced, cried, and thanked God for his words. It wasn’t really loud, but it was my baby singing with me. I cried to whole way to his school. We got there, and I cried all the way to his class. I told his teacher what happened, and she was happy, too. I left crying. My baby sang with me. The tears haven’t gone away; I’m crying again. As we walked to the bus stop today, so many years later, we sang The Bear Necessitates, and I thought about how far we’ve come. I see his words, his songs, his actions, all as gifts that I get to enjoy every day. It has taken a lot for my baby to come this fair, and I know about the worries, and the strife. To hear him giggle in the middle of a song, and the smile that washes across his face, washes away the tears that I have cried. Today is a stepping stone for tomorrow. Know that together we can accomplish great things. Find your strength, and make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept all night; only coming to my bed a little after five. His first words, standing next to my bed, “wanna milk momma getcha some”. Then he realized he needed to go to school, and he wanted to go right that second. He was an inch from my nose, yelling his teacher’s name repeatedly. Within a few moments of waking I am thrust into Owen’s anxiousness. I have to adjust my thoughts to keep up. I have to remain calm, get him calm, and breathe. I explained to him that he was going to school today, that he would get to see his teacher, because he was feeling better. The art of distraction took over; turn on the lights, I said. I told him to go get his milk; I now keep his cup ready in the refrigerator, so he can get it himself. I want him to have tasks that he can accomplish, while teaching him to take care of himself. As the morning wore on Owen calmed. When I told him it was time to get ready he quickly listened to all my instructions; this is not always the case. As we were walking to the bus stop, he was talking to me a lot. When we were waiting for the bus, there was a bird in the tree, singing it’s song. He loves an episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that has the characters searching for the mommy red bird of a baby bird they found. I asked him if he thought it was mommy red bird, singing for her baby. He was so intense in the moment, smiling, and laughing. He called out, “mommy red bird”, and laughed some more. His face was vibrant with excitement. I try to find real world examples of what he likes on his tablet; hoping that he makes a connection to these moments. The bus came around the corner, and it was time for him to go. I’m thankful he is feeling better, and I’m thankful for the amazing journey we are on. The look in his eyes today brought hope to me, made me realize how far we have come, and I know that everything will be alright. I look at the world with my eyes wide open, knowing that tomorrow is a brand new day, and that through determination, and hard work you can accomplish great things. Keep moving forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I stare at my sweet baby O as he falls back asleep. I thought the sickness was gone, but overnight the fever hit him. He woke around three. At first seeming bright eyed, and bushy tailed, but quickly he said “are you sick”, hearing my words coming from him. He then gags himself, trying to find comfort, I’m sure. He doesn’t understand how his body works, wanting to force himself to throw up, even on days when he is not sick. Any concern I show is met with him trying to do it more. He’s resting now. I pray that it is still sinuses, and nothing else. It seems like every year at this time we go through the same things. I’m thankful he can say “are you sick”. I now, at least, have a warning of what’s to come. He still doesn’t understand what it means to be sick. To him it’s another time for sensory exploration. I sit here, watching him sleep, not wanting to make too much noise, that could wake him up. All he wanted to do was go to school this morning, repeating his teacher’s name over, and over again. When I told him he couldn’t go to school he moved on to all the other things he wanted to do. Bowling, church, grandma, post office, Christmas, all became his next line of focus. When he woke, he looked over at me, picking up his hand to shake it. He can’t move his fingers completely into the “I love you” sign, but he will stick his pointer finger up, shaking his hand as he does it. I quickly followed suit, moving my hand, back, and forth, in the sign. I could see the happiness wash across his face. He acts like he is feeling better, I think. The fever already broke, so hopefully it won’t return. And the best part is he is continuing to smile. The cough is still there, but hopefully he will be on the mend quickly. His eyes look more rested since this morning. His back to playing between his bowling set, and his tablet. Here’s to a better day, and a speedy recovery. “No eat” was requested, when I offered lunch, as he was shoving Cheerios in his mouth, so I would say we are improving. Life is not always easy, some days the emotions are overwhelming, but today will become tomorrow, and it will be a brand new day. Find your inspiration, and keep moving forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept all night in his bed again. He woke, got in bed with me, and the telltale signs of sickness became evident. He had the tiniest of coughs, and the runniest of noses, but sleep won for another hour, or so. He was happy, until he figured out we weren’t going to church. I thought it was his allergies, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t get worse, before I took him anywhere. He got a tiny bowling set for his birthday. I’ve used it to distract him all day. The triangle shape that you would normally put the pins into, was more like a destination map with the pins spread everywhere. He stood, dropping the ball straight over the pins, watching them fall. It is the only toy I have ever seen Owen play with for over an hour, multiple times in one day. As the night wore on he realized he really wasn’t going to go to church. This has caused multiple meltdowns. I’ve tried to distract him, but sometimes that doesn’t even work. Routine is the world to Owen, and anything out of routine can throw off his whole day. A bath for the win tonight. It has calmed him when nothing else wouldn’t. Every time I tried to do something throughout the day he would scream, or get an inch from my face, repeating everything we were supposed to be doing, or where he wanted to go. The ocean waves feel like they are crashing down on my head. I ache for my baby when he can’t understand why something is different. I want to scream. He’s singing “happy birthday to Owen”, and quickly follows it up with “Christmas Christmas we’ll celebrate later”. I don’t know which one of us is yawning more. I pray for sleep for my baby. I’m thankful he didn’t get any sicker, and he has hardly coughed all day. One day at a time, I remind myself, breathing through the seconds. Find your calm, believe in yourself, and make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Night two of Owen sleeping in his bed. Ahh, I might of actually, kinda, got a bit of sleep last night; more than normal for sure. Pure exhaustion for the win. Today’s words are filled with excitement, and stories; flowing from one thought to the next. Yesterday’s words were the repeating anxiousness of trying to figure out something. He was very calm this morning, until it was time to go. He then ran around the house, yelling that he wanted to go bowling, but yet not able to stop, and get ready. There were so many complete thoughts in the morning, only for them to turn into anxious moments when trying to leave the house. Sometimes I think he can’t process it, other times I think he wants to show me he’s boss; and other times I think patience, I need to have more patience. I know he understands so much more than he can express. I know he can read words, even if he can’t tell me what a word is when I ask. The day has been emotional. He now screams at stoplights that aren’t the stoplights he has meltdowns over. I have to listen to the inflections in his voice to know if he is screaming for my emotions, or he is screaming for his. I have to keep so many of my own emotions bottled up inside me. If I show too many emotions it can change the course of our day. He feeds off my smiles, and my oohs and ahhs. This morning, when we were trying to leave, I couldn’t tell which way to turn. I couldn’t figure out if I needed to be stern, or coddle him; until I almost started crying. He saw my emotions change, and he started laughing, running away faster. Then I knew. Sometimes he thrives more on my reactions than what else is going on. As soon as I saw his smile, I told him that the babysitter was going to come watch him, and I was going to go bowling without him. It is amazing how quickly he was standing next to me with shoes in hand. Days like today I have to figure out if it is the seven year old acting up, autism playing its role in our day, or if it is his age delay that is creating the behavior. And then of course it can be all of it combined. He’s asleep now, and the tears can finally run freely down my face. I’m hoping that he will sleep through the night; hoping I can sleep, too. Tomorrow is a brand new day. Let yesterday go, and focus on what’s yet to come. Go after your dreams; what are you waiting for. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I don’t want to brag, or anything, but Owen slept all night, in his bed. Hello, joyous occasion, hello. I think I have truly forgotten how to sleep. Every noise is a noise. When he is not in bed with me, I wake searching for him; afraid that I might have missed something. Not once has he opened the door to go outside, and we have a glass door, as well, but I know that day will come. When he woke he crawled in bed with me this morning; we only had a few minutes until we had to get ready for the bus, but he wanted to snuggle. He was so much calmer this morning; he only got a little anxious on the way to the bus stop, repeating that I would be the one getting him from the bus today. I feel like he has been able to express himself more lately; like the words are making more connections for him. I think back to the day when I heard the doctor say; he may not talk, he may not be able to talk. It hits you hard. You can’t even process those words. I didn’t know that communication was only part of it. I didn’t understand that words don’t necessarily mean communication, either. He answered questions with songs, or words that didn’t truly answer the question. The rollercoaster ride didn’t even make sense some days. When Owen started talking I thought it would be this onslaught of language, and communication, all bundled up into one package, but it’s years of helping him step, by step, to make those connections to every single word out there. And then add in the fact that my child listens to many different languages, throwing foreign words into the mix of his English. Some words I recognize, some words I can’t tell if they are English, or something else. But he’s learning, and growing. I tell him all the time I’m proud of him, and he can accomplish great things. Life is full of challenges, and emotions, but know that you are amazing. Believe in yourself, and the rest will follow. 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.