“Monday”, Owen proclaimed. I told him, it’s Wednesday. He said it again, and again, adding “grandma pick e me up from schooo” as he went along. His sentence structure is getting stronger, and more fluid every day, but we still have moments where I feel like I am playing Name That Tune with him, because he is humming tones to a song that he wants me to find with his tablet’s voice activated option. Last night he informed me “I’m not going to bed today”, quickly followed by “tomorrow”; mixing this in with “I’m not going to bed until later”. I felt like I was literally watching my son’s transformation to a computer brain with this one phrase. The minutes that lead up to all of this were incredible to watch. He will say, “I’m not going to the post office today tomorrow tomorrow”, because I have told him that we won’t go back. He’ll ask me when, and I’ve said, “tomorrow”, hoping to ease his mind about the post office. It has been causing him a lot of anxiety from the one time we went. I watched him turn that go to sentence into him not going to sleep. I saw the stages of his words developing, and him processing how to tell me he didn’t want to go to bed. It was a big step, and change for him. We didn’t sleep much last night. He woke at some point, got into bed with me, tossing, and turning the rest of the night. Bedtime has been hard for him lately. I try to keep it very routine, but it seems to be anything but routine. I never understood how important routine was. It wasn’t something I focused on, sure there were certain times for everything like school, and work, but the rest of my days were more random. Now I set timers for everything, talk about what we are doing nonstop, and make sure our days flow from one moment to the next. For the love of Owen I’m learning to adapt, and find new ways to help him. Some days feel overwhelming, but I see his smile, and push on. I’m thankful for his growth, and I see so much progress. Never give up. Find your strength, and know that you can move mountains if you set your mind to it. Be bold, be beautiful, be you. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen wouldn’t go to sleep last night. Owen wouldn’t wake up this morning. And when he did he proclaimed “I’m cranky”, and quickly said, “it’s Monday”. He fought sleep last night. He fought everything last night. He was happy, but wanted to push all the boundaries. This morning he wouldn’t listen. I have to decide the difference between what is the kid not listening, and him not being the able to process what I need him to do. Day two of him going to the potty. Day two of him learning what he can do when he goes to the potty. But we are getting there. We were running late this morning. I needed him to get his jacket, and turn off his tablet. He ran around turning off the lights instead, getting his milk out of the refrigerator, and asking for “cracker”, his beloved snack. We got his jacket on, I took his tablet, and we walked out the door. As we were walking down the street, I could see Owen’s bus approaching. There’s generally a five minute window for the bus. He was on the early side, and we were on the late side, but we made it. As we were getting ready to leave, Owen noticed his milk wasn’t on the table, his cereal wasn’t there either, and there was a light on in the other room; all of these had to be changed before we could go. Some days he is fine if things are not in their place, other days he cries, or screams until I can figure out what is wrong, and make things right again. He sees the world in picture format, knowing when something is out of place. I have to be careful to not make everything routine, but as close to routine as possible; so that he can process the transitions. For my house I have on the street parking. Generally we can always park in front of my house, but occasionally there are people in front of it, so we have to park further away. We parked three houses down, he didn’t want to get out of the car at first, yelling “homeNa” the whole time. Once I got him out of the car, I had to carry him to our house. He was kicking, and screaming, pulling my hair the entire time. Now all my neighbors try to park in different spots, and ask their guests to do the same, but there are still days this happens. I can’t ask the whole world not to park in front of our house, or change for us, but I can ask for love, compassion, and understanding; what we all deserve. Together we can make a difference, together we can find solutions, and together we can watch the world grow. Find your passion, and see how it changes you. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen woke, got out of bed, bypassed me to turn the living room light on. That’s the morning governing rules. I said, good morning, I love you, can I have a hug. He moved through the process quickly of hugging me. I went on to tell him he needed to go to the potty. He went with a little hesitation, but no song, or dance either. He learned today he is the proud owner of a fire hose, and thought it was hilarious to not go into to the toilet, but instead tried to reach the ends of the earth with it. I was not prepared for this, but instead I thought of it as a great accomplishment, and showed progress. My hope is that I can convince him that is not something that he should be doing, and the toilet is the way to go, but his pure excitement from this new found accessory might take some convincing. Or we may just have to take it to the porch. Oh, the adventures we are having. He was excited to go to school today. He proudly said, “it’s Monday”. I think Monday is the easiest day of the week for him, as long as our routine stays the same. I try to talk to him about his schedule, and what’s ahead for him, knowing that it will help him to go through his days. I quiz him, “what day is tomorrow”, hoping that if we do this every day it will become part of his routine to look at the calendar. He yells over to me, “I’m not going to the post office today”. He won’t stop until I acknowledge that we aren’t going. My emotions wash over me, I’m trying to keep my smile plastered on my face, and not let the tears fall down my face. Taking him to the post office one day, for five minutes, months ago, has caused so many emotional moments for both of us. I have to calm myself, reminding myself that this is how he processes it, and that he needs the comfort in knowing what we are doing. It’s quickly followed with him doing his attention getting burst screams, all while eating, and asking “I want more chocolate milk pwease”. I tell Owen every day he is amazing, and he can do anything he wants to do it he sets his mind to it. It’s your day to be amazing. Find your strength, do what you love, and know that you can do great things. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The screaming. Short burst of attention getters. Oh my. He knows they get to me. He knew they got to me long before I knew they got to me. Years of the attention getters, and my reactions, says it is so. If I correct him, they start back up in a few minutes. If I ignore them, they get louder, closer together, and more frequent. If I ignore them for too long he will scream, and then correct himself. “Stop screaming”, he says, followed by, “one more time and it’s goooNa”, referring to me taking away his tablet. I can’t count how many times I’ve said that, and how many times I’ve actually done it. I will make him take a timeout, which is about as effective as telling him not to do something, but repeating the same actions does help reinforce the outcome. Owen apologized, “sorry mommy need a hug mommy I wuv ewe mommy”. Yes, little one, I love you. I tried to take him to Bob Evans, two days in a row. Both days he cried, screamed, kicked his way out of going. Both days I have been very emotional. We went from him asking to go, “let’s go to Bob Evans restauRONt”, to him crying at the mention of going. We left. These are the ups, and downs of this journey. What am I encouraging, what am I discouraging, by us leaving. Like the balloon, sometimes you feel deflated, and then air beings you to life again. One day at a time. We will try again. And again. There are so many emotions I face walking out our door, but just as many sitting at home. Owen has his mischievous smile plastered on his face. I can tell we have a few adventures left for us today. Know that you are a lot stronger than you think you are. Follow your heart, open your mind to new possibilities, and watch your world bloom. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen is watching snowball videos, mixed with many other ones, but he keeps going back to the snowballs. We had snow yesterday. When we got home, he asked for “snowball” on his tablet. I am not sure if he made the connection to the snow, or if there was another reason he wanted to see it. He touched the snow a couple times, sending out a mixed scream of delight and angst. I understood the sentiment. At some point during the night he got in bed with me. But when I say got in bed with me, I almost missed him. He laid at the very bottom of my bed, in the corner. I woke, hearing a noise, I got up; it must have been him getting into bed with me that I heard. I moved him up further in the bed, where he promptly took over the entire bed, and no more sleep for me. He woke happy, and ready to go bowling. I’m so thankful that he loves bowling. He asks to go every day, along with church, and school. He thrives in the routine of it all. I told him that we would go bowling after he finished his breakfast. I’m excited to go, too. His determination, and focus are incredible when he is bowling. He loves watching the other bowlers, as well. The screaming is in rare form today; using it more as an attention getter. One thing at a time I tell myself, knowing the more I focus on it the more he will do it. He’s trying to say many more words, and use them in sentences. He will stick with a certain phrase, or sentence, and then after he gets comfortable with it, he tries to add new words to it. It’s really amazing to watch his progress. He would say, “we went to church”. Now he is changing the word “church” to “bowling”, or something else. Some days I can see such clarity in what he is doing, and saying; other days I see the struggle he goes through to respond to me at all. He mimics sounds to express himself when he can’t find the words. Today I’m thankful for his growth, and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings. There is hope in tomorrow, always keep pushing forward, and now that all things are possible. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I love to hear Owen’s words. I love the connections he’s making. And I love that he is starting to understand more about his needs. I do not love the screaming. The challenge with screaming is he likes to do it, a lot. He also knows that I don’t like him to do it, a lot. He walks up to me, screaming an inch from my face, walking away, laughing. You know that old adage, “never let them see you sweat”; well, Owen has me pegged. Once he sees emotions, he knows he’s got me. This is where the fine line of screaming comes in. I know that sometimes he screams, because he has no other way to process it, but I also know there are times he screams, because he likes to see my emotions. One of his therapists had told me that I needed to hide my emotions when correcting a behavior, explaining he feeds off my emotions. I understand the concept, but the challenge is actually doing it. The self proclaimed queen of emotions, and here I have to be straight faced when I’m trying to correct him. I don’t always have success hiding my emotions; so instead I talk to him a lot. I talk to him about how he is feeling, and it is alright to be upset about something, but he needs to use his words to help mommy understand what he is going through. His words are coming, I know he will get there, I believe in him. He’s had a really good day. He’s been to the potty multiple times, and talking to me about what he is doing; there’s also been some screaming. He said to me, “first starfall den reading eggs den teach time finish your work den play bowling app”. Starfall, Reading Eggs, and TeachTown, are all his school apps that he loves, and when he finishes his work he gets to do other things he likes. He calls TeachTown “teach time” for some reason, but he will say TeachTown when prompted. I love the connections, I love the smile that he shines towards me when I say his name, and I love the incredible progress he is making. Here’s to finding your success story, and making the world a better place. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I would like to take a moment to celebrate our great accomplishment. We got home. I said to Owen, do you need to use the potty. And off to the potty he ran. This was huge in itself. No fussing, crying, screaming, not even happy squeals; just off to the potty he went. With success. I feel like we are making some great strides. Some days it all feels so overwhelming. And you have to accept backtracking with success, or what feels like backtracking. A lot of times he will set a skill aside, so that he can focus on learning a new skill. It feels daunting sometimes when he would do something the day before, and then it seemed like he couldn’t do it the next day. Round two of potty success happened. I want to shout that from the rooftops. Both times it was so easy, no thinking about it. I asked, and he went. He’s happy tonight, but wanting to do all the things he hasn’t done in two days. He was expecting school, but it was cancelled again today, because of the weather. Now he thinks it’s the weekend since he hasn’t been to school for two days. He asked to go bowling, and the coffee shop multiple times tonight. He wanted to go to church, as well. I’m hoping they don’t cancel school tomorrow for more bad weather that is coming. It’s hard for him to understand. Last week he was sick so that completely threw the week off for him as well. I got a reference calendar for his schedule, so he knows what day it. It allows me to show him what day of the week we are on, and what activities he will be doing for the day. He doesn’t quite grasped it yet, but I feel like he is getting it. He screamed his happy, little scream, and then he screamed “no screaming”. He then followed it up with “we don’t scream”. So the instructions are there, and he seems to know what they mean, but it’s putting it into action that is rough. One day at a time, I tell myself, thankful for how far he has come. He’s having more conversations with me, interacting with me each day in new ways. I rejoice his accomplishments today. We have several bubbles parties, and I’m thankful for the feeling of forward momentum. The littlest of steps, can be the hugest of victories. Celebrate your victories, celebrate ours, and share your story. Smiles to all and donut daze!
“Okey dokey”, Owen said. I’m not sure what he was referencing, but he walked by, and said it. He holds on to phrases, using them randomly. Sometimes I really don’t know where they come from, other times they are expressions he heard years before. His memory is long, and will reference things I didn’t even know he knew. I’m amazed daily by him. Today school was closed because of the cold weather, and his church program tonight, as well. He’s asked several times to go to school, and church. He misses both of them when he can’t go. He also wants to go bowling, and to the coffee shop. His days are routined, so if he is not going to school, he thinks he should be doing his weekend activities. He really wants to go to the bowling alley, so he is setting timers on his tablet to tell us when to go. “Five minute timer go off den we get ready”, he said. It makes me happy that he understands why I use the timers for him, and I’m amazed that he has learned how to set them to go off. Not so excited that he set one for hours later, waking up in the middle of the night to hear it going off, but I was happy for the progress that timer meant. He seems to be smiling a lot more lately. Some days feel loner than others, but when I see his smile it brightens up my day. Even though Owen is learning to talk, he doesn’t always know how to communicate, or express himself. Some days he cries, or lashes out, because he has no other way to tell me what is going on. My heart aches for my little boy when he can’t tell me what he needs to. He looks over at me, and I hold up the “I love you” sign. He smiles, talking to me about what he’s watching. I keep looking at him, smiling, to see what he will do, and he is doing the same thing. His smile, that’s what keeps me going. Through rain there is the promise of sunshine. One day at a time, keep pushing forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen woke in a mood. Everything had to be immediate. But yet he was in slow motion. He started in about school, wanting to go, but yet couldn’t seem to move when I got his clothes ready to help him get dressed. He wanted to go to the bus, but didn’t want to walk to the door. It was a cold morning, so I drove us to the bus stop. He hardly said any words in the car. I took him out of the car, he immediately covered his eye with one of his hands. He stood there almost in a trance. He walked up the steps of the bus, with my help, turning around staring at me. He loves watching the bus doors close, but it seemed like there was more to this. Some days are like that. His emotions seemed heavy today, mine are too. He’s happier tonight; smiling, laughing, and stimming. I love that he’s eating more food lately, and helping make the choices. Early on, one of the best suggestions that was made to me, was to rotate Owen’s foods, not let him see the labels on his food, and use different types of dinnerware. Textures, colors, smells, and so many other things influence Owen’s choices. He can easily get stuck on one food, or not like a new food, because of the way it looks. Even with something like chicken nuggets, the different brands will taste, and not look the same. I had been rotating through different brands of chicken nuggets, and I found a new one that I wanted to rotate in the mix. I put some on a plate, put it on Owen’s tablet, and started to walk away. I turned around for some reason, and saw Owen about to throw the plate across the room. I said, put that down, it’s chicken nuggets, you like chicken nuggets. You would think I learned my lesson about food, but it has taken many more experiences like that to really understand how hard it can be for Owen with food. Tonight he had fish, his choice, and he ate it all. Growing Owen is what we do. One step at a time, one day at a time, and sometimes one food at a time. Never give up. Keep finding ways to make yourself happy, and watch your world grow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Left foot, right foot, one foot in front of the other. And then there feels like what is a stumbling block placed right in front of you. Owen woke calmly, after getting in my bed at some point during the night. I was too busy trying to paint a cow last night to go to bed early. Then I laid there thinking about why on earth I had to have a cow. The irony sat there with me. Our paintings have been calming me, even though them seem to frustrate me as well. I see exactly what I want to paint, and then it takes a turn. Sometimes I like it, and sometimes I paint a mess. But I think of what the paintings mean, and I’m okay with how they turn out. “Let’s paint a background”, Owen says. I keep hoping that by having him do the brush strokes it will help with his fine motor skills. One day at a time. He knew what day it was, I heard him say, “it’s Monday”. I wanted to rejoice. He went on to talk about school. I’m thankful that he likes school. I can’t imagine if he didn’t. He’s still tiny, but there have been a couple times where he did not want to get out of the car, and there is no convincing him otherwise. He starts crying, or screaming, he becomes stiff as a board, his feet push into the seat in front of him, and his arms flail about, trying to keep me from getting him out of his seat. I have to stay one step ahead of these emotions, trying to figure out how to keep him calm. When we walked out the door to go to the bus, Owen immediately focused on something in the distance. I told him to be careful on the steps. He was ready to take the first step; he wasn’t looking, and he really wasn’t ready. I quickly grabbed his hand, he went sliding forward on the steps. I raised his hand higher, so he wouldn’t fall. I made him stop, but he still didn’t care one bit about the steps, he only kept looking off into the distance. He got to the bottom of the steps, turned around, and saw the moon. Maybe he saw the reflection of the moon in something, but now my whole world was talking about the moon. He couldn’t wait to see the bus, and I’m thankful he had a good day. Life is not always easily explained, but when I see Owen’s smile that’s what matters. In the rays of the sun find your smile, and make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!