I heard him running to me. It wasn’t even four in the morning and here Owen came. His words started flying at me before I couldn’t totally even process it all. I heard his foot tapping the ground and the squeal in his voice. I knew I had to calm him quickly so he would go back to sleep. He started saying his teacher’s name. I said it’s nighttime you need to go back to sleep. He repeated her name and started chanting “school”. I told him that he would see her in the morning, that he did have school today. He was standing at the foot of my bed. The squeals were louder and he started banging his body on the bed. I needed him to calm. I needed to remain calm. I told him to get in bed and when he woke up it would be time to go to school. Four more days and he’s out for a week. I want to cry. His schedule and our routine were already thrown off because of his sickness and now Thanksgiving is next week. My heart explodes when I can’t explain things to him and it makes him more upset. He repeated his teacher’s name a few more times and then crawled in bed with me. He fell asleep quickly. Me, I’m going to need lots of coffee. I can’t stop crying. Owen has words now but he has a hard time always expressing and communicating what he needs or wants. He still has outbursts of anger that I know I have to quickly disperse. As a toddler, he would rip full handfuls of my hair out of my head. No training in the world prepares you for this in the middle of the night when you are trying to calm your child. I work with Owen every day on trying to get him to understand his emotions and feelings and work through his meltdowns. I have him count to ten. If that doesn’t work I distract him with rapid-fire questions, and to this day he will sing the song that I made up on the spot trying anything to calm my baby, but he still remembers it. Years later I hear the words, “I’m a rolly polly rolly polly and I’m bigger than this”. I sang it with him, taking his arms and doing motions as we sang. The two different activities of song and motion helped ease him through many meltdowns. My alarm will go off soon. I lay here wondering which of the forgotten things I should try to focus on today. I’m thankful for his words and how far he’s come. Well aware of the parent reading this so desperate to hear their own child’s first word. The rivers still crest and the sun still shines, even when we are not looking at them. Take the smallest of victories and let them shine through your heart. 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.