Owen woke after five wanting to go “ride the elevator.” I told him we couldn’t go yet and he said, “in five minutes.” I said it wouldn’t be open that quickly so he said, “in ten minutes.” My eyes weren’t really open at this point but I was excited he was excited. It’s been a long time since he has wanted to do any of the activities he loved. I can tell he is processing everything. I can only imagine how summer feels to him. I try to explain to him that he will see his teacher again but if he is struggling with the timing of a few hours to go ride in the elevators at the mall I can only imagine how long another month must seem to him. He immediately started playing with his alphabet puzzle this morning. He loves it. He keeps talking about the numbers version that he saw in the video he showed me and is also wanting more alphabet puzzles. When he wants something it’s a glorious thing to me because I have waited for this, wanted this for him. One of the hardest emotions for me was not being able to know what he wanted or how he felt. His words didn’t always connect with what he needed or wanted and there were very few toys that he liked. Plus, I wanted him to be able to tell me when he wasn’t feeling great or he needed his toenails trimmed, and any other emotions he wanted to share. After second breakfast and first lunch, it was finally time to “ride the elevator.” This time I told him he needed to wear different pants. I would wear blue pants but he had to wear a different color if he wanted to go. Stretching the rules do not always go over well but I have to try. I know that Owen could, might, probably will scream at me, someone else, have a meltdown, or not want to go once we are ready to go. I breathe. He’s learning to communicate and this is how he learns but you don’t always meet others that understand or will tolerate a child yelling at them or wanting to sit in their lap when you walk into a doctor’s office waiting room. I had him put his socks and shoes on again but before he put his socks on he said, “toenail string cut.” He wanted me to cut his toenail before he put his socks on. He used to refer to his toes and sometimes his fingers as “birthday candle.” I’m not sure how that connection was made but I was thankful that he called his toes “birthday candle” because then I knew when there was a problem with them. We got to the mall and he was “happy Owen’s happy.” We rode the elevators several times and walked into a few of the stores. We were on the elevator with several people. Some understood when he yelled out “blue pants” to just talk about their pants and move on and others didn’t even acknowledge someone was talking to them. I get it. I asked him if he wanted chicken before we left the mall and he said, “no” but as soon as we got to the car he said, “chicken nuggets and a cheeseburger please.” I knew that was coming. Second lunch it was. “Panda’s happy,” he screamed multiple times at the top of his lungs as he was playing his game. He then laughed hysterically, knowing that the panda wasn’t happy at all. When we got home it was raining. He was already concerned I was going to get wet before I even got out of the car. One more reason I need a garage, I thought. Ready, set, run to the house. I don’t know why I can’t remember that he’s going to get upset about the rain but I put it out of my thoughts. At least this time he didn’t go into a complete meltdown. We got inside and he ran to the bathroom to get his towel to dry me off. It’s an emotional journey for both of us. The rest of the night went fast and we had a lot of fun playing with his puzzle and robots. He wanted me to find them in Spanish, Russian, French, German, and Arabic. His laugh makes my heart full and I’m thankful for his progress. Always remember one step forward is one step forward. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments no matter how big or small. 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.