I prayed today would not be a day the electricity would go out. Scratch that. We had the possibility of storms coming through. Today I prayed that the internet would not go out. Owen woke around six and to say there was a mood in the air might be an understatement. He did not want the lights on and he let me know it. He wanted me to sit and anytime I started to do something he let me know that this did not meet his approval. He sat with me numerous times and was very calm but he put his rules in motion. He read from his tablet screen, sounding out the words as he went along. If I said I needed to get up or go to the bathroom he stated, “no bathroom today.” I had told him yesterday that we could go someplace today. I think he was still processing it. I asked him as the morning went on if he wanted to go see the airplanes or ride the elevators. He said, “no.” He then started asking me about the elevators. I told him we could go but then when I said let’s go he once again said, “no.” I told him we could go after the groceries got here and he said, “no” but he kept asking. I didn’t bring it back up. Sometimes we get in circles and it’s hard for me to get back into the right order with him. He hasn’t wanted to do anything in a very long time so this felt huge but I didn’t want to push him either. We ate lunch and he started talking about it again. I told him that I would take him but he had to get himself dressed. A couple of hours passed and he didn’t mention it. I am always torn on how to handle activities for him because if he doesn’t want to go it isn’t going to go well. He started talking about the elevator and what he was going to do this week. I told him we could go any day he wanted but he had to make the choice to go. He started saying it every few minutes so I told him he knew what he needed to do if he wanted to leave the house. I went on to tell him he needed to get dressed. He wanted me to get dressed and I told him I would after he did. I wasn’t going to go through all the motions if he screamed and told me he wasn’t going. I made him go get his pants and socks since he already had a shirt on. He brought them back and said, “you need help you can do it” and tried to hand me the pants. I said, no that he could do it. He screamed, he threw a fit, he yelled, he handed me the pants, socks, and shoes but I stuck with it. A lot of times I give in because we are under a time constraint but today we could leave anytime. It’s hard when he is trying to get me to do all the steps for him when I know he can do it. I told him again that he had to do it. I reiterated that I would be there to help him but he was amazing and he could do it. He still can’t use snaps or button his pants but he does know how to use a zipper. I had to keep telling myself to stay strong but it’s truly hard. He doesn’t always pay attention to how he gets dressed like trying to put his leg in from the ankle direction of the pant leg instead of at the waist. Once he got his pants on it took him about thirty minutes to put his socks on. These are a struggle for him but he can do them too. He used to wear socks that had pulls on the sides but he outgrew them. He has a hard time stretching socks out correctly and his fine motor skills do not alone him to always do the motions but he needs to build his muscles. Once he got his socks on his toes he would pull them right off and then scream he needed help but like I told him that’s half the battle to get them on his toes. I showed him where to pull again, locking his hands with mine and I still had him do it but I guided his socks in the right direction. His shoes were the next battle but these he really can do quickly and on his own, if he is not throwing a fit or in a meltdown. He yelled, “hold the tongue” and then squished it down several times but he did it. Once he was dressed he was ready, calm, and told me, “mommy wears blue pants.” By now my nerves were frazzled but I got dressed. Teaching him independence is hard but important and I have to keep pushing forward. He forgets quickly when he was so upset about his clothes but then he was ready to go do one of his favorite things, riding the elevator. We used to go all the time but time changed, rules changed, something changed. He was excited because he also got to ride in the “little red wagon.” We went to the mall where they have a glass elevator. Not only did he get to ride one elevator but their parking garage has one too. We rode up and down numerous times and walked around for about an hour. It felt great to hear him say, “one more time this is the last time push the one.” He likes to tell me what floor he wants to go to and loves looking out the glass windows. We started walking back to the car and the words flowed from him. He talked about going to the airport, riding the elevators again, riding his bicycle, not going to the bowling alley which means maybe he will want to go again soon, and seeing his teacher. My heart sang out with joy from all the progress. When we left for the elevators I saw we had gotten a package but I wanted to wait until we got home to show him otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten to the elevators. I showed him the box and started opening it right away. He said, “that’s my present.” I love the connections. I waited years for him to even remotely understand a gift or wanting a toy. There is pure joy in being able to give your child something they want. Tears float in my eyes thinking about it. I opened the package and he couldn’t wait. He said, “put it right here” patting the kitchen table. He started running through the house. He came back to it and I could tell he was about to do his puzzle review voice and share what he learned from his therapist and watching the videos he found to show me the puzzle he wanted. He ate his dinner talking about going to the elevators tomorrow. He said he wanted to see the planes and work on his puzzle. All of these moments felt like victories and progress. The day started off hard and ended with grace and goodness. It was hard waiting for him to put his clothes on when I know I could have done it but I need him to know he can do it. When he went to bed I made sure I told him that he was amazing and I reminded him of all his accomplishments. There is so much hope for tomorrow. Today was a stepping stone for all the things life keeps throwing at us. Never give up on the hope of tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
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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.