Here in the northern hemisphere of this cozy little planet, we are well into summer. Did you know September 22nd is the first day of fall here? I didn’t realize how close it was. Everything moves forward, eventually. Even when we don’t think so.
My son is growing. He is now 48.5 inches (4 feet and .5 inch!) and 54.5 pounds. Looking at this chart, my son is the size of the average 9 year old. This is nothing new. Since he was less than a year old, he was always really big for his age.
With his growth spurt, has come a bit of – dare I say it – maturity? Mind you, he is just six years old. He freaks out at babies, cars, his dad touching certain toys, certain words and sounds (still) and cannot do a lot of things other children mastered at age four. But regardless of where we are, we are moving forward.
Just a couple nights ago, we successfully went out to dinner for my husband’s birthday! We chose The Yard House because of its friendly menu, location and all the good things we’d heard. Okay, one of his ABA tutors accompanied us, that’s true. Her mere presence alone, kept him in check, but still! This was a major victory for all of us as a family. Eating out may be one small event we can move from the “isolated from” to “participating in” column.
I’m not talking about McDonald’s here. This was a real sit-down, menus and waiters/waitresses restaurant! We arrived at about 5:30 p.m. and left around 7:15. He made it nearly two hours (!), sitting in a booth, with his iPad, picking through his french fries, refusing to eat any of the delicious looking cheeseburger he ordered. And, yes, I consider that a victory.
There were moments that he stood on the booth seat and tried to touch the people in the next booth over (foiled by the tutor); laid down on the booth seat or laid down on the tutor; put his foot up on the table while trying to lay down on the booth seat; kept flicking a metal circular base around the table leg with his foot to hear it let out a metal clanging sound against the concrete floor; letting out a loud “whoop!”; swearing (his new cuss word is “Gordon!” (Thomas the Train)); trying to take down the blinds over the window at our booth seat; and wriggling and squirming in the seat.
Really though, these were only fleeting moments (except the wriggling – that was a constant thing) in the total time we were there. He did not spill any water or drinks. He ate a few fries and ice cream (at the end). You could not even really hear his “whoop” or the clanging since it’s such a loud restaurant. He blended. No one stared. No one gave us a dirty look. He wanted to stay the entire time we were there. It was heaven. (And the food was good too!)
On another note, all through the spring and most of this summer, he has had more than “some” accidents, and I needed to prompt him to use the toilet. He simply did not want to be bothered. In this last week, I finally told him – “Look, if you pee or poop in your undies, you will be doing the cleaning, changing and washing. There’s your stuff.” Either he would recite a math equation at me or cuss, “Gordon!” at me. Nevertheless, ignoring this backlash, I sat supplies for “accidents” nearby. Guess what? He’s asking to use the bathroom. Ultimately, he was leaning on me. Once I pulled the crutch away, he decided it was easier to use the toilet than do his own clean up. (And let me just knock on wood for that one…)
We’ve had a few weekly play dates with the sweetest NT boy from his kindergarten class. (The only one in his class taller than him!) They’ve been successfully prompted by his ABA tutors and both boys are having fun. One week, his play date could not come because he had a sinus infection. I told my son.
Within two days, he said to me, “Mommy, do you like J?” My son’s way of saying he likes J is to ask me, and get me to ask it back to him. And so I did. “Do you like J?” I asked. “YES!” he emphatically answered. My son could not say, “Hey, mom, I miss J. Why didn’t he come again? Will J come over to play again?” So he simply brought him up by saying he liked J. I reassured my son that J would come again the next week. He did. They played. They were happy.
So, for this summer, we haven’t had a fancy vacation or a camping trip or even left town. But even without those things, my little boy is growing. He’s moving forward. It may not seem like much, but to me?
It’s the world. And as time passes and seasons change, each one with my little son seems richer in landscape than the last. It’s exciting. It’s beautiful and it’s all very, very good.