Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Great Strides

We have not posted here in a while. Busy busy busy at our house this spring! The weather is beginning to warm up and we have been able to spend more time outside lately, much to Boo's delight. He loves playing in the backyard with his dog. We also tilled up a garden spot this year and have been working the soil in anticipation of planting time. Boo likes to use the rake to pull the dirt around. He also likes to throw the dog's ball into the garden despite repeated warnings not to do so. One day he ended up having the ball taken away and put up in the shed for that reason. Now, I did this to show him that I meant what I said about not throwing the ball in the garden (because I don't want the dog in the garden) but there were still two other balls just like it elsewhere in the yard for them to play with. Silly me, I thought perhaps Boo would go get one of them and continue playing. What was I thinking? He fixated on the one that was taken away. He cried, wailed, begged, pleaded, bargained, apologized, anything he could think of to get me to give him back the ball. I stood my ground. That's when the little squirt got clever! Our Boo is smart, oh so smart. I have my work cut out for me as he gets older. I was busily raking chunks of unwanted grass out of the freshly tilled garden and I THOUGHT that Boo was playing happily with the other two balls in the yard. One accidentally (or so I thought) ended up going over the fence into the neighbor's yard. I warned him to be careful because we cannot get the ball out of the neighbor's yard till we see them again. I went back to raking. Next thing I knew, both remaining balls were in the neighbor's yard, and Boo was reasoning to me that the dog NEEDS the ball that I took away because all his other balls are over the fence. Oh, what pure logic! As much as I LOVED to see his use of logic and problem solving, alas, the rest of the day was spent sans ball for both dog and boy. Two days later when the balls returned, I had to warn him only once and remind him what happened the last time. He quickly moved to another part of the yard to continue playing. Lesson learned, I hope! Last weekend was so wonderful for us. On Saturday Boo and I spent the day with much of our extended family. We joined five other family members on a trip to the big city and shopped till we dropped! It was not Boo's kind of shopping since it involved none of the things he is interested in buying. None of the things I brought along with me to occupy him were helping. Not even the new issue of Highlights magazine, which is usually a hit. He wanted to be out of that cart and running around. I wanted to be enjoying the time with my family rather than chasing down an unruly toddler. All in all, he did quite well, especially considering that we left on this outing at his usual nap time. After several hours of shopping, during which Boo tried to convince my cousin (who is expecting) that "your babies will LOVE this!" showing her everything he could get his hands on, we returned to my aunt's house to spend the evening with family. The house was full and so were the hearts. We had a fabulous barbecue, although Boo of course ate none of it. One of my biggest lifelong goals is to get him to eat a semi-normal variety of foods. That one is going to be a very long road. Sunday turned out to be a phenomenal day. We were up quite late Saturday so we accidentally slept in too late to go to church. We lounged and played in the morning and then went outside to enjoy the record breaking warmth and pleasant sunshine. I decided it was about time to start watering the yard and set about checking the sprinkler system to see if all was well with it. It came on before I expected and before I could warn Boo. One of the things he hates most is having water in his face. He hates rain or snow that is "drizzly" because he can't keep it from blowing in his face. Even in the bathtub we always have to have a dry washcloth handy to wipe his face with. To my surprise, I walked out of the garage to find my boy running through the sprinklers laughing and delighted! Back and forth, back and forth he ran across the lawn chasing the spraying water soaking himself head to toe. He ran up to me grinning and his face was covered in droplets of water that he didn't seem to notice. He ran all over the front and back yards from one sprinkler to another, testing out the spray of each one. I don't know who was more giddy, me or Boo. Later that afternoon, we needed to run to the store for a few things. Because his tennis shoes were wet, he couldn't wear them to the store. Encouraged by the breakthrough of the morning, I brought out the flip flops I had bought on clearance at the end of last summer. Last year we had bought a pair in July that were American flag designs. (He loves the flag) He was excited about them till the first time I put them on his feet. One feel of that plastic between his toes and that was it. No flip flops for Boo, thank you very much! But Sunday I decided to push the issue juuuuust a little. I told him that his tennis shoes were wet and couldn't be worn. (he would refuse them anyway, as he won't wear things even the slightest bit wet) He did not like the idea of the flip flops because there were no socks. I showed him how I wore mine and he was unconvinced. He finally conceded to wear them IF he could wear socks. Why not? I got out a pair of socks and put them on him. But when he felt that bulky bit of sock being wedged between his toes, he thought better of it and opted for "none socks." We put the shoes on him and he walked cheerfully through the grocery store, pushing the cart into things left and right. He also had trouble keeping them on his feet, as he wasn't able to figure out how to use his toes to keep the shoes on. Every few steps one of the flip flops fell right off his foot. But it was still counted as a great victory! Later that day we were in the basement doing laundry and for whatever reason I decided to pull out my elliptical exercise machine and get on it. Boo was intrigued, asking lots of questions. I offered to let him get on with me and try it, but he was adamant he did not want to and ran away from me. A few minutes later, I emerged from the laundry room with my basket of clothes to find Boo standing on the elliptical walking his little legs off. He was SO proud of himself! He continued to return to the exercise machine over and over the rest of the day, and when he finishes he always asks me to check the timer display and tell him "how many numbers did I exercise?" This is another great thing for Boo, as we have discovered that his ability to calm down, be still, and pay attention is greatly helped by resistance activities (lifting/pulling/pushing heavy things, elliptical machine, etc) and by very tight squeezing hugs and deep pressure massage. The fact that he loves this and thinks it a game will serve us well. In the evening we had a cousin over for supper and then Boo invited her to join him in the backyard to play. We all went outside and the flip flops were once again falling off his feet. He soon decided to just leave them behind and play in the yard barefoot. This is the child who will remove his shoes because of one tiny sand pebble or a wrinkle in his sock, and he was running all over the dry crunchy grass that has yet to begin to green up for the spring. I watched in awe. Soon a thunderstorm front moved through and the wind increased dramatically. We played a wonderful game of "basketball" which involved throwing a large ball into the wind and then chasing it down and catching it. I was totally amazed by the end of the day. As I shared Boo's accomplishments throughout the day on facebook, my mom posted "put that boy to bed, my heart can't take anymore!" I wish I could figure out what the magic formula was that led us to such a wonderful day, but it is a tremendous encouragement for us all.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the ridiculously long paragraph. For some reason blogger won't recognize my line spacing!