A family's story

Posts tagged ‘The little things’

Little Things…(that we all know aren’t so little)

Over the past few weeks, mostly while I didn’t have time to blog because I was busy reffing my children, there were several little things that went on in our day-to-day that stood out as, well, not so little.

I think it is important to capture them, especially for those times when it feels like we’re stuck and struggling.

1. Tate is trying to engage people outside of his immediate family circle. We had a play date with a few of his classmates a little while back. When the group asked him to come play tag with them, he abdicated his swing and joined them! He then asked them to follow him onto the tennis court to play chase. Also? We were at lunch the other day, and he said hi to two boys about his age. We didn’t know the boys, but the fact that Tate felt comfortable enough to engage them made me want to cry tears of joy. Cole does stuff like that all of the time. It was heartwarming. Oh, and at the school’s family fun day last Saturday, Tate asked a friend of his to join him in the bouncy house. He also asked his teacher, who politely declined. I was grinning from ear to ear.

2. Jake has been doing a tremendous job with telling us how he is feeling. While it crushed my mommy heart yesterday to hear that I was embarrassing him with my paparazzi ways at school, it was also a “YES!!” moment. He told me it was bothering him, and he expressed it so age-appropriately. 

3. Yesterday, Tate’s bus was running significantly late. We made the call to drive him to school. He didn’t like that. His routine includes a bus ride to the school. This morning, he asked a couple of times if he was taking the bus. I reassured him that he was. He said, “Oh good. I like to take the bus to school. You drive Jake instead.” And with that statement, his anxiety decreased, and he went about the rest of the morning.

4. Cole has decided that streaking pants-less around the house is not what big boys do. He has started to pull up his pants and underwear after using the facilities–most of the time. I love not having to chase him around!

5. After some regression with bathroom routines in late July/August, Tate has gotten back on track. He is back to being mostly independent. He’s even washing his own hair in the tub (supervised, of course). 

6. Jake, concerned about being stinky, has started to use deodorant. He has incorporated it into his morning routine. I’m grateful that I have a boy who is worried about being stinky. I’ve heard loads of comments to the contrary about boys!

7. Tate has willingly started to eat bananas and grapes again. He cut those from his diet about 3 years ago. I’m glad that they are acceptable again! 

8. I took all 3 boys for back-to-school haircuts–by myself. There were no tears, no fights, and no struggles. Each boy got a decent haircut and sat for the entire thing. Doing my happy dance!! (Also, if you had told me that I could accomplish this feat 2 years ago, I would have laughed at you maniacally.)

9. Tate was up in the middle of the night. He was whining when I found him in the hallway. When I asked what had happened, he stopped, looked at me and said, “Mom, I just can’t fall asleep. I want to sleep.” I told him he could lay in our bed. He did, and asked me to rub his head. He dozed off within 5 minutes.

10. We participated in a bowling event with Tate’s special ed religious education group. It was loud. It was chaotic. There were familiar faces who weren’t in their predicted location (obviously we were at a bowling alley and  not at the ministry center). And Tate was able to stay for an hour and 45 minutes. He played a game and a half of bowling. He even threw the ball on his own. He celebrated when he got pins down, and celebrated when his brothers did, as well. When an older boy wanted to give Nate a hug, and Nate wasn’t wanting one, he said, “No thank you”. It.was.awesome!

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Some Kind of Wonderful

This weekend our family saw some little victories. They were the “little things” that we all talk about…nothing super huge in the scope of life, but thanks to the life we lead, well, little things are definitely worth celebrating.

On Friday, Tate had his 7-year-old (!!) well-check visit. Our doctor is a great pediatrician, but he is the first to admit he is not an autism expert. He asked a few questions about Tate, and when I told him that Tate could answer them, he turned to Tate and asked Tate..and Tate answered. It was a bit of a mumble, but the doctor and I took it. It’s never too early to start self-advocating!!

That evening, Tate had a birthday party to attend. It was his friend Geo. The last time we had gone to Geo’s birthday party was 2 years ago–right after the official autism diagnosis. We left the party right before the cake, as just the thought of singing “Happy Birthday” was freaking Tate out–big time. This year?! Tate managed to maintain his sanity and stay regulated during a 2-hour party at Chuck-E-Cheese. He climbed, played a few games, danced to the animatronic Chuck-E, and shock of shocks, he high-fived the “real” Chuck-E when he came to our table. (Insert jawdrop) 

Tate sang and danced while we sang “Happy Birthday” to Geo. He had a blast. He ate, he played, and at the end of the party, he said thank you to Geo’s mom. It was perfect. The victory was not lost on Geo’s mom, who asked him for a high-five..and asked if he would like a play date soon. Tate said yes!

On Saturday we had soccer. Tate was a bit resistant at first, but the second his buddy showed up, Tate was out on the soccer field, kicking the ball around like a champ. He just was…happy. 

Later in the day we had a bar-b-que with our neighbors. We have six kids between us, ages  9.5 to 3. It was chaotic and loud..but fun. Tate held his own, pumping on a swing on the play set, jumping on the trampoline, and asking for a turn in a play house. It was going so well. He didn’t even lose his shtuff when the neighbor’s son tried to antagonize him. He just moved along…and found something else to do. Yes, he was slightly removed from the group, but he did what he needed to do to stay in control. He also let me know that he was tired and wanted to go to bed, so we let him fall asleep on the neighbor’s couch while the other kids watched a movie. 

On Sunday we played in the yard for a bit, and then we made our way to Jake’s first lacrosse game of the season. Jake doesn’t mind practices, but games really give him some anxiety. We were happy to see that he did so well getting his uniform on, and put on his gear  mostly by himself. Last year he couldn’t manage that. 

Once he was with teammates on the field, he got a ball and started to practice with one of his teammates. He also kept up much more on the field, and while he avoided any of the major action, he was more “with it”. He did a great job, and we were proud of him.

While Jake was playing his game, I had the younger two boys on the playground. Cole was like the mayor. He told everyone his name, played with a few different groups, and pretty much walked (and ran!) around like he owned the place. I wasn’t so worried about him..but I did have to kiss his head when he bumped it on the slide.

Tate did amazingly well. He shared the swings with other children..and navigated a few social interactions pretty well. When he was getting anxious about the swing and whether he would ever get it back, he came and asked me to play with my phone. He was able to regulate by watching a video of spinning ceiling fans and a 3-minute segment of a Doc McStuffins episode. He stayed regulated and played quite well. 

Last night Tate’s allergies were flaring. It was obvious his head hurt, and his nose kept running incessantly. Around midnight I awoke to the boys’ bathroom light on, and the toilet lid slamming up. I went to check on the culprit and found Tate crouched there. He looked up at me and croaked, “My tummy is sick.” He managed to get his mess in the actual toilet. Upon examination of his bed, he had gotten sick there, too, when he coughed from his allergies…and I stripped it and threw it all in the tub to be dealt with in the morning.

He went and laid down on the floor next to my and Hubz’s bed. I laid next to him. He did a soliloquy of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”…twice. But after an hour, he asked to go lay on the floor of his bedroom…and he fell asleep until 6 am. This was nothing major, but it was.

So, this weekend was nothing major…and some kind of wonderful as we got to bask in the progress that our kids are making each and every day. It felt good.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

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First there was this…Doc, meet Lambie.

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Then they hugged-cuz that’s what friends do to greet each other.

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Then they watched TV with Tate.

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And then Tate took some pictures of his friend.

My favorite “pictures”, though, are the ones in my mind…the ones where Doc walks on the treadmill, where Doc and Tate play “Hungry, Hungry, Hippos”, where Tate reads Doc his favorite book…and when she reads it to him.

Pretend play. Connection. Hope.

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