I’m happy to report that Nik is feeling much better today. He’s been back to his normal self since yesterday afternoon. As Murphy’s Law would have it, by the time we got to the pediatrician’s office, Nik was fever free and rarin’ to go.
I have to say, Since we’ve removed Nik from school, every day just gets a bit better. Not so much that Nik is making miraculous progress overnight. More so that we are establishing a rhythm and a pattern to our days that suits us so much better than the frenetic pace we were keeping with school. Nik goes to bed a bit later now but then he can sleep a bit later in the mornings –except on the days we have a date at the YMCA (um, that would be me with my trainer and Nik with the childcare folks). For the most part, Nik’s been cheerful and chipper; even when he was really sick, he still had his moments of raucous laughter and singing. In fact, one particularly funny thing happened yesterday.
I’ve noticed an interesting behavior lately; Nik will put a finger in one of his ears and make a high-pitched “Bah” sound. He does this a couple of times, switching ears –sometimes doing both ears at once. I’ve thought, “Huh, Nik must be experiementing with sound somehow.” Pretty cool, yes?
So, yesterday afternoon in the doctor’s office, Nik cooperated so nicely as he helped Dr. M with her stethoscope and such. He even picked up the otoscope (the ear-thingie) and put it to his ear to help her look in his ears. As he did this, I heard the same “Bah” I’ve been hearing for the past week or so. Then, it hit me. Nik wasn’t experiementing with sound after all; he was imitating the sound of the thermometer beeping in his ear every time I take his temperature (I use the ear kind as it’s the only one he will tolerate). I about fell over I was laughing so hard. Well, I have had to take his temp a lot lately…still do, but that’s another story.
As for me, I feel a sense of peace these past few days; it seems to have settled over me only recently. Whether it is because things seem to have shifted since I spoke with Legal Aid (no new information yet) or if it’s simply because I have realized that we really are fine — with or without school or outside services. Yes, there will be issues to resolve –most notably in the areas of speech and autism supports –but each day Nik and I connect in new ways and find our way together.
I think, too, I am taking great comfort in the writings of some other bloggers –reports of new milestones, fun adventures, following dreams, settling in to a new home and home school, more than one mom deciding to take kids out of school. It seems we are all finding our way on this path of mothering our children and it feels like a sense of peace is indeed settling in for more than just me. Is that what happens when we follow our instincts in spite of the fears?
I am amused by Nik’s antics lately; laughter is so good for the soul. I don’t think I realized how little we’ve been laughing over the past couple of months; we’ve been so consumed by the struggles with Nik’s school. Lately, however, it’s as if Nik can sense the change in the air –the release of the tension –and he’s letting loose, too.
Today, we invented a new game together. Nik likes to do a lot of things hand-under-hand –meaning he manipulates my hands to do things. This has recently carried over into his using his hands to manipulate things like my mouth. Yeah, I’m not crazy about it but he thinks it’s the funniest thing since a Three Stooges marathon. Blame the feeding therapist, Miss M. She is trying to get him to imitate certain sounds so she had him put his hand on her mouth as she made the sounds. Well, Miss M doesn’t live here so I get to do this over and over. I don’t mind telling you it gets a smidge annoying.
So, today, just to be silly –and because I am taking Jonathan Levy’s advice to heart bout making more eye contact and joining in the stims– I played this little game but threw in a twist. Instead of making the M, B, or P sounds like Miss M, every time Nik pried my mouth open I made an animal sound. At first, Nik shook his head as if to admonish me, “No, Mommy, you’re doing it wrong.” After a few times of me making my best Donald Duck (and other animals) sounds, Nik caught on and began to play with great fervor. The more I made animal sounds, but most particularly the duck sound, the harder he laughed –a deep, jiggly, crinkly-eyed belly laugh. The harder Nik laughed the more I laughed. The more I laughed… the more Nik looked at me! We both laughed so hard we were giddy and teary-eyed.
I love having that kid home with me.