When I think of home
I think of a place where there’s love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there with the things I been knowing
— The Wiz
Well, if I was on the fence about our decision to pull Nik out of school immediately, instead of next week as I wrote last night, I fell off today with a resounding crash.
Nik had a very challenging day. We had a big storm in the wee hours and the barometric pressure dropped like crazy and then jumped up again a few hours later. It was enough to make Nik’s vestibular system haywire this morning. The glands behind Nik’s ear were extremely swollen and tender today. It seems to get worse with bad weather and fatigue.
He slept a full eleven hours last night and woke up in a pretty good mood. But once he was awake and active, his balance was really off and he fell a lot. He would be happy and singing or playing with a toy one moment and then would fall back on the floor arching and screaming and tossing his head violently from side to side. If he was near a wall or one of the gates he would bang his head against that. He bruised himself by banging against the gate before breakfast even started.
I’m not talking little tumbles either; Nik fell several times and slammed his forehead into furniture and walls. My poor little guy. He’s not a snuggler but, every time he fell and started to cry, Nik would come climb into my lap and cling to me sobbing until I thought my heart would just shatter. I discovered if I sang “Wheels on the bus” really softly —especially the verse about the moms on the bus going “shh shh shh”—and rocked gently side to side, Nik calmed down and relaxed against me for a few minutes. After which, he would spring out of my lap humming like nothing had ever been the matter. Niksdad and I finally realized that Nik was trying to regulate his vestibular system with all the rocking. As soon as he felt “normal” he was ready to go again.
During breakfast —in fact, now that I think about it, every time he was stationary today —he was fine. But he fell so much today that it just broke my heart. During his lunch at noon, Nik fell asleep in his chair. Passed out cold within 15 minutes. Niksdad stopped the pump and disconnected the tube and carried him up to bed. He slept 2 hours straight without even moving.
Throughout the morning, I kept thinking about what it would have been like for Nik if he had been going through this at school. I have a strong hunch the staff would have simply pushed Nik right on through the activities on the schedule —forcing him to participate— and chalked it up to Nik “just being fussy” or “wanting his way.” That was when I realized that we are done. Done with school completely until such time as the law forces us to go back.
In his moments of dazzling happiness —which really were numerous today in spite of the discomfort —my little one happily warbled his extensive repertoire of nursery songs. (Look for his greatest hits disc around Christmas time…wink!) He played with toys in a very appropriate manner for the most part, and he even played some “games” with me. We worked on some OT and PT but it was all in fun —giving and taking coins to put in his singing piggy bank toy, placing puzzle pieces in the puzzle on the sofa after leaning over to pick them up from the floor. Fun stuff.
And, believe it or not with all the kaka going on lately about school, Nik has been making some more incredible progress in so many areas.
Nik’s been experimenting with sounds some more. He’s using something that sounds remarkably like the word “up” as he sings entire verses of songs using that sound. Then he’ll change the volume or the inflection, or even the rhythm by using a variety of sounds. He’s even making a sound that the OT, Miss D, says sounds like he’s saying “Bam!” With my kid, it’s entirely possible!
He’s no longer just throwing a toy to the floor after he’s finished playing with it during a meal. Now, he turns and looks to see if someone is there, turns the toy off and holds it out in the general direction of the person (me or Niksdad) and waits for us to take it.
OMG! And the letters…Nik is starting to show the tiniest bit of discrimination with letters. He has a leapfrog toy —the spinning alphabet ball on a stand —that he loves to play with; it’s his current favorite toy these days in spite of the fact that it doesn’t have ANY lights! That’s amazing in and of itself. Anyway, Nik has been pressing “W” a lot lately so I started asking him to “show me the letter W.” First, I’ll spin the ball so it’s not right on the W. Sure enough, Nik consistently turns the ball until he finds and presses that W! Today, though, he started working on “M” which I find interesting since it is an inverted W. I am not sure if it’s a case of confusion or if he’s truly noticing that the two letters look similar.
And the kisses and looks and lap snuggles —brief as they may be — are all increasing with each passing day. Today, Niksdad came to talk to Nik and say good bye before going to work. Without any prompting, Nik smacked his lips together twice then took Daddy’s chin in his hands and leaned his forehead in to Daddy’s lips for kisses. He’s making a distinction between giving and receiving kisses!
And with me, he’s made the enormous connection that giving Mommy kisses when she hasn’t asked for them is valuable currency. He actually had the audacity to do that tonight after he deliberately threw a toy after being told not to. The fact that he threw the toy is not unusual; I expected that anyway. It was the fact that he looked at me, smiled from ear to ear then smacked his lips together and gave me a kiss on the mouth! I nearly fainted on the spot!
I swear, it’s as if he’s telling me, “See, Mama, I just want to be home with you. I’ll show you all the wonderful things I can do if you teach me. It’ll be wonderful won’t it Mama?”
Oh yes indeed, my child. Yes indeed.