Ok, so the day started with one teensy hiccup: the fact that Nik didn’t quite sleep straight through the night. But he woke fairly early in the night and was soothed back to sleep pretty quickly so it felt like I got a good night’s sleep. Around here, that’s about as good as it gets most days!
But the rest of the day, if I do say so, turned out to be Nik’s BEST.DAY.EVER. If it wasn’t, then I don’t think I can remember a better day— except, possibly, the day he was born. But that’s all kind of hazy and went down hill so fast afterward that, well, you know…
We’ve been seeing some great leaps forward again; little bits here and there. Today, it all just seemed to come together in a perfect storm of delightful progress that my face hurts from smiling and laughing all day. If I tried to weave it all into a narrative it would take me all night. Forgive me for the less than elegant turns of phrase which follow. I’m sure you’ll agree that the sentiment makes up for the lack of graceful prose, no?
Nik ate nearly THIRTY PERCENT of his intake by mouth today. It would have been more if I weren’t anxious about overwhelming his GI system with too much solid food at one time. He’s gotten so acclimated to the formula that we do have to ease him into the whole oral feeding gig.
Nik fed himself crumbs on a spoon. Yeah, I know, to anyone who’s never experienced the joys of trying to teach a five year old to tolerate new textures, it sounds silly. I’m not sure, but I think I saw Miss M (our awesome SLP) wipe a little tear away as she watched. He also ate everything I brought for him this morning; we’ve been working on increasing quantities and following his lead on trying new textures. A new milestone reached and a new goal created!
For the language development aspect of Nik’s speech therapy, we’re going to start working on some simple visual sequencing for eating (that gets his undivided attention!). Yep, another new goal.
He’s taught himself more letters using one of the toys he got for Christmas. Honestly. I thought the toy might be too advanced for him but I was mistaken! So now, the repertoire of letters he can identify on request includes (drum roll please): B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,P,Q,S,T,V,W,X,Y, and Z. Granted, he’s not totally consistent but I’d say his accuracy is up around eighty percent.
We had a slight break at home in which Nik played by himself —building, building, building— and then ate like a champ at lunch. Baba Ganoush, peanut butter, and celery. No, he didn’t actually eat the celery but it makes for great oral motor work as he has to use his upper lip to clear food from the groove in the stalk. (Crafty Mommy, eh?)
The afternoon at PT and OT was amazing. From the moment we walked in the door, Nik followed directions and cooperated. He waited his turn —something that doesn’t get reinforced a lot since he’s an only child; we’re working on getting him around other kids —starting with a new playgroup tomorrow morning! But I digress…
During the first part of PT, Nik and Miss T had a slight battle of wills; Nik acquitted himself magnificently! First, he dragged Miss H, the delightful new aid, over to the cabinet to ask her to open it PLEASE and get his weighted vest. He actively asked with his signs and excited squeals and all. I was so proud of him. He fell apart over a toy a few minutes later. But he did it in such a way that *he* was able to pull himself back; we allowed him some time to tantrum on the mat (for safety) and it was very short-lived. He sat up, did what Miss T asked of him and the incident was forgotten. Milestone: The First.Time.Ever that he has been able to pull himself out of the downward spiral.
The rest of the PT session was spent marveling at Nik’s willingness to do things he’s always balked at before; swinging, riding on a stool both seated and on his tummy as Miss T wheeled him around the room. Nik’s always had tremendous resistance to having his feet off the ground with no other clearly defined, firm foundation under him. He smiled and laughed and played with a toy —all while keeping his green chewy tube firmly clenched in his mouth instead of mouthing every toy he touched!
Did I mention he’s teaching himself numbers too, apparently? I mean, I present them— I count things and sing songs about numbers and such —but we aren’t actively working on them right now. Another of his toys is all about numbers and the boy is learning. We’re still in the very beginning stages but he was able to sort stacks of cards with numbers on them today in OT. When Nik pays visual attention —he doesn’t scan and track well —he is tremendously accurate. The challenge is getting him to focus and look. A new milestone and new learning goal added today in OT, for sure!
Nik was a (mostly) willing and charming participant in all the activities Miss D had for him; he’s becoming a master at sorting colors in an ever expanding array. Now, we’re working on sorting functional items such as spoons and forks, stringing beads, and learning self-help skills.
At the end of the session, I watched Nik take Miss H by the hand again and lead her over to the cabinets. He tugged at the vest, signed open please, and waited patiently while she unfastened the vest. He took it off and put it in her hand as he pushed her hand upward toward the open cabinet. After Miss H put the vest on the shelf, Nik reached up and closed the cabinet all by himself! When did his arms get so long?? Then, he asked Miss H to open the cabinet next to it; I guess he was just curious because he closed it and walked away.
The rest of the day preceded in much the same fashion. Joyful, and cooperative, wildly exuberant playtime at the park with Daddy, dinner as a member of the “clean plate” club (his choice!) and sound asleep within minutes of going to bed at seven-thirty.
Lord, I’d like a few more of these to string together, please?