Hey Jack, let’s go for a ride in Mater!

We woke up to a flat tire today, which wasn’t as stressful as the day I couldn’t get my car out of park, but it still presented the problem of getting Jeremy to school and ¬†figuring out how to get the tire fixed. Fortunately, a sweet friend took Jeremy to school for me (just as she did the day I couldn’t get my car out of park) so the most pressing problem had a fast solution. The next issue was getting the Pacifica to Sears. Even if I were able to inflate the tire temporarily, I really didn’t want to drive on it, and fortunately, I didn’t have to. I’m SO GLAD I decided to pay the extra fee for Roadside Assistance with our insurance. Usually, I decline all of the “extras,” but in our current living situation, the “extras” have been really handy. Within the hour, a tow truck showed up and we were on our way to get the tire fixed.

Originally, Jack was resistant. He’s loving this “staying home with Mom” stuff, especially the “staying home” part. He doesn’t want to go anywhere for anything. Instead, Little J prefers to stay in his footed pajamas until the last possible moment. Hey kid, I don’t blame you, but today it isn’t an option. We went a few rounds of “Let’s get dressed” and “I don’t want to” until finally the lightbulb came on.

“Hey Jack, wanna take a ride in Mater?”

“In Mater?” he asked in earnest.

“Yeah! Tow’Mater is coming to get us. Let’s go for a ride in Mater!”

“YEAH!” And he danced a little jig in his footed pajamas.

He got a kick out of watching our car “follow” us.

He likes it! He really likes it!

Jackson has enjoyed a slice of Amish Friendship Bread and a cup of milk for breakfast for the past three years. Religiously. This is why we are celebrating his decision to eat Yogurt Cheerios this morning.

People, we have a breakthrough.

Fly, Fly Away

When Jackson gets excited, he flaps his arms. It’s one of those things on the Autism Checklist that landed him in the “gray area” in 2008 when we took him for a diagnosis (which ended up being a non-diagnosis). Anyway, as his speech and cognitive understanding have improved greatly in two years, one thing that has remained is his arm flapping. I consider it adorable, especially since he has no clue he does it.

I took the boys to a birthday party at the Discovery Museum yesterday and it was there that Jackson became enamored with a golf ball mechanism. As he followed each traveling ball through the maze of tunnels, buckets and loops, he flapped. When two balls fell together, he flapped harder. And when a line of balls traveled up to the top of the machine to be dropped through the maze, he flapped with rigid anticipation.

And then he took off and flew across the room.

In other news, my replacement was hired today and I’ll begin training her in two weeks. I’m still trying to determine how I feel about it.

Growing Pains: Real or fabricated?

My sweet four-year-old has spent the week reminding me of what it’s like to have a newborn. He’s been waking me up with screams for the last three nights writhing with leg pain. Last night had to be the worst, as we were awake at 2:30, 3:45 and then 5 a.m. I’d rush to his bed where I’d find him curled in a ball gripping his feet and knees alternately saying, “They huuurrrt, Mommy. They hurrrrrrt.”

This is where Jeremy’s hearing impairment comes in handy. He was oblivious to it all.

So I’d stretch out his legs and massage them until he stopped crying, and last night I gave him a little pain reliever to help. (He detests medicine and wrestles with me to ingest it, so that warranted even more crying.) Today I researched homeopathic options, which I’ll look into further tonight, because I can’t imagine endless doses of Tylenol or Ibuprofen night after night.

Speaking of research, I was struck by all the articles from physicians about growing pains being a falsehood, a fake diagnosis for general muscle fatigue in children. This bothered me because I remember having growing pains in my early teen years, being unable to rest at night because my legs ached, and no matter how much my mother would rub them, it wasn’t enough to penetrate my bones where the pain seemed to generate. I don’t have memories of leg pain as a child, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have them.

Whether or not growing pains are real are irrelevant to me. I believe they are, and this means I need to help my little man when he’s in pain. If any of you have advice, the comment box (and my email inbox) is open.

Jackson, Conversationally Speaking

My youngest son has come leaps and bounds with his language. In two years time, Jackson’s gone from all-out screaming to speaking proper sentences, and while there’s still a cognitive delay somewhere in there, he is fully capable of having sweet four-year-old conversations.

However, while it’s wonderful to hear him speak plainly and without hesitation, sometimes I’m left scratching my head about how to respond.

Case in point, about ten minutes ago, he announces: “I’m going to pull Salem’s tail off, Mom.”

“No, you’re not,” I say.

“Yes, I am,” he says. “I’m just gonna do it, Mom.”

And yesterday, after seeing a crying baby during Jeremy’s flag football practice, he says: “I’m gonna throw that baby in the garbage.”

“No, you’re not,” I say.

“Yes I am,” he says. “He’s going in the dumpster, Mom.”

And last week, while holding a miniature storm trooper gun, he says: “I’m gonna shoot you, Mom.”

“No, you’re not,” I say.

“Yes, I am,” he says. “And you’re gonna say, ‘Ahhhhh!‘”

Before I my inbox fills up with parenting advice, relax. ¬†I am taking the extra step to teach Jackson about being kind to others and not hurting animals, and no, we don’t throw babies in the dumpster. But I have to admit, I relish hearing him speak. And while I worry about where his brain goes at times, I’m still smiling over his progress. After all, it’s not what you say but how you say it. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself today.

A Case of the Sillies

While waiting in the car for Mom to shop in a store she doesn’t normally frequent, the boys caught a case of the sillies. Like any mother, I took 25 pictures of them. Here is one.