Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mother's Day

This morning, you came into bed to cuddle with me at 7am.  Your hot little head against mine.  Your heavy arm around my neck.  Your eyes were still closed with sleep despite you walking across the hall into my room.  You just wanted to be next to me.

Later in the morning, while Daddy and I sat and drank coffee, you hurt your foot.  You started crying and ran to me,"Mommy.  Mommy."  I didn't know what was wrong, so I just held you.  You either stepped on something or you stubbed your toe.  I still don't know.  But you said "owie foot" so I gave you a Mommy kiss to make it all better.  Your tears stopped.

We all went for a ride.  You sang along to the "Sesame Street" theme song.  You looked out the window.  You said, "We go to see strawberries."

Even after the strawberry farm didn't work out, you did fine.  When we pulled into McDonalds for a rest, you said, "We go inside!"  This McDonalds had a playland.  You took your shoes off, and kept your socks on, something you would have never done last year.  After playing a while, you came over, took my hand and said, "Jonathan and Mommy go down slide."  Luckily, no one else was there, so I climbed into the playland with you, while Daddy sat and laughed at me.  My knees hurt, but it didn't really matter.  Daddy bought you a milk shake.  I think that was better than picking strawberries. 

Later we went swimming at the gym.  In your little swimmy-floaty vest, you took off, walking into the pool alone, squealing with excitement.  You swam (ok, floated) across the entire length of the pool.  We played surfing upon your request and counted to three for me to go under the water.  You kept climbing on my shoulders and would say,"gracias, mommy!"

We played outside on the swing set.  I pushed you in the big swing and then the "blue" swing.  We later snacked on goldfish.  You pretended they were swimming by you.  "One fish.  Two fish.  A school of fish!"

Just being with you and Daddy today made this Mother's Day perfect.  We got to play without distractions of work and school and chores.  And watching you, watching you just being you, reminds me how much you've grown.  How sweet and special and funny you are.  You made me a Mother.  You've taught me so much to be more patient, more understanding and accepting of things I don't know or understand, that my "Mama Bear" instincts are valid and usually right. You've taught me that the road map of life has a lot of back roads I never knew were there...and that going places I didn't expect usually are worth the ride.  I'm so proud to be your Mommy.  Thank you for being you.

One of our first pictures together

Being sweet, smart and funny
PS.  Daddy is pretty awesome too.  But I'll save my gushy Daddy sentiments for Father's Day ;) 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Dentist

His appointment was May 1st.

We've been practicing for a month.  Literally, a month.

First there was "The Dentist Story."  It was a handwritten story that one of his therapist wrote.  It laid out  how we were going to practice going to the Dentist, what the list would look like on the big day of the things we would do at the Dentist, and how he will be a big boy.  He was OBSESSED with the book.  Took it to school, made everyone read it, and even took it to bed with him.

Then it was practicing Dentist during therapy.  The therapists made video models (where we tape them doing the desired activity for Jonathan to watch).  He would watch the videos over and over and over.  He had them memorized.  Then he wanted to perform them, like a little play.  They would practice during therapy too.  He was letting the girls brush his teeth and count them.  He even wanted to play Dentist at school.

Then we hit a snag.  When it was time to brush his teeth in the morning and at night, he HAD to do it like the video models.  I don't blame him.  This was his current favorite thing to do. But lately he's been getting stuck on activities, so brushing teeth before bed would take an hour sometimes.  In frustration when trying to get him to lay down to sleep, I would grumble, "Lay down!"  He would respond, "Open mouth!"  Touche, young man.  Touche.

So the big day came.  He was ready.  I left work early to go pick him up.  One of his therapist had a bag ready for me with all the practice items...Handy Manny, toothbrushes, a blanket to lay down on the chair, his book, the lists....we were set up for success!

We arrived at the Dentist.  Stephanie, Jonathan's senior therapist, was there to help too.  Jonathan was reading down the list, crossing off completed tasks.  He was excited!  We even got to the part of "going into the Dentist's room and sitting in chair."  We were rocking the list!

And then.....lay down.

Forget it!  He wanted no part.  We let him practice on Handy Manny.  We let him practice on Stephanie.  But now, it was go time.  And he wanted no part. 

So what do you think I did?  What any mother would do of course.  I laid on his legs and held his arms while the Dentist brush, counted and did his thing.  Jonathan screamed the whole time.  But I have to say, he knew what he wanted.  "STAND UP!  ALL DONE!  STAND UP!"

The best was when the Dentist said, "OK, I'm going to count to 20."  And Jonathan yelled back, "26!  You want 26!"  (They had been practicing counting 26 teeth in therapy). 

So when it was over, Jonathan got up, gave the Dentist a high-five, and was ready to roll.  Tears were gone, and he was fine.  Except, there was an elevator under repair in the lobby.  He has a new fascination with elevators.  As a friend said, it was like salt in the wound because he could not ride the broken elevator.  The elevator repair man was there and let us look inside.  After that, we were good.

The appointment, with all the practice and preparation, was a little bit of a disappointment.  But at least we got over it.  And I can only hope each time will get better and better.  I'm glad I don't have to lie to my son about where we are going and what is going to happen on these appointments. And I"m thankful for the Dentist staff for being understanding.  And for all our therapists who let Jonathan brush their teeth and get all up close to them in practice.  Small steps.  Small steps.

Oh, and he still has to lay down to brush his teeth in the morning and at night.  And he does have 26 teeth.  He counts them twice a day too.