I’m very fortunate in that I have a job that gives me a lot of flexibility about how I work.
One of my biggest fears, once I was promoted to management earlier this year, was that I’d lose a lot of that flexibility. The flexibility I’d had as a software engineer had allowed me to take work-from-home one day a week, when the Monster was two, to go with him to the PIES program, and it allowed me opportunities to spend the day at home working when he was off from school due to the occasional professional days earlier in the year.
Fortunately, my manager doesn’t mind that I work from home some afternoons to help out with child care anyway, as long as I have a good grasp on what my team is doing and they’re getting things done, and as long as it’s not common. I’ve been able to slip out an hour or two early each week to allow the Monster go to gymnastics, or to come home to cover the baby’s care while he’s taken to supplemental therapy appointments. And today, that let me come home early so I could supervise again so the wife could go run errands. (In my additional defense, I was up early this morning for a phone call with a developer in Europe, planned so that it wouldn’t impinge on his weekend.)
Afternoons like today give me a good chance to see how far the Monster’s come actually in the last year.
The Monster’s actually getting a lot better about prolonged eye contact when he’s motivated – there were a few periods today where he actually looked into my eyes for fifteen or twenty seconds at a time, while talking to me. He’s not quite up to good shared attention, but he’s making strides in the right direction.
He’s also initiating conversation more. It’s still descriptive rather than narrative, and a lot of it is scripted… but he’s initiating without prompting. I was informed that he could see bricks while we were sitting on our screened-in porch (which, indeed, there are a lot of out there), and he told me that there were two cars on the table top. Now, he was also yelling at me to “Stop picking your nose!” while both of my hands were on the keyboard, so our neighbors might now think that I have a minor behavioral issue, but the fact that he’s saying anything and it’s coherent isn’t bad.
It’s a little depressing when you realize that it’s no where near where the other kids his age are… but it certainly could be far, far worse.