It’s a rare Saturday morning post from me, while I’m at home with both kids – the wife is at her book club while I’m watching the women’s National Championship final in curling by webstream.
Now, granted, I do wish I were in Philadelphia to watch it in person, the way I was able to two years ago, shortly after R was born. Doing what we want is not always possible – something us parents with special needs kids understand very, very well – but it also lets me look back on how far we’ve come since the last time I was able to go in person.
Now, granted, more than half the problem is that I’d have to wrangle two kids instead of just one, and I don’t genuinely think I could keep both kids quiet and interested in curling for six hours. But that’s not what this post is about.
But since then… for starters, the Monster’s mostly toilet-trained during the day. When we went last time, I had to take the diaper bag along with me specifically for him, and trust me… that’s about as difficult as it sounds. We’re usually at the point that, barring his getting really wrapped into what he’s doing, he’ll tell us verbally or by signal that he needs to go to the bathroom.
His verbal ability has come along – not as much as we would like, but it’s certainly an improvement over one-word yells. (And while we do still have those occasions, he’s usually able to be prompted into longer sentences.) We’re still working on getting him away from the “Can I have [X]” construction, since we end up with phrases like “Can I have the windows closed please?” when I’m driving, but he is capable of it. On the other hand, it’s still very hard to hear from our friends with NT kids (or to see for ourselves) about how children the same age as the Monster are capable of carrying on a narrative, and how we can’t seem to reach him on that regard.
Academically, he’s doing fine. When he and I went to the 2012 Nationals, he knew his numbers and letters, but wasn’t reading or writing or anything like that. He’s starting to do very basic math, and he’s picking up some basic sight words. He’s as likely to guess as genuinely read, but I don’t know how different that is from NT children.
And emotionally, he’s still very good natured. He has his moments like so many other kids, and is prone when overloaded to have his meltdowns, but for the most part, he seems to deal well with other familiar children. He’s only once or twice had to be chastised for how he’s playing with R, and more often than not, his bad behavior is usually involved with R being a typical two year old and taking something he himself was in the midst of playing with.
It might not be all the progress we want, but it’s progress.