Big or small, good or "bad", I'm always paying attention to the shifts and changes in these boys. I want to remember the little things, lest I forget them and have nothing more than melded vague memories to look back on. For starters, Harvey has been a bit of a beast. He literally roars at us when we upset him. He charms me with his wit and good looks - I'm putty in his chubby little hands. Of course I'm not when it really counts, when he hurts his brother or acts destructively, but let's just say it's come to my attention that way too often he is getting exactly what he wants. How delicate is the balance of gently disciplining a two year old. And in some ways, I'm still new to this because Harvey and Jack are so different. I'm grateful for Harvey's language and I reward it - I reward what most parents take for granted and the result may be spoiling him more than intended. Some self entitlement is obviously age appropriate but still - I want to work toward more patience, gentleness, and kindness. Advice? Oh and his sweet little curls are growing back again. I am SUCH a sucker!
I noted that Jack was "whiney" the other night. Putting things into perspective (as I often do) I found such gratitude that we were even able to discern a possible 72 hour later reaction. Attempting food trials like that would have been futile a year ago because whining was par for the course of any given day. Tantrums and digestive issues too. In hindsight (as always) I'm pretty sure it is the last homeopathic remedy at work. He's experiencing the trifecta of a remedy much needed - a little anxiety, digestive funk, and extreme thirst (he's had about 40 ounces of water already today and it's 9 am). The anxiety lasted one evening (and yes, of course, could have been triggered by something else) but was followed by pure awesomeness. We've been playing dragons with his dragon figurines and we'll each choose one and then have them talk to each other and fly or fight or hug or pay one another compliments. This is a new and GORGEOUS development. And the why questions keep coming. Last night he was laying next to me, playing a knight game on his iPod touch, and said "I got to this door and it's locked, see? Why can't I open it? I need to get inside to the maze". Then proceeded to figure it out on his own so a few minutes later it was "Look I did it, I'm in the maze now!". So proud of my little buddy! Sign that he's improving OT-wise? He's doing things all by himself, without frustration!
So many concerning behaviors have slowly melted away. His talking from the side of his mouth when stressed, scared, or sick. His looking at us from the sides of his eyes, his scripting out of context - gone. And his nervous hands have settled down a lot, instead he crouches a bit and puts his hands close to his chin when anxious. We didn't do anything to prompt away these behaviors (that never works! he needed those behaviors for whatever reason!). He has a tendency to not want to use words for about the first ten minutes of being around someone (preschool, grandparents, friends etc), though he IS eager to interact. He uses mime (pointing, gesturing) to engage them, so if you walk through our front door and say "Hey Jack! How are ya?" don't expect him to return the lingo right away. Do expect him to make his way over to you with a toy to show you or a place to lead you. Communication, we've learned, is so much more than "how are you? what's new? nothin' much. how bout yerself? blah blah blah blahdiddy blah blah".
Today is Veteran's Day and I'm happy to announce that tomorrow my brother Sam will be home safe and sound from Afghanistan! We love you Sam - you are as sweet and tender as you are strong and brave! See you SOON.