Sunday, May 18, 2008

Those things he does...

As I sit here, purposely ignoring my child, he is doing something amazing.

He is feeding himself. Yogurt. With a spoon.

Yup, he is feeding himself yogurt, with a spoon no less. If you don't think that is amazing then you are among those without a special needs child of your own, especially one with physical disabilities. This is truly amazing. He has done it before, but never for as long as he is now and not usually with such little assistance (interference?) from me. Yes, I am helping. I put the spoon in the cup and get the yogurt on it. He takes it out, makes it to his mouth without dumping it on the table or himself, sucks that spoon dry, then gently sets the spoon on top of the yogurt cup.

This is actually quite huge.

Less than a month ago he had an appointment at the brain function assessment clinic. The doctor tried to get him to do all sorts of things. He was shockingly cooperative and surprised me many times with things he was able to do. But one thing he wasn't yet doing was feeding himself. Whether this is because he just couldn't, wouldn't, or because he knew mom would, I don't know. But it is just something he wasn't doing.

However, as I sit here, he is doing it. I know I said that already but I am excited and can't stop saying it!

And while I'm on the subject of that brain function assessment (to which I have yet to receive the results) I have to say that this kid really did well. There were some things he couldn't do (or wouldn't). But I had to laugh when, upon being handed a small plastic bottle which held inside a small little sugar pill, and then being asked to remove the pill, Thomas tried and tried to get that pill out with his little fingers. When that didn't work he put the bottle into his mouth and tipped his head back, getting the pill out just as he was asked. That counts right? In fact I think that was the smartest way of doing it really, I wouldn't have though of doing it that way.

Other things he did were unscrewing a lid off a bottle, matching one image to it's duplicate which was included in a group of other images, removing his socks, and pointing. These are all things he doesn't usually do, not that I've witnessed anyway.

And while I'm on this hodge podge of a blog entry I must add that Thusday we got a note home from the teacher stating that Thomas was able to take a picture of a classmate and then identify which classmate it was by immediately seeking that classmate out with his eyes. She said he did it for each of his 8 classmates and it was obvious he knew who was who. Again, HUGE!

I am so proud of my little man. Proud actually seems like an inadequate word to describe how I feel about him. He amazes me daily and I am so lucky and so blessed to be his mom.

New Friends

We went to a party at our friend's new house yesterday. Some of the wife's relatives that we haven't met showed up and I gotta say I LOVED their little girls. The littlest one thought Thomas was just the greatest thing and everywhere he would crawl she would get down on all fours and follow, then try to do everything he did. It was adorable. She was smitten. Then the older girl (4) had brought a bunch of books with her. well Thomas loves books so he was drawn to her. At first she hurried up and put them all away and hid them. Later in the house she asked me to read one to her so I was, then Thomas came up wanting to look at her books (they were Clifford, one of his new favorites after Curious George) so she shared with him. She'd allow him one at a time, and he figured out right away that he had to give the last one back before he could get another one. It was cute.

Most kids will try to engage Thomas at first, but will soon realize he can't play with them in the usual ways (or won't, whatever) and they will give up. The fact that these girls adapted their play to fit him just warmed my heart. it is honsetly hard to find kids like that. and honestly Thomas usually just ignores other kids anyway. but there was another little boy there who we see occasionally who had a ball and whenever it would go by Thomas, he (thomas) would try to get it to throw to the boy. well this boy wanted nothing to do with that, he'd run over and snatch the ball back. That is the behaviour I am used to. It breaks my heart when kids act like that. I know they are just little and most haven't been taught any better, but it still hurts. Luckily Thomas is a happy-go-lucky kid and it didn't bother him that the boy did that. But someday it will, and that is a day I dread. how am I supposed to explain that to him?


Friday, May 16, 2008

To the clinic we go...

We are off yet again to the burn clinic. I cancelled last week's appointment and rescheduled for today. Unfortunately I did so while on my way to work and can't remember the exact time of the appointment. I'm sure they'll see us whenever we show up. I think it was around 10 or 10:30.

This will probably be the last visit. Thomas' foot has healed so nicely, it still has a ways to go but I think we are out of the scary part of worrying about infection and onto the part where it is more nuisance than anything else. Right now it looks like a big bruise. I find this odd, but have no experience with second degree burns and their healing process. I hope this is a normal stage as the blood begins working it's way through the new skin growth. We shall see.

Still Thomas acts like the burn never happened. He tolerates the twice a day bandage changes and doesn't even flinch when I have to wipe at the wound to get all the "gunk" (that's the technical term) off of it.

He's so strong.

I will take a picture of the burn at the clinic and post it in all it's ugly bruised-ness (That is too a word, at least in the momofthomas dictionary) and post it later.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Working Mom

I had to think about my title. Working Mom. Aren't we all working mom's? I mean, being a mom is a job in and of itself dontcha think?

Regardless, I am now a "working mom." I took on a temporary job that is set to last 8 weeks. I have just completed my second week. It's been nice getting out of the house after 5 years of definining myself only as "Mom of Thomas." Having an income is nice too.

The first week was hard. The work was hard. Being on my feet all day was hard. Being away from Thomas was hard. But hardest of all was when I got home and Thomas wanted nothing to do with me. Hard was watching my baby boy look at me with tears in his accusing eyes. I can only wonder what he was thinking. I tried to prepare him for this, but really how do you prepare a child for something like this when explanations cannot be comprehended? At first I thought taking the job was a mistake. How could I do this to my poor sweet boy, how can I leave him in the care of someone I've only met twice? How can I entrust his care to someone else when I am the one who knows what each sound he makes means, I am the one who knows what he wants, I am the one he looks forward to seeing as he gets off the bus?

I went in on my second day because I had made a commitment and I needed to honor that commitment. But I wondered the entire day how Thomas would look at me when I got home. Tuesday he was being watched by a good friend who he was already familiar with. Would that make a difference? I walked in the door wondering what type of reception I would receive. Once again he didn't really want anything to do with me. His indifference to me tore at my heart. I told my husband I didn't know if I could continue with this job if it meant hurting Thomas like this, hurting me like this. I was granted some cuddles at bedtime, but then he began to cry as he was drifting off to sleep.

I have made a horrible mistake taking this job. I will have to quit. It's not worth it in my eyes, commitment or not I have to quit.

I decide to finish out the week and see what happens. We have agreed to work ten hour days so that our week is just four days instead of five. Wednesday I come home and am greeted with a smile. It seems Thomas might be getting used to this new setup. He is still not coming to me voluntarily, but will come when I ask him for a hug or a kiss. Progress.

Thursday is much the same as Wednesday.

Friday is my day off and Thomas and I get to spend the whole day together. Just me and Thomas. We go to the grocery store and McDonald's, then come home and watch the game show network. He cuddles with me, kisses me, crawls up to me and wants to be held. My heart no longer hurts. I think to myself "we can do this, this will work."

So now it is the end of another week of being a working mom. Thomas has adjusted so well. He is beginning to trust his Monday/Wednesday babysitter and has grown to adore his Tuesday/Thursday babysitter. My days are shorter because my team now knows what we are doing and can get things done faster. I get to come home earlier to my sweet boy and am greeted each day with smiles, hugs and kisses.

This job has taught me a lot about what it takes to be a working mom. To go to a job outside of the home all day and work until I am bone tired. Then to come home and take care of a child and a house. I have also learned that a full-time day job is not something I can do on a regular basis. I have managed to arrange all of Thomas' upcoming appointments for Fridays or Saturdays, but that isn't always possible. I will have to miss his end-of-year field trip. I may have to miss his end of year preschool olympics.

I am lucky to have a husband who is being very helpful with the housework. I am also lucky to have a husband who is able to support our family without needing additional income from me in order to survive. So while I am enjoying being a working mom, I am looking forward to returning to my stay at home mom status.