Friday, August 9, 2013

Yeah. Yeah.

I procrastinate when I get overwhelmed. The school year is beginning to loom large in front of me and it's time to face it head on. I finally, finally (after many weeks of procrastination) filed all of the necessary paperwork to begin Due Process with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). I'm filing to get a one on one aide for Elijah. My main reasoning for needing an aide was that he wasn't walking yet. Well, homeboy is well on his way to making me look like a big, fat liar. Unfortunately (for LAUSD), he still is going to need an aide- at least for this school year. Elijah is getting stronger and more motivated to walk each day, and yet it's a new skill. He still sits after about every 10-20 feet- just for a second or two and then gets back up and carries on. But, he's going to need that extra support. Not to mention needing someone to keep an eye on the hair pulling behavior he has. However, thanks to my awesomeness rather unusual discipline methods, I'm beginning to think he is understanding that hair pulling is NO BUENO!! He hasn't pulled anyone's hair recently, including his favorite victim- Christian. Don't get me wrong, he still gets the "look in his eyes" when I can tell he might go for the pull. So, I verbally give a warning, "Gentle, Elijah!" I think he gets it. Tonight, Christian was reading Elijah and I a book before bed and Elijah started getting "the look". I said, "You need to be gentle, Elijah." And he looked at me, reached up, took a little bit of his hair and did a little tug-tug. Ummm...yep. The boy gets it. I'm not holding my breath yet, but it would be AMAZING if I didn't have to worry that he'd be making all the girls cry at preschool.

Elijah is also starting to show me that there is a LOT he understands. While Christian was reading tonight, he would describe certain pictures from the pages to Elijah. Christian would say, Look, Elijah! See how the cat spilled the milk? It went Smack! Splat! Elijah looked Christian right in the face, intently and nodded his head and said slowly, "Yeah. Yeah." They did this together a few times- Christian pointing out certain pictures and Elijah agreeing with a "Yeah. Yeah." It seemed so clear and smart- as if he totally gets us and everything we say and do, but he's stuck with just a few almost-words and some signing to communicate his understanding.

I taught Elijah the sign (language) for "Apple" a few weeks ago and it was one he picked up and began using regularly, as if Oh Thank you! I've been DYING to ask for an apple and just didn't know how to tell you! He uses it- a LOT. He uses it so much that I began to get suspicious if he actually knew what it meant. Yes, he would sign for apple while eating meals and when I would bring him an apple or applesauce, he would smile and get excited. But, he said it so often that I was suspicious- I just didn't know if he really liked apples THAT much. Tonight, in the middle of cooking dinner, I realized I was missing a main ingredient and had to walk with the boys down to the corner market to grab what we needed. While there, Christian asked if I could buy some apples too (and Cheetos and popsicles and one of those airplane spinner candy holders.) I granted his apple request and when we got to the register, I put the apples on the belt. I leaned down to get the next item out of the cart and Elijah signed "Apple".



Maybe I shouldn't sound amazed. I know my kid and I know he's brighter than most people will likely give him credit for, but sometimes he's even brighter than I give him credit for. Elijah has a handful of word approximations now (words that start with the sound or are close to sounding like the actual word), but only one real, clear word: "Yeah". He's been saying it for over a year now. He's never used it when he clearly means no. He answers appropriately every time. And yet, he answers Yeah to so many things that I couldn't imagine that he understands them all. But...maybe he does. He amazes me. He really does. He's just plugging along in this life, doing his thing. It's at a slower rate than most everyone else, but he really seems to be doing it all anyway: Answering questions (as long as it's Yeah or No), following directions, trying to dress himself, feed himself, take out and put away his own toys. He sees cool things his brother or other kids do and he wants to try them. He's just my teeny, tiny little trooper, under dog and I couldn't be more impressed with him if I tried.

This picture is one I stare at over and over. We were having a moment together and he got up from sitting next to me, grabbed his shoes, pulled himself up onto a chair and attempted to put his shoes on. (He doesn't have the fine motor skills to get the shoes on yet, but he wants to be able to do it!) I grabbed my phone and snapped. I'll admit that I sometimes look at this picture when he's sleeping and make little pinchy fingers at the picture like I'm smooshing his cute, little face.


My boys are in a phase where they are astounding me at every turn- from my firstborn using big, actual vocabulary-worthy words in a sentence to my little one nodding his head in agreement. Yeah. Yeah. I want to freeze time for just a moment and breathe this in. (Deep breath.)



Rachel Douglas said...

So they are the "apple of your eye" huh? How delicious!

Becca said...

So sweet!! Love it! BTW, I'm sure I've said it before, but our kids are *stealth* learners - they absorb and absorb and absorb, without giving us the tiniest inkling that they know any of it, then BAM, it all comes out and we stand with our jaws on the floor. Lol. Trust me, he knows WAY more than *anyone* realizes. :-) said...

This is one of my favorite things about early speech. The moment when you look at the other adult in the room, laugh, and say, "Did you just hear that?!"
Yeah. Yeah. Way to go Elijah!

P said...

Yes, he understands and that means the world is his oyster in a much easier way than some kiddies on this adventure with us. No guarantees he will be good at math, or write a novel but understanding & GETTING HIS NEEDS heard & met on his own or getting help is great and what. Relief for us and parents.

Yeah. We will worry and worry if he is choosing wisely and exploring the options in life enough to have the info to see the paths designed for him. Will christian or Elijah play video games incessantly in their early 20s and what guidance can we give our grown kids that isn't overly influenced by the journey we've taken to get here.

Work on adding a few signs for common requests. We use WATER and MILK a lot, shoes is a fun sign. With trickier fine motor and other muscular complications signs are also tougher to mimic.

Think of easy small adjustments that a child might make to ASL to copy a sign but still Fairly obviously be then sign. If he has to be physically moved through motions until his body can recall the memory of what to do.

We all make adjustments but maybe he has a tougher time recalling the signs and thinking of how HE makes that sign. It just means he has to see signs lots more times than some kids but once his mind is locked & loaded the info is generally there, I say generally because Club 21 has taught me that moms see their teens stumbling over say spelling something they KNOW. Memory is a tricky things and memory effectiveness might be more challenging for our kids at times. I bet ensuring sleep and eating well and all the things you do to take care of daily are just a bit more important to be consistent about for our kids overall health & balance

MIMICKING GROWS IN LEAPS & BOUNDS. He is gaining skills all day every day but as his skills expand he will do have more options on what HE WANTS TO DO since it will be easier to copy & remember

Have fun and he looks just impossibly grown up in that pic. Like a little MAN getting ready for work. I can see the same shot at 25 years old giving you as much pride and huge doses of love.

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