Worry

It was probably two weeks before Rex was born when I first noticed that August seemed a little withdrawn. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what the issue was, but made a mental note to mention it the the Occupational Therapist who visits each week through our state’s Early Intervention program.

Life is hectic, however, and I forgot one week and the next week I was actually having a baby, and so it wasn’t until I took the twins for a well-visit the week after Rex’s birth that I remembered what it was that was bothering me: August had stopped responding to his name. I gave a little demonstration in the doctor’s office and called his name. He didn’t even blink and I could feel all the air seep out of the room.

We ran down a full list of reasons why this could be happening and the pediatrician urged me to get his hearing tested. Meanwhile, alarm bells were going off in my head because I know, thanks to the extended tour I’ve had of Special Needs Land, that a child failing to respond to their name can be an early warning sign of autism.

I’d love to tell you that I responded with grace, but the opposite is true. Instead, I took a long shower and cried my eyes out. I cried because I was fearful–afraid that another special needs child would split my attention and resources leaving both children with not enough. I cried thinking about hours of work and research that would lay ahead. I cried because it’s been a hard couple of months–pregnant with twins under the age of one–and I had hoped for things to be easier for a while.

After my big cry I got to work–I emailed some friends of mine who had children with autism. I sent a text to August’s OT and another to Charlie’s former speech therapist who also has a grown son with autism. I watched some videos on YouTube trying to get a handle on what autism might look like in a young child and trying to see what kinds of interventions are appropriate.

I let myself admit that the idea of another special needs child was exhausting, but only briefly before getting my head on straight again.

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I wrote the above over a week ago and let the post sit there–I couldn’t bring myself to post it. It was as if posting it would make it real.

We’re in the process of getting a hearing evaluation lined up for August. At this point, we don’t know if we’re dealing with a hearing issue or something else. I do know that both of the twins have been delayed all along, and this could just be yet another symptom of that. They do eventually meet their milestones–just later than expected. While we’re jumping through hoops, I’ve been busy trying to enjoy my little guy just the way he is–taking him on little mom-dates when the opportunity arises and making sure that his brother doesn’t steal all the attention. I can’t control what the future will hold, but I can be sure that I won’t let it ruin the present.

 

 

Fin

There’s been something going on in my personal life and I haven’t mentioned it because I haven’t known how to begin or what to say or how to respect all the parties involved. But things are pretty much wrapping up and I guess it’s OK to say something now.

My BIL and SIL are getting a divorce.

I know it’s not a BIG deal. They’re both young, there are no kids, and they’ll both be able to go on their separate ways with almost no aggravation. They were due for a move to The Great North so my husband’s brother will head on alone and his wife (ex-wife?) will do whatever it is she wants to.

The thing is, we were friends. The SIL and I. We hung out, went shopping, took pictures. We painted, I bounced business ideas off of her.

And now she’s gone.

I was, of course, upset to hear it, but what can you do? I sent her an e-mail expressing the fact that the divorce didn’t mean the end of our friendship and she didn’t respond. So I left it at that. I mean, these things happen, right? It’s not like it happened TO ME. I’m just an innocent bystander really.

Today the BIL came to today with bags and boxes of things from his old apartment. Tomorrow he drives off to the The Great North. As he was un-loading everything he handed me a plastic bag with a V-tech toy and some clothes in size 24 months. He said, “this stuff is for Charlie’s birthday.” That’s when it hit me–that sad little plastic bag. She was always the one to take care of things like birthday cards and presents. A little note to cheer you up.

And now she’s gone.

I know that I’ll be fine. I think my BIL will be fine. But that’ s doesn’t mean that I don’t miss her.

They Didn’t Warn Me About This

I’ll admit, gleefully, that this post is a joy for me to write. There are so many things that I worried about, so many things that I wasn’t sure would ever happen. But I digress. . .

It all started when I turned Charlie’s car seat around. Seems harmless, right? He’d met the weight requirement a while ago, and I thought his neck strength was ready, so about a month ago I went ahead and turned his car seat to the forward-facing position.

The thing is. . . now he can see me. Sounds good, right? Well, not so much.

Despite having visual impairments and severe brain damage, Charlie quickly figured out that Mommy has control over what songs play on the radio. When we make our 45 minute trek across the lake, I plug my iPod in and jam to whatever I feel like it.

But times, they are a’changin.’

Dammit.

Charlie has no patience for Sarah Bareilles, anything country, or Billy Joel. He lurves Leona Lewis, Gavin DeGraw, the Black Eyed Peas, Britney, and Lady Gaga. Anybody else know that Britney’s middle name was Jean?

The other day I had to listen to Poker Face twice on the ride home. Also, he seemed to find Blame it on the Alcohol quite entertaining. For the record, I hate that song and wouldn’t purposely listen to the entire thing without coercion. Also, for the record, I’ve had to employ a lot of my own discipline techniques as we navigate the scenario where my not-even-two-year-old thinks he should have say on what plays on the radio.

So, apparently it isn’t enough that I didn’t sleep through the night for almost a year or that I have a four inch scar as a result of his birth. No, Charlie will not rest til he’s King of the Radio.

So, damn, that was quick, and also, That’s My Boy because I don’t think there’s anything more normal than driving your mother crazy.

That’s my boy!

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