BIG POOL PLEASE

I’m sitting here listening to little man saying things like 

  • “Let’s go! Big Pool?”
  • “safety vest?”
  • “Swimmies on?”
  • “Mommy jumping in the pool?” 

And when I said “You go!” he did! And left my rump right there! 

That was a big change. I recently re-opened the pool and getting him into the big pool was akin to bathing a cat. Although he loved to be near it, he was petrified of being in it. Afterall, he was perfectly content with his small pool … until now.

Next thing I knew, he was fully and independently in the big pool.  Feet were kicking, hands were splashing and he was saying “SWIMMING?” 

And here I thought that weekly lessons were just for my mental health. 

I will never give up. I can’t. He’s  no longer afraid of the big pool. 😮

Lolipop

Errands with my kids should have its own sound track. Like the one in JAWS. Or Houdini.

With Mr. Impulsive and Ms. BuysAlot, there’s never a dull moment and before we leave any store, everyone knows that his name is Nolan and hers, Natalie.

But I was focused that Wednesday afternoon. I needed to buy stop signs and bead locks and be back in time to post signs on the front yard tree, the side and pool gate all before re-installing the pool liner and getting to swimming lessons by 5pm. I was on a mission.

But the store had no stop signs and with Ms. BuysAlot already promised a return trip, it was off to the pool store next. And I almost made it out the door.

The exit. I could see it. And I had a pretty good chance too. Afterall, he was seated in the shopping cart. I had full control. Just push and ignore the screaming.

I’ve become proficient in the lost art of Excuse us and Thank you so much. They rolled off my tongue as we made it between cashiers to the exit.

I saw the display cases. I saw the lolipops. I braced for it. But since the store didn’t have what I came for, we are not getting on line.

“Lolipop?!” He said in his cute litttle suprano voice. And I thought, “Nice try buddy, but this autism mom is onto your 1-word requests.”

Gone are the days when I squealed in delight for a token word request. I’ve upgraded from silence, to paroting to token words and now I want full sentences. That’s right, I want full sentences or you get nothing.

But before I knew it, little hands were fimly gripping the display fridge, only fingers away from the lolipop stand. But I didn’t get what I wanted from him so #CueTheSoundTrackToTitanic, because he’s about to let go!

What more could he do? He was losing. I’m sure that he searched his arsenal of autistic boy tricks. And I’m sure that he thought he found one because he said … “I want lolipop, please”

In a full sentence, complete with please. And by golly, my heart inflated, my eyes closed as I took in a deep cleansing breath.  I smiled, widely, with the cart still moving forward, and praised him.

“Wow Nolan. Great job using your words! I love that!”

And then it happened.

He giggled, looked at me and said “You love that. You love that.”

I stopped dead in my tracks.

I don’t know the grammatical term for that but by golly, it was not echolalia. Did you see it? Did you see it? He didn’t parot me. He flipped the I to YOU. He processed my sentence! My little autistic man knew that I felt something and that referring back to me meant flipping the sentence around, and then expressing it! I nearly cried with the overwhelming thought of the doors in language now opened to him.

Oh lolipop! We’ve made it to another milestone.

And out of my mouth came a solitary sentence to Ms. BuysAlot. It was “Get on line!”

Echolali This! 

This time, a year ago, I was deeply saddened by the thought that my almost 5 year old son with ASD would never be potty trained. It seemed hopeless.

He showed no initiative.

He would pee and poo anywhere at the most inopportuned time.

XL Diapers were getting too small.

I tried an app called “See me go potty” He loved it and for 2 years, he just stimmed on it. At one point, I stopped him from using the app. His stims on it were ridiculous.

Then one day, I decided that I would gladly replace the carpets yearly if it meant that he’d learn from me saying “Why you make peepee on the floor?”

AND BY GOLLY, THAT DID IT.

He went 6 month “echolali- ing” my scoldings.
Just imagine the cutest little suprano voice randomly repeating the phrase “NO PEEPEE ON THE FLOOR.”

As soon as he got home from school, he went STRAIGHT to briefs. (I invested in a few) I also invested in bleach and paper towels. 😉

BUT, he resisted going to the potty.

I even bought a potty seat his size with stairs leading up so he can sit comfortably. And nope!

Every other day, I gave up.
Every other day, I tried again.
EVERYDAY, I cleaned and scolded.

The scolding was PURPOSE-ful.
He’s smart. And what does not come naturally, he will learn. If he was constantly reaching for a hot stove, I’d scold while prepping the environment for safety so I treated it with the same concern and addressed each incident with “Did you make peepee on the floor? What is this? Is this peepee on the floor? Don’t make peepee on the floor.”

Even the dog understood and went scratching at the backdoor.

And although everything was already out, we went through the motions and went sitting on the potty for a minute, pulling up brief, flushing nothing and washing hands. Sometimes, I’d catch him midway and halt the process. But he would then just hold it, go through the motions with me until he returned to the carpet and finish what he started.

It was a royal pain in the you know what.

A YEAR LATER today.
He’s been 5 years old for 6 months now.
He’s been trained for 4 months now.
First peepee. Then poo.

He just walked to the bathroom. I lazily follow (because he also tries to wipe his bum. #nextchallenge.) He pulls down his brief, climbs his seat stairs, grabs his composition book, sits and waits.

Only an autusm mom would love the sweet smell of poo plopping gracefully in potty. SUCCESS! Fist pump.

My heart rises with glee.
Why? Because I STILL feel the pit of my stomach worry and get depressed about what he can’t do, so I take in this moment. And say a quick prayer for those who still endure.

“You did it buddy. Good job making poo in the potty”

Echolali THAT for the next 6 months!

#nevergiveup