In response to Can you pull up your pants, Sam?
“Don’t be daft, Mommy.”
While going potty. Successfully.
Sam: “Remember ‘Respect for Gordon’ Mommy?
(episode from Come Ride the Rails?).
Mommy: “Yes, I do.”
Sam: “Your respect me, Mommy.”
Tonight, after I came downstairs from work and said goodbye to our babysitter, Sam came running up to me and said “Mommy, can I play with Sam?” We’ve been working on pronouns in speech, so I corrected him and said “Mommy, can you play with me?”
“Mommy, can you play with me?” he says in perfect imitation. Taking my hand, he pulls me to the living room and points to the floor. “Look, it’s snowing!” he says.
“It is?” I ask.
I take in the scene: his favorite blue blanket spread out in the middle of the floor and Thomas placed on top, peeking out from under a paper snowflake his aunt JT made for him on her last visit. Also nearby: a weighted helium balloon from a weekend birthday party.
Sam is very much attuned to the weather and seasons these days. So much so, that during our daily schedule-making he will first ask me what the weather is like and then dictate to me accordingly: Number 5: It’s a sunny day or It’s a rainy day, get Sam’s raincoat! He is also fascinated with hurricanes, tornadoes and windstorms.
“Wow, Sam, is Thomas in a snowdrift?” thinking that surely he was recreating a scene from a video.
“No, Mommy. I need my snow coat and snow cap. Come with me.” I’m pretty sure we’re recreating something since he’s never called his hat a snow cap before — I’ve never called his hat a snow cap. “Mommy, you need a scarf. You have a good scarf?”
“Um, okay. Yes!” All bundled up we return to the living room where I await further instructions.
Handing me an empty bucket, he says “Here’s your caco!” It takes me a minute before I realize he means cocoa.
“Oh, yummy, this is so good! Thank you. Have some cocoa with me,” I say and hand him an empty tupperware.
Smiling, he takes a sip.
“Mommy, I need my Thomas skates.” He disappears for a minute and returns with his Thomas Crocs. (Yes, everything Thomas and Teletubbies in this house.) After pulling them on, he brings over his father’s way-too-big slides and orders me to put on my skates.
“Stand up Mommy!” He starts tiptoeing on top of the blue blanket, which of course is the iced-over pond.
We hold hands and shuffle our feet along the floor. “Hey, how is Thomas doing?” I ask him.
We drop to the pond and Sam lifts the paper snowflake and says “Thomas is snowed. Here you go snow plow,” and he brings over a big blue truck to clear the way. Pulling the balloon, he says, “Here’s my christmas tree, thank you for coming to my christmas party!”
Sam has been waking with a dry diaper for several weeks now. Each morning, I say “Sam, do you want to sit on the potty?” And he says “No.” Sometimes his reply is more uncertain: “No?!” And other times it’s a definite “NO!”
At his preschool, they have potty time every morning. The reports are that he reluctantly gives in to sitting there for one whole minute, but jumps off without ever having, er, made a splash.
Today, with the timer set strategically to 2:02 and the faucet set to blast, my boy made his first pee in the potty. Good lord, how I’ve longed for this day. He was so impressed with himself that he asked to go on the potty two more times.
I’ve really been thinking about supplementing his special ed preschool with a more traditional one next year, and by all accounts that will require a certain mastery of the splash come fall.
We’re on our way.
This Halloween was the first time since I was thirteen years old that I trick-or-treated. I’ve never been the greatest fan of Halloween — there’s something creepy about dressing up in costume and going door to door. Oh, I know that’s the very thing that others love, but me? Not so much. This was the first year, however, that we felt the boys would enjoy it. Especially in light of the numerous pumpkin-, ghost-, and witch-inspired artwork that’s made its way home from school this past month. Or Sam’s non-stop talk of ghosts and vampires and five-pumpkins-sitting-on-the-gate. Not to mention the fact that this sensory-challenged child, especially where it concerns food, devoured an entire Snickers bar in under thirty seconds. Yeah, I thought Sam might get into the whole candy aspect if nothing else.
So we set out. The first door was opened by a scary witch and a barking Black Lab. Sam muttered, a little unsure, “It’s okay?” and held out his bag. Even I was a little wigged out, so when John (or rather, Elmo) screamed and melted into a fuzzy red puddle right there on the porch and made it clear that he would not be standing up again of his own accord — I understood. After walking up the hill with him clasped at my neck, I still understood but handed him to his dad.
Sam quickly got into the spirit though. No matter my prompts of “say ‘Trick or Treat'” and “Thank you!” As soon as the candy hit his bag, he’d announce “Next house!” John hung back in the relative quiet of the sidewalk, and seemed to enjoy this unprecedented event: surveying our dark neighborhood from the tall perch of his dad’s shoulders, as Sam tugged all of us along.
It’s been nearly thirty years and I still don’t love-love Halloween? But I will do this every year just to watch Sam break free and run to join a group of approaching children as they knocked on a door. No hesitation, no looking back at me. That soaring in my heart like a whisper “He’s going to be okay.” I will do this next year, too, with the hope that John may like candy then, that he may enjoy wearing another costume, and that he’ll let me hold his hand as we walk through our dark neighborhood, knocking on strange doors.
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