August 01, 2007
A comment from mcewen, from a couple days ago:
I've just been reading some of your first posts from way back when. I wondered if you ever did too, just to see how much your life has changed?
I avoid my own archives like the plague, actually, since every time I go through old entries I cringe and get all delete-post-happy. But trust me, I know what you mean, and it does blow my mind sometimes.
Especially since I still wouldn't change a thing.
I've gotten quite a few emails (politely) asking for more details regarding the squishy and mysterious "sensory issues" I keep dancing around. Everybody wants to compare notes. Everybody wants to know whether they should worry. What does your kid do; mine does this; our therapist said this but our doctor said that.
Here's the thing: I am not a doctor or an expert and in fact, have not yet read more than five pages of the book in that photo, and I read those in the aisle at Border's while Noah pitched a fit and the woman who was thumbing through What To Expect While You're Expecting stared at the book in my hands with this absolutely terrified, ashen look on her face. And then, true to Helen's words, I got all silently bent out of shape because WTF, LADY. MY KID ROCKS. MY KID COULD KICK YOUR ZYGOTE'S VESTIGIAL TAIL.
I've started entries about the symptoms of SPD that we see in Noah, but I end up deleting them. Partly because I've been talking about this stuff non-stop for like, a million years now and I keep waiting for the chance to change the damn subject already, and partly because it all sounds so TERRIBLE. Like life with Noah is such a STRUGGLE. Like we are constantly on the verge of an eardrum-shattering meltdown because of a string of blinking Christmas lights in a cheesy chain restaurant.
But yes, now that you mention it, Noah cannot stand blinking colored lights. We had an extremely unfortunate experience last week at a Moroccan restaurant when they very suddenly turned the lights down, fired up some pulsing beats and sent out a belly dancer. Then they turned on some multi-colored strobe lights and Noah started screaming. Not crying. Not fussing. Screaming. His face registered no emotion -- not fear, not sadness or pain -- but he screamed. Over. And. Over. I dove to remove him from the high chair and get him outside, but the instant I touched him he recoiled as if I'd slapped him.
And that's the sort of thing we're trying to muddle our way through. Trying to separate the "normal" terrible-not-quite-two behavior from the...well, the rest of it.
He hates walking barefoot in the backyard and will stay on the deck until I put his shoes on. When he was tiny and I'd place him on the grass he'd raise his chubby little legs up until he eventually toppled over. He goes up on his toes when he's on hard surfaces like wood and tile, but loves running barefoot on the scratchy carpet in the basement. Tags in clothing don't seem to bother him in the slightest, but when he's overwhelmed, the slightest touch causes him to cry out like he's in pain.
His pronunciation is bizarre -- if I mimic the movement of his mouth and tongue when he says "aball" I'm surprised at how hard he's working to get the correct sounds. He creates unintelligible nonsense words and then applies them consistently to objects with completely different-sounding names.
He loves patterns and order and prefers his toys lined up, end to end. He can say the letters in his name except for N, will hold up his fingers to count but can't say any of the numbers. He can identify pretty much any object in a picture book, but will simply shake his head no and push the book away if you ask him to name what he's pointing at.
I remember, a long LONG time ago, reading a blog about a child with SPD. For the life of me I cannot remember any of the details, except that I was not pregnant yet and thought the blogger's son sounded like a nightmare. Like the absolute worst-case scenario and wow, she's handling it so well but personally I would rather stab my eyeballs with the toothpick from my martini than deal with that kid all day.
Noah is still so much damn fun. It's hard to keep from chomping on him all day; he's just that delicious. As I finish up this entry he's making faces at himself in the mirror and cracking himself up.
Oh, wait. Now he's trying to ride the cat. Hang on.
His brain works. He's all there. I see glimmers of an amazingly smart kid. I see the easy-going temperament that made his newborn days almost criminally easy bashing up against something that's keeping him tongue-tied. For now.
I see Noah, for now. I still wouldn't change a thing. He is perfection.
I hope you see it too.