Monday, July 11, 2011

Dawson is 4 years old!

Wow, 4 seems like such a big number! It's a milestone for both of us. He has come so far since he started school and therapy at 2 1/2 years old. He looks so much older now, his baby face is gone and he's such a handsome toddler. In a way I can't believe I've been a mom for 4 years, but in many ways it feels longer. I can hardly remember life before motherhood! I've also been nursing for 4 years straight now, since the boys all overlapped eachother. Who would've known, since I had some struggles with it in the very beginning with Dawson.

We had Dawson's party at my mom's house since our apartment is still a mess from moving. It was us, my parents, siblings, grandma and Dan's sister. He had lots of fun blowing out candles, eating cake and getting presents. He wasn't so sure about being sung to though, he kinda ducked down and wasn't sure what to do with himself.

His running away is really getting frustrating. He just likes being on the go. He doesn't feel much seperation anxiety in stores, so he just runs off and does what he wants. I like going to Walmart and Target because they have the carts made to hold 3 kids. I can shop without the stress of losing my kid. He usually does ok following, until he doesn't want to anymore. He gets hung up looking at toys and things. So I have to pry him away. He'll get bored if we stop to look at something, so he'll wander off to find something interesting to look at. He'll go find the toy or baby aisle, and while I do know where he's going, because he's very predictible, it's still not safe for him to be wandering off. I've tried the child harness, it just creates a huge scene. He screams at an impressive volume, I'm quite sure the entire store hears him. He drops on the floor, screams, and refuses to move. I've tried putting him in the cart basket, he tries to climb out.

Another issue is at the hospital. He loves elevators. While I sign us in, he watches the elevators and greets people. He'll say "hi" and then "bye, see ya!" as the doors close. People freak out and think he's going to get on the elevator with them. He also pushes the button everytime we walk past, even if we don't need the elevator. Then he needs to watch for it to come, open and close. Getting him to leave before that happens will end in a tantrum.

The other day we had his speech evaluation. It was a bit stressful, but we made it through. They only had a ball toy out, so the boys both fought over it. Tyler took a ball and ran to the corner of the room. Dawson, who had 3 other balls, but must have all of them in order to play, ran after him, got the ball and shoved Tyler to the floor. Tyler got up, caught up to Dawson, grabbed his shirt in a tackle and got his ball back. He then ran to the garbage can in the corner, ditched the ball there and ran away, knowing that Dawson would ignore him and just go after the ball. While busy getting the other ball, Tyler went over and grabbed a different ball that Dawson had already lined up to play with. Dawson got back, got mad and shoved Tyler into the wall. Tyler gave up the ball. Speech therapist got a good look at what I meant when I said I wanted to work on sharing and using communication when frustrated! I was nursing Gabriel while all this went on and the speech therapist was trying to break it up, but they were both totally ignoring her and kept dodging away from her. The biggest immediate issue is that Tyler should not be thrown around like that. I don't carry him around on pillows, but he shouldn't be shoved into a wall. His counts are often low and that can cause bruising and even brain bleeds if his platelets are very low.

While scheduling Dawson's speech appointments, which will be the same day and time each week, 1 hour sessions once a week, Dawson ran out of the speech office. She was just printing up my time sheet for me, so I got that and headed after him. Weaving past children, through toys and through a small door with a double stroller isn't always the easiest thing! I knew he would be watching the elevator, so I headed around the corner to go get him. He usually stands or sits on the bench and watches the people come and go. Instead I found him crouched behind the bench in a corner with a lady holding her arms out, telling him to come with her to find his mommy. He had that "no way!" look on his face and was trying to get away from her, but was backed into a corner. A security officer had just wandered over and was starting to get on his walkie talkie. I went over and claimed him. The lady claimed he was trying to get on the elevator with her, but since she had a stroller with her, he would've just been holding the elevator door open for her. He knows that if you put your hand in front of the door, it won't close. So he holds the door for people so it won't try to close on them. He seems to have invented the position of "Elevator Greeter". We left and I decided to look for some sort of info tag to pin my phone number on his shirt incase he gets lost so they can call me. I'm still working on that. Since he's obsessed with tape, I can't just stick a sticker on his shirt. I'm thinking a pin, but I'll have to make one since I couldn't find anything like that.

The next day (friday) we went to the Children's clinic for Tyler's labs. Dawson was screaming about being stuck in the room. He wanted to play PacMan in the waiting room/playroom around the corner. It's very closed off and his nurse said they have siblings stay out there all the time. So she let him go out there and told the desk ladies that he would be playing, so they could watch to make sure he doesn't go out the door. He was nicely playing with things when someone wondered who's child it was and called security. The nurses say they have no clue why because kids play there all the time. They must've missed the memo. So they explained when the security officer came that it was a misunderstanding, but the guy had to make a report since he got a call and he has to record everything he gets calls on.

The next day (saturday), we went shopping. I rarely go to Toys R Us, but they have things that other stores don't, so I like seeing what they have. Dawson spotted a gumball machine by the exit door. There's a gumball machine on a kid website we go to, so he thought that was neat. He found a small gumball machine that he wanted me to get, but since he can't have them, I didn't get it. He was getting hooked on different toys throughout the store, it was a bit tough to keep him going. We passed the registers to go look at movies and suddenly he ran into the short aisle behind us and was gone. I looked down every aisle over there. I looked at the gumball machine by the door, the toy aisles that he was interested in before. The store is pretty easy to just see all the way across, but I couldn't see him anywhere. After scanning the aisles all the way across the store, I told the first employee I saw, who got on her walkie talkie and called a code Adam. I was impressed at how fast he was found. Employees all over walked the aisles and all over. They went and stood by each door and he was found within 30 seconds, standing by the door, just around the corner by the gumball machine. I had even looked over there! I was just relieved he was found. I told him the time before that he would have to sit in the stroller if he can't stay by me. He was shocked to find out that even with Tyler and Gabriel in the stroller, I still found a seat for him! I took Gabriel's carseat out of the stroller and put Dawson in there. He wasn't happy, but he seemed to know he'd earned that one, so he didn't complain much.

I looked online and found some things, like a locating beeper you can attach to the child so you can find them and other things like that. It's frustrating because he's sometimes very good, but then we'll have a bad day or week. I think this hot weather is definitely affecting everyone's mood also. Plus he was taken from his hospital schedule and taken home, which is great for some, but took him a bit to adjust back to. It's hard trying to juggle both Dawson and Tyler's needs. They both need 100% of me right now and I just don't have a clone! Dawson has become pretty clingy again. Being with my cousin, volunteers and other places is helpful, but it doesn't get him that quality mommy time that he wants.

I'm looking into some Autism behavioral therapy for him. It's supposed to help a lot and address many of the problems we've been having. I think speech will help, some bit of normalcy and something just for him. He liked therapy when he had it at home, so hopefully he'll do well at Children's too. I've also requested a Psychology appointment to talk about our situation and get some tips on how to help Dawson through the process.

Birthday pics!

 Tyler having fun at the table

  Gabriel smiling at Great Grandma

Looking back at pics....

 Dawson as a newborn
 1 year
 2 years
 3 years
4 years

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such cute pics Steph. You are right - Tyler still does have that baby face! All 3 boys looks so much alike. Love and prayers - Kitty