Sunday, June 20, 2010

My son doesn't need to be on a leash

It's been awhile since I posted about AwesomeCloud's growth and development. He has done some new things lately, though. For instance:

*He learned how to throw two balls at once.

*His street safety skills and traffic awareness are improving dramatically. He actually stops at the end of the driveway and... what he does next varies, but he's beginning to understand that the huge cars and trucks racing by are relevant to what his next move should be. (I think he's too enthusiastic about practicing this skill - we keep having to call him back from the end of the driveway or from the occasional parking lot.)

*He comes when called. This is awesome. Like, all I have to do is shout his name once and he comes right back. (I think I astonished one of the moms at playgroup with this. She saw him dashing toward the parking lot and ran to grab him. I didn't even bother to get up from my chair - I just shouted once and he came right to me. She looked rather surprised.)

*Today we went to a Father's Day cookout at Grampa's house and Daddy took him into a pool for the first time. He was not enthusiastic about being in, or above, the water, but he loved standing at the edge and throwing two balls in at the same time, and then having Daddy or cousins throw them back out at him.

*He's actually developing culinary preferences. Amazing! He finally dares to reject foods based on their taste rather than their texture.

*Unfortunately, he no longer eats sweet potatoes. But he adores fries and potato chips. Mama is not happy with this.

*He has learned how to dig weeds. (Well, he can dig. Weeds, not so much.)

*He can mow the lawn with me. In fact, sometimes he begs to mow the lawn with me. This puzzles me, as our lawn-mowing efforts usually end with him getting bumped aside and then crying when I try to turn a corner. Or he walks into a tree.)

*He has finally figured out drinking straws. And there was much rejoicing. (Yaaaaaay!)

*He still can't talk, but his facsimile of speech improves by the day. Between "doo," "gah," "dah," and "guh," and all the gesturing, he probably has upwards of 100 distinct communication units.

*He sings. A lot.

*Today he learned to put candles on a cake. He also put the leftover candles back in the candle box.

*He will make an effort to stop crying and smile for the camera if asked to.

*He understands hot food and will approach his food with caution if I warn him ahead of time. When he's not sure, he tests his food with his fingers. He will sometimes blow on his food.

*He has discovered ice cubes and asks me to put some in his sippy cup.

*When there are other drinking vessels available, he will choose them over the sippy cup, and his ability to drink out of an open glass or a travel mug is improving.

*He can't jump yet, but he jumps anyway. A lot. Maybe by next week, his feet will finally leave the ground.

*He can't count to ten yet, but he does anyway.

*He showed concern when Riley walked outside with us. Riley was previously an indoor cat, but this week we gave her a dose of Frontline and began letting her out into the yard. I think it's an improvement. She's very restless by nature, and she's been doing things that cats do when they're unhappily stuck indoors. I feel bad for the birds in the yard, but she hasn't caught anything yet, so maybe she's not a hunting cat. Anyway, it was interesting to see Cloud show concern that Riley had 'escaped'. I assured him it was okay, and he let the matter drop.

(One of the alternatives we were facing was to treat Riley's hyperthyroid with radioactive iodine, which is very expensive and requires quarantine and boarding. As my husband pointed out, "Thousands of dollars spent on a cat? When last week we'd been talking about just letting her outside? I don't think so." So we nixed the iodine treatment and went with the lifestyle change.)

My son is turning into a person now. It's amazing. Spending time with him is like real social time. The conversations are even almost not one-sided. When he learns to talk, it'll be even better. And then someday he'll learn to talk in sentences, and bring this whole social interaction thing to a whole new level.

What a difference this is from eight months ago, when sitting quietly or sitting and crying were practically the only things he could do.

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