Saturday, April 16, 2011

Milestones I'm missing

Kiddo has been growing like a weed, with new words and achievements every day. I'm not blogging about them; they come too fast. When Cloud does something particularly interesting, it occurs to me momentarily that I might want to blog about it, but then I don't.

I haven't really felt like typing.

I've felt like gardening, and I cannot wait for the weather to improve so Cloud and I can spend significant amounts of time in the garden. Right now, our outdoor thing is raking. Our yard is full of oak trees, and oak trees require a lot of raking in the springtime.

Raking can be fun with hardly any effort. After all, piles of leaves have been a childhood playtime staple ever since children have lived in areas where trees lose their leaves.

Good times, good times.


Cloud loves to try out new phrases, and some of the phrases he chooses are arbitrary and hilarious. "High priority." "Black beans. " He spent two whole days practicing "Mike Tullman." No sign of complete sentences yet, but the verb-noun combinations have started. "Eat muffin?" "Eat mac cheese?" "Eat snack?" Okay, so most of his verb-nouns are about food. That's okay. It's a start.

Last Friday, one of the mallwalkers took an interest in us and prodded us into walking alongside her. Normally, she is too fast for us; Cloud likes to dawdle and drag his feet while all the old ladies whoosh past us. But on Friday, he grabbed this lady's hand and kept pace with her for almost two whole laps around the mall. (One lap equals approximately one mile, or so I've heard.) He was huffing and puffing by the end, but he refused to give up.

Afterwards we went to the library, where he encountered a slightly older boy. I sat in a nearby seat with a copy of The New Yorker and watched them from a distance. The other boy's mother was more inclined to hover. But they started playing so nicely, with so much laughter, that eventually she backed off too.

"I have to look for a book for your brother," she told him impatiently.

He ignored her and did something with a plastic elephant that made Cloud dissolve into hysterical laughter.

So off she went... okay, by that I meant that she went over to a shelf that was as far away from the boys as I was, and still within view.

And the boys continued to play. Apparently, if you're speech delayed, laughing hysterically will make you a popular playmate in spite of the communication gap. Kids have trouble with peers who do not talk as well as they do. Several times, children have judged, "He's a baby!" Others just seem at a loss when he fails to respond to their question or doesn't follow their demands. But he's such a sociable little guy that he's bound to find some way to join in.


Kung fu is going well, too. Cloud has been attending for three weeks now, out of the eight we signed up for. (The course goes in eight-week cycles, and we can sign him up for as many cycles as we want, but we're just getting through one cycle before we make any decisions about the next.) Again, his speech delays interfere with his performance a bit. He giggles too much - kung fu artists are NOT supposed to giggle! And they shouldn't shriek when they get in place! And he's the youngest student, developmentally and perhaps literally. But he's actually much better than many of the other kids at following directions.

There are some directions he really struggles to follow, like when he is told to run in place. He just doesn't have the coordination to run in place. He knows the phrase "listening position" but he gets listening positions 1, 2 and 3 mixed up and follows the other kids' examples. But the other kids have more of a tendency to twirl in place, or to drift off and stare at the decorations on the walls, or to chat with each other. Cloud just has a better attention span.

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