Catch Me If You Can

Another year has ticked over for my boy. This week he had his 7th birthday.

birthday candles

Yes, he’s still irresistibly drawn to heat & fire.

It’s been a big, big year and he’s come a long, long way. Today (after a bit of coaching) he was able to answer the question – whose birthday is it today? with ‘It’s MY birthday!’ Now to most people, this is not that amazing, but for my little darling…well, let’s break it down a little.

  • He was able to remember and respond consistently with an appropriate answer to the question
  • He is using pronouns – he can talk about himself from his own perspective, not it the third person (this is very new for him)
  • He was able to share his birthday with others (cup cakes at vacation care and later on at home with the grandparents)

In the last year his language & communication has taken a quantum leap. So much so that he took out the literacy & communication prize at his end of year school celebrations for the junior school. It doesn’t seem so long ago when I was not sure if he would ever become verbal. I don’t really care that he won a prize but the acknowledgement of the enormous effort he has put in is incredibly heartwarming. Mind you, he is still doing a LOT of screaming/noisemaking, but at least now, I can ask him to use words or tell him to go outside & annoy the neighbours and he may (or may not!) chose to follow my directions!

This year he has grown like a weed, eaten like a horse, stayed skinny as a rake. He’s lost teeth and made & friends. He’s had lots of fun and has also faced lots of challenges. He started reading phone books (I may be wrong, but he can’t read yet, he just really seems to like the look of tiny little print/text). We’ve also tried some medications but not found anything that actually helps him. He now has a total of four diagnoses (not that I’m counting!).

He has continued to explore and develop a love for music (this makes me so happy!) – yesterday he dragged the old house guitar around with him everywhere. When I played some chords for him – HE wanted to do the strumming and HE chose the song, by singing the words. I had never really heard him sing before, so this was a complete revelation for me. He’s definitely not one of those kids who has an extraordinary talent, but he has a real & genuine interest and that is a beautiful thing.

He’s picky about the music he listens to and he has an evolving preferred style – lyrical & emotive. He likes a variety of styles including early Elvis, Portuguese fado, romantic classical and believe it or not, kd lang. If I put some music on, he takes over and changes it to something HE likes. He knows the albums he likes and goes straight to the tracks he likes, then we listen to them on repeat, repeat, repeat…. He didn’t like the change to the new IOS because he wasn’t able to find his songs in the same way that he had been doing previously. Now, just to put that in perspective, this time last year he didn’t even want to touch the ipad.

He also has a developing interest in logos. His favourite is Target. He checks all his clothing labels and is very pleased indeed if they are from Target.

So my boy, happy birthday to you. This year we are learning about backyard basketball!

I love you.

Here’s your 20 questions and a photo that sums up that last seven years.

On Your 7th Birthday 2014

1. What is your favorite toy? Ball
2. Who is your favorite character? Peppa Pig
3. What is your favorite TV show? Waybaloo
4. What is your favorite fruit? Banana
5. What is your favorite lunch? Baked Beans
6. What makes you laugh? Tickles, being naughty
7. What is your favorite game? Chasey/running
8. What is your favorite snack? yoghurt
9. What is your favorite animal? Dogs
10. What is your favorite song?  Jericho (kd Lang)
11. What is your favorite book? DOGS (birthday pressie)
12. Who is your best friend? Madison & Ahmed
13. What is your favorite treat? milkshake
14. What is your favorite outside activity? Chasing waves at the beach
15. Where do you like to go for a holiday? Beach
16. What is your favorite drink? Ginger Beer or Cup of Tea
17. What is your favorite take away food? Don’t care
18. What do you like to have in bed with you at night? ribbon
19. What is your favorite breakfast? Pancakes/French toast with maple syrup, a mashed banana & a cup of tea
20. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? lemonade (sad but true)
photo by Carly Cain

photo by Carly Cain

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The Boy Who Changed It All

He couldn’t tell you how old he is. He didn’t really know that it was his birthday. He doesn’t like unwrapping gifts. His eyes don’t widen in wonder when he sees the present you have put so much thought into hoping that it will be just the thing for him.
But this little boy, who turned 6 last week, is the apple of my eye.

So here are his 20 questions to mark the occasion.
1. Favourite toy – ribbon
2. Favourite character – peppa pig
3. Favourite tv show – peppa pig
4. Favourite fruit – mango
5. Favourite lunch – baked beans
6. What makes you laugh – being naughty
7. Favourite game – chasey
8. Favourite snack – brekky
9. Favourite animal – chickens
10. Favourite song/music – mascagni’s cavalleria rustica intermezzo
11. Favourite book – telephone book
12. Best friend/s – brothers N & J
13. Favourite treat – milkshake
14. Favourite outside activity – running
15. Favourite holiday – the farm
16. Favourite drink – ginger beer
17. Favourite take away – garlic & pepper fish
18. Tucked up with you at night – ribbon & rabbit
19. Favourite breakfast – muesli
20. Birthday dinner – spaghetti bolognese

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20 Questions

First week of school for L. Normally with any big change like this he gets pretty anxious and he shows this in all kinds of ways that nobody really enjoys. This week (and I’d hate to jinx it) has been remarkably smooth.

A little bit unsure on day 1. But thanks to the year at AEIOU he is very familiar with the drop off ritual. So we followed that routine, it just happened to be in a different location. He was definitely happy to see me when I came to pick him up, but he’d had a great day. He sat well at the group table, followed directions, took his turn, eaten reasonably well and had started to get to know his 5 other classmates.

Day 5 (today) his teacher told me that they had done an activity around ‘what I did on my holiday’. Really? And what did he have to tell you about that? He had used both symbols and words to tell her that we had gone to the beach (oh yes we did!) that we had been on a drive (a truly hellish 4 hours each way) and that he’d had Christmas.

I would have loved to see what my face looked like at this point. I was floored! Amazed! Impressed! Overwhelmed! I LOVE SCHOOL and more than that I LOVE TEACHERS.

With his 5th birthday, I have started a tradition of asking him the same 20 questions each year. Something I hope that he can be more involved with as we go along. It’s a nice little snapshot of where he is right now. As the years go past it will also show how he’s changed, grown and matured. So here is 2012’s edition.