Update on Nicholas

Nicholas has been doing phenominally well and we could not be happier. Two major events have happened – which I have probably already written about, but I will say again is that Nicholas has been doing quite well with the potty. We had one little hiccup, but I think that it was caused from him being constipated/gassy. The only time he is in diapers is for going to bed. When shopping yesterday, I handed him a package of GoodNites to put into the cart and he took it and said, “Mommy, diapers are for night time only. Babies wear diapers during the day.” I said, “That’s right, Nicholas. Do you know why big boys don’t need diapers during the day?” Nicholas said, “because big boys go potty”

I have also pushed the point on him swallowing capsules (thank you Joe – you lit the fire to get me going on this). I started slow and small. Tiny gelcaps actually. We started with the Wild Oil of Oregano gelcaps (Physician’s Formula) – and I let him get used to doing one of these every week. From there, we progressed to the 00 sized caps and now he’s even swallowed the big ones. So, I’ve been slowly removing his stuff from his drinks and he’s swallowing the capsules/gelcaps. I started with the yuckiest stuff first, so it’s been a slow progression – but he’s now swallowing quite a bit of his supplements as capsules.

Nicholas’s language has been progressing past getting his needs met. Now, he’s telling us stories and his sentence structure has been quite a bit longer. The other night, he blocked off the doorway to his room and told us it was Jupiter and that no mommies or daddies were allowed. Another night, he came downstairs (I was at the computer) and he told me I was in time-out because I was not playing with him. Yesterday, he put grandpa in time out and told him to go to his room for his time out. (He hasn’t actually been in time out in quite some time, so I find this pretty funny.)

Friday, he asked me if we could go to the store so he could get a Little Einstein’s Outer Space DVD. I checked Barnes & Noble’s inventory to see if they had it, which they did, so we took a ride there. (I mean, how could I not – I am so thrilled with how he asked for it and that it just wasn’t for a trip to the toy store for a geotrax toy.) So we went to B&N and he walked up to the counter and asked the sales person for his Little Einsteins Outer Space DVD. Since it was his first time in a bookstore, I asked him if he wanted to go look at the books. He enthusiastically answered YES!!! So, we took a walk over to the kid’s book section and he was in awe. “Mommy, are all of these books for me?” to which I answered, “No, Nicholas, this is a store, but you can pick one book to buy and we’ll go pay for it.” So he looked and walked around and looked. He found a Backyardigans book (yuk) about Robots and Police and he wanted that one. I also saw a couple of other outerspace books, so I decided to pick those up for him as well. On our way up to the registers, there was a row of those big comfy chairs and there were a bunch of men sitting down reading. Nicholas climbs up onto a chair, opens his book and starts telling me a story to match the pictures as if he was reading the book. He went through each page and at the end he said “the end” We then went up to the register and Nicholas said, “I would like to pay for my book. It’s mine.”

Nicholas’s interests in reading books has taken off. He wants to read story after story. After story. I am so happy that his book collection is finally getting some use. At bedtime, he no longer watches TV before going to bed. We no longer have to “settle him down” enough to put him to bed. I can just turn the lights off and say come on Nicholas, story time. And we go get changed for bed and read him a story or two, then say goodnight and that’s it.

He’s listening so much more – seems to be understanding more of what we are saying. This is evident in some of the things he has said to us like the reference to babies wearing diapers and big boys wearing underpants. He also told me that babies play with rattles. I had told him that if he wanted to be a baby and continue wearing diapers that he had to go back to playing with baby toys. When he said baby toy trains – I said no, babies play with rattles, etc.

I’ve been able to break his outside water obsession. (THANK GOD!!!!!! This one is huge.) Anytime we would be going outside to play or even going out or coming home, Nicholas would go right to the hose at the front of the house. He would perseverate on playing with the water in one way or another. The latest would be that he used paver-like stones on top of our side-stairs to make walls on both sides and send the water down the stairs kind of in an aquaduct way. Water would be running the whole time and he could spend hours doing this. I had enough of it one day watching all of the neighborhood kids play together while mine was stuck here playing with water. So, I started taking him outside to play, but he had 2 choices of what to play/do and it never included his water-play. It took a while for him to finally pick something instead of having to be manipulated into doing something else. And by manipulated, I mean having him pick between an activity and time-out. I probably don’t have to mention that he never picked time out. In the backyard, he would also do this with playing around our pool. I worked on this simultaneously and he no longer perseverates with the water while hanging over the side of the pool, playing by the filter or playing by the ladder.

He’s using words that we have no idea where they’re coming from. I assume school, but it’s still amazing to hear so many new words I have never heard before.

He’s been so much better in the pool this year (and we’ve only been in it 3 times so far) — last year we could not get him off of the ladder – he just liked to hang out there and perseverate on his toys/water.

He’s ridiing his tricycle quite well and actually enjoys pedaling really fast and then taking his feet off the pedals so he can coast.

He’s driving his power wheeled car and is now easily turning the wheel and steering after being shown for a little while yesterday. He was able to do this before, but it’s been a long time since the car has been out – and he seemed to have not realized he could steer and was crashing into everything in sight. After spending some time with him on how to drive, he was flying around the backyard by himself.

He’s telling us “I can’t do it” when he feels he can’t do something. So then we are breaking the task down or working with him to do it – and then he says, “Yay! I can do it!”

He’s loving his trampoline and jumps, rolls, falls and runs – all with great excitement.

Last night, he asked to go to the park, so we took him to the new park at school that was just recently finished. He had a ball there and then asked to go to the other park (on the other side of the school). Then, as if this was not enough – he said he wanted to go to 3 parks and proceeded to go to the car. Luckily, there was another park not far away, so we went to that park too. (yeah, I know – lucky kid). At the 3rd park, there were older kids there playing pretty roudy running, jumping, etc. and Nicholas noticed one girl was counting and everyone was hiding — he wanted to play hide and seek with them. He followed the girl who was counting and proceeded to say, “Hi, how are you?” Outside at parks – Nicholas’s socialization is amazing. He continually seeks out other kids and tries to hard to communicate and play.

He wants to play games with us all the time — and he asks (we don’t even have to initiate). He loves to play hide and seek — and he doesn’t get distracted and leave us hiding only to do something else. He will search for us for a long time without giving up.

He’s still amazing us on the computer, how he uses the mouse and keyboard — and the games he plays just have us sitting here in awe. When he gets to parts that he has trouble with, I have shown him how to get past that — once I started doing that, and would hear him on that game — he wouldn’t need to ask for help anymore.

I showed him how to turn on the computer, open Internet Explorer and then what favorite to click on to get him to his games. Big mistake. HUGE. No seriously – this is awesome.

He transitioned to the Kindergarten class for summer session without incident. He loved preschool and had been in the same class for the past 2 years. Same teachers, same aides, etc. I thought the first day of summer school was going to be disastrous for him. He went into his new classroom and got accustomed to the new schedule without incident. (I had visions of temper tantrums in my head.) He came off the school bus that day SOOO happy. He was so excited – and every day since – we have had no issue getting him up for school (even with the shift from 12pm to 8:30am) with exception for one day that we were all up exceptionally late. He always loved school, but it seems like he is just enjoying himself so much more. We no longer have to walk him out to the bus – he runs out the front door saying goodbye and then waves from the bus. When he gets home, he gets off and comes right to the door (no b-line for the water hose).

The last report from one of his teachers said that he has been doing great attending to story time (no surpise there, he loves stories now) and was engaged the whole time. After the story, he stood up and started talking about things that happened in the story (and he’s been doing this at home too – not in a echocolic kind of way – he’s actually telling us about the story). He is more engaged during circle time activities. He has been fine doing various things everyday upon arrival to the classroom. He’s actually arguing with a classmate over a turtle in a fishing game (awesome!). He’s learned his classmates names – when I asked him who his classmates were, he actually rattled off all of their names – I couldn’t believe it.

I’ve caught him answering Dora & Diego and patting along with the Little Einsteins — I so love to see him participating. He will now come find me and summarize the show he just watched and tell me what happened.

I can ask him to go get things (that he has to look for) that are in another room and he does not stray from the task, forget, etc. I can tell him to go get a shirt and change because his shirt is all wet – and he does.

I took him to the store the other night and didn’t have to put him into a cart – he walked with me, shopped (yeah, he wanted everything that caught his eye), and listened when I said “please put that back” or “come here” or “stay with Mommy” (ALL HUGE for him!!)

When I was leaving to get groceries for the 4th yesterday, he heard me say I was leaving for the grocery store and wanted to come. Oh boy was I apprehensive. A crowded grocery store on a holiday weekend where you know the lines are going to be LONG. He did awesome. He sat in the back of the cart (because I’m told that is where the big boys sit), I handed him stuff and told me what it was and then put it into the cart. He asked for potato chips and I said not today – and there was no fight or tantrum. He asked for soda (which I had hiding under the cart) and I again said not right now — he just said okay and went on talking about the food I was handing him. When I handed him a package of chop meat, he asked if that was what I made hamburgers and meatballs from. Where he got that, I will never know. (he doesn’t really eat either). When I said I wanted to get fruit, he started saying what kind mommy? bananas, strawberries, apples… and he listed a TON of fruit. Then I said (just to test him) no, maybe I need vegetables and then I heard carrots, broccoli, peas, etc. Then he asked if we could get ice cream to which I happily obliged. I handed him a container of vanilla. He said, “mommy, you get chocolate – that’s for you. Vanilla is for me.” I handed him a package of quesadillas and he asked me where the cheese was.

Last night, he told his grandfather that he could only have chocolate because the vanilla ice cream was for him. When asked if he would share his vanilla, he happily obliged.

A few days ago, he comes home and says, “mommy, can we go to taco bell, I want a quesadilla.” So, since I did not have any in the house, I said okay. While driving, I passed Taco Bell by mistake. Without me saying a word – he says, “Mommy, you passed it – turn around please.” I was stunned.

He told on mommy and daddy to grandma. He’s sitting with her and tells her “Mommy & Daddy took my trains away.” Grandma already knew, so she prodded a bit to see if he would tell her why. He told her why – and this is huge because I did not think at first he understood why we took them away. And when he kept begging for them back, I would tell him what he needed to do to get them back and I wasn’t completely sure he totally understood what I meant.

He just seems better on a global basis. We can actually talk “to” him and feel he is listening/understanding instead of feeling we are talking at him. Another rung on the ladder to recovery….

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