What better place to start than with Mr. Pants?
So here we are. Mr. Pants has a few handfuls of words. Three of which really help us out too! I will never get tired of hearing him yell, "HUN-REE!!!!!" like a drunken frat boy searching for his leftover burrito everytime the kid wants a snack. Because he is telling me that he is hungry and I wished and wished and hoped and prayed that he would be able to do that. Now I just have to work with him on maybe bringing it down a decibel or seven because he really does sound quite ridiculous and a little primitive when he uses his three need words. "HELP!!!!!", "HUN-REE!!!" and "BOOOOOOOOOP!!". The latter being a race against time to get to him before the diaper is off and he is walking around bow legged trying to peer through his legs at the poop on his butt, all the while screaming, "HELP!!!". Yeah, dude. I know you need help. That's why I'd like you to not take your diaper off before I am at your service, wipes in hand. I might have mentioned before that kids are gross. The lovliest part is that, while I didn't think it was possible, he seems to only be getting grosser with time.
His pattern behaviors are still there and they are getting more elaborate. On Christmas Eve it involved both floors of my sister in law's house. Touch the train on the first floor, say "bye bye" to the train (again, in the tone of a drunken frat boy being kicked out of the bar and yelling "bye bye" on the way out), open the gate to the stairs, close the gate, go down 3 steps holding the wall, move to the other side on step four and hold the railing, Pick up car at bottom of steps, run to the TV in the basement and put down the car, pick the car back up, leave the car on the bottom stairs and head back up, open gate, close gate, head to train to start again.....he did this about thirty times. They are not always this elaborate, though. And it seems they get more complicated when he is stressed or in an unfamiliar environment or tired. At home he is more relaxed, so they are much more simple. Line up the foam letters, walk them like a balance beam, put them back in the bag, repeat. So goal number one (after finding a new speech therapist, so I guess that makes it goal number two), is helping him pare them down to a manageable size when he is feeling uncomfortable. Some of our other goals include; putting two words together, a successful dentist visit (I just had a mini stroke just thinking about it. Is he too young for them to gas him?), wearing clothes more often, eating a variety of foods and conquering the almighty potty. Normal two year old stuff.
We have some things to work on, but man this kid is blowing me away with the strides he is already making. He licked an orange! Sure, he immediately made a face as though it was the grossest pile of poo, but he tried it! He is counting and he knows his letters (Genius!). He plays with his cousins and he is naming family members. He loves his school and he gets so excited to put on his backpack and get on the bus. His new occupational therapist is his favorite and he is learning to float in the pool. I recently met with his teachers for a review of his progress these last six months and his receptive communication (what he understands) has jumped up to just under two years old! His expressive communication (what he can speak) is around twelve to eighteen months. This is up from 8 months! I am so proud of the work he is doing and so grateful to his teachers and therapists. But my favorite thing that he did recently came on Christmas Eve. Bundled up and in the car after the candlelight service, he reached over and held his sister's hand. Just held her hand. And she laughed and laughed. And he smiled. Knowing he was making her happy. That was better than any test result or achievment. His expressions of love beyond those for Daddy and I are coming more and more. He is becoming more comfortable with his extended family. Sitting in his Grandpa's lap. Giving Grandma a kiss. Hugging his aunties and uncles. Throwing some high fives. They have been around his whole life, waiting for him to be comfortable with showing them affection. Never pushing him. Patiently waiting. And he is ready now. What a difference a year makes.