Thursday, March 10, 2011

My big, little boy

Baby J is a pretty mild-mannered toddler. Don't get me wrong. He has his tantrums every now and then but they are few and far between and are short-lived. He listens reasonably well and follows direction as well as can be expected for a three-year-old. This all goes out the window though every time a therapist shows up at our door for Bean. And that happens four times a week, at minimum. Baby J runs to the door, unlocks and opens it because he really likes all of Bean's therapist and he gets terribly excited when he knows they are coming. He spends the hour that they are here doing everything he can imagine to get attention. Sometimes with positive behavior and sometimes not so much.

Yesterday was one of those days that he behaved like a beast. From the minute Bean's nutritionist arrived, Baby J was all over the place acting like a maniac. I got the Thomas the Train play tent out to occupy him because he can usually spend hours in there. Both kids typically play in there very nicely so I thought it would keep them both happy while I talked with the therapist. Good idea, right? Wrong! Baby J screamed and yelled and cried for Bean to, "GET OUT!" That never happens except when someone is here. Thanks, kiddo, for making me look like mom of the year.

The tent was promptly put away and he occupied himself with my iPhone. He is a genius. Without my help, he selected the netflix app and found and watched a Backyardigans episode. Hey, at least I got to talk to the nutritionist and he was finally appeased.

Having a sibling with special needs has been a blessing and a challenge for Baby J. He is typically very patient with his brother and so loving and affectionate. He shares mommy very well. But at times, usually when someone fun shows up with fun toys for his brother or when we have a doctor appointment, he acts out and demands as much attention as his brother is receiving. And like I said, that happens at least four times a week.  Most of the therapists are happy to oblige and have crowned him super-duper big boy helper. But it's still tough for him because Bean is getting tons of special attention. Husband and I are constantly  trying to find ways to spend special time doing special things with Baby J, even though his brother is very demanding of my time and attention. We also send Baby J to preschool one morning per week so that he can get play time and exposure to other typically developing kids that are his age. He loves it and he's very motivated by being a "big boy."

Today was a preschool day. While he was there, Bean and I made a Target run. I found a Fisher Price frog potty on clearance for $3! I bought two. Potty Training has been slow going, so I thought I'd switch things up a bit and rotate out the seat on the big toilets.. After picking Baby J up and heading home, he was emphatically telling me about his day - the toys, snack (goldfish crackers today) and showing me his art projects when he noticed the potties. He was so excited that he immediately took his pants off sat down. He spent A LOT of time on the potties today. Yay! And he was beside himself when he learned that one would reside in his room so that he can go first thing upon waking.

He is so excited about being a "big boy." We extended that strategy to bed time. After many months of him insisting that his daddy stay with him until he falls asleep - and husband caving - the big boy thing finally clicked and he was actually looking forward to going to bed by himself for the third night in a row!

Baby J is growing up so fast and doing so many things that I need to remind myself on days like yesterday that he's still a little boy that very much wants, needs and deserves all the attention and affection we can give.

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