Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Home Summer School

Brady P. receives three kinds of therapy during the school year.

Physical: Targets gross motor development.  His main goals as of now are going up a flight of stairs alternating left and right feet with no railing, jumping forward 18-20" with two feet together and balancing on one foot for 5 seconds.

Speech: Targets the development of his mouth to say sounds correctly.  His main goals now are formulating confident sounds correctly, speaking in sentence phrases and reading sight words.

Occupational: Targets fine motor skills.  This one he just started, and his main goals are holding a pencil correctly, practicing writing his name and using his special scissors.

I've been concentrating on the first two for the first few years of his life.  He makes progress at every visit with his wonderful therapists.

Here's what I'm guilty of.  

I don't like to draw, so I never really made him color much.  I didn't do a whole lot with his writing, and I never thought of tackling cutting with scissors.

Well, now he needs to do that stuff in kindergarten in the fall.

I whined.

Nooooo!  Not the pencil!  Not scissors!  Waaaahhhh!

But nobody cares when you whine.

So I've been getting out his workbook from the school and his special scissors nearly every day after breakfast.

"Okay, Brady P," I'll say all excited-like.  "Are you ready to work in your workbook and cut with your scissors?"

"Yeah!" he'll shout like I just asked if he wanted to go get ice cream.
Practicing the Q!

That enthusiasm has kept me going every day.  But you want to know what else keeps me encouraged?

He is so darn good at it.

Let me back up.

Have you ever taught a child how to use scissors?  There is so much hand-eye-brain coordination going on there, you'd think you were composing a symphony.  

I'm not kidding.

We are building strength in the hand muscles, lining up the paper with the scissors, squeezing the scissors fully without pulling to rip it instead and holding the paper with the other hand.

That is just to snip little pieces of paper one time.  And we keep going back to the beginning, so he has that base of strength to work with.

Wow, wow, wow.

Just when I think I can't be any more patient, I learn it in another way.  And in an encouraging way, nonetheless because he can't see me get frustrated.  If I do, then he will.

He needs high fives for completing a cutting session.  He needs claps for finishing one strip.  He needs praise words each time he squeezes the scissors all the way to the end.

Is this boring you?

Try teaching an almost five-year-old how to use scissors.  I honestly never thought I would.  It is tedious.  It is slow.  It seems like somebody else's job.

But it is mine.  And his.  And his progress and excitement makes it all worth it.

He is doing better and better at the writing, too.  I'm not going to get into all the minute details involved in that, but it's its own song and dance.

However, if he goes to kindergarten, and his teachers are impressed at how he holds his pencil, makes marks and uses his scissors, it will be sooooo worth it.

Because he is worth it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Captain B

Hello from the bay!

Brady P. had a new experience the other day.  He got to go to Porter's Island for the first time!  Okay, well, the real first time he was still in my belly.  The other day he got to see if for himself.

I'll let him tell you about it.

Hi!  This is Braeden.

We got to go out in the pedal boat.  It was really cool.  I like the pedal boat because I get to sit in the middle in the front.  If the water is calm, Mommy lets me steer.

The other day was not calm.  Mommy and Auntie Stacia had to fix a part of the boat before we got in the water, but that gave me more time to throw rocks by the Harbor Haus.

I got to wear my life jacket.  It is really snuggly and keeps me warm.  I feel really cool when I wear it because I am the captain.  I tell Mommy and Stacia where to go, but they don't always listen.

I got to sit in front in the middle and the girls pedaled with their feet.  It reminds me of watching Mommy ride a bike except we are on the lake.  

It was not peaceful like the last time I went out.  The waves were higher and Auntie Stacia got wet.  Her part of the boat was filling with splashes and then I started to get wet, so I hopped on to Mommy's lap, but that was not comfortable because her legs kept moving up and down.

We got close to the island, but they wouldn't pull in.  They said it was too steep, and we had to go to a different place that took forever to get to.  I kept pointing and shouting in my Captain voice to get them to stop sooner because I saw so many rocks to throw!

But they did not park.  They pedaled for a long time instead.

Then we turned in to the little spot they talked about and I got to get out and throw rocks!  I threw rocks the whole time we were there!

Captain B and his girls with the mainland in the back

The girls mostly talked to each other.  They always talk a lot when they are together.  They are really good friends.  I love my Auntie Stacia.

Mommy was proud that it was my first time on Porter's Island, but I don't really know how it was different because the rocks looks the same as most places. 

After the girls got cold, we hopped back in the boat.  I got to ride in the middle and steer a little bit with Mommy because the waves were smaller and helped push us back to the Harbor Haus.

Stacia played music in the boat, but she did not play Bounce Patrol or animal sounds.  I should get to pick the music because I am the captain.  But they got to sing and have fun, so it was okay.

I guess they should get to have fun sometimes, too.  Just kidding.  I want to be the captain again soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Music is Life

Let's just stick with the obsession theme.

This week it's music.

Brady P. loooooooooves music.  He'll come out of his room in the morning (sometimes too early for my taste), and run into my room.

"Hi-ee!" he'll shout in his breathy voice.  

"Good morning, sweetie!  Want to come up and snuggle with me?"

It always used to be, "Yes."  And we would snuggle our hearts out.

But lately, sometimes he shakes his head and says, "Music."  I roll my eyes, slightly offended.

"Okay, then.  Go turn on the speaker."

Then I play a song from my phone through bluetooth, hoping he'll approve.  And roll over.  Just a few more minutes of sleep, please.

But if he doesn't approve, he'll let me know.  I hear those determined footsteps run into my room and stop right where he gave me that sweet morning "hi."

"Next, please," he wines and signs to me.

"Thanks for using your words, Braeden," I squint through the morning light.  "Let's see what's next."

And when he likes it, he runs out with bells on.

This is every morning.  Every single morning.  And I do it because it ensures his good mood for the day.  It sets the tone in his brain.  He likes to feel purposeful, and expressing himself through music does the trick for him.  It does for him what coffee does for most people.

I'll let him tell you about it.

Hi.  I'm Braeden.

I'm really cool.

I like to listen to music.  I like it on all the time.  Except when we leave.  Or eat together.  Or read a book before bed.  Then I turn off the speaker.  The speaker is blue and it sits on the floor so I can reach it and hear it really good.

Mommy plays me music through her phone.  I don't know how it works, but it's like magic, and I hear it on the speaker.  Whenever I see her use her phone, I know she will be my DJ.

I really like Bounce Patrol and Cocomelon.  I like Halloween songs, finger family and EIEIO.  I like songs about animals and hearing animal sounds.  Sometimes I can use my words to tell Mommy just what I want to hear, but sometimes I can't say the word right, so she guesses.

She guesses a lot.  Sometimes she has to guess for a long time before I like a song.  She gets a little angry when I don't like any of the songs she plays, but I don't want to listen to the wrong song.

I like to dance to the right songs.  I know actions and words to a lot of the songs.  I practice a lot.  

I like it when someone new comes over because then I get to show them my dance to the song.  They always like my moves, and I make sure they are watching me the whole time.  

And Mommy can not sing along.  That ruins everything.  I get frustrated a lot because she likes to sing along a lot and I have to shush her so much.  Why can't she just remember that I don't want her to sing?  Those are my songs to sing.

Otherwise we have fun.  We have some songs that we both like, so sometimes we dance together.  I learn a lot by watching her because she really likes to dance and has some neat moves like handstands and one foot spins and cool kicks.  But she can only dance if I say so.  Otherwise I have to shush her again.  She is so dramatic.

Okay, well, I really like this song, so see ya.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Rock Star

Brady P. has a few obsessions...

Anything animals. Throwing rocks. Shooting a basketball.  Eating pizza.  Playing with Grammy. Listening to music over and over and over again.

... to name a few.

Today we will focus on rocks -- or the act of throwing them into the lake.

Now, I am not actually in his brain, but I see his reaction, his intensity, his passion and his talent for this particular sport. 

I watch him do it every day the weather allows.  I notice how the last rock gets thrown with the same gusto as the first.  I know that he never wants to leave the beach.  I feel his arms get stronger.

He is obsessed.

Now I'll let him tell you about it to the best of my ability.
Hauling a big one!

Hi, I'm Braeden.

I am really cool.

I like to throw rocks in the lake.  When it lands, it breaks the lake apart.  The lake pieces fly up to make all different kinds of patterns.  We call it a splash.

Sometimes the lake parts go way up high.  Sometimes they go under the water instead.  Sometimes they go out to the side.  Sometimes they even come back and get me wet.  Then my mommy yells, "Woo!"  She is silly.

Everytime a rock hits the lake, it makes a different pattern.  I have thrown truly a lot of rocks, and I have never seen the same pattern twice.  I have tried, but it hasn't happened yet.

The rocks also make different sounds when they break the lake apart.  

After listening to truly a lot of rocks, I would say that bigger rocks mostly make a deeper sound.  It's like a big gulp.  Some smaller rocks make a higher sound like a ting.  I like to throw different sizes of rocks because then I can hear all the sounds.

We throw three different sizes of rocks on the beach.  Little, medium and big.  Well, sometimes giant, but Mommy says we have to leaves those ones on the beach.  It's part of the earth sometimes.

I like to tell her when I find different sizes of rocks.  Sometimes she corrects me and says that a big one is actually medium or medium-big.  We have good talks on the beach.

We also like to talk about how the rock lands in the water.  When I find a flat rock, I give it to Mommy, so she can skip it, but she isn't very good, so a lot of times we just say, "Not a skipper!"  Haha.  It's funny.

If I get hungry and we ate all the snacks, then I want to go home.  If I want to watch computer, then I blow the lake a kiss and start to walk home.  Sometimes it gets cold, and Mommy says we have to go. And if I throw a rock at her, then we have to go in a hurry.  I can tell she gets mad, but I still love her.

We always blow the lake a kiss and say, "Thank you beautiful lake!"  Mommy really likes the lake, too.  I'm glad because then we go out everyday.  We have some cool spots to go to.

I really like to throw rocks, and I can feel my arms getting stronger.  

Okay, see ya!