This week has given me a reason to slow down and try to focus on what is really important.
There is something going on with my 4 year old son, and for the first time, we will be taking off our ostrich hats and facing it head on this week. Thursday, he has an appointment with the doctor and the plan is to discuss his delays and issues. I am terrified. And a little bit, mourning my ignorant bliss.
Before I get into what is going on, I need to explain that I don't give one bit of an aerial poop what "letters" or names are assigned to his ailment. (OCD, ADHD, PDD-NOS, Sensory Integration Disorder and Aspergers' Syndrome are some of the things that have been tossed at me from well-meaning family members.) Jack is, and always will be, Jack, quirks and all. Some of these quirks are really quite amusing and endearing, but the fact that they seem to be escalating is what is worrisome. Intervention now only betters is chances of growing up normally and getting his learning curve on target. Also, despite all the armchair diagnoses, the kid is engaging, funny, interactive and all around happy. I just happen to think (finally) that he would benefit from a little structured therapeutic learning in some areas. All of those things are the reason why we waited so long to do anything about it. We really were waiting for him to grow out of it all.
Jack took his sweet time getting around to talking, and even now when he gets very excited sounds as if he is trying to speak with socks in his mouth. He will sometimes makes nonsense noises, and then laugh and giggle into a heap on the floor with amusement at himself. He is very excitable and has a very hard time slowing down to an appropriate "speed" in certain situations. I know he is 4, and a boy, and they all play into this too - but my "mom's inner voice" is telling me that there is more to it.
He has developed some pretty bizarre rituals, like stopping at every doorway to touch the threshold with the very tips of his toes, then he steps over, then lines his heels up to the threshold, and then finally keeps going. That is just one example. He also provides his own soundtrack. By that, I mean that ordinary everyday tasks have a corresponding sound to him (creaky opening doors, thud of marching shoes, etc)-and he makes all the sounds with his voice as he does each task. He also seems to be affected by background noise to the point that he will not be able to filter out actual dialogue. If the TV is on, in any room of the house, I might say "go get the blue comb on the table" and he stops listening at "go" and heads upstairs.
As a four year old he should be on the verge of wrapping up this potty/diaper standoff, but we really do have a ways to go. He just WILL NOT stop playing to go if he needs to. As long as I ask (remind) him to go, we are fine but if I don't, forget it. And don't even get me started on "Number two..."; for anyone who reads who isn't a parent - well I'll spare you.
When I was pregnant with Jack, and we found out it would be a boy, a friend said to me, "There is just something about baby boys and their mommies..."and she was right. Don't get me wrong, my daughter is my light and my joy, and she is the special soul who made me a mommy. I cherish all of our secret girlie moments. But my boy & I have something entirely different and ethereal. It doesn't have a label and can't be described, but it is something like I have never experienced with another human being, and I can only chalk it up to the "mom & boy" theory of which my friend spoke, nearly 5 years ago.
So forgive me if I mourn a little bit. If I am a little extra sad. Even if it ends up being a long journey, we will be the same people and the same family we are - but I just want my baby boy to be OK.