Monday, May 2, 2011

Recently in the Valdosta Daily Times Rant and Rave section a reader posted a rant concerning a child that was screaming in a store and the mother was ignoring the child's behavior. The ranter seemed to be taking both displeasure at the behavior of the child and the behavior of the mother. The ranter went on to give advice on the discipline need by the child. Offering that such a poorly behaving child should not be out in public. In a subsequent rant posted by another reader it was suggested that the child should be put on a leash.

A year ago I probably would have agreed with both ranters. "Children should be seen and not heard". There are children with behavioral problems that can be addressed with the usual disciplinary actions. There are children with developmental disorders that have behaviors that cannot be addressed with the same methods. I have learned not to be so quick to judge.

If your children are grown or if you never had children at all it is easy to draw quick conclusions as to "what I would do if that child was mine". Think of it in this light. That child needs support from the grown ups around it. If we all grow old we too will seek support from the "grown ups" around us. Remember the old addage, what goes around, comes around.

That said,

Where do I start? I want to keep this interesting to everyone that takes the time to read my ramblings about my two little buddies and their big sister, AKA "the pill".
Erin, Cole and Cale were overnight guests Friday. As usual they push Marcia and I to our physical limits.

Having all three, Erin, Cole-Man, Cale, changes the dynamic. When Erin is here by herself she is completely independent of Marcia and I. She wants to do everything for herself. Throw the two boys into the mix and she has to be in the middle of everything. Telling the boys what and what not to do, telling Marcia what they want and don't want. She trys to mother the boys and protect her status as NO. 1 at the same time. It is sometimes humorous and sometimes frustrating. I truly feel for her Mom, Brandi. Forty eight hours of Erin's struggle to be both protaganist and antagonist wears me out. But still as soon as she and the boys leave I miss them all.

That aside, Cole played hard from the time Brandi and Chris dropped them off till he went to bed. Driving his push car, trying to ride the trike and swinging in his swing. They all went upstairs around 8:30 and had their bath and dressed for bed. Marcia sleeps upstairs with them when they are here and I sleep downstairs.

About 2:15 AM, I hear this little voice. "Pappy, Pappy, where's Pappy". It is Cole-man. Marcia puts him in the bed with me and goes back up stairs. Cole talks and jumps and gets out of the bed. Turns on the TV. Then he wants to watch "Thomas".

"Thomas is on the DVD in the den. So I grab a blanket go to the Den, get in the recliner. Cole turns on the TV puts "workshop" in the DVD and climbs in my lap.
Then he says,"need pillow, need pillow Pappy". I tell him "well go get a pillow".
He climbs down, goes to the Bedroom and returns with two pillows. Gives me one and crawls in Marcia's chair with the other. I am thinking good he will go to sleep and then I can put him in the bed. Right!

Once he is in Marcia's chair, he calls out,"Pappy, covers, covers Pappy. I get up and give him a comforter from the couch. Again thinking in a matter of minutes he will be asleep. Wrong!

He climbs out and retrieves his "Thomas" book. Climbs back in my lap. "Read Pappy, read. He points to the first page and smiles as he say "click clack, click clack" the words on the first page. He turns a few pages and points, "Hiro stuck in mud" then turns the page and says, "uh-oh Spencer" then turns a page or two. "Hooray for Hiro" he says as he points to the page. We repeat this for a few more minutes, then he changes the DVD again. "watch splish splash" then watch "Thomas bration"(celebration). This goes on until about 5:15 before he finally goes to sleep in my lap and I carry him back to bed where we both sleep until we are rudely awaken by his "Granny" at 7:00 AM.

Needless to say I was not a bundle of energy for the rest of the morning.

Back to the book and the pages that Cole recognizes. Don't know what it is he recognizes that allows him to repeat the words printed on those pages but he does put the right pages together with the words. Not only that he uses the right inflections on the words in the context of the story. He raises his eyebrows and draws his mouth into a circle and takes a deep breath as he say "uh-oh" then claps and bounces as he says "hooray for Hiro".

Doesn't sound like much for a five year old, but it is light years from where he was a year ago.

Then there is the other side. He don't like bandaids. Marcia put a little ointment on an insect bite that was red. Then she put tried to put a bandaid over it. We got the bandaid on, but he wanted it off. "Take it off, take it off". Then we struggled to get it off. Then he wanted the one Marica had put on Cale off also. He tried to take it off Cale's leg.

"Band aid off, Cale. Bandaid off Cale. Cale don't want it". As soon as we took Cale's off Cole calmed down and everything was fine.

Cale is making progress as well. He is talking more and asking for the things he wants and wants to do with short phrases. He still is hard to understand at times but he is definitely putting words together. Cale is not as attracted to the DVDs as Cole. He plays with toys and puzzles more. He loves to climb. He is constantly on the kitchen table or our bed. And he loves to emulate everything Cole does. If Cole swings, Cales swings. If Cole gets in the "car", Cale gets in his car.

I try to get each of them to count when they are here. In the swing I get them to count 1,2,3 before I push swing. Cale is counting up to 6 on his on in the swing but as he went up the stairs on his way to bed he counted the stairs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

They are learning and every little bit is a blessing.

I will go now, but I will ask that you consider supporting a children's charity.
There are many and I hope that you will visit FRAXA support research into causes and treatments for FRAGILE X. FRAGILE X is the genetic disorder that affects our Cole-man. Below is a link to an article on drugs being tried to correct Fragile X syndrome. Again Thanks.,0,7738702.story

PS: Congratulations to my friend Austin Lodge and his bride Keri.


  1. What a great post and a wonderful Pappy you are. Sleepy too I bet. We give Holly (melatonin) at night otherwise we would be watching little Bear until 4 am too. The band aid thing could be a sensory issue, Holly also has problems with those but I have found it helps to use one with character's we have Scooby Doo and Dora. It is a lot of mental Work for her to keep it on, and she talks about it constantly and Mommy has to have one on too, but she keeps it there now with practice so it's nice. Your Cole reading the book reminds me of Holly. I think after hearing a story told 100's of times they are remembering the words you said with the pictures on the page. At least in Holly's case I don;t think she is associating the letters for the words as when she see's the words in other context she does not recognize them. But she too will do the same thing, she reads me Good Night Moon now, and it is so sweet when she gets to the end and say's Good Night noises Everywhere!

    Great post.

  2. Jim, I just love reading your posts. I am not as good putting it all down in words like you do but I certainly relate to every thing you write about our three little munchins. Don't ever stop blogging about our babies!!