Monday, November 1, 2010

Closing the Door on October

Another month in the rear view mirror. Another double-digit month of post counts. There's a reason why that matters to me. This blogging thing is a part my growth, my therapy, and when things are at their worst for me mentally, the post count is at its lowest. My hope, my intent, is that it never dips below double digits again.

Goal for November? Get back into the twenties.

Whew...what a start to the the end of the Month it was yesterday, which happened to be not only Halloween but also marks the beginning of a whirlwind of activity over the next two weeks. But aside from any of the planned stuff, before the clock even struck 11:00 AM, Bennett had a nasty abrasion, about a pencil-width in diameter, on his foot. Very bloody and now crusted over with a scab.

In addition, he finally did the one thing I feared the most when it came to the stove and his obsession with discs/spherical shapes. He put his hand on one of the burners...while it was hot.

The boy is fast, and he got past one of the blockers and managed to get his hand on it. The scream, so shrill and heart-stopping, told me that he hit the hot spot.

There is no burn damage that requires medical attention, thankfully. It was not fully heated. But still, it makes you think. As he gets bigger, typical child safety equipment is no I have to start thinking outside the box. FAR outside the box.

The picture below is how I solved the issue with the kitchen island sink, which has a garbage disposal switch on the side. He used to love flipping it. I used an outdoor plate cover. Problem solved.

That kind of innovation is going to be needed in a lot of places, very, very soon. And in many of those places I lack the skills. I may need to call a real man to help me out.

Oh and Bennett wasn't done. He then smacked his mouth into the side of the counter, cutting something inside, so blood came squirting out. We tried to get a look inside, he would have none of that, but he calmed down fast and the bleeding stopped quickly, so we stopped trying to get a look. We will try when he naps. The mouth is very vascular, so even a minor nick in there will bleed a lot, or seem to.

But shit...ANY blood on your kid is BAD BLOOD. I hate it.

He recovered fast enough to quickly resume running around slamming a large toy train into the drywall. Something had been leaving these very attractive divots in all the walls that I could not figure out the source of for quite a while.

Then I saw him doing the train thing. I rigged some bumpers on the train, so the divots have stopped, but he has changed up the way he slams it now and there might be a danger of new holes.

It's like he just wants to bring the whole place down around us.

And then, of course, we have another son. Saturday, Carter was saying his throat felt sore. Sunday, he said it REALLY hurt. We look inside using the handy-dandy headband flashlight. I highly recommend that EVERY single human being on planet Earth own one of these, of some kind. You simply have not known the joy of how much easier tasks that require extra light is when you have the light strapped to your forehead and your hands are free to do whatever you need them to do.

White and yellow pus-looking thingies on the back of his throat and tonsils. Uh-oh. Off to Urgent Care and a diagnosis of Strep Throat. Oy. What a way to start the week, and the poor guy just had a miserable day on Sunday. But waddya gonna do? At least the Urgent Care was open and nearby even though it took 3 hours to get in and get out.

In case anyone was curious, I have NOT watched The Walking Dead yet. I haven't yet worked up the cajones, mang. That's 'balls' for the non-Spanish speaking members of the readership. I will watch it soon, I just lost my nerve when it got close to the time of its official premiere time, and I was able to use Football as an excuse to not face my fears. And no...not fear of zombies. Fear of facing those feelings I discussed in the last blog.

But I'll face them. Soon. And to those of you who read it and sent me private messages, thank you, they meant a lot. To those who commented, I will hit those in the Comments field but thanks for those as well. It was not an easy post to write, as you can imagine.

This week we have the final meeting between Jen and I and the Help Me Grow folks, the team that had been managing Bennett's benefits through the county since his first issues surfaced so many months ago, in the early part of 2009. We'll be saying goodbye to some wonderful people, one of whom I will miss a lot, who really was one of Bennett's strongest, most powerful advocates.

There is also the last of the transitional meetings, between Jen and I and the County School System, Step-By-Step Academy (the Autism School he attends now) and Help Me Grow, to determine the final parameters of his transition now that he will be exiting Help Me Grow at the age of 3, which he becomes on November 10.

Plus this week sees me heading to Step-By-Step Academy for my first of what I hope to be several Observational Sessions, where I will be able to view Bennett's ABA Therapy from behind a 2-way mirror. You know, the kind you see in all the cool cop shows. I get to be Vic Mackey for a morning! That is AWESOME! Do you think they'll let me go in and rough up some of the students? Get some confessions? JOKING. JOKING. I'm going so I can get a better understanding of the therapy sessions from a very intimate perspective.

I'm looking forward to that the most. I have much to learn to try to help in any way I can to improve Bennett's pace if possible. And don't misinterpret that as some sort of Soccer Dad mentality. I am not trying to position myself to get in his ear and force him down roads he isn't ready to traverse. By that I mean I will push him only if he is ready to BE pushed, but I can only know what he needs/wants if I understand HOW to do it.

I need to understand the therapy more completely, and this is one way to get to know it a lot better.

Sadly, Bennett had Physical and Occupational Therapy on last Thursday night, which also happened to be our neighborhood's Trick or Treat night. So I took Bennett to therapy, and Jen stayed here to take Carter Trick or Treating, while some family came to be at the house to doll out some treats. I was not able to get any photos of Carter making the rounds, or kids coming to the house, as I have in years past.

This REALLY bummed me out. Because years prior I have always had at least 50 or more great shots. This year? I managed to snap only a couple of Bennett enjoying a quick snack before I had to get him in the Lillymobile and get him to therapy.

Oh well.

As they say, shit happens. And I mentioned in a previous blog that I knew that some events and holidays were going to be affected by all of this, and that I'd have to just be prepared for it and make the best of it.

They both had fun, so in the end, even though I would wish that the four of us were together somehow for the experience, there is some solace in that.



  1. Wait, what? November tenth? Is that a birthday?

  2. We even had a bumble bee costume for madie...all she did was cry and wine all night..wanting nothing to do with me taking her picture or any sort of happy time..really sucked. But what can ya do. Cheered up about 8pm when I wanted her to be tired..:{

  3. Thanks for the great update....So sorry about the little one's injury and the bigger one's strep...They make our lives SO much more interesting!

    Transitioning in and out of programs...Boy, that brings back memories....I wish I had kept a diary of those days in the '80s & '90s...Would be intersting to refer back after all these years and all the changes we've been through (probably more ME changing than COLBY!) Some of the folks I was THRILLED to say "See ya" to....Most, though, there were tears because of the bond we had formed....

    I think you will love the observation....I also did some voluteering in the preschool(and later, the BIG school)....It helped me to accept things a little better....And to understand....At least to BEGIN to understand my "new life"....

    I can't wait to hear how these new changes go....


  4. I'll be rooting for your posting -- and I so enjoy reading them each day, so keep it up at least for my sake (cause I'm that important, I imagine). As for Halloween -- oy -- not being all together is a difficult thing to adjust to. You get used to it in the practical sense but never in the existential sense, I think.

  5. I, too, am on pins and needles to hear your report of what you saw, what you learned and what you plan to adjust at home regarding Bennett and the best ways to support his learning.

    It sounds like everyone in the family needs at least a basic digital camera...that way no matter what's going on where, someone will be able to cature the pics...

    KUDOS for the switch solution and the bumper on the train! That's fantastic! Maybe there can be a regular BodgeBlog on how to retrofit/improve thinkgs to meet specific needs. I'd love to chime in!

  6. I can relate to having to *big kid proof* the house. KC is four now but he still will touch the stove when he is mad. He is super fast. We have been using a stove guard...prince lionheart makes them, he has gotten to the point where he can pull it off. We have mounted gates on both doors to the kitchen too in case we need to physically keep him away. We have put hooks on the doors to outside because he able to open the screen if it is open and he will run right out. Anyway, I like the bumper on the train idea! KC has a tractor just like that which he loves to run into things...and me lol.
    I hope the observation was benificial. Sounds like a pretty cool thing to do.


  7. Oo! Hope the hand and the throat get better soon! This post reminded me of when my son was two years old and managed to climb on top of the refrigerator while I was preoccupied with his infant brother. Fortunately he stopped doing things like that (but of course moved onto bigger and better things)!


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