Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big difference

Harry's word for cookie is "diddy" and has been pretty consistent for about a month. He knows what cabinet we keep them in and will ask for them at snack time. We try to limit them to organic, healthy cookies (No Oreos yet. We're not militant, but the poor kid just got his teeth. We'd like to keep them for a while.) and he only has a few at a time, but he loves them. So the other day, when he watched me empty the contents of his full diaper into the toilet, pointed and said "Diddy! Diddy!" I just hoped he wouldn't try to dive in after it as I flushed his poor "diddy" away. You really don't want to mix those two things up.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hungry Harry

For breakfast today, he had:

3/4 cup Calcium/Vitamin D fortified OJ
1/2 cup applesauce mixed with 1 tablespoon baby oatmeal
1/2 cup watermelon slices
2 slices of French Toast with syrup

It must be growth spurt time again. The boy ate more than his pregnant mother this morning. Soon, I'll have three boys like this, counting hubby. Yikes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Harry Joseph, Twenty Months

Dear Harry,

I didn't forget you this month! It is just that I have been with you 24/7 for the last 10 days. You were "helping" me at the library all last week and this week has been crammed with EI appointments and other fun things (house hunting!). I am home with you today, on the last day of Spring Break and so far, you have peed and pooped on Mommy & Daddy's bed. Both were diaper accidents (The pee was a faulty overnight disposable, but the poop was my fault. Mommy is clumsy changing you these days!) and we will be spending the afternoon washing linens. Good times!

You have had some fun firsts this month. You got your first haircut. You were getting very, shall we say, "fluffy" around the edges. As cute as that was, you hate having your hair washed, so it had to be cut. You screamed and squirmed and screamed some more, but it looks adorable. I think it is going to come in thick and curly now. Who can resist a little boy with blond curls?

You had your first ice cream cake for Daddy's birthday. You didn't like the crunchy cookie center (are you my child?) but you LOVED everything else about it. As you can see from the photo above, we had to throw you into the tub pretty quickly after that. Next day, when you pointed to the picture of a cake in your alphabet book, you looked at me and said, "Dada?" Yes, we had cake for Dada. And it was good.

You also have what might be your first lovey. At playgroup the last two weeks, your friend O has brought her Curious George doll. You love that monkey more than anything and kept taking it from her. We decided you should probably have your own, so we went to the Curious George Store in Cambridge to get you one. The store is hard to navigate with a stroller, so Daddy took you outside, while I explored. I found just the right one and bought it. When I took it out of the bag to give it to you, you got the biggest look of delight on your face. I wish I could have captured that on film. I'll never forget it. Since then, George has become a pretty regular presence around the house. He gets carried around, taken on walks, hugged, fed, put to bed and told stories. You have two other "friends" (Pooh Bear and Philly Joe Giraffe), but I think George is starting to edge them out. We'll see. You are nothing, if not unpredictable.

I'll write more about our EI (Early Intervention) adventures separately, but suffice to say that you are doing well so far. We should be starting a speech group shortly. I'm glad we are getting this started before your baby brother arrives. It will be nice for you to have your own thing to do that gets you some personal attention. That, plus some warm weather for lots of outside play will do you a world of good, while we have a newborn around.

You are now demanding I put the computer away, so I'll close by saying that you just get more and more fun to be around. Your boundless energy and cheerfulness are great to have around, despite the diaper accidents and tantrums. (I didn't get to those, did I?) We can't get enough of you (except at bedtime) and just love you to bits, little boy. I've got to go get you to stop banging on the furniture, so until next time, big hugs and kisses!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Early Intervention Adventures

On the advice of his pediatrician, the SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) at our developmental playgroup and friends and family who have been through it, we had Harry evaluated for Early Intervention, due to his lack of speech. At 18 months, he only had two words (still the same at nearly 20 months now). He has many sounds that mean things to him and a TON of signs, both real and made up, but no real spoken language.

In every developmental area in the evaluation, gross and fine motor, social and emotional interaction, perceptual, cognition and self care he scored above his age level. Then, there was communication. He scored 18 months for receptive language, which is age appropriate, but 11 months for expressive language, which is a significant delay. They loved all of his signs, but those did not count towards his evaluation, which in a way is good. If they had, he would not have qualified for help.

He qualifies for 6 months of speech therapy, which is all play based and happens here at home. He can also attend a weekly group with other children his age. They want us to continue using his signs with him and introduce more so that he has a means of expression until the verbal ability kicks in. And it will kick in, they assure us. At the end of 6 months, we will reevaluate and see where we stand.

In addition to working with the SLP, we are going to work with the Social Worker to try to give Harry (and us!) some tools to aid in getting him on a routine. Since he was born, this has been a HUGE struggle. He is very high energy and very "spirited" and we have a lot of difficulty getting him to unwind and sleep, especially since he weaned. His communication problems do not make it any easier. From what I understand, this is a common problem with children who have speech delays. Given the tools and some language progress, we hope it might become easier for us to work with him towards some sort of bedtime (!) routine.

We're looking forward to getting started. I have to work through feeling like I've failed him as a parent, even though I know that is irrational, since lots of kids go through this. I'll get over it. I know this is a step in the right direction and I know he will be fine. I really can't wait for him to be able to tell me what is on his mind, beyond animal sounds and made up words. I know someday, I'll be saying, "Harry, can you stop talking for a minute? Mommy needs quiet." As the SLP at playgroup said, "I can make them talk, but I can't make them stop talking." Though, right now, that sounds like a very appealing problem.