September 13, 2011


We had a few sweet weeks where my buddy was communicating well, eating at the big table, happy and (almost) behaving.  He was also sleeping through the night.  Ahhhhh... it was so nice.  Needless to say, we aren't there anymore. 

My buddy has reached max-frustration level.  I really don't know what to do for him.  There are several things that can set him off like when the music in the car isn't what he wants.  If we are out for a walk and monkey bear gets too far ahead of him.  When he wants to watch TV and it's turned off.  And, of course, anytime I say, "no". 

His reaction these days is to throw himself on the ground while complaining.  My buddy will also bang his head on the ground or hit himself in the head.  And there is no shortage of throwing and screaming.  He doesn't want to hear anything you have to say and the only thing I can do is just hug him.  I understand that this is typical behavior in younger kids but it just more painful to watch your almost 3 year old acting this way.

Some days he really tries to tell me things, but even with the signs he can be hard to understand.  My buddy says only the ending sound to words.  So horse and shoes sounds the same.  As does bike, walk, and truck.  Those times when he tries to tell me something new and I actually get it, we are both so proud.

The latest manifestation is his refusal to eat anything that isn't a cracker.  I make my buddy a meal - one that he typically loves and would eat every last bite of - he will nibble a little then spit it out and throw it across the room.  Then he says, "eat" and does his little, "hmmmmmm" like he is thinking of what he wants to eat.  The only time he does eat is when I get him a snack and he sits down on the ground in front of the TV.  (I know ... mother-of-the-year award here I come.)

It's been about a week with no fruit, no protein, little veges, and lots of milk and crackers.  I can't even get my buddy to eat a vitamin.  I've hear so many moms say, "Jimmy won't graduate High School doing (insert undesired behavior here)."  Meaning, don't sweat it because it will pass just like everything eventually does. But I can picture my buddy being 18 and sitting in front of the TV eating crackers.

Do I take the pressure off and just let him eat only crackers hoping he'll change his mind and join us for a meal?  Do I get super strict and only offer him food if he is sitting at the table?  Does his high chair pulled up to the table not really work for him?   Maybe there is nothing different I can do. 

September 2, 2011

open house

This afternoon was the open house at my buddy's soon-to-be preschool.  It was an informal 30 minute meet the teacher/other kids/fill out paperwork kind of a thing.  As we entered the classroom, most parents were sitting down in pint sized chairs filling out all necessary papers so their kids can start school in 4 days.  Let's just say I was not one of those parents casually checking boxes while my child played nicely or sat next to me and colored.  You could find me with the red folder tucked under my arm stopping my buddy from running out the door, playing in the toilet, dumping all containers, etc.  At least they don't need my information for a few more weeks.

I was slightly relaxed and optimistic about my buddy starting preschool in October... until today.  I felt like I was in a movie where the heroine is trapped and looks in every direction seeing more and more danger with no escape.

There was a nice selection of items that my buddy can use against himself - scissors, sharpened pencils, play coins just the right size to choke on.  Pan to the bathroom with a door that doesn't close all the way.  Imagine my buddy with his hands in the toilet with no lid.  Oh, and while your imagination is working, feel free to add his body covered in the markers that are accessible.

My buddy will have a field day with the teacher's desk, the computer and books with paper pages.  I can't even think about the poor kid who gets one of those ginormous wooden blocks smashed into his head.  After a while I had to stop looking.  I started the mantra: he's not the first kid with Down syndrome to go to preschool.  They must know what they are doing.

I'll do my best to warn them at our PPT next month.  Just look out for the innocent 3 year old who happens to be next to my buddy when the urge to throw is too big to ignore.  Never take your eyes off my buddy and just assume 80% of his behavior will be inappropriate.