Well Steven is two now. This picture was taken Christmas day, as he opened his presents. Well, we kind of opened them for him and had him look at them. He plays with pieces of them, he's into blocks and cars now; his grandparents got him a red tricycle now, and he loves that. He also likes to torture the new cat we have. Our cat is named Toby, and he's part-feral. Toby is a little bastard, he likes to poop on the floor right in front of his litter box if you don't give him a good rub-down the moment you come home. It irritates the heck out of Big Steve (not that I'm upset about that). And yes, I have somewhat reconciled with him, but that is another story for another time, and that could change any day now. That story is like one of those books that you have to choose the outcome of on every page. The endiing is different for everyone, and the ending is truly up to him, if he wants this that badly, then he needs to get in line with the Father's wishes and get his stuff in order. NOW.
But onto my son...my wonderful son.
Steven just turned two. His father and I got along long enough to give him a wonderful birthday party, we had it at Chuck-e-Cheese's. I will never go there again. Well, yes I will, but that was the longest 2.5 hours of my life. But my son was so overjoyed, so it was all good. He went home and fell out, and so did Mama.
We found out recently that my suspicions were well-founded, and that Steven does indeed show signs of Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. Steven has had issues with food since birth. That kid threw up on me daily. Right now, he still has a limited diet that he will eat...well except for when he's at daycare; he's in love with his daycare provider, and you know what? That's okay. Due to his issues, I'm determined that he will have a group of people around him who not only love him but understand him, and she is one of those people. I am deeply grateful for her. She has become family.
Honestly, I have not had a chance to wish that Steven were a different child, he has always been who he is. I just want to make sure that we are prepared as parents to offer him the life he deserves. Occasionally I come across a child who is his age who is developing "on schedule", and it hurts a little bit, but I look at it this way: Steven was put in my life to give me purpose, a reason to live. I would not be here if it were not for him, as hard as it was to get him here, as much of a risk towards my life as it was to have him. He brings joy to every person who knows him. And ALL special needs children teach those who care for them to take nothing for granted. So I thank God for my child. Even when he's refusing to sleep at night, touching me with a slobber-drenched sock, or jumping on my head (his most favorite pastime). Steven does not know how to show excitement appropriately, so he just spazzes out. And no one makes him more excited than Mommy, I guess. So I must learn to endure it. :-)
Steve tells me that when he brings him home in the evenings, Steven takes a bottle, climbs on the bed, and surrounds himself in my pillows (because they smell like me). He also told me that he was in the car with him one day and a song called "A Song for Mama" came on, and Steven started singing along. That brought tears to my eyes, and when I hear it now, it brings tears to my eyes. He can't say much more than "Mama", but the fact that he recognizes that in a song and will sing along means so much to me.
Steven is only about 60% along to where he should be at his age, but we see progress every day. It's usually in the form of defiance, but it's still progress. Now that we know what the problem is, it's so much easier to approach him. Steven is a very bright, inquisitive, fast-paced little boy. He's just frustrated with the fact that his world does not seem to fit him right. I remember when his good pediatrician out at Kaiser (Steve's good gub'ment insurance) recommended that I have him screened for autism, I thought to myself, "how will other children treat him, will they pick on him?" I still have memories of how I was tormented as a child, and I will not tolerate that happening to my child. Goodness, some of the people I grew up with still had a healthy dose of disdain for me when they saw me at our ten year reunion. But they're buttwads anyways, and that's all they'll ever be. I asked a mommies group I'm part of what they thought, and one mother chimed in and said Steven would most likely be oblivious. And he is. For the most part, other kids don't exist to him until he's ready for them to. He will just ignore the crap out of you, and if you annoy him enough, he'll sock you one. So I think he'll be okay.
As far as his development goes, his speech is very limited, it dropped off at about the 18-month mark. Cognitively, I think he knows far more than we are aware, but since he does not talk, we cannot tell. He's very stubborn, so we have yet to learn just what he can do. But is participating more and more at daycare, so that is a positive sign. His therapy starts tomorrow, his therapist sounds like a really nice lady, and both Mommy and Daddy are excited. We will have to split the therapy sessions, because I'm working now. I got a temp-to-hire job out in Chantilly, and it pays really well. Today is a quiet day due to the weather, and so I decided to blog a little bit because it was long overdue.
Here's a picture Steven and I took at his birthday party. It was wonderful to see him so happy, and to see his eyes so clear. One of the things that I've noticed as his disorders have progressed is that a sort of film has dropped over his eyes, he's often off in his own world, and it makes me so sad. But occasionally you reach him, occasionally, he reaches out, and it's truly wonderful. I am so blessed in my little baby boy.