I definitely suffer from a severe mama bear complex. This set in the moment Kolton was born. You see from the beginning Mike and I have always had to deal with something being wrong with our son. You might remember that Kolton was born with both testicles undescended. You can read about that here. So right away we were talking to doctors about what to do and if he will ever be "normal". Please know that I have some friends that read this blog that had actual life threatening situations with their infants. I am in no way comparing this little thing to theirs or anyone who has had a child born with difficulties. All I'm saying is I remember feeling defensive of my baby right away. I could only hope that the surgery would resolve the situation and that I wouldn't have to prepare Kolton to be teased in showers one day.
We have been on this speech delay and possible autism spectrum disorder journey for about 1/2 of Kolton's life. Through out I have been extremely defensive. Today was another one of those days. I took K to see a developmental pediatrician. Even though his vocabulary is exploding his preschool teacher is observing some problem areas. As are we with some of his tantrums at home. So I thought another opinion couldn't hurt. Well it does hurt...it hurts me.
Am I the only one who ends up almost walking out on these appointments? Is it too much to ask that doctors have a little more understanding and bed side manner? Especially when their chosen specialty is to tell parents that their child is not "normal". But maybe its me because I've had tense moments with his pediatrician, speech therapist, early intervention case handler, and anyone else who has had to observe him. I really hate the feeling. It's actually worse than doctors telling me something is wrong with me.
There still isn't enough to diagnose Kolton with anything specific. But there is enough to be concerned. Even physically he isn't quite up to speed with his pears. So now we have to get a school evaluation done again to see if he qualifies for special ed preschool in the fall. Maybe he will, maybe he won't is all the doctor had to say today....brilliant!
Thankfully my day ended on a much higher note. Kolton and I played, watched Cars, and snuggled. I seriously love that kid. And I make no apologies for the mama bear claws that sometime come out. Its purely instinctual.
What a busy day! Our scheduled was jammed packed. Thinking back to this morning or even lunch time feels like yesterday. We did have a couple hours at home but I didn't want to waste the whole time trying to put Kolton down for a nap only to have to wake him up. So we skipped it and the craziest thing happened. He actually sat on the potty....for 30 minutes! I promised him chocolate if he went. Unfortunately there was no action. Oh, how I wanted even the smallest tinkle so he could finally make a connection. I just hope the experience didn't confuse or discourage him. But I was so, so, proud of him! And of course I rewarded him with chocolate anyway. I'm really hopeful that we just turned a corner. I am planning on a 3 day potty training boot camp next weekend. Fingers Crossed People!!!
This was the 3rd time in the week so far that Kolton has had be beaming with pride. Yesterday at speech therapy he counted to 20 unassisted. He counts for me all of the time but usually I have to repeat each number and I wasn't so sure he would perform on command. He did awesome! Then later in the morning he rode the train at the children's museum all by himself for the first time. He screamed with delight. Its funny because he seemed so disinterested all the times I rode with him. I wasn't sure he would let me walk away. But he did, and again I was so proud.
It's been quite a while since I wrote to you like this. I'm not even sure anyone checks this blog anymore. But I'm thankful I have this platform to record my thoughts and feelings to share with you one day.
Last Sunday-the 19th of course-you turned 3 years old! Its crazy how, once again, time has seemed to both fly and crawl at the same time. Mommy and Daddy still feel a bit turned on our heads living in Richmond. But in late November we made the very tough decision to stay vs move to Northern VA. While maybe not all that exciting for us it is a wonderful place for you! You have so many friends-Brooke, Dylan, Cody, Graham, Abby, Emma, Ava, Lyla, Blake, Andrew, New Friend Andrew-just to name a few. You love your preschool and thinking about researching new ones and getting on a wait list fills me with anxiety. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot to do with wanting to stay for selfish reasons too...I hope we move into a nice, affordable, house sometime soon and thinking of having to start all over making new friends AGAIN is just an anxiety I couldn't handle. Baltimore is always and forever going to be part of your life but I think its better for you here.
So, just who are you at 3? The sweetest most loving little boy, and a wild, crazy, tantrum throwing dictator. You give the best hugs and kisses and often request them. Even your preschool teachers comment on how much love you exude. It makes me feel really good that it is evident you are growing up in a very affectionate home. Your little mind just amazes me. And there is no better feeling than watching you learn new things. You can count to 20, and you know all of your shapes and colors. You know almost the whole alphabet and we are working on spelling your name. Even though you are still considered delayed in speech I am no longer that worried. You say new words everyday and repeat everything I say. You know the difference between Football, Baseball, and Basketball. And you still love to be read to. Sometimes the same book over and over. It really makes me smile when you know whats coming before I even say it. Oh! And you are learning the words to songs too. That being said I'm not going to lie Little Man, there still might be something wrong...
Through out our day there are quite a few things that you do that concern me a little. They mostly have to do with your obsessiveness. Things have to be done, and said, in the exact same way, every time, every day or you lose your mind. Now its not like a rigid schedule or anything like that. But getting in & out of the car, warming anything up in the microwave, going up & down stairs, changing your diaper...all seem to have a ritual that if I skip parts you go into a panic. Only it comes out as a tantrum. I'm not really sure what to do? There is a part of me that wants to be sympathetic to your needs and there is a part of me that wants to lay down the law. This results in what I call fights; where we both end up screaming at each other. But because I'm such a push over, lately you've taken to bossing me around quite a bit. You often get your way, so maybe you are just smarter than I'm giving you credit for. Or, maybe there is actually something greater going on. You want to do EVERYTHING yourself. "Kolton do" is something I hear repeatedly and while I appreciate your curiosity and ambition sometimes I just want to flick a light switch on without picking you up to do it. We'll get it figured out soon, I hope!
Because of this I've been a bit reluctant to dig my heels in and tackle some of the milestones you need to be reaching like sleeping in a toddler bed and potty training. In my defense you still sleep wonderfully in your crib. You often lay there and talk to yourself while you wait to fall asleep. And you still take a big nap in the afternoon (sometimes in my bed). You only tried to crawl out of the crib once and fell flat on your back. You've never tried again. I'm slightly terrified about disrupting the peace, mostly because I like my sleep too. And you won't go near a potty chair... But you know what, we'll get through this together.
At 3 years old your favorite things are:
Playing with my iPhone-mostly watching videos of yourself
Music-highly inappropriate songs like Britney Spears' "Work Bitch" and will.i.am's "Scream & Shout"
School-you ask to go almost every day even though you only go on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Cars-especially ones that light up and make noise
Art-painting with a paint brush but, you don't like to get your hands dirty.
Green seems to be your favorite color but sometimes its Red
I am still so excited about getting to spend the majority of my time with you. Even when I'm exhausted at the end of the day. I am constantly filled with gratitude that I get to be with you as much as I do. Of course I enjoy time spent away from you too. But the cool part is I know its not for long. There is often this moment, right before you go to sleep, when you gaze up at me and just smile. Its almost like you know something that I don't. I hope that never changes.
I love you Kolton Michael, I love you to the moon, the sun, and the stars, then all around the universe and back again!
I still plan on doing a 2013 year in review. But, tomorrow I'm going to come out of my 5 day hibernation to recover from the holidays. It might become an annual tradition for me. Since New Years Day I've done nothing but hide out in my house. We are all a little sick, nothing serious, but just a few sniffles. So, we have all been sleeping in to compensate; even Kolton woke up around 9:30am the past two days. My decorations are mostly down but there is still some work to be done. Especially in the laundry dept. which was neglected for 3 weeks! I really needed this rest. We spent a solid 8 wonderful days visiting friends and family in Wisconsin, came home for 1 night, and then took off again for NYE. As social as I am sometimes I need a little break.
So its back to the land of the living tomorrow...speech therapy, music class, preschool, and playdates. Little man's birthday is around the corner too. We are planning on a small, laid back, celebration this year but still there is cleaning and shopping and cake ordering to be done. I need to get started on the 2013 photo book, which always takes longer than I think, pay bills, hire babysitters, etc, Life just starts to churn again.
The Holiday full court press is upon us. Aye, aye, aye, every year I swear I'm going to get done shopping early and every year I'm scrambling. Believe it or not, even a stay at home Mom doesn't have a ton of time. It doesn't help that Kolton isn't the best shopping companion. I also find that I lack gift inspiration. Cologne, candles, and accessories find their way into my bag every year.
Through all of the holiday stress it has been so incredibly fun to watch Kolton this year. Hard to believe this is his 3rd Christmas! He's really starting to get it with one glaring exception...he refuses to sit on Santa's knee. I have tried in vain 3 times...thankfully stay at home moms get to go to the mall when there are no lines! I can't wait to see his reaction when it comes time to open presents. I just hope I'll be able to stop him from ripping things open beforehand.
At just under 3 years old Kolton's world view of technology is vastly different from when I was his age. Even my 21 year old self couldn't have imagined all we can do and use our cell phones for. He knows how to navigate to his favorite games, apps, and music. "iPad" is in his vocabulary. I sometimes wonder about the things we use today that will be considered old fashioned in the future.
Once a week, when Kolton is in preschool, I go out for breakfast by myself. It's so wonderful just to sit there in peace and have a meal served to me without sticky, grabby, little fingers bothering me. Today I over heard two women having a conversation all about what a pain in the butt sending Christmas Cards is. And how Shutterfly will basically do the whole thing for you; even address and mail them if you are willing to pay for it. Since we are in the social media age I'm honestly amazed that we still do the photo card bombing during the holidays. Maybe this tradition will one day be extinct? But don't be surprised to see ours arrive in the mail this week!
Their conversation also reminded me of how hectic the holidays are and how I long to enjoy them as much as I did when I was a kid. Tonight I'm giving myself a Christmas break...buying cookies for the cookie exchange tomorrow and getting a manicure.
I don't know where to begin...it's been so long! But I've missed this! And I've missed you! I started to realize just how valuable it is to be able to document Kolton's toddler years in this way. I won't be able to update everything that's happened in the past few months in just one post. So here is a start...
Kolton's vocabulary is increasing every day. He knows all of his colors and can count to 20. He especially loves talking about all of his friends at school. One night we were naming the kids in his class and he named one I didn't know. This is so encouraging! For him to talk about something not in plain sight is wonderful progress. And he sings! The song from The Sound of Music; Doe A Deer is his favorite. Followed by Rock A Bye Baby, Jingle Bells, and a song I made up called Goodnight Kolton. Along with singing he also loves to dance. He grabs my phone ALL OF THE TIME and plays his music. Pit Bull and Britney Spears are his jams.