Monday, May 16, 2011

I Need...

"I NEED the doors!" Ethan was wailing loudly. Again.

We were at my in-laws' house Saturday, spending time also with my sister and brother-in-law, niece and two nephews, one of whom is only six weeks old and darned cute. My father-in-law had a bounce house set up, a water table on the deck, and a swing the kids could sit on, but Ethan couldn't seem to find the focus to stay on any of them for very long. He needed to play with the sliding doors on the deck.

Back when we were doing Birth to 3, one of the first things they taught Ethan when we were working on short phrases was "I want __." Milk. Cheerios. Swing. Whatever. I find it curious that Ethan has upped the ante a bit here. Never mind this "I want" thing. He needs it.

I was going to write this long post about my frustration with Ethan's re-invigorated interest in doors and windows (not so much because he's into them again, but because of what it represents -- he's off. Something is askew, sensory-wise, and he's out of focus and a little stressed and scattered right now and I don't know what triggered it or exactly how help him). I was going to, but honestly, I'm tired, and truthfully, sometimes I need to take a break from dissecting life (my old blog, I just remembered, was called Life Dissected).

So I will just say this. No, I haven't figured out why he is back to the doors and drawers and windows rather than toys, or how to get him out of the habit, or if I should let him do it and try to stop him, or redirect him. But in spite of all that, my boy spoke a 10-word sentence to me the other day. He went up to a kid on the playground and said, "Hi? What's your name?" He asked me to crawl into the tunnel and play with him. He knows how to spell his name and his sister's name.

In those Birth to 3 days, whenever Ethan couldn't do something and was getting frustrated, he would fiddle and fiddle with it, and grunt and cry, but he'd just about never try to get anyone's attention. He'd just keep working at it, and sometimes just give up and maybe throw it aside or cry. I remember Jessica would work with him, prompting. "Ethan? Say 'I need...'" hoping he'd say "help." And then just "I...." and would wait for him to fill it in. Eventually he would, but after a year of therapy, he'd still rarely ask completely unprompted.

Such a simple thing. How quickly I forget.

Now he's shouting it from the rooftops. "I need my window opened!" when we get in the car and it's too hot. "I need my shoe on!" when his shoe falls off. And, of course, "I NEED the doors!"

I don't know why he needs them. I wish he didn't. But I'm happy he can tell me.


Crystal Senzig said...

Love it! At our house, Ryan says "You want your glasses?" prompting us to ask him, then he says "ok!" It's much better than when he was three and couldn't even use two words. Can't tell you how many times others have had to point out that he's improved. Strange how that works. ;-)

Deb said...

Crystal, my son says the same thing! "Are you done?" Which means, "I'm done," or "You had fun?" which is "I had fun!" It's all in our perspective, right? :) Some days are harder than others to keep that right perspective, though...