Jack started talking May 18! I was taking the boys to the church for Parent’s Night Out, holding Jack’s hands as we crossed the street. He started grunting as he always does, and I said ‘I can’t give you what you want if you don’t tell me what you want’ as I always do. Then without a pause he turned, pointed, and said ‘I want that’ as clear as day! The pointing is big news…in general he seems not to know what that means. And the fact that he did that in response to my statement is huge news…he still doesn’t really answer questions. And saying ‘that’ is big…it wasn’t something concrete (a toy/book/the truck) he was telling me about. All in all it was a momentous moment. So momentous I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about it!

But there have been lots happening since then. That night our date was putting together a bunk bed/tent-like-job for the boys. Max was so shocked…we didn’t tell him we had it…just sent him to PNO, put it together, then told him to go to bed. :-) That was fun.

The next day we had to put together the new Ikea shelves for the guest room, because Grandmom was coming to stay almost a week. But the Monday before she came I hunkered down for 1 1/2 days of intense potty training. Result: failed. I’ve tried to train Jack a few times before, starting with the spring after he broke his leg. When he was in that body cast I realized he was staying dry most nights and then peeing after he woke up. I’ve tried to use that to my advantage and get up with him and put him immediately on the potty, but there seemed to be no knowledge of what his body was doing. I tried again once or twice more, once for sure when Jennifer (the ABA therapist was here), but I was still very unclear about what he understood. These last few months he’s been talking about the potty, going to the potty (which we actually call toilet in an effort not to confuse him about what comes out vs where it goes) and picking up the lid then pulling his pants down…then not wanting to sit there. I waited till he had 2 weeks off of therapy and decided I’d make my big move then. I’d read about potty training in a day and decided to try it. I never thought he’d get it in one day, but it sounds like good reasoning. Give your kid so much to drink he has to pee many times in that one day. Say ‘no no’ vehemently when he pees on the floor and bring him to the potty, etc. Usually Jack can hold his pee so well that when I’ve worked with him before he’ll start to pee on the kitchen floor, stop it, then sit on the toilet for forever with no pee. So this time I had all kinds of drinks and the boy drank! He drank so much he couldn’t hold it and peed all the way to the potty! I didn’t fuss at him…I expected some of this, but I was talking loudly I’m sure (no surprise there). And the first time when he did pee/poop on the toilet (after sitting there no less than 30 mins, the last half squirming trying not to pee) I clapped and ‘yea’d’ for him. He generally loves that type of attention, and is always clapping for himself, but it didn’t seem to go over well here. Tj said to be quiet the next time and see if that made any difference, and it did seem to the next time. He did it on the potty twice that day, and I gave him candy afterward, though he didn’t always want the candy at first. This makes me think he really doesn’t understand that it was a reward, even though he still says ‘potty, toilet, candy’ about every day.

We worked really hard that Monday (the 21st), and again the next morning, but about 10am I was ready to give up. He still resisted peeing on the potty, though he was a little more interested in standing up to pee than sitting down. I really don’t know what to do…but part of me says that he was having such a verbal growth spurt that maybe he couldn’t handle other types of growth/change, especially not such drastic ones. An hour or so after we stopped Tj told me that since he was retiring soon I’d probably need to get all new referrals for therapy, and that meant we’d probably go a few weeks w/o therapy. As much as I want him to get all they’ll provide, I also know that him missing some therapy is not the end of the world. But I started crying. I’m sure it was the mental stress of the potty training. I’m so tired of trying to figure out how much to push him…how much he understands…how much he should be accountable for and how much I should do for him. Anyway…

After that Grandmom came so I sat in the back of the truck whenever we went anywhere…and boy did Jack talk! It started the minute he was strapped in and didn’t stop! He has the phrase ‘I want ____ please Mama/Daddy’ memorized, which is good. Unless we’re on the way to the airport/restaurant/church and he’s asking for bubbles/slide/playdough/a million other things he can’t have in the truck. Heh. It about drove us crazy. He’s slowed down a lot since Max is back sitting by him.

Then we had one last week of Tj’s vacation, and he started back to work last Monday (June 4th). We had the best time of our married lives the first several months of this year. But they were followed by some of the worst times. Kinda like Pharaoh and the 7 lean/fat years, I guess. I think the humongous stress of finally retiring from the AF/looking for a job/not being sought after for a position/finally getting a job offer/worrying about the new job/etc etc etc was really taxing on both of us. I kept thinking if we could just hang in there till he started his new job things would go back to ‘normal’, and I think they finally have. Of course this week is VBS at church which is anything but normal…guess we’ll see! :-)

Max and I (and Jack, usually) have been listening to the Chronicles of Narnia since December. We’ve loved them! We just finished the last book so I picked up Alice in Wonderland for us now. On the way to the store we started it and boy, was it rough! I understood it when I wasn’t concentrating on driving…it wasn’t that difficult, but I doubt Max got much out of it. After the intro ended I turned it off and said ‘Wow, that was rough, huh?’ to Max. He agreed. I said it must’ve been a poem before the chapter and now we were gonna start the book, and it would be easier to understand. Max said ‘Maybe it was a pro-la-gue?’…a prologue :-) That cracked me up; that’s my little reader.

Along these lines almost every time we get in the car if the radio’s not on Jack says ‘Narnia’ or ‘Klove’. And this morning at breakfast he pointed out the window and said ‘fly, bird’!!!! My little talker! :-)

He’s recognized numbers for a very long time now, over a year, I think. But twice today he’s actually counted something. I think he may be beginning to understand what numbers are :-)

Poor ole Jack…haven’t written much about him lately though he’s changing so much. I guess part of the problem is that change happens so slowly by the time he really gets here I forget to blog it.

January or so he was hardly even talking. A couple of weeks ago he would say one of 2 phrases: ‘I hear atrain’ or ‘I hear aplane’. Last week he added ‘I hear a thunder’. Tonight he said ‘I hear a bird’ then ‘a Max’ and ‘a Mama’.

He still has trouble remembering that talking gets him what he wants (or it’s a good start, anyway). I took him and Max to run errands Friday and it was just so miserable because Jack just whined and whined instead of saying ‘down’, ‘eat’ or ‘drink’. I don’t ask him to speak in complete sentences, but if prompted he can remember to recite ‘I want _____ please Mama/Daddy’. He’s definitely making progress and lots of it, it’s just sooooooo slow.

The other day he gave Tj a ‘biiiiiig hug’ then a ‘little hug’ :-) I think that shows he’s starting to understand/see the relation between those two words.

In January we started forcing him to put his own clothes on more and to climb into/buckle his own seatbelt. Just yesterday he put on shirt/shorts/socks and one shoe w/o me touching him :-) He can put both arms in and can buckle the top part of his seatbelt.

I have a big plan to potty train him when school ends…he has 2 weeks off of therapy and I’m hoping to mostly accomplish that goal by the time summer therapy starts up. Say a prayer: May 21’s the big day!

Max heard about baby showers and asked if babies get presents when they have their first shower. :-) I told him it may have to do with ‘showering’ a person with gifts. I tried to quickly explain but he cut me off to ask excitedly if they really drop presents down like out of an airplane?! I said no, and he asked if we could do that his next birthday…then started figuring out the logistics and talking about how many parachutes we’d need. This is such a fun part of having kids… imagination/innocence/presents out of planes.