Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Noah.........Happy 10th Birthday!!

Today you turned 10 years old. It is so hard to believe you could be 10 years old already! Seems like only yesterday you were being born and in preschool, then kindergarten, then at home with me. Time definitely is how we perceive it.

Your "ideal" day for your birthday was to EAT OUT for every meal. We did not have breakfast as we slept in today so we had an EAT OUT lunch and EAT OUT supper. We called grandma C. as her birthday is tomorrow and we love her so much ask her to come up and go out to eat with us. She did. She also wanted to see our Christmas tree. We were going to go to your favorite place..Burger King was way too crowded! We ended up at Kentucky Fried Chicken instead.. driving HER car which you said "smelled like Motel 6" ...and we had a wonderful lunch. Then back to our house with grandma C......and later we a fabulous birthday cake from a local store bakery. THIS cake was superb! It smelled and tasted like a real bakery birthday cake should......NOT like that one we got last week from Kroger's which was so nasty no one could even eat it. So from now on we get all our cakes from the local store's bakery department. I mean this cake is soooo yummy! So grandma C. and I had hot tea and cake while you had milk and cake. It was wonderful .....

Then grandma C. went home...and later you decided you wanted to try Burger King again for supper if they were not crowded. I was not hungry but got a coffee while you ate. Your real goal was to play in their new play area. We pulled in and there was no one we went inside for you to play.

This flooded my mind with memories of the past...when we used to take you to a public place to parks....or fast food play areas. I remember times when we had to make sure no one else ever came to the park while you were there or the play just the site of other children approaching would be enough to set you off into screaming and crying frenzies. OR you would start out playing pretty well with the other kids.....but would get overloaded quickly and end up pushing one down or shoving one too hard.....or things like that. Oblivious that what you did was wrong. You had a problem letting anyone else be first at anything..or taking turns with the play area equipment. Things you sometimes still struggle with.

BUT now you love to play with other kids....and usually cannot get enough.

I have to say you have made some amazing progress. Before entering the play area you saw another little girl in the dining room and you looked at me and told me "my brain is on alert as there is another little girl here that is smaller than me so if she comes into the play area I will have to be very careful!" I was thrilled that you realized this and knew this for once without me having to remind you. You told me you already KNEW this.....this means after YEARS of prompting that connection has finally made a permanent place in your brain so you can call upon it in similar situations again in the future! It is stored in your memory banks like a computer!

I sat in the Burger King play area.....still slightly anxious although nothing like I used to get....wondering if any other child came in....if you would be okay playing with them.....or if you would get too overstimulated too fast.....or get too rough. Or blurt something out loud that was inappropriate. I used to dread seeing another child come to a play area...and in fact......we would have to get you ready to leave most places if other kids showed up. We used to try to plan outings to parks and places where no other kids were.....or places we could leave quickly if they did show up as you just did not handle being around other people or kids well when you were younger.

MOST times now you do pretty well actually....and I felt myself relax a bit in the chair ...realizing I no longer need to "hover" and watch you every second and your every move in the play area. You interacted with the other kids very well in fact as they came in. At first it was all girls and you have always gotten along very easily with girls...and playing games with them so you were having a good time. One girl was a bit rough though...more like a boy would be...pushing you and actually almost choking you.....things like that. Pulling your arms......pushing you forward. In the past if I had seen this I would KNOW this would soon be enough to set you off to having a fit and body slamming them to stop it.

I did well. You returned some of her pulling of the arms and things back always looking my way for reassurance or permission to continue as you know we do not play rough. Since the girl and you both were having fun and she wanted to play that way I let it go on for a bit. You came over the to fence and told me she was not hitting you too hard....and that you were fine...but finally as things from her end escalated a little too much and you had already been playing about 90 minutes....which is a record I think for length of successful playing time with other children without incident......I decided you better come down and take a break and we should get ready to go. I also reminded you we did not play "rough" and pull arms or push and if someone else was doing that we should not play for awhile as it is just not a good idea to play rough.

Then the BOYS showed up.....3 little boys......"toddlers" you called them. You had become pretty bossy over the play area by this time and were giving commands to your Princess as you were the PRINCE and you and she were apparently protecting your kingdom from these little boys. You both were determined to not let this other little boy come up and play in the same area you two were. BUT you were so determined that when the little boy came up you sat down and tried to grab him or keep him from coming up in the play area....and I knew this poor little kid was a little afraid of you...even though you were not hitting or being was not very nice to not let him come up and to a little kid.....I am sure he was afraid of this bigger boy not letting him come up to play with his brothers.

SO I made you come down. You tried. The little boy was in the way. You finally blurted out to me "I'm trying to come down but this annoying little toddler is in the way and I can't!!"

I about lost it. While it was funny actually and maybe even was totally inappropriate and I let you know it when you came down. I explained it all to you...and how that was inappropriate to say that and not nice...and how it would make you feel if the situation was turned around. In fact you have been in that situation before and I reminded you of it and how it made you feel. SO I said it was time to go. You handled that well your shoes on.....your face was beet red and you were so tired anyway...I think you actually were ready to leave.

From there we hit up the Goodwill store...and then to Wal*Mart to get you a few things. You were so worn out you had to ride in the cart...and I had to pick you up OUT of the cart at the car because you could not walk. It still worries me you get that exhausted from that short of a period of time of playing. I know some of it is physical and due to your low muscle tone and stamina and maybe your heart issue....deconditioning.....etc...but I need to make another appointment with the cardiologist as you now have 4 characteristics of Marfan's I want to discuss that with her as well as get another check on your aortic valve situation. said you had a wonderful birthday! You were hoping you could go back to Burger King and play with that little girl again had a ball!! And you said next year you wanted to do the exact same thing.....KFC for lunch......BK for supper and the play area....then Goodwill and Wal*Mart. I don't know too many kids who would be so content with so very little.

I love you Noah Wesley. You are growing up into a wonderful young man...but so fast!



motherofanothernoah said...

When you went to KFC did he eat crispy strips????

Melinda said...

no...they no longer make crispy strips...he eats POPCORN chicken instead

kristi said...

Oh, sounds like a great birthday! Everytime I take TC to McDonald's he gets way overstimulated and it never fails that there is a birthday party going on...UGH.

Betsy said...

I so enjoyed reading this! Noah did just great! I can totally relate to that dread and waiting for something to stressful. I just did this Friday night at my sister's home out of full of people, noise, etc. The boys did well but we had Alex have a terrible tantrum and meltdown just before going, so I was on high alert. Although nothing bad at all happened, I was exhausted just from anticipation!

Happy birthday to Noah...he's really come a long way! It's just wonderful and I'm so happy for both of you! :)

marie6 said...

Happy birthday to though a little late, so wonderful to see what good progress he's making. god bless you and wishing you a happy new year!

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

Happy Birthday to Noah! Glad to hear he had a fun day, and that cake looks divine! Best wishes to you for the new year.