Friday, March 02, 2007

pillow talk and other victories

(To the left, Jacob gets a little drawing assitance from our new pup. I have oodles of stuff to update his art blog with, I'll try to get to that at some point today.)

We're getting close to mastery of RDI Stage 7. I can tell, not just because of the gains I've seen with the Stage 7 material, but also by the shifts and developmental gains in other parts of his life.

For Stage 7 (which includes both Self-Awareness and Caring For Others objectives), a good indicator for me was when the other night, while sitting at the computer looking at some photos I'd taken that day, Jacob suddenly left me when he heard Zoo Boy's cry of frustration from behind us. In a voice loaded with empathy, I heard him say "Oh, do you need some help with that? Here, I'll help you." He helped his brother assemble a piece of a toy, then rejoined me at the computer. I didn't need to spotlight this wonderful Stage 7 moment, Zoo Boy did it for me, with a "Thank you, Jacob!" as he dried his eyes.

But a surer indication to me of approaching mastery has been in Jacob's overall developmental growth in the past week. We're seeing new things, for the first time, on a daily basis.

For months now we've been dealing with a problem with Jacob not making it to the bathroom in time to pee first thing in the morning. He's always loved to lie around in bed after waking for an hour or so, chattering to himself, reciting lines from favorite videos or movies, quoting entire books, poety, singing songs, etc. We've never tried to discourage this -- I've always felt that his time prior to 8am (our official "get up" time) can be spent anyway he chooses to spend it -- the rest of the day is on MY schedule, that part of the day is all his. But as he's gotten older, and his bladder capacity has gotten greater, peeing in the pull-up he wears to bed has become problematic, as they just weren't designed to hold an entire night's worth of a 6 yr old's urine emptied all at once. So there's been lots of leaking, and consistantly I get up in the morning to a naked Jacob huddled under a sheet working on a puzzle. When I ask him WHY he's naked, he just casually mentions "Oh, my pull-up leaked" as if it's a crazy question, OF COURSE he didn't make it to the potty again, get over it Mom. Silly me.

Finally, a couple mornings ago, I decided to have a sit-down chat with him about it. He managed to tell me (via me guessing the right answer) that he's peeing because he wants to stay in bed and talk, etc. I suggested trying to make it to the potty as soon as he wakes up. So for a couple of mornings, I heard him make the mad dash for the bathroom in time, and then he came and told me about his success. Great! Then he crawled into bed with me and Zoo Boy and proceeded to cause enough disruption to wake Zoo Boy more than an hour earlier than he should have been awake. Not so good, it lead to some real over-tired ugliness out of the little dude during the afternoon hours. Last night, I suggested that perhaps he could get up to pee in the potty, and then go back to his OWN bed. "Oh, that's a good idea" he said. Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it, I thought.

But, lo and behold, this morning I heard him make the dash to the bathroom, then call out to me that he couldn't find any pull-ups. Oh yeah, I forgot we were out, I got out of bed to pull a new package out of the closet -- but there weren't any. As I dug around in the closet, Jacob informed me that he was going to go back to bed to go to sleep for awhile more once he got dressed. Good plan, I muttered as I dug through the closet, and came up with a few ancient pull-ups with a long-since discontinued pattern. We laughed at the "new" pull-ups, then I left him to his own devices while I groggily climbed back into bed, fully expecting him to follow close behind, secretly plotting ways to keep the kids occupied in the other room while I snuck in another hour's sleep.

But he shocked me by going to his own room instead. And shortly after I heard his voice. But instead of the usual barage of movie lines and book recitations and songs, the background to which I've become accustomed to drifting back to sleep, I heard this one-sided conversation: "I'm going back to bed, Teddy, do you want to come with me? I have on new pull-ups, look, they have Mickey on them, isn't that funny? There. Are you comfy?"

There would be no more sleeping for me this morning, as I listened to my son cheerfully sharing observations and thoughts with his Teddy Bear, tears running down my cheeks. All I could think was "it's happening, it's really happening!". 5 years of constant early-morning scripting has finally dissappeared. The RDI experts, those parents futher along in this journey than we are, had all told me this day would come, sometime between mastery of Stage 6 and mastery of Stage 8, the day where the scripts dissappeared. Where conversation, dynamic thinking, and true pretend play would replace the memorized rote lines. Are they gone for good? I'm not sure. I'm not even willing to guess. If they show up again, it's fine, because now I've seen that they WILL dissappear eventually. I have all the proof I need in the next bedroom.


At 5:03 AM, Blogger Cecily said...

This is so fantastic. I am Sooo happy for you. Well done with all your hard work. Go Jacob.

I'm one of your biggest well-wishers.


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