Just in case you'd forgotten that I have kids that say and do fun things, because I have been turning this blog into the Summer of Bitchin' n Moanin'. I thought it is about time to write about them.
My dad finally talked me into getting the kids' haircuts by a real person who knows how to cut hair. So these two pics of them are right after their haircuts. It cost $7 each, they cried the whole time (less than ten minutes is all it took), and then we took them to "Noodles" afterwords to help turn their day around. They really like the mac and cheese they have there, so for them it is a treat.
Aaron's language is ab fab. We have whole conversations now. He is starting to be able to talk about what happened in the recent past, instead of just commenting on the present. One day he wanted me to draw a truck on the magnadoodle. Then he didn't like the semi I drew. I was supposed to draw a truck like Grampa Bob has. So I start over and draw a pickup truck. Then he wants me to draw a tree in the back. Two WEEKS before this, Grampa Bob drove by us as we were walking by the park. He pulled over and talked to us a minute and he had a big tree limb in the truck that had fallen in a storm or something. So, I had to draw a tree in the truck. And then he wanted Grampa in the truck. And then he wanted me to color it GREEN! Mama! Which is the accurate color, but impossible to do on a magnadoodle. So I just shaded it in and he was satisfied.
Then we had a babysitter the other night. When I got home I asked them what they did with the babysitter and I got no response. Then, the next day out of nowhere he says, "Mama, Audry played with cars and trucks with Aaron last night." Woah! "Last Night?" Thats a whole abstract time-y concept type thing. So now I can start to know what it is that they do all those hours in childcare.
Aaron's imagination is crazy wild. He has been carrying around the plastic part of the mobile from the pack n plays that the actual mobile hangs on. He takes it everywhere because it is his dinosaur. He took two plastic bibs today and flew them around the house and said they were the wings of his bird. We have the two pack and play cribs right next to each other with about a foot of space between them. He gets in between them with an arm in each one and says he is a butterfly. He lines up books or boxes or whatever he can find to make all sorts of trains. I can just put my feet up on an ottoman with several inches in between it and me and I turn into everything from a bridge to a tunnel to a tent to a house to a boat. He has elaborate stories that go along with all of his things that he constructs. I can't follow them half the time, but they are funny to listen to.
He has been driving me nuts doing the "What's that one?" thing all day long. All that vocabulary building that requires me to name everything. And he gets really technical about it. He says, "What's that one?" while pointing to a tonka truck and I say it is a truck. WRONG! He meant, "What is that thing that sticks up out of the cab called ?" or "What is the little screw that holds the dump truck to the frame called?" Well, kid? I don't have the slightest clue what that is. I start making stuff up. "Its a gizmo that holds the thingy to the whatchamacallit." Once he was driving me nuts by asking me what every little itty bitty part on the stroller. He pointed to some little part or something and "What's That One-ed" it and I said, "Aaron, you're making my head hurt." And so he pointed to it and said, "It's the making my head hurt." And so it is.
Aaron likes to sit and read and do worksheets and color. He likes to draw on the magnadoodle. He has a name for everyone of his scribbles. Its a bird! Its a truck! He actually does draw a pretty good planet. It has rings like Saturn. He likes to tell me all the time, even during broad daylight, that he sees the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets. "Look, Mama! There's a PLA-NET! RIGHT THERE!" Okay, sure, if you say so. Aaron is word man.
People have asked me if they have any sort of reaction to our disabilities yet. I think Aaron is starting to notice things a little. For me, I think he just is starting to realize that he is smarter than me. He will hear my dad coming home when the garage door opens. Something I can't hear. And he will say, "Grampa Fred!" And I will say, "Grampa Fred went bye-bye. He'll be back later." And he will just look at me like I'm a moron and say, "Grampa Fred is in the garage, mama!" I just have figured out that the kid is never wrong about anything and go with it.
One day, D and I took them to a park and they were climbing on these big cement risers while D was parked under a tree below. Finally, I had to tell them to come down and Aaron didn't want to go. I said, "we have to go down and see daddy now. Remember, we have to stay together." Stay Together is our gospel rule when we are out. Aaron said, "Daddy come up here. Daddy stay together up here." And I told him that he can't come up here because he can't climb the steps in his wheelchair so we have to go down to where he is. He gave me this long look like he was deep in thought about that. And then he said, "Let's go see Daddy and Nyman (Naim)." Problem solved.
I don't know if Naim really notices disability that much yet. If he does, it is only that he thinks all the disability accouterments are his personal playthings and families that don't have parents who are disabled must be awfully boring. Naim loves to ride on D's wheelchair, loves to push the little horn button it has, loves to ride up and down in the tilt-n-space. He likes to walk around with my cane, and when I use it he likes to walk in front of me and hold it underneath where I'm holding it and tap along with me. He likes my talking calculator and abacus and the Braille in the "Twin Vision" books. He always wants to push the buttons on the van that make the ramp go up and down. Then at home when he plays with his little fisher price school bus, he has all the people get on and off using the back door 'ramp'. He opens and closes it very slowly like D's van ramp does. He has the van sound effects down for that as well. On my mornings when we go over and help D, he always wants to be in charge of the foot stuff. D has a boot that protects the bandage on his real foot that Naim likes to give him and fasten the velcro on, and then he likes to bring D his prosthetic foot. I'm going to have to take a picture of that sometime. The prosthetic foot goes up to D's knee, so it is almost as tall as Naim. And Naim loves to carry around "daddy's foooot". It is kind of hilarious. He also likes to show D where his feet go when he is transferring, by pointing out where they go or trying to lift them. Sometimes both kids try to do things like dad does, with closed fists, such as weaving their fork between their fingers. Naim also has learned to play ball with D by handing him the ball instead of throwing it, and then walking back so D can throw the ball to him. But he doesn't do that with anyone else. So, being a kid with disabled parents just means extra toys for Naim.
Naim is such a character. He is always making silly faces and noises. He will sometimes just grin at you like you and he are in on some private joke (so private that only he gets it.) He sings ALL THE TIME. He sings kid songs like "Clementine," and "Freare Jacques" and "Mary had a Little Lamb." He sings classical like Brahm's Lullaby, or Mozart, or Beethoven. He sings songs from "Cats" (Je-wic-ah cats and mister swofertees), and he sings his own made up things as he goes about the day. His own masterpieces like, "Time to get my Sooos on" and "More Juice, Please!" He always seems to have a beat in his head. He is always "drumming" with his hands or with a stick. I've used music a lot to work on his speech. Which is improving slowly but surely. There are a lot more clear words, but he will still tell you an entire story that you don't understand. He especially likes to talk on the phone and tell his entire babble stories to the poor victim on the other end.
Naim has a lot of empathy for others. Whether it is Aaron crying or the cats or the dog. He will come tell me, "Aaron's crying," and take me by the hand to where Aaron is. He also understands a bit about Scrapper being sick. He is very gentle with the animals most of the time. He doesn't like it when Abbey barks or is stuck in her cage when we come home. We have to let her out immediately. Naim also keeps me apprised of the running record of his own owies. Making sure that I have inventoried (by kissing) each one. Naim always gives people the evil eye at first, but once he gets to know them, he loosens up and becomes a total character.
Naim is still very orderly, which is sometimes nice and sometimes a problem. Currently his big obsession is straightening the TV I have in my room. It swivels, and I always have it turned to one side. Every day Naim turns it back to straighten it out. He sometimes gets upset if I'm watching it and it is turned, he turns it back to the point where I can't see it. (Sigh.) Sometimes I will walk into a room and notice that all the items on the coffee table are in a row and think, That's Naim. He is very into counting everything right now as well. He has pretty good 1:1 correspondence and is pretty darn accurate up to 20. He counts anything and everything. His cereal, the lights that are on and the lights that are off, the spokes in the back of his chair, anything that can be counted, he counts.
Having twins really shows you how DNA comes into play. They are each their own kid. I hear people going off and analyzing everything they do with just one kid as if it is make or break. Sure, it matters, but I think you only affect probably about 50% of what your kid turns out to be. But it is sure fun watching that unfold.