When thinking of living in a society seemingly centered around materialism and “stuff” that we all just have to have, I’m reminded of myself when I was a child. Following a Teddy Ruxpin or Easy-Bake Oven commercial, I’d promptly turn to my parents and shout, “I want that!” Interestingly enough, the prices of my wants and my increase in age had a positive correlation. Now as a parent, I’d like to think I’ve turned a new leaf, but I still get disgusted with myself when I justify in my own mind need for any more things. We talk about this issue with Crawford as we don’t want his life and identity to be governed by the stuff of this world, but the “I want” still sometimes prevails just as it does with Dustin and me. But lately, “I want” has taken on a different meaning in this house. It represents a freeing of sorts. Roman’s freeing to assert himself through communication, and it’s a beautiful thing to see unfold. Roman gets so tickled with himself every time he hears a new word or phrase leave his mouth. If you’ve ever experienced Apraxia of Speech or know someone who has, you can understand how challenging producing even a single vowel can be. Roman is a bright little boy and is highly motivated to communicate. Only now, he has something to say and his words are honored! He has been working hard at building his expressive vocabulary and has recently begun using more phrases such as, help me please, up me please, love you too, I go home, eat snack please. So, we felt he was ready to start adding to this. We gave him a very high-tech piece of equipment to assist him in his communicative efforts. Check it out:
My art teacher sister, Alexis, would be so proud of my renderings. This very cost-effective and highly durable communication system (accepting orders now) provides Roman with a way to retrieve and organize his words. He’s been saying, “I want nack/snack” for about a week now pretty clearly, BUT yesterday was an extra joyful day for us! He generalized “I want” on the way to the park and said, “I want wing/swing!” This was huge. Tears streamed down my face. Moments like this make all the hard, more challenging moments so worth it. And one day later, he is saying, “I want more cracker please.” Can you say language explosion?! He is also identifying himself by name and is answering “How are you?” with “good”. The word bank is expanding big time. Here is the ever expanding list: I, want, up, more, cracker, milk, apple, banana, car, boon/balloon, yellow, blue, green, mama, papa, bwa-bwa, kick, ball, go, hot, cold, open, close, no, yeah, hi, bye, good, my, turn, Roman, hello, down, ball, water, on, off, boon/spoon, eye, no/nose, mouth, eeping/sleeping, tain/train, bubble mumih/music….and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting.
We’re still trying to take things easy and are staying home most of the time with a few visitors here and there. He went on his first big family outing to my parents for Easter for a few hours and did so well. We also went to our first dinner on the patio at US Pizza where mama preordered before the big guy arrived so that it would be ready when he got there, and yes, he loves pizza now – yay! It’s quite the balancing act when you have another little one who has places to be such as Crawford’s soccer games twice a week. Each child has different needs, and I feel both parents should be present for both. So, we’ve also been making trips out to the soccer fields, and Roman is learning to cheer for his big brother. It’s so sweet to hear, “kick that ball!” We’re just trying to let Roman lead the way and show us what he can and can’t tolerate. We just have to be prepared to leave any one place as soon as possible if things go awry. But for now, we’re still trying to chill here at the house a majority of the time.
He’s slowly getting to know his gama and gampa along with Aunties and Uncles. He’s truly adjusting beautifully. We’re so grateful for this! Here are some more recent pictures:
Crawford is also fulfilling the role of big brother beautifully! He is becoming a teacher and encourager. So sweet to see! Often times, what bwa-bwa does, Roman does!
Man, am I thankful for such an awesome father. He’s been helping us juggle our schedules and allowing us to maintain as much of a routine with both Roman and Crawford as possible while also just being an amazing dad and Grandfather. My boys will KNOW him and for that, I’m so very thankful! They will see a shining example of what a good man is and does at an early age.
Here’s my father talking fishing with Crawford. Crawford is beside-himself-ready to go fishing with his Grandpa when the weather gets nicer.
Here are some more pics from Easter!
Hope to be posting more with some possible video soon! Enjoy this beautiful weather everyone!