Walking and clogging

Shade and I are at Mayan’s soccer practice right now, watching him build his skills. He’s a decent little player considering it’s his first season. He’s fast and fairly fearless (though he’s gotten a few rockets to the gut in the last few games which has shaken him a bit). He usually scores in the games. I’m trying to get him more involved in soccer, as I have absolutely no background in baseball – his other love – so I just sit in the bleachers. At his soccer practices, I can help coach a little, though today I’m just hanging with Shade on the sidelines.

We spent a little time on the playground climbing the ladders, crawling through tunnels, sliding down slides. As long as he has handholds, I can practically let him go on his own. (I don’t, but I could.)  Aitza and I are trying to get him to do more independent stuff. So we’ve been more hands off (but hovering) while he brushes his teeth and gets dressed and plays video games on a straight-back chair. Yesterday, I let him walk with his walker down the sidewalk to see his friends Nathan and TJ.  I was right behind him for his occasional backward lurches, but he managed pretty well.

Yesterday, I went to Gotha Middle School for a meeting with his school therapists, PT Tom, OT Mary and ST Linda, and a therapist from Orange County Public Schools, Tami, who was assessing Shade for technology assistance. After interviewing him and watching some of his work, she determined that he could qualify for a Netbook with a number of assistive programs to help him improve his note taking and studying. His typing ability is actually quite good. I’m going to get a fun typing program to help him build those keyboarding skills. Put that on the resume!

After the assessment, Tom and Mary, who work with him on Thursdays, did some exercises with him. They said to start encouraging his independence more at home and work on strategies to help him deal with various situations, from what to do if he’s on the floor to how to lower himself out of bed. Then Shade showed me how from a sitting position on a raised platform, he turns, plants his hands, swings his knees around and lowers himself to the ground. I was impressed. He also played catch with a basketball, first sitting, then standing with his claves touching the raised platform for balance, then standing with occasional assist from Tom. He caught the ball, often with fingertips, while standing. I was quadrupley impressed. (Quadrupley is a word and I stand by it.)

Back at the house after school, we had a minor mishap. Shade was studying with one of his Hospital Homebound teachers. She had brought her boys over because they had been released early from classes. No problem. They’ve come over before and played with Mayan. The more the merrier I say. That was until the older son needed to use the toilet. 5 minutes later, he opens the door and says, “Uh oh.” That’s never a good phrase. He was standing in an inch of water, which was slowly spreading into the living room. Arrrg. He had stopped it and flushed twice. While he headed out back, leaving a soggy path, I grabbed as half our supply of towels to mop up the fetid swamp. It had seeped under the washer and dryer, run into the tile cracks, and worst of all, started to seep under our living room flooring. It took about a half hour to clean it all up, get the towels and clothes in the washer, mop the bathroom floor, and then the rest of the house. I had just sat down when the younger son came in and said, “I have to use the bathroom.” “Number one or number two?” I asked. “Number two,” he said abashedly. “Sorry, but no number twos. If you have to go, you have to go at home.” There was no way I was mopping twice. He had enough willpower to clench it off for another 20 minutes.  Even though I cleaned, I was unable to get under the washer and dryer fully, and won’t until tomorrow, so for now the bathroom has a rather ripe aroma. We’ll avoid it for the time being.



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