How is Nathaniel Doing?
I am amazed how many people follow Nathaniel and our family's story. Almost weekly at church someone we don't know will approach us and want an update. Last night I realized I have this "other" category for Facebook messages. I am not sure why some messages go to my inbox and some to other. (If you know why, please tell me in the comment section below.) There were over twenty messages waiting in that other folder, some dated back to April when Nathaniel had hand surgery. All of them notes of encouragement, prayer, and kind words about sharing Nathaniel's story through this blog. They made me cry. You are all so genuine and so faithful to show support. Thank you for reading. Thank you for liking Facebook posts. For letting us know you are praying. It makes a difference.
So how is Nathaniel's doing?
I am encouraged. He is more himself everyday. Smiles are coming easier. He is laughing again. He is sleeping very well with our new bedroom arrangement. He seems stronger than he did a week ago. He is back to practicing his new skill of jumping. It is cute. I will try to get a video.
We enjoyed playing in his small pool today. Don't laugh at how little water I put in. Within a couple minutes he was belly down trying to put his face in. He laughed hard when his nurse or I would snatch him up so his trach didn't go under. He has no danger filter. Water is definitely a winner. Water definitely requires four hands.
I used Nathaniel's water table play time as an opportunity to challenge his auditory sensitivity. He continues to have a strong reaction to unfamiliar and unpredictable sounds. The garbage truck. A vocalist on the church praise team who adds extra lyrics above the congregational singing. Clapping at an awards ceremony. I added a noise element by turning on Nathaniel's new bubble machine. It hums. The photo above captures well how he processes a sudden noise. He had been playing happily in the water. When the bubble machine started, the whirl sound demanded all of his attention and play stopped. He loves bubbles. He does not love unfamiliar sounds. After just a few minutes he walked over to the bubble machine and signed ALL DONE. (photo below) I honored the request, but will use the bubble machine again tomorrow. Soon it will be familiar and he will enjoy the bubbles it produces.
Two big deals today:
Nathaniel had his first ever three word utterance using the talker. Yes, the syntax is a bit off, but I will take it. Not only was it a three word utterance, but he used a pronoun. He was getting his dinner g-tube feed in his medical stroller while I was cooking dinner. He asked to watch Cars by just using one button: CARS MOVIE. I said (both verbally and using the talker) NO CARS MOVIE. He replied: WANT WANT I I I CARS MOVIE. I freaked out! Three words! A pronoun! I took a (blurry) picture to share with his speech therapist and the world! I told him how excited I was that he was using more words. I happy danced!
And then I said again: NO CARS MOVIE. Poor kid.
I gave him his loop scissors and hospital discharge instructions instead. Everyone of my children should have had loop scissors to start with. Every two year old should have loop scissors. They are so great. Hooray for OT! Here is the second big deal of today. Look at the right hand holding the paper between the thumb and index finger with the thumb tucked under and opposing the fingers. FANTASTIC! Thank you Dr. Goldfarb for hand surgery. Actually, I really hope Dr. Goldfarb doesn't read that thank you because Nathaniel's hand is still supposed to be taped with CoBand and I ran out today. I will get some tomorrow.
Wow. About all of it. The whole day. We are back to having wow days. It feels good.
We ended the day catching lightening bugs. Have I ever mentioned that Nathaniel is the most amazing bug catcher I know? He catches flies. I don't know how he does it, but he catches flies. And picks up ants. And snatches up lightening bugs and puts them on his arm to crawl on him. He loves bugs. Up close and personal. And usually a little dead by the end of the moment. Sorry bugs.
Good night little swimmer, loud-noise-tolerater, three-word-talker, right-hand-worker, lightening-bug-catcher. It is good to have our non-medical days back.