Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Relaxing in the Backyard

It has been gorgeous here the last couple of days.  And with any pretty weather, we always head outside.  In my mind, I always envision the little tykes playing in my immediate view while I read or simply daydream.


Instead, I am on constant guard and mainly herd duty.  I understand this is a mom's job, but not even for two minutes am I allowed to sit quietly.  With Clayton's newfound freedom and Jackson's general rebelliousness, it is all I can do to keep them in check--I know anyone within ear shot thinks I am a nut if they listen long enough!  Instead of sitting, I run around trying to make sure both the chair and the gator and their drivers stay in my immediate view (and of course, neither is in the same spot at the same time!)

"Clayton, stay in our yard."
"Jackson, don't drive on the trailer."
"Clayton, stay in our yard."
"Jackson, stay where I can see you."
"Jackson, what shoes are you supposed to wear in the mud? Get your boots on!"
"Clayton, STAY in our yard."
"Jackson, you can't pull the trailer!"
"Jackson, get back here!  I don't care if you're chasing the bird!"
"Jackson, leave the bird alone!"
"Clayton, do not drive your chair through the mud."
"Clayton, get away from the mudhole!"
"Jackson, you cannot pull the trailer."
"Clayton, get off their porch and come back into our yard."
"Clayton, don't run over Katie!"
"Jackson, stop chasing the bird with the gator!"
"Clayton, if you don't get back into our yard, you're getting out of the chair."
"Jackson?  Where's Jackson?!"
"Clayton, get away from their window."
"Clayton, you have GOT to stay in our yard!"

"Whew.  I'm relaxed . . . now let's go in."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Evaluate This

When Clayton was a baby, I devoured his annual evaluation reports as soon as they showed up in the mail.  I searched for signs that my child was normal in any area, was "like" other children his age.  But as the years have passed, I've figured out that while necessary for proving to insurance he needs services, these evaluations really mean nothing in the whole scheme of Clayton's progress.  And that is just it:  CLAYTON IS MAKING PROGRESS!  THIS is the only thing we should be concerned with.  In his world, progress comes slow and never like that of another child his age.  According to tests, he is still like a six month old in some areas.  If I dwell on details like that, I could easily get overwhelmed with the negativity. Instead we all choose to think back to the times when Clayton didn't hardly speak.  When Clayton couldn't unfist his left hand.  When Clayton was on continuous feed because his gut was so weak.  Talk about progress!  Clayton has never had to use the electronic talker that was ordered for him, is starting to randomly use his left hand without prompting, and "eats" four meals a day while licking all over different foods.  Not to mention the fact that Clayton's first wheelchair was the chair of a child that would never be able to sit up on his own, or even interact with people, and now he drives a power chair!  So many improvements in more areas than I can name.  No test can ever show most of these . . . and with that in mind, this last year's reports went in the filing cabinet without even a second glance.

Which brings me to this past Monday.  We had to see one of Clayton's main doctors for a routine checkup, and part of that routine was a psychological evaluation.  Doctors do these things because that's what they do.  But it was a joke.  And Clayton knew it was a joke!  I spent 10 minutes explaining to the doctor that Clayton learns best IN CONTEXT.  If he doesn't see a purpose, he doesn't do it.  He doesn't think abstractly.  She must not have been listening because she started in on him with her "puzzles" (don't puzzles normally have pieces?).  She had a flip chart with patterns and shapes and Clayton was supposed to finish the patterns and/or find the missing shape.  Yeah, right.  He talked about Jackson, talked about all the southern gospel singers he listens to, talked about Katie (the dog), did everything but concentrate on her paper.  She was getting frustrated, and he was laughing.  

Then she pulled out a ball. 

doc:  "What is this Clayton?"
Clayton:  "Jackson"
doc:  "Can you tell me what I've got?"
Clayton:  "Katie"
doc to me:  "Doesn't he know what this is?"
me: "YES"  

Again, she didn't get it.  Clayton doesn't identify things for identifying sake.  If he wants a ball, then he asks for it.  If he is telling a story about a ball, then he says it.  But he didn't need the word, so he didn't want to say it . . .

doc to me:  "Does he know his birthday?"
me:  "yes, Clayton tell her your birthday"
Clayton:  "August 29th"
me:  "Clayton, tell her your birthday"
Clayton:  "August 19th" 
and then he started laughing again . . . when we got to my parent's house to pick up Jackson, I was telling them about what a comedian Clayton was during his test and how he basically ignored the lady.  My dad asked Clayton "no jokes aside, when is your birthday?"  And of course, Clayton answered correctly then.  

But I think this exchange sums up his attitude about the whole test thing in general:

me:  "Clayton, tell her your address"
Clayton: silence
me:  "Clayton, tell her what your address is"
Clayton: "xxxxx street"  
me:  "can you tell her what town we live in?"
Clayton: [with emphasis]  "YOU know it, YOU tell her."


Then I was the one doing the laughing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Loves Towing

These boys just can't get enough of the mud.  And Jackson isn't the only one. Clayton has been attempting (successfully when we aren't watching) to take his power chair right through the same mud holes that Jackson plows through.  Unfortunately, that doesn't work too well with a chair that he has to also use in the house, so we've been trying to limit the amount (and deepness) of the mud he runs through . . . in the meantime, we've found something he likes to do almost as much:  towing Jackson out of the mud!

That little power chair of his makes the perfect wench vehicle and both boys LOVE the whole process of getting the ties and things hooked up and ready to go. In fact, I could swear that Jackson gets stuck on purpose, just so Clayton can come rescue him out of yet another mud hole!

Sunday, April 08, 2012


 “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?
  He isn’t here!
 He is risen from the dead!"
Luke 24:5b-6

Thursday, April 05, 2012

In Which They Play Together

Since we've had so much mud in the backyard lately, Jackson become a little obsessive about making sure everything gets "washed" constantly.  Can't imagine where he'd get that OCD quality?? [ahem]  At any rate, I have no idea what they were discussing while Jackson played in the water  and "washed," but it seemed to be a pretty involved conversation.  :)  And Clayton didn't even flinch when Jackson started getting the water on him as well.  

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Little Choir That Could

Our choir may not be huge, and we may not all be well-versed in music theory, but let it never be said that we don't know how to raise our voices in praise to the living God!

LORD, how many are my foes! 
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I call out to the LORD, 
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again,
because the LORD sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
Psalm 3:1-6

Monday, April 02, 2012

Loves Mud

I love my boys, but I simply do not get this fascination with the mud and the muck.

I think if left to his own devices, he would play in these puddles 24/7.

And I could watch him just about that long as well.  

Because while the girl in me doesn't get it, I still love watching him explore the world and pretending all sorts of fun things while he tromps through the yuck!