Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mount Prospect Garage Sale

Maybe I'm biased but I really like the haircuts I gave the boys. They look so cute. I gotta try to keep them short often. This morning was routine until after breakfast. Anxious about my back problems and stupid weight retention, I decided to try one of the exercise programs on the Comcast On Demand selection. It was some kind of flirty dance move 10 minute aerobic workout. I thought having a kiddie audience would be fun with an upbeat tempo and repetitive movements on TV. Well, I tried to bop around a bit (Ronin started jumping like a little frog) but Nikko decided that he didn't want me to be mobile and wanted me to pick him up. I tried to distract him and turn him around to watch the screen but he was determined to get into my lap. I had to abandon my attempts at exercise. I wonder if Nikko was just feeling like Velcro Man or if he really didn't want me to be moving around. That's something I'm going to have to repeat. The morning progressed and unfortunately Audrey decided that she didn't want to nap at her regular nap time. It screwed me up because she opted to be cranky and stay awake until past noon. Lunchtime was smooth with the boys, despite Nikko not eating many chicken nuggets. During the morning he had dragged me to the cabinet for a vitamin and I have been giving him one and telling him THAT'S IT, NO MORE, ALL GONE. For two days I haven't received any resistance to my emphasis on limiting vitamins, so maybe he's learning that when I say those words, it means exactly what it means.

Denis came home from martial arts class and then I was allowed to leave the house and explore the city-wide Mount Prospect Garage Sale. I had printed maps the night before and marked a few houses that had some outdoor toys or toddler items of interest. I didn't have a lot of time to wander and wanted to make sure I had a plan. Before leaving my neighborhood I had the good fortune of meeting up down the block with Adam Mock, his wife, two kids and in-law. He had read that I was going to the Garage Sale on my Facebook status and he decided to venture up here (from Montgomery. Illinois, not Alabama. Sounds like Egypt to me!) because he grew up north of Kensington and Wolf Rd. After we walked a few houses they went to lunch and I went on my merry way. I found the following items:
1.) Colored kid gym mat, the SAME one currently in my living room except this one is in mint condition and cost only $6!!!!
2.) Little Tikes lawn mower that blows bubbles (I hear) - $2
3.) A set of flash cards that are picture dominoes - $2
4.) Two brown leather ottomans - $6

When I came back, Denis, Audrey and Nikko were snoozing on each other on the couch while Ronin was in the picture window. Nikko woke up 30 minutes later and joined us for snack. I've been giving them these Garden Veggie Straws from Costco. Nikko only eats the yellow ones because they look like French fries. Ronin doesn't care what color they are. After snacks, we took the kids outside to play in the backyard/driveway even though it was a bit chilly outside. The boys didn't fight over the coupe car as much. They tried the slide again, but spent a lot of time near Denis as he swept up yard debris on the driveway. Nikko found a branch with a few leaf clusters and he was waving it around in the air, poking the yard garbage can with it, and dragging it on the ground. I wonder if the leaves had a flag-like quality to it. After we came inside it was dinner, which was very late for us, and so everything else got delayed after that. Bedtime was around 10:20pm. Laaaaaate!

One interesting thing Nikko did at dinner was he put his hands in front of him and opened and closed them. At first I praised him and said he looked like he was doing the motions from Blues Clues. I started singing the song and copying him and he looked amused. But in hindsight, he could have been doing the same motion for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I'm not sure anymore. Other things that Nikko did today were to give me lots of good eye contact, literally putting his face up to my face for some reason. He also lined up a lot of things today, brick blocks, cars, and even some pull toys with long strings. He attached them to a drum with a drumstick attached by a string. He can line up his cars on the table by the window, walk across the room and start crashing into the sofa but looking across the room at his handiwork from the corner of his eye. I guess I'd call that a long-distance stim. Again, I'm eager to crack open the Greenspan book and read more. I'm on a section about imaginative play and it's giving pointers how to encourage this kind of play with a special needs kid. The big problem with special needs kids and pretend play is the realization of symbols. Pretend play is symbolic play. If a kid is pretending that a bucket of rocks is a bucket of candy, the rocks are symbolizing candy in the kid's mind. A special needs kid will have processing problems and may be unable to hold the image of an object [candy] in his mind. There is also a problem forming a link between emotion and behavior and ultimately between emotion and symbols. "The basic unit of communication - the connection between emotion, behavior, and symbol - is missing." (Cited from Greenspan, 1998). Like I said, it's an interesting section and I'm eager to get through it so I can start applying this kind of play with Nikko.

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