Sunday, June 21, 2009

Real Pointing

Happy Father's Day! It was low-key, but our ultimate destination was Pat's house with the whole Alog clan (and Mr. Mil). I think Nikko was a little tired from the pool yesterday. He fell asleep on the armrest right before I had to change everyone to go out. I think that short nap was all he needed, however, since he looked really tired at bedtime but didn't fall asleep right away, to our chagrin. There were a few little tidbits today that were noteworthy:

Nikko followed me into the nursery and was eyeing the brick blocks in the rubbermaid. He was pulling me toward them and I was trying to avoid giving in because I didn't want the mess. I got down to his level and asked him what he wanted. His eyes were roaming but since we were standing in the block vicinity I knew what he wanted. Still I hemmed and asked again what he wanted. He grabbed my hand and was pulling it toward the blocks but I pulled it back. "Show me. You do it," I said to him, not looking directly at the blocks. He let go of my hand and pointed at the brick blocks. I was amazed and praised him loudly, took the rubbermaid, ushered him into the living room and opened the lid for him. Nikko doesn't point at things, which is why this is such a big deal. It may have sounded like I prompted him easily, but believe me it was tedious and hard work while it was happening. I didn't really expect him to point, but he did and the reward was immediate. Later in the kitchen, some time after lunch he was dragging me toward the vitamin cabinet again. I pulled away from him and he grabbed my arm to haul me over again. I pulled out a stool, sat down and started asking Nikko what he wanted. Did he want the towel on the drawer? The toy on the countertop? The fork? Denis at the sink doing dishes? I told him I didn't see anything he might want, so could he please show me? He was whining and crying loudly for me to read his mind, but I wanted him to work for it. It took a few minutes of this whining exchange but I didn't ease up asking him What Does Nikko Want? I tried pointing up toward the cabinet but he didn't imitate me. I decided to pick him up and put him level with the cabinet. Immediately he was smiling and surveying the countertops, enjoying the view. I let him do this for a minute, but then asked what he wanted again. He looked like he forgot himself, so I told him I'd put him down because he was heavy. Then he pointed straight at the cabinet where the vitamins and the fruit snacks were hidden. I was so happy he pointed after such a long exchanged that I praised him and then opened the cabinet door to reveal a bag of fruit snacks. That was his reward. I was also worn out from the constant battle of words and trying to be encouraging at the same time. I don't think the pointing will be consistent in the short run, but these two exchanges were really good ones to me.

At Patrick's house, I was very surprised that when the kids were let outside to play, he didn't step into the kiddie pool filled with water. Nikko is usually a magnet to water, but today he didn't go in or even touch it. I wonder if he was all watered out from the pool day yesterday. Ronin went in and did some splashing but after a short while he, too, wasn't interested in the pool. During dinner, Nikko didn't seem very hungry as usual but he did try some hot dog that Denis was sharing to Ronin. I heated up some mac cheese from home and Nikko didn't eat much at first. After he had been sitting/standing at the table for a good 15 minutes he finally decided to eat the rest of the mac cheese. And then there was dessert, which he has not dropped from his list of rejected foods. Nikko loves sweets, of course. He ate peach cobbler with ice cream for a time and then switched to strawberry cake. The whole time he was there Nikko didn't really interact with anybody else. He kept to himself and held onto a toy car or looked out the window. I had to coax him off of an ice chest so he could join us for dinner, but he seemed content to sit on my lap and, later on, stand on a chair next to me. When we came home and I lifted him out of the Pilot he started thrashing and protesting. I think he wanted to play outside. That wasn't going to happen so I hauled him inside, took off his Crocs and enticed him to come into the living room to rest and watch TV. He complied and remained there until I finished Audrey's bath and bed. I think in the week ahead I'm going to bring up the kiddie tub and try to give Audrey a bath in it. This poses the risk that the boys will want to play with the kiddie tub during their bath, but I'll try to avoid this. I'm also going to have to start Audrey's bath time around 8:15 if I'm going to finish getting the boys ready for bed by around 9p. If we go to Mom's house to hang out with Fran and his fam, I wonder if our bath and bed times will be screwed up for a few days like it has been already. Ronin's been falling asleep in the high chair for a week now and so he hasn't been taking his 2pm nap at all. He's not going to like getting back to that schedule. I'll probably let this next week slide if it does and then go back to our regularly scheduled program the following week.

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