A Bicycle, A Bicycle

Gabrielle was given a bicycle for her birthday and when we went to pick it out, we went ahead and bought Peter one too since his fifth birthday is in a little over a week.

He loves the bicycle.

He sits on it whenever he gets the chance (which is quite often since the thing is sitting in the dining room because of the foul weather we’ve had lately) and pretends to ride. Of course, I’ve caught him a few times trying to sneak out the door with it to go “ride the bike.”

Nathan didn’t get a bicycle but we weren’t sure if he would be interested. He has expressed some interest but we’ll see what happens as the weather warms up. If he tries to take over from Peter or Gabrielle then we’ll know he’s definitely interested.

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"More Juice"

Peter has picked up on his use of words again. He’s requesting things more and using words more frequently to describe things. I think his speech regression was tied to how much time he spent on the computer. Now that we’ve curbed his obsession with the machine, he seems to be returning to “normal.”

Nathan has started mimicking more and that bothers me some. It could be that he’s just playing with speech and is repeating what is said to him. OR it could be that he’s beginning to do what Peter does. I believe he’s just playing around with speech and sounds but it’s hard not to worry.

Potty-training is taking off. Of course, I have to harp at the boys about it. They don’t usually remember on their own.

We may actually have both boys trained by the time kindergarten starts.

I hope.

At least I think so. . .

Something Unique? Nah. . .

At therapy this morning another mother of an autistic boy told me that she felt better when she saw me with two boys who were autistic. She told me that one didn’t seem so bad when she considered that she could have had two. She then related a conversation she had with a friend about me and my two sons. She and her friend agreed that they didn’t know of anyone else who had two autistic boys.

Personally, I know of two other families dealing with two children on the autism spectrum. Granted, we may have a third in our daughter but since she has never been officially diagnosed, I can’t officially claim that third one at this time.

Something unique– no, a little unusual but not unique or even rare.

I am seriously thinking about having Gabrielle evaluated however. And depending on what happens, we may end up in the unusual or “rare” category as a family.

Gabrielle is very bright but some of her behaviors– very television oriented, short attention span, phenomenal memory, social awkwardness, difficulty sitting still, doesn’t seem to notice or care about her personal appearance, etc. are signs that we should maybe be concerned. I thought she would “outgrow” some of these behaviors– in other words, I really thought that the older she got the more she would learn proper behaviors and eschew the more awkward ones. But that’s not the case. In fact, as she gets older, she digs her heels in more and more and we are having some problems changing inappropriate or negative behaviors.

She had a book review due today and she has known about it since Christmas. We had picked out a book for her to review and I repeatedly told her to read the book. Of course she didn’t have it completely read when she had to turn in the rough draft two weeks ago and we had a fight over completing the rough draft– the bulk of the work had been done by the teacher– and yet Gabrielle still didn’t want to do it. Last night she finished the final one-page review that was due today– after four hours of writing it over and over because she kept making numerous mistakes (at one point she had 25 typos and strikethroughs).

She hated writing the review and hated reading the book. It wasn’t the subject– it was the actual reading she didn’t want to do.

If I don’t see another book review for a year it will be too soon.

Back on Track

We’re back to our potty training routine. Out main sewer line didn’t want to fix itself so we had to call a plumber. Four hundred and eighty-five dollars later (now I know I’m in the wrong business), we had a working washer and toilet.

Peter is doing well if you ask him if he has to use the toilet. Nathan sometimes remembers on his own and sometimes forgets. He’s much more random about it.

M&Ms are kind of working as rewards but Mentos are a much bigger hit. My mom is the queen of Mentos and the kids know it so they’ve become huge fans of the fruit flavored version of the candy.

Going "Commando"

The potty-training has been progressing. I would say “progressing nicely” but we’ve had a few setbacks so let’s just say “progressing.”

We’ve allowed the boys to go without underwear, if they want, hoping they will be more inclined to tell us they have to go to the bathroom. Peter has discovered that he prefers going without his underwear and has taken advantage of the situation by going “commando” all the time now. Nathan has gone back and forth on the underwear but he’s much more comfortable in clothing so this isn’t as much of an issue for him.

Our major setback is that the downstairs toilet has been out of order since Friday. We’ve had so much new construction in the area that the county’s sewer lines are overloaded (there is no pun intended here).

It rained on Friday, so as you can imagine, we had issues with our drains and, unfortunately, still are. The downstairs toilet doesn’t want to flush (at least I can say we are not acquiring any “water” from the streetside of the sewer lines) and our washer isn’t draining. So I can’t do laundry– which I needed to do– and everytime one of the boys has to use the toilet, we have had to run them up the stairs.

This has not been helpful.

Ah, the best laid plans. . . .