[Mason] A Letter to Our THREE Year Old + an Update
Monday, August 17, 2015
I can't believe you are THREE already! I swear it was just yesterday that we were on our way to the hospital to have you. I can still picture you as our tiny, little 7 lb, 8 oz baby boy. It's true what they say... the days are long, but the years are short. Before I know it, you'll be off to college! (insert the tears streaming down the face emoji and Seth telling me to slow my roll.)
I know I've said it at probably every age, but this age is so much fun! You are so much more interactive, you understand so much, and are so curious. I think you really understood what your birthday was all about and when we sang Happy Birthday to you, your face lit up with excitement! You also got really excited about the presents you were given and were totally into opening them. I think you finally realized what a present was and how to open it and how exciting your birthday month really was.
This past year has been a fun one and a very busy one. We've had some break throughs, gotten some answers, and have been able to move forward. And we are continuing on that track. You started preschool last September and have grown immensely and made huge strides. Daycare was wonderful, but the preschool environment is where you thrive. It took a while for you to really understand the routine and be able to participate in group activities and listen to the teacher, but once you got it, you got it. Everyone at school LOVES you and we are so happy that you are loving it so much. You have officially completed your first year of preschool and are about to start your second in September. We made the big decision to keep you at your current preschool instead of moving you to a public preschool now that you're three. Without getting too personal, there were various factors discussed and considered and ultimately we feel that where you are is where you belong.
We took you in for a genetic screening and blood test per the recommendation of your developmental pediatrician and everything looked perfect, which we were so thankful for.
We've continued to check in with the ENT since your sedated hearing test in January that showed you had fluid in your ear and some minor hearing loss. After the first check in, you had had an ear infection (which can have residual fluid for 3 months) so he wanted us to come back in 3 months for a follow up. We went back in June and he still saw the fluid and he has since decided that you should get tubes. He said he strongly does not believe in surgery just to have surgery so we know that he feels that this will benefit you greatly. He's also planning on removing your adenoids at the same time since he feels that that are enlarged. I am cautiously optimistic that this surgery will greatly improve your speech. I know there is a potential that it might not do anything, but I choose to see the positive and hope for the best.
We've continued your individual speech therapy sessions (but taken them down to once a week) and added group therapy sessions twice a week. And we only recently (within the past three weeks) added ABA therapy on (applied behavioral analysis). Your dad and I talked to another mom in the waiting room at school when we went to pick you up on Saturday and she said that ABA has helped her son so much since they started in October. It's so encouraging to hear stories of other kids learning and thriving and we can't wait to see how it can help you too. But at the same time, I'm not gonna lie, ABA has been hard. Not so much the act of it happening, but the timing. You gets ABA at school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 8:30am-11am, on Wednesday nights from 6pm-8pm, and Saturdays (at the learning center) from 9am-2pm. The school times are no problem as your therapist comes to school while you're there and helps you in the school environment. The night time sessions have been ok but have totally thrown off our nightly routine and we've had to re-work our Wednesday nights. But Saturday... has been the biggest adjustment, at least for me. The very first time we dropped you off at the learning center, you cried your eyes out. And I nearly cried mine out too. You saw your therapist and were excited she was there. Then you waved bye bye to her and we knew the transition might be hard. We walked you over to the door so you could go play and you were hesitant until another little boy walked through the door and you immediately ran off after him. I naively thought "wow, this is going to be great!" and then you looked back at your dad and I and saw we hadn't followed. And then you broke my heart. You started crying and crying and bawling your eyes out and your dad and I hid behind the corner. It absolutely BROKE MY HEART in a million pieces hearing you cry, especially since it sounded like a scared cry. Like "who are you and where are my parents?". I tear up just thinking about it now. You probably cried for 10 minutes and then they were finally able to calm you down by watching a show on the iPad and your therapist was able to take you back. Once you were calm, the rest of the day was a breeze. But drop offs... have never been your strong suit. Even to this day at preschool, I kiss you good bye, open the door, let you walk in, and shut the door behind you. I haven't heard you cry once, but if I hang around too long, you want me to stay with you or you want to come with me. I know you are safe and I know you have fun and I know you love your teachers (heck on Friday you didn't want to leave and come home!) but it's still never easy for me to leave you when you're crying.
You are still in diapers but we recently (within the past month or so) moved you to Pull Ups. I didn't intend on starting potty training yet, but hoped that maybe your new "big boy underwear" would start getting the idea in your mind. And when you ran out of diapers at school, we sent Pull Ups instead. I guess they thought that was a hint that I wanted to start potty training, and they've been sitting you on the potty (with no pee pee success) everyday. They say you love it and seem really into the idea, so hopefully we can officially start the potty training process soon. I don't want to rush you if you're not ready, but it's never to early to get the ball rolling, and we bought a potty of our own.
You are the SWEETEST little boy ever. I mean, I know I am bias, but still, I think you are. If I'm on the computer doing something (paying bills, etc), you pull a chair over to sit next to me. You plop your iPad on the table, and sit down next to me, doing what I'm doing. You're super friendly and when we stop by the post office in the morning to check the mail for my work, if you see someone walking on the sidewalk, you automatically wave to them. You love people and love being around people. You've become super cuddly in the morning which I LOVE. I swear when you were younger, you hated to cuddle, but now that you're three, you are a cuddle bug! I'm so thankful that I have some extra time in the mornings now with my new job and we can spend 30 minutes on the couch cuddling and watching Disney Junior.
You're super tall and can get into everything. Nothing is safe now! If we forget to re-lock the child safety locks on a drawer or a cabinet, you "call us out" by locking them yourself. You can open the freezer on your own and point to your waffles in the morning if you're hungry and we haven't made one yet. We have to be careful when leaving things on the counter because you can reach almost anything now. We've almost had a plateful of dinner on the floor on countless occasions because you were hungry and tried to grab the plate before I was done.
You LOVE milk and have to have it the second you wake up. You drink two cups each morning. Goldfish used to be your love language. If you were hungry or upset or anything at all, we could fix all your problems with a bowl of goldfish. I even bribed you to get into your car seat once with a leftover goldfish that I found on the floor (in the car from the day before!). You've since moved on to veggie straws or veggie chips and are constantly asking for "ch-ee, ch-ee" (chips) all the time. Even at 7:30am. But the food love doesn't stop there. You're an amazing eater and will eat almost anything - which I am so, so thankful for! Your dad and I took an autism class and we found out that some kids have such food aversions that it makes it terrible for the parents. Your favorite breakfast food is Eggo blueberry waffles and if your dad or I don't get it for you soon enough, you walk over to the freezer, open it, and point to the waffles. The same goes for juice. If you're thirsty and we're not paying attention, you'll walk over to the fridge, open it, point, and yell "ju! ju!" (juice) until we come over to get it for you.
I could go on and on but this is getting long, so I'll just end it by saying... Mason, your daddy and I love you with all our hearts and would do anything (ANYTHING) for you. Thank you for making me a mother and for letting me be your mother!
All images and content are property of Elizabeth Birenbaum. Copyright 2012-2017. All photos are taken by me (unless otherwise stated and credited). Please feel free to use, pin, or share any images (that are not of my child) but please remember to give proper credit and do not claim as your own. Thank you!