Damian log year 2001 archives
January 1 to 15

excerpt: First day of preschool.

January 16 to 31

excerpt: We went to see the speech pathologist today. I'm too fried and still processing it, but the bottom line was: no diagnosis but yes, he needs speech therapy.

February 1 to 15

excerpt: Last night in the tub, Damian was enjoying the running water. Dan turned it off. Damian got mad. He made mad noises and then said "I MAADD!" I came into the room to celebrate his using words to describe his emotion. He got all happy that I was happy about it.

February 16 to 28

excerpt: Damian moved his own car to crash into Jonathan's. I swear, I think this is the very first time Damian has taken an active role in playing with another kid. In fact, it's the first time he's done more than parallel play.

March 1 to 15

excerpt: She wrote "HI" on a Magnadoodle. Damian looked at it and said "hi." The kid can read. Two years, nine months old and he's starting to read words.

March 16 to 31

excerpt: I tried and tried to coax him to say "want sneakers." He would nod and I'd say how great that was but still push him to say it. He was really upset with me. It was tough to keep going. Then all of a sudden, he pulled my face toward his and kissed me! Then he started touching my mouth, my eyes, my nose, his nose, etc. Playing with me. Charming me, really. Hoping I'd forget about this ridiculous language requirement.

April 1 to 15

excerpt: Yesterday was a kissing day. Dan was reading to Damian in the afternoon, a book about a father and son. Damian suddenly tilted his head up toward Daddy with his mouth puckered. He wanted a kiss.

[Also jumping for the first time, pedaling a trike, first occupational therapy session, and digital camera therapy.]

April 16 to 30

excerpt: Dan couldn't come home for Damian's bath. Damian didn't want to take a bath. I thought it was just bath phobia (it's been building) but then I thought I should check: "Damian, do you miss Daddy?" "I love Daddy," he responded, in a very upset voice.

[Also started his special needs school, had a major breakthrough in speech therapy (started talking aloud!) and in occupational therapy (played with shaving cream and finger paints), got locked in his room for over an hour (poor kid), my mom came to visit, and we started really focusing on his salycalite sensitivity.]

May 1 to 15

excerpt: Just say, "Damian says, 'I want...'" and he says "I want a gummy bear" or "I want juice." It's there and he has access to it. What a long time coming!

excerpt: Last night Dan read a book wherein a character hugs the moon and kisses a star and Damian took his fingers and "hugged" the moon and then brushed the page with his lips in a kiss.

May 16 to 31

excerpt: Dan told me something funny: on the way home, Damian was fussing. Dan looked back to see Damian's pant leg hiked up over his knee. Damian often has a cow when he's got exposed flesh. So Dan hiked it back down and kept driving. Damian fussed again. Dan turned around. The pant leg had mysteriously gotten hiked up again. Dan told Damian he couldn't deal with it right now, he was driving. Next time he turned around (kid was still fussing), he saw both knees exposed. Damian had pulled his pant legs up to get attention. When one leg didn't do the trick, he doubled it. Sneaky kid's faking discomfort.

[Also first playdate with Tyson, book reading as exercise in imaginative play, the beginning of falling asleep sans rocking, and huge speaking breakthrough -- non echoed communicative speech, out loud.]

June 1 to 15

excerpt: Tonight he started climbing onto his bed, saying "climb into bed." Hmm... Then he ran into our room, climbed into bed saying "climb into bed" and then "pull the blanket up around you" (and did), and then "But Granny, I don't have a blanket here!" (as he threw it off). Aha. He was quoting from one of his library books, acting it out as he went. He went on to say "rest your head on the pillow" (he did) and "I don't have a pillow here!" (he tossed it off the bed). Ran from bed to bed playing out the story.

[We moved to the new house. Language progressing nicely overall, also imaginative play. Official (ie: not just us) Floor Time therapy started.]

June 16 to 30

excerpt: Damian said "Mommy, come" and led me to the guest bedroom a/k/a study. He wanted me to "turn on fan." (A window fan sitting on the floor in there.) I said "I'd turn it on for you but it's not plugged in. It won't work. I'll turn it on after it's plugged in." He ran off to my office, came back with two batteries. Gave them to me. He knew batteries make things run and wanted to help. Neat. Then I told Dan what had transpired, and Damian added, "Mommy has batteries, she can turn on fan."

[A few days of complex sentences; school district assessments; we insisted he self-feed again; verbal backsliding (word retrieval down, book quoting up), but he's suddenly gotten much better at kicking and can smack bubbles between his hands.]

July 1 to 15

excerpt: This morning I was lying on Damian's bed telling him how we'll tear down the wallpaper in Damian's room and paint the walls blue and yellow. He ran out of the room, saying "Mommy, come!" He led me onto the back porch and his easel. I thought he was reminded of painting by the conversation. He dipped his brush into the blue paint, though, and then headed back inside. He wanted to paint his wall blue!

[more narration of what's going on, the start of potty training, acting out his books (with our encouragement) instead of simply scripting from them, we're starting to work on "where" questions]

July 16 to 31

excerpt: Yesterday we asked Damian what he wanted for dinner, gave him choices. He said "pizza." While the pizza was in the oven, he made up a song, which went something like: "We're going to eat pizza, pizza, pizza." He. Made. Up. A. Song. How cool is that? Kid's thinking imaginatively.

[First ear infection, new speech therapist, more responsive to strangers, can narrate some of his slideshow now (pictures/books/rock/bed).]

August 1 to 15

excerpt: I told Damian the order of events involved in getting ready to go out. One included my brushing my hair. He followed me into the bathroom, watched me brush my hair, and picked up his toothbrush. He gave his teeth a cursory wipe and then tried using the toothbrush to brush his hair. Err... I suggested he try my hairbrush instead. He swiped it through his hair a few times and then tried brushing his teeth with it!

[Started with his in-school OT, we started challenging him more (he'd become unwilling to do things for himself), lots of smiles at strangers, lots of full sentences.]

August 16 to 31

excerpt: When Damian doesn't know what something's called or he momentarily forgets, he very naturally refers to it as "it." Which leads directly to statements like: "Give me back it." Not only is this rather cute, but it shows him thinking. He's not just repeating a remembered phrase (until recently, he'd say "give it back"), he's putting together his own words.

[Word retrieval really clicked; I started helping him scoop food onto spoon/fork; he makes up songs now; I started daily massage; Dan went back to work; I started insisting on him sitting at his own seat at the table and not holding hands in the house; he's starting to talk into the phone (just hi and bye); "we have a canteen at school"; started saying please. Odd verbal constructions: adding "if you like" as a version of "please", saying "I have an idea" as a preface, narrating our actions, elaborating on my "okay" to say what I would have said if I'd said the whole sentence. Clearly a new kind of language processing.]

September 1 to 15

excerpt: He and I wandered into the guestroom, where Dan was preparing to lift weights. Damian said, "Daddy is going to exercise on the Nordic Track." (Actually, I'm the one who works out on the Nordic Track. Damian saw me do it a few days ago, so it was on his mind.) Once Dan started lifting the weights, Damian stood in front of him and mimed lifting weights himself (doing squats). I said, "you're exercising!" Damian said, "Just like Mommy and Daddy are exercising."

[New semester at school: a new class, new speech therapist and new clinic-based OT. More and more spontaneous sentences.]

September 16 to 30

excerpt: After we got home, I disappeared into the bathroom. I heard Damian saying, "Mommy's not in Mommy's office." I shouted out, "I'm in the bathroom!" He didn't come in. Instead he went to my bedroom and said, "Mommy's not in Mommy's room." Then he trotted down the hall -- past the bathroom -- to his room. "Mommy's not in Damian's room." Then I got it. He was playing the same game I often play with him, pretending I can't find him and reciting all the places he isn't. Heh. He finally came into the bathroom and announced, "Mommy is in the bathroom!"

Then he said, "Mommy, stop reading." As it happened, I'd just put the book down. (How did he know I'd been reading?) I said, "But I'm not reading. Does it look like I'm reading?" He looked at me. "No." Thought for a moment. "Mommy, stop peeing!"

[First school-trained floor timers, responded to someone else's pain empathically, played with a six year old girl -- really responded to her, the toy drill became his comfort object, asked Janne "are you at school?" and Dan "Are you at work?", lots of narrating his and our actions, some past and future narration too.]

October 1 to 15

excerpt: I always tell Damian what's coming up in the day, so he knew to expect Linnea at one o'clock. Just before she got here, he said, "Linnea was at the picnic." He was remembering the first time he met her, back in July, at her company's picnic! When she arrived, he said "Linnea strummed the banjo at the picnic."

excerpt: At dinner, Damian did something I hadn't seen him do before: he took his fingers and walked them to the top of his purple/pink sippy cup and then slid them down. Pretending his hand was a person. Dan asked if it was a mountain, I asked if it was a slide. Damian said he was climbing the purple mountain and sliding down the slide.

[Getting more physically fearless, new grimacing/clenching stim, bossy "stay here" command, Damian's first supervised playdate with August, rode on a horse, went down the tallest slides and up the curved ladders in the playground, identified a book by the spine, into identifying opposites.]

October 16 to 31

excerpt: After dinner [at Diane's], Damian declared that he wanted to go to the back yard. I said it was dark, he couldn't go. He said "The sun will come up." Dan said that wouldn't happen till morning and we weren't staying that long. Damian said "The sun will come up now."

excerpt: Dan and I had a... not a fight, not exactly. Let's just say it was tense for a bit. I left the room, upset. I tossed a tissue box onto the couch because Damian needed it before I left. Damian told Dan, "Mommy is mad at the tissue box." Dan tried to explain that I was upset about other things, but Damian was convinced I was pissed off at the box.

[He's really into opposites (full/empty, tall/short, etc.); got sick for a week; better eye contact with other kids, the adaptive phys ed teacher re-evaluated him -- he's come up a year's worth in four months and is now at or near age level in gross motor skills; started My Gym class; started some shared speech class sessions; started with Cheryl (a new floor timer); started choosing his own clothes & menu items (unprompted); used a fork to spear his food for the first time since June.]

November 1 to 15

excerpt: He found the pepper mill and brought it to me, asking to "put pepper on food." I said we weren't eating but he could put pepper on Daddy's dinner later. That was acceptable to him. He started talking about the pepper mill at Koontz (a local hardware/houseware store), and then said "Go to the front yard. Put pepper on the pepper tree."

excerpt: Damian was sticking his hands in my shirt pockets. I asked him what he was hoping to find there. He didn't answer. I asked again, "What's in my pockets?" He gave me a winning look and said, "Breasts!"

[Very Mommy-centric, more interaction with other kids (a joint OT/ST session, more joint school-based floor time), everyone says he learns super fast -- unusually so, much better at answering "why" questions, first floor time clinic meeting, self-correcting grammar erroneously, getting more comfortable around kids]

November 16 to 30

excerpt: Damian locked me in his closet and told me to be a monster, so I roared out at him. We got under the covers and were bears in a cave. I wanted to chill and watch him play, but he insisted we play together and what's more, he didn't wait for me to come up with the games. He did. The times they are a changin'.

excerpt: I was pushing him on the bucket swing. A woman put her ten month old daughter on the swing next to Damian's. The girl was scared. The mom was trying to coax her out of her fear. The girl flapped her arms, a fear reaction. The mom asked if she was a bird. Damian picked up on this, saying "I'm a bird!" and flapping his arms. Then he held his arms out and said "I'm an airplane!" Then he said, "I'm a helicopter!"

[Saw Monsters Inc., lots of (very skillful) somersaults, Ziba commented that she's seeing him be much more assertive than in the summer, major strides in reducing his shaving cream aversion, more imaginative play.]

December 1 to 15

excerpt: Damian made up his first riddle. "What's something that's nice and furry? It's a cat!" Then he modified it: "What's something that's nice and furry and has ears and a nose and paws? A kitty cat!"

excerpt: Damian got excited about playing with Dante. He got a little boisterous and Dante got frisky. He reared up and smacked him in the face with both front paws -- velvet paws -- and then ran off, hoping to be chased. Damian was shocked by being hit, even though it didn't hurt. He started to cry. He was really upset. In a way, this is good -- his feelings were hurt by Dante's rejection. There's a real ability to process his own reaction implicit in that.

[Starting to be concerned about stress reaction, seeing some withdrawal. Tried a gluten-free diet.]

December 16 to 31

excerpt: Damian sat on the arm of the couch, looked down into the trash can. Said "I'm going to go in the can." I said, "Are you garbage?" He said, "I'm garbage. Put me in the can, Mommy." So I did. When he got tired of that, he got out and found his little garbage truck. He drove it over to me and said "I'm going to put Mommy in the truck." I asked, "Am I garbage?" "Mommy is garbage, I'm going to put Mommy in the garbage truck." So he put my finger in the back of the truck and closed the lid over it. Heh.

[Winter Camp. Challenged the gluten free diet. Didn't see any bad effects. Gluten's back. Bad reaction to chocolate. Painted his room (he was discombobulated by this). Bad couple of weeks, still very sensory seeking and a bit shut down. Started to come back at the end of the month. Showing some exciting signs of new emotional development.]

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