Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Key Toes!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Key Toes!

Random Thought of the Day: Rock stars should never sing the word "moot," even if it does rhyme with something else.

Erik and I went to therapy at his little school yesterday. I generally don't dread going anymore. It doesn't always poison the day before and after it like it used to. There are some days I actually look forward to going and watching Erik play. I can't say I'm in love with the parent group, but it doesn't bother me much and passes the time. We laugh more than we cry, and it's okay to have a black sense of humor about things other parents would find shocking. I know where the coffee cups are located and which chair is the most comfortable. I speak up. Erik and I have changed a lot since we started going. I confess there are still some days one tiny trigger will destroy me for the rest of the day -- something someone says, if my son reacts negatively to being there, or watching a new child struggle in a body that doesn't work like it should. For the most part, though, it's becoming part of our normal routine. Do I feel a twinge of jealousy for mothers who are spending their morning at a normal play group or at home not analyzing what their child is doing to the degree I am required to? Hell, yes. It's more than a twinge. I'm more jealous than angry, although one can lead me to the other quickly. Anger is a confusing emotion for me because I'm not sure where to direct it, so I generally feel jealousy, sadness, and fear. Outside of group, I still can't bring myself to put myself in certain situations that are known to trigger some upsetting feelings in me but am confident I will know when I'm ready for those things when the time comes. In the meantime, I avoid upsetting situations and enjoy the things that are will likely make me happy.

We arrived at school early in order to have Erik walk himself in. He is slower than molasses in January, but I always make this extra time for Erik so he can make his way on his own. Since it was pouring down rain and I don't use Aqua Net hairspray anymore, I jogged with Erik in my arms to the dry walkway in the front of the building. I placed him down on the ground, pried my hand from his, and walked to the front door without him. I turned to face him and encouraged him to walk forward. He remained in a frozen squat but smiled pleasantly at me. Distracted by some soft light in the gloom, he turned his attention to the office windows above him and peered inside to see what was going on. A therapist joined us on the sidewalk and tapped on the windows to get the office staff's attention, and Erik waved at them. We then continued to coax Erik inside, and the therapist commented on how much patience I have. We eventually got Erik up to the door, and he stopped to carefully step over the flat metal strip in the doorframe, something that always freaks him out. I don't think he can tell how high it is. He did great up the hall and the ramp into his classroom and tolerated sitting next to a disturbing, cacophonous toy that shot cheerfully colored plastic balls up into the air and sounded like a Boeing 747 taking off. Erik didn't put balls into the machine but threw them at it so he didn't have to get within a three-foot radius of the thing. I didn't blame him one bit.

I left Erik with the therapist and walked a new mother to the parents' group room. I confessed to her that for months I used to run directly out the front door but that I remain with the other parents now. I wish somebody had walked me down the hall the first time, although I don't regret waiting until I was ready.

Parent group was uneventful, except that there was a fundraiser for a 3-year-old girl who suddenly suffered a stroke and developed cerebral palsy. She is now attending Erik's school but is not in his class. They had done the fundraiser selling Krispy Kreme donuts, and we all very politely but ravenously plucked them from the box.

When we went up the hall to pick up our kids, Erik was at the tiny table in a tiny chair, eating in front of a mirror like usual. What was very unusual was the fact that everybody was raving about how great he was doing. He had a greasy beef taquito in one of his large, freakishly strong hands and was enthusiastically swirling it into a small puddle of barbecue sauce. I couldn't believe my eyes. As most of you know, Erik usually holds food in one hand and stares blankly ahead for the duration of snack time. When I walk him out to the car, he usually still has a sweat-soaked cookie, cracker, or piece of fruit in a death grip. I certainly would never consider him a real carnivore, either. A cookievore, maybe, but never a carnivore. When I approached him yesterday, however, he smiled at me with a mouthful of overprocessed meat and said, "MMMMMMM!" He apparently also had a great day standing on a step and coloring on a paper-covered easel and repeating words spoken in class (he is usually virtually silent). I cleaned him up with a wet cloth, and he ran down the hall with me. We both drove home happy.

Since we don't normally eat greasy, fried food, I am bound and determined to make Erik taquitos at home. I found a recipe on line and will try it maybe this weekend. Of course, I will bake them instead of frying them, and Erik will think they are horrid. Oh well. More "key toes" for us.

http://www.recipezaar.com/81118

2 Comments:

Blogger Kerry said...

Aha! The secret is Wendy's, McDonald's and Taco Bell??? Hmm.. I may be able to help you in that dept. This is what I'll do for you - I will drive over and take Erik out to eat to a REAL fast-food place, no healthy stuff required!

All kidding aside - how fabulous that he is making the strides he is. It must be so heartwarming to see these new things sprout up. :)
Love -K

7:32 PM  
Blogger PASLAY'S FROM IDAHO said...

AFTER KERRY HAS HAD THE ROUNDS WITH ERIK AND INTRODUCING HIM TO HER FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT... THEN I WILL SWING BY AND THE BOYS AND I WILL SHOW ERIK OURS! :) HA! OR HE COULD JUST COME TO OUR HOME... REMEMBER I AM THE QUEEN OF SNACKS!

I JUST LOVE THAT NEPHEW OF MINE AND I AM SO PROUD OF HIM! GIVE HIM ONE BIG HUG FROM HIS AUNTIE!

SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE DOING GOOD AS WELL! I THINK OF YOU ALL THE TIME AND I PRAY FOR YOU JUST AS MUCH!

KEY TOES!!!!!!!
DAWNITA

7:06 AM  

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