She's tall for her age with a haircut so chic you'd think she prefers the runway to the racetrack. She's convinced she's a boy right now with her race cars and her light sabres. It doesn't bother us in the least. In fact, we called her 'little fella' as a toddler because she exuded all those characteristics we so often associate with boys. Neither my husband nor myself tried to deter her interests. In fact, we often get a kick out of her penchant for trucks and superheroes. The autism has taken her love of Ninja Turtles and Spiderman to a level considered inappropriate by some but we envy her ability to adore something so wholly and so authentically that she gets such joy from it.
She's getting older now. She cannot be considered a toddler anymore. She's still painfully cute and except for a few cranky-pants people she still gets a smile from every stranger she hugs. Her behaviours, the ones that make us smile because they are so 'her' are the same behaviours that confirm her diagnosis to those around us. Her lack of fear both thrills us when she tries to make a friend and terrifies us when she bolts from my arms in a parking lot. There are so many conflicting emotions it is exhausting at times.
Her vocabulary is so extensive now. Just today she ran from her room and raised up high on her toes and said: "Mama, I am Peter Parker and you are bad guy, ok?"
I remember the days when I would have counted the words in her sentence and immediately called my husband at work to tell him. 'Eleven Words!' I would scream into the phone and he would cheer from his desk. There were days when she said none and only cried or hit us. There are no more days like that. She hits still but no those attacks are accompanies with beautiful and clear angry words and we appreciate it every single time. We don't have conversations yet, because back and forths are tough but she can express goings on if they are 'in the moment' and sometimes feelings, too. You should hear her script an episode of TMNT. She kicked pretend play's ass this year, too. She's come so far.
I'm watching videos to remind myself how far she's come. I thought you might like to see them, too. In the first video there is a lot of babble. I think I can make out "Are you serious?" at one point but otherwise she is resorting to nonsense words. In the second video just five months later she is once again angry at me :) but it is very clear why. For the record, I didn't 'take' her treehouse. ;)
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
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Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)