I’m Going to FIX This.

memory“Point to the picture of something we eat.”  Carlos pointed to the picture in the middle of a set of three and said, “Apple!”

“Which one do we wear?”  He pointed to the right one in the next row and said, “Hat!”

“Show me an animal.”  He chirped, “Frog!” and pointed to the right card.

“Something we ride?”  “Scooter!”

I shuffled the array of Memory cards on the dining room rug.  “Carlos–find something we have at a birthday party.”  He searched through the rows of pictures.  “Pwesents!”

“Wonderful!  Can you find something else that we have at birthday parties?”  I tried to light up the little picture of balloons with the power of my stare.  He didn’t notice it.  Finally, after he had lost interest in that question, I said, “How about the balloons?  We have balloons at birthday parties.”  He grabbed up the balloon card and pressed it together with the picture of presents.  “Ballooooooons!”

I looked up to find that G was watching us from the doorway.  He had gone in to work for a few hours while I stayed home with Carlos.  I told him, “Hey, watch this!”

I pulled a little alphabet abacus kind of toy over to Carlos and said, “Carlos?  What letter is this?”

“B!  Buh-buh-buh…”

“Yes!  What letter is this?”

“F!  Fuh-fuh-fuh…”  His attention wandered back to the Memory cards. The toy has a little row of people at the bottom, each with a different numeral from 1-10 and a different facial expression.

“Carlos?  Can you find someone who is sad?”  He looked up and down the row then poked an image of a girl with a downturned mouth and a tear spouting from her eye.  “Nine!”

“Yes!  Good job!  Can you find someone who looks angry?” He considered carefully then answered, “Six!”  Yep.  That boy’s eyebrows came together in a sharp V shape and his mouth was a straight line.

“Yes!  He looks angry.  Can you find a silly boy?”  He pointed to 10 and mimicked the way the boy was sticking his tongue out of the side of his mouth.

That made G laugh. Carlos hopped up from the rug and ran to give G a hug.  That was my sign that our game had come to an end. After Carlos wandered off into the den with the stack of Memory cards crammed into a circus train caboose, G gave me a hug and asked if I was OK.

I said, “I read that report from his last evaluation and got a little nervous about today.” “REALLY?”  G snickered and nodded at the dining room.

In the two hours he had been gone, I had turned it into a learning lab.  We had played hide and seek in the big cardboard box (cooperative play).  We had played Memory (receptive language).  We had stacked objects into the train cars (fine motor) and climbed in out around and through the box (gross motor).  And all of this while he was bare ass nekkid because it is TIME to get this potty training thing locked up.  I even had Sesame Street playing in the other room for good measure.  I had the day off and I WAS GOING TO FIX THIS.  Whatever it is.

Remember that story I wrote a while back about Carlos having some kind of speech issue–“How Could I Have Missed This?”  Today was Chapter Two.  Today was the day we took Carlos to the Marcus Autism Center for testing.  There–I said it.  I said the A-Word.

And guess what?

Maybe, maybe not.  If so, not very.

Because, y’know, he’s three and it’s hard to tell at this age.

In the end, the conclusion was “Keep up the good work.”  And we’ll go back in six months and see a developmental pediatrician.  By then I will either have chilled out a little, or sold the dining room table to buy more flashcards.

As his mom, I am going to do everything in my power to get him what he needs.  And I’m going to do everything in my power to understand what is–and isn’t–in my power.  

13 thoughts on “I’m Going to FIX This.

  1. Tracy

    Okay…some wise lessions from a grandmother. Lesson One – Some things YOU can’t control or fix (like cancer). Lesson TWO – regardless of what labels become attached to your baby (by you or by “professionals”), he is a lovely and loving child who WILL grow up (eventually) to be a happy and productive member of society. He’s yours and me telling you to ‘relax’ won’t help, but you are a good person, a good mother and a generous soul and that is ALL anyone can do or be…so RELAX.

    1. Chris Antenen

      From another grandma: Tracy said what I wanted to say, and said it so well. That line ‘Kids grow up in spite of us,” and the only advice I ever give when asked is — unless you know absolutely what to do, do nothing. I’m convinced every child comes into this world carrying something for his mother to worry about. Carlos is a smart, adorable little boy, and he will probably figure everything out with your and G’s help.. I’ll bet he has the best hugs. Like Tracy said – RELAX

  2. Mary Ann

    You are a great mama ( the baddest!) and he is a great kid. He’s three. He’s his own self. He is perfect. Love.

  3. Jo Harrison

    You are a fantastic Mom! There is no doubt in my mind you will do everything and anything you can to help your children. It’s who you are.

  4. Julie

    After close to ten years of thinking my step-brother was just a “bad kid”, my dad and step-mother found out he has Asperger syndrome, and a few other disorders which fall under the autism umbrella. They carry the guilt of disciplining him for things he could not help, and for not realizing earlier that there was something wrong. Thankfully, you have caught this early. No matter what, you, your son, your family, are caring souls who are loved because you are kind, caring and loving people, regardless of the labels someone should put upon you. :o)

    1. Baddest Mother Ever

      Thank you, Julie! I hope we caught this early enough that it will be something we laugh about in a few years. I’m glad your family got to a better place of understanding. We’re getting there!


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