John Michael's verbal skills have kicked up yet another notch. Saturday at nap time after a busy Step Up for Down Syndrome walk, I followed him to his room to put him down for a nap. He obliged, but climbed into big brother Nic's bed, covered himself up and proudly told me, "I love Nicky's bed. It's so comfortable."
I couldn't believe it! A month ago, he might have said, "I like Nicky's bed" and that would've been the extent of it.
These are a couple examples of his spoken language growing. He's using pronouns mostly correct, stringing words together with "and" and has many sentences going up to 8 words at a time. He is also singing with much better pitch and is hitting notes in his range with better accuracy most of the time. I LOVE this being a singer. He's also quite the story-teller about a dream he frequently has. He tells me there's a bear stuck in his window. I ask, "What color is the bear?" "White." "Is it a nice bear?" "No, it's mean." "OK, should Mommy push the bear out?" "YES!"
On a not so great note, he called his sister Greta "stupid" last week. In our family, that's a pretty bad word... not that the big kids don't occasionally say it, but in general, we don't use it. Breeds a negative attitude... Well, he must've heard it somewhere because it was used in perfect context, to belittle someone. Of course, it got a big reaction out of me and in hindsight, I should've ignored it, but that's hard to do... I heard it a few more times after that and not again lately. I'm hoping it's been fazed out for a while at least.
Yesterday, he wanted to climb up onto my bed. He grabbed a footstool from the bathroom, set it at the foot of the bed and tried to climb up. He struggled a couple times and before I could offer to help, said, "Never mind." And walked out of the room.
In other exciting John Michael news... he is participating in the Learning Program on a monthly basis with homework at home. It emphasizes reading sight words, matching picture to picture, word to word and eventually picture to word. Last night he read all 8 "Going Places" words with the pictures covered up correctly. Car, Bus, Train, Motorcycle, Airplane, Boat, Bicycle... I was thrilled! Kids with Ds are such visual learners and we should've done this with him 2 years ago. Better now than later...
He is turning five 5!! in 9 days. He is becoming more willing to dress himself, often proclaiming, "I DO IT!" Awesome! He uses the potty and stays dry 95% of the time but still needs prompting to go. He can do it himself from start to finish, with handwashing included, but needs help snapping pants. He loves to help me cook, which usually means stirring something. He has an amazing baseball-throwing arm, is catching much better and is an impressive batter. I can get him to do almost anything if I promise to play 2 minutes of baseball with him. It's magical... He has little interest in kicking a soccer ball (like his 3 older sibs), but give him a ball and a bat and he lights up!
So I leave you with a short video highlighting John Michael's batting and throwing...