Saturday, April 14, 2012

Whose Lucky Day Is It?

Yep. Today was someone's birthday here. Someone pretty doggone special to me too as a matter of fact.

Someone who, two nights ago, as Mandy was finishing up helping Maya get her bath, he came running to her, then to me, mouth wide open (and baby, I do mean WIDE Open too) point to his mouth/throat to show us that he had just managed to release a "wiggler"in the upper front part of his gum area!

So now today, Kurtis, my little semi-toothless boy wonder, is now six years old!

And it seems so hard to believe that he is that old -already!

It was just yesterday he was a newborn and scaring the living daylights out of his poor mother the night after he was born when the nurses and doctor thought he had somehow managed to get some kind of liquid into his lungs and to be on the safe side, he then spent the first couple days of his life in the NICU at Dubois Regional Hospital. But thankfully, nothing more materialized from that so his homecoming was only delayed two days after Mandy's!

He's had a few issues from a tonsillectomy when he was a little over 2 years old and had no vocabulary at all, no way to communicate and also, could not drink except via a bottle -which was pretty hard for him to do to suck on that with his throat being all raw and such from the surgery. They kept him -thankfully -overnight, for that procedure to keep tabs on his fluid intake and then, released him on the second day only to readmit him a day and a half later because he wasn't drinking anything and was dehydrating. So he spent then an additional 4 days in the hospital from that episode. That 4th day, Pastor Carrie had been over to the hospital to visit with him and Mandy (who, by the way had to stay with him at the hospital the entire time) and when she left, Mandy had suggested maybe some prayers for him to start drinking would be in order and gee whiz, that very afternoon then, he began to accept drinking from his bottle again so he was then released the next day!

The poor kid has been plagued by the allergies -predominately those pertaining to the outside world, plants and such and some days he is just miserable with his nose being so stuffed up and such. But, thankfully, he does have some meds now that while not curing his problems, are helping him a lot.

He -like his older sister, Maya -was also diagnosed as having Autism too. But thankfully, when we saw the signs and symptoms of autism appearing in him, we had more of an idea of what to do next, how to request and receive help for him almost immediately then in the form of early intervention therapies.

And they worked! Thanks to the fantastic efforts of Berta -his occupational therapist; Kerri, his behavior therapist and Mandy, his speech therapist, we got some really good results then!

Is he "cured" now? Oh, my now! But he's doing great, moving right along in his kindergarten class, struggling to learn to read now and also, how to deal with other children his age and interact with them in an acceptable way.

He's a little imp at times but usually -especially when it's just him and Maya playing together -he tends to be the victim and Maya does have a propensity to be a bit of a bully to him. Part of that I would attribute to the normal aspect of sibling rivalry as well as Maya being maybe more than a bit jealous of Kurt because he's taken away her sole occupancy on the Queen Bee's throne here you could say. And I'm sure too that the Autism factor in him, as well as in his sister, also plays heavily in this issue too.

Thursday afternoon and the entire evening up until he went to bed, he was running around here and repeating (ad nauseum, really) "It's your lucky day!" (I think maybe his TSS -Miss Dawn -may have said that to him yesterday but meaning it that today (Friday, the 13th) was his lucky day and he just interpreted in his own way. But anyway, we kept correcting him, telling him that today would be "his lucky day."

So this morning then when I took him out to get on the van to go to school, his driver, Miss April, greeted him right away by wishing him Happy Birthday. He muttered something to her but I couldn't make out what he had said then. I started telling him then to tell Miss April what today was but he wasn't listening to me at first. So I kept repeating this to him "Kurt, what's today? What's today?" And after a few seconds he looked around the van a bit then up and me, with a sort of confused look on his face and he said "Sunny?"

It took me a couple more times of trying to prod him into the response I was looking for and finally, he said it -"It's my lucky day!"

Maya had insisted on giving him the special birthday present she had picked out for him last Friday when we were over at Walmart getting groceries. It was a small racecar type thing and was very inexpensive so I had purchased it for her to give it to him. Well, first thing this morning, since she knew exactly where I'd place the bag with the Lego car she was giving him along with another little Lego toy I had bought for him too, she had taken that car out of the bag and presented it to him as soon as he came downstairs!

Then, even as Mandy and I were both yelling at her NOT to open the cellophane packet with all those itty-bitty Lego pieces in it this morning, she stood there and snipped the packet wide open and dumped all these little piece onto the coffee table and of course, he dug right into that and started working to put it together! I was worried he would get really obsessed then with working/playing with it and that when his van would arrive, he would get really crabby and not want to leave it to go to school.

Fortunately for me, that didn't happen although neither of us realized his van had arrived so had to rush around a bit then to get his jacket on him and find his backpack and get him moving on out the door to get on the van then!

By the time I got back into the house though, I could tell by the myriad of little Legos that were now laying around on the floor that while I was outside getting him on the van, the goofy dog (Sammy) and the equally goofy cat (Pearl) had decided to have a friendly romp and chase in the living room during which time the cat had evidently jumped up on the table and that move had then scattered the darned Lego pieces all over the place.

So Gram had to then bend over -which is no easy task for me, mind you -and proceed to pick up all these darned pieces and put them in the little bag then for safekeeping.

The whole time I was doing that pickup job though in the back of my mind I was seeing a different time, different place but it involved me moving around bent over and picking oodles and oodles of those stinking little lights to a Light Bright set that my son's Godparents had given him one year for Christmas. And in my mind, I could still hear his Godmother, my good friend Priscilla, whispering to me as she and her husband Ted left to go home that Christmas night "I just sucked 'em up from the floor with the vacuum cleaner. It works wonders!"

And I could sort of imagine that at some day maybe in the near future now, Mandy or maybe even I would be running the vacuum and aiming the old hose right at a whole bunch of Lego pieces!

Tomorrow though we will be having our special dinner plus an Ice Cream Cake -compliments of Aunt Carrie and cousin, Alex -to celebrate this big occasion in Kurt's life. A good friend of the family will also be here to join us in the fun of watching him open a few more gifts and then, blow out those six candles on his special cake.

I can't locate any photos on my computer right now of Kurtis taken six years ago in the hospital but this is one of the earlier pictures -and also one of my favorites -of him when he was almost 3 years old.

Just a little out of order here, but also one of my favorite pics of Kurtis -this was him celebrating his first birthday with his very own first birthday cake. He still prefers to use fingers instead of utensils when eating, even today! (Much to his mother's and my chagrin!)

And here he is, two days ago, being his normal little clown self whenever the camera is around. But in this case, he's showing off his big gaping hole where he lost that front tooth!

Wonder if at Christmas his favorite song might just be "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?"

But one thing is for sure and that is this that today -April 13th -may be Kurt's lucky day alright but as far as I'm concerned it really is mine because it sure was his entry into my life that makes this MY lucky day too!

Happy Sixth Birthday to Gram's littlest prince and sweetheart grandson, Kurtis!


Maggie May said...

Happy Birthday to Kurt. Its quite amazing how fast they grow up and this little lad has done very well with all the help he has received...... not least from you.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Sandi McBride said...

you are so lucky jeni...two grand kittens to teach and i know you teach them well...happy day of his birth to the little kurtis...i believe you to be a marmalade cat with your patience and wisdom and beauty of self and soul
batgirl (with sandi)

terri said...

Happy Birthday to Kurtis! I can't believe he's six years old already! Apparently you and I have been blog buddies for a long time now because I remember Kurt as a little toddler!