Crunchy Thoughts

The thoughts are crunchier here.

sputnik; eighteen months in orbit

Hey, I hoped y’all enjoyed that little jaunt into the wayback year of 1999. I doubt I’ll have that many posts in one month again for quite some time, if ever. I probably confused the heck out of my server.


So yeah, Sam’s 18 months old, so I figured I’d give a status report. He actually won’t be 18 months until this Friday — hey, I’m early for once!

Well, let’s get the big rocks out of the way first and get up to date on the speech thing. We’re starting to dive into the Early Intervention waters now, and I’m becoming more well-versed with SIs, SLPs and IFSPs.

When Sam was evaluated last month for Early Intervention, not only did he qualify based on his speech delay, he also qualified (more than 25% delayed) based on the other four things he was tested for: cognitive, social/behavioral, physical, and self-help. Speech was the worst, so there is a thought that the speech affects the others, but we really don’t know and can’t worry yet about why — we just have to start therapy.

We have met with a Special Instructor (SI), and we meet with them again tomorrow. It is their job to observe Sam and then give Steven and I helpful ideas/tricks/etc. to use with Sam during everyday life. A big one has been sign language, and Sam has really started to pick up on it. What a change it has made in just a few short weeks, too. He signs three words so far: ‘more,’ ‘please,’ and ‘cheese.’ The first time he said ‘more,’ it was a revelation. Communication! Praise be, we can communicate with our son!

Sam also understands a few signs we do, like ‘fruit,’ though he doesn’t do the gesture himself. He also has begun to hum or sing-song a couple of words: ‘uh-oh’ and ‘thank you.’ It’s hard to describe in print, but he’s not quite saying the word, but you know exactly what he means. He’s just not enunciating.

One thing Sam picked up on that still blows my mind is he can mimic Hermione very well. He starts with a ‘D’ sound, then goes ‘dahhhhhhh’ in a high-pitched voice, going higher and raspier until you’re not sure if it’s him or the cat. Whenever he sees either cat he tries to talk to them in this fashion. It’s wild.

Sam still gets pretty frustrated at times, though lately there have been days where he has what we call ‘good days.’ I am hoping the frustration is starting to go away now that we do have some sort of communication going on. The SI told us to completely ignore his fits and ignore him when he is in one, even if we don’t know why he’s mad. That has been pretty hard.

As for other aspects of Sam, I think he’s doing pretty good. He’s turning out to be quite a daredevil — this kid has no fear of heights. He loves to be thrown, flipped, swung, or spun. He has no sense of gravity. He still worships the ground Lydia walks on and follows her everywhere. Lydia, for that matter, loves him just as much. She calls him ‘Sam Brother’ and she has even picked up on the sign language.

I am flummoxed when it comes to Sam’s hair. I’m a girl who always desired long hair plus I grew up with a sister — I have no idea what to do with boys’ hair. Steven shaves his off. Sam’s hair is growing like a weed. It’s been trimmed twice in his lifetime but the second time was barely a cut because he kept getting mad. He does not like people messing with his hair. Yesterday I was able to put it in a little ponytail. I’m tempted to take Steven’s little buzzer razor to it. Sam might let me. Maybe worth a shot?

We had Thanksgiving last week. Sam had a great day with no meltdowns but he wasn’t all that keen on the food. Unfortunately we’re still having to avoid egg and rice but eggs are the foundation of Thanksgiving. I can make egg-free cupcakes all the live-long day but there’s no way to make egg-free cornbread dressing or apricot cake. I did make a Sam-safe squash casserole, and he loved that. He also got a kick out of his Aunt Cathy’s apple pie. He wasn’t a turkey fan, though. Running all over creation with his sister and cousin was also great fun this year.

So. Eighteen months. December and Christmas is a-coming. I bet Sam screams in Santa’s lap this year. That’s okay. We’ll still have Santa some egg-free cookies waiting for him on Christmas Eve. Come and get ’em, Santa.


  1. You mention Sam’s “fits”; I don’t know if that is the same as a tantrum, but I heard this on NPR yesterday and thought it was interesting. Of course, I know nothing of parenting, but it’s cool to think there is science behind temper tantrums!

  2. Thanks, Peter! Yes, Sam’s fits are well-performed tantrums. I had heard NPR had put out an article on tantrums but had yet to read it. It is interesting to look at tantrums from a scientific standpoint.