At 10:35 PM, roughly three hours after Leon’s bedtime…
Leon: “Why Daddy not sleeping? Daddy not following directions!”
Leon: *counting on his fingers*
Me: “What are you counting, buddy?”
Apparently my latest party trick is perplexedly pulling a wad of tissue out of my ear that my kid crammed in there and I forgot about. 🙃
Me: “Let’s go potty before we take a shower.”
Leon: “I want to pee in the shower!”
Me: “You can’t do that!”
Leon: “Daddy says so.”
Leon, pointing to Minh’s beard: “Daddy, what’s this?”
Minh: “That’s my beard. I haven’t trimmed it in a while, have I?”
Leon: “It’s OK, Daddy.”
Leon, pointing to Minh’s clean-shaven chin: “Why you got a new one, Daddy?”
To my baby boy,
I first met you three years ago, but I’ve known you for a while. You were in our hearts for years, and then for months you and I shared a body. I felt your kicks, your hiccups, your stretches. I fought mastitis and clogged ducts in order to feed you for a year. I rocked you back and forth in the wee hours of the night until you were old enough to fall back to sleep on your own.
You’ve learned so much in the past three years. You now know how to write the letters “A” and “O,” you can sign several letters, and you can read/spell your name with ease. You know your colors in Spanish and how to count to “twenty-ten.” You know how to cut with scissors and how to do a perfect somersault. You know when it’s time to be silly and when it’s time to sit criss-cross applesauce.
You don’t understand yet, but someday I hope you realize how loved you are. How we’ll go to the lengths of the world for you. How much we enjoy your silly, sometimes-sassy attitude. How we hope you grow up to be considerate, independent, and happy. How we hope to teach you everything you need to know to navigate this crazy world.
We love you so, SO much. Happy third birthday, Leon Maddox ❤️
Me, watching a driver swerve back and forth on the road: “What the hell?!”
Leon: “H. H for ‘hell’!”
Out at a restaurant, where a woman was chatting on her phone so loudly that it was distracting us several booths away:
Leon: “WHAT’S THAT NOISE?”
Minh, keeping cool: “That noise is Leon!”
Leon: “NO, THAT NOISE IS THE WOMAN!”
I turned in the Starbucks parking lot and Leon said, “Mommy’s getting coffee?”
Shhhh… we’re not here often enough for you to know that!
This morning, a week and a half after Leon’s occupational therapy needs assessment, I went to the parent consultation with the director/owner of the clinic to discuss her findings.
Long story short, he definitely has some auditory sensitivities, and she congratulated me for being so in-tune with his needs. For the auditory-processing test, scores range from 10-50 with “typical performance” marked as a 35-43. Leon scored a 13.
He also failed almost all of the tasks that involved closing his eyes. This went along with her secondary finding that he relies on his vision almost exclusively out of all his senses, which may be why he’s so scared in the dark (he can’t see where the sounds are coming from).
She found that Leon is extra sensitive to tactile/touch as well, which surprised me. He is less sensation-seeking than others, possibly because he is overstimulated; and he still has some primitive baby reflexes, which may or may not be limiting/hindering his movement patterns.
She gave us a couple options for treatment, one of which is an occupational therapy plan tailored for him that would address not only the hearing but also the touch sensitivities and on strengthening his non-visual senses. He’d have a standing appointment with a therapist once a week where they’d work with him on these things for 50 minutes. I’m excited that there’s “something” out there for him, and looking forward to getting him the help he needs.