Leon’s been up until 11 p.m. the last few nights because he was terrified of the wind outside. I started writing a blog article yesterday about how Leon is afraid of everything, moreso than what I feel is typical of toddlers, and in writing the post I listed all the things he’s scared of.
- Fire alarms
- The refrigerator when it makes ice
- Motorcycles, car engines revving, traffic
- The vacuum
- The sound of the daycare kids in the gym next door
It didn’t take long before I realized that all of the unusual/unrealistic things that he’s scared of are noises. So I started doing some research and came across an article about Auditory Sensitivity and Auditory Processing Disorder, and in the list of signs and symptoms, Leon literally identified with all of them:
- The child dislikes loud or unexpected sounds, e.g., fire alarms, sirens, school bells, fireworks.
- They may startle easily to unexpected sound, e.g., sirens, motorcycle going past.
- The child may dislike higher-pitched sounds such as vacuum cleaners or hand dryers.
- They could have difficulty with low hum pitched sounds such as a refrigerator or lorry engine.
- The child may be easily distracted by background noises such as traffic outside, background music, an air conditioner, a refrigerator or buzz from fluorescent lights.
- They may notice sounds that others don’t notice.
- The child may cover their ears to sounds.
- They could dislike of cinema or concerts due to the noise level.
Obviously that doesn’t necessarily mean he has anything, but I felt like looking down that road might bring us some answers. So he has an appointment with his pediatrician on Monday to get a referral to a pediatric occupational therapist or audiologist.
Me: “You’re a sillypants.”
Leon: “No, I’m not a sillypants.”
Me: “Well then who’s a sillypants? Is it Daddy?”
Leon: “No, Ava’s a sillypants!”
Me: “…Ava? Who’s Ava?”
Leon: “A sillypants!”
Me: *puts on a big baggy hobo shirt to hide how bloated I feel*
Leon: “You look like a princess.”
Me: “Awww, buddy!”
Leon: “Mommy’s a princess.”
We were sitting at the restaurant booth when Leon pulled out some old Play-Doh, molded it, and stuck a few pieces to his dinosaur toys. We spent a few minutes pondering where he got that color Plah-Doh before Minh realized it was gum from underneath the table 🤮
Minh and I went to Portland last weekend. I was so anxious about leaving — not only because of what I needed to prep for Leon, but because it would be the first time we’d even leave him overnight. I printed out the “week” from a calendar and color-coded the days we’d be gone with a star on the day we’d come back; we put stickers on each day as they went by. He seemed to really understand it and enjoy adding the stickers, so as the week came I stressed a little less.
Then the morning we were leaving and carrying our bags out to the car, he panicked any time I wasn’t right next to him and ran screaming from room to room to find me. As we were putting on our shoes, he cried “No, Mommy!” He looked devastated. It was a somber drive to the airport.
But honestly, as soon as we got on the plane, I was confident he’d be fine. And he was. Halmoni sent me photos, daycare sent me photos — and in none of them was he crying or upset. In fact, it looked like he was doing a ton of fun things — hugging his friends, visiting the spa, and pushing a kiddie cart in the grocery store.
He was so excited when we got home, he crashed on the floor before he even ran all the way over to us. I spent that afternoon unpacking, but Minh and Leon played outside and did tons of fun things together. I feel like this trip unlocked some doors for us. Maybe we should go out of town more often!
Me: “Do you remember what you say when you want candy today?”
Me: “What do you say?”
Leon just spent the past 10 minutes playing doctor and using the Wiimote to take my temperature, then suddenly the Wiimote turned into underwear (???) and that was very silly.
Leon called me over from the other side of the house, while he was eating lunch and while I was making a spreadsheet for the house…to tell me he wanted tickles.
(He got tickles, because you really only go through that kind of effort when you’re desperate for tickles.)
Leon: “Time for night-night?”
Me: “No, not quite yet.”
Leon: “Five minutes?”
Me: “No, fifteen minutes.”
Leon: “No. Five minutes.”
Me: “Ok, five.” 🤷🏻♀️
Sometimes motherhood is about wiping butts and calming tantrums, but lately it’s been about being silly and loving openly.
Leon has been making me laugh constantly lately — sometimes unintentionally on his part. On Sunday night, he realized that a certain facial expression he did made me laugh, so he did it constantly for the next 30 minutes. And the night before that, Minh asked him if he’d share one of his chips, and Leon broke off the tiniest crumb of a chip to share.
He’s also got a sensitive, sweet side. One night he was still sitting up in bed over an hour after his bedtime, and when I went upstairs to see what was going on, he said, “I need a band-aid my knee.” So to humor him, I went downstairs to get him a band-aid, covered his week-old scab with it, and tucked him back in. As I was leaving, his raspy little voice whispered, “I need kiss, please.” So I kissed him and left the room. He was asleep five minutes later.
He definitely went through a phase of tantrums several weeks ago, but I’m chalking that up to the fact that he’s cutting his last two molars. That means we won’t have to worry about teeth coming in for several more years!