But back to NT - so Sam is still not sitting, although we are really caught between trying to figure out if it could be as a result of the tethered cord or simply just Sam being Sam, because yesteday Luke and I had him on the bed and got him to sit for a good three or four minutes (while we were entertainting him with WOTB of course) and he didn't look too uncomfortable in the sitting position, which he sometimes does. But, lucky for us, they have these wonderful things called MRI's which means we don't have to rely on our own guesswork after all, so we should know within the next couple of days when Sam's has been rescheduled for. Sitting aside, however, Sam has been doing quite well with his "crawling", seeing as we really only started focusing on it last week. He can spend up to seven or eight minutes on his hands and knees and although he can't yet co-ordinate the moving of his hands and knees without collapsing, he has started rocking back and forth. So this is like SUPER exciting for us, because although Sam's "alertness" does seem to progress, although slowly, there's basically been no change in his achieving those more physical milestones. It's really quite mindboggling because if you hold two of the animals from his Noah's Ark toy in front of him, one being the horse (which is the only one he knows so far) and say to him "Where's the horsey?" he reaches for the horse or when you ask him "Where's the kitty?" he immediately looks to the floor to look for her. When you say to him "High Five, Sammy" he'll lift his left hand, but yet he can't hold his bottle or sit, etc. it's just so incredibly fascinating. Sam's babbling has also increased much to our delight and now that there's a tooth at the top of his mouth as well, each "word" is sort of bitten off with a Sam-version of a tooth grind, if not completely uttered through his teeth nashing....even when I wash his face, he catches the washcloth in between those little teeth and we have a playful little tug-of-war.
Here's a pic of Sam and Cathy practising his crawling, with Meghan doing what she can to keep him focused (although in this pic it actually looks like she's taking a bit of a nap).
I think one of the fairly disheartening areas of having a child with special needs is that, to a varied extent, they inherit more of the syndrome's characteristics than their mom's and dad's. Don't we all love pointing out which of our most endearing traits our children have inherited (while, under hushed tones, blaming the less appealing traits on our spouse). Well it seems that the gene responsible for the incredible "love" (I was tempted to say "addiction" but not sure if I could speak on behalf of Chris) Chris and I both have for food was just too much for Sam's particular Chromosome 16 to stand firm against because he most definitely has inherited this. You can absolutely NOT eat anything in front of him and that tiny little elf mouth starts eating imaginary whatever it is you are eating. And, sensory integration issues or not, he has no sensory problems with food. And I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT! I will never take for granted the absolute joy you experience at being able to treat your little one to a chippie, a cookie, a marshmallow, a piece of orange, some biltong and even, believe it or not, some spinach and feta pie. Fair enough, he only takes tiny little bites and chews that tiny morsel so so thoroughly, but just knowing how so many of these precious little RTS angels battle with eating problems makes this seeminly insignifant ability just such a relief and really quite joyful. I do have to be careful though because Sam most definitely favours sweet things and, although he is nowhere near being overweight or even average weight at just 7.2kg's, I do not want to permanently influence his food preferences and, ultimately, put him at risk of obesity when he gets older.
I have to say that I am really quite proud of Meghan and Luke, they are both really wonderful with Sam and are always eager to play with him, even though (especially for Meghan) it usually means at least one fairly OUCH-moment when he manages to grab a handful of her hair. He still has this really testing habit of hair-pulling and he definitely knows what he's doing because he gets so excited, even his voice changes pitch. It's bad enough when you're sitting down and he grabs your hair, but on three occasions (and both in the shops on top of it) he's managed to stick out that little hand at just the right moment and grab Meghan's hair while she's walking in front of us, which means DOUBLE OUCH for Meg.
But, moving along onto a far more worrying topic......HAS ANYONE SEEN OUR MISSING WINTER! Seriously, I am NOT a Winter person or, rather, I wasn't until last Summer when we battled so with Sam's sensory issues which were heightened by the warmer temperatures and brighter daylight, etc. and I just couldn't wait for Winter so I could wrap him up when he slept, etc. Well it would be generous to say that we've had two weeks of proper Wintery days. It's totally absurd, especially considering we're less than two weeks away from Spring. I don't even think I've worn a quarter of my Winter clothes (and this time it's not just because I can't fit into them anymore) and haven't once yet put a jacket on.
But of course, the kids are loving it and even Luke got into the mood by helping out with some gardening. Oh No, hang on...that's not right - it's all coming back to me now. He's had his privileges taken away again for one of his usual offences and was trying to work off some of his "time". Phew, got myself worried there for a second when looking at this picture. Although Meg and Luke spent more time discussing what needed to be done, than actually doing it...with Max supervising the lot of course. Chris' and Luke's bright yellow shirts provided some lovely entertainment when a group of "bug-type-thingies" mistook them for two giant yellow flowers and started attacking them.