Not Being Able to Speak

Not that I don’t dream of being able speak,
A day with no words can be so very bleak.

Actions can communicate for me, if they’ll follow my cue.
*Reading my mind, it seems, they have learned to do.

There are other ways. I know I’m not the only one.
Sign language for those that won’t be outdone.

I learned the signs for ‘music’ and ‘more’.
But it was hard and I didn’t understand, what for.

Technology has created some new tools to use,
I like lights and sounds as you might deduce.

There are other ways to let my thoughts be known,
Some are a lot of trouble, as I have shown.

If I could just tell them I’m hungry for banana bread.
That’s the snack I’m thinking about before I go to bed.

Or, applesauce muffins, I wish Mom would make those.
That would make me happy from my head to my toes.

This Covid-19 #shelterinplace is working well for me,
I’m quite happy at home. Really happy as can be.

The world out there is scary not being able to talk,
Home is my safe place, I sure won’t balk.

While I’m here I’ve had time to think,
Count yourself blessed if you can speak.

There are so many things I’d like to talk about,
So many questions I’d ask, without a doubt.

Sometimes I cannot turn off my mind,
But, my thoughts, they are locked inside.

I’ll give a good hug when I’m in the mood.
I can actually be a fairly affectionate dude.

But, how do I say it, when the words can’t come?
Three simple ones that make a great sum.

They know it already, it’s not a surprise.
The way I say, I Love You, is with my eyes.

*written by Jacob’s mom, by reading his mind.

“Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say.”

Rosemary Crossley

Special Delivery

What comes to mind when you hear those words? New baby? Birthday surprise? Expedited mail?

Not in this case.

The first chance I had to go to the grocery store, once Covid-19 precautions were in place for social distancing, was interesting. I had tried to Clicklist at my local grocery to avoid a crowd. Only to be told 1 1/2 hours before pickup that they didn’t have enough employees to fill my order. So the next morning, I tried again. There wasn’t even a possibility to have them do the shopping for me. At least, not that day.

I psyched myself up and headed into the madness. It was busy and there were more people than I usually see. You know it is impossible to keep 6 feet between you and another shopper on a grocery aisle? Unless all shoppers are moving in the same direction, at the same pace, with space between them. Which we know doesn’t happen. So I held my breath when near people! Well, as best I could.

Either way, what surprised me, most, were the random items that had been purchased leaving shelves empty. Sugar. Bagged lettuce. Cheese. Flour. I was able to get probably 98% of the items on my list, though, so that was great.

I came home telling Mike that bologna was one of the items I wasn’t able to find. Yes, that stuff. Jacob is on a bologna kick. Has been for some time now. And when he is on, he is ON. It starts with two slices of bologna and us making a sandwich by spreading mayo on wheat bread. Put one slice of bologna on each piece of bread. Then, unwrap some American cheese and add one slice so it is between the two bologna slices. Cut it into pieces and let him chow down.

Note, if you do this incorrectly, he notices. You will have to start over and make it to his specifications. After he basically eats the middle out of the sandwich, it is time for another one. Chances are he has eaten very little of the bread but the sandwich must be constructed the same way each time. Usually it is repeated twice with him eating the middle of three, double bologna/single cheese sandwiches along with bits and pieces of the bread.

Well, when Mike heard no bologna, he knew we might have a problem! On his Facebook timeline, he posted something like – Bologna is the food of choice for Coronavirus Survivalists! Not a plea for help. No mention suggesting Jacob would be upset. Just an observation posted at 9:40 one morning.

At 2:06 that same day my cell phone rings: “Mrs. Terri, I have some bologna. I am going to bring some for Jacob.” I tell her that is so sweet but he will be fine and we will get some soon. “No, I am bringing my baby some bologna!” “I had some in the freezer and I am headed over there now.” Twenty minutes later, Em delivered bologna to our home.

Package on the right was opened quickly so a couple of slices are already missing!

PEOPLE! That was a SPECIAL DELIVERY! That’s what I’m talking about!

In February 2019, I shared about the sitters in our life, who have blessed us beyond measure, in a post called: At Your Service. She’s one who has been a constant in our family for many years and has loved us without limits. But, I don’t know when I’ve been so taken aback by a gesture. Her simple act of sharing what she had was a wonderful gift.

Note: She is the reason that Jacob’s bologna sandwiches must also have a slice of cheese. It is something that never occurred to me but that’s the way she made them for him one day and THAT’S the way they’ve been ever since.

Thank you Em for your Special Delivery. You are one of Jacob’s favorite people in the world. And, your kindness makes our world a better place!

Time to Whine

Last week I shared about one of Jacob’s really good days. It was before the time changed.

And then, new week, early sunrise, and he wasn’t having it! I would enter his bedroom to wake him up. He’d barely open his eyes and push me away. I’d give him time and space and later return to the same scenario. If he were to sit up or get out of bed, it was only to hand me his quilt and hold me tight until he heard these words, “okay, lie down and I’ll cover you up. But, only for a few more minutes.”

We were out of town, for three days, the weekend of the time change so Jacob automatically got to stay home with his sitter that Monday. Sometimes after being away from home for a few days, I just want to let him stay home with me. Blame it on those ‘good to get-away but better to be back’ feelings. It doesn’t take but a few days and I miss that dude terribly!! So, on Tuesday, I had decided IF he wakes up early, I’ll take him to his day program. But otherwise, we are staying home. And we did.

However, I felt missing two days when he wasn’t sick was enough time off and decided I’d get him up Wednesday to go. It did NOT work that way as our thoughts did NOT line up! I tried all the usual tactics and I couldn’t get him to stay up. Looking around his room, it was obvious he had played some during the night. So, I covered him in his quilt and closed his bedroom door to leave him alone. Quickly he was back sound asleep. Giving him a few hours, I woke him at 10 a.m. and by then he was ready to get up, (with me assuring him we weren’t going anywhere).

10 A.M. wake-up call.

Thursday came and he had been home for 5 days, 3 of those missing his ‘school’. Three days that the weather was pleasant and he was well. I determined he was going. It wasn’t easy. Stalling every way he could. Making it hard to get him dressed. But at least he was finally upright! Mission accomplished and I dropped him off thinking all was well.

The Dance with Me (https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2020/03/12/dance-with-me/) post went live that morning to positive and encouraging feedback. With friends and family celebrating Jacob having had such a great day.

That afternoon, my phone rang and it was the manager of his program. In short, ‘Jacob is fine but I wanted you to know about an incident.’ Oh goodness. My mind is racing. Did he swallow a dead lizard? Get his hand caught in a door? Get punched because he stole someone’s roll at lunch? (All have happened in the past.)

Seems Jacob and another fella wanted to be in the same spot. ‘That’s mine!’ ‘I was here first!’ Remember hearing that with your verbal toddlers?? Only what felt like a million times! Right? From my understanding, that sums up what happened. The problem was, neither could express themselves appropriately. Both did what they knew to do—grab and push to try and force the other to let them have their way.

Some time ago, we donated a couch and love seat to the center that Jacob attends. We were replacing ours at home and they agreed the furniture could be put to good use. So, Jacob’s office (https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2019/08/01/step-into-my-offices/) got the couch and a common area got the love seat. Turns out, that day Jacob wanted to chill out on the love seat and so did T. I have no idea if Jacob believes those two couches belong to him, because he remembers we donated them, but seemed he was focused on the ‘that’s mine’ mindset.

So, two underweight, non-verbal fellas communicated in their language and ended up inflicting scratch marks on each other. “Do I need to come get him?” ’No, he is fine and in his room listening to music. I just wanted you to know what happened.’

Would it be entirely strange,
If we didn’t acknowledge the time change?
Some states said, enough is enough.
Spring forward, fall back is really rough.
My sweet boy can’t take it at first,
So sleeping in, for him, is a must.
He’ll adjust eventually, he always does.
Why are mornings so hard? Just b’cuz!

Was it the time change? I sure want to blame it on that! Oh, it saddened me. I was reliving Jacob’s best day because I’d just shared the story that morning. That phone call brought me down to reality. The staff handled it properly. But, when we picked him up, the young ladies waiting out front for their ride, scattered, telling me Jacob had been grabbing people that day. Afraid he might get too close to them, as well. Yes, I was pretty bummed out knowing he’d been a trouble maker. There are good days and not so good days. Thursday wasn’t his best day but everyday won’t be. And, that is normal!!

Apparently, I just needed a place to whine about the time change, thank you for allowing that. Lately there have been more good days than not, so that is a win!

Friday came and I didn’t have it in me to struggle with making him get up when he wasn’t ready. So we stayed home. Again. He only attended his program one day that week.

And now, Covid-19 is here and we are currently keeping him home as he doesn’t understand social distancing and has no concept of healthy hygiene habits. I know my guy isn’t going to complain about that!! However, I have a feeling my sanity may be stretched to new lengths.

Dance with Me

Jacob came out from his day program and quickly got into the van. As I buckled his seat belt and then moved into the driver’s seat, a staff member approached my window. G: “I have to tell you about Jacob today.” Even though she had a pleasant expression, I tensed and braced myself to hear everything that might have gone wrong.

Instead, what I heard went something like this, “Jacob had the best day ever.” “He was so playful. He went all over the building, into some of the offices, and was really happy.” “He took our hands and wanted to dance. He wanted to PLAY!” “He smiled and he hugged us.” “He wanted me and S and J to all have fun with him.”

Sometimes the manager will make a point to tell me that Jacob had a good day. Or, that Jacob had been happy all week. But hearing this made it feel like the best day ever for me, too.

As she bragged and smiled telling me about Jacob, he was definitely listening. All ears, hearing and smiling as well. It obviously made him feel good to hear her sharing about the fun they’d had and my excitement about his great day.

I praised him all the way home about how proud I was he’d had such a good day. I welcomed how wrong I was in the beginning and was so very thankful my initial thought was way, way off!

Pictured below, he is continuing to enjoy me making a BIG deal about his GOOD day.

Why was that day different and better than some? I thought back over the previous afternoon and evening (which had been a dentist appointment for another blog post). Time to analyze. What had he eaten? Oh, yes, fast food hamburgers and fries as a reward for the dentist trip. Did he sleep good that night? Yes, all indications were he had. And, did he eat anything for breakfast before leaving home that morning? No. Which is the case probably 75% of the time. Except for the trip to have his teeth cleaned, it was pretty routine.

Oh that I knew the formula for the best day ever. I would repeat it minute by minute if I possibly could. Unfortunately, I can’t make it happen again.

But, I can thank God for Jacob’s good day. And, for staff who make him comfortable, who make him feel safe enough to twirl and play, and who accept him just as he is. AND, who stop and dance when they tune in to his silent voice requesting,

Dance with me, I want to be your partner, can’t you see…..

I Need You

In last week’s blog post, Letting Go, I talked about teaching our children independence. Doing everything we could so they wouldn’t need us when they are grown. Realizing all the while, that concept would look differently for Jacob. The truth is, Jacob depends on others for daily help. Dressing, eating, communicating, etc. For as much as we want him to succeed and thrive, Jacob will always depend on us or others. He needs assistance, every day, in almost every area.

As a Christian, I have no doubt in my mind that God made me the way I am to prepare me to be Jacob’s mom. He gave me a heart to serve or help. I was designed to demonstrate the love of Christ by helping others. What does that mean? Assisting Jacob comes naturally for me. Don’t get me wrong, most parents are willing and able to help their children. It is their desire to do everything they can to make their lives better. And we are blessed to have such amazing family members and friends who’ve demonstrated what it means to be hands-on, engaged parents. However, the reality is that most people don’t plan on brushing their child’s teeth for 40 plus years.

When we cradled our newborn we already had plans for his future. That plan didn’t materialize as imagined. Whether I had pursued being a veterinarian or meteorologist or some other wonderful career, the job I was called to do was to be a mom. Some say it is the hardest job on earth. And some days, I would agree. (Although I’ve not had enough other paying jobs to really compare!)

But, you know what? God’s plan is always better. I’ve learned a lot through serving Jacob but no lesson more important than this:

Lord, I come, I confess

Bowing here I find my rest

Without You I fall apart

You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You

Every hour I need You

My one defense, my righteousness

Oh, God, How I need You

Matt Maher

I learned else something along the way. Teaching them to be independent was not as important as modeling for them my need for Christ. While the goal is for them to ‘make it on their own’, their ultimate success will be on realizing their need is not for us, but in a relationship with a Heavenly Father.

When I start focusing on how hard this is, I feel sorry for myself and get weary of helping. Oh, I am so human and there are days overwhelmed and need a break. When I focus on being the Mom that God designed me to be, I see being able to take care of Jacob’s needs as a gift from above that stretches me, makes my heart grow, and become a better person.

Once I was away at a convention and left Mike at home and in charge of both boys. When I returned and questioned him about something that wasn’t done (per my expectations), he quickly said, “I knew you like to feel needed.” He proceeded to tell me about an Andy Griffith episode: Andy and Opie, Housekeepers. Taylor men are slobs, but picking up after themselves, when on their own, may be the wrong message to send to Aunt Bee, who needs to feel needed. And, I felt and feel needed, for sure!!

As much as Jacob needs us (and I like to feel needed!), I may need him even more.

But above all, in every minute, in all things, whether running on empty or with a full tank,

Oh, God, how I desperately need You.

Terri Pigford

Letting Go

Not to be confused with, “Let It Go”, made popular by the Disney movie, Frozen.

When Jacob’s brother was a senior in high school, I started getting all sentimental. That year, I read an article about letting go. A reminder that our children are, for the most part, under our influence their first 18 years or so. In short, it said, you’ve raised your child to be independent, now it is time to let them spread their wings and fly. If we’ve done our jobs right, they have learned to live ‘on their own’.

We watched Josh grow from a baby to a toddler to a teen to a young adult. ‘The days are long but the years are short‘ is so very true. It went by extremely fast!! Each step there were teaching moments to embrace and milestones to be celebrated. And all of a sudden, in what felt like ‘in the blink of an eye’, he’s a man. He has stayed true to the covenant commitment to his wife, is the founder of a successful business, and parents their three daughters. He’s been ‘out of the house’ longer than he was in. And I remember all the mixed emotions I felt while waving good-bye to my newlywed son as he and his bride drove 1200 miles to spread their wings. (Tomorrow is his birthday, perhaps that is another reason I am reminiscing.) Happy Birthday Josh!!!

From the time they were born, it was our job to teach them to not depend on us. To make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. To reward honesty and selflessness.

We aimed to teach kindness and compassion. Diligence and determination. To be generous and grateful. To live by Proverbs 3:5-6. Those things would come in handy. Did I take advantage of those years?

We are different, were we up to the task? (I know, every family is different—thank goodness.) We got married. (Happy 42nd Anniversary to us.) Bought a house, got a dog, and had two children. And we set out to raise our little humans to be independent, productive members of society.

And it was easy and it was hard. Our two sons were/are opposites. One was stuck while the other moved forward. One met and/or achieved while the other struggled. Sometimes the ‘easy’ was with one and honestly, sometimes it was with the other.

With one, it seemed he was a toddler, crying at swimming lessons one day, and driving two states away to a summer job the next. With the other, he was a toddler and tween and teenager but the changes were blurred and some days we didn’t know which stage we were in. Jacob never really graduated from the toddler stage all the while dealing with teenage hormones. And I didn’t have to let go and watch him venture out far from his safe place with just the three of us.

There was an overwhelming sadness of letting go of Josh. Mixed with equal joy and confidence of knowing he could and would ‘make it on his own’. And in the same moment, I think about the different types of letting go I’ve faced with Jacob. Some hard. Some easy. No waiting up to be sure he made his curfew. Or helping with a college application. Or late night talks about life. I had to let go of control, in a sense, with Jacob’s school setting, day programs, and trusting sitters in our home. Those were minor compared to letting go of how I imagined our lives. The dreams of what he’d ‘be’ when he grew up.

In all this, I am thankful we were given different paths to walk with our sons. We haven’t missed out on a thing. Every family with more than one child gets the unique opportunity to parent each child as their temperament dictated. With Jacob, the days are long and, frankly, sometimes so are the years. But those years have kept us from experiencing the empty nest and I really love my nest the way God built it.

Next week: I Need You

Haircut Shortcut

When Jacob was a little tyke, I asked the gal that cut my hair if she would give him a trim. She knew enough to know it might be a challenge but was willing to give it a try. I don’t remember his age but he was small enough to sit on my lap. What I do remember was that it did not go well. For anyone in the salon. Was it so bad I blocked it from my memory? Nah. I just knew I didn’t want to put either of us through that again.

My sister-in-law had given me a lesson cutting hair using Mike as the model, in their parent’s carport, probably 40 years ago. I was comfortable cutting his hair so felt I could cut Jacob’s as well. It’s interesting because it does seem that fairly often I’ll hear of another parent, of a special needs child, taking on the barber role, too. Whatever it takes to reduce stress for our sons and daughters.

Somehow we managed. Even though scissors and a child flailing their arms, standing up and down, and twirling is downright dangerous. He was constantly trying to hold my hands to end the session. I’d create a space hoping to keep him somewhat occupied and entertained. A candle burning, a spinning toy, and music playing. The promise of chocolate. Sometimes I’d have to call in for reinforcement and other times I made it solo. I’d also let his hair get too long before making myself cut it and I’d cut it pretty short so we could go as long as possible in between.

Then a fella invented something quite unique. It would suck hair into a blade, cut it, and then the cut hair would be pulled through the hose into a vacuum cleaner. And the commercials did the trick making people want one, for 3 easy payments of $19.99!

Who ever heard of such a thing?

A haircut, no scissors, what do you mean?

Grab that vacuum cleaner with a hose,

Attach to the blade and spacer you chose.

Turn the machine on and wait for the buzz,

Prepare to be shocked with what that thing does!

The Flowbee hit the airwaves in 1988.

We were among the millions who took the bait.

Yes, Mike decided he would buy a Flowbee and then he could cut his own hair. And I decided surely it would be easier and safer to cut Jacob’s with a protected blade than pointed scissors! We had discovered a shortcut to his haircuts. And it worked for years and years and years. The only down side was the noise of the vacuum could be bothersome. And I did continue to use scissors some. Still it was better than the alternative.

Sometime last year, I decided to try regular hair clippers. We hadn’t tested that route and there were a lot of good options available. Downside– with every snip, hair is flying. Upside—much quieter than the Flowbee. And, ya know what? It worked really well. I continue to make it as appealing and pleasant as I possibly can, but he’s gotten to where he is a really good sport about it. I still let him get rather shaggy before snipping but it is only because it is easy to postpone.

So through the years, we’ve tried a hair stylist, yours truly, a Flowbee, and clippers. And we have a standby plan in our pocket if any of those were to fail us.

I’ve mentioned before about having neighbors in our home. It one of my favorite things to do because I value knowing the people around us and them getting to know Jacob and meet him in his territory. About a year ago, we hosted a neighborhood Walking Taco Party. In the group, there were three people attending that we had not met. As the evening wound down, we visited with the last remaining couple. I had met the lady, previously, but not her husband. And, I already knew she had some experience with special needs. As we spoke, I learned the man is a barber. He was asking questions about Jacob and explained that he has a number of special needs clients where he works his magic. I told him that I have cut Jacob’s hair for as long as I could remember. Then. Then, he said, “well if you ever need someone to cut Jacob’s hair, I’d be glad to be that person.”

In Jacob’s 40+ years I don’t recall an offer that has left me almost speechless. I was blown away. I kept playing it over in my head. Is that not the best kind of standby plan?!?!?! Thank you C for your genuine offer. I won’t forget it and one day, we will give you a call!

Even though Jacob wouldn’t volunteer to get his haircut, he obviously enjoys the end result. Because I go too long between trims and I cut quite short, it is really noticeable when he does get one. (As pictured above.) Without fail when he’s gotten a ‘fresh’ cut, someone will say something, “Jacob, you got a haircut!” “Jacob, I like your haircut!” “Jacob, you look so handsome!”

And I see the corners of his mouth turn up and his eyes twinkle. He’s feeling pretty good about himself which makes me feel pretty good, too!

A+ Appointment

It is accurate to say that through the years I dread every doctor or dentist appointment scheduled for Jacob. Sometimes that was unwarranted but, in the name of ‘that’s just what I do’, there is a certain amount of anxiousness leading up to visits.

When Jacob was really young I discovered, during an after-hours visit, that I liked a particular pediatrician better than the one we started with when he was a newborn. And so I changed doctors within a clinic. Would you believe our first one, Dr. A, actually phoned our home asking why I had changed? That was the beginning of realizing I couldn’t worry about hurting someone else’s feelings, I had to do what was best for our family. Dr. S and then later Dr. Y were a good fit and were as patient as the day is long with Jacob’s anxiety and my questions. Eventually, Jacob outgrew the Children’s Clinic and we realized it was time to go to a General Physician.

When he aged out, we talked to our family physician about seeing Jacob and he was more than willing. Dr. H is fantastic with Jacob. He puts us all at ease but Jacob is still a little nervous about being there. Doesn’t want to be touched or poked. Doesn’t want anyone looking in his ears. Checking his joints. You get the picture. Often, we have to be on either side of him just to hold his hands. I find myself singing quietly to him and assuring him it’ll be okay.

Thankfully, we don’t have to go often for illness as he doesn’t get sick a lot. And, Dr. H does everything he can to accommodate us. But, every few years a check-up is required and I watch the date on the calendar with apprehension building.

I don’t like sitting in a waiting room with sick people. Who does? But I especially don’t want to sit in a waiting room with Jacob. Even though he is mobile, we take him in his wheelchair as he feels safer and so do we. But in a waiting room, you get those questioning stares. And, even worse, you breathe unwanted germs. So we tag-team. One of us checks in while the other waits in the car with Jacob. Then when they call for him we move fast to get him out and through the waiting room quickly.

First stop is weight check. It’s interesting to watch Jacob step on the scales. He’s a good sport about it but there’s a degree of hesitation. Then to the exam room. Often he stays in his wheelchair for everything but the weigh-in.

Last month it was time for Jacob’s check-up. Here we go—this time Mike goes in to let them know we’ve arrived while Jacob and I wait in the van watching a DVD. Almost immediately Mike is returning to tell us to come on in. We did and they were ready.

He weighed and then wanted to walk to the room (rather than ride in the wheelchair) which was great. He sat quietly in a chair while the nurse asked us questions. He let her put a blood pressure cuff on him which was quite amazing. Dr. H came in followed by two students shadowing him. So in this tiny exam room with Jacob, there were, us two parents, one doctor, two students, and the nurse coming in and out. And would you believe he was PERFECT! Yes, Jacob gets at A+ for that appointment.

Not that I’m signing up for another check-up sooner than necessary but it was amazing how smooth and quick that one went. I am so very thankful for others who go the extra mile when that distance is just too much for us. We left with smiles on our faces and in our hearts for sure.

That morning as we were on our way to the clinic, I got a text from my mom: Praying for y’all and Jacob’s check-up. She knows. The clinic we’ve gone to for years, they know. And most importantly, God knows.

….. for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:8

Keyboard Inventory

If you’ve followed us long, you know that Jacob gets attached to certain things. It’s usually not a problem unless the ‘thing’ we are replacing doesn’t live up to the exact same standard as the original.

He has loved a keyboard for as long as I can remember. Some have been small portable toys that he could carry around, hold to his ear, and twirl to the music all through the house. Others were bigger ones needing a stand. In 1994 we bought his first large one and it lasted for years bringing him hours and hours of pleasure.

When it bit the dust, that particular model was no longer available. We settled on a similar Casio and although he did protest, he finally made the transition and accepted it fully. Once it ’wore out’ it was time for another search. A search that did not produce results! By then Jacob had strong, strong opinions and in his mind only one model will do.

We scoured Ebay and local Craigslist finding nothing. Finally, one day I found a keyboard in a nearby town that wasn’t exactly like the old one but hoped it would work for him. It had nice features and was in great shape. It looked like it was going to be fun!! And he hated it. (Sorry Yamaha.) He wanted nothing to do with it. Would not allow it to be left in his room. Out of sight!!

Typically it is the pre-programmed tunes that he listens to the most and so it makes sense if those songs are not identical to what he has been playing, it causes him stress. Maybe even alarm.

Back to finding an exact match and finally his super hero daddy did so. Life was good again in the keyboard category.

Until Jacob tore off a small button. One that neither of us, parents, knew its function. But Jacob did and even though he was the offender when it came to the button being gone, it was our job to find it and put it back in place. I’ve mentioned in another post about all the things I’ve done to try to make a new one. Check out that second picture of the button I made out of putty. Although it wasn’t going to make any connection, I was hoping he would be appeased. It didn’t last a day with you-know-who. We knew it might be time to start the search for another keyboard.

Jacob is rough on his ‘things’. By now he has destroyed the keyboard stand and we tried something we thought sturdier. Made of wood instead of molded plastic. He was able to splinter it as well.

Another keyboard was scored and a new stand was purchased. Life was good for my guy(s). The gallery of pictures above gives you a glimpse of how important a keyboard is for Jacob.

In Jacob’s zeal for putting his keyboard to the test, he recently has broken off keys. BROKEN. Not snapped where we can simply snap back in place. Broken. But funny thing is, he doesn’t seem to be too bothered by missing keys.

Knowing how hard it is to replace something that is no longer being manufactured, his dad decided we might should have a back up to expose him to for the day when our luck would run out on replacing his standard.

He now has two keyboards in his room. His favorite one with missing keys and his back up. When we first gave him the back up, he pretty much didn’t want it anywhere near him. But, every now and then we’ll hear him playing it. I think he is being sneaky because he doesn’t want us to know he might actually like it.

Seems he was rearranging his musical inventory and everything collided. (Those are his two keyboards along with his MP3 player.) One day this past week, I heard him coming down the hallway and he was carrying the back-up keyboard bumping the wall with every step. I quickly took it and he made it clear he didn’t want it in his room right then.

It takes some thought, research, and creativity to keep his inventory acceptable. We always have our fingers crossed that we are meeting his standards!!

Jacob 1 Mom 0

Dr. Seuss said it and now it’s my turn to repeat:

The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.

We were in the middle of a chilly week here in the south. Cold weather adds a hindrance layer for us with Jacob. He won’t wear a hat or gloves. He is particular about which jacket suits him. I cringe when I see his bare feet on the cold ceramic tile floor but if he keeps taking socks off ….

This particular day was just as Dr. Seuss described it. But, I had not planned for us to sit in the house all day. Even though I am a home-body through and through, sometimes there are errands to run, work to be done, appointments to make, and places to go. So, I woke Jacob up and broke the news to him, “yes, you are going to SV today.”

And then continued on with our regular routine of getting him dressed and ready, with his stubbornness slowing me down. He did choose his royal blue shoes which I thought was a fun choice on a drab day. Only thing we lacked was getting a jacket on. Simple enough.

The jacket was in a basket in our bedroom where clean laundry was ready to be put away. When I picked up the jacket, he snatched it and threw it across the room. I was unfazed. He became obsessively interested in what was in his dad’s basket of clean clothes. One by one he picked up an article of clothing (which automatically unfolded it), examined it closely as if he’d never seen anything so amazing and then tossed it aside. Trying to be patient, but not wanting to refold laundry, I started insisting we get the jacket on and head out the door.

And, he started insisting we not! I’d get one arm in, with him spinning in circles, for him to jerk it out. We danced around with me determined he was wearing that jacket rather than be out in the cold and rain. Short story is, finally the jacket was on and zipped.

Once in the garage he wouldn’t get in the van. Often when that’s the case, I’ll sit in the driver’s seat until he decides he has stalled enough. I had to lock my door because his mission was to annoy me every way possible. Finally, after much crazy stuff in between, he climbed in the back as if to say, ‘alright, I’m ready to go.’

It was a ploy! That’s exactly what it was! I’m telling you my son cooked up a ploy. He would not let me fasten his safety belt, so I stepped out thinking I’d go back to my seat until he calmed down. He agreed that I’d had a grand idea and quickly climbed out as well. And as I made my way around the van, he quickly got into the front passenger seat.

The morning was not going so well. We are now 20 minutes into our garage stand-off. The front seat is never a good idea for him but I’d be insane to go anywhere with him riding shot-gun, particularly on a day like that!

I got out and told him to do the same. He wouldn’t. I knew there was little he could ‘bother’ where he was, plus he was safely in a closed garage (with his jacket on—for what’s it worth). I went in the house and texted his dad. “I didn’t take Jacob. He is currently sitting in the front seat of the van and I’m inside. He was awful for a solid 20 minutes and he finally got the best of me.”

I sat there stewing and 10 minutes later went back and told him to get out and come inside. “We are staying home today.” He complied. No surprise there. I basically warned him that I was in a bad mood, because of his actions, and he best make the most of getting to ‘sit in the house on the cold, cold, wet day’. Which was easy because it’s what we all want when there is such dreariness out the window.

I was mainly upset because he used negative behavior to get what he wanted and he won. I’m a sore loser.

I made a cup of hot chocolate with whipped topping needing a hug in a mug. You know what he did next? While sitting at my desk, enjoying my treat and getting some work done, he came over, leaned in and kissed me. Little rascal! How am I supposed to stay mad now?!?!