A four year olds’ shake down

Lex is a remarkable little lad for many reasons, but one of the things I love about him is he really loves and cares for his toys. While most kids trash everything they’re given, Lex is actually quite precious about his stuff and if you accidentally throw one of his favourite toys in the water or break it, hang on tight, because he ain’t gunna be happy. Lightening McQueen is prized most of all...

On Saturday we had a birthday party for him – he’s a big boy of four now. The party started in the pool and when all the kids seemed sufficiently shagged, we gathered everyone up and headed back home for pizza. Within a very short time, the house was strewn with toys, but remarkably, all of the kids spread out and played, pretty much leaving each other alone. It was relatively peaceful for quite some time, much to the surprise of all the “grown ups” in attendance.

However Lex’s reaction to the violation of his toys was to stand back and quietly observe. He wasn’t happy about everyone hooking in, but he also didn’t carry on either, which was a relief. Most four year old birthdays I’ve been too end in tears, so we were proud of our little man for being so mature about it all.

As the party waned and little people got tired, Lex handed out ‘the goodie bags,’ thanked everyone for coming and sent them on their way. However, before final cuddles and kisses were dispatched, Lex checked them out top to bottom, patted them down, removed any toy belonging to him, put it away and then came back before saying his final farewells. Building goggles were removed from two heads, a tape measure clipped off one child’s t-shirt, pockets were checked and once satisfied, Lex said goodbye and quickly closed the door behind them.

It was actually quite amazing watching Lex over his birthday weekend. Before his operation, he would have been totally blown away by such a gathering and the noise of it would have been too much for him to cope with. In his life pre-grommets we would have found Lex far away from the action, hiding somewhere, playing in isolation or with Jax, if he wasn’t clinging to us. It seemed that compressed ear drums made “mass kiddie noise” too overwhelming for our little man. We have no idea “what” he heard and often wonder how horrible school must have been for him, especially when everyone was inside on a rainy day. Poor love.

But now he’s that new kid everyone told us we’d get after surgery. He’s confident, speaking more and more, in the middle rather than on the outskirts, he’s not as shy, and he’s getting funnier every day in a Benny Hill kind of way. The cap on his development seems to be this past weekend. We honestly think his b’day celebrations have really helped Lex gain a tremendous amount of confidence because, for three days, everywhere he looked, there were people who really love him, all there to honour him on his special day. It’s been an awesome time.

Watching your kids grow up and mature into their character and spirit is a pretty special thing for any parent to witness. We have known all along that Lex is a sweet, sensitive and an ambitious little man, so the past few months where everyone has been suggesting he might have a problem, even after we found out about his ears, has been pretty tedious. We’ve had aspergers, autism, and a bunch of other comments thrown at us by people inexperienced to comment, but all along, Steve and I knew it was not the case.

It’s hard though, because you can’t ignore people making these comments, especially as it’s not coming from just one person. You can’t help but doubt yourself, because when it starts, it becomes a torrent. But I stood resolute. I have known that little man from the day he was born and I knew he was OK - he just needed to hear. Now the teachers at his new school, who do seem to know what they’re talking about, say he’s great, nothing that can’t be trained out of him like most kids his age. My word a burden has been lifted!

Imagine if we weren’t as strong and confident in our child? Who knows how we would have tackled this situation? And you know what, the other thing that really shits me is the schools are motivated to get kids diagnosed because then the government provides free teachers and that means free extra support.... it’s not right what’s going on out there, it’s really not!

As we always knew, our darling boy is great. He’s going to have a very interesting life because he’s an intense fella, but we just love watching him grow up and the relief that we can now communicate with him is tremendous... We’re not there yet, but it’s a big improvement from a month or two ago.

I tell you this parenting malarkey sure does get intense sometimes!

Yours without the bollocks

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