Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Which Connor is a Kitty

Today Connor made us very proud!

He had feeding therapy and physical therapy today, and he did a fantastic job at both of them! He ate more for Julie in one session than she's ever seen him eat before-- and it was a food with a thicker texture, which is pretty exciting! Connor doesn't chew so he only eats purees, and he has trouble coordinating tongue movements and swallowing, which combined with his sensory issues makes him very guarded about what goes into his mouth. We've been trying to get him used to thicker textures of food for a long time, and so it's really gratifying to see that after two years of trying the work is finally paying off! The fact that he's learning how to sit and is much more stable through his core muscles is probably helping-- everything ties in together like that.

Speaking of sitting-- check out what he was doing at physical therapy! The little guy sat totally on his own for thirty minutes without falling down once! He was even reaching for and touching his toy to get it to play music again; this one is one of his favorites so it's always a pretty sure bet to hold his attention. Evidently sitting is still very serious business-- I don't think he cracked a smile during the entire half an hour. When he did fall over, it was very obvious that it was deliberate. We tried to switch toys and he was having none of it. Silly little guy.

The most exciting thing that happened today though was that Connor showed the first signs ever of imaginative play! The little guy was a total chatterbox in feeding therapy. He's been obsessed with cats for the past couple of weeks and he likes to try and distract me during meal time so I won't put more food in his mouth, so I wasn't very surprised when he started signing "Kitty." He was very persistent, though-- looking intently at me and signing it over and over again. Finally I asked him about it and we had the following conversation:

Connor: Kitty! Kitty!
Me: Are you talking about your kitties at home?
Connor: No. Kitty! Daddy!
Me: Is Daddy at home with the kitties?
Connor: No. Kitty! Daddy!
Me: Hmm. Is Daddy a kitty?
Connor: Yes! Kitty Daddy!
Me: (shocked and delighted) I see! So daddy is a kitty. Is Connor a kitty?
Connor: Yes! Kitty!
Me: Daddy is a kitty and Connor is a kitty. Is Mommy a kitty too?
Connor: No no no! Mommy no!
Me: Oh. But Daddy and Connor are kitties?
Connor: Yes! Kitty kitty!

So apparently not only is he starting to show signs of imaginative play, but Mommy is not cool enough to be a kitty. Can you guess who the favorite parent in our household is?

Connor and Daddy were kitties all through the rest of the afternoon. We established that Mommy was not a kitty, bear, dinosaur, or any number of other animals. Mommies are just plain old boring Mommies. Oh well.

I'm so excited about this, for a number of reasons. Not only did I have a lengthy and successful on-topic conversation with Connor, which doesn't happen very often as he is easily distracted and often chooses to ignore questions, but he demonstrated a very sophisticated cognitive skill. Because he doesn't always respond appropriately or even make any indication that he's heard you, it's easy sometimes to forget just how sharp he really is. Every once in a while he'll remind me out of the blue just how much he understands!

So I guess I'd better start putting together a dress-up bin. First on the list: a set of kitty ears!



Sweet Lorraine said...

That second picture is so. stinking. cute! Eeee, Connor. That's so exciting! You can tell him that Aunt Wugaboo and Uncle Beard are cats too, given that we speak to each other in cat noises roughly 40% of the time. We're special like that.

Kristin said...

Connor is such a cutie!

My personal theory is that children eat much better when their alter-animal-egos are the ones eating. apparently, "Kitty-Connor" likes thicker texture food than regular, awesome Connor. :) I wonder what he'll be willing to each once he learns how to purr...

leah said...

Wow- great creative play!!! Daddies always seem to be the "fun" parent. I'm never allowed to be a dinosaur or a frog (the favorites in our house), but my husband is. Maybe it's because I'm not all that great at "ribbiting." Or whatever it is that frogs do.

I love that picture of Connor with the musical toy- he is growing by leaps and bounds lately! Definitely time to put together a dress up trunk. Halloween stuff is on sale (in the places it still exists)- you might be able to pick up a pair of kitty ears for a good price!

Julia said...

Wow!!! How exciting!!! Y'know, the first entries I read on your blog were the Kissing Corner series; I followed the link from deafvillage. Very, very, very intense. And to think of all the times the doctors gave you the worst prognosis -- and he put the lie to them every time. Just like the Cat in the Hat says, "Look at me, look at me, look at me now!" Give that beautiful, bright boy a hug for me.

littleterr said...

Way to go, Connor! You are awesome! I wonder what might still be in the old dress up box...probably too many hats for Connor's taste. Let me know when he is ready for the "Little Debil" outfit.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Yay Connor! That is so exciting. He looks so great sitting up playing with the toys (even if he is very serious about it). What a cutie! And the imaginative play is great! Sorry that you aren't cool enough to be a kitty - not everyone can receive that honor I guess.

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