Stuck at 29…

Throw the number 3 in front of any other number and J is stuck.  We are now breezing from 1 to 29…reach 30 and a blank look takes over.  I’ve tried working on enunciation, counting, writing, looking at the number for periods of time…nothing…30 is not happening for the time being.

I’m taking the tack that 29 is a big accomplishment nonetheless, so I’m going to be patient with thirty.  If it’s the “th” sound that’s tripping J up, we can find other ways to work on it: Thursday (he likes that one,) three and thirteen (he knows those quite well,) through and thing (those are found in many of his storybooks,) thimble (in his flashcards and my sewing box,) and thank you (which gets over used around here.)  If it’s the number he doesn’t like, I’ll have to find a way to make it worth his while since we can’t really skip every number in the 30 to 39 range simply because J doesn’t want to deal with them.

Today is a no-school day, and we are possibly getting snow tonight.  That might mean a snow-delay in the morning.  I’m preparing for that.  I’ve already made a PECS card for Snow Day, and am working on a 2-hour Delay one.  Last night, knowing that there was no school on his schedule board, J’s parting word as he climbed into bed was COFFEE.  He was as good as his offer…at six a.m. (thankfully not a moment sooner,) he stood in the hallway and announced he was heading to the kitchen to make the magic brew that means the day is starting.

Since there’s no rush today, I didn’t mind that he went to fill his snack box, but didn’t divvy up in serving sizes, and immediately wanted to get his movies and migrate to his TV room.  Eventually, as we took our first sip of coffee, J returned and asked for his box to be arranged so we gave him the green light to do it without any intervention from us.  This was an exercise in compromise on his part: most of the bigger-serving containers have been either left in someone’s break room, someone else’s house or are in use for leftovers, so J had to accept smaller containers and gauge exactly how much he could put into them without getting a cleared throat from across the room.  We never tell him it’s too much, we simply clear our throats and say “are you sure, sir, that the container will snap shut without breaking in the process?”  This morning J showed that he can arrange farfalle into a container in such a way that he only has to take out about ten of them to make it close properly.  This morning he also had to accept that there are only so many ways one can arrange mini-donuts in a container that will hold no more than four…and that that’s all he gets because that’s all that fits.  He didn’t ask for more containers, which is what we worried about when we simply sat and waited while sipping coffee.

For all his discontentment at school, we find that J is quite well-balanced at home.  Last night, for example, he impressed us quite a bit when he asked for Slinky.  Didn’t he just have Slinky in his hand, Dada asked.  I checked his TV room, where we’d been working on some crafts and giggling up a storm.  While working, I could’ve sworn that Slinky was parked on the Slinky Block that we’ve placed on J’s work table.  We moved the bean bag, the pillows, the blankets, searched every nook and cranny, checked the living room, the stairs in case he’d dropped it, his bedroom…all the while J waited patiently at the kitchen counter, holding his Daily Migration Basket with both hands and, from time to time, saying Slinky as if calling out to his friend.  We were baffled.  We couldn’t find Slinky and we had no idea where “he” could have gone to…and then we heard the clinking sound, and J’s happy cooing.  Slinky had spent the last few hours forgotten on the half-bath’s counter.  J had left it there when I sent him to wash his hands so he could help with the gnocchi for last night’s dinner.

And, there you have another little nugget of J-marvelousness: last night’s dinner.  At around 1 PM I asked J to help me season the whole chicken we were roasting last night.  With a great deal of alacrity, J put on his purple disposable gloves, grabbed and handful of the home-made seasoning and proceeded to lather it on the chicken.  He went into every cavity, under the skin, vigorously rubbing the concoction I’d mixed for the bird.  And he did it with such energy and enthusiasm that we had what we now call J’s Broken-Back Roasted Chicken.  The bird was able to lay flat even before I opted for butterflying it on account of its rickety condition.  I heard the snap, and I thought to myself “was that my knee???  Oh, Lord…I need to take my glucosamine!!!”  J held the chicken aloft, it’s spine pointing in three different directions, but thoroughly seasoned nonetheless.  It was tasty, and it cooked to perfection.  J was very proud of his contribution to the meal.

So we’ve been up since early, and we have a list of chores to complete throughout the day.  Later, before it gets colder or starts snowing, we will walk Queequeg to the trash bins and clear the garbage bags from the garage.  We’ll wash some clothes.  We’ll work on 1 through 29…and try to throw 30 in there.  We are going to make home-made tortillas for enchiladas.  We are going to do our yoga and do our run.  We are going to put together the pom-pom foxes we’ve been gluing together for the past few days, and start on a felt sign that has an owl on it.  We have yet to pick a story for this evening, but there’s still time…

It wouldn’t be hard for me to come up with a list of 30 things we can do today, but I’m going to be OK with 20 for a little while longer.  At least J is happy, you know.  At least we are working on something that he can use later…  At least we’re a little farther down the number line than we used to be, so we get 29 TARBET in a row…or 29 NOODLES and 29 SODA in a row…  I can live with that for now…I can wait for thirty.


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