It took nearly 16 years but Mark and I finally broke down and bought a brand new bed. We kept the old mattress for the guest bedroom but it has just been propped up against all of the other stuff tossed in there until yesterday.
Corrigan has had some major energy to burn these last few days but it has been windy, cool and rainy so we haven’t been able to get out to the playground. When I walked into his room around lunchtime, he had overturned his small exercise trampoline onto his over-sized beanbag and had built a maze of things to jump on throughout his room. There was an inflatable Spiderman chair involved and a foam fold-out couch too. It was adorable but probably going to lead to a broken arm so I cleaned out a bunch of stuff from the middle of his floor and tossed down the old queen-sized mattress.
As if he didn’t already love his room…
The light in his room is really pretty in the late afternoon but his yellow walls makes white balance tricky. Now the light in his brother’s bedroom, in the morning? Whew. Heavenly. Up here though, it is a bit more harsh and depending which side I shoot I get different results.
I’m still shooting with a bum camera so focus is still an issue but these are just for me. My computer is also kaput (7 weeks now, not that I am counting!) so I am unable to sharpen in Photoshop. Most digital photos need some form of sharpening but the option to do so in Picnik, which is what I am stuck editing with on Mark’s work computer, doesn’t allow for the kind of sharpening/masking that can be done in PS. Oh well, Corrigan is soft and squishy anyway, why shouldn’t his photos be?
Photo-dork stuff aside, Corrigan is doing fairly well these days. I actually had to break out the food notebook again, after 2 months of not needing it because he wasn’t eating hardly anything by mouth, and it is so exciting! He is slowly understanding hunger (I think) and usually “tells” me that he wants food by putting his hands together as if praying and saying, “amen.” When I acknowledge that he then says, “Mmmm.” When he sees that I am getting him food he will then use the sign for “eat.” I am not getting too excited, with Corrigan it is always one step forward, two steps back but I am hopeful.
He has learned four new signs this week and uses two of them without prompting. I think this brings his total up to 9. His speech is getting a bit better but he is still so very far behind. It breaks my heart to watch him try to talk. He has a little group of tapes that he watches in his bedroom. He has dozens of movies but prefers the same 6 or 7. I am convinced that he has them all memorized but it is really hard for me to explain.
An example is Toy Story. There is a bit of dialogue between Woody and Buzz.
(copied from ImDb):
Buzz: Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet! I alone have information that reveals this weapon’s only weakness. And *you*, my friend, are responsible for delaying my rendezvous with Star Command!
Woody: [pauses and looks incredulous] YOU! ARE! A! TOYYYYY! You aren’t the real Buzz Lightyear! You’re – you’re an action figure!
This entire dialogue, Corrigan knows. I know that he knows, yet he can only say words like BALL and TWO in everyday conversation. I have spent a lot of time sitting in his room with him, watching the same movies and throughout the entire film he mumbles sounds along with what the character is speaking. In the sentence, “Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet!” Corrigan will mumble along with perfect inflection, his timing is exactly the same as the character says it and when he comes to the word “to” and “you” (which Buzz says aggressively) Corrigan says those words clearly. And that is a fast bit of conversation yet he doesn’t miss the words that he knows, nor is he unable to keep up with his mumbles.
When Woody pauses and they says YOU! ARE! A! TOYYYYYYY! Corrigan says all four of those words perfectly. Yet if we are not watching the movie he will not repeat them no matter how many times that I ask. He will not use those words at any point in the day other than when he is following along in the movie. He does this with Toy Story and with his Veggie Tales movies (especially songs) and any of the Blue’s Clues tapes that he watches. It is the strangest thing to witness. The words are there. He knows them. He wants to say them, yet he cannot. He doesn’t seem frustrated by it, he is thrilled whenever I applaud an especially difficult part of the movie that he has successfully mumbled through, even if he hasn’t clearly enunciated a single word…I am convinced that the words are in his brain, they make sense to him, there is just something that keeps them from making their way from his head to his mouth.
The boy is a joy. Oh, he is a handful too. A lot of work. A lot of tears. The beautiful thing about Corrigan is his honesty. He feels what he feels, when he feels it, and he trusts that I can handle however those feelings come out. And boy, they come out…all day long…but he shines. He is energy, he is light, he is happiness, he is soaking up as much as he can until it overflows. He wears me out but he lifts me up too. I still need a nap though.