Three days ago I found myself rationing the last few squares of toilet paper and it was ten minutes before I had to pick up Corrigan from school. There was not enough time to run to the store to grab some before heading home with the boy, and you know how difficult Corrigan can be when it comes to, well….public…so after I grabbed him from PreK , while in the car, I calmly explained to Cor that we had to go to the store and that I expected him to behave.
Confession: I didn’t expect him to behave. I may have hoped that he would behave, but there was no expectation that it would actually work out.
But desperate times, desperate measures and all that jazz.
We went in, I grabbed what I needed, he stayed near me at all times, he did not fuss or cry about anything at all, he stood at the door while I checked out- carefully watching the Pepsi delivery man unload his truck-and held my hand without issue in the parking lot.
“Huh” I thought, “wonder if this was a fluke?”
The next day, after I picked him up from school, I told him again that I needed to go to the store (I could have skipped the store, but I wanted to see if the day before was a one-time thing) and we pulled up to the grocery store. He immediately remembered (??) that they had kid car grocery carts, and said “Car? Please?” while climbing into one. I got everything on my list, he sang and honked his little horn, and while I was in the checkout line, an older gentleman in front of us turned around and told Corrigan that he was a really well-behaved young man.
Yesterday, because I can never really believe my good fortune when it occurs, I picked him up from school with the intention of heading to a smaller store for some cleaning supplies I needed. I actually had plenty of time to buy them before school was over, but I just had to find out if we could have three good trips in a row.
The second I buckled him in his car seat he asked, “store?” and I told him that was the plan. He very seriously added, “No crying in store” remembering my lecture three days earlier. “You remembered! I am so proud of you, you’re right, we are not allowed to cry in the store!” and he was pleased. We went in, he held my hand and examined things on the shelves, and stood beside me at checkout without issue. When the cashier handed me my receipt, we exchanged the normal “thank you’s” and then Corrigan chimed in, “thank you!” too.
Three in a row.
THREE IN A ROW!
This little boy is learning so quickly these days, and we are seeing major improvements in his temperament at both home, and out in public. Things that would have set him off on a 10-minute crying jag, I can see still affect him. I can see the flash of anger/disappointment in his eyes, and watch as his body tenses and my own body does the same in preparation for the fit of anger to follow, but then his anger has been fizzling and he accepts whatever it was he didn’t like without incident.
He is growing up. He is gaining a little more control over his emotions. He is following most single step requests now, and if he needs prompting, it is only once and then he never forgets again. He has taught himself all twelve of the months (you have to hear him pronounce September, it somehow has four syllables when he says it) and the days of the week.
He called me “daddy” the other day, to get my attention and I realize that I am not “daddy” but it was a big deal because it was the first time that he had used one of our names to try and get our attention. Prior, he never understood, or could pull up a name fast enough, to use a name to get someone’s attention. Instead he would just cry until we acknowledged that he had a need, or he would grab our hands and pull us to where he needed us. When I turned around, he started laughing because he was so pleased with himself. I don’t mind that he got the name wrong, truly I don’t. It means that an appropriately used “mommy” ( or “nommy” as Cor pronounces it) is not that far behind!
He has been playing more independently, with purposeful babbling that is sprinkled with actual, recognizable conversation, and using his imagination with some of his toys. I sneak around the house like a thief to try and witness some of his independent playtime, and managing to spy on him without a floorboard creaking in this old house is nearly impossible. If he catches me, he is happy to see me and then abandons what he was doing to interact with me, or ask for juice or something, so I must be like fly on wall. Yeah, I left out a word on purpose to sound like Mr. Myagi.
“Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything”
Anyway, my boys are doing great. Corrigan is just amazing to watch as his world is opening up to him, and the wonder and delight he has for the simplest of things is such a joy to Mark and I.
And Connor. He is just…you know. Awesome.
Straight A’s again. And a first place ribbon in this week’s city track meet in the 4×800.
Athletics and academics aside, he is growing up to be a pretty wise teenager and last night, when Mark and I got back from the sad funeral of a friend, I peeked into the front living room window and saw both boys together, just hanging out in the same room and watching YouTube videos, and while literally the rest of the things in my life are hard right now, my boys are solid. They are healthy. They are happy. They are doing really well.
It helps to put the rest into perspective, for sure.