Friday, May 11, 2012

Mr. Danger Turns Two and Lives up to His Name

 Oh, where to start with an update on this boy at the age of two?  He is an adventurer and he fills my days with joy and stress.  He is so smart and charming. He loves everyone, including strangers and is happy to wander off on his own to explore and scale any tall, precarious item he can find.  He'll say with glee as he's hopping on whatever he's climbed, "Momma, I gonna fall!" I feel like I spend all day trying to prevent him from an accidental suicide, but it's hard to be mad when he's so innocent and takes such joy in everything.
 And yes, he's speaking in sentences, which always shocks strangers who probably assume he's younger than he is because he's so small. I regularly get stopped in public by people who've heard him chatting away and want to know how old he is.
 He loves to sing the alphabet and recognizes about half the letters, which is a little alarming because we haven't tried to teach him. He also annoys Creed by counting higher than Creed can.
 He never sits still.  Creed still doesn't like to be alone and follows me from room to room, but Ollie is always trying to sneak off on his own, and I have to track him all over the house.  He loves Mickey Mouse, Curious George, and Pocoyo, but won't sit through a full episode of anything, which I guess is just the way a toddler should be.

 He still loves his blanket. Before we went to Mexico, I found more of the same fabric and my mom made six more little blankets in case the real one was lost, but Ollie will have nothing to do with them.  If we try to sneak him a new one, he'll sniff it and rub it on his face and then throw it on the floor shouting, "No! Blanket Two! No!" and then he'll just keep asking, "Where my blanket?" We've tried washing the new ones with each load of laundry to wear them out, but he is not fooled. He cries and stands at the washing machine anytime we have to wash the real blanket.

Last month, I had to leave Hobby Lobby in a rush because Larry's car broke down on the freeway and blanket was accidently left behind.  When we realized, the store was already closed so none of us got sleep that night, but they were happily reunited the next day and Ollie took the longest nap he's ever taken.
 His seizures have not improved. Our neurologist doubted how much his medication is helping so we tried taking him off of it and he hit rock bottom.  He was up to four seizures a day, and I couldn't leave the house or do anything when we put him back on.  Right now, he has one or two just about everyday and they wipe him out so I see him like this more often than I wish. Most kids grow out of provoked seizures between the age of two and three, so we have high hopes, but we don't see signs of any changes so far.

I didn't realize how much his seizures would affect all of our lives at this age: his friend is signed up for a preschool playgroup and we decided that it wouldn't be safe to send him, at play dates at the park I follow him like a shadow and probably seem totally overprotective while I'm wishing I could sit and talk with the other moms and I leave the park exhausted, most Sundays I take him home after sacrament meeting to nap because nursery is during his naptime, and when he's tired he's so much more likely to have a seizure (he has had a seizure almost every time we've decided to try to stay), we can't hire teenage babysitters so we rarely go on dates, I can't accomplish much during the day because he'll wander off and I'll have to abandon whatever I'm doing to chase him so even trying to do the dishes can be a struggle, we used to skip Creed's naps to go on adventures but that is not an option with Ollie, any time he stumbles I wince and our world freezes while we wait to see if he will have a seizure, I'm constantly canceling plans because he's had a seizure and is just not up for anything but sleep. Like I've said before, it hurts to watch him struggle daily and feel like I'm doing all I can and it's just not enough. I remind myself daily that things could be so much worse and we have so much to be grateful for, but I'll admit when I'm watching him suffocate and then holding him through a seizure, it can be hard to keep that perspective.
He loves to cuddle, and he loves it when Larry comes home from work. He bullets to the door the moment he knows Larry is home.
He loves to make us laugh and he'll wear just about anything that he can get his hands on, on his head.
He still has a deep love of dinosaurs and can often be heard roaming the house and roaring at things.
He has a way of repeatedly screaming "No!" at the top of his lungs when we are in public places that makes me feel like a little bit of my soul is being crushed. Larry actually thinks it is cute. I hope he grows out of that one soon!
He loves to explore every nook and cranny that he can get into.  Luckily, when you callout, "Ollie!" where ever he is, whatever he is doing, he will yell back, "Ollie!" It's like playing an eternal game of Marco Polo.
He has a sweet tooth. Since we're still trying to pack weight on him so he has more of a reserve to draw from when he doesn't have enough glycogen I let him eat things that I never would have let Creed touch at this age.  You want to eat that pad of butter by itself?  Sure thing.  You want to drink that cup of ranch dressing instead of dipping things in it? Go for it.

After he came to from a seizure  a few days ago, he was crying for a donut.  The crying did not stop so we went straight to the store and got one.  Now any time I ask him what he wants to eat, he says, "A donut!!!!" I have created a monster.
He loves to get kisses and will point out pretend owies to get you to kiss them.  He also will hurt you on purpose so he can give you a kiss. Watch out for his pinches.

He's so skinny that we still struggle to keep pants on him.  In fact I was ordering at a restaurant today and I turned around to see him in his diaper because his shorts had fallen off and he just stepped over them and kept going.
He's an I-phone addict. I try to keep my phone hidden from him, but he has a way of always finding it. It's probably the number one thing I find myself arguing with him about
He is sweet and cuddly, and we love watching him grow.


amyh said...

Happy birthday to adorable Ollie!

lisa h. said...

he is so handsome! I'm so sorry about his seizures, I hope it improves as he nears 3 yrs. You sound amazing though, I think he has a great mom in you!

taniawillis said...

awwww, HUGS to you steph. i can say, i know exactly how you feel as a mama. i felt and still feel this way with my oldest daughter who is now 10. she doesn't have seizures, but has sensory integration issues. not nearly as life threatening, but many of the mama feelings you describe are present. we dropped out of church because she wouldn't stay in the nursery (they were paging us to get her every time), when something we know will set her off that we can't avoid we all hold our breath. i'll be saying lots of prayers for your family. i know how isolated and helpless you must feel.

Anonymous said...

Like Tania I totally relate to your sense of isolation. My 2nd kiddo, who is 16 months old, has a severe peanut allergy. Having a kid with a condition like seizures, sensory integration disorder, severe food allergies - it changes everything. Everything - in all the ways that you describe in your post. And most people just don't get it. I wish I had encouraging words for you. Right now I am right about where you are - overwhelmed and in the middle of grieving about the loss of "how I thought it was going to be" - please know that there are other mamas out there who do understand.