Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Like a Boss

Recently, Stow turned three...

Scooter by Mom, hat by Big Sissy.
...like a boss.

We hadn't had a party in a long time, so we decided to throw a birthday/Memorial Day/survived-an-unbelievably-long-winter-and-third-back-surgery party. Stow likes cars and trucks and digging, so the obvious choice was a construction party.

Big Sissy came and performed her usual awesomeness on the cakes.

The non-GFCF cake.
GFCF brownies with icing--notice the fork damage?
I'm way too cheap to have a fancy gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free cake made, so I picked up some GFCF brownie mix and icing for the kids and ordered a good ol' store-bought cake (with butter cream icing, yum!) for the rest of us.

Third birthdays are my favorite, and Stow rocked it. If friends came bearing gifts, he took them to the gift table, chanting, "My present. My present." When it came time for the cake, he waited (somewhat patiently), beaming as people sang for him before blowing out the candles right on cue. Of course, he also managed to dig his fork into both cakes before anyone could stop him. Then again, what do you expect from a boy who sincerely believed all the food and drink were just for him?

Stow single-handedly cleaning out the snacks before the first guests arrive.


Turning three also means Stow has "aged out" of the Early Intervention (EI) therapies he's been getting for most of the past two years. Two days before Stow's birthday, a certificate arrived for him in the mail. It read: "Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Early Intervention Program." Woo hoo! Stow successfully turned three! Tomorrow I fully expect a certificate congratulating me for getting out of bed on a Wednesday.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the gesture and have been happy with the various supports that EI has provided; I just have very mixed feelings about the fact one "ages out" of it. I could do without a certificate reminding us of this big and somewhat scary transition. Plus, I forgot to take pictures of Stow with all the therapists who have worked with him the last two years, so now I'm feeling bummed about how totally unprepared I seem to be for this whole thing (even now).

The good news (I guess) is that Stow will go directly into the early education program at the local public school (with his very own IEP and everything). It's a logical next step for a kid who has experienced as many delays and who shows so many gaps (even still) in his development, but it's still a bit heart-wrenching. I think we both believed that maybe all of our work was enough to get him beyond this particular set of challenges, so it's hard not to be bummed that it hasn't. Thank goodness there's a safety net! Funny how some things can be so good and so heartbreaking all at the same time -- kind of like when you realize your youngest is growing up, and there's not a darn thing you can do to stop it.***


***Yes, I realize this is a post full of half-formed ideas. That's why I included more pictures than usual--you know, to make up for my complete inability to come up with five coherent paragraphs. Why you gotta be so critical anyway? Sheesh.

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