The Boog went on a new drug to temporarily manage his seizures (while his other drug steps slowly up to therapeutic levels to avoid side effects) a couple of weeks ago. It's working great! He hasn't had a seizure or any of those all-day puke-fests that generally preceded seizures since. The neurologist was originally a bit reticent to put him on this drug, though, because of possible psychological and behavioral side effects.
When I asked him what he meant by psychological and behavioral side effects, he listed a bunch of scary symptoms such as severe depression, suicidal thoughts (dear God, could there be anything sadder than a suicidal 4 year old?!), aggression and violent behavior and lethargy, and at the end of that list he said, "Oh and he could get a little hyper."
Now that was the understatement of the year.
Thus far, thankfully, we haven't encountered any of the scarier symptoms, but, as one of Rylan's therapists put it, "he's like a cheerful meth addict". He simply has not stopped moving since he started taking this drug. Even in sleep, he's rolling all over the bed and bumping into the wall and falling off the edge. Sleep itself is as brief as it ever has been only now instead of getting up at 3 a.m. and sitting facing the corner laughing to himself like a creepy horror movie kid (true story), he's getting up at 3 a.m. running around the house laughing to himself, throwing toys, ripping up books and chewing on everything in sight.
So...basically he's become a 4 year old boy...or a wild animal...it's my understanding that they're essentially the same thing.
See, Boog was never a "boy" in that stereotypical "noise with dirt on it" sense. He was born the world's unhappiest baby and over the next year mellowed out into a slightly grumpy slightly deaf 85 year old man. His favorite activities were sitting quietly while reading books or taking long, slow walks in slightly overcast weather (direct sun was simply too bright in his eyes, while rain made his shoes uncomfortably wet). If asked to list his favorite activities today, I'm pretty sure the list would go a bit like this: Chaos! Mayhem! Bang! Crash! Chew! Bite! Kick! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
The thing is, though...it's kind of cute. Even though, as we surveyed the damage from last night's exertions this morning (ripped up notebook! toys thrown everywhere! chewed-up DVD!) Dylan observed, "I've never been afraid he was going to murder us in our sleep until now", his hyperactive behavior is kind of adorable. The only way I can explain this is that Ry has something one might call "the chimp factor". No, I am not comparing my developmentally delayed son's intelligence to that of a chimp (please don't call Dateline). I think it's just a non-verbal big-featured sort of cuteness that remains regardless of the level of mischief (unless a chimp is tearing off your face, I'm pretty sure they're not cute when they're tearing off your face).
For example: Chimp at rest, ADORBS!
|Meh, soccer's for humans. I'm just gonna sit.|
Chimp about to unleash immeasurable levels of destruction upon the world, ADORBS!
|Look at his little suit!!!|
They share a certain attitude, too, a sort of "Okay, humans (or adults in Ry's case), I'm going to humor you and play your silly human games, but I have my limits." If chimps and the Boog had a theme it would be "I Would Do Anything for Love, (But I Won't Do That)". I have seen Ry give his therapists the look that chillin' soccer chimp is giving above countless times. It's hilarious at the same time it's frustrating, because it's such a knowing look. It's a "I know exactly what you want from me, but you crazy if you think I'm gonna do it."
Anyway, chimp metaphor aside, the fact remains that no matter what this kid does I am surprised and delighted. Even in the midst of my anger over the fact that he pulled the atomizer off of my perfume bottle and...hid it?...ate it?...liquified it with his brain rays? I was smiling. You just never know what he's going to do. It's a joy to live with that sort of mystery...
...until it eats your face off that is...
|See? Couldn't even sit still for the camera!|