Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Boog Will Not Be Moved

It's been awhile, folks. I thought I would tell you today about the Boog's will of iron, because if there's one thing you must know about the Boog other than that he's a ladies' Boog, it's that he will not be moved. Oh no. If the Boog has decided something, it shall be. He's kind of like a tiny version of The Godfather or a cute itty bitty dictator.

Now, it's all kinds of fluffy-puppies-doing-silly-things adorable to watch him set his little mind to something innocuous like getting a book he wants that's a little out of his reach or "catch" the water coming out of the faucet when I run his bath, but there is a dark side to the Boog's stubbornness. I'm not talking normal toddler tantrums here, though he does have those. Let's just say I meant what I said when I said the Boog will not be moved.

Most of you know that the Boog is in 3 kinds of therapy: speech, occupational, and physical. He's most severely delayed in communicative and adaptive skills, which are the skills that speech and occupational therapy cover, but he's making progress in those areas. His speech therapist seems to have figured him out and he's met at least part of a few of his goals and his occupational therapist is beginning to click with him, though he's still challenging her authority a bit. It's slow-going (like wading knee-high in a pool of molasses slow), but we are moving forward. Physical therapy on the other hand...

The Boog is much less severely delayed in his gross motor skills. Sure, he tested below his age level in most gross motor skills. He doesn't walk independently or stand independently for long periods of time. However, after several months of physical therapy, it has become clear to his physical therapist and I that the Boog doesn't stand without support or walk alone not because he can't, but because he has decided that that's not his style. He's a crawling and cruising and walking-holding-someone's-hand Boog. I mean, seriously, what on earth is the point of walking when you can get wherever you want to go in other ways?

It's not as if we all don't try to get him to stand and walk. His physical therapist is wonderful, and as a mom herself, familiar with the wily ways of toddlers trying to wiggle their way out of a task. Nevertheless, I don't think she's ever crossed swords with a stronger willed child than the Boog. He's like Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill", and she's like Daryl Hannah. She's bad-ass and strong and has all sorts of tools at her disposal, but she's no match for the incorruptible single-mindedness of the Boog who WILL NOT BE MOVED. To her credit, the Boog's father and I are more like pathetic members of the Crazy 88 and I think we're both missing a few limbs by now...mentally, you know...this metaphor is getting confusing...

Anyway, direct requests and enthusiasm got us nowhere in our quest to move the blob of boulder Jell-O that is the Boog, so we and the PT have moved on to bribes and trickery. In other words, the PT will dangle something shiny in front of the Boog to get him to stand there, mesmerized, while reaching for the shiny (my son may have been a magpie in a former life...or maybe it was because I worked at MagPies while I was pregnant with him...I digress...). She has also utilized all of the flashiest, noisiest toys in her vast arsenal, and, on one famous occasion as detailed in my last blog, her own...ahem...charms. She's tried calming his sensory system by using weighted vests and objects. She's tried blowing bubbles (AKA toddler crack) for him to catch. She's tried turning off all the lights and holding a lighted toy aquarium for the light and fish loving Boog. She's tried letting him swing on his favorite swing first while looking in the mirror, which he also loves.

You get the point. She's tried everything and despite all of her efforts (and our efforts to copy her efforts at home), the results are pretty much the same each time. The Boog can be tricked by any method exactly once, and then it will never work again. In fact, not only will the method never work again, but the Boog will be incensed that we've attempted to trick him. The Boog will not be moved! Didn't we get the memo?

The Boog can stand. The Boog can walk. His muscular strength is off the charts. His balance and coordination aren't great but they're good enough and constantly improving. This is not a matter of ability. It is a matter of will, and as we all know now, when it comes to will, the Boog is a freakin' grand master samurai. The PT said to us several weeks ago, "I have nothing left to teach him. He has to want this." Well, he clearly doesn't. Have you ever tried to hold a jelly-legged Butterball turkey of a toddler upright? It's like trying to drink water from a sieve. Ain't happenin', cap'n.

I plan on discussing with the PT how we can subvert the Boog's will of iron at the next appt., but I'm not sure that either of us will actually ever be able to do it. I fully expect the Boog to be a great force in this world when he grows up. I just hope he uses his immense mental power for good...but I fear that's it more realistic to assume he will use it for chaos. I see some sort of Lycra-and leather super-villain costume in his future...and probably a wheelchair and a great big samurai sword. He'll be the greatest wheelchair-bound super-powered genius since Charles Xavier (X-men, people, come on).