Taking a day off from house-hunting, remembering that there is still one house we can see ourselves living in, focusing on other things.
I believe I've said before that time at Grandma and Grandpa's seems to be a magic tonic for Scooter. It brings out so many things that have been percolating under the surface. We've only been here a few days, but little things are already evident.
Scooter's favorite toys here are his Lego Thomas trains. My mother-in-law asked me the other day how much longer he's likely to be interested in them, as Lego has come out with a few more trains now (of course, the old ones just aren't enough). I looked over at where Scooter's trains are set up and said, "I can see him playing with them for a long time to come."
But the play has changed. It used to be that I would set up the tracks, just so. And then put together the stations and other accessories, just so. Scooter would then run the trains around, reenacting Thomas stories.
His play has become less constricted. He still wanted the trains set up immediately upon our arrival, but didn't seem to mind that we didn't have all of the pieces right at hand. As I put together some of the characters, he started laying track and didn't seem to mind that it was a mish-mash instead of neat loops. And he's changed up the layout numerous times, occasionally asking me to create a loop here and there, but insisting on doing most of the building.
He has also become imaginative with the trains themselves. He had started this the last couple times we were here, mixing up the pieces of the various characters, but he has expanded his experimentation. Mutant trains currently sit on the track. Cranky's winch is attached to Percy's base and is towing part of James' tender behind him. Harold's head faces one way on Thomas' base, with Gordon facing the other direction. On the one hand, it's a little creepy and reminds me of the mutant toys that Sid made in Toy Story; yet I cannot deny that we are delighted with this new twist on creativity.
Scooter likes to help around the house. One of his 'responsibilities' is to help water the plants. He immediately figured out how to use the spigots on the rain barrels and is careful to turn them off completely when he has filled his bucket. He has also taken to sweeping and will come ask for the broom when he spills a few snack crackers.
While "I do it" has been part of his speech for some time, it has become a much more frequent utterance. It's obvious that he's feeling much more confident in his abilities and now realizes just how much he can do. When Grandma was a little slow to get him the water he requested, he jumped down, grabbed her glass, went into the bathroom, filled the glass, and walked back out. Sure, he spilled some of it down his front, but he did it all by himself.
Just because it's cute: Grandma made a very yummy dessert yesterday that involved a white cake. She offered to let Scooter lick the bowl. He looked at it and announced, "I want one where I put my finger in and it's chocolate."
And another little bit of progress: We've been trying to get Scooter an appointment at a local pediatric clinic that was recommended to us because they treat a lot of children with autism. We had not had our call returned when using our Canadian phone number and so Trillian called again this morning--and got voice mail. But when we went to Trillian's afternoon appointment with her local doctor (in a new location), we noticed that the pediatric clinic was practically next door. So while Trillian went to her appointment, I went to get one for Scooter. At first, the receptionist told me they wouldn't have anything before October. I asked if she could recommend another pediatric clinic, in Capital City or Springfield, and mentioned that we had come to them because our son my be mildly autistic. She asked me to wait as she headed into the back. After a couple minutes, she came back and asked if we could come in early tomorrow--one of the founding pediatricians of the clinic would be able to fit us in then. So maybe, just maybe, we have our new pediatrician--at the very least, we should be able to get the official referral we need to make sure the developmental pediatrician is covered by insurance next month. Another little step, but it's encouraging.