A four year olds’ shake down

Lex is a remarkable little lad for many reasons, but one of the things I love about him is he really loves and cares for his toys. While most kids trash everything they’re given, Lex is actually quite precious about his stuff and if you accidentally throw one of his favourite toys in the water or break it, hang on tight, because he ain’t gunna be happy. Lightening McQueen is prized most of all…

On Saturday we had a birthday party for him – he’s a big boy of four now. The party started in the pool and when all the kids seemed sufficiently shagged, we gathered everyone up and headed back home for pizza. Within a very short time, the house was strewn with toys, but remarkably, all of the kids spread out and played, pretty much leaving each other alone. It was relatively peaceful for quite some time, much to the surprise of all the “grown ups” in attendance.

However Lex’s reaction to the violation of his toys was to stand back and quietly observe. He wasn’t happy about everyone hooking in, but he also didn’t carry on either, which was a relief. Most four year old birthdays I’ve been too end in tears, so we were proud of our little man for being so mature about it all.

As the party waned and little people got tired, Lex handed out ‘the goodie bags,’ thanked everyone for coming and sent them on their way. However, before final cuddles and kisses were dispatched, Lex checked them out top to bottom, patted them down, removed any toy belonging to him, put it away and then came back before saying his final farewells. Building goggles were removed from two heads, a tape measure clipped off one child’s t-shirt, pockets were checked and once satisfied, Lex said goodbye and quickly closed the door behind them.

It was actually quite amazing watching Lex over his birthday weekend. Before his operation, he would have been totally blown away by such a gathering and the noise of it would have been too much for him to cope with. In his life pre-grommets we would have found Lex far away from the action, hiding somewhere, playing in isolation or with Jax, if he wasn’t clinging to us. It seemed that compressed ear drums made “mass kiddie noise” too overwhelming for our little man. We have no idea “what” he heard and often wonder how horrible school must have been for him, especially when everyone was inside on a rainy day. Poor love.

But now he’s that new kid everyone told us we’d get after surgery. He’s confident, speaking more and more, in the middle rather than on the outskirts, he’s not as shy, and he’s getting funnier every day in a Benny Hill kind of way. The cap on his development seems to be this past weekend. We honestly think his b’day celebrations have really helped Lex gain a tremendous amount of confidence because, for three days, everywhere he looked, there were people who really love him, all there to honour him on his special day. It’s been an awesome time.

Watching your kids grow up and mature into their character and spirit is a pretty special thing for any parent to witness. We have known all along that Lex is a sweet, sensitive and an ambitious little man, so the past few months where everyone has been suggesting he might have a problem, even after we found out about his ears, has been pretty tedious. We’ve had aspergers, autism, and a bunch of other comments thrown at us by people inexperienced to comment, but all along, Steve and I knew it was not the case.

It’s hard though, because you can’t ignore people making these comments, especially as it’s not coming from just one person. You can’t help but doubt yourself, because when it starts, it becomes a torrent. But I stood resolute. I have known that little man from the day he was born and I knew he was OK – he just needed to hear. Now the teachers at his new school, who do seem to know what they’re talking about, say he’s great, nothing that can’t be trained out of him like most kids his age. My word a burden has been lifted!

Imagine if we weren’t as strong and confident in our child? Who knows how we would have tackled this situation? And you know what, the other thing that really shits me is the schools are motivated to get kids diagnosed because then the government provides free teachers and that means free extra support…. it’s not right what’s going on out there, it’s really not!

As we always knew, our darling boy is great. He’s going to have a very interesting life because he’s an intense fella, but we just love watching him grow up and the relief that we can now communicate with him is tremendous… We’re not there yet, but it’s a big improvement from a month or two ago.

I tell you this parenting malarkey sure does get intense sometimes!

Yours without the bollocks

4 Responses

  1. Four year old Lex. Frightening to think when we met him he was five months old!

    So pleased to hear he's blossoming now that his hearing has been sorted out.

    I was interested in your comment about diagnosis – I think its often the opposite over here. Authorities are loathe to diagnose children as they then have to stump up the cash for extra assistance in the classroom. With one sister in primary school education and one a social worker in the childrens' service, their view is that penny pinching means children who ought to be statemented don't get the support they need. I'm glad for you all that the right diagnosis was reached and that Lex is fulfilling his potential. What a gorgeous boy. Happy birthday.

  2. Thanks sweetheart! It seems there's no in between huh? Australia is certainly on the case, but I wonder how many aren't benefitting, although many are…. hard balance to get right! Snoggles for you and your crew xxxxx

  3. One of our biggest regrets is that we missed out on watching Lex grow up…we would always view the photos that you posted on FB and start missing all of you even more.
    As a parent I must admit that at times we tend to underestimate our kids; the reason being we are on a learning curve as well. We are all proud of Lex and even more so of both you and Steve for your determination and confidence.
    As for suggestions that a child may have a problem, well people or let's say most people love to hand out suggestions and advices freely; I suppose its easy especially because such advice after all does not come with a price tag attached to it. My son used to be extremely hyper active and the school promptly suggested psychiatric evaluation although he was an above average student throughout his life. And the psychiatrist promptly diagnosed my 6 year old with ADD and prescribed Ritalin without even bothering to inform us about the severe side-effects. Fortunately it was our GP who convinced us that our son gets easily bored because he is not being challenged enough and absolutely forbade us from giving him the medication.
    Today my son is 14 – he is at the top of his class, very sober, very quiet and with crazy dreams. And he achieved all of this without Ritalin and we learnt the hard way that its better to listen and observe our children and decide for ourselves whether he has a problem.

    Here's to our little gentleman, Lex..hoping someday I will have a chance to get to know him just the way you two used to interact with my son…
    Love and hugs,

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