Oh the things Nathan says
Nathan and John are on the tail-end of a cold. When this happens, their noses usually run pretty bad and they’ll cough a lot. I had taken them to the doctor a few times because of this, thinking it was getting worse, and he explained it’s how their bodies get rid of all the junk the cold produced, and they’re usually not contagious anymore. So Nathan’s been coughing like crazy the past few days, this deep hacking cough. I’ve bee harping all over him to cover his mouth with his elbow and turn his head because hey, I still don’t want mucus sprayed all over me! Yesterday Nathan was looking right at me and coughed right in my face. I got onto him about it and you know what he said to me? He said, “But Mom, I was trying to cough straight but you were in the way so you got coughed on!” It was hard to not laugh. Really, really hard! Because he was so serious when he said it.
My little guy. I love him, coughs and all!
Sometimes kids say the darndest things. When I pick Nathan up from school, we all drive through the front and a teacher walks them out and helps them get into the car. When I picked Nathan up yesterday, the teacher was helping him into his carseat and Nathan asked if Daddy was home.
“Not yet,” I replied. “He’s still at work.”
Then, with all seriousness and a completely straight face, he looked at me and said, “Is Daddy wearing clothes today?” The teacher busted out laughing. I told Nathan that yes, Daddy was wearing clothes today. Just like he does every single day of the year. (No one in my house, including the kids, walks around without clothes on. Well, come summer time, I may have the baby in just his diaper because let’s face it- naked babies in cloth diapers are only the cutest things ever!)
Through fits of laughter, the teacher told me that they’ve learned to not believe anything the kids tell them since they say the most bizzare things. Thank goodness she understands because that might have been a little awkward trying to explain to her that we do indeed wear clothes.
In other news, Nathan had his first ear infection ever. Nathan was fine when I dropped him off at school on Thursday, other than a residual runny nose and cough from a lingering cold. However, when I picked him up from school that day, l could tell something was very wrong. He was crying and holding his little ear, tears streaming down his face like miniature waterfalls. The teacher who brought him out told me he’d been complaining about his ear hurting that day, but it had apparently gotten worse in the last hour or so.
I asked Nathan where he hurt, and he said (obviously) that it was his ear. I asked him if he put anything inside his ear and he said a balloon popped in his ear. Since he’s on the tail end of a nasty cold, I was worried about either an ear infection or a busted ear drum since he said a balloon popped in his ear. Nathan was screaming and crying so hard that he couldn’t talk, so I immediately called his doctor.
I know I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again- I LOVE their pediatrician. When I told the receptionist what was going on, she asked how soon I could be there and I said five minutes. We get there and waited only long enough for me to take Nathan’s coat off before we were called back. Nathan was screaming the whole time and his ear was bright red. He was so pitiful, in fact, that everyone we came across at the doctor’s office tried to offer him words of consolation. “Poor buddy, don’t worry we’ll get that ear taken care of,” “Aw bless him,” “It’s okay little man, we’re going to help you,” among other sweet things.
The doctor took one look at his ear and confirmed it was an ear infection. And while he was looking at his ear, Nathan asked the doctor to get the balloon out. Fortunately, there were no balloon pieces in there. Nathan’s ear drum was bulging from the ear infection, however, but the doctor said since we caught it so early, he was going to be just fine. Administering the numbing drops was another story. They know about his sensory issues, and bless them for being so accomodating. The nurse explained to Nathan exactly what she was going to do and what it would feel like, but he still panicked once she put them in.
See, his brain processes sensory information differently than that of a typical person. Sensory input (such as the wind in our hair, textures, sounds, etc.) that may be annoying or even pleasant for us can be excruciating for him. Even showers are painful for him. Because of his autim, he doesn’t (or can’t) tell us how it feels, but judging from his reaction, I suspect it feels like needles jabbing at his skin. So anyway, the feeling of the cold medicine dripping into his ear caused him to start shrieking and flopping around, but the nurse handled it perfectly. Ironically enough, he really enjoyed having the cotton in his ear, and even asked for another piece when the first one fell out. He was still reeling from the drops when the doctor returned with the prescription, but he was able to calm Nathan down and even solicited a laugh or two by giving high-fives and “missing” a few of them. After the numbing drops and some ibuprofen, we left to drop of a prescription for antibiotics.
After further questioning in the car, Nathan said the balloon popped by his ear at home. I remember that- it happened a week or so ago. When it happened, I remember telling Nathan that we have to be very careful with balloons next time because having them pop by our ears can cause ear pain among other problems. So apparently when his ear started hurting, he thought it was because of the balloon popping. My sweet boy.
Nathan’s on the mend now and back to his old self. I hated seeing him in such pain. This is his first ear infection ever- and after seeing firsthand what kind of pain it causes, my heart really goes out to kids who suffer from numerous ear infections. Sweet Nathan. I’m glad I got him in when I did before it got worse! And I hope he doesn’t have to deal with something like that any time soon!
Nathan and I had a fabulous conversation last night. Sometimes it’s really hard to connect with him- whenever he talks to me, he’s not all there per se. It’s like there’s a bunch of clutter in his sweet little head, and it’s sometimes hard for him to push through it and connect on a level to where he actually “gets” what I’m saying. At any rate, when he has one of those moments where he connects with me and can really hear what I’m saying, I try to take advantage of that.
So I was in the bedroom getting things in order and straightening up when Nathan came in. He asked what I was doing, and I told him I was just cleaning up a little. He asked if we could sit on the bed together, so I sat down with him. He gave me a big ole bear hug, so I grabbed him close and hugged him fiercly. I asked him how school went that day, and he told me he was very nice to the other kids and didn’t call anyone names. (We’ve been having issues with him calling other people “stinky” and “poopy.”) So I told him I was very proud of him for being so nice. His eyes lit up like diamonds.
“You’re proud of me?” he asked.
“Oh honey. Absolutely! You make me proud all the time!”
“You’re very welcome. You know I love you very, very much, right?”
“Yeah. Even when you’re not nice to me or other kids, I still love you. No matter what you do or what you say, I will never, ever stop loving you.”
“Even when I say shut up?” he asked.
“Yes. Even then.”
“Even when you say shut up? You said shut up last week.” Hmm. Shut up is a bad word in my house. I don’t like it and rarely, if ever, say it. At most, I say hush, be quiet, and when I’m super angry, I’ll say hush it or shut it or shoosh it. Much to my chagrin, sometimes it’s so hard to not lose my patience when he’s backtalking me and being defiant. I’ve been talking to him a lot about taking responsibility for things we say, so I wasn’t going to argue with him about it and lose the moment. He has an insane memory, and for all I know, maybe I did say shut up and just don’t remember it.
“Honey, sometimes people say things they don’t mean when they get frustrated. But that doesn’t make it okay. Sometimes Mommy makes mistakes, and I’m so very sorry.”
“Yeah,” he said. “It really, really, really hurt my feelings. It made me so sad.”
“Oh, my sweet boy,” I said as I put my hands on his face. My eyes started to water. “I am so sorry I hurt your feelings. I love you, Nathan.”
“But why?” he asked.
“Because you’re my boy. I grew you in my belly, and God helped you come out. I loved you from the moment you started growing in my belly, and even more the first time I ever held you in my arms. You’re so smart, beautiful, and sweet, and kind, and loving.”
“I love you too, Mom!”
“Oh yeah? Why do you love me?”
“Because you make lots and lots of good milk for baby brother so he can get bigger and bigger and BIGGER! And then he’ll be so big and then he’ll eat food and won’t need your milk and your milk will go away.”
I’m not even kidding! HE TOTALLY SAID THAT! It was hilarious and SO hard not to bust out laughing. I’ve never told him that my milk will eventually “go away” once John weans himself. He’s a smart kiddo, and he’s always saying things that completely crack me up. And who knew that me making milk for his baby brother would be a reason Nathan loves me? Ha ha. I so love that boy.
As Nathan and I were driving past a Home Depot today, he saw they had one of those giant outdoor-event type tents set up outside. He insisted we go over there so we could go trick or treating. I explained to him that Halloween is only once a year and no one trick or treats once it’s over. After becoming quite upset with me because he thought I was keeping him from a final round of trick-or-treating, he finally calmed down and asked what the tent was for. I told him it was more than likely to provide shade for some outdoor event.
“So people don’t get hotburn?” he asked.
“Heartburn? No, you can’t get heartburn that way,” I replied.
“How do you get hotburn?”
“Heartburn is when you eat something that your tummy doesn’t like and it kinda burns.”
“Can I see a picture of your burned heart?”
“Ha ha! No I don’t mean my heart actually gets burned. Heartburn is more like a stinging, burning feeling in your tummy or throat. It doesn’t actually burn your heart.”
“No, hotburn is when the sun shines through the trees and there’s not enough shade. Then you get hotburn.”
“HOTburn? Nathan, you’re awesome.”
I’ve been laughing most of the day after this conversation. Nathan thought heartburn was called hotburn, with a totally different meaning. Bless him. I love this age and all hilarious conversations we have!