Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The New Groove

Piaget refers to this phenomena as Disregulation leading to Regulation. 

I refer to it as J-man going from a complete, total, mind-blowing pain in the tuckus.... and then some neurons meeting some other neurons, making friends...... and then J-man suddenly has a jump in skills.

This happens every four to six months, probably related to growth spurts and the like.  But I always forget that he has a total decompensation in his tolerance for anything and his overall behavior right before he makes a jump in skills.  Until, of course, he makes the jump.  Then he mellows, starts doing stuff he has never done before (good stuff, too) and I go "ahh...DUH!".  Of course, by then I have aged another 5 years and added scores of gray hair to the noggin. 

Imitation has always been a bit of an Achillies heel for J-man.  He hasn't done it... or done it consistently. Since imitation is such an important social skill (it is the sincerest form of flattery after all), and fosters language and speech development, J-man not imitating is BAD. 

And now, suddenly, imitation explosion

He went crazy at speech today.  An imitation fiend!  Miss S was completely floored.  And he showed curiosity and interest in what she was doing, how she was doing it, and in copying her.  He tried more words and word combinations than I have ever heard him try to imitate.  Now, to be honest, this is where I think we are really seeing the apraxia kick in.  I mean, at times it is just a sound with some inflection thrown in.  Sometimes he just does the first part.  Sometimes he sounds like he has marbles in his mouth.  But hey, he is trying!

Imitation abounds at home, too. Let's take The Emperor's New Groove.  Hands down, it is the new favorite.  And he copies the movie scene for scene.  He knows the words... in his head at least.  He has never done this before.  NEVER.

So get this.  Here's the scene:  One of the main characters (Paucha) is returning home to see his family.  His wife and children are at the doorway, measuring the kids height on the door jam and marking it down.  As Paucha arrives, the kids run to him and hug him in greeting. 

Tonight, J-man grabs me, pulls me to the living room and makes me sit down next to the wall.  He hands me a crayon and stands next to the wall.  I catch on (since I have now seen the Emperor's New Groove about 1000 times) and mark the wall. 

But oh no, it doesn't stop there. 

He then runs away... about 6 feet.... turns around and runs back to me, throwing himself in my arms for a big hug. 

Seriously, we are re-enacting the reunion scene.  OVER AND OVER.

And we did it several times before I called my husband to come into the room "at the right moment".  So, after marking the wall, Daddy walks in and is delivered the Hug of the Century.  Like Daddy has been gone forever. 

And then Daddy promptly pushed out of the room so we could do it again.  And again.  And again.

All the while, he is engaged with us, interested in being with us, smiling, giggling, and laughing.

Makes all the butthead days worthwhile.


Rebecca said...

So cool! They are the biggest butthead before making the greatest cognitive gains. (P.S. My boy's imitation skills are lacking too)

Pia said...

I ALWAYS forget this, even though I KNOW it. I think, when in the thick of it, it just feels so discouraging that you wonder... will it end? And of course, it does and great things start to happen...

Sue said...



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