Friday, January 21, 2011

Signs of Growth

My son lost three of his front teeth a few weeks ago. Now it looks like his new teeth may be coming in soon. Is this the last vestiges of his cute kid phase?

Kai now tips the scale at over 50 pounds. He is almost four feet tall. Even for those of us who see him every day, we can tell that he has grown a lot in the past year. It really is no longer accurate to say that he is a little kid. I think that he is aware of it, too.

We have been giving Kai vitamin B12 since we first started seeing a DAN (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor shortly after he was diagnosed at age two. The B12 is administered via injections.

When Kai was younger, about an hour after he fell asleep at night, my wife and I would sneak quietly into his room. I’d hold the flashlight while she pulled back his pajamas and stuck the needle in his rear end. I was amazed that he usually did not wake up.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve been injecting him while he was still awake, right after bath time. Of course, for a kid who is terrified of being stuck with a needle for his periodic blood tests, this means having to deal with his fears and overcoming his resistance on a weekly basis.

We quickly developed a regular routine on “pinching” days, as Kai calls it. After his bath, he dashes out of the bathroom, runs to the dining room, hides behind the table, and then I get him and carry him to his bedroom where I let him resist for a few moments before holding him still so that Mom can inject him. Although he acts like he is scared, I think he actually likes the whole routine. If I don’t go to the dining room immediately, he calls for me to come get him. Then, as I’m carrying him, he laughs and seems to treat the whole thing like a fun, silly game.

Now that he is getting so big, however, it is becoming harder for me to carry him. Also, as he is nearly seven years old, I figured that it was about time that he handle the process a bit more maturely. So, I’ve been telling him that when he turns seven, I would no longer carry him to his bedroom. When it came time for this week’s injection, with his birthday yet a month away, he told me that this would be the last time I would carry him.

His permanent teeth are coming in. The B12 routine won’t be quite as playful. Our son is surely growing up before our very eyes.

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