Wednesday, January 31, 2007


My days were one long blur of brushing, compressing, Floor Time, speech, physical, occupational and social therapy. Because our boy was under three, the Early Intervention therapists came to our home. I welcomed them like the long lost brothers and sisters they were. Some adult to talk to. Some adult to help. Some adult to truly understand. I don't know how much they helped my son, but they kept me from "jumping" and that's saying something.

Together we rolled him tightly in blankets and swung him like a hammock. The full body pressure awakening his sensory system. We gently bounced him on the bed to get him to make gutteral vocalizations. Lying on his back, our hands on his shoulders, pressing playfully to get the "ugh ugh ugh" sound, training his mouth to do more than cry. We stacked cups and put body parts on Mr. Potato Head endlessly.

"Nose!" we said gleefully, while placing the nose on Mr. Potato Head.
"Nose!" we cooed while touching his nose.
"Nose!" we sang while touching our own noses.

And so it went, and went and went.

The boy stopped crying. Almost two full years of crying, then he stopped. The crying stopped and the talking began. The talking began and the underlying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder came into the light. He found something he loved and we spoke of nothing else for days, if we were lucky, years, if we were not.

"FIVE!" he ordered, and we rewound the VHS video to Elmo singing, "Yo, Five!" "Yo, Five" was replayed no fewer than 20 times a day for months. Months.

As he learned to walk and was rehabilitated, he soon was running.

"BLUE TWO!" he barked. Out the door he went (until I childproofed all the exits) outside looking for blue twos.

Let me tell you something I didn't know until he came along. License plates, in Oregon anyway, have one sticker for the month of registration, and another for the year. February had a blue sticker. Blue two. The sticker can't be bigger than 1 1/2 inches squared. It's way down on the lower left hand corner of a license plate. These blue twos were a source of endless fascination for him. We took several walks a day, not being able to return home until we'd found a blue two. It didn't take me long to stake out which homes had one, and to begin praying their car was in the driveway.

We took road trips in search of blue twos. Parking lots. Safeway, Target, apartment buildings.

"BLUE TWO!" he shouted joyfully each time we found one.

We looked for blue twos the greater part of each day, for four years. One thousand four hundred sixty days in a row I took that boy in search of blue twos.

Not a bruise on 'em.


Terry Whitaker said...

Truly, you are a saint.

Prema said...

I keep wondering about your marriage???? I mean, I want to jump and hate my husband around basic 2yr old stuff. How did you survive???

Ziji Wangmo said...

I agree with Terry -You trule are a saint. I read this post in disbelief -I heard your voice read it to me as I read it - you've been given a talent to find humor in life - it's funny, then again, not so funny. Thank you for giving me a glimpse inside your life.

Jerri said...

Beyond my imagining. Seriously. Completely. Truly.

You're alive and intact. Miraculous.


Michelle O'Neil said...

Amazing Carrie.


kario said...

Thank God for the impulse to just put one foot in front of the other. It often leads us out of hell and into a better place where we can share our gifts with others. Bless you for continuing to put one foot in front of the other and not giving up even though the desire to do so is sometimes so overwhelming. I'm so happy you're on this side of that story now, Carrie, and are willing to share your wisdom with us.

Jenny Rough said...

That's so funny about the stake out. You ARE a saint!

Nancy said...

God Carrie! I'm so glad you are sharing this story. I will say it again, Rojo is lucky to have landed in your arms.

Terry Whitaker said...

I remember a week of Red 5's when I was out there visiting one time. I think of it whenever I see a red 5 and it makes me smile!

Anonymous said...

Who would believe that this same child would one day insist on telling you the time....Eastern Standard.....when he wants to do may be amazing but beyond may be the gifted writer.....he is the gift....

holly said...

I love reading this story, Carrie. There is so much of my nephew's story in it.

and ditto everything everyone else said!

jennifer said...

Nice work! What a wonderful writer you are blooming into...not to mention...PROLIFIC!!!