I have a couple of introspective entries that are taking me a long time to finish, but I cannot put off talking about Alice’s awesomeness any longer! (By the way, did you know that “awesomeness” is an actual word meaning “so impressive or overwhelming as to inspire a strong feeling of admiration or fear”? It always sounded like a made-up surfer word to me, but it’s not and it completely conveys the current state of Miss Thang!)
The last couple of months have been AMAZING around here. I feel like there has been a complete shift in our family’s equilibrium for the better. I briefly mentioned that Alice got a CAP slot in December, and that has made a tremendous difference for us on multiple levels. CAP is our state’s assistance program for children over three and adults with developmental disabilities, and every person in the program automatically gets Medicaid. We’ve been applying to Medicaid since 2007 and have always been denied; I don’t think I have to say that this is a HUGE financial relief for us! Along with Medicaid, Alice gets an amount every year that we can use to hire an aide. We posted an ad on Craigslist for a graduate student interested in pediatric therapies or early childhood development and found the sweetest girl who is an SLP GRAD STUDENT! Talk about the stars aligning! Her name is Tammy and Alice is already completely in love with her.
Yesterday when Tammy was here, she and Alice had some one-on-one time doing art projects while Isabelle napped and I tackled the bear of attempting to organize and clean out five years of accumulation in our bedroom closet. Once Isabelle woke up, we all took a trip to the grocery store. This excursion might seem pedestrian, but it’s something that Alice rarely gets to do. We brought her button and programmed it to say “Hello, my name is Alice!” As we were cruising up and down the aisles, she would whack it and more than once, another shopper would turn around and engage her. One mom with two young girls saw her in the produce section and asked her, “What does that button do?” and once Alice hit it she said, “Well, hello Alice! How are you? Aren’t you sweet!” We saw them as we were checking out and the mom said, “Bye, Alice!” which made Alice so excited she would have bucked right out of her chair if she wasn’t strapped in. The store florist also heard Alice’s message and asked her to come to the floral counter for a balloon. It was a wonderful experience!
I can’t talk about Alice’s awesomeness without talking about school. Almost every day she comes home with exciting tales from her day on her button that we talk about. One day recently, she and another boy from a different class spent their time on the playground throwing rocks down a drain. Teacher Lisa said they would put a rock on the top of Alice’s hand then Alice would tilt it over the grating and they’d listen to it clink-clank down the drain. That filled my heart because that’s the kind of stuff I used to do on the playground! Alice also likes playing in the sandbox with her friends and dancing at circle time. OH! MAJOR NEWS: Alice has gone pee pee on the potty TWICE at school! She continues to grow and thrive with all of her friends, and I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me. Wait, don’t pinch me, if this is a dream I don’t want to wake up :-)