Tuesday, December 14, 2004

December 14th, 2004

I am having such a great Christmas season with Jakob. This is the first year he’s really noticed any of the decorations around the house. He really loves all the lights and the fireplace. He just looks at all of it and giggles.

Jakob has never opened a present. I’m hoping to change that. I’ve started the process of teaching him how much fun it is…I’ve started with his favorite book. I took the book and put it into a big Christmas bag and then showed him how to get it out. It became a game for a little while. After a couple times, he started to get aggravated with me so I had to stop. He was tired and cranky so I didn’t push it. That’s such a valuable lesson to learn with Jakob…don’t push it. So hopefully we can go back to it tonight. Once he has the hang of the bag thing, I’ll wrap up a couple of his favorite toys in Christmas paper and we’ll tear into it. It will be a process just like everything else.

The trick is to keep the process fun and I really think I’m getting the hang of it. He is so bright and he loves to learn new things…it’s all in the introduction to it. Kenny and I had a big discussion about that last night. We want to get him a sled for Christmas and I was explaining to Kenny that this year Jakob will probably just want to be pulled around in it and maybe go down a small hill or two. Kenny wants to take him to the BIG hill and just send him down. No way. The little guy will be so terrified, we’ll never get him in a sled again. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.

I try to explain to people that when you’re trying to teach Jakob something new, take the way you’d teach a “normally developing” child, then take a few steps back. Most kids you can just say “get in the sled and hold on”…then push them down the hill, not Jakob. With Jakob it’s more like…”This is a sled”…put one of his favorite toys in it…help him climb into it (if he’s even willing to do that)…play with his toy while he sits in it and leave him there. Repeat until he gets in the sled on his own without us telling him to. He has to show signs that he’s interested in it. Once he does that, we move onto the next step…pulling him in the sled. Then the next step and so on. It could take weeks, ya just never know. Some things he takes to quickly, other things not at all. It’s impossible to know what he’ll like until you try it. The trick is to be patient and understanding.

I’m looking forward to teaching him the present thing tonight. I hope it goes well…but if it doesn’t, that’s ok. We’ll try again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that…as long as it takes. And if he NEVER gets it, that’s ok too, I won’t love him any less.

-Jenn

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