Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Steps Forward

Today, because of parent/teacher conferences, Dominic had the day off from school.  Last night, he was asking me what we were going to be doing today.  I told him that we had a "field trip" to Kroger in the morning and then after Lauren got done with her day at school, we would meet up with her at Culver's to have lunch.  After Dominic had a waffle, pumpkin muffin and milk, we hopped into the car and headed to Kroger.  To the other shoppers, they probably figured it was a mom and her little boy out grocery shopping and didn't think twice about it.  To me, I used the trip to Kroger as a continuing learning experience for him.  The past couple of times I have taken him grocery shopping, he has preferred sitting in a cart that has a car attached to the front and read a book, occasionally assisting me. Since he hit a growth spurt, he can longer squeeze himself into that type of cart. Well, he probably could, but he might not be able to get back out :)  I let Dominic pick out a cart and we headed into the store towards the produce area.  Since I go to the same Kroger every Tuesday, I see the same clerks. One of them tried to greet Dominic and he covered his ears.  That particular clerk has asked me about Dominic before and I told him that he has Autism, so he was cool. He's doubly cool because he calls me "young lady."  Anyways, I told Dominic as we went through the store what I needed and he would put it in the cart. He and I shared cart pushing "duties." As we continued throughout the store, I kept telling him how proud I was of him and slapping him high-fives.  When I told him we didn't need the Oxi-Clean,  he put it back without any fuss.

When we hit the yogurt/cheese aisle, he started getting a little restless and ran around in circles for about 15 seconds - my husband calls it "the ants in your pants dance." We headed towards the checkout and he started putting things on the conveyor belt.  When I handed him a five pound bag of flour and he tossed it into the air and it hit the belt with a "plop," I reminded him that he had to be "gentle." We headed to the car and he helped put the groceries in (he started taking the items out one by one, until I told him the whole bag needed to go in the car) and then he put the cart back. He helped me unload all the bags once we got home and then said, "I'm really hungry." It was lunchtime by then.  I told him we were eating with Lauren and were waiting for her to text us when she was done at school. He and I split an apple for a snack.   About 15 minutes later, Lauren sent us a text and we drove over to Culver's to meet her. I was hoping he would order his own meal, but he covered his ears, so I did it for him. We did let him work the pop dispenser and he did great!

We got our meal a short time later and started eating. The lunch was yummy and hit the spot!  Lauren and Dominic have been talking for a while about buying the Frozen DVD and since it came out today and Dominic had a $15.00 gift card from Christmas, he decided he wanted to use the gift card to purchase the DVD. 

We had a few other things to get, so we let him sit in the cart the rest of the time.

Except for putting a french fry up his nose and burping loudly a few times at the Culver's (two things a typical nine and half year old boy might do), I think he did awesome today.  I'm very realistic about his future and know he may always live with us.  But, when he has a day like today, when he has some "big steps forward," it also gives me hope that one day he may be able to leave our "nest" and live independently. He is growing up so fast, that's it hard to believe in a few short months, my littlest baby "bird" will be 10!!!


  1. And a sweet baby bird he is. I am so proud of how you help him grow so that some day you may be able to push him out of the nest and see him soar. Your flying lessons are stupendous. He is luck to have such a loving Mama Bird. Love, Auntie

  2. Thanks so much - so nice of you to say. We are all lucky to have you in our lives "Auntie Bird!" We love you very much :)


Making an "Impact"

I had someone very close to me ask me this question many years ago, "why do you stay in touch with so many of Dominic's...