Thursday, December 5, 2013

10 Things You Might Not Know About Ian

Ian is a kid with quirks. If you're meeting him for the first time, some will be quick to appear (he will find your cell phone and take it from you - doesn't matter if he just met you - your cell phone will become his cell phone), and others take being around him for an extended period to stumble upon. 

Whether you know him in real life, or only through this blog, here are a few things you may, or may not know, about Ian:

1. He's very affectionate. Ian has a bit of a reputation for being prickly, especially when people enter his personal bubble, but once you're in his inner circle (which now includes teachers and therapists that have been with him for years), he becomes very affectionate. He's not the best at puckering his lips for kisses, or squeezing tight for hugs - no - Ian's affection currency is forehead touching. He reaches out his arms, grabs your face, and brings it in to his face until you're forehead is pressed to his. Then you must stay like that, indefinitely. If you pull away before the allotted forehead touching time is up, he pulls your face back in. This is how he shows love.
Me, on the receiving end of a forehead touch.

2. His feet are super-tiny. Like, really. His bare foot is a baby size 4. With his AFO braces on, he fits into a whopping toddler size 8. When I filled out the application for his Peach's Neet Feet, the artist painting his shoes actually emailed me to verify his shoe size - he thought an 8T shoe for a 5 year old had to be some kind of mistake. Nope. That's his shoe size. It's my understanding that his feet aren't really growing much because he's not walking on them - his body is not being given a signal to grow them. 

3. He's got good rhythm. Ian started bobbing his head along to the beat of music before he was a year old. We'd always know when he liked a song because he'd be bobbing his head to the beat - he could feel the rhythm. Today, he has a very eclectic taste in music which includes Beck and Gorilliaz. He just started piano lessons about a month ago, and that is going well so far, I'm happy to say. 
Music lover from the start!

4. His hearing is too good. When Ian reached his second birthday and still hadn't said a single word, the doctor scheduled a fancy in-depth hearing test for him. We came out of it with the knowledge that Ian could hear well - too well. His hearing is so acute that loud noises are unbearable for him. Crowd noise, fireworks, raucous laughing - he hates it all. Above all, he hates the sound of his little sister's cry. She's two and a half, so we're in the midst of prime temper tantrum season around here. When it's too loud for Ian, his reaction is to plug his ears and then scream over the noise that is too loud - makes sense, I know. We have noise-cancelling headphones stashed in our house, car, and grandparents houses to help quiet the sometimes too-loud world for Ian. 
Our choir of angels. She cries, he screams.

5. He HATES gum. Ian has never chewed gum, and I have my doubts that he ever will. He cannot stand the sight of another person chewing gum. The first time he ever saw someone chewing gum (Justin), he gagged and then threw up. To this day, he makes a face when he sees someone chewing gum near him, and then he fixates on it until it makes him gag. Gum is not his thing.

6. He's a master "staller". Whether it's going to bed or having to finish playing a game, no one can stall the inevitable like Ian. He starts with holding his hands out and saying "wait", but then it escalates to asking 20 questions to hopefully distract you from doing whatever he doesn't want you to do. His most effective method is asking what each of his family members "did" that day - every family member he can think of.

7. He sleeps with his face covered. That's right, covered. Even in summer, that face must be beneath a blanket shroud. He has a muslin blanket that he's had since he was a baby, and that must be on his face if he's going to sleep. Every night I go in his room before I go to bed and try to carefully peel back the blanket from his face. Nine times out of ten, he wakes up, whines a complaint at me, and covers his face back up. Don't mess with his blankie.

8. He'll beat you at video games. Ian has a knack for video games. We started letting him play a little Nintendo DS when he was around three - a Cookie Monster game that helped him learn numbers, shapes, and colors, and improved his finger strength and coordination - and a love affair began. He can now play games on the iPad and Wii, as well as his own DS. He can get farther in the "Despicable Me" Minion game than I can!

9. He has eagle eyes. If spotting and picking lint off people were an Olympic event, Ian would take the gold. He can see the tiniest fleck of string or lint, and will risk tipping himself over to get it. If the lint happens to be on your shirt, he will pull you over in order to get it off you. He preforms this service free of charge. You're welcome.

10. He wants to talk to you. Though conversation isn't his forte, I can see how much Ian yearns to communicate with other people. When we walk home from school, Ian gives a wave and says "hi" to every single kid we pass on the side walk. Every. Single. One. When he's in a casual setting with other people, he will say "hi" to everyone that crosses his path. If the person says "hi" back, he's usually satisfied. If they don't, and ignore him and keep walking, he will wheel after them, holding out his had and saying "hi" repeatedly, hoping they'll acknowledge him. I try as much as possible to let kids know that it's perfectly fine to talk to Ian, even though he sounds a little different when speaking. The fact that he's trying makes me so proud of him.

So there's a few things about Ian you may not have known. Thanks for getting to know him - to know him is to love him!