Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bottles, Thumbs and Babies

When I was given custody of Asher back in December, I was really worried how I'd get liquids into him on the trip home. He was on thickened liquids only due to problems with aspiration and subsequent aspiration pneumonia. Thankfully the family I'd shared a home with for the first week left a baby bottle behind, and I discovered that Asher was more than willing to take it!

At first he looked at me funny, but he loved what I had in it. The odd part for me was the lack of eye contact. He wasn't comfortable with any sort of eye contact at all! The first time I gave him the bottle I laid him on my lap - all 7 years and 30 lbs of him - and he turned his entire body away from me. It was a very awkward moment, but one which I realized I could utilize to help with bonding. Three times a day I gave him a bottle, and three times a day he turned away.

After about three weeks (so home two weeks) he would start to turn to me, give me a flash of eye contact, then grin and look away. He'd laugh a little then do it again. Then one day he went a bit further, reaching up and touching my face as an infant would, smiling around the bottle, never taking his eyes off mine, then grinning and turning away again. He was pleased with himself. Pleased that he could look without feeling fear. After several weeks, when he was clearly comfortable with this level of contact, I stopped giving him a bottle. He didn't care. He had just needed to go through that stage.

Then one day last spring my Father in Law brought some frosted donuts over. Asher and I shared one. I showed him how to suck the frosting off his thumb. His eyes LIT UP! It was as if I'd triggered a long lost memory for him.

He spent a couple of days with his thumb in his mouth. He ENJOYED it. For several weeks he went to sleep at night with sucking his thumb.

He doesn't do it very often anymore, but clearly it was a stage he needed to go through. Babies in the orphanage are not allowed to suck their thumbs, instead getting their hands wrapped so they can't. Apparently Asher wanted his thumb back!

A few weeks ago Asher discovered baby dolls. He came out of the bedroom with an old doll that's been in their room since the day he came home. He carried it around that whole day, especially liking that the baby still laughed sometimes.

We showed him how to hold the baby, hug the baby and kiss the baby. Several times he fell asleep with the baby. 

Then I decided he needed a baby that was more lifelike. I found one that laughs and cries, blinks it's eyes and sucks from a bottle. Umm....I didn't expect that Asher would love the bottle too!

 I'm still finding him with the dolls bottle in his mouth on occasion, but mostly he just likes to make her laugh or cry, or poke his fingers in her blinking eyes. LOL It's so fun watching him go through these developmental stages at rapid pace!


Speechless said...

Just wanted to repeat that He is SO Cute. K was evidently allowed to suck his thumb and won't sleep without it in his mouth (and has a horrible overbite to prove it, lol)...He is also VERY into baby dolls all of the sudden. But, he mostly likes to put them in time out and yell at them...We're working on being nice to babies :)

And patiently waiting... said...

Asher is precious! Jovan likes dolls too! And he has always sucked his pointer finger...UGH!!

Asher is just a plain cutie pie!

The Black Stallion Returns said...

Nice Glasses!