At no time does Timothy seem more active than the time when you’d like to have him calm and quiet – when he’s getting his diaper changed. I’ve tried to come up with an analogy for what it’s like to change a moving target (that is sometimes peppered with poop on his bum and its neighbors). Maybe the best analogy is a pitstop at the Indy 500, when the car pulls into the pit and a team of workers quickly get everything changed over and then the car returns to the track. And I would say that replacing Timothy’s diaper is exactly like that, except our little racer never pulls into the pit. He just keeps lapping the track while we try to wrestle a diaper onto him.
I must make a correction. In a recent entry, I posted this picture of Timothy in a hat.
I failed to mention that the hat was from when I lost a bet to my friend Dr Lynn Yonge, who is a big fan of the University of Alabama football team — the team that badly beat my team, Notre Dame, in the National Championship a few weeks ago. Lynn gave me a ‘Roll Tide’ cap, which is what Timothy is wearing, though my son wisely realized that he could hide the Tide by wearing it backwards.
Interestingly, Lynn met Gene Stallings, who coached Alabama in the 90’s. Coach Stallings had a son, John Mark, who had Down syndrome and who was a real inspiration to the Alabama football family. I knew there was a reason I liked the Tide and their fans.
I appreciate how creative Timothy is in getting close to his family. And so it was that he was sitting on my lap and wanted to pull himself. I guess to him, his options seemed limited, and so he reached up and grabbed the little tuft of hair at the top of my chest and pulled like he was climbing the rope in gym class. The good news for him is that he was quickly face to face with my tear-covered face. You’ll read more about T’s hair pulling reign of terror later.
Under the ‘knowing just enough to be dangerous’ category, we are all learning some sign language in order to communicate with Major Tim. But I need to tighten up my sign language skills before I go public. The other day, Timothy handed me a ball, and I meant to say ‘thank you’ (hand touching mouth and then going outward) but I instead made a gesture that I think is considered obscene to Italians (hand under chin and then flicked outward). I’d better watch it. If I run across some tough Italian immersion kids, I could be in for a fight.
I mentioned the ABR hearing results on Friday. We’re very happy as we got the best possible outcome. After almost 18 months and no conclusive hearing test, we were nervous and prepared for bad news.
As I mentioned last Spring when Timothy last had one, the audiobrainstem response (ABR) is the ultimate hearing test, where the patient is sedated, sensors are placed on his head, and then for about an hour, the audiologist plays a series of tones at different decibels (loudness) and frequency (pitch – I looked it up) and then looks at how the brain responds to the sound. In other words, the ear drum vibrates, the sound travels through the middle and inner ear and the cochlear (auditory) nerve carries the signal to the brain. Like every other process that we never thought twice about with our two girls – from sitting up to walking to talking – hearing is extremely complex and it’s a wonder that most of us do it with no problem for most of our lives.
In the last ABR, Timothy had some fluid in his ear which interfered with the results. This time, his ear nose and throat doctor cleaned out his ears before the ABR, which ensured that we would get a clean reading of his ears.
And yet once again we had an anesthesiologist reconfirm what we know and have witnessed — that redheads need just a little extra juice to put them out due to that extra spit and vinegar in those ginger roots.
Shortly after T’s procedure was complete, a nurse brought us to a room to meet up with Timothy, saying “They’ll roll him back here in a bed in a minute”. But just then we looked up and saw a beaming redheaded nurse carrying a groggy TRBL attached to an IV drip. She said, “He’s so cute — we all took turns holding him.”
But, as you’d expect, that little boy was groggy and crabby upon his return. Laura held him and he showed that he was not so sedated as to be unable to play his favorite contact sport –- hair pulling. Timothy grabbed hard onto Laura’s hair like a hungry dog on a bone, and he just had the biggest smile on his face. That smile lasted until he decided to double down and start biting her hair as well. Thanks to TRBL’s antics, it won’t be long before we’ll all shave our heads and look like the Coneheads.
So Timothy needs to learn the cardinal rule for grabby toddlers… “Don’t pull the hair that feeds you.”