This morning while people were heading to work, cleaning their kitchen, doing their laundry....or sleeping (you know who you are).... our family celebrated a victory. I nearly cried tears of joy. So what you might ask would cause such a celebration?
Yes, that's right. Buttons. Five of them to be exact. Nathan has struggled with buttons and zippers for a while now. His fingers just don't do what he wants them to do so while his three year old sister is deftly zipping and un-zipping her jacket, buttoning her pants and shirts; Nathan is begging us for help.
His OT really wanted us to pick a few days out of the week to try to get him to button. Even if it was only two or three buttons. Well, if you read a previous blog I wrote then you know how that turned out. We had a twenty minute battle royal. Nathan gives us easily. He gets frustrated easily. He just does not want to try and fail.
So what does a parent do as the school year looms and your little boy is throwing tantrums over buttons? The only thing any sensible parent can do. Bribe them! We found a V-Smile game.... on clearance! Yes! And we told Nathan he could have it only if he un-buttoned a shirt and buttoned a shirt all by himself.
Last night he un-buttoned his shirt before bed. He did it pretty quick and it seemed to bolster his confidence. We reminded him again about our favorite word in this household. Perseverance. This morning I pulled a shirt with buttons out of his closet. "Button this shirt and the game is yours," I said.
Nathan's response? "Mom! That is a Sunday shirt. You wear those shirts on Sunday. Today is Monday. I can't wear it."
"But Nathan, it's the only shirt you have with buttons and you want to win the game right?"
He looked at me for a while, even shook his head a little. I think he needed a moment to convince himself it was all right to wear a "Sunday shirt" on a Monday. Finally, "All right. I'll wear it."
I left him alone because it's hard enough to fail but even harder with someone watching you. I went to the bathroom to do my hair and brush my teeth. A good ten minutes or more passed until finally I heard a victory yell from the living room!
"Mom! I did it! I buttoned it all by myself. Where is my game?"
He was proud of himself and grinning ear to ear. I was so proud of him. Progress! I sent him down to where Chris had already started work and Chris congratulated him and made a big deal. We reminded Nathan about perseverance.
I gave him the game and he played it for about thirty minutes.
I know some may read this and think, "I didn't just read this whole blog about a button right?" I know to some it may seem trivial but today was a victory in this household! Today my son buttoned five buttons! He did not scream or yell. He did not cry. He did not cover his ears and hide in his room. He just did it!
Some may say, "Yeah, but you bribed him."
And I say, "So what?"
Do you know how long this has been a struggle in this house?
I'm not saying he won't ever fight us again on doing the buttons but today he proved with a little bit of extra time he CAN do it! I am sure he will speed it up with more practice too.
Let me end this by mentioning something besides buttons.
Please continue to pray for our friend's the Love family. They have scans today and we all praying a miracle!
Please continue to support them and ask your friends to support them.
Check out the following links and thank you all who have joined together to pray for this courageous little boy and his family. If you think for one moment today about complaining think also of the family who keeps vigil around a four year old little boy and who are cherishing every moment with him.