Monday, June 20, 2022

Fox is FIVE Years Old

 Dear Mr. Fantastic Fox, 

You are FIVE years old. 

When you are watching Looney Tunes cartoon, you see a flummox of brown and black blur of a Tasmanian Devil whirling across the plains of desert, roaring, and sucking everything into its eye as everything scrambles around to get out of its way, then you can't help but be thrilled by its presence, and maybe a bit afraid of the chaos it brings. That description is exactly you. The boundless energy you carry within you can be vastness, endless, and untamed. The twin energy is constantly churning within you; the unpredictability of your energy inspiring others around you, and the calmness you bring while you are cuddling with people you love. You can be intense; you feel things intensely, you think intensely, you speak intensely, you behave intensely, and you love intensely. There's no muteness with you. You are our wild in our calm. 

The school year was tumultuous, arduous, challenging, and exciting all at once for you. Mama and Daddy decided to not put you through repeated 3K with St. James, and enrolled you into Hillcrest. It was easier with you needing speech service, and occupational therapy. With this, you completed your first year of 4K with Mrs. Sheldon, and ending with Mr. Alft once Mrs. Sheldon went on a maternity leave. 

Erin, your speech therapist, noticed you were not quite hitting the required benchmarks for your age. This led us through murky waters of figuring out what was going on with you, and you were diagnosed with SDD, Significant Developmental Delay. This led you to be placed into an occupational therapy class with some wonderful folks. There, you slowly learned how to write, read, and recognize letters as well as shapes. At the beginning, you used to play alone or parallel to other kids. That changed by the end of the year; you interacted, and played with the others at the school! Every little accomplishment you made was celebrated! You taught us to stay in the moment, to appreciate the small moments, and to celebrate every milestone that is made. 

You went from being a quiet, nonverbal little boy to a regular old chatterbox with the sounds coming out. Our family was constantly telling Mama how excited they were to be able to understand, and hear you talking! The words came out of your mouth was no longer unrecognizable. You still struggled with certain letter articulation, and stringing sentences at the end of 4K. Nonetheless, that did not negate the fact of HOW FAR you came from the beginning! You were able to articulate words clearly, and your signing drastically exploded. You go, Mr. Fantastic Fox! 

You are now completely toilet trained for both day and night. It is a great feeling to be down to just one kid in diapers. Sometimes, wiping can be a challenge for you, but you are only a newly 5 year old! That will come to you in time no problem. 

You were supposed to meet with a neuropsychologist earlier in the year for an evaluation to rule out anything that was potentially going on with your SDD diagnosis. Unfortunately, the neuropsychologist up and quit the practice, and off we went back on a waiting list...again. The waiting list was so long that Mama called in late spring to gauge what was happening! She was informed that the waiting list was so backlogged, and you were indeed still on the list. Mama tried so hard to be understanding, and patient. The status of meeting with a neuropsychologist remained up in the air even to this day. 

In November of 2021, you began weaning off Keppra, and everybody were SO hopeful that this brought you a good news in term of your epilepsy. By December, you were completely off Keppra. Instantaneously, Mama saw a sharp change in your behavior. It became clear to Mama that Keppra was not the right fit for you all along. You became more verbal, less tired, and happier. It was as if you were finally back. Mama put her foot down, and said no more Keppra if you needed to go back on a seizure medication. 

You had an EEG test to determine how you fared off medication. The news revealed that you were still experiencing abnormal brain waves. This meant you needed to go back on medication, because your epilepsy was not quite going away as Dr. Edgar had hoped for. Mama and Daddy had you go on a different medication to manage your seizures. This time around, it was MUCH better, and it appeared to affect you less. That was a great news among the difficult news. To this day, the medicine continued to work really well! Mama and Daddy remained SO grateful how we lived in the time that allowed for your epilepsy to be safely managed with medication. They were informed that you had to remain on this medication for one more year, then go through weaning process once again for EEG test to check the abnormality of your brain waves. In the meanwhile, this was nothing that you can't handle. After all, your brain waves were powerful just like you! 

Your love of dinosaurs remained strong. Your favorite TV shows consisted of dinosaurs. You often had a strew of dinosaur toys all over the floor. Your favorite dinosaur was a Triceratops. Your love of dinosaurs was so strong that it influenced Fiona's interest as well! 

You were always game to try anything out! Nothing intimidated you. You charged it head on. It was very much like how you entered this world; head on, nothing was stopping you, and you knew you had to get what you wanted. This sometimes led to conflicts, because you were so stubborn, and persistent. Mama understood, and appreciated this trait of yours. She wanted you as well as your other siblings to hold on fast to this, and use it to your advantage, especially for when you became older. 

As a summer baby, you loved the water. Bath, puddle, pool, or a pond; it did not matter as long as you were able to go in, and swim! Mama wanted to enroll you along with your older brothers for a swim course, and she had it planned this year for you all to attend. You also loved painting, and art--and oh yes, especially so cutting construction papers! Something about cutting it into tiny pieces thrilled you! Mama encouraged you to do this, because why not, it helped you with your fine motor skill, and the mess that glittered to the floor could always be swept up! You adored to help prep Mama with food for the meals, even though you did not always quite eat what was on your plate!  

Besides the dinosaurs, your favorite land mammal was a COW! Matter of fact, you loved cows so much that you went as one for Halloween! One of the first words you were able to articulate clearly was COW. That spoke to your love of the cows for sure! 

You loved to play with your older brothers, and always desperately wanted to be a part of their crew. Mama often had to remind them to be welcoming, and encouraging of you to come along. Sometimes, Mama offered to play with you and Fiona so the older two were able to do their own thing. You loved going to park, go on the swings, and go down on the slides! You jumped as high as you could on the trampoline to beat your brothers' height. Sometimes, you all threw down for wrestling, and it became a huge chaos with Otis joining! Barking, screaming, and sounds of body hitting each other sure made for a noisy house!  

You recently switched the bedrooms. You went from being alone to sharing the bedroom with Franklin. The reasoning behind this was because with Forrest becoming older, he needed more privacy, and you needed a company to help further your socialization. It was a decision well done, because this helped to cement your relationship with Franklin. Mama and Daddy hoped that with you getting a roommate would help to reduce a need for you to come sneaking into their bed in the early hours of the morning. So far, it hadn't. You still managed to sneak into their bed, and demanding for the cuddles, which Mama won't lie; she absolutely loved it when you did! She hoped you would continue this as long as you can. 

Someday, Franklin will move out to have his own room, and you will get your room to yourself once again. 

You and Fiona are thick as thieves. You have such love and hate relationship sometimes! You two would get into trouble together, and roar up a storm enough to drive Mama up the wall! Then there will be moments where you and Fiona fight like a cat and a dog, ending in a few bite marks, oh my. Fiona often holds her ground against you, and it can be a battle of whose stubbornness wins in the end. Nonetheless, you and Fiona are close. If you are without her, then you often ask where Fiona is, and if Fiona is without you, then she often asks for you. Mama thinks it is because you two are the youngest, and closest in the age. So, you're able to benefit from playing with Fiona, and with your older brothers! 

You love your grandparents, and being spoiled them. You're always game to play with your cousins. Matter of fact, for this fall, you will be going into 4K LEADS with one of your cousins! How fun will that be! Mama and Daddy are hopeful to see how much you will grow during academic year of 2022-2023. 

Thank you for being YOU, and always STAY WILD. We love you so much, our little Fox.


Mama, Daddy, Forrest Franklin, and Fiona