Not only the fact that he had a friend over...
Not only the fact that the two boys played together so nicely...
H came home from school in underwear that day & I can tell you he was still in it during the length of the afternoon. And evening. As a matter of fact at one point the boys came back in the house from being outside, had a toilet break, & then returned outside to continue playing. Not just the other kid... but my kid, too.
The thing is, every now & then there are moments with school work progress that make me particularly proud... such as this one:
To many parents these scribbles would be just that.
To me, this is evidence of when my son was instructed to color the boy's shirt yellow... the man's hat blue... the boy's pants orange... the man's pants purple... the hose green... the tomatoes red... the sun yellow...
My son who not only chose the correct crayons, but held them independently, & most importantly... proceeded to accurately follow directions. And sign his "H" at the top of the page.
But it's the days like Wednesday when his friend came over, which really stand out over time. So you can only imagine how long yesterday's events will continue to be embedded in my memory...
And not for reasons you might think. You will have to read to the end to see what I mean.
So, yesterday I was on my way home from my parents house & H was having one of "those" meltdowns in the backseat... similar to the one he had on the day of the ear incident.
Fortunately & unfortunately I know there are other parents who can relate to this... that feeling of traveling along on a highway (whether literally or figuratively but in this case was not the latter)... & despite being the driver... the one behind the wheel, in complete control... you actually have none over what is happening right inside your own vehicle.
I turned off the highway about ten exits too soon, pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall, & by the time I could've buckled Hayden back in he beat me to it. He knew exactly what was going on as soon as I prematurely pulled off the highway.
Unfortunately his sudden 180 was short-lived. By the time we arrived home there were things scattered about my truck which I didn't even know were in my truck.
(I would like to take a moment, by the way, to thank the inventor of child locks.)
These meltdowns are probably fewer than in previous years, but at the same time they are definitely worse. This is partly just biology of course... he is bigger & older so therefore stronger & smarter. These are details which undoubtedly improve the fight in him, so-to-speak. (And I hesitate to use the word "improve".)
But there is something else which happened yesterday that is equally memorable, yet significantly more profound. You might have to read the next paragraph more than once.
For the drive to my parents house, Hayden was in underwear. It is about an hour drive. Upon arriving at my parents house, he accepted being led to the bathroom to pee. Then we went out to lunch at a diner about 10 minutes away. He was still wearing those boxer briefs underneath his jeans. Then after lunch (drum roll please)he accepted being led to the public restroom at the diner & used the bathroom (even while verbalizing "it stinks"). This was the first time in his life (or mine) that anything like this has ever happened. Then (yes, there's more) we walked over to a nearby store, went shopping, & upon returning to my parents house he was still in the same pair of dry boxer briefs.
This kid right here.
For so, so long... he has only been successful with toileting at school. The carryover at home has been a bunch of... well... the stuff he releases into the toilet.
I feared I would never see the day. And we have had success with both... err... numbers, if you will. But it was always isolated & inconsistent. And never for such a length of time.
There is hope. Real hope.