You're right - I actually had to look up my blog's previous posts to see when was the last time I jogged with V-Man.
According to my blog - it was Day 5 on September 1st.
That's not to say I have not been jogging with him since then but moreso that I have been crap at recording it.
I've been doing little things with the V-Man like taking him grocery shopping, having mini dates with him - where it's just him and I (i.e. McDonald's or Hesburger...we haven't gotten to the level of comfort of a café yet...).
Thursday I had picked him up from overnight care and he was thrilled to be walking home wearing his harness.
Today, because A-Man has suddenly come down with a horrible stomach flu of sorts - we decided to go out and have a mini-date at McDonald's and took a stroll in H&M...then we went to get groceries.
And this is the interesting part.
He loves walking around a grocery store. If he had it his way, he'd lead me all over the store from opening to close. He's too large to stuff into a shopping cart and while he does fit in one - it's a pain getting him in and out! So he walks now.
Today I didn't have his harness with me and was hoping that by some stroke of luck - he'd feel uncomfortable not holding his handle of his harness and stick closer.
For the most part - yeah he did!
So we're in the grocery store for diapers, snacks and sandwich meat. Because every night before bed - he has a toasted ham and pepperoni sandwich with butter. Sometimes if he didn't eat a lot of supper - he'll also have a couple sliced tomatoes.
Anyways, we went into the sandwich meat aisle and he got excited and immediately went to take a look. It was pretty cute, I must say!
I guided him to the ham section and he was looking at 3 packages (all different brands) and began to actually point at one. So I picked it up for him and he looked at it and wanted to look at the other two as well. That was fine by me - as he wasn't tossing them, biting the package or sniffing/licking them either.
He finally picked the third package - which was store branded ham and didn't quite know what to do with it. I asked him if he wanted that ham for his sandwiches and he looked at it, did his happy dance (fist closed, looking at the package and not screaming but appearing content) and I told him to put it in the basket.
He looked at me like I had 5 heads. So I guided his hand into the basket with the ham and he let it go.
I'm trying to practice the whole "Praise the kids 10x over publicly" and really cheered him on in the chilly meat aisle. He seemed happy, reached for my hand and we walked on.
I instantly thought, "What else might he like that he could easily lift into a basket?!"
So we did a lap around the store and he didn't drag me anywhere specific, so he probably figured we were done.
Then I remembered that we were out of apple juice (the boys don't seem to be fans of my fresh apple juice from the juicer...) and I brought him there. He looked around and when I pointed at the regular juice containers we normally get, he got excited (little bit of hopping, flapping hands and smiling) - and then he took my hand and placed it on a carton.
I told him no, he had to put it in the basket. He's not usually allowed to handle juice cartons at home - to prevent making messes - so he was a bit shy.
I encouraged him as best as I could and separated one carton from the rest and he picked it up and turned it around a few times.
I held the basket out to him and he put it in nicely.
I almost started crying.
It's the little things like this that show me, as a parent, he has real potential to learn some life skills. Sure he might not speak, have and care for a pet, or play on an official sports team or join the local hobby clubs...but if he can show me at the age of 4, that he can express interest in what he wants - and put it in a basket with me - then I have a better peace of mind for his future.
So I guess he'll be going grocery shopping with me a lot more in the future...and I'm kind of excited to work on this new life skill with him.
Honestly, 6-12 months ago - I would never think such a thing!! But I'm trying to stay positive! :)
PS Funny story about grocery shopping after picking him up from overnight care:
We walked home (as mentioned above) and immediately hopped on a bus to go across town to get some little things. I figured it'd be wiser to take the longest route because then it would give him time to calm down after realizing we were not going to go straight home to watch a movie.
He handled things quite well - ate a chicken nugget meal at the burger joint there and was very calm.
So calm in fact, that while I was paying, he found a nice tattooed teenaged girl to be friends with.
He kept following her and trying to hold her hand...which sounds really sweet and innocent...but if you're new and holding his hand - there's usually some sniffing involved.
And of course, the overnight care staff had just advised us that he started to bite people again when he's mad.
Not that he was mad while trying to grab this poor girl's hand...
And where was I? Paying for my groceries...and stuffing them in my bag...and when I saw what he was doing - trying my hardest not to pee myself.
Sorry tattooed confused teenage girl.
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