First of all, I'd like to apologize for being a horrible blogger lately! I keep thinking of post ideas, but haven't found the time to actually get them written.
We went to the beach with my family a few weeks ago. Brady absolutely LOVED the beach. Everything about it. He played in the sand, carried tons of buckets of water to the hole that was inevitably dug every day. Even splashed in the surf, and rode in the kayak with Daddy. My eyes kept seeing all the proprioceptive input he was getting all day long (which he never tired of), and I think it helped get him to do this -
Before this trip, it took all he had to just get his face in the water, but at the beach, he very easily jumped in from the side and dove for torpedos. It was amazing.
I couldn't help but think about the last time we were at this exact beach in this exact house - 3 years ago. Brady was almost 2 and I'd never even heard of SPD. I was reading "Raising Your Spirited Child" to help figure him out. It did help to some extent, btw. The one thing that sticks out most in my mind is how he reacted to the ocean. We were in the Outer Banks, where you have to walk up steps to go over the big sand dunes. You couldn't hear or see the ocean before you reached the top. And as soon as you reached the top with Brady, he'd start crying and screaming and trying to jump out of your arms back toward the house. It was crazy! Each day got a little better. I think it was the second or third day of trying to get him out there, as we were standing at the top of the stairs, he started saying "OFF!" while pointing out at the ocean. Aha! That's the problem, it was TOO LOUD! Too bad I couldn't fix that for him. So we spent a lot of time at the house, and towards the end of the week he could tolerate it enough to go and play in the sand with his cousins for awhile. I also remember some drinks getting splled b/c we were with people who weren't used to his craziness and would dare to leave a drink unattended within his reach, and a lot of food being thrown during the big family meals, and other people's food being pushed away if it got too close to his personal space. I remember him spending most of the meals with his booster seat up against the wall so that he couldn't reach anyone else's food and push it on the floor.
So, it was interesting to be back in the same house again, with an older Brady whom we now understand a bit more and Henry being about the same age Brady was the first time. With understanding what is behind a child's blowups, it is easier to diffuse them. I could see it in his eyes when he was about to get aggressive and could usually diffuse the situation, and he played wonderfully with his cousins at the house, the pool and the beach. It was also interesting to see how Henry did with it all. He loved the beach (unless sand touched his face) and the pool from the start, and left everyone's food alone. He had more meltdowns than normal, but I think that's to be expected at 2 years old.