Matthew, the …. Marvel?

We just returned from a week up at “Bubbi & Papa’s snow house,” relaxing, skiing a little bit, and having some time to enjoy some friends and our family.  I will share more of the fun and photos later, but tonight before bed, I wanted to share what we noticed about Matthew this week.

The last time we were at the “snow house” was just 2 months ago, and Matthew was difficult … the place isn’t nearly as “Matthew-proof” as our house, so he required constant supervision for his safety and the protection of all things decorative, fragile, or important.  It is quite exhausting, really, as anyone who has had a child can understand – the “into everything but undirectable” phase is a difficult one, and we really didn’t know how long it was going to last with our Matthew (the Menace).

This time, however, Matthew was incredible!  Everyone enjoyed him very, very much and commented on how good, sweet, and obedient he was!  He understood the boundaries – didn’t even go near the fireplace except to point at it from a safe distance and sign “hot.”  It’s one of my favorite signs, because it is a concept, not a concrete object, and he really does apply it to anything hot, including his food, my tea, candles, and now fire.  He also says “haaaa” as he signs it, and you know how much we love any verbalization from him!

He also left the piles of magazines alone, not feeling the need to throw them all on the floor or rip their pages out … and didn’t even try to thow any coasters or decorative snowmen figurines!  The fact that he is no longer throwing food also helped greatly, as the dining room is carpeted.

Instead of finding things to destroy, he played appropriately with the toys that are up there, reading (not tearing) books, driving cars (and verbalizing vvvvvvmmmmmm), stacking blocks (and saying “ccccckkkkkkkkk” when they crash) and marching little animals all around (da-da-da-da-da).  He played well independantly, and was also quite sweet and snuggly – bringing Jesse a toy when he was fussing, hugging him gently, and giving us the best snuggle-hugs you’ve ever seen.  It was really fun – and being there really highlighted how far he has come in just a couple short months.  He even started verbalizing “huuuu-” as he gives hugs!  So sweet.

Aaron’s mom (Bubbi, the grandkids call her) wanted me to make a list of Matthew’s signs while we were there, so that she and Papa could learn them.  I had guessed that he had 30 signs or so, but at the quick rate he is learning them, it is difficult to count.  Once again, I am marveling at the miracle of my son, thankful for the gift of communication, and ordering some more “Signing Time” DVDs!  As of this week, here is the list – 45 in all!:

Matthew’s signs:

  • Eat
  • Drink
  • More
  • All done
  • Milk
  • Peas
  • Popcorn
  • Ice Cream
  • Eggs
  • Candy (fruit snacks!)
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • On
  • Please
  • Thank you
  • Play
  • Outside
  • Tree (especially with Christmas lights!)
  • Watch
  • Dance
  • Sing/song
  • Spin
  • Phone
  • Book
  • Ball
  • Hello
  • Bye-bye
  • Hooray!
  • Baby
  • Daddy
  • Mommy
  • Papa
  • Hat
  • Bath
  • Potty
  • Wash (hands)
  • Bird
  • Dog
  • Gorilla
  • Fish
  • Seal
  • Elephant
  • Giraffe
  • Lion (thank you, Signing Time “Zoo Train” DVD)
  • And, “shrimp” – still working on it, but he was trying really hard last night to ask for more!