When Tristan was about 6 years old he would NEVER sit. He was always on the move. I had to chase my ever growing non-verbal “toddler” every waking moment. Most of the time I felt more like a security guard instead of a mom. Or maybe a life guard on land(not that one really exists). If something looked dangerous he would gravitate towards it. This went on for years…
My oldest son, Jacob, was working on a project in elementary school. He asked me for a glue stick. I went to the drawer where I kept permanent markers, tape, and glue sticks tucked away so Tristan wouldn’t get them. Jacob worked diligently on his assignment into the late evening. Jacob left it out to dry on the counter overnight.
The next morning I woke up and noticed the project on the counter. I could not believe what I saw.
This story Brian and I still laugh about at times when we are reminiscing about life.
I can’t express in words how much work it took to keep Tristan safe. We had to keep locks on everything. This was to prevent him from escaping our home. It was like we had Houdini as our son. He would elope out the front door, back door, side door, and windows! We never could figure out why. I have concluded that it was just a game to him. Whatever the reason was we just learned to be on our guard.
This meant we had to open and shut doors and lock them quickly! If we forgot he would surely let us know…by taking advantage of the opportunity. As soon as someone entered our home we swiftly locked them in our home. We always had keys in our pockets. This was the standard “Tristan safety procedure” in our home. This became the norm and we didn’t even think about it much. Neighborhood children knew the drill. Family visitors knew that all doors would be locked.
Then one day Brian had to be home to let someone in our home. It was through our mortgage company. Brian was told someone would be by for paperwork. That day Tristan was home sick from school. Just Brian and Tristan were home.
Brian answered the door. It was a young lady. She entered and Brian immediately locked the door! He realized that it probably looked pretty bad. He just locked this woman inside our home. Then he realized she could be concerned, terrified, or frightened. Therefore, he rapidly started explaining that our son is special needs and will run out of the house.
The lady said, “Ok.”
We aren’t really sure if she understood how severe of a behavior elopement can be. Sometimes we laugh thinking she might have thought that was creepy to be locked inside a stranger’s house!
Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!
The other day a co-worker was sharing a time a babysitter called with a mishap. This reminded me of my stories related to this topic. There’s an extra element of surprise when we would leave Tristan with sitters.
When Brian and I took Tristan on a walk at a local walking track Tristan stopped and stared at a tree. Continue reading
On Sunday we took our son, Tristan, to the Indianapolis Zoo. We love spending time with him and seeing what catches his attention. Having a non-verbal child means we watch the subtle cues of his face for expressions to discern if he likes something.
This is what he liked about the zoo…
All the locks on the gates! If you look at the picture, you can see him trying to figure out the lock. Never mind we were trying to point out the tiger!!! We couldn’t get him to look at the tiger.
The bird aviary experience gave us a good laugh. Tristan thought opening and closing the doors was the best part. We stepped in one door and had to wait for it to close completely before going into the center where the birds were. Then he raced through to the next door. We stopped him and tried to get him to notice the birds, but he only paused for a mere second. Once at the exit, we waited for that door to shut before we could exit the aviary.
The birds did not get his attention, only the challenge of entering and exiting the aviary!
There was a low- level shark touch pool. Tristan leaned over to touch the water. Then he sat on the edge Then he looked at Brian wanting approval to get in the water! Brian immediately said, “No let’s go find something else to look at.” Tristan didn’t care about the sharks in the water he thought it might be nice to swim.
Tristan’s top 3 favorite things at the zoo: locks, doors, and water!
Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!
His 4th and 5th grade school year went like this…
He would run out of the classroom and down the hall to sit and visit with the principal (Mr. M)!
Due to him being non-verbal he would not ask! At any moment he would barge into his office and take a seat like it was visiting time!!! He wouldn’t notice if the principal was busy on the phone or in a meeting. Tristan probably didn’t care if Mr. M looked busy. He had achieved his goal.
Upon entering the church, I told our oldest son to not use his phone. I went on to explain all the reasons. I even said something like this, “Under no circumstances should you be on your phone!”
This is Part 2…
Last week I shared when my son, Tristan, pulled the fire alarm at school.
I was so embarrassed! Let me continue the rest of the story…
After I crawled out from under the rock and got my thoughts together I desperately wanted to know if this was going to happen again. I knew I had to know more about Tristan’s reaction. I waited to hear from the school. A few weeks went by… and I heard NOTHING regarding Tristan pulling the fire alarm.
When Tristan attended Kindergarten and First grade, we took him to school. The nice part was we got to interact with the teachers and assistants on a daily basis. One day, there was an interesting greeting. Mrs. S said, “Good Morning Mr. Fontaine how are you?” Brian replied. Although what he said and what Mrs. S heard were two different words. So, Mrs. S paused and said, “Wow that is pretty good. I don’t know what to say.” Brian replied he was “terrific”, but Mrs. S thought he said “perfect”. Another healthy dose of laughter from our home!