Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We Have a Houdini

Dima loves to escape from the house.  Eric and I anticipated this so we had alarms installed on every one of our doors to the outside.  Alarms or no alarms, he still just walks out the door.  This is common in children with Down Syndrome and common to children that have lived in an orphanage.  Can you imagine the freedom Dima must feel living here in our home?  He can play when he wants, eat when he wants, sleep when he wants, he can take a bath, he can play outside, etc...  All of those with permission, of course, but even still, this is SO much better than living in an orphanage with 20 toddlers.

I digress.

Yesterday Dima escaped 4 times, today just one.  He has escaped other times before yesterday, but yesterday seemed to be the day he suddenly felt comfortable enough to really push the limits in our home.  He even escaped with Papa at home and that is being bold right there!  Dima loves Eric, no doubt, but he is not exactly certain what to make of having a Papa.  He has been raised by women his whole life.  Gracious, we do not even know who his birthfather is!  So when Dima decided to up and leave after Jeremiah and I went to Wal-Mart, and on Eric's watch, well, we knew we had a little bit of an issue on our hands.  We will be installing more locks on our doors that are completely out of his reach, even with a chair.  We may implement something on his bedroom door, but he shares a room with Sammy and we cannot make it too tough for Sammy.  And we are even prayerfully considering a service dog.  We know that a dog would not take the place of our direct supervision, but should Dima actually make it out the door in the middle of the night his dog would be right with him.  Eric and I are light sleepers, but I confess that I am totally paranoid about Dima actually making it outside at night and neither of us hearing him leave (though the alarms are VERY loud!).  This too, shall pass.

Other than Dima's escape attempts things are going well.  Today was Dima's first day at our CHEA (Christian Home Educators Association) Co-Op.  He only somewhat participated, but when he joined in, he had a blast.  He seemingly feels very comfortable in large groups of children so I felt comfortable bringing him along.  Thankfully tomorrow is a quiet day at home and only an hour of church in the evening.  Dima does tend to get over stimulated and needs quiet time.

Our wrestling mat also arrived this afternoon which is going to be a HUGE blessing to our family.  Dima is a very physical little boy and loves to wrestle.  But since he is so strong he could hurt his brothers by wrestling on the hard floors that we have in our home.  Also, Dima needs to bond to Eric and he had done so at the orphanage by wrestling with him.  While Dima does love his Papa he needs to get reacquainted with him after being apart from him for a whole month.  So far the wrestling mat is already proving to be a good purchase as Dima went right to Papa and began to wrestle him as soon as Eric sat on the mat.  I have some video of that so be sure to check out our Youtube Channel to see.

On that note it is time for one final round of wrestling!  Not something I want to miss.

1 comment:

Oh, and one more thing... said...

Congrats on bringing Dima home! My daughter with ds is 7 and I have a couple quick thoughts for you -
1) Set up a baby monitor to help you hear him at night.
2) Consider getting him an official Florida ID card. If he goes missing, law enforcement has instant access to his picture and vital statistics.
3) I don't know about Marion county, but in Alachua you can get a radio band for his arm/ankle that stays on all the time. We haven't gotten one for my daughter at this point, but another mom in our group got one for her 9 year old son this past summer.
4) You are welcome to come to our Down syndrome meetup/playgroup in Gainesville this weekend. I know it may be too much with just having gotten back, but just want to extend the welcome anyway :-) https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=233528256695367