Since I usually write to complain about how crazy the kids make me, I want to take this opportunity to brag about Merry.
Quick side note to make sense of why the two stories below are actually a big deal--Merry's biggest challenge right now is listening and processing instructions.
Our boy's latest sensory kick has been mud, which I almost don't want to complain about because it's so typical that it goes straight into stereotypical. In spite of my efforts he managed to get himself slightly muddy at the park today, not muddy enough that I couldn't put him in the van, but enough for him to volunteer "oh, my feet are muddy! I'll have to wash them when we get home." He was really looking forward to that part, apparently.
Once we got home he didn't bother to wait for me, but *listened* to my instructions, headed into the bathroom and washed his own feet in the tub! He even climbed up on the toilet to get his soap (long story) and I'm not even mad because other than sticky hands, this is the first time he's voluntarily washed anything for himself! Very proud.
Then to top it off, I told him that he'd have to clean up his trains before playing video games. Cleaning up the trains has been a sticking point lately, he understandably wants to leave them out so that he doesn't have to keep building the same track over and over again. But the creeping mess around here is beyond ridiculous, so I use screen time as a motivation to make some temporary headway with cleanup.
I told him one time, then got caught up in baby and chores (and Facebook, lets be honest). I assumed he had decided it wasn't worth the cleanup effort and would either play with his trains or something else. But lo and behold, fifteen minutes later I realized he was halfway through the cleanup! It was hilarious though, because instead of just picking up the trains, he would detach one car at a time and let it have a solo victory lap around the track before depositing it in the box. One by one, making the cleanup part of the play.
After the exhaustion of this crazy wonderful summer, it gave me such a glow to see him process, follow through and enjoy his reward.