Quite suddenly Jack has become a polite child. He says please, thank you, you're welcome, bless you, pardon me, and sorry (if someone is hurt). The other night he was trying to get himself to sleep and I was in the adjoining room. I sneezed 5 times and he yelled "bless you!" from his room. He's also making an effort to use his fork while eating noodles and the like.
The two of us have been hiking (here he is in the photo thinking about Winnie the Pooh near a clump of gorse bush at San Bruno) nearly every week, going to various city playgrounds daily, and Hans has taken Jack out for weekend jaunts to Fairyland, the Oakland Zoo, and Great America. Jack loved GA, especially the water rides -- we'll be back. At Fairyland he made a friend and together the two of them rode the carousel, the Jolly Trolley, and the Dragon Slide. He told me later that he kissed his new friend! Unfortunately this girl lives in the east bay, but it was great he was able to stretch his social skills. Yesterday at the playground with a little prompting Jack asked a girl to bounce with him. He's making great strides here!
About a month ago I took him to a PT for an evaluation. She found him to have "weakness in his proximal musculature." To help him with this we will continue to hike and bike, plus get him swimming, and work on increasing his core strength. The PT also recommended increased "heavy work" and physical activity -- Jack loves jumping into cushions and when Hans comes home he has been asking to "rassle." Since we've been presenting him with situations where his body gets increased sensory feedback I think he is slightly less "bouncy" and more calm.
One big bummer that became a great teachable moment -- Jack ran away from Hans when they were out biking at a campus near our house. Hans called me and I came running to help. I found Jack's bike but no Jack and I was terrified he'd been snatched (illogical I know, but this was my greatest fear). Turned out he rode his bike down the hill from where Hans was, but then decided to walk back up to where he had "lost" Hans. A helpful maintenance worker found him and was taking him back to the school's maintenance office. By that time the police had arrived (thank you Google voice for helping me find the local police phone number while I was running around searching) and when we got back down the hill Jack was sitting in the front seat of a police car. (He said later he liked that because inside the car there were lots of numbers.) We made our way back home as calmly as possible and got Jack to sleep. The next day we sat him down and talked about what to do if he got lost again -- not to get in a car with someone he doesn't know well, not to run off, etc. Since then he has been awesome and I've tested the waters by leaving him just outside the bathrooms at Golden Gate Park and Limantour Beach and he's done totally fine. He seems to really get this lesson -- I hope so because my blood pressure was insane for hours after he was lost!