When our children were little, we tried to teach them to be polite.   There were certain words or phrases that we didn’t allow them to say.  One of those phrases was “shut up.”  We worked hard to keep from using that phrase, or allowing the kids to use it, when they were growing up.

Fast forward now to Aaron.  I don’t know if it’s because this was a forbidden phrase in our home or what, but Aaron says “shut up” now.  Sometimes he says it in a humorous way, with a smile or a laugh, and we know he’s not being malicious.  Other times, he is more serious when he says it……..and when he is really angry, he throws it out with venom.  It seems that nothing we say or do has been able to keep Aaron from uttering “shut up” from time to time.

We know that the other clients in his day group get tired of hearing Aaron say “shut up.”  After his recent bad day at Paradigm, Gary and I have really been calling Aaron’s attention to how often he says “shut up”………..and then reminding him of how much it offends and bothers people, and what a better response he could use.

Aaron has really tried to cooperate with this focus for the most part.  The other night he and I were having some light, fun conversation before bed……….and he laughingly told me to “shut up.”  I gave him my Mom look and before I could say a word, he said, “Mom, have you noticed that I’ve stopped saying shut-up?”

I replied, “Aaron.  You just said it.”

And he answered, “Well, I start to say it and then I stop saying it and then I say it.”

So now we know Aaron’s definition of stopping something.  He starts, then stops, and then starts again.  He kind of stops, right?   I could use this for my eating habits, you know.  “Well, I start to eat it and then I stop eating it and then I eat it.”  Or any number of other habits that I struggle with!

I closed our bedroom door that night, and Gary and I laughed as Aaron thumped up the hall to his room.  We definitely still have our work cut out for us!

Test Results……And More!

Today I took Aaron to his doctor appointment at the air base.  I will tell you right away that all of his test results came back perfectly normal.  What a huge relief!!  His blood pressure was excellent, and his weight showed that he has lost a grand total of approximately 60 pounds over a 7 month period.  The drug that we weaned him from this winter can cause weight gains of 50-60 pounds, so since all tests are normal and he has no other symptoms, we are fairly certain that this explains the huge weight loss.  We will monitor his weight monthly and send that info to his PA there.  We are very, very thankful for this good report today.  Thank you, Lord!

And now for the rest of the story.  You surely know that going on an outing with Aaron will be interesting.  His test results may have been normal, but as for the rest of the morning………

We walked up the hallway of the clinic and went right away to the sign-in counter.  I was aware of the curious stare of the girl behind the desk as she was trying to mentally classify Aaron.  Good luck with that, I thought.  And as I turned to remind Aaron to stay beside me, and to quit making the mouth noise, and to not clap…….. I was also aware of the stares of the two people behind us.  I was so thankful that Aaron doesn’t notice that, and that he feels no discomfort in public settings.  Absolutely none, as he delightfully started pulling on the stretchy barrier that marks the sign-in lane and I reminded him not to do that as I remind him at every clinic visit……and I was glad to take the necessary information form and sit down.

But Aaron had no sooner sat in the chair beside me when he was up again, headed with purpose toward something.  I quickly looked up and called him back, but then I saw what he saw……….a blood pressure machine!  He loves blood pressure machines, and so he said that he wanted to do this while we waited for his name to be called.  Mind you, none of Aaron’s conversations are spoken quietly.  I just nodded and smiled, and he happily turned in the chair at the machine……….where he proceeded to take off his ring, his watch, and his glasses.  I was thankful that he didn’t start to remove his shirt as well!  And also thankful that right then his name was called………so he sighed, and put on his ring and his watch and his glasses.

Aaron loves doctor visits.  He likes being the center of attention, and he likes answering questions whenever he is allowed, and he likes going on and on about whatever he wants to talk about to this person who has an interest in him and has ears to listen to his stories.  However, this day was a little different.  He did not have a rash to show, or a complaint to complain about, or a pain to rate.  When the PA came in the room after Aaron was triaged, she and I just talked and talked about Aaron’s test results and his meds that he takes and when he was weaned off the one drug.  She looked at Aaron, and spoke to Aaron, and smiled at him…….but the vast majority of the conversation was with me.  And why should Mom get all the attention?  She is not the one who lost weight and had to have blood drawn and had to pee in a cup and had to have nasty fecal smears done. 

So finally Aaron eased off of the exam table and stood beside me, staring at the wall…….the wall full of fun gadgets just waiting to be touched and picked up and explored.  I told him to not even think of touching anything………so he sat in the chair against the wall.  He sat there quietly, until I heard him rather softly say something about wanting to show her this.  Show her what, I thought?  But I was concentrating on my conversation with the PA.  Aaron, realizing that he was being further ignored, began to scoot his chair closer to me.  Scoot, scoot, scoot.  Still, the PA and I were engaged in what we were discussing………so Aaron proceeded to take off one of his shoes and then to remove his sock.

He sat in the chair, and then scooted even closer to me……….minus his shoe and sock.  Still we talked, but not about what Aaron wanted us to notice and discuss.  He knew better than to interrupt again, so instead he proceeded to slide down in his chair in order to stretch his leg out and place his bare foot up on the trash can that was right beside my chair.  And there he sat, scrunched down in his chair with his leg stretched out and his foot resting on top of the trash can………..waiting to be noticed………waiting to be questioned………waiting to be examined…….waiting for SOMETHING! 

Lt. Wendt likes Aaron, and she smiled like she understood and I smiled because I understand all too well………and then as Aaron saw a break in the conversation, he jerked up and grabbed his foot and said that he had something to show the PA!  He pulled back his toes and there, underneath his last two toes, was a little patch of peeling skin………and some black slipper sock fuzz.  “Look!” Aaron breathlessly said.  “What is that?!”

Lt. Wendt was grinning, and I replied to Aaron, “That’s slipper sock fuzz and some loose skin because you don’t shower correctly!”  Aaron was disappointed that this was the only discussion and diagnosis that he was to hear about his toe problem; but he was happy that the PA listened to his lungs and his heart, and that he got at least a little attention to make this visit worthwhile.  Soon his shoe and sock were back on his foot and we were driving down the road, headed for lunch at Subway……….where Aaron told me all about getting “unsweeted tea” when he went to Subway with Krysten, and do I like “unsweeted tea?”

After lunch, we went to our vet to pick up dog food and allergy pills……….and where Aaron got to pet Cato, the resident cat.  Then to Dillon’s for one of his prescriptions, and for junk food, and where of course Aaron had to try out the lounge chair that was on sale.

  And we looked at raspberries and blackberries to see the differences in those two interesting fruits.  Never a dull moment with Aaron!

All of this weight business with Aaron has taken a toll on us, and I believe he and I were both feeling like a huge weight was taken off our shoulders.  Thank you, Lord, for good test results and for a good day with Aaron……..and that all Aaron had to show the PA was slipper sock fuzz under his toes! 


A New Day………A New Start

Yesterday Aaron called me from his day group, having a bad day and very upset.  He wanted me to come and pick him up, but that’s something I don’t want to start doing unless there’s a very good reason.  I talked to Barb, part of the management there who is a real buddy of Aaron’s, and she shared some of the details of his very bad, no good day.  We agreed that Aaron could stay there, which he did, though there was a part of me that wanted to drive right over there and rescue him from his misery.

Much of Aaron’s problem has to do with his mouth, and with his impulsivity……..saying and doing things that he sees as funny, but which are not at all humorous to many around him.  He had settled down by the time he got home yesterday, and talked and talked about what he had eaten and what he shared with Rosie and that he didn’t want to go bowling, and on and on.  I broached the uncomfortable subject of his phone call to me, and of what happened to make him so unhappy.  He listened and responded a little, then was off to his room and to his routine.  In other words, the discussion was closed.  Typical Aaron.

He talked about it some with Gary during the evening, too……….and at one point came upstairs happily carrying a pack of Big Red gum that Gary had given him.  He waved it in front of my face while I was on the phone, grinning broadly and saying, “Look what Dad gave me!”  You would think he had keys to a new car!  Happy, happy Aaron!

This morning I drove early to the air base to drop off the last of Aaron’s lab samples in preparation for his appointment tomorrow morning.  Then I stopped by his epilepsy doctor’s office to get a copy of his lab results from a month ago.  All this lab business was leaving me with a rather heavy feeling……….a sense of foreboding.  We all know how uncomfortable it is to wait on test results, praying and hoping that things are fine.  We’re concerned about Aaron’s dramatic weight loss, hoping that it can be explained by some medicine changes, but still feeling the heaviness of worry creeping in to our minds. 

Yesterday morning I tried to get Aaron to step on our scales.  He wanted nothing to do with it, however.  A couple months ago he was happy to see how much he weighed, but now he was tired of all this talk of weight loss.  Finally he asked, “Mom, is something wrong with me?”  I felt stricken, but I cheerily told him that we weren’t saying anything was wrong………..that we just needed to be sure that everything was working as it should…….as I watched him storm off and hoped I sounded believable.

I wasn’t surprised this morning, then, when Aaron told me once more that he did NOT want to go to Paradigm because of what happened yesterday.  He repeated this several times as I got his coffee poured and even gave him some of his wiggly jello.  I kept the conversation light as I hoped that soon his mood would change.  I hoped that when he went upstairs I would soon hear the shower running, but instead I heard his movie playing in his room.  When I walked in his room a little later, feeling like I was walking on eggs, I casually mentioned that it was time to get ready. 

“You mean I have to go today?” he asked.  “I don’t want to go to Paradigm today!”

I asked him if it was because of what happened yesterday, and he blurted out a quick yes!  Then I told him how much everyone at Paradigm loves him, and how his friends like him, and how much Rosie would miss him………..and he grabbed his little hand towel that he keeps with him at all times and that really needs to be washed……..and he put it to his face, quickly wiping his eyes. 

Aaron was crying.  Not sobbing, but stubborn tears were there that he quickly tried to wipe away.  My heart went out to him as I felt my own tears sting my eyes.  Aaron had had enough…….enough of standing on scales and blood work and peeing in a cup and fecal smears and bad relationship days.  So I reached out and rubbed his back…….and I told him that I understood, but that today was a new day with a new start.  It was probably my touch more than my words that caused Aaron to relax.  He quieted down, took a shower, got all ready, and even tolerated mom’s choice of a CD in the van………..Pachabel’s Canon in D………a stretch for Aaron, who would have preferred something a little more rowdy.

Aaron was smacking his lips and chewing with gusto as we drove along.   “Are you chewing some of the Big Red gum that Dad gave you?” I asked.

“How did you know?” he answered as he chomped.  I smiled…and said that I could pretty definitely hear his hearty chewing and could smell the cinnamon.  He thought that was rather strange.

I also know that we love Aaron, even in the aggravating times and the times when we want to throw our hands up and the times that we raise our voices.

I know something else.  I know that Aaron hurts and worries just like the rest of us do………except he can’t verbalize it like we can.  But his tears told me enough.  They showed me his heart.

Something else I know is that God is in charge of each day, of each test, of each uncertainty. 

Tomorrow is a new day……..every day is a new day…… know that we love and are loved, and to have a fresh new start with each other and with God.   

Is It Dusk?

For several days before the Fourth of July holiday, Aaron had asked if we could go to see some fireworks.  Gary and I decided to drive over to our little town of Goddard to watch the fireworks show there, and so I told Aaron this news on the morning of the fourth.  He was matter-of-fact about it, not showing great excitement but still indicating that he was happy about going to see the fireworks. 
We had a laid-back kind of day, not hurrying or rushing about anything.  Aaron asked a few times during the day if we could take our Great Dane, Jackson, for a walk around our neighborhood circle……..but I told him no because the temperature was in the mid-90’s, and big old black Jackson doesn’t handle the heat very well.  We had a late supper, and afterwards Aaron again asked if we could walk Jackson.  This time I said I wasn’t sure because I really wanted to clean the kitchen before we went to see the fireworks.
“What time are the fireworks?” Aaron asked as he looked at the clock.  He was hoping that we would have time for that walk.  I told him that the fireworks didn’t start at a set time, but that the paper said they would start at dusk.  And thus began the questions from Aaron……questions about dusk………that nebulous time of evening that has no set time.  If you know much at all about Aaron, you know that he loves exact, set times.  For instance, that very morning he slept late and when he finally lumbered downstairs, the first thing he said was, “Mom!  I slept til 9:23!”
So Aaron wanted dusk to have a time.  He wanted me to tell him something like, “Well, Aaron, dusk begins at 9:16.”  When Gary and I finished cleaning the kitchen, I went up to tell Aaron to get ready to leave for the fireworks.  He replied, “So can we take Jackson for a walk before we go?”  I told him no, that we didn’t have time, and he once again asked, “So what time do the fireworks start?”  I reminded him that they started at dusk and he asked again, “When does dusk start?” 
Aaron, dusk starts……….well, dusk is when it’s just starting to get dark.   And again he asked, “So what time is that?”  As I walked down the hall, I turned and over my shoulder told him that I wasn’t sure but that it was pretty soon and so get ready!  And we were only beginning.   I will put Aaron’s comments in italics for the rest of this blog.
We piled our chairs into the van, grabbed water bottles…….and Aaron brought his two jars of peanuts…..and off we went.  We had barely started driving when we heard Aaron.
Is it dusk yet?  No, Aaron, it’s not dusk yet. 
When will it be dusk?  In a little while, Aaron.  We drove on, talking about this and that while Aaron made sure that his CD was loud enough for him to hear.  Then we heard……..So when is dusk?  It won’t be long, Aaron. 
We found the perfect spot to set up our chairs, and we settled in with our water……..and Aaron with his peanuts………..and he turned to us with,  So is this dusk?  No, Aaron, it’s not dusk yet.
Then how long until it’s dusk?  Not long, Aaron.  Just enjoy the people’s fireworks that we can see around us.
So they’re doing fireworks.  Does that mean it’s dusk?
No, they’re just doing fireworks in their yards. 
A short time went by while Aaron drank some water and crunched peanuts.  But to Aaron, the time seemed to be going very slowly.  When is it dusk?
Soon, Aaron, soon.  Look at those cool fireworks that those people are setting off over there! 
Will dusk be soon? 
Look at those fireworks!  And then Aaron wanted to know if the neighbor’s fireworks were THEM…….the fireworks that we had come to see………at dusk.
Are those them?  Nope, those are just some fireworks that people are doing in their yards.
So it’s dusk?  Not yet.
Then why are they setting off fireworks if it’s not dusk? 
Because they don’t need to wait until dusk.
Dusk is soon, right? 
Trust me Aaron……….it can’t come soon enough.
Are those them?!  No, not yet. 
But isn’t it dusk?
Well……yes…’s kinda dusk, I guess.
I thought you said the fireworks started at dusk!
Aaron, they didn’t give a TIME……..a PRECISE TIME!!!! 
There was quietness for awhile……….a little talk about the small dog that was on a leash…….about the little children that toddled past…………Is it dusk?
Gary and I were exchanging glances, halfway amused and halfway frustrated…………wondering how much longer Aaron could wait for dusk.  Even though it was actually becoming quite dark, we would NOT tell him that dusk had passed.  Not in a million years!!
When is dusk?  Oh, how I wished I hadn’t even mentioned the word DUSK!!!! 
I don’t think they’re going to start at dusk.
Just enjoy the music, Aaron.  Just enjoy the people, Aaron.  Just enjoy your peanuts, Aaron.  Just enjoy your water, Aaron.  Just enjoy something OTHER THAN DUSK!!!!!!!
Finally, finally, FINALLY, the national anthem played and then the beautiful fireworks started.  Aaron enjoyed them but he wasn’t as exuberant as I hoped he would be after the long wait.  I think this waiting for dusk business had taken a toll………had superseded the fun.
When the fireworks were over, Aaron hopped out of his chair, grabbed his water bottles and peanuts, and walked quickly to the van.  He came……he waited……he saw……he left.
At least on the way home there was NO mention of dusk!
Mom, can we take Jackson on a walk tomorrow?


I almost told him that maybe we would walk tomorrow…….at dusk.  But I didn’t dare!

Simply Amazing

Yesterday was D-Day…….the day for Aaron to go to the lab for blood work and for the dreaded urine sample.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened his bedroom door and said good morning in a cheery voice.  He looked up at me…….and smiled.  What a great start!  And sure enough, Aaron was in a happy mood as he got up and showered and took his pills…..and wasn’t allowed to drink his coffee or eat any of his strawberry jello that we had made especially for him the night before.

Off we drove to the air base, listening to his CD choice…….turning the music off occasionally as he shared yet another observation from all the sights outside the windows of the van.  At one point he said, “Mom.  I heard Dad walking early this morning in the hall.”   I asked him how he knew it was Dad and not me, and he answered, “Because Dad’s footsteps are deeper!”  I knew his voice was deeper, but wasn’t aware of his deeper footsteps.  Interesting Aaron!

We walked into the small lab area at the air base clinic.  We passed by the first bathroom in the waiting room.  The bathroom door was open, and Aaron………who doesn’t like bathrooms and who REALLY doesn’t like public bathrooms…….lagged behind me.  I turned and saw him craning his neck to see inside the dark bathroom.  I knew he was scoping it out and that he was dreading what was to come as he had to pee in that cup……..there in that already uninviting restroom. 

As I checked him in at the counter, I turned again to see what Aaron was doing…….and there was no Aaron.  Just then I saw him lean his head slowly around the corner.  He had snuck up the hall while I wasn’t looking.  When he saw me, he smiled broadly and came around the corner.  “I was hiding from you, Mom!”  I was thankful that he was just playing a game and that he hadn’t actually run away from that awful bathroom.  And thankful that he was still in a good mood!

He sat down and slowly answered the technician’s question about his name and birth date.  I try to let Aaron answer those questions himself, but he always falters on the date of birth.  He’s wondering if he should say 11-8-84 like Mom does, or November 8, 1984 like he’s used to saying.  I just waited patiently and so did the tech, and soon Aaron got the date straight and all was well.

The first arm that the tech looked at wasn’t going to work, so he removed the tourniquet and stuck Aaron’s right arm.   Aaron takes all this in stride, so I walked out and stood outside the door.  I looked in once, and suddenly a huge lump appeared in my throat as I looked at Aaron sitting in that chair……….getting stuck yet again……..being all brave, but dreading what to us would the easiest part of this morning…….the pee cup.  It was both sad and then funny at the same time, and I had to will myself to think of the humor and to not see my boy sitting there with a needle in his arm……..wondering if he’s all right and praying that his weight loss can be explained by something other than another scary diagnosis.

Soon the blood draw was complete and there stood Aaron, holding his sample cup and looking positively uncomfortable.  He held back as I walked in the bathroom and turned on the light, but then he stepped inside and listened impatiently to my instructions.  Aaron shows anger when he is scared or embarrassed, so he stood there saying, “I know!  I know!” as I went over the process……….knowing that he didn’t know but knowing that he was just ready to get this over with…..NOW! 

Then he asked, “Mom, you’re not staying in here, are you?!”  I assured him that I was not, and then I exited the bathroom and sat in the waiting area, hoping that things behind that closed door were going well.  It wasn’t long before the door opened and Aaron walked quickly out, happy to be rid of that bathroom and this whole ordeal……….and carrying his full sample cup.  So back in the bathroom we walked as I opened the little door and he set the cup inside……..and we were done, at last!! 

I fully shared Aaron’s relief, trust me!  I praised him for doing so well as we drove through the Burger Kind drive-through.  He happily chattered on the way home, where he placed his bacon burger on a plate………because he always must have a plate or a bowl on which to place his wrapped food.  And you can see in the picture that he also has a spoon, fork, and knife……which he didn’t use but which MUST be there, no matter what he eats………and his napkin holder, which he does use…….way too much…….many, many napkins with each meal.

And then the best part……….the strawberry jello!!  He watched me spoon it into a bowl, laughing at how wiggly it was.  And he enjoyed every single bite!  I was glad that we had made the jello the night before so that he could be rewarded for his peeing in the cup ordeal this morning.  Such a simple reward, but it meant tons to Aaron. 

And that’s how Aaron is………’s usually the simple things that either frustrate him or make him very happy.  The simple things that trip him up or keep him motoring right along.

That’s why I can say, for sure, that Aaron is SIMPLY amazing!

I Will NOT!!!

Aaron was up very early this morning, before 7:00.  I listened from the kitchen, wondering what was up.  He didn’t come downstairs, though, and soon I heard him turn on a DVD.  I decided not to bother him and just see how the morning would play out. 

I was heading outside to do a little more raking of small limbs and twigs that were left over after a huge storm last week.  Aaron came downstairs before I went outside, and proceeded to tell me that he was tired and that his stomach hurt, and that he didn’t want to go to Paradigm…….and furthermore, he had NO intention of going to Paradigm.  I just let him talk and I told him I was sorry he wasn’t feeling well………and then told him I was going out to do some raking.  I know not to push him too much when he’s in these moods.

I hadn’t been outside very long when I looked up to see Aaron walking toward me, his long pajamas swiping the grass, and his sweater and long shirt making him look not only hot on this summer day, but looking like an old man as well.  He watched me rake and he told me that he still wasn’t feeling well, and I told him that I was still sorry about that.  He turned and walked away, returning soon carrying his mulch trash can.  He sat near the trees and bushes, where the twigs and the bark are plentiful, and then he was quiet as he broke the wooden pieces into even smaller pieces.  I knew he was relaxing, in his Aaron way, and so I didn’t make him come in even after I was finished and as I headed for the house. 

After my shower, I looked out of an upstairs bedroom window and there he was……..still immersed in his thoughts and his stories as he snapped the little twigs into tiny pieces.  I poured his coffee, and then leaned out the back door to tell him that I would fix him some sausage if he wanted it.  I didn’t know what reaction I would receive……..but Aaron was compliant and happy to hear the words coffee and sausage.  He took a few more minutes for his thoughts and his stories to finish in his head, and then he stood up and carrying his trash can, he slowly came back to the house. 

Now Aaron was happy as he ate his breakfast and drank his coffee, then showered with no fuss and was ready to go when it was time.  Jackson hopped into the van with us, which made Aaron extra happy, and as we drove off he put in a new favorite CD and then began his talking……….but not before I told him that I was very proud of him for pulling it together and doing so well.  He was puzzled about what that term “pulling it together” meant, and so I explained it as we drove to meet his group.

Later today, as I pulled into the Sam’s parking lot, my phone rang and I saw that it was Aaron calling from Barb’s phone at Paradigm.  I answered, and right away told Aaron that I was getting ready to go into Sam’s and couldn’t talk long…….because Aaron will talk very long if I let him.  When he heard that I was at Sam’s, he excitedly said, “Mom!!  We went to Sam’s today!”

I expressed my surprise, and he continued, “Guess what I got there?”

I didn’t even try to guess because he rushed right on.  “I got a four berry milkshake!!  It had FOUR different things that have berry in it!!!”

He was very, very excited about the four berry milkshake…..and then he had me help him figure out what things have “berry” in them.  He was happy to hear of all the different “berry” possibilities and I was happy to hear how happy Aaron was today.  Later, at home, he remembered something else that has “berry” in it.  Strawberry Jello!  In fact, last Thursday Gary and I were getting ready to leave on a short vacation trip to Texas.  Aaron walked into our bedroom holding my container of pudding and jello mixes from the kitchen, setting them on our dresser and discussing with me the difference between jello and pudding……..and figuring out that one is wiggly and the other is flat! 

So on this evening, Aaron pulled out the pudding and jello container again, holding up the strawberry jello and asking if we could make it tonight.  I was tired…… was getting late……..and I didn’t really want to make jello, so I begged off and said we would make jello tomorrow. 

As Aaron stood in the kitchen with me, talking about jello,  I decided to tell him that in the morning he and I would be going to the air base early.  I told him that he was going to have some blood drawn for a test.  Aaron is so used to having his blood drawn that he hardly even reacted………but then I broached the other subject…….the other test.

“Aaron,” I said, “you also need to have a urine test.  That means you’ll need to pee in a cup, like you’ve done before.”  And Aaron stopped dead still in the middle of the kitchen, stared at me eyeball to eyeball, arched his eyebrows and straightened his back, and firmly said, “I will NOT!!” 

Oh boy.  So I assured him that he has done it before, and that he’ll be in a bathroom, and no one will be watching………and anything else I could think of to help him want to pee in a cup.  Then he said, “Well, you’ve never had to do that!”  And I assured him that indeed I have, many times……….and I thought about telling him how much easier this peeing in a cup is for him than for me, but I thought better of it. 

I decided that this would be a good time to make that jello, and Aaron readily agreed as he put the peeing in a cup conversation on the back burner and I put a pan of water on the front burner for our jello.  He wanted to help make the jello as I told him that the water had to boil first.

“Will you tell me when the boiling water part is over?” he asked.  I agreed, and later he stirred the jello and we poured it into the pan.  I told him that maybe we could have some tomorrow morning after we…..gulp…….get back from the lab – and peeing in a cup, but I didn’t remind him of that again.  Tomorrow morning just might be interesting.  Very interesting. 

I haven’t told him about the fecal test yet.  That’s going to be beyond interesting.  I think I need to go sit in the mulch awhile.