2 moms. 3 kids. 1 amazing adventure.

Archive for September, 2011

The Edge

Things have been rough around here lately.  Really, really rough.

Olivia’s sensory processing has been completely out of whack.  It’s contributed to rages and violent behaviors.  Both Sunday night and last evening, she had to be physically restrained to be kept safe.   We’ve had to do this before and I’m sure we will again, but I just HATE it.  I HATE feeling so completely helpless that all I (we) can do is restrain her until she is calm enough to be safe.  It stabs at all my vulnerabilities and makes me feel like the most god-awful parent on the planet.  It makes me afraid:  What if there’s more to this than just the sensory stuff?  Is this something genetic?  Environmental?  How can such a small child hold such anger?  From where does it stem?  What did we do/not do to get here?  How can we find the answers we need?  How can we help?  What if we can’t?

And Owen.  He is a typical five-year-old.  Full of big emotions.  Not a lot of skill in giving them words.  Plus, we’ve also been seeing some of Olivia’s behaviors in him.  Is it our parenting since it’s both kids behaving this way?  Is he mimicking Olivia because he sees that it gets attention (we give it as little verbal attention as we can in the throes of a rage, but it still requires physical attention)?

And Dawn and I.   Things are not the greatest between us at the moment.  Well, actually, it’s been slowly improving but it’s still got a long way to go.  The absolute insanity and stress that sums up the last school year took a toll that we are still trying to stop reeling from.   We’ve both gotten into patterns that aren’t healthy for our relationship or ourselves.  Communication signals just seem to miss.  Pulling inside ourselves instead of reaching out to each other.  The kid’s behaviors don’t help…and our own  don’t either.  It’s a bit of the chicken and the egg question.  And it’s a vicious cycle that keeps feeding off of itself…

I feel like I’m standing on a cliff ledge…the trail back up looks steep.  The trail down looks worse.  And I’m just here clinging to the edge and hoping it doesn’t crumble before I can get my footing.

Mispronunciations

About midway through the last school year, Owen began receiving speech services.  It was something we and his teacher had kept an eye (well, ear, really :)) on for a while.  Since it didn’t seem like he was shedding some of his speech enunciation issues, we requested an evaluation.  His vocabulary/language use skills tested out YEARS ahead.  His speech enunciation skills were slightly behind in several areas.  Once he began seeing the speech pathologist weekly, we noticed changes quickly.  I know he slipped back a little over the summer, even though we did practice and play some of the games he’d used with his speech teacher during the school year.  But now that school is back in session, it’s unbelievable how much his speech has instantly improved.  His l’s are back to solid, even in blends.  He isn’t clipping endings nearly as much.  It’s like being at school reminds his brain of what his speech is supposed to sound like.  And, even though I feel a little guilty for thinking it, I’ll admit that I miss hearing his unique little speech sounds.  I’m, of course proud and pleased with his progress, but it’s another reminder of my little guy growing up…

Amelia’s speech has taken another huge jump in the last month or so.  She is constantly speaking in long (4-5 word) sentences and is into naming people’s possessions.  On our neighborhood excursions or while playing in the back yard, she is constantly saying things like “That’s Lizzie and Ellea’s house.” or “I see Tony’s garden!”.  She has a little trouble saying the name of one of our neighbor’s, though, and I find it most amusing (and slightly embarrassing).  Our neighbor’s name is Danny.  Amelia pronounces it Daddy.  So it’s constantly, “Hi Daddy!” and “That’s Daddy’s house!”  It’s a good thing the neighbor’s know us well!

While relaying this story about Amelia to my mom while we were visiting over the weekend, she reminded me of my own embarrassing (to her, anyway) speech mispronunciation:  As a child of about Amelia’s age, my mom–young and newly divorced–took me to a new church.  During the relative quiet of the sermon, she discovered that the church sat right across the street from one of my favorite community buildings–the fire house.  It seems I had the misfortune of not yet being able to enunciate my /tr/ blend.  So I began to holler, “Fire fucks, Mommy!  I hear fire fucks!”  Over and over again.  Loudly.  Very Loudly.  Did I mention it was during the quiet of the sermon?  I know this story well from retellings, but it was so hilarious to hear my mom tell it again.  After all these years, it still makes us laugh hysterically!

Wordless Wednesday {Back Away From My Cream Puff, Buster}

And They’re Off

Today was the first day of school around here! My pictures aren’t the best.  It’s hard to get good photos when you’re trying to keep Amelia from leaving the porch and Olivia and Owen just want to “hurry up so we can get in the car and go already!”

 Olivia decided last night that she wanted her hair curly for the first day of 3rd grade (seriously, how can she be the same age as kids I’ve taught for the last decade????)  It’s really hard to get locs curly because they are so heavy, but I’d recently ordered some curlers that held promise.  I think it turned out alright.  There are some areas in the back that didn’t curl as well as I would’ve liked, but I think it’s mostly because they didn’t get dry overnight.  She loves it–and that’s what matters!

Also, this little tie cracks me up.  She is in no way required to wear it to school.  Their school has a dress code, but not official uniforms.  They have to wear tan, black, or navy bottoms and white or blue shirts.  We were out the other day to grab some polos for school and she came across this little gem.  She begged and begged to have it.  She even offered to do extra chores to “pay” for it!  Sold to the young lady who wants to mop my kitchen floor!!!  It’s even funnier to me because, if you could see the bottom half of this outfit, you’d notice that it’s completely incongruous to the top.  She has on very casual khaki shorts and lime green Keen sandals!  Again, she loves it–and that’s what matters!

  And how can it be that this little guy is starting his third year of school already?  They attend a Montessori school, so he’s been there–the same classroom/same teacher–for two years already.  But K5?  It seems so big.  It’s his last year of Children’s House.  After their Open House last night, he talked non-stop about how he would be in charge of helping the “little kids” with their work this year.  I think the funniest thing he said was, “I’m practically Ms. Kim’s assistant now.”

And this morning when I dropped them off–oh, it’s so nice to not be having my own first day–the best I could get from him was a half-hug and something to the effect of, “Gotta go, Mom.  There’s work in there that’s been waiting all summer for me!”  Too cute.

  And this picture?  Look at that grin on Amelia’s face.  I’d like to tell you it’s because she’s thinking, “Ha.  You suckers head off to school.  Now I’ve got Mommy all to myself!”

Really, though?  This is just the goofy grin that I constantly get when I pull out the camera lately.   I must have 200 of them from vacation alone!  😛

Actually, when Olivia gave her a kiss goodbye and ran off at school this morning, Amelia shouted after her, “O-La-La!  Where you goin’?”  I told her Olivia had school today.  Her reply, “I go.  O-La-La!  Wait!”  The poor thing cried half way home.

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