Friday, December 23, 2016
"But X-Man, you already have a baby sister."
"YEAH. ME!" Cinco is not amused.
"No, She's not cute. I want a baby sister. Babies are so cute."
"NO!" Cinco feels strongly on the issue. "I AM CUTE! DADDY SAYS!"
"Cinco is not a baby she's a girl. Maybe that bird can bring me a baby sister." Yeah keeping trying kid.
"X-Man, Cinco isn't a baby anymore, you're right. But she will always be your little sister, your baby sister. You don't need another one."
"I want a baby sister!"
"NO! THERE ARE LOTS OF KIDS IN THIS FAMILY AND I AM THE LAST!" Cinco is now kicking her legs rather hysterically. Baby and Baba are both doubled over in their seats in the car. Somehow Cinco's reaction is both ridiculous and totally predictable.
"No. I want a cute baby sister, who is so tiny and cute. And I can hold her." Ah, we're on to something. X-Man's visiting baby cousin is now officially toddling about, and completely uninterested in being held by X-Man.
Meanwhile, Cinco is bordering on hysterical rage. "NO! I AM THE BABY! Daddy wants it that way!" That's probably news to the father figure who was mentioned he would mind another baby or two. Maybe he and X-Man can work something out with Santa. I'm ok not being involved in this go around.
"YES! SANTA'S BRINGING ME A BABY SISTER!"
"NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!" Cinco is tantruming as completely as her booster seat will allow.
"YES!" At this point it's clear, X-Man is as interested in poking the beast as he is in actually getting the super cute baby sister.
There's a fine line to walk here. One that makes clear to X-Man that Santa is not going to be bringing him a baby sister, with or without the assistance of some weird Rudolph/stork hybrid. And also one that makes it clear to Cinco it's high time she gets a grip.
"Well guys, babies are very special....."
"Yeah like me!"
"Cinco, please don't interrupt Mommy when I'm talking. Babies are special, and they come to families when God wants them to. And that's why your baby sister Cinco is so special, and that's why you are so special. You came to us when it was the right time for you guys. When you were the right thing for our family. Ok?"
"I want Santa to bring me a ukulele for Christmas."
I'm not sure that's an improvement.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
From what I can tell, no one is overly impressed with 2016 and everyone is planning on upgrading to a new model year very soon. I certainly fall within this category. It's been a crazy time, there have been moments here and there that I think "oh I should blog this before I forget." But I've become so efficient in my old age, that I forget things without even blogging them.
Not that there haven't been highlights. Like within X-Man's first month of school, first month of any of our children's experience in a school, we'd been to the principal's office twice. Cinco has decided that we aren't all hopping to quite as promptly as she belives we should. I believe her exact words "Everyone needs to do what I want always." Threeanger indeed.
Around Halloween, it was the traditional Kindergarten field trip to a local pumpkin patch. For X-Man's sake, I accompanied him, he's an intense guy and without someone with five years of experience with him, it can be overwhelming for all the parties. We clambered on the bus and took our seats. I attempted a couple of selfies with my boy, remembered that selfies are dumb and settled back. X-Man looked across the aisle and noticed a row full of girls and yelled "hi duys!!!" (he is still working on making his hard g sounds). He caught himself and tried again "Hello ladies!" He threw in three blown kisses for good measure.
It did not escape my notice that he deliberately choose words that he could say clearly, or that he was puting the moves several young ladies at once. I admit that my first thought was "dear lord he will be written up for sexual harrassment three weeks into his time at this school." Truly that seemed par for the course. Two of the girls ignored him and one kept giggling and say "hi" back. I kept a lid on the sauve moves much to her disappointment.
That's my X-Man. Sweet, stubborn, charming and clever. He also has been dealing with several challenges, each of which makes life in today's busy world that much more overwhelming. Recognizing these challenges and determining the best path for him has been a time consuming process. It has also drained me emotionally. Completely. I can't fathom what he goes through daily, physically, mentally and emotionally.
He has been met with scorn and judgment, by those in positions of authority who should have been caring for him. They were quickly to label, but didn't realize what looks like tantrums in toddlers and non verbal children is often actually panic attacks. He is bright boy. Smart enough to know that he is not understood, that he's not fitting into the world as his peers are and people sometimes don't like him.
We started out the academic year in a private preschool. I had discussed with them his challenges and they claimed to be welcoming. Interestingly enough, I never felt comfortable leaving him there. For each of the five days that I did. Day six there was a misunderstanding with his "teacher." X-Man wanted to do something, she wanted him to do something else. I had explained that X-Man can get upset and almost hysterical when he thinks he's not being understood. It takes a couple minutes, but simply getting at his eye level and calmly explain to him that while you understand that he wants to do this, we will be doing that instead. What's essential is simply clarifying to him that you know what he is trying to say and that you are not denying it or ignoring it because you don't understand him, but rather because it's not an option at this time.
X-Man spent four years barely being understood verbally. He had at least two full years of knowing what he wanted to communicate and not being understood. It truly is a trigger for him if he thinks he's not being communicated with. And he panics, which with a non verbal child, often looks like a temper tantrum.
His "teacher" said she was fine with his needs. But it was clear to me that she disliked him from day one. And he told me his teacher didn't like him. Now X-Man is a hand full and a challenge. But he is a sweet loving kid who just wants to do well. He just struggles with processing what well is, and filtering it out of all the other sensory stimuli that overwhelms his brain. I am fine with structure and discipline when it comes to X-Man, he craves it. But I expect compassion as well. He's walking a much steeper mountain than most of us will ever experience. And I expect the adults I pay to assist him in learning to actually attempt to assist him, and not tell me "I think he has problems." Because honey, we all do.
So that's how X-Man ended up in a specialized kindergarten classroom at our local public
school. It was bumpy as he tested the limits and figured out how serious they all were. But, as I told the father figure, these were people legally required to help him. But they are also very invested in helping him. And help him they have. He bounces out of his classroom every day bellowing "I did a gleat job at school today!" (he can't say his g or r yet)
Getting X-Man all the help he deserves, fighting our insurance to cover it, doing all the exercises at home he's suppose to, takes up most of my time. But when you see a little guy so motivated to improve and trying so hard, it's worth every minute. But those are minutes I don't have for blogging anymore. Hence the radio silence.
And that's fine with me. Because while this takes up so much of my time, it's really not my story. And I feel that it is certainly not my story to tell. X-Man deserves his privacy. I like to encourage others to learn from my mistakes, to seek out the help that is available and to advocate fiercely for their kids. But the details, those are X-Man's. He deserves to be seen for who he is. His challenges are not who he is. The warrior boy who chooses to smile, chooses to joke, chooses to try, deserves to tell his own story. In his own time. In his own words.
Meanwhile, X-Man yelling at me for not driving him to Santa's house....that's a story I'll share. Soon.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
It's been an experience. I was worried about the seven hour school day. It seemed.....excessive. And in X-Man's mind it most certainly was. His teacher is sympathetic. Especially when he melt down onto the floor wailing "I'm so sleepy." So, we're doing the whole half day thing.
Half days are excellent because they give X-Man the opportunity to eat his heart out. Really. His teacher has started to swipe an extra breakfast for him because he is more than happy to join the class and eat breakfast. Again. Because I've made sure to feed him before school. But he goes ahead and eats second breakfast. But only after selecting his hot lunch option. It's not that I'm too lazy to pack a cold lunch for him. It's just that his cold lunch has become his elevensies. And post recess snack. In the four hours that X-Man is not at school, he's probably packing on a pound an hour. Although his teacher says that he is burning it off at a rapid rate. Which sounds quite plausible.
Part of the reason for the school's flexibility is the fact that I drop X-Man off and pick him up every day. A necessary part of this equation would be car keys. And this morning I most certainly could not find them. I had them last night. And they were no where to be found. I searched everywhere. I ripped apart the couch, searched the fridge, where I had put the groceries after coming home last night. I called the father figure, convinced he had taken them inadvertently. Because, he's done that before. Under X-Man's bed...nope. In the pockets of coats I haven't worn in the months....nope. In the dryer.....nope. I sent Baby, Baba and Mac out to search the car. Individually. Baby returned saying that X-Man said that the keys were in the rocket that was on the moon. Which was certainly helpful.
I was holding the phone, getting ready to call the school. It was hard to come up with a delicate way of saying "I lost my car keys....they were right HERE!!!!" But I was working on something as X-Man and Cinco stumbled into the house and announced "here they are!!!" The keys. They were in X-Man's pocket because he wanted to fly to the moon. He had actually explained all of this to Baby when in the car....and she listened as well as well.....my kids do.
We were twenty minutes late.
So even though I haven't been writing. Rest easy......nothing's actually changed.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
X-Man and Cinco have spent the summer in a soccer camp. It was glorious. Mostly because, for the first time ever, X-Man was not only age appropriate behavior-wise, but he was the best. He was the most physically capable, the fastest and the most confident. All of which was to be expected since he was the oldest in the class. However, Cinco was nipping on his heals. She has definitely made the most of her years, quite literally, of hanging out on the soccer sidelines. She's looking like she should have a bright future on the field. She also paid tribute to her Italian heritage by flopping quite a bit.
I didn't think anything of it at first. Cinco fell down, but she's my kid. She's Baby's sister. Falling comes quite naturally. Baby scored a winning goal in a tournament years ago, after running out of her shoe. The ref looked perplexed and as if he thought he should probably blow his whistle, but Baby was on a mission. She scored, much to the chagrin of the opposing team's parents who were certain there was a trick play at work. Rather, it was just poor parenting as Baby explained "My MOM tied my shoes." She hopped back to the ref and held her foot up Cinderella style and then asked him to tie her other one as well. Just in case.
Eventually, I got annoyed with the whole thing and yelled "You're embarrassing yourself! Get up! X-Man's beating you!" This certainly had the desired effect for Cinco, she popped right up and chased down her brother. Then she stole his ball but at least she did it on both feet. Of course my outburst drew some attention from the other parents. They did not approve of my style. Or my dismissiveness towards any potential injury. But I didn't care. I'm a red blooded American who doesn't fall down and most certainly doesn't raise girls to need boys to pick them up thank you very much.
I was pleased that Mac, Baba and Baby all insisted on coming to watch the soccer camps. It was sweet that after years of being watched, they were all excited to watch X-Man and Cinco. And they did indeed put on a show.
During the course of typing this, I've had to institute the new, and extra cruel rule, of no tea parties on the stairs. Which apparently is the only plausible location for any festivities in the house. I also
nixed the whole cereal and milk at the tea party idea as well. Although honestly, it had moved passed the idea stage and was actually being smuggled to the stairs when I intercepted them. See what I mean about keeping the antics on the down low?
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
all photos by Catch Me if You Can photography.
As I sat in the sun, in the middle of a forested area, I thought about the other mom. I watched the light dance off of some leaves, and thought of that other garden, so long ago. The first time the Voice of Truth was drowned out, ignored. Pain and suffering followed. If we are pursuing our vocations, our paths in the Lord's light, it isn't unreasonable to think that we will be attacked along the way. Will the serpent exploit our bodies; use our physical weaknesses to beat us down? Of course he would, any opportunity to twist our view of ourselves. He sees us as weak and worthless. And yet the Voice of Truth says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. All of us. We should be a mirror of the light and an echo of the Voice of Truth, sharing with each other the truth, fighting through the darkness.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Cinco is on a tear. She's running her own birthday countdown. She's indignant that it somehow managed to not be her birthday still. She's put quite a bit of effort into making it her birthday. She's tried sweet talking the father figure in the wee hours of the morning "wake up daddy, it's my birfday.....make me doughnuts." Stunningly, this did not work.
She's also tried barging into the office while I'm working, also in the wee hours of the morning, flinging open the door and announcing "today is my birfday I am having a party." I don't know how she's going to handle the fact that Baba actually has a birthday before Cinco does.
I also have a feeling no matter what happens, Cinco's birthday will not live up whatever fantasies she has concocted. But considering the threeager behavior she's been exhibiting, I'm ok with a knock down to earth.
In recent weeks, Cinco has decreed everyone's favorite color. Those who know me know that me and red go hand in hand. However, Cinco has determined that my favorite color in yellow. Daddy's is red and Cinco's is purple. And everyone else has color appointed by Cinco. But I don't care enough to remember. That, and Cinco is nothing if not capricious.
Cinco's also taken to critiquing my wardrobe. "No mommy don't wear that." Now, I'm no fashionista, but I would think if my jeans and sweatshirt look doesn't warrent a second look from my tweens.....why would my two year old care?
She also has thoughts on my hair. Now, I have thoughts on my hair too, les accepting than Cinco's even, but I also have the thought that maybe just maybe children should be seen and not heard. And really really maybe children should not say to their mother "mommy, I don't like your hair, it's scary."
She's enjoying full run of the house. Mostly because the father figure has yet to have his fashion or hair critiqued by the toddler tyrant. So he still caters to her every whim "daddy play my song and watch me dance. " So he hops to. He did draw the line when she demanded that he take a shower with her. But the line was a princess bubble filled bath with daddy singing to her.
I've heard of Italian mothers coddling their sons. But Italian fathers raising bubbly princess tyrants.....this is new. And alarming.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Monday, February 1, 2016
|tasteful, in numerous ways|
|at a luncheon no less|
|at least he knew to hide in shame|
|the start of my day|
It doesn’t mean the father figure always picks up his dirty socks. Unless by always it is meant never. It doesn’t mean my children obey me immediately. Or ever. They fight. They ignore the rules. They don’t pick after themselves. They turn their noses up at my cooking. And the father figure is irritating. Especially when he doesn’t do what I want.
|the day got worse|