I have two kids, one with CP, and one without. After the first few years of seemingly endless PT and OT, therapy generally now comes through living for Hannah. That means my affected child copies her sister and therefore I shamelessly use my older child to help the younger one, just by hoping two handed activities look good. Lately I have hosted a lot of play dates for both kids, and I have realized that not only do I use my kids to help each other but I am using other families' kids to encourage mine, and it works. It seems like other kids who come over think my house is the "no rules" house. I have an indoor scooter, and kids can ride it through the house, and I kept the Flintstones style car past the normal age based time frame, and people climb on top and push each other around in creative ways. What I have been enjoying is how physical kids can get in group play and how that inspires Hannah in particular, but also keeps Claire from sitting and watching TV. Hannah got the scooter when she was three or so, as an idea from a PT, with the hope that she would use it and increase balance and strength in her affected leg. We got the three wheeled style with a wider platform. Honestly she still doesn't push off with her affected leg but she will get on it and scoot through the house at least once each time some other child takes it for a spin and leaves it lying about. A tall child who is visiting today was able to get the cereal boxes off the fridge, which us something my kids would just call to me to do for them, so even self sufficiency skills get boosted by playing with other kids. Seeing kids whose parents must be telling the kids to get it themselves (unlike me, as I seem to find it terrifying to let my kids life and pour a gallon of milk and spill it) Hannah now gets inspired to carry a stool around so she can get things. All in all, my house is a complete disaster now that people get their own things of interest but I figure it is only to Hannah's benefit to keep stretching for things above her literal and figurative reach. I am trying to work on not doing for my kids when they could do for themselves, but right now, just working on that is all I can do. It really is helpful though, when a mom of a fellow almost eight year old who is coming to sleepover texts me to say her child gets clumsy when she hits her exhaustion limit, and to know that is not really a factor of CP or small stature but one of run of the mill childhood experience. So today, I am grateful for the village people who sometimes send their kids to me. But also I am tired of picking up M&Ms.
Where have I been, and where is my brain? Firstly, celebrating the great good news that the 5 second rule for eating food off the floor is indeed valid. H is clumsy, given her lack of right sided motor skills, but then again, C and I drop our fair share of food on the floor. When both kids were still at Kids Kampus, I agreed with the 5 second rule wholeheartedly since my blessed daycare seemed to mop the floors once an hour or so. Since I was often there I was in the know about their cleaning efforts, as I came at random times to either meet an Early Intervention caseworker or to pickup and return my child. My house, though, has rarely been cleaned as frequently. OK, never. Whatever. And now, thanks to PTSD (thank you MCADD and Lord Honey, not) my house is never clean enough that I would think eating off my floors a great idea. So news reports this week of a study testing the five second rule and finding it valid were welcome here. Check NPR or Google it, the news is in, picking up food quickly really does make it safer. Hooray for us! H has absolutely no fear of eating food she drops, and since we became dog free a couple years ago when Sophie went to Dog Heaven, I stopped being quite so worried about what the floor might harbor that could sicken or kill a person who might eat the odd unwrapped chocolate or piece of cheese that dropped. Let's skip right over the deer poo in my yard, literally and figuratively, OK? Like in the Lego movie, Everything is Awesome! We can retrieve each Samoa and jelly bean and stuff it in, provided we are quick about it. Is it wrong to feel so happy about being slovenly and clumsy? I say no. In my never ending quest for affirming optimism, I say ... Yay!
Secondly, I have been internet sleuthing literacy and Common Core and related stuff, not because my kids are failing, but because the homework they get just makes me ... wonder.
Thirdly, the time just gets away from me. When I ask aloud where the time goes, C generally says that an old man takes it and almost never gives it back. I think this goes back to me telling her something random about Father Time, and maybe her seeing weirdly drawn cartoons of the new year as a baby and such. Lawyers sometimes file a Motion to Enlarge Time, which I have always wanted to file but I could never figure out on whom I might serve the motion. Maybe later this week . . .
In less gloomy Gas Food Lodging news, both girls did a painting for the school talent show. Each girl wanted to paint something near and dear to her heart, so Hannah painted a picture of her favorite stuffed pony, Sharley.
Claire painted her cousin engaged in her "all Katniss, all the time" favorite activity.
At the talent show I felt blessedly grateful that neither of my children plays the clarinet or drums, and had a very strange conversation with a very conservative friend about her daughter's hula hoop skills and the lack of a future in hula hooping although pole dancing might be lucrative in the health and fitness realm.
Hannah is suddenly very attached to her Daddy shirt which still smells faintly of her father and which she can roll up, cuddle, and seemingly animate with emotions and interest. "No, Daddy shirt wants to go, too!" I put the brakes on Daddy shirt going into the store, and thought it best he not attend church, though he will be allowed to stay in the car.
At church today, as we took communion, Hannah chewed the host after dipping it in the chalice, and her response to the phrase "the blood of Christ, the cup of salvation" . . . was "oh, juicy."
We went tubing with a friend, and Claire did not love it as much as Hannah did. Hannah loved it a lot. Fortunately for me we got a picture of the joy that did not include my mountainous er, um, mountains, which remain larger than Hannah's head and dominate most pictures.
The bloom is off the rose of love. Or so it seems when your Valentine killed himself one year ago. How did I mark the anniversary of being notified of my husband's suicide? I had a couple kids over for a sleepover and let the four younguns trash the house. How did I mark the anniversary of the Valentine's Day I had last year, when I was tearing about buying pills and clothes for my kids to wear to their father's funeral? I had a cookie decorating and craft party for my daughters and friends, and let the five younguns trash the house. Despite my fifty dollars worth of icing, cookies, new scissors and rolls of tape, they ended the affair not with things of pink but with making Fairy Soup by grinding grass and bits of plants with rocks into a wooden bowl of water on the front porch. And I let the bowl stay there, to attract the odd Fairy who might happen by. I hope she might put the bloom back on the rose. Maybe even plant the rose. And when we got good and exhausted, the next day, to mark the anniversary of the funeral, we stayed in our pajamas and hung out, and hung on, and we rested. Enough grieving. I've been a widow for one year, and the book sucks, so now I need to add some new chapters,
Hannah must have just stretched or something and her wrist is kinking up a bit. We braced for so very long, and when, over the last year, and after the last brace had such fatigued fabric that it couldn't hold the stay in the palm of her hand anymore, we stopped bracing. Her OT said when her wrist didn't flex and drop her hand, as was not happening much last summer, she would do just as well without it so it wouldn't impair her volitional movements. Happily, we stopped bracing. Suddenly Hannah recently noticed she couldn't hold a paper down with her affected hand while writing with lefty and she wanted to spend more time at OT. We went in this week to get new ideas and I had thoughts of a new brace, and came home with two, one to help hold her hand down during school work and the other to provide a better grip on swings and playground equipment and the like. Now of course she doesn't want to wear either one, so we are back to that nasty place of trying to create a commitment to therapy after taking a break. This is not my favorite place, as it brings up all my issues of wanting to encourage her to build skills and strength and confidence and lay down neural pathways for the future, all conflicting with my desire not to ever communicate to her that she is anything other than wonderful, perfect, not broken, and not in need of fixing. This is something I will never feel I really have down.
However, in other Hannah news, communication skills are really on an upswing. Han has fully embraced and adopted the family practice of making old songs new again, changing the lyrics to songs of interest and renown to fit the topic in one's mind. Now "I just wanna see you ... I just wanna see you-oo, see you be brave" becomes "I just wanna see you, I just wanna see you-oo, see you be ... FART!"
You have a mouth like a sailor. Why do you curse like that? I see you coming but I will not fall prey to your wiles. You will not convince me of any more drama. I see you, sneaking about, peering around the corners of my mind. Piss off and take your demon brother Anxiety with you. I will let you in if I must but we are not going to bed. We will be business acquaintances at best. I will not even friend you. You may be reliable, familiar, even seductive, but this is a dance I prefer to sit out. Ropes course? No. Not more than a promise of hypothetical coffee. I would rather keep it down to a polite nod to acknowledge we know one another but no longer really connect. Take care. Call me. (I will consider it a butt dial).
So, what is getting me through, these days? Pop music! Everybody talk about, as in . . . and so I continue to miss Adam Ant, derailed by mental illness, but at least we now have Bruno Mars. M, anybody? I am all about inspiration these days, as I still battle the depression, the anxiety, the PTSD, recovery from addiction, death of my spouse, blah-de-blah endless blah and yuck and yet I am hanging on by embracing the beautiful, the divine, the brave, the innocence, the happy.
Right now my happy music is Brave and Happy. Thank you pop music, just for being you. And courtesy of Hope over at Grace in Small Things, I am adding on Mariachi music today and I will let you know how that goes (probably with horns).
If the people who live in my house will stop being ill or getting head lice or both (thank you grade school in all your hat sharing, scarf swapping, up close and personal glory) then I will return to blogging my way through the blues. Right now I am charged with keeping up our spirits without spreading illness or despair. Those of you who know young children will correctly guess that this involves a lot of craft supplies and clean up, so you know I am otherwise occupied.
Whoever you are who Googles MCADD and lands here, please contact me if you need to talk about it. We still have it and still find it to be the least of our worries, actually.
Mother of two, step-mom to two more. Married. Work in the theatre of the absurd, behind the curtain, and pulling the strings. First daughter was a preemie, new Baby has MCADD, or Medium Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (Mighty Crappy Aggravating Disorder) and mild Cerebral Palsy, because the fun never stops around here. Foggy mind. If I wore a button it would say: Lose mind now, Ask me how! Things you might find here: bits and pieces of fluff about babies with wacky disorders, mommying, knitting very slowly, and stuff I don't say at work. If you want to send me free stuff just email me at gingerbblog at gmail.