Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Melissa and Doug: You only pose as granola crunching toymakers. You are actually evil. What gives?

Dear Melissa and Doug:

I have always thought of you as sweet, kind toymakers. Almost as sweet as Benny Hill's character in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ready to fight evil, and most importantly, ready to save the children. Recently I was given some of your higher end puzzles, by another mother of a special needs child. I planned to use them and use them well, and when we'd gotten all I could get out of them I would pass them on to our Early Intervention Occupational Therapist who could give them to those less fortunate. Now, though, since I have uncovered your dastardly plans, I may have to consign these puzzles to the heap of toys requiring a ritual burning. Here is the puzzle in question. It looks nice, doesn't it?

Not only can a child put the pieces together, stimulating cognitive learning and giving parents an ideal tool with which to teach multiple concepts, all while appealing to a child's love of "things that go." And this is no ordinary puzzle. When the child has all the pieces in place, each of these vehicles' lights and sirens activate, giving a close and fairly realistic approximation of the actual sound these vehicles make in operation.

See the lights? Imagine the sound of the sirens. Now imagine the sound of the sirens at night. At 2:00 a.m., with decibel levels capable of waking a soundly sleeping two year old. At a distance of two rooms away from said sleeping child. And 15 feet from a naked and sleepy mother who was simply creeping through the house to get a quiet glass of water. A quiet glass, I said. In the kitchen. Not in the living room, where the puzzle was by itself, with nary a puzzle piece in place, nary a one. And no inquisitive child in sight, in fact, no one but the softly creeping mother in sight because all the lights were off and the house was quiet, as often happens during the night, when children sleep, and mothers sleepily stumble about in a dark and quiet house, not expecting either realistic lights or sirens in her fucking living room. When she is naked in the dining room and wasn't hoping for a visit from either the police or the ambulance service.  And when she was under the belief that the realistic lights and sirens would only activate when the final piece of the puzzle was put in place.

Melissa and Doug, the final piece is in place, now.  Just tell me where you live. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

I taught her to splash in puddles, in the name of physical therapy, of course

I've been reflecting a lot on where we are two years out from the CP diagnosis. CP awareness Day was "celebrated" a few weeks ago.  I meant to post, I intended to post, hell I even drafted a partial post.  Right now I am absolutely stunned by where we are today.  Two years ago, we had just had the diagnosis confirmed.  We started working on getting Hannah to sit up on her own and to roll over, and we started using the Bamboo Brace.

One year ago, just before Easter, Hannah started to crawl, and then crawled her way through a wet and chilly Easter Egg hunt, because "ooh, shiny!" is hard wired into any girl brain, damaged or not.  See for yourself:

A few weeks later she was walking. 

And the baby that looked like this, once:

Turned into this child:

Most importantly, her joy knows no bounds.

Hannah had her Early Intervention biannual testing last week, and managed to now score within in the average range of all areas tested, and in the above average range for . . . are you ready? . . . fine motor skills.  Take that stroke, you asshat!  Really what these results mean is that the testing instrument is not particularly well suited to make assessments about smarts kids with hemiplegia, and that testing of two year olds generally is not incredibly accurate.  Obviously my daughter is indeed smart and well suited to live in Lake Woebegone, where everyone is above average. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Who gave you the right to have Shaun's hair?

Huh, I say? Shaun White's hair?  Huh, you say? That was pretty well my reaction, also. I pay for this hair color and I can have whatever I want, or so my stylist says. Frankly I was befuddled that the grocery store clerk sweeping the floors felt so free to say any such thing to me at all, after I processed that he was actually speaking to me. How does my hair at all resemble that of the carrot top snowboarder, who by the way, is so last Olympics?  Other people have actually complemented my recent coloring job, so I am not actually worried, just baffled.  So now you have an idea of how I look these days, I bet you'd like to know how I am.  So would I . . . but I am still baffled.  And struggling, a bit.  More than a bit.  Trying to reconcile things that cannot be reconciled in my mind, therefore, since I didn't know how to talk about it here, I stopped talking at all.  But I promise to get back online tomorrow and have kittens pooping rainbows just to show that things are indeed hunky dory, and if you are either Claire or Hannah, they are. 

I meant to introduce this concept under a new feature of WTF Wednesday, since I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for Friday Haiku, and Wednesdays are in general, baffling, but Friday will do to introduce my new feature, since this Friday happens to be April Fool's Day.  Here's what I mean: