I should have posted Halloween's gory, sugar-laden glory, but I haven't. I should have memorialized the changes in the household as we swing into fall and settle into the "school year" which for all obvious reasons ought to be when we celebrate the New Year - but I haven't. And three posts of "significance" are in the drafts folder, moldering in their significance.
So let's just focus on this weekend past, and the development of a toddler in diapers and her metamorphosis into Undie Girl! Who wears panties! And sometimes pees through them right into her shoes but still - panties they are and panties they shall remain, regardless of how urine soaked they may be!
I know I am lucky that my child with CP is training in a normal age range, and some of my bloggy friends will read this post with envy in their hearts and I do not blame them one tiny little bit, but I think those who don't live with CP or see Hannah tip, slip and shuffle every day and the ways in which she compensates to keep herself oriented will know how her condition makes this type of skill building more challenging than it is for typically developing kids. My sister told me that she thought potty training was easy (yeah, I know) and she just waited until her kids were developmentally capable of doing each step on their own and then she just told them they were potty trained and it was done in a day. My response was something like "oh dear, I've swallowed a bug . . . 'scuse me while I cough 'til I vomit so you can't tell whether I am laughing or crying" and then I explained that I'd hoped that Hannah would potty train before the point at which her size and balance would allow her onto a grownup potty without a very real possibility of doom and bloody head injuries. So we waited a bit to push it, until her preschool teacher said she was ready to move forward. So of course she wants to do it herself, now that she knows the joys of peeing in the toilet, and so we now have worked out that she should step onto the step stool, pivot slowly and carefully and safely to face away from the toilet, pull down the panties and pants while standing on the stool, and then sit down. I particularly enjoy the stand up wipe maneuver she has created while standing on the step with her pants around her knees, and the shrieks of "Hannah do it! Hannah do it!" should I try to help her get her pants up before she tumbles to the floor with an arm that doesn't do a lot to break a fall and her knees tied together. It is nerve wracking, rather, but I haven't got another plan. Because I want her to speak to me as an adult, I show you only the photos of the approach and the about to sit down position . . . I'd just like to say it is a good place to have your sense of calm tested. And I recommend not wearing the tutu. Just sayin'.
You may not know this but I suck at mind reading, in Hannah's eyes, anyway. Invariably I am supposed to help her, or not, and I get it wrong. She manages to get her pants back up on her own with only a 15% angle droop on her affected right side. I was complimented by our OT when I described how I've been coaching Hannah on getting her pants up and down by hooking the thumb and then sliding it around to the side. But by the end of the weekend she had scratched her right leg a fair bit with the awkwardly oriented thumb sliding up and down the leg, but she did mostly handle the pants herself and I believe ultimately this will challenge and improve her right hand strength and dexterity and particularly her thumb strength in an important way - but my heart may give out before we get there if I have to watch her pull up her pants standing on that stool too many more times with her heavy little noggin (weighing more than her tiny ass, I am quite sure) just dangling out over those unforgiving tiles. I am sure there is a mathematical equation to describe the fulcrum and whatnot of head hanging forward while butt dangle backward and tug the pants with unequal force between the sides and not apply too much force that puts the whole thing in a downgoing motion. From my recollection of higher math and physics and how they become one in the end, I have gleaned that the equation looks something like O(h) x WTF + zOMG where h is Hannah and F is floor and OMG is that unreliable thumb with a curl and the directions say solve for fuckity fuck. I think I told you I don't have a math degree, right?
I like it better when she drives.
Someone is very, very, very close to reading.
The confusion and excitement and whirlwind of the last couple of months can best be demonstrated by my Fall centerpiece - consisting of three miniature ornamental ears of corn, some autumn leaves collected by the girls on our many leaf walks, and a piece of rubber dog poo, to keep things in perspective. Wanna come over for dinner?