I hope you read the technical definition and looked carefully at all the pictures. Now, let me tell you why I bring it up.
About a year ago, I came out of the back of the house to find Michael refusing to move his arm and Megan looking like she was in trouble. With a little prompting, I found out that Megan broke one of the MAIN rules of Momma: don’t pull on your little brother’s arms. Sure enough, she had. She said she was trying to “help” him. Hmm. Well, I called the doctor, got an appointment, got a screaming boy barely buckled in (boy did he cry when I touched that arm!) and got him to the doctor’s office. He cried when I got him un-buckled at the office, and even whimpered a few times in the waiting room. However, walking back to the patient room, he all of a sudden got better. I thought the doctor would think I was NUTS. Instead, she diagnosed nursemaid’s elbow, told me how to adjust it in the future, and sent us home with a smile.
I get home, call my mom, tell her Megan broke Michael. Mom *loves* this. It turns out this is what I did to my baby sister, Tobi, some 20+ years ago. Little, cute Tobi was standing behind the couch and said “Sissy, up!” I complied, grabbing her by the wrists and bringing her over the couch. Fast forward about 8 hours, when Dad came to wake me in the top bunk. He said they were taking Tobi to the ER. She apparently had been fussy on and off for hours and they thought she had a tummy ache, but she wasn’t moving her arm. I tearily confessed my crime and begged forgiveness. Dad, (I now know to have been) delighted to have an explanation for it all, took Mom and Tobi to the ER. Poor Tobi had to wear an arm sling for 3 days, when that arm finally relaxed into place and she could move it again. When Mom told me this, I was thankful Michael’s was a shorter sentence.
Fast forward to last night. We came slinking in after midnight (on a work night for my mom!!), all apologetic for being so late. Mom is sitting sheepishly on the couch. She tells us that Megan was likely still up. Megan was at a bounce house yesterday, then at a McDonald’s playground last night. But how does she give herself Nursemaid’s Elbow? She slipped off her Smart Cycle bike and tried to stop her fall. The poor girl had a rough-ish night, but, of course, the danged arm fixed itself on her way to the doctor this morning.
Oh, and yes, I tried the fix the doctor taught me. It just made her scream louder, but I’d like to think maybe it helped, too…
So, now you know all my stories on Nursemaid’s Elbow, the oddest little thing the little people in my life get afflicted with. Some other time, I’ll tell you about bleeding like a stuck frenulum…]]>
When I came home from the Y this morning, Megan was in our bed, having just woken Grant with her excitement about the day. She looked at me and told me that she was going to have a GREAT day in Bear Camp and that she’d be a wonderful listen and that she’d not talk when she wasn’t supposed to even if her other friends were talking and she’d be the best student ever. Who can argue with an affirmation like that?
She was very excited as we were getting ready this morning. Since Grant was able to walk with us, she said, “Mom, Daddy said he’ll hold my hand as we walk to school. You just need to take care of yourself and Michael; Daddy and I will be fine.” Stinker.
We walked her the half-mile to school and she was animated all along, talking about school and life in general. We paused at a couple points to take pictures and then headed into the school.I stopped in at the office to drop a few forms off, and then caught up with the family in the kindergarten hall. By the time I got there, Megan was seated on the floor outside the room, lined up with other little ones ready for Bear Camp. My animated, talktative girl had already changed though. The poor thing was pale (even for Megan!) and looked a little shell shocked. I think that it was just hitting her. I didn’t dare tear up. I smiled, kissed her head, told her to have a great day, and took off down the hall with Grant and Michael.
Big, wonderful things are coming. I just know it! We just have to get past these first days…]]>
There is some fun to it. I have a childhood memory of being in the my parents’ big red van and reading the signs, billboards, and words on the cars and trucks passing. I remember being amazed as the jumbles of letters started to make sense, and I know I pestered my parents to help me read the hard words. They were patient with me, and that memory helps me be patient with Megan. She’s got the basics down; she’s been able to read signs for her favorite stops (Publix, Target, Starbucks, etc.) for YEARS now, and she and Michael have long enjoyed pointing out “Stop” signs. But now she’s reading almost all street signs and is finding new words to read every few minutes.
At home, she’s been reading beginner books and some books that are favorites for her. It’s a delight to have her read words off the page to us, and I can’t begin to tell you how sweet it is when she reads to her brother. With her reading, of course, comes her writing. She writes simple but beautiful little love notes to us; every now and then she writes backwards, misspells, or makes another little error. It makes her message even better! It’s a reminder of how far she’s come and how far she’ll go.
This learning stuff is sometimes a little hard for us to swallow, but it’s truly getting better every day!]]>
Beyond Michael sharing his insights, he’s also shared more of his sense of humor. His is a wicked sense of humor, true to the genetics passed on to him from both sides of the family. He and Megan constantly exchange “knock-knock” jokes. They make the jokes up themselves and are pretty terrible, but it makes the kids happy. Michael’s jokes tend to be something like:
M: Knock knock!
V: Who’s there?
V: Orange who?
M: Orange you!
To which Megan usually says “Ha ha ha, Very Funny.”
Lately, Michael’s gotten the best reaction with his “truck” joke. It’s mostly the same:
M: Knock Knock!
V: Who’s There?
V: Truck who?
M: Truck you!
My mother nearly DIED when he told her this one. Why? Well, Michael is still having some pronunciation issues. He pronounces the “tr” in “truck” as an “f.” Go ahead. Go re-read and replace the words above, and you’ll understand Mom’s reaction.
This is actually one of our favorite things. We get him to say “firetruck” and “dumptruck” fairly regularly, but the largest giggles really come when the word sneaks out because he gets excited about a “pick-up truck” or, at Disney World, when he saw a “flying truck.” I love it!
Michael also leaves out the “l” in “flag.” The other day, he got excited about all the flags on trucks. I nearly had to pull over from laughing so hard.
We enjoy all these mispronunciations while we can get them now. After all, “tephants” have become “elephants” and Michael is even sometimes saying “Bullseye” instead of “Cullseye.” Pretty soon, trucks will just be trucks again, and we’ll have to cry. For now though- Mother Trucker!!]]>
Michael’s game was first. Unfortunately, it was scheduled for 1:00pm, the height of his naptime. He did well for a while, but then would fall down while running and be slow getting up. His coach (volunteer dads, real angels!) was wonderful about encouraging him.
By the end of the game, though, he was lying down on the field.
He ran with alacrity through the parent-formed tunnel at the end of the game, though, and enjoyed his snack.
He was asleep before Megan’s 2:00pm game ever began.
Megan’s team is the Ladybugs. Her coach is a mom we’ve crossed paths with in several ways over the years, and we like her a lot. It’s already a great start for our girl, who’s been begging to play soccer for some time.
It ws about 40 degrees out on Saturday. Megan’s sporting thermal underwear and a bulky pullover under her uniform, but I think she looks adorable!
She’s still learning the ropes, but she’s getting her hustle on.
For both our kids, who’ve been taught to share and not take toys, this soccer thing is a new way to think. They’re having fun though!
Best of all, Megan’s making new links to girlfriends, even if it’s a minute for gossp during the game.
We look forward to seeing how our kids grow and change in the weeks to come!]]>
On a completely different note, I just got home from dropping Megan off at school. A new child started in October, and he has been surrounded by OTs and PTs; it didn’t take a genius to know he had some special needs, mostly along that Autism spectrum. He’s a sweet child though, and Megan enjoys playing with him. I talked a wee bit with him this morning and the therapist that was escorting him to school told me that Megan is one of the best playmates for him. She said Megan’s patient and understanding and accepting of him. She actually said it warms her heart to see how Megan interacts with him. It made this momma very proud! I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.]]>
Tonight, while I lay uncomfortably on the floor outside his room, playing my 625th game of Sudoku while waiting for his soft snores to begin, I became more and more upset with myself and the situation. When Grant came upstairs, went inside our room, and shut the door, causing Michael to react, I yelled at the poor child and told him to stay in his bed, that I was still on the floor. I lay there, wondering when this would end. It seems like Megan was going to bed pretty much on her own by age 2 1/2, though they’re both such different children that it’s hard to really compare them. So, how do I progress out of this? Work a couple inches away from him each night until I’ve achieved freedom? Will I still be having to lie outside his bedroom door when he’s in kindergarten? Will he never get to go to sleepovers because he can’t bring his security blanket- his mama? When he has friends over, will I have to stay in the room with them until they sleep? In high school, will he have to know I’m near? In college? When he gets married, will I have to excuse myself while he and his wife prepare for sleep, then re-enter the room? No, because he’ll never get married if he still needs his mama in the room for him to go to sleep. He’ll be one of those wierdo Bates (what was his first name?) guys who keeps my skeleton dressed in some ugly old dress so he can sleep at night.
That’s right. I’m destroying all chances for Michael to grow up and have a normal, functional life because I can’t get him to go to sleep on his own. He’ll never have a proper sleepover, a prom date, a college education. He’ll have mommy issues forever! I’m a terrible mother! How do I escape this?!?!?!?
Better go now. I have to call my mom before I can go to sleep… (just kidding. mostly.)]]>
The instructors have these handy dandy noodles that they take and tie in a pretzel around the kids’ torsos. (in a pinch, they also have floaty “backpacks”) Megan and Michael have both been using these, and over the last few days, have even had some independence with them. Megan has had times both Tuesday and Wednesday where she “swam” toward the instructor with her pretzel. She’s using “shovel hands” and kicking and working to keep her head from ever touch water and slightly panicking, but she’s making progress. With more lessons, maybe she’ll approach some of that confidence and bouyancy (did I misspell that or is it just a funny lookin’ word?) that she needs to swim on her own. She’s pretty danged proud of herself, though!
Michael has been using the pretzel, but yesterday wsa the first day I was successfully prompted into letting him go. He looks like a little puppy, hands and feet going wild under the water, but he had fun, I think. He also fought to keep that head above the water, going back and forth between closed-mouth determination and laughing at the idea of what he was getting done.
Neither child likes to swim on his or her back. Grant got to see part of Megan’s lesson yesterday and saw her work on her back some, but had to leave before the teacher took her hand away from Megan’s waist and sent her into a crying fit over floating on her back on her own. The teacher did all she could to comfort her, and I did tell Megan that, if she tries, she will float on her back. I don’t look forward to watching that today. Michael cries a little, but mostly just fights me and then pulls himself inward and over to fight the whole back-floating thing. I want them to get this so bad. I know how important it could be to their little lives. I talked to Megan briefly about floating on her back if something went wrong in the pool, but I don’t think it went anywhere. Maybe I should’ve tried that life-saver program they do with the wee ones…
For now, rather than panic every time I see water, I’m just going to keep working with them, remain diligent in their safety and well-being, and look forward to watching them play several years from now and know then that they will be at least a wee bit safer… (I do love to worry, after all!)]]>
She’s a magical creature, part precious princess, part drama queen, all talk and not quite enough listening for my own peace of mind. She’s amazing, even when she’s amazingly frustrating.
New developments? Well, this morning, in the pool, I realized she has a sprinkling of tiny blonde-colored freckles underneath her eyes. They are adorable! Speaking of the pool, according to new rules at the Y, children who cannot pass the swim test must either have an accompanying adult or wear a life jacket. Since I had both kids to myself, I made Megan wear the life jacket. I had a hard time making the choice but it was sooooo worth it. Megan was all over the kiddy pool and had a great time, and I worried less. Luckily, I also managed to force her and Michael to sort of play near each other even when they weren’t playing with each other, and when Megan hit a sticky spot and started to struggle, I was able to pull her to safety fast. (Note: the Y kid pool only goes to 3 feet, but splashing and sputtering and lack of confidence- well, you know…) She rewarded me with a “Thanks for saving me, Mom! You’re the best Mom ever!” My day was made.
Other new developments: this kids is soooo smarter than I am. It’s scary. Grant signed her up for a “Cats” class (for older kids) with The Music Playhouse in Nashville. This is serving as a supplement to the Pups class she takes with Michael. Now Grant quizzes Megan on her instruments with flash cards and tunes off the class CD, and she gets them right! She already knows more by name than I do.
Finally, it may kill us all (well, probably not, but it feels like it), but we’re working more and more on having her keep her room clean. It may even help inspire me to be a better example! I took 4 bags’ worth of toys and clothes from her room last week AND I didn’t allow Megan access to her clothes for 2 days, laying out outfits for her. Friday morning, I made her earn it back. Long story a wee bit shorter, we spent 1.5 hours in her room, me pointing and piling, her putting away. When it was over and she had all her toys and clothes back and organized, she danced for joy. She even told my parents she was proud of herself. And that made me all the prouder!
Now to go see what my little wonder child has been doing during her “quiet” time…]]>