Tag Archives: child2

I love my children equally

…and I  also love them differently, because they are two different people and naturally they receive love in different ways.

In the last while I have realised that I spoil Child2 WAY TOO MUCH.

He gets away with things that I would NOT have allowed Child1 to get away with. I am more tolerant with the outbursts and the sass. I tend to more easily ignore stuff that annoys me instead of just nipping it in the bud there and then as I would have done with Child1.

Child2 basically thinks he runs the show.  He’s fairly whiney when we get home and I usually put it down to him coming down from a sensory overload. I make him a cup of tea (which he now EXPECTS!) and he lies in the bath and drinks it.  Like. A. Boss.

If he wants something then he gets it. If he doesn’t want to eat dinner then I leave him. If he wants to do just ONE MORE THING before bed then I allow it. If he wants to snuggle in my bed and fall asleep then I allow that too. These are ALL things that I would NEVER have allowed for Child2. I basically do what I have to do to avoid the screams and the meltdowns and the whines because heaven knows, I have a stressful enough day at work and I CANNOT come home to noise.

I only react to his nonsense IF I feel it’s gone too far. I should be reacting as soon he transgresses. But I don’t. Child2 is affectionate. He’s one of those kids who just crawl into your heart space  without you even realising it.  THIS is how he manipulates me and I only see  it WAY after the fact.

Recently Child1 passed a comment to the effect of me not allowing him to do x but that he knows that I will probably allow Child2 to do x.

Aaargghh. I was mortified that he even noticed this! I never, ever want a situation where one child  feels that I love the sibling more or whatever.  How do I explain to Child1 that I love his brother differently because he is a different person? I don’t know of any kid who will have the emotional maturity to understand that.

I also don’t want Child2 to grow up feeling entitled to the world because his Mom panders to him. I will admit that I am SUPER STRICT with Child1 (always have been) and that I expect A LOT from him. Maybe because I know him and how capable he is? Does this mean that I am subconsciously expecting A LOT less from Child2? I don’t know – I need to think about this some more.

I spent this weekend thinking about why I allow Child2 to get away with so much more and I realise that it started at his birth already!

He was sick when he was born. And then he was ALWAYS sick as a baby. And then there were speech delays. And other delays.  And Super Specialists. And A LOT of therapy. Therapy that will probably continue on and off throughout his life.  Somehow I ended up feeling sorrier for him than for Child1. It’s wasn’t  intentional – it was just the way it was.

Child2 was a terrible baby and to be honest, it took a long time for me to even like him! Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I actually didn’t like him very much in the beginning – he cried ALL THE TIME! He was needy. He whined a lot. Deep down I still feel really bad about that.  I somehow feel like I need to overcompensate and really, I don’t have to. We’ve all got problems already! We all struggle with things and we deal with them when we are in a situation that requires us to deal with them and then we learn from it and move on.

SO yes. I am in the process of re-looking at how I manage him and his “stuff”. And slowly but surely, I am holding back on the spoils and insisting that he takes some responsibility for himself. It’s a slow process but it’s happening! He made his own toast for breakfast this morning and he was soooo proud of himself afterwards!

I must just mention here that Child2 told me things that happened during the day at school yesterday. I was soooooo excited! Do you know how BIG this is for us? Without me doing ANY prompting, I got to hear all about how F had a vomit, D was sent to timeout, J said swear words and also how K shared his marie biscuits with him. Now I know that your kids have probably been doing that for years already but I had to pay a therapist to develop this skill so I am OBVIOUSLY thrilled!

There were no tales this evening though.  While we were driving home he told me that he feels sick and then had a huge vom in my car. He’s been in bed for nearly 3 hours already!

Anyway. Do you have one kid that you are more sensitive towards? Do you allow certain things for one kid that you would definitely not allow for the other? Do you have one kid that is jealous of the other? How do you navigate this kind of thing?

 

Fearless Friday: When I grow up, I want to be like him.

x

At first he is cautious.

He stands on the sidelines and checks out the situation.

He observes for a long, long time. He notices and takes in every little detail.

I am dying to know what is really going on in his little mind at this point and I would pay good money for someone to tell me.

I suspect he is thinking about how this will work.

He’s weighing it all up.

He doesn’t lose focus and knows EXACTLY what he wants to do.

He usually waiting for the right moment.

The moment when no one is watching.

Then he does his thing.

Occasionally he’s not as ready as he thought he was. This doesn’t stop him because he has decided that this is what he wants to do. He practices multiple times. On his own. Always on his own.

And as soon as he’s confident about his thing, he shares it.

He doesn’t show off his skills unless he is 100% confident. With him it’s all “go big or go home”.

He does it with so much grace. With so much aplomb. With so much joy.

He thrives on the praise and the encouragement.  He LOVES the applause. He KNOWS that he deserves it and he laps it all up.

There are times when he is visibly afraid.  There are times when he shows his vulnerability as hard as he shows his strength, and when this happens he’s not shy to let anyone know. He lets everyone (especially his Mommy) know that he needs some help to conquer his fear.

And then. Once that fear has been conquered, something that can take anything from days to months to weeks to years, he is home.

He is free. He is uninhibited.

He is EVERYTHING and he shows me every single day of my life that milestones have NOTHING to do with age.

He is fierce. He is fanatical. He is perfection. He is FEARLESS.

He is the most FEARLESS person I know. He is my son.

x

Who is the most FEARLESS person in your life? What (to you) makes them FEARLESS?

An update on Child2

Remember last week when I felt so disillusioned about my sad baby boy?

Well, I’m happy to report that slowly but surely, the tide is turning.

I went to see his team last week – they explained what they were doing to help him to integrate and how they were managing his sensory stuff.  I was happy with what they were doing and offered further suggestions for them to try within their environment. They also asked me to do certain things with him at home which I’ve been doing.

He now walks into school by himself (usually he bribes me and I give in!  I have to draw a star and a smiley face on his wrist with the brightest red pen BEFORE he gets out of the car) and when he comes home he is a lot calmer. 

Part of our new routine is to run a bath for him as soon as we step into the house.  He must also crunch immediately. So he basically climbs in the bath and he can have an apple or carrots or a cracker or two before dinner. He quite literally eats while relaxing in his bath. He climbs in and comes out when he’s ready – sometimes after an hour.  As soon as he’s out of the bath I give him a pressure massage. I was thinking today that we need to go back to brushing him in the evenings

He’s also starting to warm up to his teacher and he now greets her! Previously he wasn’t interested and would walk right past her (I was mortified!) but then last week he had a small accident at school that required a plaster.  Child2 LOVES plasters,  so of course when Miss M cleaned his wound and applied a plaster she became his new BFF – he now talks about her often! I told her that I would send a bandage so that they  could start moving onto hugs.

We have found that he DOES need his afternoon nap and not just quiet time like some of the other kids who attend aftercare.  I wish he would nap for me on the weekends but anyway. We have also discovered that he needs more food during the day so I’ve been packing in bigger lunches and more snacks for him – he’s there for quite a long day.

Last week he had to do show and tell.  I’ll be honest. I could NOT even picture it. Child2 does speak but he is not ready for show and tell. I tried to prepare him. It was a bit of a fail. I stopped because I didn’t want him to get anxious. I then wrote his teacher a note and told her that I tried. When I spoke to her last week she told me that he was fine! She directed, he managed just fine and he wasn’t afraid. Do you have ANY idea how that thrilled me! She told me that show and tell is very informal and if she at any point sees that he (or another child) is uncomfortable then she just won’t force the issue.

This past Monday he was excited for Show and Tell. Can you believe it? They had to bring their favourite book and he took his entire Dr Seuss collection.  I did try to encourage him to take one book. It didn’t work and I wasn’t going to fight about it. I didn’t bother to prepare him. I figured he would be fine. And he was!

So I DO feel a lot better about him – he’s not sad anymore, he seems to be settling in and when I stop at the shop or the petrol station in the morning then he insists that we can’t do this because Miss M is waiting for him! Can you believe it?

How are your kids? Are they completely settled in at school now? 

Ps…remember I said that I wasn’t going to let him do extra-murals because I can’t be paying for therapy AND extra-murals? Well. He REALLY wants to do swimming.  He says “must swim on Fridays Mommy”. So it looks like I’m going to be caving on that.  Which extra-murals are your kids doing?

 

The school saga – part 2

Remember when I wrote about how our mornings were going and how they are now sorted?  Well, the mornings are still good. In fact, our morning routine is flawless. Child2 is no longer upset when I drop him although he does expect me to walk him right into his class. I can live with this.

However. He’s just sad and my heart breaks for him. A lot.  

I’m used to a kid who bounces off the walls when we pull up in front of the school.  I’m used to the kid who runs inside, the kid who is just THRILLED to be there. The kid who greets EVERY SINGLE PERSON by name.  The child who runs up to his teachers to hug and kiss them.

Now I have the child who is quiet as soon as we stop in front of the school gates.  

I have the child who is essentially submitting to his environment.

I have the child who manages to keep a lid his emotions ALL DAY.

I have the child who is so exhausted from doing this,  that at the end of the day when I fetch him,  he’s in tears.  By the time we get home to his safe space, to the place where he feels free to express himself, he’s gone completely NUTS and all that I can do is to hold him while he lets it all out. At this point we are both in tears. When he’s done, he takes a long bath.

I have the child who battles to express himself verbally  – something that is tremendously frustrating for both of us.

I have the child who is not coping with all these changes, and there are MANY changes. New school routines, new faces, a new therapist, wearing a uniform, spending longer periods at a table doing actual work  where he has to apply himself – just to name a few things.

I have the child who is struggling to blend into his new environment.

I have the child who (from where I am sitting) can’t seem to gel with his teacher.

And herein lies my predicament. At what point do I say he’s had enough time to adjust? At what point do I say that this is not working for us? For him?

This is not a black and white situation and I can’t simply remove him from the environment.  He does require a very specific (not readily available) environment and at the moment we are on the waiting list for that other school.  Child2 is really so unpredictable at times.  Very often (with enough preparation) he can easily adjust to a new situation. Other times (like now), he just needs a lot of time despite being prepared and it’s like no amount of preparation helps.

We had our school meeting earlier this week and I told them that my Child is sad. They were aware of it (thankfully – I had wondered if I was possibly imagining this!) and they are working on helping him to integrate.  I am seeing them again next week so we can talk some more about where we are all at. For now it’s a waiting game – we really have no choice but to wait this out. I just hope that it doesn’t go on for too long because  I really cannot cope with the idea of my Child feeling that I am not hearing him.

Do your kids sometimes take forever to adjust to new situations even if they’ve been prepared for them?  Do they adjust easily? How would you manage a situation like this?

 

 

Six on Saturday

  1. Child2 has really been annoying us this past week or so. He officially starts Grade R on 15/01 but his school has a bit of a holiday programme going on before that, and so I decided to send him last week. He is MUCH better now –  I keep forgetting that he REALLY needs his routine in order to be OK.
  2. On Day 1 of holiday programme (which takes place in the Junior School building) he was thrilled and very excited to be dropped off.  I walked in with him and became painfully aware of how different he was to the average 6-year old who is what is commonly known as “normal”. Everyone else was chatting up a storm and socialising and doing puzzles etc.  He walked straight to the mat and had a bit of a lie-down with a book that we grabbed on the way in. I haven’t had a chance to speak to Miss M (his new teacher) yet but I suspect that he would have kept to himself.
  3. Yesterday when I dropped him (i.e on the morning of Day 2 of holiday programme) he cried to go to the bunnies and to his beloved Sheila in the pre-school building and I had to carry him into the Junior School building.  It’s like the novelty wore off and he realised that we simply weren’t  going back to the other building. I said good-bye to him and assured him that I would be back and then I turned around and left because I couldn’t cope. I haven’t needed to deal with a traumatic morning drop off in YEARS and so my heart was in my throat and I cried all the way to work. I called the school when I got to work and was told that he settled after about 5 minutes. Yes. That’s FIVE MINUTES.  HE didn’t settle immediately after I had left. He took 5 whole minutes to settle. Do you know how long 5 minutes is if you’re upset? Right now I am trying my utmost not to be anxious about next week when it’s official and he starts wearing uniform.
  4. Speaking of which, I started back at work after my holiday this past Wednesday. So far so good, except that my body clock is completely messed up from the holidays.  I am working HARD to get into bed at a decent hour – it’s a work in progress.  Also. I am well and truly allergic to my office. I did not cough or splutter or sneeze this holiday. All of this started the minute I walked into my office – it’s like my body went into shock at the aircon and the carpets. How was getting back to work for you?
  5. I had many things planned for today. Plans that included banking, stationery and uniform labeling,  rewashing of uniform for Child2 and cutting out labels etc, beach swims and a spot of decluttering. We went to the bank to do our business. Then we came home a little bit after 12:30pm. I got straight into bed and slept until 6pm. I’m still feeling tired. Could it be that I am struggling to recover from my holiday? Surely I can’t be starting the year so exhausted? 
  6. I got open lettered yesterday. Right here on the interwebs! After my rocky Friday morning this was simply the BEST thing EVER!  Go read my love-letter over here. I was sooooo very moved by it.  Don’t you just LOVE it? How lucky am I???

I am getting into bed in a bit. Tomorrow I obviously have to do everything that I didn’t do today and it’s also hair-wash day. I hope to fit in at least 2 or 3 hours of kindle reading later in the afternoon.

How are you? How’s your weekend been so far? What’s your Sunday looking like?

 

Child2 : the concert files

Concert 1 in 2008  – freaks out, has a meltdown on stage and has to be removed. He’s completely traumatised. Mommy is mortified.

Concert 2  in 2009 – repeat of concert 1.  This time Mommy takes it all in her stride and is actually not particularly embarrassed or anything.  In fact, Mommy goes to remove him herself because helper is taking too long. He does give us a private concert (i.e. does what he was meant to do on stage) when we get home.

Concert 3 in 2010 – No concert – I removed him from the facility where he was being looked after and we employed a nanny for the 2nd half of the year. Expensive, but BEST DECISION EVER.

Concert 4 in 2011 – Child2 was now at a new school, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we gave this concert  a miss. Mommy was relieved as she couldn’t possibly face a repeat of concerts 1 and 2.

Concert 5 in 2012 – Mommy was VERY nervous because of past experiences. Mommy also had to remain incognito because Mommy just knew that he would want to come off the stage if he saw her. Well. Concert 5 was the beginning of new things. Mommy was  VERY proud of him because he managed just fine. We had to leave mid-concert, as soon as his item was done as it was just a little bit too much for him. We missed the final group act but we didn’t care. He actually stayed on stage during his act and shook his booty good and proper without any tears. THAT was all that mattered to us.

Concert 6 in 2013 –  This time Mommy wasn’t nervous. She has come to the point where she takes things in her stride and deals with them as they happen. Child2 made his Mommy soooooooo proud this past weekend! No tears on stage.  The only tears being shed were Mommy’s – she did the ugly cry while watching him do his thing on stage. He looked for Mommy and saw her and waved excitedly! He kept stopping mid-item so he could wave at Mommy some more.  And this time we stayed until the VERY END! Do you have ANY idea how big this is for us?

Isn’t it awesome how he has grown over the years? It is clear that I’m not wasting my money on therapies and that the work is paying off.  This THRILLS me and I am so very proud! Seriously. Let it not be said that normal is boring and overrated because it isn’t. Boring and normal is AWESOME.

Are you like me? Do you just want boring and normal?

How do your kids cope on stage? Have they ever needed to be removed because of stage fright/too much noise/lights/overwhelm/sensory overload etc?

Gosh. Those little girls doing ballet do my head in every single year. They are just soooooo beautiful and their act is always so very special and  I keep thinking of the daughter that I will not EVER have. And then I cry a bit more. Clearly I am more nuts than I care to admit!

How are you? Did you have a good weekend?

Child2: The school post (and Big Mama Elephant) continued

So yesterday I gave some background about the situation that I find myself in with Child2 and I elaborated a little bit on the fact that he has me completely stumped.  Thanks very much for the comments on my post yesterday. They gave me A LOT of food for thought.

We have 2 options at the moment. The school where he’s currently at or the school where they assessed him.

Possibility A: Child2 attends this really lovely little school that I actually don’t want him to attend because I have issues to deal with.

Pros:

Very nurturing environment. Child2 had a REALLY good time there and I had a good feeling about the school. If he was very severely on the spectrum then I would not hesitate to send him there.

IT’s a special needs kids dream – they even have a tent in the classroom for if you need to hide or regulate.

LOVELY teachers with YEARS of experience dealing with neuro-atypical kids. Child2  who doesn’t easily take to people STILL asks me when I’ll be taking him back to Alice.

No boxes. Only complete acceptance and support.

My Child will have an IEP specifically tailored to him. As the parent, I would be part of the team that determines WHAT he will learn. For example, if I say that I want him to know all about the solar system within 1 month, then they will try and make that happen for me. The IEP gets reviewed every 6 months. I guess this is the closest that I will get to homeschooling.

Fees are cheap and therapy will be included – although it’s not one-on-one therapy, it will be group sessions. I’m happy to pay for one-on-one therapy if I must.

No more than 7 kids per class. EVER.

Cons:

There is no mainstream and he would use an adapted curriculum.  In other words, numeracy and literacy will be functional and he probably won’t matriculate which means a lot of not-so-good things for his future. They have programmes for older kids – I don’t know what programmes though.  Maybe I need to meet up with parents of older kids who have gone to similar schools to see where they are at now.

There are kids who are “worse”  or rather, more severe than him. This is not good – one of Child2s key strengths is Visual Perception Modality i.e. the ability to see something and then imitate it – this is essentially how he learns. This is both good and bad and it does mean that if he’s with kids who are worse than him then it’s possible that he may regress. I need to speak to his team some more about this one and to see if this concern is justified.

They are led BY the child.  So if the Child is not in the mood today then they will let him do whatever he is in the mood for. This does NOT work with my Tiger Mommy tendencies. I do allow my child to lead but only to a small degree. Not ALL THE TIME. This means that he may not learn EVERYTHING that we decide on in the IEP within the time range that I stipulate. That does not please me AT ALL.

This school starts late (08:30am) and finishes at 12:30 and they don’t even have aftercare. Which means an extra cost because I will have to pay someone to fetch and look after him until I get home. In fact, the school is not on my route at all so I will probably need to pay someone for a lift in the mornings. Plenty of logistics involved.

They say that there is always a possibility of working towards a goal to mainstream him, however they won’t commit to this i.e. they won’t give me a date as to when (according to them) he will realistically be ready for mainstream.

Choosing this option essentially means saying goodbye to the dream (I must still blog about the death of the dream) and it means that either I create employment for my Autistic adult son or he ends up working at Pick ‘n Pay’s parcel counter. No disrespect to the parcel counter staff at Pnp. I too worked that parcel counter when I was in high school and I needed to earn some pocket money.

 

Then there is Possibility B.  This option means that I leave Child2 where he currently is.

Pros:

Very nurturing environment. I LOVE his school. He does too.

Inclusive environment – he’ll be mainstreamed. Or rather, they will attempt to mainstream him.

The teachers at his school are all SNAP trained and so will combine this with mainstreaming.

They currently go up to Grade3 but have firm plans to go up to Grade 7 within the next 2 years.

No more than 10 kids per class. EVER.

 

Cons:

Very, expensive. Child2’s fees are currently killing me DEAD. In addition to that I also pay for weekly speech and OT.  Having said that, I SEE the progress so a part of me doesn’t mind forking out the cash.

No idea what happens after grade7, though I am pretty sure that there will be a decent, workable option by then.

 

Now. My first choice is to let him stay where he is. but I run the risk of that being the WRONG choice. What if it isn’t the right environment for him?  What if he doesn’t thrive?

That other school has him on their waiting list and I know that we’ll get a call within the next year to say that they are ready for him. IF I turn them down then he will never, ever get a chance to go back there because those waiting lists are as long as my arm. Also, I do know that they won’t tell me that my kid needs to come to their school because there are MANY kids that need that environment.

The comments yesterday made me realise that I can only be his Mom and not his EVERYTHING ELSE. I think that this is a big part of why I’m struggling with this. It’s some control-freak tendencies that I have (Moms of kids like mine have it MUCH worse – it’s that advocate thing that flares up about 99% more intensely) and I guess the fact that I need to once and for all accept him for who he is.

I need to figure out what it truly means to accept him for who he is. Does it mean I don’t push him? Does it mean that I don’t first let him show me what he can do before I decide on the popular option?  Does it mean that I let him be even though it kills me not to at least TRY to do more? Is this something you struggle with?

Fact is, I really just want him to reach his full potential and in order for this to happen I need to give him every possible opportunity to grow and become the absolute best that he can be.

After thinking about this some more today, I now know that my first choice is actually more about me and not really about him. Therefore I do need to think A LOT more about what the right thing for him will be.

Which option would be your preferred one of the two that I’ve listed here? Do you think I’m over thinking this? I’m hesitant to just play this one by ear.

 

 

Dealing with the elephants in the room

I blogged a few weeks ago about the various elephants in my room.

Well. Yesterday my heart was feeling fluttery and ticklish (I kid you not!) and I freaked out and thought that I should get this sorted just in case something happens to me. I figure it’s time to start dealing with the elephants BEFORE they trample me and cause complications in my life so I’ve decided to deal with one issue at a time, the first one being Child2 and schooling.

As you all know, Child2 spent 2 weeks in May being assessed and observed at this other school.

It’s a special needs school and they have a unit (well, they are busy building it) for kids on the spectrum. It was an interesting 2 weeks and he LOVED it. I actually liked the school too but I kept thinking that surely this was not the school for my Child?  I cried my eyes shut that first day that I dropped him there and herein lies my predicament. I don’t know if I’m possibly making this about me (and my pride and other issues) or if I’m actually doing what’s in his best interest. I’m afraid of making a decision that is the wrong one for him and then having this decision bite us all in the bum.

Child2 is extremely unpredictable and I can officially say that I am stumped.  There is absolutely nothing in my life that has caused me as much angst. Not the teenage years, not my premature entry into Parenthood and not even unemployment and depression.

I am completely fascinated by his brain and I am dying to know what’s really going on in there. I would pay good money for this. In fact, I would sell everything I own for those answers.

There are days when Child2 SPARKLES and it seems like he knows so much and does soooo well. There are days when he speaks beautifully and clearly and reasons with a level of maturity that astounds me.   On these days I think that I should DEFINITELY mainstream him and that anything else would be an injustice to him. Anything else would be a travesty. And then there are other times when I think “mmmm….this kind of thing typically happens within a mainstream school environment and you absolutely can’t cope with it, therefore I should let you go to that other school”.   Honestly, I just need to observe him around other kids to have these thoughts going through my head.

I recently found out that Child2 rarely speaks at school. His teacher has to work REALLY hard to engage him. He’d much rather be doing stuff and showing you what he can do, like the picture that he drew or how he kicks the ball or whatever. Just don’t ask him to talk about it, because he won’t. Maybe he can’t. I really don’t know because as I said, whatever goes on in his brain is beyond my understanding.

It took 6 months for my Child to make a friend, even with intervention from his teacher. Before that he played by himself and was happy to do that. Then I was hearing about kids that he was playing with and now we are back to square one where he plays alongside others as opposed to WITH them.   I get that his teacher cannot continue to manage him socially within the school environment but do you know how this breaks my heart?

On the one hand I’m happy that he’s comfortable enough to do what makes him happy  but on the other hand I wonder how he will get through life without ever engaging with his peers. Will he always be this way? Can social behaviour be learned?  What will happen in the classroom environment where they have to do group projects. What will happen if he needs to do a speech?  What if he gets asked a question and needs to provide a direct answer? I have noticed that he can’t be put on the spot. I can’t say “what colour is the apple?” because he won’t (or maybe can’t) answer. I have to say “are you going to eat the black apple” and then he’ll say “No Mommy, the apple is green. I’m going to eat a green apple”.  Aargh. I’m getting a headache just thinking about how this kind of thing will play out in the classroom environment. Could I possibly be thinking too far ahead? Could I be completely over thinking this?

My Dad went to the Grandparents Day at the school last week and he told me that Child2 was happy to be in his own little world. It seemed like he was going through the motions (because it was expected of him) but he did not mix with ANYONE.

About 3 months ago (see how long this elephant has been hanging around?) I met Child2’s team (at the school where he was assessed) for feedback. They didn’t exactly tell me anything I didn’t know but they did find that his issues were more severe than I thought. Perhaps I’m more in denial than I care to admit.  Who knows?

I will admit that while I was sitting there and listening to the feedback I zoned out for a bit and registered nothing – so unlike me. Intellectually I know that they wouldn’t tell me that my Child needed to be in their particular environment if they felt that he would cope in a mainstream setup because they have WAY TOO MANY kids on their waiting list.

When I got home I started to study the report that I received (it’s a long, long, long, very detailed report and I’m not done yet – I got ) and I started to make lists about the possibilities for Child2 wrt schooling. There are two possibilities and each one of them has pros and cons.

I have to say that Parenting is not for sissies and that I am REALLY battling with this issue, something that frustrates me tremendously because I’m generally very good at seeing what it is that my Children need and then making decisions on their behalf.

Actually. Gosh. I didn’t plan to have such a long introductory ramble for this post and I still need to get to the point. So I’ll stop here and put up my pros and cons of the different schools tomorrow. In the meantime answer me this:

How does one draw the line between making a decision for your child that is actually all about you vs taking yourself and your feelings out of the equation and making a decision that is 100% in your childs best interests?

Have you ever been in a situation where your issues or where possible stigma clouds your decision-making process for your child?

 

 

SIX

  1. You are easily delighted and there are few things that make me happier than to hear you laugh straight from your belly. I LOVE that you laugh with your entire being.
  2. You are a cuddler of note and this THRILLS me because you are only too happy to make up for your brother not wanting to cuddle with me. You are at your happiest when we are snuggled on the couch under MANY blankets drinking our tea and having a biscuit.
  3. You have an old soul and you LOVE listening to your Mama’s music. I hope that this NEVER changes.
  4. Your eyes. They light up every single time I walk into a room. It affirms me in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine.
  5. Once you become comfortable in your surroundings you are completely uninhibited. I won’t lie. I do worry about this sometimes but at the same time I am sooooo envious that you feel so completely comfortable with who you are.
  6. I like that you are VERY clear about what you  want and need. Things must be just so and there is no black and white in your world. You keep me on my toes and drive me batty sometimes. However, I would NOT change it for ANYTHING.

Thank you for what you bring to my life. Thank you for ALL you teach me about ME and about your world. You fascinate me more than any other kid your age and I often think that I must be the most highly favoured Mommy EVER.  Because seriously. How blessed am I to be your Mommy?

Happy, Happy Birthday my beautiful, sweet boy. I love you MILLIONS.

Love

Mommy

 

 

 

International Left-Handers day

……was celebrated yesterday.  Here’s a link about it.  

We couldn’t celebrate it properly because we were already celebrating Child1’s birthday, but we will definitely celebrate it this weekend with some of Child2’s favourite oats and honey biscuits from the bakery. Perhaps I’ll throw in a milk tart too – I’ll see.  And I’ll buy try to buy him something cute for lefties.

Yesterday we had to each write NBL (who’s a VERY passionate leftie – she even sends me cool links of stuff to buy for Child2) a note that had to be written using our left hand. Sjoe. It was hard but I think I did really well. The interesting thing was that she could actually see each person’s personality in the note that they wrote. Mine had words of affirmation written all over it!

Anyway. Since I started talking about Child2’s left-handedness (He is the first leftie in my life. Have I mentioned how exciting this is for us?) I’ve been making lists of what to buy for him and where to buy it.  I must say I get really good advice from NBL – as far as she’s concerned, I NEED to go all out for him. The plan is to start stocking up on kitchen and other gadgets that will be there for him when he’s ready to use them.  I am also on a hunt for leftie stationery (sharpeners, rulers etc) but there is VERY little available in South Africa – all the good stuff must be ordered from overseas. This is still my favourite shop.

Something that I find fascinating is the response that I get from adult lefties when I tell them that I am going all out to support my kid and make his life easier with all the gadgets/leftie tools.  I almost get the sense that they feel I’m doing too much to help him. Like they had to struggle and learn to live with it/manage their lives with or around it and I’m somehow taking that away from my kid because he also needs to find his way by himself as well.

I hear them.  I really do. And I must admit that this (i.e. how much exactly to help my kids) is something that I struggle with. I constantly have a fight in my head.

The fight  has a few players actually. They are called “setting them up for success” vs “having them struggle too much and eventually become disillusioned and give up” vs “what is the priority right now and is there a deadline involved” vs “they have more than enough to deal with so I’ll just help them along where I can” vs “I really don’t have the patience for this” vs” WTF am I doing here? I’m not cut out for this Mothering gig”.

With kids like mine I am acutely aware of the fact that they are going to struggle with sooooo much more and so I am inclined to (within reason and where possible) make things a little bit easier for them.

Child2  is going to have to learn skills like perseverance and figuring out how to do things and and and. I do believe that he will learn all these things and more. But I also think that, at the moment, he has enough other issues to deal with. I think that he’s going to have more than enough to challenge him in his life so why would I add to it if I can provide him with the tools to make his life a bit easier? 

I usually use the guidelines as set by their therapists which REALLY helps because their therapists usually tell me if I’m expecting too much from them (I often get told this btw – I am SUCH a Tiger Mommy at times!) or if I can do a little bit more to assist in certain areas.

So this is what I need to know from you:

How do you find a fair balance between helping your kid along with whatever skill/milestone/task and leaving them to struggle on their own? 

Is this something you struggle with?