Monday, May 23, 2011

Communication

Skyler is talking so much more, I didn't think it was possible but he's starting to be a bit calmer now that he can get his point across without screaming. I mean he's still a spitfire without a doubt but he's now saying things like "want it." "hold it." "upset" "no thank you mommy" and the needless screaming has lessened a bit.

Our days have been quite busy now that I'm homeschooling in earnest and we're full on potty training. I've banned Skyler from wearing diapers in the house unless he is going to bed for the night. So far he's done quite well. I am determined to get him potty trained within the next few months. He's only asking to use the potty about 50% of the time right now, but I think we will get there. I am watching him closely and when he starts to go I bring him to the potty quick as we can go.

He is loving all the learning we're doing. I'm using a child centered or unschooling approach where he leads the activities. I do pull out the flashcards, or take out supplies for an art project but if he's not interested we move on to something else. (And he tells me now when he's not interested "no mommy, no book" etc) I've started keeping track of our homeschooling in a daily log. Our department of education requires we sent in reports twice a year on what our children are learning. Luckily I don't have to send them until he is 7 years old, but I don't think there's any harm in starting to keep records now. At least I will be used to it when the time comes, and it really shows you where you've been and how you're progressing.

Adriel now is almost 3 months and weighs 13.8 pounds. Can you believe it? Skyler was about 14 pounds at one year, and this one is 3 months old and almost there already. Mind blowing to me, they are almost the same size right now. This kid is adorable. He's exclusively breastfed and he refuses to take anything but the boob. Chuck has tried to give him expressed breast milk a few times now in a bottle and he refuses to, I guess he would take it eventually if he was starving but I'd never go away long enough for that to happen. Fortunately he recently found his thumb, and is no longer using me as a soother. Oh and he talks, boy does he talk. Or at least he thinks he does.

Normally Skyler yells and points when I pick up the baby, but today for the first time he told me what he wanted instead of yelling. He pointed and said "want it, want it, baby" I asked "you want the baby?" he repeated "want the baby" so I put him down next to Skyler, and Skyler started tickling him, and they both giggled. Super cute moment. I love having two kids, even though they keep me so busy I forget to breathe at times haha.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Twos: Temper Tantrums

Sometimes I wonder if my 2 year old's behaviour is typical 2 year old behaviour. He can be the happiest, sweetest little boy, but he can also drive me insane at times. It's like he has zero patience for anything at all. The second he can't make something do what he wants he begins screaming and crying (usually while yelling "help") until someone comes to fix it. If you try to get him to do it himself or show him how to do it himself he continues throwing this gigantic fit until you help him/do it for him or he pukes. Which is also what he does if you try ignoring him to see if he'll try to solve the problem himself. Yes he screams until he starts coughing gagging and puking if you don't find a way to stop him.

I know I work in childcare I have studied child development, and I know two year olds have no patience. But is this normal?? I used to take care of a two year old, and she was patient, she was quiet. She would attempt something many different ways before getting frustrated. I know all kids have different personalities. So is my child just extremely impatient and easily frustrated? Is he going to be like this forever as it's part of his personality or will he outgrow it? Or my worst fear of all, is this some kind of toddler 'roid rage? The meds he takes every day twice a day (prednisone) are a steroid. I am always worrying that perhaps they've taken over what would have been a completely different personality. Maybe he would be calmer without them.. We will never know because he has to take them every day for his entire life or risk death.

Obviously I would rather a living breathing angry impatient child than the alternative.. Still.. I can't help but wonder, and of course worry. I'm crossing my fingers that it's just a phase he'll eventually grow out of. Hopefully before I pull all my hair out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bullying Hurts

I took Skyler to swimming lessons today, and he's finally reached the point where he doesn't want to leave the pool. Yay! When I took him out of the pool after his lesson he looked back and said "Water!" then he let go of my hand and attempted to go back in. This from the kid who refuses to step foot in it until he's sat on the edge of the pool and splashed with his feet for a good five minutes.

After the lesson we went to get changed in the locker room. There are lots of lockers and a bench and people change near each other type deal. Anyway I was getting him dressed and a mom with three little boys came into our little area to get her kids changed. The boys must have been around 3-5 years old. As I was getting Skyler dressed they noticed him. They looked to their mom who was busy and being kind of curt with them. "Mommy what's wrong with her eyes? Mommy look! Look at her eyes. What happened to her eyes mommy?"

The mom didn't even glance up at us, she just ignored her children, who kept asking. Her response to them was to eventually say "nothing." and then to continue trying to get them dressed. I think she didn't know what to say.. Like she didn't want to acknowledge that my child was different. I was about to interject, to say something, to tell the children that he was born that way and it's okay, but the mom started talking to them about getting dressed, wearing flip flops whatever. I just kind of stared for a second, trying to process as I got him dressed. Then Skyler wandered across to the other side of the changing area, the three boys followed him and climbed up onto the bench and stood there.

"I'm bigger than you!" they taunted my child. "Look at me I'm higher than you!" they said, pointing down at him. The mom kind of laughed and told them that they are bigger than my child and they probably shouldn't be teaching the little one to climb up there. Or something like that. She didn't use a gender pronoun, I guess she didn't know what to think of him. (Btw he was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt with a picture of a cute little monster on it). I just kind of half smiled and said "he climbs up onto the bookshelf at home anyway."

I had Skyler come back over to where I was and the boys went on to the opposite side of the bench and pulled each other away from the side where Skyler was and snickered, and they all just kind of stared at him. I finished getting dressed as quickly as I could. Not quite sure what just happened or how to react. The thing is, they're young kids. I don't think they were trying to be particularly mean. They were just segregating themselves the way they know how, same, same, different. I badly wanted to say something, but I just froze. I didn't know what to say, or how to say it. Fortunately Skyler was oblivious to the whole thing. He was just interested in all the cool things to see in the locker room.

And maybe someday with various medications and surgeries my child will "look" like a "typical" child, but I will never let him think that it's wrong to be different or that it's okay to hurt someone else's feelings just because they don't look the same or act the same.

I can't change what happened today or how I reacted, but what I can do now is to implore you as parents and caregivers to please please talk to your kids about bullying. To tell them that it isn't nice to point and laugh at others. That some kids are different than them, and that that is perfectly okay. And if your child does point out another child's differences talk to them. Talk to your child about it, explain it in a positive way if you can. And if the other child's parent is there and they seem approachable, maybe ask them about it in a polite way. Talk to the child who is different! Maybe they have something to say about it. I hate that we talk about children with special needs more than we talk to them. Just please don't ignore your child's questions, children want to be heard and they want to understand, if you just take some time to explain it to them or find the answer together then maybe the world will become a better place, even just by a little bit.

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Yesterday was a terrible day. On Sunday I figured out that my maternity benefits had been cut off without knowing why. I haven't had a cheque in over a month, nor have I received my kid's cheques. I woke up at 4am yesterday to feed the little one and I couldn't fall back asleep I just had too much on my mind. Then we had to get up, take Skyler to preschool and go advance some money from C's paycheque just to pay the car payment and other bills. Then we had to go vote in the federal election and go to the Service Canada Center to figure out what happened to my Maternity benefits.

Fortunately the lady there said that my claim had simply expired so she had us open a new one and said I should get the rest of my leave, and they will back pay me for the last month. I don't know how it works in the states, but here we get about 9 months of maternity/parental leave paid by EI. So I panicked when I had only had 3 months and suddenly got cut off. The only trouble is we now have to wait for the money to show up, which will take another 3-4 weeks. I also called about the kids cheques. They claim they've sent them but they aren't here yet.. It's been like 10 days. Normally I get them on the 21st.

I did get my dollhouse in the mail yesterday though. We've painted most of the walls with the first and second coat and stained the floors. There's still lots more painting to do before we can put it all together though. I'm excited. Skyler already wants to play with it even though it's in pieces.

And the night ended on a sour note for me. I was really unhappy to see that the conservatives now have a majority government in my country. I hope these next four years go by quickly and maybe people will pick a better leader next time.. Also shortly after that happened Skyler (who couldn't sleep and normally he goes to bed no problem) decimated his room with puke. So C had to shampoo the carpet, and then run out to pick up more of Skyler's zant.ac since we ran out. It was our fault for letting him have french fries and chicken strips for dinner.. Sigh.. Sometimes I just wish he could have the things normal kids have once in a while without being punished for it by copious amounts of vomit. So I spent the rest of night coming up with lists of things he can and cannot eat since he has GERD.

I hope your Monday was better than mine.