Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My mother
The one person in this world that gets my goat.

I'm not sure I can have a conversation with this woman without becoming immediately irritated. I don't know how she does it but she just does. She knows exactly what to say/do to always push my buttons.

She is a big time hypochondriac. Its exhausting. Every conversation with her involves some discussion of her current ailments. She goes to the doctor so often she should have frequent flyer miles. Seriously, if anything were ever to really be wrong with her she would catch it very early because she must have a standing weekly appointment with her doctor.

Also up for conversation - diets. Whatever new fad is popular that is what she is doing. Its a constant yo-yo. I believe its the biggest reason why I have such an unhealthy body image and always over eat/comfort eat. I really don't want to hear about this all the time.

To cap it all off, every conversation consists of the whiney "why don't you come visit me." Wah! The more you ask the less likely it is to happen. You criticize my parenting techniques (not directly usually, just the backhanded commenting) and you have no respect for kids schedules/sleep needs. So not a pleasant way to spend my free time. You understand?

Here is an example of a conversation with my mother. The background, my sister inlaw was in the hospital on bedrest because of issues with her pregnancy. My mother took a day off work to go be with her and called me on the way to see if I would go there too. I told her that the hospital policy doesn't allow for kids to visit. Since I stay home with my kids there really isn't a way for me to go. I don't have a babysitter readily available to me. But she insists that I try to go anyway. Woman, I delivered at that hospital. I know the rules. But I call anyway and I get told no, exactly what I expected. I called my mom to tell her the news:

Me: The nurses said no.
Her: Well that stinks. That is such a stupid policy.
Me: Actually its not. Kids are germy. Its to protect all the new babies and mommas. Plus, hospitals can be germy so it protects my kids from catching anything too.
Her: Well, they better not tell me that I can't see her. I drove all this way.......(starting in on tirade of ridiculousness)
Me: (getting very irritated) MOM! STOP! JUST STOP! Seriously. The policy is no kids. Why on earth would they turn you away? STOP it!

Ridiculous! Right? Just because you act like a child does not in fact mean that they will turn you away from visiting your daughter inlaw due to the no children policy. Yeesh!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Foo Fee
Would you like cream and sugar in your "foo fee" this morning?

Yes, that is just another of the adorable utterances coming from my little Owen. He thinks its so funny when you repeat it back to him. He is really communicating so well lately. This past weekend he went in the kitchen (no one was in there) and he was pointing at the upper cabinet (where the snacks are) and saying "wacker." How can you not give in and give him a cracker? Or every time I open the refrigerator he comes running and pointing to the fruit drawer saying "boobays" because he knows that is where the blueberries are.

Thursday, May 15, 2008
One of those days where you feel like a bad parent
When your child has a tantrum that lasts 45 minutes and they ARE. NOT. HEARING. YOU.

I just lose it. Thankfully I know enough to remove myself from the situation and while he gets a timeout, I do too. You know? Its much needed.

Maybe the fact that I recognize that I need that before the situation gets worse makes me a good parent?

Anyway, this prompted me to finally make that phone call to get myself back into therapy. With a new therapist this time. One that specializes in helping parents of special needs children. I cannot wait for this appointment.

One thing Aiden's psychologist had me do that has helped me tremendously is write down all the things my child does that get to me or make me feel angry/upset/losing it. He said after you write them down think about them and how you react to them. Think about the behaviors and realize if they're normal toddler behavior that comes with the territory or something that we can help Aiden with in session. Amazingly, it really worked. Writing them down and thinking about them when not in the moment helped me recognize what about the behavior bothered me so much and how to better deal with it myself and with him. I suggest this to all parents whether your child is special needs or not.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Lets talk about Owen
I spent the last two posts talking about Aiden so how about I talk about my other little man, Mr. O.

He is a big ball of fun right now. He is so playful and just down right adorable at every opportunity. It really makes me appreciate this stage so much more than I did with Aiden because now I realize that it doesn't last that long.

Over Mother's Day weekend he started walking full time. I'm still trying to get used to this little person toddling around the house. I see his blond little head come bobbing along. He is doing really well.

One thing that is so different for me is that he is a total Momma's boy. He'd love to be glued to my hip if he could. Its sweet and I definitely will take the lovin for as long as he wants to give it. We're still nursing at almost 14 months. We've officially made it longer than I did with Aiden who weaned at 13 months. I don't know when we'll be done but I'm letting him lead.

Another thing that is different is that he talks. He can say or tries to say pretty much everything he hears. Every morning that I bring Aiden to school I ask him if he's ready to see Mrs. Pratt. Owen then chants "Pratt. Pratt. Pratt......" as we walk into the building. He likes to grab your nose and shout "Honk!" As soon as we pull into the driveway he starts saying "Kitty Cat" over and over in anticipation of seeing his beloved kitties.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The one unexpected thing to come out of this diagnosis has been the networking I've done.

Its like we've been given a pass to a whole new social setting. I'm meeting other mothers dealing with similar issues. We're discussing our doctors, therapists, and diets. I'm being asked for playdates more since our diagnosis than in our entire first two and a half years.

One mother lives very close to me. Her child has the same diagnosis but PDD is such a broad category that her child's issues aren't exactly the same as Aiden's. I find her the easiest to relate to. We both are feeling the same rollercoaster of emotions. I hit it off really well with another mother at pickup from preschool yesterday. She is taking her child for the first time to see the same psychologist we see. I can't wait to find out how it went. Aiden really seems to be interested in her child, more than any other child, so far. I really think playdates with him will be a good thing.

I find that sometimes I wonder if the behavior Aiden is exhibiting now are just him being 3 or because of his PDD. I've been told by specialists that you shouldn't be watching your child trying to figure out if he is normal or not at every moment because it will drive you crazy and it isn't fair to your child. Its hard sometimes because right after we found out, he turned into a fire breathing, head spinning, monster child. Every day is a test in patience, which I don't have a large supply of. I can't help but always wonder if the PDD is making it harder than it would be otherwise. Sometimes yes, but probably sometimes no.

Monday, May 12, 2008
Aiden was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder called Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD). Its been a couple of months since we got the diagnosis and I think we're all doing much better dealing with it now.

At first I was pretty upset because as a parent you don't want to have anything be wrong with your baby. But after a little time I got over it because after all it wasn't a great shock. We all knew there were issues and quirks that needed to be explained/addressed.

Now he is going to a fantastic preschool that is offering him PT/OT/Speech on a regular basis. He is coming along really well with his gross motor delay. He got a mini-trampoline for his birthday and it has been a huge success. He can now jump with both feet off the ground at the same time! His language is beautiful and the conversation piece is starting to fill in more. His favorite new thing is counting in Spanish.

He still hyperfocuses on things for a long time. His new thing is They Might Be Giants, Here Come the 123's. He has the CD/DVD. He wants to watch it all the time. Its the first thing he asks for every morning. He wants to listen to it in the car every time we are in the car. He sings the songs constantly. I know its not good to allow him to stay too focused to the point that he doesn't take an interest in anything else but it is very difficult to decipher what is and isn't normal limits.

I've been getting really touchy about things I've been reading recently. I don't know why it bothers me but it seems that I see it more and more than before. Parents writing about issues their child has but they don't seek further treatment. I can't get behind the whole "they'll catch up" mentality. I think you do your child a disservice not to help them when they're behind.

One blog I've been reading recently really reminds me of where I was about a year ago. The parent in this instance has been getting their child a lot of help for issues. Just like with Aiden the child is doing really well and responding quickly to therapy. But also, just like I was, the parent is in this euphoric place that everything is well now. Because my child is doing so good its all hunky dory. The therapists are all giving me glowing reports about my child because that is their job but no one is going to tell you that there is still more to do. Your child is not yet caught up to their peers.

The thing with Early Intervention is that they don't/can't tell you when your child should be seen for further evaluation - specifically sensory/autism issues. The coordinator cannot say to you hey, I think your kid is showing signs of this, maybe you should look into it further. Which is BS that they aren't legally allowed to do that. They're the professionals! How unfair to these children who have a chance on not getting proper treatment because of this stupid policy. They leave it up to the parents, who are in this state of euphoria because look at how well my child is progressing, to recognize that there is still more to do. I hope this parent eventually sees what I see in her child. A beautiful, smart, adorable child who just seems a little bit off in some ways, just like Aiden did (he really reminds me of Aiden in so many ways!).

**Please note that just because my child has PDD does not mean that I'm trying to find comfort in projecting it on other kids as a way to make me feel better/less alone in this/whatever**