Under My Wing.

I keep getting waves of guilt washing over me.  Panic knocking me over like a tidal wave; despite my white knuckle grip on life I am falling….

I feel like a mama hen desperately trying to keep her little innocent fluffy babes safe from harms way as they happily frolic to and fro without a care in the world. But I am drenched with worry, wings outspread trying desperately to reach them, grab them and keep them underfoot.

But my babies are growing. My babies are learning. My babies are getting bigger and hearing things, seeing things… they are stepping out into this world and one day…

…they will know the truth. More

Go Ahead and Cry, Mom.

craziness

Yes,  a few things on your “to do list” might have been forgotten today,

maybe some things were not completed quite as perfectly as you had hoped,

and they were definitely not within the specific time frame you had been leaning towards,

a few things might have gone awry during the process and I know it drags you down even if you understand that you are the only one who knows about it.

Go ahead and cry, mom. More

Suzies “Farm”

Today we decided to finally get dressed and get ready at 930am to go down to Imperial Beach and check out Suzie’s Farm. Their second Saturday of the month tour was today, 10am. Yep, thirty minutes to get all the way down to the border… I was crossing my fingers that we didn’t show up and everyone would be gone. Out of my fear, I made a deal with the kids though that if that happened we would go to the zoo and still do something fun for all our travels. They were content with this deal. More

‘Normal’

I don’t know what  ‘normal’ is anymore.

On days like today I’ve lost my patience and feel like I’ve run out of options.  Hearing your children fight and argue constantly is one thing but also being completely ignored EVERY time you talk to them?? Ugh, it get’s right under my skin and makes me want to yank my hair out… literally

It’s not for lack of trying though, let me tell you… I have taken my fair share of “independent children” workshops, child development courses and read numerous books on the subject. I have been there done that when it comes to tips and tools of the trade… nothing works.

He goes through this phase where he tunes EVERYTHING I say to him out. I feel like it’s normal because Haylee does the same thing at times, but for whatever reason what she does seems much more intentional and defiant and I tend to have more patients and creativity when it comes to issuing a consequence.  When Kaelob does it I go bonkers because I cant decide if he’s doing it intentionally or really honestly just tuned me out two words into my direction and is really truly confused….If I punish him and he really is confused I risk pushing us back a million steps from where we have worked so hard to get to. I live every day with the fear that I will yell at him for something or punish him for something that will undo everything we have worked so hard to accomplish in the last 4 and a half years.

But then, what do i do besides literally pull my hair out when I try to look him in the eyes, make him repeat what Ive said to him, ask him to tell me again what it is I have asked him to do or the directions I just gave him… directly after he can usually repeat what Ive said, or in some cases even then he’s already forgotten. What more can I do??

Example: I pulled him aside one night and needed something from the freezer down in the chicken shed.I asked him if he could do me a favor and he jumped up happily, eager to be a big helper. I gave him very specific directions telling him where the gallon of milk was that I needed and although he didn’t give me eye contact (despite my indirect attempts to gain it) He repeated what it was he was doing for me before hopping out the front door. He skipped down the stepping stones outside, swatted at the tree a couple times with a stick and then skipped the rest of the way down to the shed. I watched as he opened the door and walked in and then nothing.  I waited, still nothing.  I yelled out the window asking if he was okay and he yelled back that he couldnt find it. I tried to yell down to him my repeated instructions of exactly where it was but I heard him growling with frustration. I told him to just come back up to the house and I would take care of it.  When he came through the front door he was angry and frustrated, “I forgot what I was getting” he told me when I asked why he couldn’t find it.

I just dont understand how much more specific I could be. HERE is your item you are getting and HERE is exactly where it will be, ready GO…. but thats not how it works in our house.

OR this morning… He had left his shoes in the car but our big fight with him is wearing socks with his shoes. hes never liked wearing socks, but MAN he has the nastiest smelling feet, so we enforce it as best we can.  He reluctantly helped me find two socks in his clothes pile in his room and as we were walking together up the hallway to the living room I specifically told him that I wanted him to wait to put his socks on until after we were in the car that way they wouldnt get dirty, and asked him to turn the TV off so we could head out now. He said okay but I was behind him in the hallway so I didnt see his face… I should have known.

I stepped into the kitchen to pour my coffee one second and when I stepped back out I see Kaelob sitting in front of the TV- watching it and putting his socks on!!!!

I just wanted to explode.

I did explode.

Seems like a simple stupid thing to get upset over… but THIS happens ALL THE TIME.

its “Normal”.

What is normal for your family?

“Broken”

I very clearly see the irony in the fact that Kaelob used the work “broken” to describe feeling SAD on the way home from church today. I noticed early on that he was very sensitive today. It was a little different than normal. I don’t know if it was my perspective was different OR he was actually acting different, either way the best way of describing it is to say that he was being ‘sensitive’. IF his sisters just looked at him the wrong way he would practically start crying because he thought they were making fun of him. It wasn’t anger like usual, it was pure uncontrolled emotion. He would crumple up whimpering and crying clenching his fists into balls against his eyes as he cried.

It hurt me to watch him react to every little thing this way. At one point Peytne was apologizing to him for something she had done a few minutes before but he was also in the middle of talking about having leftover pizza for lunch. So when Peytne interrupted him to say, in a sweet voice, “I sorry Kaelob.” He growled at her and crumpled against the window crying uncontrollably.

We tried to discuss the interaction a little and get through the emotion of it but he wasn’t able to calm down quite yet. Finally when I asked him why he was angry, he was able to express to me that he wasnt angry but he “felt broken”. When I poked a little further at this intersting choice of words he said, “Sad, I feel broken and sad.” All I could say in response was, “Im really sorry you feel that way buddy.”

I understood.

….

More

Touchdown for Nutrition- Part 2 (Edible Dirt)

***In Case you haven’t read T4N-Intro to learn about my Whole Foods/Nutrition Challenge check that out HERE***

Alright, I accepted that defeat… The Apple Cinnamon Chips didn’t go over too well with the kids.  However, I refuse to give up.  I’ve got more up my sleeve!!

Edible Dirt. More

A Parents “second” worst Nightmare

Now I don’t know about you but when I think of a parents worst nightmare it tends to involve some kind of freak trauma resulting in permanent damage possibly even death.

Honestly I think people (mostly parents) use this phrase to describe anything scary or traumatic involving their children and don’t even bother actually rating them from literal worst to least, instead they just consider all nightmarish events to be the “worst”.

That being said I have been thinking about a common
Event that has sadly become a familiar term recently in homes world wide! This subject I consider to be very serious and very easily my second worst nightmare for my kids….

I am talking about bullying.

No parent wants to know their child is being bullied. No parent wants to watch their kid get picked on and see the hurt in their eyes as they look around for help but none is offered… No one but you sees what is going on… Do you step in? Do you intervene or let it play out even though you feel like you are dying inside as you watch your child struggle…

Step it up a notch and imagine your. Child has a special need… Mild or severe, this special need may affect their ability to interact socially at a normal level so you know that not only does your child not understand what they have done to deserve the cruelty from others in this moment but also he/she doesn’t know how to respond to it either! Your heart breaks as a parent knowing that this will probably be something your child will face many many more times in the future…

For example, Kaelob has been doing. Muay Tai/Kickboxing for about a year now and he loves it! He doesn’t respond appropriately to some directions nor does he interact calmly and socially appropriate with his peers on most occasions but so far the other kids have been relatively tolerant of his oddities.

Years ago about the only way he knew how to talk to his peers, especially when he got excited, was to yell gibberish in their face and bump into them with his body like a weird version of human bumper cars. Luckily his peers were much younger then and much more accepting. They would work through the interaction and despite struggling to communicate they managed to get to a level of understanding and move on. Possibly because they were you get then, grown ups observing this would also step in and assist If needed.

But now? No, not now. 8 year olds are expected to communicate effectively with both peers and adults. I don’t expect it from Kaelob but I do give him more space and opportunity to work it out on his own and learn from his mistakes…. Even if that means I sometimes have to watch him struggle and hurt.

He has come SUCH a long way over this last year!! The number of unclear verbal outbursts has diminished greatly; to almost none! He is able to introduce himself and appropriately answer simple questions about his name age address and so on. I remember a day when he would respond to “how are you today Kaelob?” with “yes” and people would look up at me weird and I would cringe inside wishing they had asked him something else, or nothing at all, or that he could understand how to respond to them “normally”… He couldn’t get excited without practically climbing up your body like a tree and making strange noises at the same time. We worked llllloooonnnnggggg and hard with pulling him back getting to his level and explaining to slow down and use his words to tell us what he is so happy about. The progress he has made over this last year has been tremendous!!! I am sooooo proud of him!!!!

Despite his amazing progress he is coming into a new stage of struggle dealing with peers that are. Now able to notice that he doesn’t do things or respond to things the way they do. Not only do they notice it but they complain or treat him poorly because of it.

The other week in his kickboxing class there were a lot of kids so class that day was large(he tends to struggle more when there’s a larger group) and because of this during some of he drills a handful of kids needed to sit out and wait until the next round to switch with someone and take their turn. Anyone reading this could guess that waiting is not something Kaelob does well… He decided during this particular time to entertain himself with noises, practicing his funny faces and occasionally biting his gloves… Granted he could have also gone the opposite route and thrown a full on tantrum stomping his feet and whining that he had to sit out at all , but he didn’t! So although I don’t approve of his behavior in general I was still very proud of him for doing better than he’s done in the past!

Unfortunately his friends beside him, also waiting their turn to go did not find his behavior amusing. They grumbled a few complaints to him which he didn’t seem to acknowledge. One of the boys shoved him and he rocked over to the side, sat back up and continued what he had been doing with maybe just a quick confused glance at the boy who had pushed him. He stopped at one point and looked directly at them to say something I couldn’t make out but the tone he used and his facial expression made it seem like he was genuinely just trying to have a friendly conversation. With them…. By this point they were clearly upset and annoyed by him so their response to him was to glare at him angrily and put their fingers in their ears.

The look on kaelobs face was heartbreaking. He got it. He finally understood that they were angry with him but the hurt on his face told me very clearly that he didn’t understand why.

Now as a parent, as a MOM… When I see someone lay a finger on my babies I want to punch them out. Obviously I can’t exactly do that, nor can I storm into the middle of his kickboxing class to mediate a simple conflict that they should work out themselves…. I can’t be that mom. So I sat there watching, hurting, crying inside for my baby boy who was struggling to grow up and trying to fit in.

Yesterday we spent the day as a family at the beach. Kaelob usually spends the entire time playing and swimming in the little waves, but yesterday he seemed to assume the job of removing the large debris of seaweed from the shore. He busied himself with the task of dragging the large piles of seaweed as far as he could up onto the beach then running back to the waves as fast as he could . No one really joined him and he didn’t seem to mind one bit!

On one of his trips back up to the beach with a long stretch of seaweed a group a boys in wet suits were walking by as he headed up the sand dragging the giant plant. These boys were no more than a year or so older than Kaelob and from just a little ways away I watched as one boy intentionally stepped on the seaweed that was dragging in the sand. This caused Kaelob to jerk to a stop and turn around confused as to what he got caught on. He looked up at them so innocent and so confused. He didn’t say a word but tugged gently on his seaweed and the kid didn’t move his foot. Kaelob looked down at his foot then back up at the kid. The friends of this boy were standing around giggling and I saw the frustration slowly creep into his face. He took a deep breath and tugged even harder. The boy quickly lifted his foot as if to try and knock Kaelob off balance by letting to. When Kaelob turned around and started heading back up the beach like nothin had happened the kid stomped on the seaweed again.

Kaelob spun around with desperation in his eyes. My heart ached when I saw him look around for help (he didn’t see me) and looked so broken when he saw no one was paying attention to the injustice that was happening right now, no one was helping him… Oh God how I wanted to step in and pummel the kid!! I couldn’t, I knew I couldn’t. I knew deep down Kaelob was handling himself really well.

He looked so angry but all he did was get a tighter grip on the plant bent his knees and pulled even harder. Suddenly the branch of seaweed broke and the boys cheered for their friend who was laughing proudly. They high fived each other and walked off. Kaelob stood there a moment and watched them walk away and I wish I could have heard his thoughts… He looked as though he were tying to explain why someone would do that to him… He looked like he just didn’t understand at all, how do I tell him neither do I?? Then his face changed. He took a deep breath and sighed, swung the plant over his shoulder and headed back up the beach.

I am Ssssssoooooooo unbelievably proud of him!! Yet I am hurting for his sweet little heart. It’s such a terrible feeling, to watch others be mean to your child and not be able to do anything about it. To watch them look for help… How do you explain to your child that this will only get worse? How do you tell them that they struggle socially because of a disorder that they had no control over?? Kaelob has been in and out of therapy, resources, classes and so on… In his mind all that is “normal”. He has no idea that the way he processes things might be “different” …. But maybe just maybe it’s time to have that talk. I want to raise confident proud children but struggle with Kaelob because recently he has been acting out such self doubt and low self esteem. He says really negative things about himself when he gets in trouble of is frustrated and dressed and it makes. Me just want to cry when I hear him say those things. But maybe, understanding Why might help him with his recent negativity oR help him cope with the hard social interactions and conflicts with peers.

Maybe it is time.

Marriage and God

*So they started out singing their version of the song “Shapoopie” from the Music Man which we just recently went and saw (friday).*

Then Haylee says… More