Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My first portrait

This is the picture Miss J drew of me during her speech therapy today.  Is it weird that I almost started crying?  Maybe.  But she did so well today and has really been speaking so much more lately.  It is a relief to know that she will be ok after finding out that she was delayed.  In fact her therapist said if Miss J were tested today she might not qualify anymore.  So now I can worry about Little Man.  He has me worried lately.  Fifteen months and now new words in months and he has stopped using the words he used to have. 

Looking for an explanation as to why both my children are having speech issues I have of course stumbled on scary words.  Autism, Lead poisoning, etc.  However, the good news of today is that there is help!  Miss J's speech therapist bemoaned the fact that most people wait far too long to get their kids tested for possible developmental delays.  Many times we wait for a Dr. to notice and refer us, or for relatives to say something. 

With Miss J, I worried for months that she wasn't up to speed.  But every time I filled out a development questionaire she fell within the normal range, and the pediatrician only asked how many words she had.  However Jane still wasn't communicating and didn't seem to understand me.  So I finally just called and got her tested.  What do you know? She had a significant delay in cognitive development and receptive language!  Her therapist said it is subtle, and hard to put your finger on and could have easily gone undiagnosed and Miss J would just have been "behind" or "slow".  Now she is up to speed and can talk to me!

Little Man is going to be tested next. I'm not going to wait for someone else to agree with my worries.  I'm the Mom, and I am in tune with what my kids need.  And this way, he can get help, because there is lots of good help out there!

So here is the point of this post.  Follow your instincts.  There is no shame in getting your kids tested for developmental delays, and there is no shame in having a child with a delay.  Don't waste anymore time worrying about something that can be addressed now!

Monday, September 12, 2011

C is for Chugga Chugga Choo Choo and Caboose

Song:  Little Red Caboose

Little Red Caboose (chug chug chug)
Little Red Caboose (chug chug chug)
Little Red Caboose behind the train
Smokestack on its back (back back back)
Coming down the track (track track track)
Little Red Caboose behind the train (chug chug)

Story: The Little Engine that Could  and Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

Art: Fingerprint Trains

Stamp fingerprints in a row to make a train.

Snack:  Club Cracker trains
Use club crackers as box cars, cheerios for wheels, and load with cargo!

Activity:  Make trains out of blocks (with smokestack)
Use this to rinforce being able to build over AND up at the same time

Play the Train Game  (Follow The Leader)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Making a Good Impression with the Neighbors

Well, yesterday was exciting and scary all at the same time. The kids were playin upstairs. Unbeknownst to me, Rob had opened a window in our room from the bottom, which is a no-no because the windows are so low to the ground. Luckily, this window was right above our addition and just led out to the flat roof. Miss J reached and lifted up the screen, and apparently Harry (our dog) jumped out, onto the roof. This sent Miss J into hysterics (thankfully, can you imagine if she had thought to join him?). I went to investigate and found Harry prancing around on our roof, happy as a lark and Jane crying "Harry, come inside, Harry!"

I also started trying to get Harry to come back inside, but he was having way too much fun. I was about to climb onto the roof myself when Little Man toddled in to see what all the commotion was about. Not wanting him to follow me I put him up on my bed. Right then, Harry decided to walk by the window. I grabbed his collar and dragged him in.

Little Man at that moment was, of course, trying to get off the bed. His socked feet slipped on the hardwood floor and his chin smashed into the wood frame of our bed. I turned around and Little Man was bleeding...a lot. I ran him into the bathroom to clean him off and get a look at the damage, but there was too much blood, I could tell it was coming from his tongue but that was all.

I made the decision right then to take him to Rob's office to get a better look. As we were rushing out the door, I saw that there was a huge gash in his tongue, which of course made me hysterical. Five minutes after the dog is on the roof, I am rushing Miss J out the door, holding a bleeding Little Man. Everyone is screaming and crying and of course, both children are pantless! I can only imagine what the neighbors are thinking.

By the time we got to Rob's office Little Man had calmed down. Rob took a look, and it was a big gash, but it hadn't gone through the tongue. The nurse at the pediatrician's office said there isn't much to do for a tongue wound except wait for it to heal and apply popsicles. So that is what we are doing. Little Man is ok, but not sleeping great (on top of a sore tongue he is getting his canines in). I feel like this could have been so much worse that we are counting our blessings!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Taking Down the Gate

Recently I've heard some pretty dumb rules on the playground.

"Don't climb up the slide."

"Don't jump off the swings."

"Don't go in the tube when someone else is in there."

"Do not get your outfit dirty!"

Really? What happened to going to playground and just playing like crazy? My kids must seem like the rebellious ring leaders because when we go to the playground I let them do whatever their little hearts desire (as long as it is not obviously dangerous). And Miss J has a habit of asking the other kids "Are you coming?" as she is climbing up the slide. I stand close by and monitor the situation, but unless someone is trying to go down the slide I figure that climbing up the slide is building more muscles and motor skills then just sliding down.

All I can think sometimes is 'No wonder our children have an obesity problem'. We have overprotected them into being little indoor pets that sit nicely on the couch or play quietly in their room. When Miss J was getting her development test, one of the ladies asked if she could go up and down stairs by herself. Of course, I thought, she is 2 and a half for goodness sake. Then the two women told me that it is quite common for them to have 2 year olds that can't go up or down stairs because no one ever took the gate down.

We don't let our kids learn to go up and down the stairs because they might fall, when if we just help them the first few times, they get it and master stairs easily. Do they still sometimes fall? Yes, but that's ok!

Maybe my parenting approach is outdated, but I figure childhood is about getting your hands dirty, and having a few bumps and bruises. I think if we just let our kids live a little we will find that things aren't as dangerous or as risky as we think, and our children are a lot more able than we give them credit for.

You may think that what I am suggesting is lazy parenting. It is not. It takes more time, energy, and vigilance to monitor your child's stair mobility than to simply put up a gate until they are five years old. It takes staying right close to your 14 month old when he gets it into his head to climb up the slide like his older sister instead of holding him while you talk to someone on the phone.

Giving your child a little more freedom doesn't mean letting them do whatever they want without supervision. I think it requires more time and supervision to give your children a little lee-way. I'm not suggesting we let our kids play in the street or go swimming in an unsupervised pool, I'm just saying let's take a step back from our attitude that the world is waiting with baited breath to kill our children.

So to all mothers out there, here is a challenge. Let your kids live a little! Encourage them to get dirty!

Take down the gate!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Benny Bakes a Cake

I always find it hard to find really good books for Miss J (2.5 y). She is beyond the extreme simplicity of baby books, but not quite ready for the involved narrative of most story books. This book by Eve Rice is perfect. The story is simple. The wording is perfect, short, sweet, and child-centered. It is easy to involve her in and ask questions about what will happen next, etc. My little man loves it too!

Refrigerator Love Letters

About a year ago I purchased "love" word magnets. Since then, Rob and I have had fun putting together short little love sentences on the fridge. It is just a fun little game between us, and an easy way to get a few butterflies going (which can be a challenge after children). Because the words are on the fridge they are on display all the time and easy to remember. It was $7.00 well spent!