Dear Best Little Boy,
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Dear Best Little Boy,
Monday, December 20, 2010
It's been a long, challenging fall this year. In September I returned to work and we resumed the challenge and struggle of juggling home responsibilities with two parents in the workforce. This challenge was further complicated by Julia's start in full-time, real-deal school as a kindergartner, and an extensive therapy schedule for Mister Man. At the time I returned to the classroom in September, it was OT 2x per week, PT 2x per week, and Speech and Feeding 2x per week as well.
- Celebrate, savor the small moments, the small accomplishments, the tiny milestones.
- Live in the moment, banish the 'if-only's' from my mind and my vocabulary.
- Don't compare, celebrate the uniqueness and individuality of each child.
- Spend quality time with each child, every day, and find a moment, even if it is just a moment, for my husband and for myself. It makes me a better Mom.
- Breathe. Breathe again. And once more.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
So, today is Julia's last day of preschool. It’s hard to believe three years have flown by so quickly. I remember sitting in our new parent orientation session three years ago and feeling incredibly nervous. Our girl was so big yet so tiny. She wasn’t even two yet, but we were enrolling her in preschool? It was so beyond our frame of reference – Dave and I both started preschool when we were four years old. Did we really need to enroll Julia at the age of two? How would she make it through 2 ½ hours without her lovey, Puppy? She was still in diapers, how would that be managed? She really hadn’t spent any extended time with any adult other than the two of us and Sherrie, her nanny. Would these teachers at Cobble Hill Playgroup appreciate her energy, her spunk, her quirkiness, her sensitivity? We decided to view Julia’s first two years of preschool as an organized playdate, and if nothing else, hope she learned that there were expectations and rules for working together in a classroom environment. What happened was beyond our wildest expectations.
First day of phase in, Julia was so excited to be at school, though she still wasn’t quite sure what school was. A bigger boy was building an intricate tower of blocks. Julia marched over to him, and smacked the tower down. When the bigger boy protested, she then proceeded to hit HIM. I watched, a little horror stricken, but interested to see how the teachers would react. A teacher walked over to Julia, removed her from the situation, and got her set up with another activity, away from the clearly upset older boy. In that moment I was sold. Age appropriate, gentle, but effective classroom management. The message was clearly sent that hitting and knocking down someone else’s work is not acceptable, but not with an admonishing, demeaning tone.
The routine of school quickly became a part of our family’s week. Daddy walked Julia to school (rather, strolled her to school those first two years), our sitter picked her up. After a while, we forgot we were writing tuition checks. It was just a place Julia went twice a week. Most days the only information we got about school was that she sang “Old-De-Donald” and that she pooped in her diaper. And then magic happened. Julia and I were waiting on the train around December. The train pulled into the station and Julia said, “Look, the 4 train!” and it was. And I hadn’t taught her what a four looked like.
Many moments have happened since then that have reinforced our choice to send Julia to preschool at the tender age of two. She has thought about her role in the world, learned about recycling and holidays, and owl pellets and words. She has learned to spell, learned to read, and overcome her intense phobia of worms through a worm study. She has learned to get along with others and that school has a routine and a predictability to it. She has learned to ask questions and satisfy her curiosity. She has learned to LOVE school and LOVE her teachers.
I am dreading pick up today, dreading the final good-byes, dreading the heartfelt words that I know I will hear from her preschool head and teachers, dreading the tears that will inevitably come, dreading the end of this phase. Closing a chapter of your life is difficult, particularly when closing that chapter of your life means your baby girl is growing up and becoming more and more independent each day. I joke with Julia that I am going to strap a cinder block to her head because she is getting so big and tall and self-sufficient. But it's all relative. I remember thinking my big preschool girl was HUGE back in 2007. And look at her now.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Dear Oliver -
Saturday, May 8, 2010
So... Oliver's evaluation report arrived yesterday. While I was bracing myself for it, it was still hard to digest and process. The therapists unanimously evaluated him as 'delayed' on all fronts. He was even graded with letter grades in one section of the report, and received several 'Fs'. While Dave and I have known for a while now that he was behind in several areas (I mean, this is our second go-round as parents, and what parents don't compare the second experience to the first), it was hard to read the report with his name at the top and 'delayed' in every evaluation, gross motor, fine motor, cognition, speech and language and feeding. To read that he could be in danger of failure to thrive if he doesn't start eating soon, as breast milk will no longer meet his needs when he becomes more active. To read he is weak. To read he isn't playing like a one year-old should. To read he doesn't understand simple commands, or mimic back sounds or imitate signs. It's true. All of it is true.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Yesterday was Oliver's 11 month birthday. And he isn't eating. He will take a couple of crumbs of bagel, a couple of dried blueberries and that's all she wrote. For all intents and purposes, he isn't eating. He is still getting about 99% of his calories from nursing. After the swallow assessment and the endoscopy last month, we were directed to NYC's Early Intervention program to see if he would qualify for behavioral feeding therapy services. In order to qualify, he had to have a delay in at least one other area, so we have had a troupe of therapists parading through our home in the last two weeks. We've been assigned a case worker, and he's been assessed by a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech and language therapist, and a teacher has done a general assessment and parent interview.