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Monday, May 7, 2012

Maybe we should cut back on The Lion King...

Korban didn't talk until after he turned three.  We were so worried.  I thought he might never talk.  Over the years he has become more and more verbal, which is such a blessing.  I will never regret all those hours in speech therapy.  Even if I did take him to a dr's appointment today and as soon as the dr walked in the room Korban looked up at him and said "You look like a warthog!"  "Sweet Jesus," I thought, "HELP ME!!!"  I did not see that one coming.  Just for the record, the dr doesn't look like a warthog to me.  He is an ENT, and he does wear one of those little miner-light deals on his head, so maybe that looked warthoggish to Korban.  I honestly don't know.  What do you say when your completely unfiltered child blurts out something like that?  I don't know the answer to that one either.  The dr just went on about his business while I mentally slithered out of my chair and hid underneath it.  I'm sure I looked like I had been gonged over the head with a frying pan.  I wish I had said "Oh, I'm sorry.  You know he has speech issues and he gets the words 'warthog' and 'movie star' confused.  His speech therapist is working with him on that one."

We saw this dr for the first time three weeks ago due to chronic nosebleeds.  He cauterized Korban's nose, which has really helped the nosebleeds, but apparently Korban hasn't quite forgiven him for it yet.  (Let me just say that we put off cauterization for a long time and I regretted that because the whole thing was over in about 20 seconds and was much less traumatic for Korban than repeated nosebleeds.  Or at least I thought it was.)

I do recall telling the dr last time that Korban still manages to snore, despite no longer having tonsils or adenoids.  I always tell Korban that he snores like a warthog, so maybe that's how the connection was made.  When will I learn???

This appointment today was just a follow-up and other than the warthog incident, it went just fine.  Korban played on his iPad in the waiting room and he was really good.  He loves the iPad, and it is a lifesaver on days like today.  We've been working on an alphabet tracing app, and he's getting better at it.  He's also starting to recognize most of the letters of the alphabet, which is exciting.

Right now, Korban is snoozing and so far he isn't snoring.  And if he should ever happen to tell any of you that you look like a warthog, please know in advance that he dearly loves the Lion King, especially Pumbaa, and I'm sure he means it as a compliment.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free Donkey Rides At The Essary Zoo

My kids played together most of the day today.  This was really exciting for us, because they don't always play together and sometimes when they do it leads to bloodshed.  I remember when we enrolled Korban in his special needs preschool at age 3, I had just found out I was pregnant with Selah.  I remember talking to his teachers about it, and being worried about how Korban would handle a sibling.  They told me that almost every kid they taught had siblings (which was reassuring--I figured that if other parents could do it maybe I could too) and that they all did fine.  They said that most of the parents biggest complaint was the child with autism didn't interact much with their siblings.  Fast forward several months later to Selah arriving on the scene, and let's just say Korban noticed her all right.  Noticed, and cried incessantly when he saw her for the first time and even more when we actually brought her home from the hospital.  He was very jealous of me holding her and nursing her and it was a tough time.  But we made it.  And sometimes, he even acts like he loves her.  ;)  No really, he has come a long way.  He does interact with her, but he is sadly lacking in age appropriate play.  Simply put, she wants him to play with her, he wants to play with her, but he just doesn't always know how.  And when they do play together, somebody better be close by keeping an eye on them because he is rough with her and could hurt her.  Also, she is a typical little sister is the fact that she knows how to push his buttons and is usually brave enough to do that, even if she knows it won't end well for her.  But today, my kids played together.  They both played rough but no one got hurt.  We got home from church this morning and I was in a rush, putting some sandwiches together for a bridal shower at church this afternoon.  I was at the kitchen table making sandwiches when I hear Selah say "Look Mommy, I'm riding an animal!" And I look up and see Korban on all-fours crawling by with Selah perched atop his back.  They were both laughing and it was very cute.  They chased each other, and she rode his back, and he pulled her around by her sweater on the floor.  That last one worried me, but she thought it was hilarious and my floor is cleaner now.  Korban riding Selah around on his back was their favorite thing.  I asked Korban what kind of animal he was and he said "a donkey."  Selah said he was an elephant but he insisted that he was a donkey.  He kept saying "ride the donkey!" and she would hop on his back and off he would go.  It looks so funny because she's tall and her feet nearly drag the ground.  When they got done with that, he would sit on her.  Seriously.  He has a poor sense of space, and he doesn't always understand how hard he is grabbing at someone.  Basically he isn't able to tell exactly where he's at in relation to other people and he spends a lot of time trying to orient himself by running up and bouncing off of us and doing things like that.  I have to be vigilant in watching him with Selah because she is small, and he will quite literally sit on her, lay on her, push her down on the couch, etc.  He doesn't have to be mad to do this, he does it when they are getting along and trying to pay together.  I always explain to him that he can't do that because he will squish her.  Actually, my exact words to him are usually "Korban, don't squish her guts out!"  I don't know why I chose those words, but today it came back to haunt me.  He was squeezing Selah and trying to sit on her and she yelled "Stop it, Toe-ban.  You squishing my nuts out!"  Oh my.  And she said it repeatedly.  Apparently she can't say "guts" but "nuts" comes out loud and clear.  Of course it does.

This evening I was getting ready to give the kids a bath and put them to bed when Korban ran to his daddy crying and saying "Change clothes! Change clothes!"  This is nothing out of the ordinary.  He absolutely freaks if he gets a drop of food or liquid on his clothes.  He can't stand the sensation and immediately wants to change.  Before I finish this story, let me further illustrate this point by telling another story.  I left Korban at the kitchen table eating applesauce the other day and went to the laundry room to grab some clothes out of the dryer.  In a few minutes he came in there crying and wanting to change clothes because he dropped a little applesauce on his shorts.  Korban is very dependent on me, and I'm trying to help him be more independent.  Since it was only a small splotch, I explained to him that Mommy's hands were busy and that if he wanted his clothes changed he would have to go do it himself.  He is just now learning to dress himself.  He whined for a few more minutes, but I just kept on folding clothes and he eventually went on his way.  When I finished in the laundry room I found him at the table, calmly finishing his applesauce.  I thought to myself that I had handled that well and that he had obviously decided that if he was actually going to have to change his clothes himself, the applesauce on his shorts wasn't such a big deal.  I sat down beside him and told him good job.  He finished off his applesauce and asked for some more.  Still on a high from handling the clothes situation so well, I told him to go get more applesauce out of the fridge himself and I would help him open it.  He hopped up to do my bidding, and my jaw dropped.  He was butt naked from the waist down. Oh, he had solved the problem alright!  He had just taken off the clothes that were bothering him.  Now a small splotch of applesauce is enough to trigger a meltdown, but naked, he's totally fine with.  *Sigh*  That's gotta count for a little bit of problem solving skills, though, right?

Back to tonight.  Korban left Selah and ran to his dad crying to change clothes.  I heard Brad ask him how his shirt got wet.  He didn't have a drink or anything.  I was in the next room and I asked Brad if they spilled something on the floor and Korban rolled over in it.  Brad said no, that they didn't have anything to spill.  He kept asking Korban where he got the water from and Korban wasn't answering.  I asked Brad if Korban wet his pants, and he said no and told me that Korban's pants were fine and the back of his shirt was the only thing that was wet.  I started to have a sinking suspicion.  "Check Selah!" I told him.  He did, and found our culprit.  Our potty-training little sis had peed on her big bro during a piggyback (donkeyback?) ride.  Korban was not impressed.  Good thing I was planning on putting them in the bath soon anyway.  We got all the mess taken care of.  I told them I was proud they had played together and had fun today.  I was worried our donkey would retire after that whole incident, but he didn't.  He does have a new rule though:  all passengers must wear Pull-Ups.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Holy Toddlers In Tiaras, Batman! (Why I may not be cut out to be a dance mom)

We signed Selah up for a little dance class last year.  It was technically supposed to be for two-year-olds, and she was still one but they let her come anyway.  A family member told us about it, since her little girl was taking the class, so we signed Selah up.  I thought it would be good for her for several reasons.  First of all, we are always taking Korban to therapy and stuff, and while it's necessary, they do try to make it fun for him.  Selah used to always cry because she couldn't go back and "play" with the therapists too.  So I wanted her to have something just for her.  Also, most of our friends are boys so I wanted her to get to spend some time with little girls too.  And lastly, I was hoping that if we started early enough Selah might actually be graceful enough to walk across the floor without tripping over her own two feet, despite having a good deal of my genetic material.  :)  She has loved the dance class and I've loved watching her.  She has gotten to be BFFs with her sweet cousin Abbie, and she always looks forward to going to dance each week.  They are taking the summer off, and our end of the year recital is tonight.  Exciting!  She has a sweet little yellow costume and they are performing along with the other dance groups at the high school auditorium.  This morning they had practice at 9:?30 at the auditorium to prep them for tonight.  When we got there, the older group was practicing and there were some delays, so we didn't actually start practice until closer to 11:00.  Brad was helping his mother at the Green Market this morning, so it was just me and the kids.  The kids really did better than I expected having to wait all that time, but it wasn't exactly a picnic.  Korban behaved better than Selah.  She stood up in one of the auditorium seats, and it closed up, trapping her foot and leaving me to get her unstuck while she screamed at the top of her lungs.  I know it hurt.  She has a bruise and a scrape to prove it.  Only my monkey. Then the other dance teacher, the one I don't know, got up to make announcements.  It was then that I started feeling really nervous.  She was telling us what time to be there tonight, and the routine to follow.  She said not to let the girls wear their costumes to the auditorium, which made sense to me because I wouldn't want it to get messed up in the car.  But according to her it is "bad luck, and tasteless and tacky," to already be wearing your costume when you arrive.  I am practical, but NOT superstitious. Which is funny, because my family sort of is.  Growing up, it made me nervous to think that you had to do some weird thing like toss salt over your shoulder just to keep bad stuff from happening.  When I grew up, I read in the Bible where it says "Have nothing to do with godless superstitions," and that was enough for me.  But I understand that the dancing/arts community has little superstitions like that, and I'm not judging.  I just hope I can get through the night without inadvertently doing anything tasteless or tacky myself.  Then she moved on to the subject of panties.  Or the lack thereof.  She talked about how tacky it is for underwear to be hanging out from underneath the leotard, and that NONE of the dancers should have panties on underneath their costumes.  And I see how panties hanging out from a leotard is tacky, really I do.  But considering that 95% of Selah's class isn't potty trained, I think a puddle of pee (or worse!) onstage would be even more tacky.  Right?!?  So Selah and all the other children who's moms feel the same way I do will be wearing Pull-Ups.  I rather have the Fashion Police called than Haz-Mat.  Just saying.  Then she moved on to the topic of makeup.  She explained how the lights wash everyone out and that they would need to wear more than "everyday" make-up for their faces to show up, etc.  Again, I know this makes sense but the thought of putting make-up on my two-year-old makes me slightly queasy.  She's TWO!!!  I was having mental images of Toddlers in Tiaras, and Selah with a bunch of glitzy make-up on and us making her practice walking in high heels and buying her little false teeth and eyelashes.  Arrrgh!!!  But it's just one night, and I'm pretending it's like Halloween.  I wouldn't object to painting her face to go with her Halloween costume, and this is a similar occasion I guess.  It's not like we're going to do it everyday.  And Selah's already a little diva, I'm sure she will enjoy it.  Since I can barely do my own make-up, our friend graciously offered to help me out in this area.  I'm such a nerd!  I never did anything like this when I was growing up.  But let me just say that while I'm still not down with the whole toddler make-up routine, I do want her to have opportunities like tonight.  I did stuff growing up, but I mainly took piano lessons, played in the band,  and read books, and stuff like that because it was what my parents were comfortable with.  I never did sports or dance or anything like that because it was out of their comfort zone.  I want my kids to have a choice.  Now certain things are non-negotiable. We WILL go to church, they will be kind to others, and things such as that.  But as far as the extra-curricular stuff, if it's music, or dance, or sports, or some combination of all of the above or something totally different than that, I want them to have the opportunity to choose.  Stepping off the soapbox now.    It was finally their time to practice.  They have what they call a "baby parade" in which the little girls walk across the stage to the song "I Hope You Dance," while the announcer calls their names out and they blow kisses to the audience.  Very sweet. Then they do their little routine, which is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."   When they danced their routine, Selah completely ignored the dance teacher standing in the wings reminding them of their movements, and all of her little friends which were copying said movements.  She moved to the front center of the stage and jumped and twirled and did her own little dance.  And when the music ended, she bowed.  I'm not even kidding.  So she marches to the beat of her own drum.  And you know what?  I love that about her.  I'm thankful she's healthy enough to do something like this.  She's my "neurotypical" child.  Meaning she doesn't have autism.  But sometimes I think there isn't much typical about her either, and I'm totally okay with that.  So tonight I'm thinking I need to get a seat on the front row.  Not because I think it will provide a much better view, but because I want to be there to catch her in the event that my monkey dances completely off the stage.   So tell Selah to break a leg, and then say a prayer that she doesn't actually do that!  :)