Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Devon snuggled with me on my bed for 18 minutes by himself and wanted me to hug and kiss him as we watched Mickey's Christmas Carol (on ABC FAM Channel)....... it seems like no big deal...... but when he came to us in May he was afraid of my bed, afraid or not able of being held for more than 30 to 45 seconds...... and watching TV was not something he would share........ WITH ANYONE!
Melea and Colin came in after they helped Kayla put Miranda and Eliza to bed....... they started jumping on mom's big bed (same one Devon and I are lying on) there was no move to flee.....no screaming...... no fear....... he just looked at me and moved closer......
The jumping and then trying to get Devon to play with them went on for about 11 minutes....... they would come sit next to him, stroke or rub his back and talk to him, then go jump some more.....They were not interested in Mickey or the Pooh special afterwards...... I think that is a mom thing).
During this time Adrian and Jordan and Kayla came to join us....... no hitting or pushing from Devon at his favorite target (Jordan) he did sit up and start paying attention to the others....... eventually he gave in and let Melea pull him into playing a little and one or two jumps.......
Then the coolest thing happened......... besides the 5 minutes of interaction with Melea and Colin, when Devon wanted to return to Mom he found his spot occupied (note .....Jordan jumped into my arms as soon as Devon vacated them) instead of hitting or starting to scream or all of the normal things....... he touched me and looked at me and then touched Jordan.... I reminded him "good touching" he wanted Jordan to move and his spot back ....... I tried to get him to go back to Melea or Kayla...... Devon was not interested so he shook his head no ....... pushed (in a nice way at Jordan twice more..... not movement from Jordan there........)
So Devon got off my bed, calmly walked to his room BY HIMSELF (again he usually has to have some one's hand or you need to be a step behind or ahead of him...... he rarely goes somewhere on his own .....imagine a really cute duck with an afro and the cutest eyes ever following you where ever you go)....... He waited at his door till Kayla got there and then signed all done and wanted to go to bed!
To me...... mom who some days has very little things that excite me greatly...... I just want to scream from the roof top..... how cool this was......
again if you didn't know Devon before, didn't know us and realize that Devon is 7 1/2 years old, you would wonder why this would excite a mom this much.......
BUT IT WAS SO DARN COOL TO ME!!!!!!! I WAS SO PROUD OF MY SON and how far he has come in the last 6 months and of all the other kids because they are trying to bring him further...... but they don't seem to push him any further than he can go at the moment! I love them and how they take care of each other so much!
So maybe we didn't all make it to watch Charlie Brown together for almost 35 minutes Devon interacted with me, the real world and his family! And my other kids showed me (again) how much they love and seem to understand him, and will be here for Devon however he needs or wants them in his life!
URGH I hate winter....... I love my house, but the drive and the road to the drive SUCK!
FORGET THIS OR NOT TELL ME ERIC and your job is to take all the expletive kids and wait for the bus
(side note I also would have put on warmer clothes and shoes had I known!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....off to the heater and hot tea.......)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Every mother's fear or scorn.... the snow day or unexpected day off school!
I actually love spending time with the kids and occasionally like the extra sleep time (and it is so hard if they don't cancel school to decide if I can go get them if the buses can not run!...... that drive way~!) Course I expected the 7 am call from my neighbor asking me for the phone number of the guy who plows and salts are driveway! (and of course she didn't disappoint!)
But all the kids were up at 5 am playing in their rooms and telling me about the snow!!!!! They couldn't wait for the sun to come up and wanted to go and play in the snow! (it really was more ice and we didn't get to play outside.......)
But it was a fun day anyways and we finished the indoor decorating and will clean the closet that was on my list for three weeks and keeps getting pushed to the back, and their is always laundry!
If I am lucky Eric will stay here and work from home..... I have been have some pretty hard Braxton Hicks and am really tired!
So come on winter.......... do your worst!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Here is what happened......
At kindergarten they have four different levels of cards green, yellow, red and blue. They get them for behavior Green is for a good day........ blue ..... well go right to Principal's office!
Ironically I had been expecting Princess Grumpy to have a lot of issues with in class room behavior and to drive her teacher nuts...... but she has had all green cards so far. We get a paper we are supposed to sign each Friday with the colors for the whole week, and if they had all green they get to pick a special prize from the treasure chest (again slightly annoying when she brings home the same crap I sent in for the chest..... but another story!)
Well Friday we are getting ready for school..... we all just put Devon on the bus and hugged the heck out of him cause he waved bye bye and said it too!
We are walking back in and I say to her "What do you want to pick out today from Cochran's Treasure chest?"
I am expecting to hear a crown or a necklace or a cool pencil or something....... I hear instead " Well Mom, I have been meaning to bring this up since Wednesday........"
My mind starts rolling, and I am a little worried (She is my kid after all and do I have a temper! as well as little regard for the rules at times)
Wed was also early dismissal day ...... which is really hard because both morning and afternoon classes are there at the same time and there are almost 40 children and adults in the room! SO I am really starting to get worried.
She then proceeds to tell me she got a yellow card for not following directions and messing around with another student (didn't need to guess which one...... she has a little boy in the afternoon that neither he nor Adrian can behave really well when the other is around!...... not an excuse mind you.... just observation!)
I give her a big hug and tell her it is all right...... we all have a day or two every once and while where we don't want to follow the directions, I just hope that she listens better the next time and that I was so proud she told me! (before I got a call or saw the paper.......)
I really was proud and I reminded her later when we told Eric about it...... that mom hasn't been listening really well lately and has been really on edge and short fused so I could understand why she might have similar problems........ she did say that at least she wasn't pregnant! (my excuse)
Friday, December 12, 2008
I have been trying to do the good recession Christmas mom...... not many new presents..... not a lot of money spent...... seven kids......lots of clothes and PJ's and underwear.
I went for gifts we could use together as a family (we enlarged the play loft; got used Foosball; bumper pool / game table; neat air hockey table; grampy sent us a tent! and other grandpa sent me $ to buy some more camping gear~!.......love Craig's list!!!!
(remember I think with 8 Christmas behind us......I am sure we actually have every toy on the planet and then some)
Well I decided to get Colin and the rest a used ski ball machine (he loves ski ball and I thought it might work well for reinforcement at school with the tokens) and to buy Eric a really neat used CD jukebox! And about 150 cds to replace the collection he had to sell when he was laid off in 2001~ it took forever to find all of them....... (that and I am tired of hearing him whine about it!)
I was so proud of myself and I am only looking for a great hot tub we can agree on and a pool table w/ a ping pong top! The kids will love it...... daddy is making them benches to stand on to reach the tables and we got a few of the $5 games from Wal-mart.......... lots of fun....... and a whole lot less than I usually have spent.
But as I said above no good deed goes unpunished!
The really nice guy dropping off the ski ball machine, got lost twice (surprise.... I did warn him about trying to find our house in the dark...... let alone turn around a trailer) so he was late........
his friend was now in a hurry....... I just wanted to get them in and covered so Eric and the kids would be surprised!
Well they did get the jukebox in........but it was too cold to set up and of course I can't move it to its final position or put in the cd's till we get the ski ball in and I rearrange the game room again!!!! (I know MOM .....not what 30 week preggers should do on her own!) So it is just in the middle of the floor....... the ski ball is in the garage........ nice guy and Eric will move it in tonight or tomorrow.....
but perfect Christmas mom really wanted to have it all done before Eric had gotten home and wrapped. I always want to surprise him........ BUT IT NEVER HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just sort of gave up....... yes MOM....... I gave up....... I cried cause I couldn't make it all work, then I went and made spaghetti & bread......we all watched Rudolph's shinny New Year and then off to bed with the short ones! (sort of hoping Eric would miss it when he got home..... but no luck!)
He tripped over it, and he was surprised! (just not on Christmas day...... oh well..... there is always next year~!)
He did say it will be a really cool game room when I am done (I can't wait to paint and plaster & tile it...... but that will happen after baby number 8 in late Feb!...... unless I go insane!)
Friday, December 5, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
This is one of those things that can cause Eric and I to fight or argue more than any thing!!!!! Examples:
- When one of us cuts the wood wrong (OK IT IS ERIC!!!!!) and I have a table leg that is 30 inches and three that are 37 inches........... and you can never glue that piece back on...... SO IT IS GRUMPILY one of us (USUALLY ME) goes back to the store for...... more wood or more screws or more wire
- we are enlarging the kids play loft for Christmas this year...... last weekend he and our helper worked for hours (by the way Eric's estimate for the whole project was 5 hours...... and it is still not done to where I wanted it last weekend..... different story and different issue) they cut all the loft legs at 4 foot...... SOME OF MY KIDS ARE TALLER THAN 4 foot!!!!! THEY WOULD HIT THEIR HEADS!!!! and it was at 4' and the directions I left said 5 '....... but hey who reads directions....... SO REALLY REALLY GRUMPILY this pregnant lady goes back to Home Depot to buy 5 more 4" x 4" x 10' pieces .....
Now of course you would think I could find help loading my cart, or what I need is always on the second shelf up........ so no orange smocked people in sight..... I manage to get them into the lumber cart...... course then someone shows up and offers to push it up tot he front by the way!
I but the staple gun he is going to need cause ours evaporated into thin air....... and I am not coming back when he realizes it........ I also get a GFCI outlet to replace one (another project which I am sure will take 3 x as long as it should..... not Eric's fault though..... every time we mess with the electrical in this house or change something out I am surprised it hasn't burned down yet (to date over 18K in electrical repairs...... and still going by the way)......
I check out and of course she pages someone to help me load them...... 10 minutes no luck..... so I give up and put them in the van myself!!!!!!
So far we are on two trips to Home Depot and one to Wal-Mart for this project........ we have to go buy more wood for the steps and the railing today......... I am hoping for only one trip....... but I really doubt it!
And of course when this project is done...... we are knocking out / taking out some walls downstairs and that will be even more fun next weekend!
I am glad though that Colin and Adrian love going to the home improvement stores........ cause we spend a lot of time there!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Many of you I have never even met face to face, but I've searched you out every day. I've looked for you on the Internet, on playgrounds and in grocery stores. I've become an expert at identifying you. You are well worn. You are stronger than you ever wanted to be. Your words ring experience, experience you culled with your very heart and soul. You are compassionate beyond the expectations of this world. You are my "sisters." Yes, you and I, my friend, are sisters in a sorority. A very elite sorority.
We are special. Just like any other sorority, we were chosen to be members. Some of us were invited to join immediately, some not for months or even years. Some of us even tried to refuse membership, but to no avail. We were initiated in neurologist's offices and NICU units, in obstetrician's offices, in emergency rooms, and during ultrasounds. We were initiated with somber telephone calls, consultations, evaluations, blood tests, x-rays, MRI films, and heart surgeries. All of us have one thing in common. One day things were fine. We were pregnant, or we had just given birth, or we were nursing our newborn, or we were playing with our toddler.
Some eat through feeding tubes. Some live in a different world. We do not discriminate against those mothers whose children's needs are not as "special" as our child's. We have mutual respect and empathy for all the women who walk in our shoes. We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves with whatever materials we could find. We know "the" specialists in the field. We know "the" neurologists, "the" hospitals, "the" wonder drugs, "the" treatments. We know "the" tests that need to be done, we know "the" degenerative and progressive diseases and we hold our breath while our children are tested for them. Without formal education, we could become board certified in neurology, endocrinology, and psychiatry.
We have taken on our insurance companies and school boards to get what our children need to survive, and to flourish. We have prevailed upon the State to include augmentative communication devices in special education classes and mainstream schools for our children with cerebral palsy. We have labored to prove to insurance companies the medical necessity of gait trainers and other adaptive equipment for our children with spinal cord defects. We have sued municipalities to have our children properly classified so they could receive education and evaluation commensurate with their diagnosis.
We have learned to deal with the rest of the world, even if that means walking away from it. We have tolerated scorn in supermarkets during "tantrums" and gritted our teeth while discipline was advocated by the person behind us on line. We have tolerated inane suggestions and home remedies from well-meaning strangers. We have tolerated mothers of children without special needs complaining about chicken pox and ear infections.
We have learned that many of our closest friends can't understand what it's like to be in our sorority, and don't even want to try. We have our own personal copies of Emily Perl Kingsley's "A Trip To Holland" and Erma Bombeck's "The Special Mother." We keep them by our bedside and read and reread them during our toughest hours. We have coped with holidays.
We have found ways to get our physically handicapped children to the neighbors' front doors on Halloween, and we have found ways to help our deaf children form the words, "trick or treat." We have accepted that our children with sensory dysfunction will never wear velvet or lace on Christmas. We have painted a canvas of lights and a blazing Yule log with our words for our blind children. We have pureed turkey on Thanksgiving. We have bought white chocolate bunnies for Easter. And all the while, we have tried to create a festive atmosphere for the rest of our family. We've gotten up every morning since our journey began wondering how we'd make it through another day, and gone to bed every evening not sure how we did it. We've mourned the fact that we never got to relax and sip red wine in Italy.
We've mourned the fact that our trip to Holland has required much more baggage than we ever imagined when we first visited the travel agent. And we've mourned because we left for the airport without most of the things we needed for the trip. But we, sisters, we keep the faith always. We never stop believing.
Our love for our special children and our belief in all that they will achieve in life knows no bounds. We dream of them scoring touchdowns and extra points and home runs. We visualize them running sprints and marathons. We dream of them planting vegetable seeds, riding horses and chopping down trees. We hear their angelic voices singing Christmas carols. We see their palettes smeared with watercolors, and their fingers flying over ivory keys in a concert hall. We are amazed at the grace of their pirouettes. We never, never stop believing in all they will accomplish as they pass through this world.
But in the meantime, my sisters, the most important thing we do, is hold tight to their little hands as together, we special mothers and our special children, reach for the stars.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
But I have so learned not to cry over spilt milk..... (even with the huge price increases this year)..... because in our family..... besides having a lot of spilt milk (and other liquids) comes a lot of joy at seeing all of the kids accomplish something new!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So they will slowly be popping up with the actual dates as well as new ones! Though there are many posts where I feel that we may all not survive Devon or that I was crazy to do this...... Self doubt is something that is a huge issue for me. I never feel like I am a good mom, a good wife or even a nice person. I occasionally just want to be a turtle and pull my head in and hide from everyone!
...... I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!! He is doing so many amazing things this year (even if he drives his regular classroom teacher batty!) He has become the best and most awesome big brother to all of his siblings, he makes me smile and wants to help me do everything. He has developed an interest in cooking, he can unload the dishwasher and knows where everything should go! And he has developed a special love and relationship with Miranda..... he helps her and holds her and will make sure she is OK all the time...... he makes her walk down the steps and is just absolutely wonderful with her! I COULD NOT BE PROUDER TO CALL HIM MY SON !
He is starting to try to verbalize more (still no mommy..... but hey I know he is saving that for the most special moment we have to share yet!) I hear a consistent sound for "Devon", thank-you, "daddy", baby (Miranda); buba (Adrian) , Sponge Bob, and a few others. Besides the occasional word that just comes out so clearly that you wonder if he really said that....... but you never hear again!
And today marks the eighth anniversary of his birth ~! I can't believe how fast time has flown by! I can't believe that I have seven...soon to be eight children age eight or under (and most days this is awesome by the way). I can't believe that Colin loves Eric and I so much and how much he brings to all of our lives. How he can brighten any one's day with a smile or a giggle and how much I love to get those wonderful hugs he gives......
Did we make as much progress as I wanted this year..... probably not..... we are still in diapers and we aren't talking (but who said communication should be verbal) and all in all his growth as an individual and a person has been phenomenal and his changes as a big brother have made me so proud that I could never explain it...... (he accepted another young man without too much issue, shared his room, his clothes his toys and me......... this was not easy)..... but he loves and takes just as much care of Devon as he does the rest!
And today as I sit here and type ......I can't believe I managed to get Colin out the door with a huge cookie for his party there, and treats for his classmates (in both rooms)....... IT REALLY WAS A HUGE COOKIE!!!!!! That in the last week we have had three doctor's appointments, a wonderful mommy & daddy only weekend; Eric's 41st birthday (or his 14th at age 28 keep dreaming honey we are getting old!); I have a trustee / subdivision meeting tonight and tons of stuff to get finished for that; and ironed on all the daisy girl scout patches for Melea & Adrian.
But all I really wanted to do was hug and kiss and spend the day with my big guy! Tell him how much I love him and remember how small and fragile he was and marvel at how big and responsible he has become!
I love you Colin and Happy 8th Birthday~!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Do I know if he understands? No, I really do not! I do know the following though!
all of the kids love "D"..... they fight to carry his book bag, or push his wheel chair when needed, the want to help him no matter what he does
- all six of the kids stood up in court to say HE IS OUR BROTHER!!!!
- that "D" was the most well behaved in a public place this morning than he has ever been with us since he came 6 months ago!
- that he wanted hugs and kisses all day and even gave several!!! To all of us!
- and WE ALL LOVE HIM....... no matter what
I wonder if anyone ever thought they would find him a a forever family........ well he has one now, no matter how much spaghetti has hit the ceiling, or OJ on the floor...... how many times he has pushed Jordan down and smacked Melea......
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
But most of the time I just make a sly smile and think..... what you don't know could fill a book about how normal all my kids are and how normal our lives really are!
I got that quote today when Adrian and I went into Walgreen's from a parent of one of Colin's classmates when she asked how Colin was doing with his new adopted brother (one of the reasons I haven't "officially posted in a while..... I can't share personal information about the "Big D" till he is ours forever! (I have been writing furiously.... how I am keeping sane)
I just decided today and everyday (I really know when a new parent of a special needs child makes it to the next phase in their own parental acceptance when words like this no longer cause tears or running to the bathroom or a nasty retort) when someone says something like this to me to be happy! I have a the best kept secrete in town!
I am so loved by all my kids that even when they all scream for twenty minutes straight....and it does happen more than I would like.... that I know I will get more hugs and kisses to make up for it later than they will likely ever get in there entire life time! AND THEY MEAN THEM.... they are not manipulative hugs..... OK maybe Adrian has a few of those..... every once an a while!
So today I smiled and I felt sorry for this mom who thinks that I must not have a "normal" life..... because of all my kids issues...... all I can say is she sure doesn't know what she is missing!
And I hope and wait for the day when all parents of Special kids can get to this point!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
I have this philosophy for both of them.....they don't have to be the best, but they have to try their best...... not a best night for Adrian!
But we are in the drive thru at McDonald's and a little boy starts yelling at the car! I am perplexed and surprised....cause I do not recognize him or his car...... BUT HE IS ADAMANT HE KNOWS ME!!!!
Eventually cause McDonald's is moving so slow (I swear ours has its own time zone after 5 pm) this little guy gets out of the car and comes over to talk to me!
He wants to know how Colin is...... and if he is in the car....... and what he is doing....... I finally realize that he is a little boy from Colin's kindergarten class! I am actually amazed at how interested he is in Colin (in a good way)!
He shows me the sign for friend and tells me how nice Colin is and how he hopes he is in Colin's room next year and so on...... till his mom screams at him (I would have too) and makes him go back to his car!
I guess the fact that Colin never tells me about anything that happens at school or that I never hear about anything at all, he is still making an impact!
And I go back to my original thoughts about inclusion..... it is not to help my kids at all! It seems to help others more!
So Colin's little friend you made one tired old mom's day today by banging on my car and wanting to see your friend!
Hear is hoping you still care about him in 10 to 15 years...... but right now you made me smile and go home and get a huge hug from him and I told him all about his friend who had wanted to know what he was up to. He spent the rest of the evening signing "friend" and "school" so I am excited that he understood!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Eric took the time this weekend to make five toilet surrounds for all of the bathrooms in the house and to install the new potty seats.....which I have to say are amazing!!!!) they flip down or up and you have a big kids and little kids seats, they are easy to clean and Colin no longer is petrified and gets on and off the toilet himself (all the time)
This is supposed to be the summer we manage to potty train Colin, Melea and start with Eliza & Big D! Well daddy made us these new seats cause we had a lot of little ones with fears of falling off and I saw some on EBay for almost $180 each.......
Well super dad says....we can do that...... so about 7 hours, and $80 of PVC/glue and elbow (and the requisite three trips to Lowe's) we have five potty chairs that are kid friendly and sturdy (also easily removable if you have a "huge butt" according to Adrian......I am sure she was taking about me!)
The kids love them and for the first time Colin is doing most of it himself...... if I could just get him to have some muscle control in his bladder...... then maybe we could beat this diaper thing!
Melea is doing great though!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
- tick bites make you wake up happy in the morning (it worked I have had three days w/o a Princess Grumpy in the morning)
- that it is fun to have your hair checked for ticks! Please check mine for me Melea!
- yes I love "baby bear" from Sesame Street (OH HE WHINES MORE THAN ALL MY KIDS COMBINED!)
- Boy I can't wait to clean the living room .... Lets go now!
- does the "Piggy family live here" (I KNOW THEY DO!!!!!!!!!!.... why do I ask!)
- Yes two red popsicle will make you turn "red" (SO I can give her a green one)
- Please!.... help me with the laundry!.......... ( I love help, but it is so much quicker when they don't help me!)
- I think I found the marshmallows, they fell out of your ears didn't they?
- "woobly legs" make you stronger and faster
- I will only be a minute on the computer
- you look great in all thos "colors"
- no the diaper does not make you "but" look fat! (melea is not showing me her bottom and then making herself fart)
- everyone eats cookies for breakfast (when I realize that we are out of yogurt, and granola and grahm crackers)
- no Adrian you do not look cute in that outfit! (It was a size three and she squeezed her size six x body into this because it was her favorite from last year, and yes she still does look cute, but NO NOT HAPPENING!)
- OH! Can we please watch Elmo again!
- I am starting to really like SPONGE BOB!
Sometimes the things my kids say or ask things that so amaze me, and many times I say some "really" unique things back. I feel bad lying to them, but sometimes I sure get a lot of sanity back when I do !
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Ironically his parents comments on the video stream were even more devastating!
I don't even let my typical four year old say thing like that "...I just had a bad day and didn't know what to do with my anger............" We would be in our room and skipping the thinking chair if this was her excuse for hitting her siblings!
!!!!This is no what I needed to see this morning!!!!
I realize, more than most people, that my children are still small and cute, but they will and are growing. The older they get the more likely people may have issues with them due to "whatever" the reason. that scapegoats for people's anger and frustration exist in every part of society and have since we crawled out of the mire ! BUT COME ON
Items like this really scare me, as a mom, as a human being and in general want to make me hide all my children away to prevent anyone from every hurting them.
So before I run over to school and bring them home. I am going to go drink a cup of really strong coffee, hug Jordan a lot (since he is the only one here at the moment) and try to remember that I now know some wonderful teenagers who love and respect all people. So I can then relax and let them stay at school and be happy kids.
I will keep repeating to myself that those were not the "normal" teenagers. The young girls who come and help me after school to play and engage the kids are! They are awesome and not unique to their generation, but vibrant and open to new experiences and fun to be around (even if they text faster than the speed of light)
I also know that in the 13 years I taught I had some really awesome adolescents in my life, who would have stepped in at this injustice (JM, SR, AH, WD, JC, spring to mind) no matter what it meant! These people have now become parents, and community members who would never teach something like this to your children.
I will cling to the hope that any of my six children would not have stood by and let that happen to any child, special needs or not, never bet on something like that or prevented an adult from helping this young man
And if they every did any of that stuff ON PURPOSE, they better not be expecting bail money from me or Eric!
And pray that the "enlightened American society" that we seem to profess a lot of ways to "solve" other peoples problems, might take a closer look at our own and work on solving some of ours.
For we can only be judged by how we treat our society's weakest members, then these young people did a disservice to their entire school, a generation and community that day. Because we have so far to go yet!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The kids are growing and thriving, and everything is so "normal" around here that it can be amazing.
Yesterday I got two different emails in my inbox about "normal" that I thought I would share.
How to give parents a pre-natal diagnosis:
I'm very sorry, I have the results of the genetic tests and they have confirmed our suspicions that your fetus is what we call ... Normal.
Some people prefer the terms "Ordinarily Challenged" or "Normal Syndrome".
The syndrome can be easily identified by a complete lack of any interesting genetic characteristics. I know this will come as a shock to you, but you should be aware of what this is likely to mean.
If your fetus manages to survive the rest of the pregnancy and the birth, which is becoming more common these days, he or she will face some daunting challenges. Children who suffer from normalcy are prone to health and psychological problems.
It is almost certain that the growing child will suffer a seemingly endless stream of viruses. They will frequently damage themselves, and sometimes others, from their excessive energy. Their relentless demands will put a strain on your existing family and, of course, your relationship with your partner will suffer, and possibly end in a painful and acrimonious separation.
Any children you already have, even if they also suffer from normalcy, will be jealous of the newcomer and all their extra attention. Many siblings are liable to be psychologically scarred by the new arrival. I need hardly mention the financial consequences, although disastrous, they will be nothing compared to the emotional turmoil your life will suffer.
After a while, you may be lucky and find they can be kind and loving young children. They may find some temporary happiness in things such as music, dancing, food or playing with toys. But if they survive early childhood, a Normal child is almost certain to grow into a Normal adolescent.
Your years of sacrifice will be thrown back in your face as they become disobedient, wild and reckless. Unable to find happiness and contentment, they will treat you with contempt until they manage to leave home.
Even then the suffering will continue as they will often return to try and extract money.
They will blame you for their own faults and leave you bitter and twisted. They may well become criminals, over a quarter of Normals will have trouble with the law, many will spend time in jail.
Many will have problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
Normal marriages are often unhappy and short and over half end in divorce.
Even if they become successful this is likely to be because of the often observed tendency of Normals towards excessive greed.
The chances of them sharing their success with you are remote and they will tend to see you as an embarrassment.
Finally, Normal people are likely to die before their time. 23% will die of cancer, 33% of heart disease.
Hundreds every year in this country alone are so distressed by their condition that they take their own life.
I'm sorry to say that many will have had a lonely, painful and pointless existence. I am afraid that Normal Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects every cell of the body, and so is impossible to cure.
Termination is an option.
Shall I book an appointment?
Some Mothers Get Babies With Something More...
My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer mothers have given throughout the ages of time. She says it doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes. Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always said.
Truth be told, every mother wants a whole lot more. Every mother wants a perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin.
Every mother wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly.
Every mother wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule.
Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions.
She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.
Call it greed if you want, but we mothers want what we want.
Some mothers get babies with something more.
Some mothers get babies with conditions they can't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palette that didn't close.
Most of those mothers can remember the time, the place, the shoes they were wearing and the color of the walls in the small, suffocating room where the doctor uttered the words that took their breath away.
It felt like recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it knocked the wind clean out of you.
Some mothers leave the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, take him in for a routine visit, or schedule her for a well check, and crash head first into a brick wall as they bear the brunt of devastating news.
It can't be possible!
That doesn't run in our family.
Can this really be happening in our lifetime?
I am a woman who watches the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies. It's not a lust thing; it's a wondrous thing.
The athletes appear as specimens without flaw - rippling muscles with nary an ounce of flab or fat, virtual powerhouses of strength with lungs and limbs working in perfect harmony. Then the athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the contents and pulls out an inhaler.
As I've told my own kids, be it on the way to physical therapy after a third knee surgery, or on a trip home from an echo cardiogram, there's no such thing as a perfect body. Everybody will bear something at some time or another.
Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, medication or surgery.
The health problems our children have experienced have been minimal and manageable, so I watch with keen interest and great admiration the mothers of children with serious disabilities, and wonder how they do it.
Frankly, sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that child in and out of a wheelchair 20 times a day.
How you monitor tests, track medications, regulate diet and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists yammering in your ear.
I wonder how you endure the and the platitudes, well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike.
I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy pieces like this one saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. (OH DO I SO AGREE with this point HERE!)
You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this. You didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God! Choose me! I've got what it takes." (OK , I did have a choice so far but I am so tired of IEP's I could puke!)
You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so, please, let me do it for you.
From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack.
You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil.
You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.
You can be warm and tender one minute, and when circumstances require intense and aggressive the next.
You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability.
You're a neighbor, a friend, a stranger I pass at the mall.
You're the woman I sit next to at church, my cousin and my sister-in-law. You're a woman who wanted ten fingers and ten toes, and got something more.
You're a wonder.
Lori Borgman is a newspaper columnist and author. You can find her at: _www.loriborgman.com_ (http://www.loriborgman.com)
It was ironic and sort of necessary for me to have received both of these emails in my "spam" filter yesterday! I needed a swift kick in the pants and reminder that our family is as "normal" as the next one!
Eric, Colin and I spent all weekend visiting and falling in love (OK only Eric and I and Colin tolerated him) a wonderful young man who I thought needed us (all of us). Come to find out I think we might need him a lot more!
We spent a lot of time discussing how this would affect our "normal" life, how it would impact our "normal" children, how " normal" this would look to the rest of the world. You would think by now I would not worry about things like this..... but I sometimes do.
I do live in my little world at the end of the lane, where I wake up everyday with more hugs, smiles than most people get in a whole week! There are tears, and screams too..... but we get to be excited about lots of things, little thing most people miss in life.
In the last week .... here are some of the things I have been so excited about....
- Colin can finally put more toothpaste on the toothbrushes than on the counter
- Melea wants to do her "helper" jobs and keeps asking me what she needs to do!
- Miranda wore her glasses for 10 minutes straight
- no one had diareahha or puking for 3 days straight in one week
- that Eliza started playing in the toiulet
- that Miranda reached her hands up at the same time all the other kids did this morning to want a hug from daddy
- colin didn't kick the ENT resident
- Jordan poured water all over the floor
- Colin put on a pair of earphones and listed to a DVD for 5 minutes
- Adrian made a hot dog by herself
- Colin signed a three word sentance
- My son can spit at me! (course now after working so hard to do this... we will work on where to spit)
- that Eliza can't spit at me yet!
- that I said something not directed toward Miranda and she signed that word anyways!
- that when I went of the field trip with Melea's room, she didn't cry or cling when I had to leave early!
- that daddy survived staying with two of the kids at the hair dressers!
- that Melea told me she had a tick! (GOSH I HATE THESE!!!!!!!!!!!! but she told me)
- Adrian did a 24 piece puzzle by herself!
- Colin hasn't made "pooey" on the floor in two weeks
- Melea only wants me to take her to the bathroom
- Adrian told me she peed on the couch!
- Melea told me Adrian peed pon the couch (thank heaven for carpet cleaner! & my little bissel)
- Adrian woke up happy and Melea woke up grumpy for a chage of pace!
So sunday evening after our flight home from Philly. After spending 2 1/2 hours with my son in one of his unique sleeping postions that would make a contortionsist squeal! I spent a lot of time thinking about "normal" . We landed, I needed coffee (surprise).... and we went on our way to
Ironically later that evening we were all sitting at our favorite Mexican restaurant All of us, our family and everything we do know is as normal as the next guy.
It works for us, the fact that others think it is noble and send me emails like #2 means they don't see us that way. Others send me ones like #1 to remind me that children with special needs are just as important as "normal ones" or that "normal ones" have no guarentee anyways!
I guess I just look at this as one day at a time with an eye on where I want to be in 10 or 20 years with my children. We just all keep going and making slow but steady progress! I will likely rejoice in tons of things my children do! (that most parents never give a second thought about) but I do know what works for us and will work on teaching all my kids to be accepting of what works for others is just as "normal" as our way!
All I know as that as my whole family sat on the patio at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
We watched a group of "goth" teenagers walk into the restaurant after they politely stared and then waved nicely at our "motley crew of little ones"
Ironically Adrian leans over to me and says "mommy, why does that girl (though it was a guy) have so many things sticking out of her nose and the funny hair?" Then Melea starts telling me "hair cut" and pointing to the young man.
It made me laugh to myself, and I tell them both.... "They like it that way, and it works for them and it is ok!
And I realize in my head that this is "normal" for them too!
(course there was an unsaid prayer to God at that moment for the continued fear of needles & pain,....and of course Adrian's insane need to wear as many colors as possible at one time! )
Monday, March 17, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I decided that yesterday I would take all the kids to Bounce -U for open bounce and then to the movies.....BY MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Melea is currently talking in 3-5 word sentances consistently....at least for Eric an I on a regular basis. She can sign and say almost all the words she wants, though most days it is a challenge to get her to do it.
Her favorite question is still "whatzat mami" when she wants me to tell her some word or thing.... but ironically she knows the word....I think she just loves the sound of the phrase.
One of her favorite things in the world at this time is "Santa" and she has to come in to my office and kiss the santa pictures each day and tell him how good she is! (though I also think mom should get to weigh in on this....cause she is not always as well behaved as she thinks)
Melea loves to go to school and usually joyously shouts when she sees the school bus coming, and then you have to hold her back while we are waiting for it to stop. She is just so excited about going to school, seeing her favorite teacher "silly cochran" and doing the months of the year dance for her.
Melea so fiercely loves being a big sister that it is phenomenal to see her with her little siblings. She constantly wants to do what the "big" girls are at school and on TV that mom is actually starting to get a little scared of the emerging personality (though I am also proud and awestruck at the same time)
So Melea....today I remeber the day when Lori from Gladney called to tell me there was a beautiful little baby with ds that they had come into care unexpectedly., and were Eric and Colin and I interested in a new sibling and child? I was so excited I forgot to ask if you were a boy or girl or how old you were or anything.....all I remeber was how happy that thought made me and how long those next 6 weeks were till we could go get you!
I actually had to call back to get her to give me the information about you and how you were doing!
Happy Birthday Melea and I hope that you enjoy your trip for pizza to night and that we get spend them together each year forever! (but I know soon you will want your friends and not old daddy and me....but here is hoping!)