Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life Lessons

Score one for my planning skills today! The kids & I had two separate & important activities to attend this morning. One was a doctor's appointment & one was the yearly play group picnic that I had committed to. I had known about both for weeks & both were on my phone (just in separate places). Crazy as it may sound, it didn't dawn on me until this morning that I had scheduled us to be in two places at once. Unfortunately I had to choose the doctor visit over the picnic. It's a good thing I hadn't talked my mom into changing her schedule to help me watch the kids at the picnic.. oh wait, I did do that! She, in turn, had told Dave about the picnic, who offered to join as well! It just gets better & better. My mom had even baked pumpkin bread for the picnic the night before. So not only had I screwed up my schedule & my kid's schedule, but I had made a disaster of Mom & Dave's as well! When I realized my huge scheduling mishap this morning, I explained to Sebastian that we would have to miss the picnic. He was pretty upset. Of course this was all my fault, but I didn't see any way around it. Suddenly my mom calls & we figure out a way to make it work. She's good at that. We decided that I would drop the boys at the picnic where Mom & Dave would watch them & I would head to the doctor with Willow. The plan worked, but unfortunately Willow & I didn't make it back to the picnic before it ended. Mom & Dave really saved the day.

Now maybe you can see why I am so stressed about school starting! Having your kids in school definitely involves a lot of planning & obligations. This is not one of my strengths!

While they were at the picnic Dave noticed some huge progress with Judah. I'm just going to paste what he emailed me. It's good stuff!

There were two instances in very different settings where Judah joined in with other children of his age (or size, at least) and was clearly interacting with them.
The first occurred while I was watching him on the playground equipment. (Rita and I traded off time with each of them there, as we often do when they are both with us. She was trailing after Sebastian on his bike). One section of the playground equipment has a flexible bridge that he and another boy his size were clearly working together to make move up and down in unison, looking at each other. While there was not verbal interaction, there was clearly communication occurring.
Then, when we all went over to where the play date group was gathered to eat and make the swords, Judah went off on his own from me to play with a group of small kids and was moving among the kids, stopped to look at them and even play "swords" a bit with one boy his size. Both were very polite with each other. Unfortunately, things broke up pretty quickly after they began as we were all beckoned for the group picture. I would really liked to have seen where that interaction might have gone.

Communication is Judah's biggest struggle. His progress today was huge! He basically woke up talking this morning, making lots of sounds, gestures & eye contact. This continued throughout the day. His desire to enunciate clearly really showed today. He was mimicking a lot of sounds as well. He said some new words today & was really pushing hard, yet calmly, to help me understand what he was saying. He would initiate getting dressed or undressed after I told him what he needed to do. This is outstanding for him. Tonight he saw that it was dark outside. He pointed to the balcony & said, "Night!". We went outside & it started sprinkling. I asked him if he could feel the rain. He said, "rain" with his hand extended out catching raindrops. Today was a very good day for him.

Sometimes I think about all of the frustrations Judah must have from the minute he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed. Will they understand me today? Will I get to do the things I've been asking to do? Will my words be more clear to them? Will their words be more clear to me? Will today be different? Will today be easy? I just can't even fathom. He is the hardest working little guy I know, that's for sure. But then I think about people, and how we are all different. Each one of us is different. Most of the time Judah is just working 20 times harder than everyone else. He is living with huge frustrations & learning to cope at an extremely young age. It makes him unique, special and it makes him very strong. I can only imagine what the future holds for someone who has at the age of 3, already learned that everyday is a challenge & the change that comes with each day is absolutely extraordinary & is something to be cherished. He's learned that life is full of compromises. He's selfless. He's empathetic. He appreciates life. He's motivated. And he knows that communication can happen in all forms & that nothing can stop life from being fun & fulfilling. He's learned more life lessons than any 3 year old I've ever met before, that's for sure.

***If any of you would like to add more of Judah's qualities in the comments section that would be wonderful.***

Beyond the picnic the kids had more outside time at home. We played in the front yard. Willow watered the sidewalk and a few flowers. Judah watered the same flower over & over & then smashed it with the watering can. He tried riding the plasma car from the sidewalk into the yard a few times. It didn't work so he rolled it down the hill into the garden repeatedly instead. Sebastian rode his bike up the driveway & through the yard a million times. And I monitored the area to make sure no one was about to get run over and that no one was wandering into the street. Later Sebastian rode his bike in the backyard while I simultaneously chased Judah & Willow & played fetch with the dog to keep her from biting our ankles as we ran.

We also had much garage time today. This morning I asked Sebastian to grab a swimming noodle from the garage for us to take to the picnic. They were going to make swords out of them. I didn't realize that he would have to climb a shelf to accomplish this task. He came back inside really excited. "Is there anything else I can get Mom??", he said. So of course when we made it back home from the picnic he really wanted to hang out in the garage. Suddenly he was hoping we could organize it. That way he would have a reason to climb the shelves again. We did do some organizing but I only let him climb on top of plastic totes. He seemed fine with that. His climbing infatuation was still very much alive though. Later he climbed the balcony stairs from the wrong side of the railing.

So it was a pretty active day! On top of that we of course did a lot of dancing. Anytime a song comes on, Judah & Willow both hold their arms up and say, "Daaa?". This means I have to pick one of them up & dance them around for the remainder of the song. With Willow it's no big deal but with Judah it's getting to be a real workout!

Needless to say, everyone crashed pretty instantly tonight. I don't know how I'm still awake! On that note I'm going to shut down this laptop & hop into bed! Goodnight. 

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