Archive for June, 2012

A great picnic and then Nathan’s encounter with a mean kid

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Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there! We’re having a laid back, relaxing day today just hanging out with each other & enjoying being together!

In other news, Nathan & I went to a picnic Friday hosted by the mommy group we attend. Finally, after months of trying, I talked Nathan into eating a hamburger. He loved it! The picnic was so cool; it was held at a playground and they had blown up about 15 beach balls for the kids to play with along with bubble blowing and face painting. Nathan’s favorite part was the bubbles. They had two 5-gallon tubs filled with bubble soap, and Nathan thoroughly enjoyed dunking his hands into it. The only downside to the day was once we made our way over to the playgound, Nathan had an encounter with a mean kid (who was not part of the group.)

I don’t like mean kids.

He first tried telling Nathan that he wasn’t allowed to be in his little club. The kid also had a toy space shuttle, which he would literally put right in Nathan’s face. Nathan loves space shuttles, so every time the kid stuck it in his face, he wanted to play with it. The kid would get mad & snatch it away, saying Nathan wasn’t “allowed” to play with it because he’s not five.

*eye roll*

So I stepped in and firmy told the kid he was being rude. I said he didn’t have to share his toy if he didn’t want to, but he had no right to shove it in my child’s face then get angry when Nathan wanted to play with it. I suggested if he didn’t want to share it, he should put it away and not taunt others with it.

Then he said Nathan wasn’t “allowed” to play with him because Nathan didn’t have a bike like he. I told Nathan that cool kids don’t make up ridiculous rules. Then the kid told Nathan he wasn’t “allowed” to play in the playgound’s plastic castle. Only his secret little group could play in it. I nicely but firmy said that *I* say what Nathan is & isn’t allowed to do, and anyone that wants to play in the castle can play in the castle. I told the kid this was a community playground & if he wanted to have his secret group with his silly rules, he should just leave because its rude & hurtful to exclude other people like that. I asked him how he would feel if someone treated him that way. I later I told Nathan that some kids are really selfish, rude, and not nice and to see this as an example as how not to treat others.

The kid was there with his grandfather, who was apparently oblivious to the kid’s smartass attitude. I tried to be nice yet firm with the kid because I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of home life he might have. I’m not saying the kid had a bad home life, but you just never know. Regardless, it really irritated me to see someone be so rude to my child. Nathan is such a kind little soul. I hope he doesn’t go through a mean phase, but if he ever does, it’s my job as his parent to teach him to empathize with others & to treat them with kindness. I’m a big believer in the Golden Rule, to treat others how you would want to be treated.

I’m sure this will not be the last time he encounters a mean kid- and eventually, I know he’ll run into kids who are even meaner. I hope I can be a good example of how to be nice yet firm, refusing to let someone push him around. I can’t stand the bully mentality. And I clearly remember from my own childhood just how cruel kids can be. But if you stand up to a bully, chances are they will go find someone else to take their misery out on.

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Assertive Nathan

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Nathan had his “comprehensive evaluation” yesterday, and it wasn’t anything like what I was wanting. I wanted everything, such as emotional, behavioral, intellectual, & physical developments to be checked in addition to a speech evaluation to see where he stands & where he needs work, but his pediatrician referred him to an occupational therapist. I had my doubts, but I took Nathan anyway. And somehow, they did not receive the referral for a speech evaluation so we couldn’t have that done. Nathan scored well on the physical stuff except he’s a little behind with fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, so they recommended some physical therapy to help him get caught up.

So when we first got there, Nathan had a blast in the waiting room. It was very kid-friendly and he loved running around & playing with the other kids. When we were called back, he melted down. I enticed him to come with me by telling him there were toys back there for him to play with.

It worked.

So we get back to to the room and Nathan’s eyes widened with excitement. There was a large mat on the floor and quite a few toys throughout the room. He immediately made a beeline to a large purple truck that was sitting enticingly on the floor.

There were three therapists in the room. One was an actual employee who I’ll call Alice, one was a student who I’ll call Jess, and one, who I’ll call Mary, had an appointment cancel so she asked if she could sit in on this one. I assumed she was a student as well.

Alice, the employee, was super awesome. She was kind and very sweet. Mary, the student therapist whose appointment cancelled, was super sweet as well. She didn’t say anything the whole time, so I think she was just observing. But the other student therapist, Jess, was a whole other story.

She was the stereotypical sorority snob that we all despised in high school & college. I could tell by the way she looked at me that she thought she was better than most people, including myself. She kept interrupting me & was condescending. Gag.

Jess made it clear she didn’t like my kid from the start. In fact, she completely exuded disdain for him. She made it painfully clear that she didn’t like his strong-willed nature. For example, she told him to sit in a seat by the mat so he could use a buckle. Nathan, like all strong-willed children on the Earth, does not take well to being ordered around. So naturally, he balked at her command and told her no. Jess huffed a few times and told him to sit down again. He ignored her. She then commanded him to sit. He ignored her and ran to the other side of the room to play with more toys. I don’t blame him. He’s not some pet.

Alice, the employed therapist, asked Nathan if he would like to sit at the table instead and play with crayons & markers. He smiled, said okay, and happily ambled over to the table and plopped down. Jess sat down beside Nathan and proceeded to give him instructions on doing this or that. After a while, Nathan became bored, so he rose from the table & started playing with the truck again.

“No, Nathan,” Jess said as she exasperatedly banged her pen on the table. “Sit down so we can finish.”

“No,” Nathan replied matter-of-fact.

“Yes. You have to finish your work,” she retorted.

“No,” Nathan repeated in that sweet three-year-old voice. Sometimes its funny to observe him being assertive because he has that sweet, soft little voice. I chuckled a little on the inside.

“Sit down,” she said as she patted the empty seat beside her.

“No.”

“You can’t play with the truck until you finish your work.”

“No. No sit in the chair. No truck.” When Nathan said that, Jess breathed out forcefully.

“Please sit in the chair or no truck.”

“No chair! No truck! No! No no no no!” Nathan asserted as he furrowed his eyebrows and took few steps back. He didn’t like her. In his own way, he was standing up for himself and giving her a big F You. He figured he’d just go without the truck instead of complying. No sweat off his back & a big fail on her part.

“Do you need me to step in?” I asked with a smile. It was almost funny. She was never going to get Nathan to comply by talking to him that way. You have to give Nathan an incentive; what’s in it for him. You have to convince him it’s something he wants to do, as opposed to barking orders to him. Strong-willed children require adults to think outside the box.

“No,” she said. “I’m just trying to see how well he follows directions.” Before I could tell her she was going about it the wrong way, Alice chimed in.

“Hey, Nathan! If you sit in your chair and do these fun activities, you can play with the truck when you’re done! How’s that sound?” Alice said cheerfully.

“Okay! Great!” Nathan said as he bounded over to the table and sat back down. I think Jess needs to find another occupation. She obviously isn’t cut out for dealing with children.

When the evaluation was over, Nathan cried. He said he wanted to “go play, have fun” and had an atomic meltdown in the parking lot as I tried to get him inside the car. He liked the activities & the play, regardless of Miss Sourpuss trying to rain on his little parade.

When I take Nathan back for his physical therapy, I hope that Jess isn’t there. I’m seriously considering having her sit out our sessions if she is there because she isn’t any good with my child at all. I do NOT appreciate a “professional” treating my child without kindness. I can’t help but wonder how she treats other children who actually have serious disabilities… just, wow.

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Growing into a little boy

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If anyone watches Blue’s Clue’s with their children, you know that in every episode, there is a part where Joe (or Steve) “skidoos” into a book while singing “Blue skidoo, we can too!” and then they kinda swirl around and then jump into a book. Its really corny, but Nathan loves it. He loves it so much, in fact, that he tries to skidoo as well.

The other day, he brought one of his favorite books out into the living room, opened it, and then ceremoniously placed it on the floor. Then he stood up, excitement painted all over his little face. Then he pointed to the book and sang “Blue Skidoo, we can too!” Then he swirled around and jumped onto the book. After a moment of standing on the pages, he looked at me and said, “It’s not working! Let’s try again!”

Rinse and repeat.

He attemped to skidoo multiple times and after each failure, he issued the same exclamation about it not working and trying again. One thing’s for sure, this kid had perseverence. And he’s so dang cute when he’s doing it.

In other news, Nathan had his three-year check-up at the doctor’s yesterday. I tried to schedule it around the time he turned three, but the office said it was sick season and that they wouldn’t be doing well-checks for a few months. So anyway. It was quite an experience. He did great right up until they called his name to go back… he fought me and did the Limp Body. You know, where a kid goes completely limp like a cooked spaghetti noodle, making it hard for you to pick them up and carry them because they just slide out of your arms.

He screamed bloody murder as they tried to take his temperature. He fought standing on the scale, and it was like pulling teeth to get him to stand up straight so they could get his height. He measured 40 inches tall, but he kept slumping over, so I think he’s more like 41 inches. He weighs 39 pounds. That puts him in the 95th percentile for both weight and height. He’s going to be so tall, just like his daddy! Paul is about 6’5 (6’6 with his shoes on!) And I’m a hair from being 5’8 (barefoot). So the kid has some tall genes, which is awesome.

Next, the nurse tried to get his blood pressure. Nathan totally rebelled, complete with thrashing and howling. When she told him the blood pressure cuff was just giving his arm a hug, he calmed down enough to get a reading. Whew. By this time, he was covered in sweat from fighting so hard.

Next came the exam. Lord have mercy. He fought and kicked and issued howls that sounded not unlike those of a wounded mountain lion. He scratched and thrashed and screeched and wailed. He was in complete flight-or-fight mode. I felt bad for him. He was completely freaked out.

The doctor said it’s completely normal for strong-willed children to behave that way. That’s good, I guess. I’m glad he’s not ABnormal. Ha.

So anyway, he checked out just fine. He’s already hit all his milestones and then some. He know’s all of his ABC’s, both uppercase and lowercase. He knows most of the sounds the letters make, but he hasn’t quite mastered that. He doesn’t know how to read just yet, but he can recognize some words like mom, dad, nathan, book, feet, etc, and we are working on how to sound letters out. He can count to 30 without help (with the teens being an exception… he always stumbles over 14-18) and to 100 with help. As in, I need to tell him what comes after 39, 49, 59, etc, but other than that, he’s got it down pat. Right now, we’re working on simple addition (2+1, 7+3, etc). This kid loves to learn.

So the doctor’s office is setting us up with a comprehensive evaluation to see where he stands intellectually, physically (as in motor skills), speech, and behaviorally. He’s too young for an IQ test, though. I suppose that can be issued once he learns how to read. I’m curious to see where he stands, however, and what I can do to cultivate his desire to learn.

So after the doctor’s office visit, we went to eat and then bathingsuit shopping for me. He was a perfect little angel. And that says a lot because he’s typically extremely strong-willed and sometimes embarrassing when I take him out in public. But this time, he minded me so well, sat on bis bottom the entire time we ate (as opposed to jumping around in the seat, which we do NOT condone), and then he was so very patient as I shopped for swimsuits. And then when we left the store, he blew kisses to the ladies at the cash register.

Oh how I love this boy.

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A chip needs its water

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Last night, we ordered Mexican takeout from a local Mexican restaurant. Along with chips and salsa, we also ordered some spicy Chorizo dip. We had it all sitting out on the table as we delightfully gorged ourselves. Nathan munched happily on some tortilla chips. Then, out of the blue, he dunked on of his chips into the Chorizo dip.

“Nathan, that’s really spicy,” I warned him. Without any hesitation whatsoever, he immediately flung the dip laden chip into my unsuspecting glass of water. I guess he thought the chip needed to cool down. I, on the other hand, was less than thrilled. I know he wasn’t being malicious or even trying to be funny- he sincerely looked worried as he flung his chip into to my drink- but still. It was so gross to watch the chip float listlessly in my glass, chunks of dip breaking off and floating around like dead little sea creatures.

I didn’t tell you guys about my “present” either. Nathan came up to me one day, all happy and bright-eyed.

“Mommy! I have a pwesent for you! Hold out the hand!” He exclaimed. So of course, I held out my hand to receive his gift. He then proceeds to wipe a booger into my outstretched palm.

It was a bittersweet moment.

So I guess you guys are wondering where I’ve been lately. You’ll never guess… I’VE STARTED MY OWN BUSINESS! Yes, totally! I won’t say exactly what it is just yet because I worry that if I talk too much about it, I might jinx it (I know that sounds silly). So far, though, it’s going great and I absolutely love it! Its been very time-consuming, but I am learning quickly. And now I’m going to start posting more often than I have been. Thank you, everyone, for being so patient and definitely please send some prayers my way because I really want to be successful, be the best I can be, and take this opportunity as far as I can!

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