Friday, May 22, 2009

Life With Joey and Andy: What I Have Learned So Far

One of the great joys of having children are all the things you learn from them. They can teach you a lot about dealing with life, people, and reality; they bring you a breath of youth and new eyes.

1. People do things for a reason. No matter what you think of another's actions and words, none of it comes ex nihilo. That kid tantruming in the store aisle? That's not random. Is the child tired, hungry, bored, overwhelmed? That adult tantruming in the store aisle? That's not random, either...

2. Don't judge people without knowing those reasons. Overreaction, or inappropriate reaction, makes everything worse. Even the Witching Hour has a reason- tired, overwhelmed kids excited about the day and seeing each other easily turns to bickering, whining, and hitting. Distract and Engage works far better than Yell Until your Throat Is Sore, and is far less traumatizing for everyone involved. Assuming someone is "just spoiled" or "being unreasonable" leads to trouble. This screaming is reasonable to the child; it is our job as a parent to sleuth out the reason and work on the cause, rather than trying to just treat the symptoms.

3. Let them be in control sometimes. This one is very hard on me, much harder than I was expecting. If you don't let kids have control, they don't learn how to do for themselves. Yes, it is faster and easier for me to make the peanut butter sandwich, zip the jacket, and water the flowers. However, it is important for Joey and Andy to learn to make their own lunch, zip their own clothes, and care for our garden and world. Assuming competence includes allowing them to practice and demonstrate that competence. Oh, and if you let a child have control of a hose, they will spray you. Just saying.

4. There is a whole person in that package. My folks used to say this about babies all the time: "There's a whole person in that tiny little package!" But it is true. Your children are not you. They are their own people. Its one of those lessons you have to learn on your own, no one can tell you (no matter how many times they tell you). These boys are two very different people. As I told the school folks on registration night, Andy isn't Joey, or even Joey's twin; he's a compliment. Joey is laid-back, Andy is a firecracker. Raised in the same house by the same parents. Wow.

Yeah, there's lots more. But it's been a rough week. So take one more lesson: Life is short. Squish your kids often.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Andy!!!

Five years ago today:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Brother Break

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ups, Downs, All Arounds

We had our yearly check=up today, Andy needed to be up to date for his school health forms for kindergarten, and Joey is looking round again. We left with a fist full of paper, four shots, and lots of recommendations, along with instructions for more appointments.

We are getting an upper GI done on Joey. We are looking into whether his stomach is emptying at an appropriate and consistent rate. We are also interested in sensory issues related to feeling full- does he feel fullness in a timely manner, or does he have some kind of delay?

Andy is headed to the psychiatrist. We are screening for hyperactivity as well as pinning a recognized label on the sensory issues he's having (sensory integration dysfunction isn't in the diagnostic manual yet). Our doctor also wants some more medical eyes on the situation, and documentation for the school. The results of my meeting with the principal haven't been exactly comforting. She also felt we needed to emphasize the need for small group situations and minimizing noise to avoid overstimulation.

So there we have it. They are both pretty healthy, and in the 95% for height. Wow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Vignette

We've been having trouble with Joey and his seatbelt. He doesn't like it, and is always unbuckling it. He knows I get upset when he does this, which I think only enhances the charm.

We finally reached the top of our star charts today! Off to Chuck E. Cheese we went! JoeyAndyDad and I are both feeling crappy, but CEC involves sitting mostly in one place and having children appear at regular intervals to claim coins. We were really proud of those boys- they were good enough to get the CEC, they were perfect in the CEC... and then we rode out to tell Grandma all about it.

Two tired boys in the car. Yes indeedy, what were we thinking. We had several rousing rounds of the latest soundification (which is clearer than usual: "If we eat or drink on the bed, we might get the bed all dirty!") We rounded the corner for home, and JoeyAndyDad glanced into the rearview mirror.

"Joey! You're unbuckled!"
"Shhh!" came the anxious reply, "Don't tell!"
After a single heartbeat, JoeyAndyDad shoots back, "Don't tell? Who am I gonna tell? I'm just your father!"

(By the way, this post is with Joey's approval. He is reading it as I type, and giggling hysterically!)