Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All about Disabilities

Each day after I pick up C and we make our way to get A, we see school buses.  Those with white tops are her school buses from her school (according to C).  So today, she wants to know if she can ride a bus home from her school.  I said no, she doesn't take the bus but that when she starts in Kindergarten, she would take buses on field trips.  This incensed her!  She wanted to take a bus right now!!!  I explained to her that at her school only some kids got to take a bus.  She wanted to know why so I explained that some kids have a disability and some don't but that those that do take a bus home or to another daycare center sometimes. 

So, here is how our conversation went:

Me: C, kids with disabilities take buses at your school.  BUT, at kindergarten, everyone can take a bus on field trips.
C: Mom, can you give me a disability?
Me: No honey, I can't give you a disability (although, her father might disagree and suggest that I gave A a "disability", but I digress :))
C: Why not?  How does someone get a disability?
Me:  Most people are born with disabilities and some people get them when they get really hurt.
C:  What is a disability?
Me:  It is when someone has a hard time doing something that others can do easier  (hard to explain this to a small kid in language that they understand while still being compassionate to the person with a disability).  So, for example, XYZ is in a wheelchair and so she has a harder time walking than others and so she has a disability with her legs. 
C: Who else has disabilities?
Me:  Well, A has a disability
C:  Why? 
Me: When he was your age, he couldn't talk very well so people understood him.  And, he has a disability with his muscles because they aren't as strong as they should be.  This is why it is harder for him to write.  And, you know how sometimes he does things that really bother you, like crashing into you?  It is because he has a hard time controlling his body.
C:  What do I have for a disability?
Me: You don't have one.
C: It's not fair mom!  I want a disability.  (Crying starts).  Can I please have one?  Please mom?
Me: Honey, I can't give you a disability.  Remember, people are born with it or sometimes they get really, really hurt and that causes a disability.
C:  Please!!!  I WANT A DISABILITY!!!!
Me: I'll see what I can do (no other way to end this conversation!)

We also drive past a McDonald's on our way to our farm and to Target and we don't go there because they don't give people with disabilities jobs and are rude about it.  The kids know this and ask about it each and every time we drive by, which is A LOT!.  Now, we also do the Nurtured Heart Approach.  So, I had to combine both ideas tonight to explain about why we don't go there.  I told them that the McDonald's was in a reset, but was refusing to serve it and until they did, we would ignore them by not spending our money there.  A is very concerned that they will stay in a reset forever.  I told them that uncle J would let us know when they served their reset because he keeps track of those kinds of things.

So, if you see my kids out and about, the topic of disability is big on their minds right now and C might ask you to give her one!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Bullying and Kids

I've been spending a lot of time at A's school lately and as such, I am witnessing lots of teasing and taunting of other kids.  Now, growing up, it likely would have been referred to by adults as "good-natured ribbing" as I know none of the kids mean to hurt others with their words.  But, seeing it happen so rampantly with such young kids (they are 5 and 6 years old), I am amazed.  I do not remember it being such a common thing.  I don't know what has changed that has led to the amount of teasing observed or if I just don't remember it because I wasn't part of it or just don't remember it or what, but gosh! 

At this point, I am grateful that A doesn't realize when others are teasing him but it does make me have concern for when C starts school.  She will notice it (and hopefully, not participate in it) and it makes me sad to realize this.  I can't tell you how many times I have explained to kids that it is a form of bullying and therefore, not okay.  I really don't think they realize that language can be used to bully, other than calling someone a name because they look at me genuinely confused when I tell them that it is bullying. 

My plea is for parents to talk with your kids about how teasing is bullying.  AND, if you are a parent that teases your kid, please STOP!  You are teaching by example it is okay to bully others with words.  I watched kids behavior completely deteriorate due to verbal bullying today, to the point they literally were throwing fists, in 1st grade!  This is just unacceptable to me and it really makes me so sad to see that it happens this young.  And, there aren't enough adults around when it happens to realize what is going on.

So, my second plea is to talk to your kids about this kind of bullying and how they can respond, without internalizing it or externalizing it with violence.  Please give your kids the tools to combat this kind of behavior very early on so they will be prepared because it starts very early on in school. 

Now, this isn't to say that kids were playing out "mean girl" scenarios, but they were picking on kids for peeing in their clothes, for falling down, for getting in trouble, etc.  All of these incidents would be small in nature, but when combined, could amount to issues as kids get older.

Okay, end of the PSA.  Go hug your kids and teach them, through your own actions, how to love, how to be a good friend, and how to respect each other.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, NO!! Am I going to die?

It was a typical day at our house, A throwing himself upside down, jumping off couches, etc.  Suddenly, I heard a loud "THUNK" and heard crying.  I came in and asked what happened and A, in a state of sheer panic said, "Oh no!  Am I going to die?  Is my head split open?"  Alas, it was not and I assured him he would survive but have a bump.  I suppose this is the danger of telling my kids to be careful because they could crack their head open!


Monday, October 17, 2011


It is nearing Halloween, you know, that time of year when we ENCOURAGE our kids to take candy from strangers (which by the way, makes no sense, yet I still take my kids).  Along with Halloween comes the costume fiasco.  Now, trying to figure out what C wanted to be was like herding cats.  You see, she changes her mind every day, sometimes every hour.  First, she wanted to be a pirate.  Then, an astronaut.  Then, a pilot.  Then a princess.  Finally, she settled on a witch.

If you have never gone costume shopping for a little girl, allow me to explain it to you.  First, you have to figure out what the girl will want to be.  Then, you go to the store, thinking it will be relatively easy to find a costume.  I mean, C wanted to be a witch, not a TV character that is hot this year and thus impossible to find.  Sure, there were lots of witch costumes, BUT, while she just cared about being a witch, mommy cared about her NOT being a slutty witch!  That is right, not only do you need to figure out what the girl wants to dress up as, but you have to weed through the costumes to find one that will cover her bum when she bends over.  Oh, and you have to find the one that has tights, not thigh highs.  What child needs thigh highs?  Hell, I'm an adult and I'd avoid those at all costs.  So, you have the one that appears non-slutty, but then you have to try it on.  Last year, she was Strawberry Shortcake.  The problem was the tights were for a 6 year old and the outfit was for a petite 2 year old.  This year, the tights are for a 4 year old, the dress is for a big-boned 5 year old.  But, her bum doesn't show and she has no thigh highs, so we bought it.  We'll just put clothes on underneath.

Onto A.  He wanted to be Cat in the Hat, since that is what he was last year.  BUT, he is big and it no longer fit.  So, he decided to be Super Mario.  Seems easy.  Now, there are 2 versions, regular and deluxe.  Regular has the jumpsuit, hat, and mustache.  Deluxe has that plus gloves and an inflatable belly.  There is a different of $15 in price, so we went with the regular and bought just plain white gloves (A decided he couldn't be Mario without white gloves).  Even though we got the size for 8-10, it is snug on him (he is 6!).

So, we have the costumes and if you come to our house, you will think it is already Halloween.  A comes home from school and immediately wants to put on his costume.  Apparently it is more fun to watch TV or play Wii in costume.

Hope you found your costumes.  J and I need to find ours still, but we'll figure that out this week, hopefully.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy Birthday C

Today is C's 4th birthday.  On this day, I remember that I woke up, like any normal day.  Except, my mom had come into town in anticipation of C's being born.  I thought it would be fun to take A to the pumpkin patch and hopped in the shower around 10 am.  I started having some contractions, but they were not at all painful so I figured I'd be fine.  I got in the car with A, my mom, and my then-husband and headed off to the pumpkin patch, not mentioning to anyone about the contractions.  The pumpkin patch was closed, which turned out to be a good thing.  We got home about 30 min after we left and I told everyone I was having contractions.  I called the birth center and, since the contractions were about 2-3 min apart, they suggested I come in.  So, off we went.  I was hungry since it was close to lunchtime so we grabbed fast food on the way.  We got to the birth center and they checked me and said I was 5 cm dilated so I could go downstairs to the birthing suite but that I had some time to spare.  I got in the elevator and went downstairs.  I walked in and met the midwife on duty, while N (my then husband) went to go to the car.  I immediately felt that the baby was coming and the midwife yelled for Nate to come back.  Sure enough, she was born right then.  From the beginning of labor to the end was less than 3 hours and from 5 cm to 10 cm was less than 3 min!  She, like her brother, was born at 38 weeks, 3 days, on a Friday in the noon hour.

Happy birthday my sweet baby girl!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Updates and Halloween

So, as you know, A has struggled at school a lot behaviorally and I have been meeting regularly with the teaching staff to help him.  I have explained to them the Nurtured Heart Approach and they were on board.  BUT, their school is going to be implementing a school wide behavior modification program.  That said, they are still interested in my working with them and mentoring them and my supporting them in using the NHA with A.  AND, for the 1st time since school started, I got a note home today that said A had a great day, with no consequences!  I heard them using the language of the NHA too.  I really hope we are on the path to greatness and to less consequences and time-outs for A.

On an unrelated note, Halloween is coming up, which means that I need to figure out costumes for the kids.  A wants to be what he was last year (he's not one for change) and C changes her mind daily.  Most recently, she said, "Mom, I want to be something REALLY scary!"  The irony is that when he cousin wore a costume with a face mask, she was terrified of him so I doubt she'll actually want anything scary--well that and she is 4 years old! I'll start looking to see what they could be that would work for them, be warm enough, and washable since we do so many holiday events for Halloween. 

I also love that this year, C has really come out of her shell.  She is vocal at school (last year she was very, very quiet) and verbalizes her needs.  She isn't as shy in front of new people as she once was either.  I love seeing her grow and develop and come into her own. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Funny things the kids have said lately

I was talking to my sister and telling her about a picture from our farm.  C said she wanted to see it and I told her I didn't have it, that it was on Facebook.  She wanted to know what Facebook was and I explained it is a computer program.  So, now, she sits at home and writes stuff in a notebook or does art or whatever else and puts it in a metal tin shaped like a book and says, "Mom, I'm just gonna put this in Facebook."

At dinner tonight, C said, "Mom, when I am a mom, only call me on Fridays."  I asked her why only on Fridays.  She said, "Cuz then you won't call me too much."  A, hearing this, says, "Yeah, mom, you can call me only on Mondays."  So, apparently, when my kids are older, I have reserved times I can call them and that is it!

Have a good fall weekend!