Today in life…

5 Jul

Extended School Year (ESY) started up again. I’m so happy Maura qualifies for it because all I’ve heard since school has let out from her is “Class? I like class. Class?”

The girl wanted to go to class.

Today, she got to go.

However, she noticed the bus pulled up from a different direction. And she got all “Nope. Not my bus, keep moving, you’re coming from the wrong direction. My bus always heads south, not north.”

Or, at least, that’s how I interpreted her “No…bus…” and pointing north.

(I think it’s north. I’m not really sure. We’ll pretend it is north.)

I explained that she rides a different bus for summer. And she understood. I love it when we understand each other. I understood the question, she understood the answer. It shows that all our hard work pays off. I say “our hard work” because when you have a child with a communication disorder, as a parent, it’s easy to fall into the rut of silence. I can easily anticipate Maura’s needs most of the time. She gets really comfortable in that rut as well. Basically, we both get a little lazy. So lately, I’ve been working on prompting her to explain herself more, be more vocal, show me, more interpretive dance moves – anything but her stare of “Can you read my mind?” that she’ll do. I still don’t expect Shakespeare from her. I would be totally cool with scripting. I expect her to quote Doctor Who to me.


She had a great first day of ESY and came off the bus ready for lunch, because it was lunchtime, and learning makes my kids hungry. So does breathing and being awake. I made her a sandwich and got her some applesauce. She was happy. I went on the computer. She foraged for something more and came to me with one of those ice pops, a blue one, in need of cutting open.

“LOOK!” she said, showing it to me. “STAR!” she stated, pointing to the word “STAR” written on the ice pop packaging, as I bought the Star Wars themed ones.

“VERY GOOD!” I said. And yes, we communicated in all caps because my daughter pointed out a word to read to me. Because she’s learning to read. BECAUSE SHE COULD READ THAT WORD AND IT’S FRICKEN AWESOME AND EXCITING!

Really, we’re having a terrific day today. And that’s not just all the caffeine in me talking. Though that was nice too!

I still can’t put my vacuum away

29 Jun

Once upon a time, I had three little kids, ages 5, 3, and 1. I also had a dining room that was carpeted and a tiny galley kitchen that was too small to eat in. My mother came over one day, and for some reason, asked where my vacuum went. The vacuum that stood proudly in the corner of the dining room.

“Where does it go?” she asked.

“What do you mean?” I responded, confused.

“Where do you put it away when you’re not using it?” she clarified.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying…away…not using…what?”

One kid and a few houses later, and I should be able to put my vacuum away. Yet I don’t. You can come over and find it parked somewhere, still plugged in, ready to be used in a heartbeat. Oh sure, I can say it’s because the one dog sheds a tiny dog’s worth of hair every day, and both track in dirt. But it’s also because we’re still in the “discovery” phase with Maura. The “if left to her own devices, it may look like a hurricane blew through here” phase. The “I swear, I just vacuumed, what the heck kid? That was a full box of cereal. Why do I never have a dog that’ll eat cereal?” phase.

Luckily, I now live with hardwood and laminate flooring, so when Maura dumps milk across the table and onto the floor, it can all be easily cleaned up with a towel, and the cereal and dog hair are easy to vacuum up.

If I stop to over-analyze it all, it could become very depressing, being stuck in this phase of development. Luckily, I know that with Maura, one shouldn’t look at the broad picture. One looks at what’s happening in front of us, the little things that are big. Like she was able to button a button herself – huge for a girl with bendy fingers and wonky fine motor skills! Or the other night, without prompting, she took her plate to the kitchen. Sure, she scraped it all off into the sink, but she’s now equal to her siblings on this particular task. If she spills the proverbial milk, she will grab a kitchen towel and do her best to clean it up.

I may never be able to put my vacuum away, but I don’t see that as a loss. Instead, it’s a reminder that we’re still winning. We’re still moving forward, even if it’s in baby steps. It means that we have more important things to do than unplug the vacuum, wind up the cord, and put it in a designated place. In a weird way, it’s a symbol of development in my house. Progress is messy, people, but we’re prepared to handle all that comes with it.


For now, rest, little Shark

How our summer’s going so far

27 Jun


starring Maura as Candace, and me as Mom.

Why yes, we are watching a lot of “Phineas and Ferb”, why do you ask?

Hey, where’s Perry?


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