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Everything posted by Ananda

  1. For me bullying is a tricky thing to define. I don't really feel I was bullied in school. I didn't think I was bullied at the time; I don't remember specific instances of being bullied. But looking back, I think I was bullied and was too social clueless to notice. I know the other kids didn't like me, I was an outsider. Knowing now that girls bully by social games & exclusion I think it was likely I was bullied. The sticky wicket for me is that I didn't feel excluded. I felt I didn't fit in. I honestly think I withdrew from others, I didn't really want to be included. I had few friends, until 8th grade. My childhood friends were all relentlessly bullied. I often stood up for them, and protected them. Surely they retaliated? I was typically one of the leftover kids when we had to pick groups. This didn't bother me because I assumed they wanted to be with their friends. Despite being oblivious to possible bullying, I do think I bear the scars of a childhood of being "other". I have made no friends since college. I am uncomfortable when participating in parent or family activities. I politely respond when people are talking to me, but they usually carry the conversation. I feel like I have no idea what other mothers are interested in. My kids are quirky, so we don't even have much in common there. I remember distinctly when some parents were discussing their toddlers tantrums. I know something about this, so I decided to participate. I said something about "You know when kids get so upset that they just let out a silent scream until they pass out?" Dead silence and shock from everyone. Then someone said, "No, did you call 911?" In that moment I realized that what I had assumed was a common parent experience, wasn't. Normal people would be able to shake that off, and continue a conversation. I felt like I was a freak. Even here I am a lurker, because I don't feel like I have anything to contribute. I'm not one of the cool kids, and the losers aren't allowed to speak. They can watch from the sidelines as long as they don't have a "staring problem." See. I must have been bullied.
  2. I like the idea of looking into a special needs soccer program. If such a thing exists in our area, I think that would be awsome for everyone. The micro soccer program he had last year was such a good fit. I read your story on the special needs board. Soo frustrating, and yes vague unhelpful results are what I worried about. Wow. I knew there was a wait time, but nothing like that. I was thinking like 6 months (that seems long to me in the life of a young child). Clearly, your child's situation is much more impactful than mine. I was worried about him from the time he was a baby, but was pretty sure he just needed a little more time. It wasn't until the preschool teachers suggested an eval that I realized he really was struggling. A think any teacher he has had from toddlerhood on knew something was up. We often had awkward conversations about how they could help him be more successful. His father isn't fully convinced that he doesn't just need more time to outgrow. He is really great, just cautious. The extended family has been unsupportive, blaming it on parenting details like sweets & TV. We had a struggled at home when he was from about 18 mos. to 4, but since 4 he has made so much progress. At home we are managing well (I think), it is really only in outside activities that he just can't do it. I think to a lot of outsiders he looks badly behaved, not special needs. It is good to be forewarned that even evaluation may be a long road. If everyone could see that your child was struggling, helping him should have been made a priority by the powers that be. Especially because from what little I understand of autism, early intervention is key. The developmental delay stuff frustrates me. It is entirely unhelpful. As I understand it "developmental delay" only means that he isn't achieving the milestones they expected. Of course, we already knew that we (and his preschool teachers) told you that. They never tell us why he is developmentally delayed. They never tell us what we can do about it. We very clearly told them that our goals for the eval were to get information so that we could help him. I wanted to be armed to be a better mother & future homeschool teacher. If we get a label, I can research it. I can ask on the special needs board for specific advice. I can learn to differentiate among special needs, childishness and naughtiness. They provided him services, but no insight into what was working & what wasn't. Based on the reports I received, they weren't able to help him meet the paltry goals of his iep. The goals were for him to follow teacher instruction to pick up 5 items at clean up time, to participate appropriately in circle time, and to learn to greet his classmates & teachers by name (he didn't know anyone's name). As far as his social skills are concerned. He does struggle some in this area, although it isn't really bad. I think a lot of it is that he is the quirky child of two socially inept parents and because of his behavior he was given fewer social opportunities. The emotional delay was because he was still having meltdowns at 4 when upset, and was overexcited when happy. The meltdowns are gone except when he is tired or sick or something. He can remove himself when he is feeling overwhelmed. He can calm himself when he is told to when overexcited. The only really remaining issue in this area is that he now whines when upset, something I feel equipped to handle as a parent. The adaptive behavior portion I think is still a concern. Although I think he is doing much better here too. I think its ADHD because his major issues are things like impulsiveness, not following instructions, distractablity, not paying attention, being completely unaware of his surroundings when focused. I think it is the inattentive type. He is super busy, but not really hyperactive. As he grows older, he seems to conform more and more to the descriptions of ADHD children. Of course I could be wrong. He is still so little, it is hard to get a clear picture. I am surprised that ADHD children aren't developmentally delayed. I don't really know what you mean by immature v. developmentally delayed, unless it is just a matter of degree. He is behind his three year old brother in terms of attention & impulse control. So I guess that is delayed. As far as it being code of autism, the word "autism" did come up a few times. I didn't/don't think that fits here. I know autism can be quite diverse in its presentation, so maybe? This is all so confusing and autism is a scary diagnosis. Never say never, but no for now. When I say the behaviors have dissipated I mean for example his meltdowns have decreased dramatically in frequency, magnitude and duration. They are now rare, easily handled and clearly related to some biological issue (being overtired for example). When you say they may have taken another form, I think of how he is now whiny. He responds well to do overs. I feel like that is fine for six. It is certainly more adaptive, to use their word. BlsdMama, on 17 Aug 2016 - 10:37 PM, said: I'm not much help but I wanted to offer this encouragement: While these ADD and ADHD kids are so very much work, and it is so exhausting to just do life, they really are just incredible people. Take heart. This is overwhelming but you will be a better mama for having parented this child.... And some day you will encourage another. ---end quote--- (sorry I messed up your quote) I REALLY appreciate this. I feel so despondent that all my child's good qualities keep getting obscured be his lack of conformity. Does the coach notice how hard Xavier is trying, how he is diligently doing toe taps as asked, how much he has improved since just last week. If he does, he doesn't say anything. He just keeps repeating "Everyone on the line." Over and over. I want to yell: "He is focused on the toe taps you asked him to do! He is doing them well, because he practiced so hard. Forget your stupid line and watch!" He is such an awesome little guy, and I feel like most people merely tolerate him. His father and I shower him with love, because when the hard world smacks him I want him to at least have that to fall back on. Everyone at his preschool was so wonderful with him. They truly loved him and wanted the best for him. The director of his music school and several of his music teachers have been awesome. His micro soccer coach was good. He has members of the extended family who joyfully spend time with him. I rejoice in that. But I never know if a person will see him as an opportunity or a burden before I sign him up for an activity. Thank you so much for you kind words. It soothes my breaking heart. I also feel guilty, because I tried to parent him into paying attention. I knew he was trying, but I was embarrassed and wanted so much for a beloved activity to work out. I will give it a few more weeks. I will see if something can be worked out. If not, I think I have to cut our losses. (Poor little guy.) Thanks everyone so much for your council. I have a plan and that makes all the difference. And I just have to say to those who might be reading, please remember that the tough kids are awesome little people too. Try to see beyond the surface. It make so much difference.
  3. It sounds like most people think that an evaluation at six would be wise. I delayed because 1. I already had an evaluation. 2. I really felt he was too young to give a clear picture. I will yield to the wisdom of those who have gone before me, that it is time. I knew I would have to have him evaluated eventually. I will get that ball rolling. As far as diet is concerned; imo it is pretty bad, but not horrible. He is a picky eater, without a consistent list of likes & dislikes. He defaults to grains when making his own food choices and has a history of sneaking in this area. He will eat vegetables & fruits if they are served, as long as they aren't on his current "no list". We are vegetarian and he eats vegetarian proteins well, when they are served. We eat a moderate amount of sweets and he doesn't sneak them anymore. He mainly drinks water. This is not a current area I am working on. I think it is good enough. I will consider your advice that his grain craving might hint at an intolerance. I had never thought of that. He doesn't have sensory sensitivity. If anything, he seems less sensitive than I would expect. He as slept well for the last few years. He didn't as a baby & toddler, but by four he was sleeping well both at night and naptime. I do plan to talk to the coach. I just needed the advice you helpful boardies have provided to center my thoughts on a plan.
  4. I did consider pulling him. Yes, I have paid quite a bit all told. Also there is the issue of letting down the team (although they might be better off without him). I could easily let the money go, and apologize to the team but, two things: He LOVES it. Absolutely adores it. He did micro soccer last year which was much more casual and he did fine. When the season was over he was so disappointed and nagged me all summer about how he couldn't wait ALL summer for soccer to start up again. I don't know what I would tell him if I did pull him. He is trying so hard to behave, he would be crushed. If he didn't like it, I would pull him in a heart beat. Also because the problem isn't unique to soccer, it would reoccur in any activity I tried. Am I to keep him out of ALL activities? For how long? Without group activities how does he develop the lacking skills? It feels like avoiding a problem that will only get worse. We do practice soccer at home every day. He enjoys this time, and it has helped immensely with his ball handling skills. He isn't abysmal, just lacking in any natural talent. I almost didn't mention it, but I do think it contributes to the coach & teammates frustration. He will have to work hard, and is willing.
  5. They are all boys born in 2009 and ds has a December birthday, so he is one of the youngest on his team. I agree that many (all?) of the boys had to by redirected a few times, but ds needed to be redirected more than all the other boys combined. I am seriously considering pursuing private evaluation. I was waiting until he was 8, thinking they might be able to get a clearer picture after some of the childish behaviors had dissipated. Looking at his evaluation from the PS when he was 4, I am noticing a lot of the behaviors discussed have dissipated. I think he was too young to get an accurate picture of the core issues. When I get him an evaluation I want it to be fruitful. I have decided to approach the PS and see what services they are able to offer a homeschooler. As I understand it, he has a legal right to services. It is worth discussing.
  6. My ds 6 has great difficulty paying attention, following directions and focusing on an assigned activity. This has been a pervasive problem more problematic in group settings than at home. I couldn't attend library storytime with him because he couldn't follow the behavior expectations. He has attended children's music classes since he was a toddler, he has always enjoyed them but struggled with disruptive behaviors. Generally I have been keeping him in classes designed for younger children, so he attended toddler music class at 2-3, preschool at 4/5 when most of the kids that age were in pre-kindergarten. I put him in preschool when he was four for a variety of reasons. Through preschool I became aware that my child was not just a late bloomer or over-exited by groups of children as I had hoped. After trying everything in their bag of tricks, the preschool recommended an evaluation through the Public Schools. It seemed thorough but had the disappointing diagnosis of "Developmental Delay in the areas of Social/Emotional and Adaptive Behavior". He qualified for services and received them in his preschool. I don't think it helped. My mommy diagnosis is ADHD for what that's worth. The pressing problem right now is soccer. He loves soccer; he is genuinely trying so hard to focus. But his ability to follow the coaches instructions & pay attention to the drill are so behind his peers. The coach is good, but he is clearly out of his depth. He just keeps repeating himself while ds isn't listening. Everyone is getting frustrated. To make matters worse, when ds got frustrated with his best not being good enough he turned whiny. Also, not that this should matter at 6, but he isn't very good at soccer. I don't know what to do. The first half of yesterday's practice, I tried to let the coach handle it. Every one of the frequent water breaks, I told him that I loved him no matter what, but he really had to listen to his coach and do what his coach said. As the situation deteriorated, I got up to stand next to ds and redirected his focus, and tried to keep him on task. This worked well enough, but . . . it doesn't seem sustainable. Can I honestly do that every practice? What about drills where it would be entirely inappropriate to do so? What about games? Usually I would handle this by having him play with younger kids, but that isn't an option in soccer. My immediate problem is soccer, but really the problem would be present no matter what the activity was. As he gets older people are less patient with his behavior, and are more uncomfortable with my direct participation.
  7. My kids are little and the question of "What is homeschooling?" is tricky. I have always intended to homeschool my children, and work hard to have a homeschooly home. I don't know what homeschooling preschool as distinct from parenting would look like. Tomorrow my three year old is starting a brick-and-mortar preschool three mornings a week. I can't speak highly enough of our preschool. It is a play based preschool. Personally, I believe play is developmentally appropriate for little ones. I don't know what I would do formally at this age. My three year old has known all his letter sounds since before he was two without being taught. He isn't ready to begin learning to read. We read aloud and play around with rhyming words and what not. He doesn't have the fine motor skills to begin writing. He understands basic concrete math, but again isn't ready for the abstraction of 3 + ___ = 5 or whatever. My oldest child is six. He attended preschool when he was 4/5 and stopped because he aged out. When he showed readiness in each area I gradually added in formal school work. By the time he was five we had formal phonics/reading, copywork & math everyday. He was still attending preschool for another 8 months. When he stopped attending preschool nothing changed. I just didn't send him to kindergarten. We don't live in a state where you officially home school kindergarten. I ascribe to the notion that homeschoolers don't have grades anyway. So did I homeschool kindergarten? I don't know. I am teaching my child to read and write. He came by the math on his own. He didn't attend kindergarten and is now too old. I guess I may have homeschooled kindergarten without noticing. The weird thing for me was when I filed official homeschool paperwork with the state this summer. Now my six year old is officially a homeschooler. Still nothing in our day-to-day lives has changed.
  8. I can fathom the possibility of my husband deciding to have an affair. I can imagine him not telling me that he wanted to have an affair, for fear I would object or lose respect for him or something. I can not imagine him getting an STD. He is very cautious and risk adverse. I understand that STDs are a very really concern for people who generally have affairs. But in my own marriage, with my own husband--so not on the radar.
  9. I answered no. I would want my husband to tell me. (Preferably before hand). I don't want anyone else to tell me. I don't know what good it does anyone for them to get involved in my marriage.
  10. Officially? July 15. I don't really start & stop. I try to get to core subjects to some extend 7 days a week, 365 days per year. But for us (my little guy is 6) that just means some some phonics, math & penmanship. On my official homeschool paperwork that I turned in to the government, I listed the start date at July 15. I chose that date because the state views the school year break as July 15. Nothing changed on that date. I suppose when my children gets older, it may be necessary to to periodic breaks.
  11. The headline is: First Woman Nominee, Clinton Makes History. The big picture is of some women hugging. Farther down there is a picture of Bernie Sanders. The story takes up most of the first page. By contrast, the big city paper has it in a small side bar (above the fold). The headline is: All in for Clinton Historic Nomination. It has a small picture of a bunch of signs with an H and an arrow. The big story is about a big explosion (a local story); there was major property damage and one death.
  12. Ananda

    Crib or not?

    My babies and I cosleep in a queen sized bed shoved up against the wall (no gap at the side or head). For naps, I just put them to bed near the wall. It is too far to the edge for them to fall off in sleep. I use a baby monitor, so that I can hear them wake. I also teach my babies how to get off the bed feet first. I also adore the rock & play. It is the perfect height to sit next to my bed. I can take it to grandma's house or other rooms as need be.
  13. Well. . . . sort of. I share a room with the baby. I have shared a room/bed with each of my children in turn until the next was born. My husband went from having his own room, to sharing with the 6 & 3 year old. I don't know what our long term plan is for bedrooms. Before we had kids, my husband slept in "the bedroom," and I slept on the futon in the living room. We have only shared a bed a handful of times in our marriage.
  14. Our toilet frequently clogs. However a clogged toilet doesn't overflow on one flush. We flush once. It doesn't work. We plunge it. In our case the problem is hard water deposits reducing the effectiveness of the flush. They can be cleaned out & then the toilet flushes fine. Both my husband & I would be game for replacing the toilet. For us, it is a matter of "getting around to it", and lack of expertise/skill in handyman tasks. Also I have some concerns that the same hard water problem would affect any toilet. I would say clogged toilets are a fact of life. Every house I have lived it has had toilets that clogged with varying frequency. I have also clogged many toilets as a guest and had to ask for a plunger. Overflowing toilets is in my experience a rare occurrence. I am sorry your toilet doesn't give you a "grace flush". I vote replace your toilets if you are reasonably certain it will fix your problem. My clog problem is annoying. An overflow problem would really tip the scales into making it high priority for me. You seem really unhappy, just replace them. \
  15. Wow, I feel so ripped off. $100 every two weeks. When I was in high school (in the early 2000's), I got $20 a month for allowance. I had to buy my own clothes, including shoes and outerwear. That money also had to cover school supplies, grooming/hygiene products and normal allowance stuff. It was enough to get by, but made me seriously resistant to spending money. I still think of clothes in terms of my high school allowance. My allowances were ridiculously low all along. I got $15 a month in middle school to cover all the same stuff (this was the late 90s). In grade school I gradually worked up in $1 a week. That was just free spending money though.
  16. My Grandpa was a Benson Bunny. I went to Cornhusker university as well. The actual mascot (as in person in a suit) is a farmer guy called Herbie Husker. My elementary school was the Wizards, but I don't think anyone expects an elementary school to have an intimidating mascot.
  17. This is one area where my philosophical beliefs don't match my reality. I think a screen free/ low screen existence is best for toddlers & preschoolers. I have found that difficult and pretty much gave up. My husband & I like to watch movies/TV in the evenings, we use computers, my husband was a video gamer. When our first child was born I couldn't figure out what "counted" as screen time. If the TV is on in the room in which baby is playing, is that screen time? I would make sure he was otherwise engaged with nursing or playing. It evolved to a little bit of computer time on a parent's lap, when he was a toddler. We would watch youtube videos or buddy mouse children's computer games like starfall or fungooms. When I got pregnant with my second child when he was 2 the flood gates opened. At that point he started watching children's TV shows & documentaries on Netflix when I was too tired. We built him his own computer out of old parts for him to play his little games. When he broke two adult tablets as a preschooler we decided to get him a Nabi kids tablet. I feel conflicted about all of this. I don't think it was reasonable for me to expect to raise children of two tetchy & plugged-in parents screen-free. I do think we swung to far in the other direction. My children are now 6, 3 & 7 mos. Instead of focusing on how much, I think about two things. First, I endeavor to make their screen-time edifying. We play fun games on the wii as a family, just in the way we play table top games. I let them use educational software & TV shows. Quality is the order of the day. Second, I make sure they are doing plenty of other things as well. If they are playing with their no-tech toys & imaginations, if they spend hours outdoors and are active, if they enjoy books & family time; then I let my concerns about screen time go. The children naturally self-regulate the time reasonably well. When they don't, and they start complaining about being bored without a screen, we do a whole family screen free week. The screen free week always works to reset our whole family into remembering the joy in a well-balanced life.
  18. The garage time warp is a thing! Wow, I thought it was just me. Back on the topic of hair. IMO it is always best to work with your natural hair texture & color. So curly hair should aim to look good curly, straight hair straight. I don't think someone should obligate themselves to straightening or curling their hair every single day. If you die your hair keep in the general ball park of your natural hair color, so maybe a shade or two darker or lighter or redder or whatever. That way you don't have stark roots forcing you back into the salon. As far as length/style, that seems so personal. But I prefer at minimum long enough to make a quick pony tail. My hair has sort of happy lengths. Really long is good because I can do quick and easy buns & braids. This works well for me because I have lots of little children who would grab, chew or get unknown mucky stuff in any lose hair. Also, I know from my pre-mom life that medium length hair works well for me, both down & in a quick pony tail. I think this would still work for me as a mom (the pony tail).
  19. I always wanted to be homeschooled as a child. I found the Well-Trained Mind browsing Borders when I was 19 (?). I read it over & over and started lurking here (well the old here) soon after. I researched & planned for imaginary children excessively. My children were always going to be homeschooled. Most people seem to think homeschooling from birth is nonsense, so I guess I started homeschooling when I didn't send my oldest to kindergarten. My oldest is 6, so I've "officially" homeschooling less than a year.
  20. I take breaks in the sense that I might read in a bath while my husband is on kid duty or watch a movie rather than be productive late at night. I don't take breaks in the sense of leaving the house without children or staying home while my whole family leaves. First, I often have a nursing baby who I can't be separated from. Second, my husband doesn't drive so he doesn't have a lot of good options to take the kids without me. Third, when I have tired to leave the house without children, I never know what to do. I end up wandering Barnes & Noble, confused about how to browse a bookstore without children. I don't understand that phenomenon. Occasionally (like maybe twice a year when my nurser is older), I go see a movie in a theater.
  21. Ananda

    The Mom Cut

    I have very long hair that I wear in a simple ponytail, bun or braid. I don't have time for a mom cut. I would actually have to see a professional stylist (ick), and use product (double ick) and hair tools (triple ick). But I assume my long hair is part of the reason everyone thinks I look like a teenager. I had a terrible short hair cut, that grew out awkwardly for years when I was 8/9/10. I think it traumatized me. I have a very visceral reaction to the idea of cutting my hair short. Medium length hair is annoying because you can't do braids & easy buns. Long hair for me forever.
  22. This is my first multi-quote, so apologies if it doesn't work. I don't know what the legal end of it should look like. I think that a woman's doctor should determine medical reasons for & against abortion. But I don't know what regulation should look like. I wouldn't support any law requiring a judge to get involved in rape cases or mother's/ fetus's health cases. Ideally, women would make a moral choice of their own volition. I am cautious of compelling them through force of law. I agree that ultimately it has to be her choice. I can't force a woman to remain pregnant. Obviously, I disagree with your second line, I'm pro-life. But I mean we as society when working out our collective morals have to make hard choices. I'm not speaking about any one specific woman's decision to have abortions. Rather I am speaking of the overarching morality under which decisions regarding abortion are made. I'm relieved to hear that. No picketing or abuse from me.
  23. I do feel uncomfortable, because of this issue. I don't want to be hurtful. I want to say that I understand that my words can be very powerful. I am treading carefully. I'm very aware that you, and probably other women who have already made this choice differently than I would, are reading my words. I feel compassion for any pain others have caused you, and apologize for any I may have caused. You have a right to feel angry about being mistreated & devalued.
  24. Perhaps. Both are very important & their lives are precious. Clearly when we must pick one, that is a hard choice. It shouldn't be a choice a woman makes alone. She should have the help of her medical providers, her loved ones, her priest, whoever else in making that decision. Usually when discussing abortion we aren't weighing the life of the mother v. the life of the child. Usually we are weighing a perceived right to chose not to be pregnant & all the ensuing benefits to the woman of ending her pregnancy versus the life of the fetus. If every pregnancy required the mother dying for her child the discussion would be very different.
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