relationship

A New Freedom

The past couple weeks have flown by.  We’ve been immersed in a flurry of assessments and activities for Vista.

She started preschool this week, with her aide, Lynda.  It went better than everyone thought it would.  Lynda has been a huge help in managing her tantrums and heading them off before they begin.  She’s been able to very quickly pick up Vista’s cues that she’s getting overwhelmed.

And for the first time, yesterday, Vista was able to tell another kid at her therapy group “No. Stop.  I’m playing with that toy,” rather than dissolving into an instant puddle of hysterics. It’s something so small, but such a huge thing in V’s world for her to be able to do that.

I’ve also discovered that when you’re trying to dress a kicking, screaming, squirming, crying child who is refusing to leave an activity, it’s MUCH easier with another set of hands.

Having Vista’s aide has been such a huge stress release, I can’t even begin to describe it. Even the ability to go out and do things with V in the community has been huge.  It’s a freedom we’ve never experienced before.

We also received Vista’s IPP (Individual Program Plan) today.  This is a document where each of her therapists lay out the specific, measurable goals for Vista over the next few months and how we’re going to achieve them.  It also gives her aide a framework of things to be working on with Vista in the classroom and out in the community.

In addition to her aide, V will be working with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist,  a behavior consultant, and a learning support teacher.  They’re also going to be adding a speech therapist into that mix, as well.

It means our days are booked solid.

But?

It’s so worth it.  We’re already starting to see small improvements in her behavior.

The fact that I’m not so stressed and butting heads with her all the time, also means the quality of my relationship with my daughter has improved dramatically.

And that makes us both happy.

Telemarketers of Twitter

I love being on Twitter.  It’s a huge community of friends who I can rely on to alternately pick me up or kick me in the ass, when ever I need it.

But even the best things have their downside.

With Twitter it’s the auto-DM’s and spam.  And to be clear, I consider auto-DM’s to be spam.

Sending someone you’ve just started following an auto-DM is like walking up to a complete stranger in the mall, handing them your business card without saying a word, and walking away.

Do you really think that person is going to even look at that business card?

Or would it go straight into the trash, along with their opinion of you?

If you want to sell to me, interact with me.  Make me care about what you have to offer.

Because, lets face it.  Any auto-DM, no matter how innocuous it may be, is trying to promote your product, store, blog, or person, to someone you have no prior relationship with.

People who auto-DM are the telemarketers of the Twitter world.

And I’m definitely not buying whatever it is you’re selling.

It Takes A Village

*Warning:  I started this post intending to write about our planned summer camping trip with my parents.  It instead turned into a parental rant.  Don’t bother reading if you’re not in the mood to deal with whiny, poor me, BS*

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My parents drive me batty.  I mean in an up-the-wall completely insane sort of way.  I have a complete love-hate relationship with them.

On one hand they’re awesome parents.  When I was pregnant, my dad and his friend completely framed and drywalled our basement for us, so we could move Bil’s office downstairs and make room for the new baby.  Then when we were spending all day, every day at the hospital with Vista when she was first born, my parents came over to the house and painted the entire basement for us.  I know, pretty sweet deal.  They also take Vista for a few hours every month or so, so Bil and I can get a break and are starting to talk about maybe trying to taking her overnight this summer.

Then on the other hand, some days I could write them off completely.  When I was pregnant with V and going through complication after complication (more than once we thought I was miscarrying there was so much blood.  I know, TMI, sorry), rather than stepping in and offering support, my parents basically disappeared.  After having it out with my mom about 6 months ago, I found out why.  She told me they didn’t want to get attached to the baby if we were only going to lose it.  WTF?!?  I mean, the time when I need support the most, all you can think about it your feelings?

It took them a long time to bond with Vista for this reason.  And still, even though they only live an hour away, she only sees them once or twice a month.  And that’s usually only because we make the effort to drive in and bring her over to see them.  This… this makes me very sad.

My parents have also had a veil of denial over them about all of Vista’s issues.  Despite my mom watching V have a seizure right in front of her she said “Well maybe it wasn’t a seizure.  Maybe she just didn’t want to play anymore”.  *insert banging of the head here*

They were convinced for the longest time that V had no delays, that we were expecting too much from her.  And even though we told them repeatedly that we were at our wits end and needed help and support, we got none.  When we had a screaming, colicky baby who would cry non-stop around the clock for weeks on end, no one showed up to say ‘Go take a walk for an hour and rest your ears’.  We were left to do this alone.

When my brother had his perfectly healthy baby a year later, they were all over that one.  They’re always babysitting my nephew, they’ve taken him overnight several times, they make an effort to go over and visit.  Yeah, I’m bitter.  But that’s a long brewing bitterness that’s a whole other story having to do with sibling rivalry, adoption, and my need to get a life and get over the pettiness.

Then the magical MRI results appeared.  To say my parents were shocked was an understatement (even though we had told them we knew there was something wrong with her brain since she was 6months old.  Yeah, we’ve known that long).  Now all of the sudden they’re offering to take her more often and making this big show of support.

And while part of me really appreciates it, part of me really really resents that it took a friggin’ brain scan to make my parents step up to the bat.  And part of me wants to tell them to shove off, because it’s too little, too late.  Except that we really do need the help.  But then again, we’ve done it for two years on our own, what’s another two, or four, or ten?

Sorry, I had originally sat down to write about our summer camping trip and I’m not quite sure why the post detoured into this parental rant.  Maybe I just need to put this out there so I can get this out there and try to get over some of the anger and resentment I have.  I really want them to be part of V’s life because when they are there, they’re awesome and V absolutely loves them.  But there’s a wall that’s long and tall between us and I’m just not sure how to start taking it down.

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