Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Miss-I-do-it-my-own-way

Well, things have changed and I just received an email from the Special Ed coordinator at school who has decided on a new strategy to help Zoé get more engaged in her therapies.
I think we've reached a plateau. Zoé simply doesn't want to be told what to do, when to do it. Her speech therapist had already told me that the honeymoon was over for Zoé. She used to like speech, but she's had it with oral motor therapy, with grape-flavored latex gloves shoved in her mouth, she's had it to repeat words in Ms, Bs, and Ps.
And it is just the beginning...
David left on Saturday morning for Germany and I will be alone all week. It has been pretty challenging. Zoé can be the sweetest little girl and then a little devil when it comes to letting me nap 10 minutes on the couch. She climbs all over me, opens my eyelids, tells me to wake up. No rest for me these days.
At school she's started "hitting" the therapists when she doesn't want to do the activities planned for the session.
I am now faced with the challenges of how to tell her why we do all these things. Why she gets speech twice a week, why she gets PT twice a week, why OT twice a week, etc.
When I say "hit", she doesn't do it with brutality, but she shows them that she's in control.
Anyway, she's crossed the line and I need to work on it big time.
On Mondays I do a little French circle time in her classroom. I've decided that what I teach, Zoé already knows and that it's better if she's out of the room with her PT, while I teach her friends. She usually comes in for the last 5 minutes.
So Zoé walks in and I show her a yellow card and asks her to tell me the color in French: amarillo!!!!, ok, Zoé we are doing French. I show her a white card she says: blanco!!!!! I ask her to count to five and there again: uno, dos, tres...I stop her immediately. The teachers are cracking up and I know Zoé is fully aware of the impact it has on me....she ain't no dummy.
Anyway, we finished the class and I had to tell her once we were home that I wouldn't have her in the room while I taught French if she wasn't going to cooperate.
Zoé also gets a Spanish circle times on Wednesday and absolutely LOVES it. She is a talented linguist and I don't want to hinder that love for languages, but it just doesn't work when I am in the class with her.
Welcome to the almost terrible fours...
I am dreading what is ahead. For the most part motherhood is the best thing in my life but the most challenging one too.
I do think a 9 to 5 job where you come home and don't have to bring that job home is the best thing ever. For me it's a 6 am to 8 pm, nonstop when Zoé is home. Last night she woke me up at 3:00am, to tell me her alarm clock didn't show 7!!!
I bought her a princess castle alarm clock, and told her when it shows 7:00, she can come and wake me. So I got a 3:00 amd and 5:30 am wake-up call!
I am beat...
Zoé has lost her video and TV privileges. She didn't behave well at school, so instead of a "time out" (I hate this word!!!), I cut off the TV and video. She'll only get to watch on weekends. End of discussion. She realized last night when we had a pillow fight that that was more fun than watching TV alone!!

Yesterday Zoé got to ride Kiwi in her princess dress. Go Cinderella!

We are looking forward to Halloween, and to go Trick or Treating. (Look at the pictures from houses in our neighborhood!!)

Voila for now, dear readers. I am off to pick up Zoé for a fast lunch before she goes to speech therapy.

Hope this finds y'all well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Nemesis

The picture: Zoé literally crashed on the hardwood floor when she got up the stairs, exhausted after school and speech therapy. She napped for 3 solid hours! I added the pillow and blanket after she dozed off in Morpheus' arms.

I never thought my nemesis would be in fecal matters. I never thought I'd be fighting a potty for 4 years, and yet, today at school, when I picked up Zoé she was wearing different clothes than those in which she had come to school that morning...so I knew. The pain ebbed and then flowed. I had to speak to her teacher. The decision was made, Zoé is simply going to wear pull-ups everyday. For how long? Only time will tell.
With that said, I don't know any college students who graduate in diapers, so I guess it will happen. But like everything with Zoé it will be in her own time.
I won't battle anymore.
However, I burst into tears when I spoke to her teacher. It is just so depressing, you have no idea. I don't know who "you" are out there reading the blog (people maybe now pissed off a bit about the poop talk), but I have to say, nobody knows how hard it is. When shit like that happens, excuse my language but I think the pun was intended, it just brings me down completely.
We've bypassed the "She is so cute, how old is she?" to the "yes, she has little issues with her BMs (Bowel Movements). One needs an acronym, it's not proper to say: poop, shit, fecal matters is another nice one.
Anyway, as you can tell, I'm down.
Yet, Zoé's teacher called me at home tonight and asked me how she could help Zoé, what tools she needed to address issues of: lack of concentration, tiredness, distraction. I was flabbergasted that a teacher would take the time to call me to discuss Zoé. I even shared the blog address. How many teachers would take the time after hours to discuss a student with their mom? I thanked her for her insight, her devotion and how we can work as a team to help Zoé.
The interesting question she asked is one I've been avoiding for so long: "Does Zoé know she is different?" I don't think so, or does she? It is something we never discussed with Zoé. We already get those from people on the street.
I always thought I'd cross that bridge when I got to it.
How can I explain it to Zoé?
How will she take it? In stride? Or as the hand we were dealt. Yes, it's what I've been discussing with David. We were not really lucky, from the start the difficulty to conceived, the long ovarian odyssey, the trauma of 5 IUIS, 3 IVFs, and then our joy shattered the day they took Zoé from us. Day 2 of her life!
And now almost 4 years to that day, we have to consider what it is that we are going to tell her?
I am myself affected and it pains me to think of the things I used to be able to do, that are now hard: running, carrying heavy loads (Though I can still carry Zoé who is 35 pounds of dead weight--but I think that is my mother instinct that won't let me let go of her), though it is harder and harder. The fact that I cannot open zip-locks and that my head droops at the end of the day, so be it. I can live with that.
The fact that I have to take Miralax everyday so that I can fight chronic constipation, it's something I've dealt with my whole life.
But how am I to tell Zoé? What am I to tell her?
The teacher did mention that kids look, and make comments, not just about Zoé, about kids in general, but there will be a time when the comments and the stares will be focused on Zoé. We already get those from people on the street.
I want to make her strong, I want to make her invincible to the bullying, I want her to stand up tall and rejoice for who she is, for what she stands for.
I am scared.
The other day, an old lady I often see in my neighborhood walking her dog, stopped right in front of my garage. I opened my window and told her i would wait for her to cross, and she asked me if I could drive her home. She has a form of cerebral palsy and uses a walker to walk around the neighborhood. So I unloaded my groceries, let her dog into my trunk, folded her walker into the car and as she sat in front she showed me the way. I noticed she had a letter in her hand so I told her I would mail it for her.
After dropping her home, Zoé asked me why we had offered her a lift. I explained that one should always help those in needs, that the woman was having a difficult time going home and that we could easily help her. Zoé was happy to know that we had helped her.
I simply hope one day someone will help Zoé in such a way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

L'interview de Zoé

Don't want another late night...

Well, a lot has happened recently and I don't even know where to begin. Zoé's language is absolutely blossoming. She is like a little adult, explaining everything, expressing her wishes, her desires, what she wants to do, and most importantly what she doesn't want to do.
She has a wonderful sense of humor and is a little "chipie" (mischievous one) when it comes to twisting my elbow.
Her personality is evolving everyday and I am in awe of how far she's come along.
Her body feels stronger.
Today at hippo therapy they had her standing on all fours on top of the horse, lifting her head up, keeping her hips in alignment knees joined.
They had her ride back flat on top of the horse, twisting her arms to grab the horse's tail, doing sit-ups on the horse.
Playing Simon says: "put your hands on your head, touch Kiwi (the horse's) ears, etc.
She then had to find little stuffed animals on the barriers, ordering the horse to stop so she could retrieve them. Opening mail boxes, finding the letter addressed to her with little surprises nestled in.
It makes me so happy to see her thriving so much.
Of course, there are the questions, the stares, the sideway glances, but they will always be part of our daily life.
In time, Zoé will learn to speak her own mind and either explain what the issues are or she won't because it won't matter. I feel stronger these days.
Our trip to NYC was amazing. Grammy Gina and Aunty Wendy were wonderful babysitters and I did fully enjoy revisiting the Big Apple with old friends and reconnecting with the city. My favorite part was the High Line this old chunk of railroad suspended above ground that the city of NYC transformed into a wonderful passage of greenery intertwined in the middle of new and old buildings. A sinewy vein of green through the grey concrete jungle of Chelsea.
Zoé fully enjoyed Central Park, her favorite was getting into Taxis, and spending time with her relatives and her new found friend, Muguet.
We came back refreshed and Zoé's been doing much better in her 9 weekly therapy sessions, because she also needed that break, to regenerate her body, recharge her batteries.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011