Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Okay, I was wrong

It snowed, again. I am without a doubt, sick of it. I'm stuck inside again with the kids. On the upside, I had time to revise my query letter and post it for critique again this morning. On the downside, WC has strep throat. So, lets amend that to say I am stuck inside with a child with a very contagious illness. And waiting for his shadow (or Thing 2) to come down with it.  It started Monday morning when he woke up and said he wasn't feeling well. I chalked it up to them being out so much recently that he didn't want to go back. I took his temp and it was normal & I sent him to school. The last thing I said to him when I dropped him off was something about him feeling better once he got back into the swing of things.
At 12:45 I received a call from the school nurse- he had 102 temp. Okay, I was wrong.
He was asleep in the nurses office when I arrived. They bring him out and he's quiet while I sign him out, present my ID and the nurse takes his temp again while I am there. I'm not sure why she took it again in front of me- I believed her. It registered 102.4. As soon as the doors to the school closed behind us, he spoke for the first time since I arrived. "I told you I didn't feel well this morning."
I had to laugh. "Yes, but without a fever, I didn't have any reason to keep you home," I explained. Also, I really thought he'd get better.
At home he slept for three hours and still had a 102 when he woke up. I gave him some Ibuprofen at that point and an hour later it was normal. He had chicken noodle soup and asked for a hamburger. I told him no.
At three in the morning he was in my room, freaking out that he'd swallowed a tooth. He didn't have any loose teeth when he went to bed. Which is what I told him. But, he was convinced. I have to get up and go into the bathroom to inspect his teeth. After my eyes adjust and I verify that all teeth are present and accounted for, I send him back to bed. It must have been a dream.
He spent yesterday with my mom. She called me at 8:45 and said his temp had already hit 100. I decided that I needed to take him to the clinic after work and get an NP to check him over- just in case he had something that needed antibiotics to get over. His fever again responded to medicine but as the day went on and it wore off it returned. By the time we saw the NP at 6, it was 103.
She wanted to give him a strep test. He started to get upset. I told him to just relax and open his mouth as wide as he could and it would be over soon. No big deal. She swabbed and he immediately vomited all over floor & it kept coming. He'd had soft tacos for lunch. Okay, I was wrong.
The only good thing I can see from this latest bout of snow is that the school is closed, so WC will only miss one day of class. He is cleared to return to school tomorrow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Change

Whenever you decide to make a change for your child, it can be scary. Am I doing the right thing? We all get set in the routine- the familiar and comfortable. But, what if what’s comfortable isn’t what’s best? We faced these things this past fall when I began to wonder if the daycare facility where CJ spent three days a week was really the best place he could be. Aside from me being at home with him, of course- that isn’t an option right now. So, if he has to spend his days in a care facility- is he in the best one. In October I came to a resounding conclusion. No. And for several reasons:

1. While only being there three days a week, he would come home several times a month with bite marks that were bruised. He was also cited on numerous occasions for biting as well. Although he never bit in any other social situation with children. I began to wonder if they just left them in a room to gnaw on each other. They sure as heck weren’t educating them. Which leads me to:

2. He was out of control- behaviorally. I know that I am the parent and it is my job to parent my child. At the same time when the child is in the care of someone else for 8-9 hours a day- it is imperative that this other caregiver(s) be in cooperation with the parent(s) on how to raise the child. And in my opinion that includes teaching the child how to act. To do otherwise, makes it harder on everyone.

3. They had no educational curriculum or structure. CJ is nearing four. He is smart. They were not sending him up to the next room and wouldn’t tell me why. Now this facility is where WC went and at the time I received assessments twice a year where they tested him on age appropriate skills- letters, number, colors, shapes, etc. I had clear knowledge of his educational progression towards kindergarten. After a year and half, CJ had nothing. It seems they completely quit attempting to provide them with an education or instructions on how to be a decent person.

So, I made the decision to look into other options. WC had started going full time daycare at three and a half and it was getting to the benchmark for CJ as well. He still stayed with my mom for two days of the week. And she also lacked discipline and structure-but she’s the grandparent, so I give her more lenience in that area. But, I knew I didn’t want him going to the current place full time. The first of November I put him on the waiting list of a good Christian school in our area. I’d know a bunch of people to defect from the old daycare when they first opened when WC was there. I prayed, I read, I though, I asked around. I wasn’t sure how long it would take or if we should put him there. So, I prayed some more. Early in December my cell phone rang. It was the Christian school telling me that they had an opening in the 3 room. Would I like to come in for a tour?

That afternoon the boys and I toured the “new school” as it was being called by my boys. I liked what I saw and what I heard. CJ went right in and started playing with the toys. The teacher for his class was out on maternity leave and wouldn’t be back til the end of December and I was welcome to come back then and meet her. I took the enrollment packet home. CJ left calling the place “his new school.”

I filled out and returned the paperwork with a little hesitance. I spoke with the owner and we decided to set his start date for the first of January- that way he could finish the year at old daycare and I could have time to provide notice. I wrote my notice that I was withdrawing his enrollment at the end of the year and turned it in. Then the daycare director expressed what I can only describe as relief. She said she was worried about having to move him to the next room because a child that he didn't get along with was in there. So, they were holding my child back in a lower level room simply because he and another child didn't get along? That didn't seem fair for his development.
At the end of December we were able to visit the new school again and meet his teacher. CJ skips down the hall to the new classroom and happily begins to play with the toys in the new room. I spent about a half an hour speaking with the new teacher and sort of explaining where we were coming from and the challenges that we've faced and his old care wasn't structured. And what I wanted for CJ. When we left, I was completely convinced that this was the right move. She completely understood and explained to me her philosophy and that she has three children of her own. She believed that it is her job to help the parent raise the child.
He started his new school at the first of January. The facility has a webcam that I can access from my computer at work. The first time I pulled it up- I found him sitting in a chair having a time out. Yep, that looks about right. The next time I checked in, they were having circle time. I looked and looked but couldn't see him in the circle. Then from across the room, a head popped up from behind a low bookcase. I just shook my head. Every child was in the circle-but mine.
I spoke with his teacher when I picked him up. Obviously, she could tell that he came from a facility without structure but she assured me that he would get used to it.
And so far he is adjusting well. He's playing well with the other children- no issues with biting. He's happy there. When I pick him up, he isn't in any hurry to leave. I haven't had any problems with him not wanting to go in the morning. He goes around the house singing little songs he's learned there. So far this is turning out to be a really good decision. I'm hoping that in this new environment his learning will really blossom like it was before.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

He's A Mans Now

The other day CJ was playing around behind the couch. He'd stripped off his pajama's and was nude. Not that it is a shocking revelation and anyone who has read a few of my posts. I retrieve some clothes from his room and ask him to come to me to be dressed. He skips over and I notice something on his chest. It's fuzzy. He's gotten into something sticky. And in the dead center of his chest is a perfect circle of dark fuzz. WC takes notice when I say that I will wash CJ off. He exclaims that CJ now has chest hair.
CJ looks down and breaks into a wide smile. He puffed his chest out. "I'm a mans now!"
Of course, I can't keep from laughing. "You're a man now?"
He smiles sheepishly. "No, I not a mans now."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When Your Father Has a Concussion, It's Time To Go Inside...

When we brought snow boots home from Pennsylvania last year, I thought that we wouldn't need them again before they outgrew them. But, yesterday morning we woke up to 4 inches of snow on the ground- and it was still snowing. I've never known Jay not to go to work due to weather. He always goes. He stayed home. About midday they all head out into the cold. There's snowball making and rolling around the snow. Why do children feel the need to throw themselves down and roll around in snow?
Then Jay brought out our homemade sled and pulled the boys up and down the street. I used the opportunity to try out my new camera in the snow. I'm watching Jay run backwards pulling the sled when he slips and falls flat on his back- the back of his head hitting the sidewalk.
Six years ago a work colleague of mine died after falling backwards over a concrete parking divider and striking his head. I will not allow my children to ride hanging onto the front of a shopping cart because if they fall there isn't anyway for them to catch themselves. He was a young man and it still haunts me- one minute he's waiving goodbye to friends he'd just eaten dinner with and then he's gone. It's the only thing that flashes in my mind when I see back of Jay's head bounce off the sidewalk. My mind then switches gears and goes to assessing the situation so I can figure out what needs to be done. Jay is getting to his feet by the time I get there. He says he's okay but I'm not convinced. He insists that he just needs a minute. I almost off to pull the boys on the sled so the fun can continue. Almost. The boys cheeks are very red and chapped and Jay is still dazed. So I call an end to snow fun and tell them it's time to go inside. Of course, they protest. Why? Why? Why?
Because, when your father has a concussion, It's time to go inside. That's why.
He still isn't feeling well and I want him to go to the doctor. But he went back to work today, instead.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


For the past couple of weeks WC has declared that he is ‘Larry’ and that he ‘likes to kiss boys named CJ.’ WC will make his announcement then chase a giggling, screaming CJ through the house, catch him then wrestle him to the ground in an attempt to kiss his cheek. Larry gets his wish, most of the time. Occasionally, CJ foils his plans and prevents him from kissing him until they both tire of the game.

So far the only point I see in the game is that it takes advantage of blending their favorite activities: running & wrestling each other. WC merely mentions the name Larry and CJ squeals in spastic delight and off they go. The other night as I was drying them off from bath time, WC said “I’m Larry.” And off went two naked, screaming boys through the house. It looked like a scene from Greco Roman wrestling in the living room.

Saturday night we put the boys to bed, and then Jay and I watched some television before retiring. We’d heard the boys bumbling around in their room and Jay had gone back to put them back to bed. Their bedroom door open and shut after that, but we didn’t hear anything so we assumed that the perpetrator had returned to bed on his own accord. Jay and I go into our room to get ready for bed and we just entered when we hear the long exhale of a sleeping child. I look at the bed-empty. We stare at each other a second and creep around to the other side of the bed. And there in the floor is CJ, sound asleep. He’s on his stomach and wedged between the bed frame and the night table. There’s no way to lift him straight up off the floor- he’d hit the bed frame and night table. We were going to have to slide him out then lift him. I go to open their bedroom door and WC sits right up. We asked if he knew his brother was in our room, he shook his head no. But, we knew he wouldn’t be awake unless he knew that his brother wasn’t in the bed below. In CJ’s bed, a giant stuffed dog was placed under the covers, as if were being made to look like CJ sleeping in his bed. We placed a sleeping CJ back into his bed.

The next morning we asked if CJ remembered going into our room and falling asleep in the floor. He did; he said that Larry was after him. Then we were able to get the story out of WC. WC said that he was Larry and CJ jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. WC fearing that he would be in trouble placed the stuffed dog into CJ’s bed hoping we wouldn’t notice the difference. That’s a 7 year old for you- hoping we wouldn’t notice the difference between a stuffed dog and our 3 year old. Then WC laid in bed worrying about where CJ went off to. And CJ had sought refuge from Larry by hiding behind our bed and fell asleep.