I sometimes feel like I'm on this crazy roller coaster ride with ups and downs. Parenting really is a trip!
Last week I had a rough on Monday when I felt it starting to sink in that all the motivation, desire, and drive I have for Emma to communicate is not really going to result in Emma talking (either verbally or through her iPad or other device) if she does not have the motivation to communicate. As her speech therapist put it to me, Emma has three things working against her for speech:
- it's hard motorically (both to vocalize and to push the correct buttons on a device) for her to communicate. I brought up eye gaze systems and that is something we might explore further, but her school is also wanting to pursue more low tech options to capitalize on all Emma's social desires.
- her attention span is short - if anyone comes into her view she stops everything she is working on to people watch. While this can be used to our advantage when working on PT type things, it goes against us big time in communication.
- her motivation to communicate is not the same as mine. She can get a whole lot communicated through a smile and a cry and eye gaze and, while this might work now, it is not the most effective means of communicating in school or when she becomes an awkward teenager and can't rely on her stellar cuteness to get her by. Getting her a communication mode that she can use when I'm not around and when others can't figure out what her smile or cry means is what has given me more than a few gray hairs recently.
So last week I spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out a way to combat the three communication hurdles and putting some ideas I had into action. Time will tell if they work, but one thing is certain - we will not stop working with Emma on gaining further communication skills!
After getting through Monday, though, the rest of the week had some fantastic surprises for us!
One of the most exciting surprises is that we finally had a couple more people interested in a showing of our house. We made the house spotless and very welcoming for the showings this weekend and are hopeful that we will get a positive response. We heard from the one person that they liked the house overall, but there were a couple of things they didn't like so they are not interested in another showing. We haven't heard back from the other person, yet, and figure they probably aren't interested in making us an offer but we are still a bit hopeful that this spring is the time when someone decides to buy our house. It really is time for us to move on to a more accessible home and we are praying that we find a buyer sometime soon.
Emma also had some exciting surprises up her sleeve. She thrilled us when she started to take some steps in her KidWalk. She actually took several steps in sequence, albeit without her braces and in a very forward leaning position, and walked over to the dog and then over to her sister and started tickling Julia's back. It was so FUN to watch. Another thing she did was sit in a Fisher Price booster seat (without the tray attached) at a friend's house and eat a pudding for a snack. The seat had minimal support and I was certain Emma would not be able to sit in it but I had no other available options besides my lap so I decided to give Emma a try in the booster. She amazed me in her ability to sit next to her friend and eat without lots of support. Her trunk strength and sitting is really coming along nicely and I need to revisit positioning her in the Tripp Trap chair we have for brief periods in the day.
But the most surprising part of the weekend goes to Julia and her wiggly tooth. It appears my baby is going to start losing her baby teeth to make way for her adult teeth. The bottom right tooth is quite wiggly and is making Julia a bit nervous. She wanted to know if it will hurt when it comes out, if she can still eat her food, and if the tooth fairy will visit her and leave something under her pillow after she loses her tooth. I am not really ready for Julia to start losing her baby teeth. After all, I just brought her home from the hospital 5 short years ago and loved her through the painful process of getting her baby teeth. Sigh! It feels like she is growing up so quickly!
Life seems to be going by at breakneck speed. The girls are getting bigger, stronger, and sweeter with each passing week and for that we are extremely thankful. Life is good!