Julia has her "stuff" spread across the dining room table. Trees, volcanos, rocks and a pond in which dinosaurs and littlest pets play. The stegasaurus says to the sharp tooth: "Don't sit on the volcano." The sharp tooth replies: "I am going to eat you." "No thank you," says the stegasaurus and he hits the sharp tooth with his tail. Such is the world of the dining room.
Scenes pop up everywhere -- the kitchen counters and on the desk in front of the computer keyboard being the ones I needs to move at times. I am just waiting for an installation in the frig and on a shelf of the linen closet.
Julia has had a rough week this week and last. Behavior taking a step backwards -- more loud sounds other wise called yelling, some hitting, lack of attention at home, at therapy, and at school. It made me rather blue and it was hard to write about. I remind myself that all kids take steps back now and then and she is moving forward in some areas.
Julia is recognizing more and more letters. When she draws on the kitchen white board she tells me that she is writing about her drawings. She makes some letters and some lines and circles, but she is thinking about writing which is an advance. We are still doing a sheet of pre-writing skills a day in which she traces shapes, letters, and words that I write in yellow. She is getting neater and neater as she goes along. An incentive to be neat is my offer of an extra sticker if the sheet is neat. AND that is working.
Stickers for littlest pets is working very well! She has gotten 3 new pets so far and should get another one tonight. An unexpected lesson arose when we were buying the last pet. They were on sale for two for the price of one so we bought two. Julia picked them out and then picked which one she wanted at that time and which one she would earn next. That was a difficult choice, and it was even more difficult having a pet on the top of the refrigerator looking down at her day and night waiting for her to get the next 10 stickers. She was somewhat annoyed that I did not give in and give her the second one when she made a fuss, but I explained that I could do nothing because of the rules and that fussy bahavior might mean that she would not get a sticker for the day. Surprising me, she settled down quickly and has been pretty patient from then on.
The sticker saving also is a good opportunity to count another something at least once or twice a day. I am also talking about how many she has and what she needs to make ten. Just the beginning of addition and substraction, but a beginning.
I've gone back to doing schedules for Julia's weekend days. I stopped doing it regularly because she was doing so well without it, but with spring approaching we are doing different things with our days and maybe she needs more structure. Maybe I shouldn't have stopped at all.
Julia and I bought pansies today. We were able to get out to do some raking and cleaning of the back yard as well. I am hoping that it will be warm enough this week to do a good garden cleanup and to start my garden design chores. Julia is interested in planting the pansies and if it is nice tomorrow we can do it after therapy.
Thursday's job interview was pretty cool! The job is great and I'd love doing it. They are doing at least three days of interviews and will decide by the end of next week. I am counting no chickens but I will be disappointed if I don't get it.
Julia has an assignment for school to bring in a baby picture. The pictures will all be put on a bulletin board and the kids are suppose to guess who is who. This follows a lesson on baby animals and their families. We have no baby picture of Julia which might present problem. I've decided to send one of the first pictures we have of Julia in which she is about 4.5. She has very short hair and is posed next to cribs, so she looks a bit younger.
This assignment, however, brings up new issues of how Julia is different from other kids in her class. I wonder how she is going to feel about this. She is becoming sensitive about what others say. She told me more than once that others have hurt her feelings. I know that we will have to deal with this again and again in her school life, but I was letting Julia set the pace of the telling of her story. Now the school has imposed some sort of deadline. We will comply as much as we can right now, but not without a note to Julia's teacher letting her know how I feel.
Tonight, during our before bedtime reading, I brought out the book, "When you were born in China." This is generic adoption from China book with lots of pictures. I haven't brought it out up to this point because Julia has not seemed at all interested. Her wearing of her "China clothes" this Chinese New Years was her first interest in anything Chinese (except for food). So I opened the book and we looked at pictures of the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and city building. We looked at pictures of children in lines for school and in parks, and then there were pictures of families. Julia immediately turned over and announced, "I going to sleep." I asked her about the book, and she said, "Julia not read 'bout China." I asked if she would tell me when she was ready to read about China and she said, "Yes, Mom," in that voice that is the fore shadow of her teenage voice.
There will be time to read and talk and I will wait until Julia is ready.