16 November 2011

Such a strange day. Wonderful at times, and challenging.

Julia lost no dinosaurs on Monday, lost 2 yesterday, and none today. Scabs are getting their chance to heal. She has talked about this "awful consequence" to teachers and therapists. Anyone who will listen, really. I keep saying that her body is more important than dinosaurs. I so hope she believes it.

Today is an early therapy day for Julia. She finished at 5, we had a quick dinner, and then had an evening to ourselves. We did homework. She has spelling to do. The words are a little bit harder this week -- tr- and dr- words, 5 and 6 letter words that are challenging for her to learn. She wrote them out again and then spelled them back to me as she looked at them. If she doesn't get them all perfectly learned by Friday, it will be the first time. She still has tomorrow.

She also had an interesting writing assignment that honestly was too advanced for her but we did it any way. She was able to complete it with a lot of support from me. She has to complete two sentences that made an observation and then furthered the idea of the observation. Julia completed the sentences this way:

1. I noticed that my mommy has brown eyes. I started to think about how we have different eyes.

2. I noticed that it is night. I started to think about having a sleep over.

3. I noticed that my teachers keep me safe. I started to think about how hard it is to listen.

I did not put any words into her mouth, or on her page. The kid had plenty of ideas. The challenge was for her to stay on topic with the second sentence. It took us a long time working to get it done. And we did it.

After homework, I taught her how to play war. Is there another name for the card game? Finally, finally, she can play it. The idea that the picture cards are always worth more than the number cards was tough for her, but we played for more than 20 minutes and had a very good time. I am bringing a deck of cards for the plane! I am also bringing Uno which she loves to play now.

When I think of all the nights that the three of us sat at the table playing Candyland with one marker, learning to take turns and to count the squares to move, I see how far this child has come. She is amazing. We've had such a tough fall and I have lost faith in my ability to parent her at times. I have felt myself failing her so often. Doing homework with her tonight and playing cards was just a delight.

I spent time -- way too much time -- talking to the mayor's office in Bloomfield, New Jersey. I did not start out with the mayor, but after I left messages with the building inspector, and his supervisor, and his supervisor, and his supervisor, there was no one to call but the mayor. And HE was in. I explained, I pleaded, I begged, and in less than an hour, my contractor got a call from the building inspector's office that he could come down and pick up his permit. My contractor said that it was not a happy call, and they would not give him an inspection date until next week which is technically beyond the 72 hour statutory limit, but my contractor was positively gleeful. He made me smile.

It is so nice not to be miserable.

Oh, and I went to sleep last night before 9. Thanks, Sharyn.

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