Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lights, camera, ACTION

So these days we are seeing Lauren do more actions! Lauren's waving and clapping have come back (after a period of regression), and she is now starting to sign "more" and "all done" occasionally with some prompting.  Interestingly, when the lights and cameras are on, she actually shys away and chooses not to perform. Like she knows people are watching, anticipating her to deliver and waiting for the moment to congratulate her and say "good job Lauren!". So knowingly instead, Lauren gives a shy little smile and turns away, leaving me with lots of disappointed video footage.

We have noticed that Lauren has made some gains recently and is beginning to follow some simple directions, which we are so happy about. For the longest time, we were in a constant wonder of whether Lauren heard us or understood us. Now at least we know she is hearing and starting to understand. She takes longer to process and to understand what we are asking of her, but with constant practice and repetition, she is learning how to interpret the language and what we are expecting her to do. Lauren is learning to share, put in, take out, pick up and give. Lauren continues to do music therapy and both her therapist and her school teachers have said they have heard her vocalize "more" a few times. I have heard it too, but it is still quite inconsistent and requires prompting, so we'll keep trying.

Lauren is enjoying school these days with her teachers reporting that she is full of smiles and laughs. They tell me she is "singing" to herself while completing activities, which I think is actually just a nice way of saying she makes annoying noises to herself when engrossed in doing something. I will audio tape it one day - it really is just a grunting type noise but her kind teachers call it "singing".

Lauren has been learning how to sort by colour at school and I couldn't believe it (neither could Steve) when she brought home this arts and craft, with the teacher commenting that she had done almost all of it on her own (after practicing the same activity 4 days consecutively). Yes I know it took the 5th try for Lauren to get it right, and its only 2 colours, but hey at least she got it! Way to go Lauren!!! Of course I had to take a picture. I've never been prouder of her.

So yes Lauren is coming along. As an individual, she is progressing on her own and in her own way. I love living in Lauren's world because its actually so much fun, just snuggling up with her, tickling and laughing with her and just being silly. She loves to be chased by Kayla and loves to play with her sister's toys and books. I love enjoying Lauren as a regular a mom and not as a mom with a watchful eye.

But in the real world, it gets kinda scary seeing where she is compared to other kids. Her younger cousin and friends are already surpassing her in so many ways and it definitely serves as a reminder that she is different and behind. It kinda sucks, I never did want to go to Holland, I actually wanted to go to Paris or New York, but it looks like life has put us on a different path. But the therapy, the appointments, the unknowns has become part of our new norm. We are planting tulips in Holland, letting the windmills turn, and starting to learn to love and find happiness in our new found home.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sleepover Time

We've been trying unsuccessfully to get Lauren to sleep in Kayla's new bed. But every time we try, we end up with Kayla falling fast asleep and Lauren poking at her sister's face and pulling her hair. But finally this weekend, after Kayla fell asleep almost 1.5 hours earlier, and after putting Lauren at the other end of the bed, Lauren finally dozed off around 9:30pm  for the night. Of course, she was up at 6:30am the next day. While Lauren sleeps in her usual fetal position, with her little hands tucked underneath her face, Kayla sucks her thumb and huddles her baby blanket.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Growing Up

Its inevitable. Some days I just want to hold their little feet and put them in my pocket. And other days I can't wait for when we can get rid of the high chair and bulky car seats.

As part of growing up, Kayla has now learned about the opposite sex. Let me explain - she knows what a penis is. And she just turned 5.  Last weekend, I opened the washroom door at my friend's house and was completely speechless and in utter shock when I saw Kayla sitting on the potty peeing and her friend, Sebastian, peeing standing up into the same potty! He was standing to the side of the toilet, peeing behind her, while she sat on the front 1/3 of the toilet peeing. And when I asked what was going on they both look at me and laugh, telling me they are "peeing together". Steve thought this might have been the first time she had seen a penis so when we casually ask her if she saw Sebastian's private part, she just giggles and says she didn't look. Then later this week she brings up that her friend Andrew at school, who is 6, approached her and 2 other girls in the classroom, asking if they've ever seen a penis. Yes he used the word "penis". He then proceeded to show them Kayla and her friend, while the other girl walked away because she had already seen one before! I don't think I even knew the word penis till Grade 4 when the  tampon lady came to our public school and spoke about periods and body parts. I can't believe Kayla is growing up..

Kayla's favourite colour is now pink. It was blue for the longest time but this year, starting with her birthday cake, she is requesting pink. Pink icing, pink shoes, pink dresses. While some may view it as she's becoming more girly, I think it has more to do with her falling into pure pressure of being more like her female school friends who are all into princess and fairies. She is growing up and is now starting to want to be more like her peers and to be accepted by her peers.

Aside from the pink, I love that Kayla is who she wants to be. She has no preconceived notions about what a girl should like and shouldn't like. How a girl should dress and shouldn't dress. What toys a girl should play with and what toys a boy should play with. This weekend she was picking bugs off the ground with her fingers and was playing super hero, running around the house with a cape and  telling me she had flying super powers.  She was also playing pirates with the neighbourhood kids and was using her tools to help Steve assemble some shelves. Without an older sibling and older friends, I love this moment in her life because it shows you without societal influence and pressures what Kayla is truly interested in. Who she truly is. I cherish her individualism but I know it will not last long as she already knows now that blue is a boy colour and that girls like pink. And Kayla's new favourite colour is now pink.

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