I love number Five

Five is my favorite number.

I was born on a number five.

I have five treasures as my children.

In August I will have five grandchildren.

And my first grandchild turned five yesterday.

I love my number five!

This post is to honor my Trevor James.

A jewel was born in our family five years ago. He was the most beautiful baby; so quiet and content.  But we soon discovered that he was not reaching milestones that were “typical.” As he grew we noticed he separated himself in his mind and voice from our world and his actions often seemed like he was an island, but he is not. He actually longs for us to join him. He has unique gifts. He is a professional spinner and is a marvel.

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He communicates through energy or actions but not with words. His spirit is powerful and strong even though it sits inside a frail little body. God made him exactly right for a purpose. I believe he is a spiritual icon; a sort of earth angel, which gives a message to us as offered to either tap into or pass by. Many rush past or ignore. It takes an effort to be with him but the time is a gift. When I am with him I feel at home from a place deep inside. When I am away, I miss him and the spiritual energy that flows from him that seems to quench a thirst that I can’t get filled anywhere else. I have learned a great deal over the past five years from this little boy. He makes me better.  Life gives us wonderful surprises and I never realized how rich learning and growing with an autist could be.

Happy Birthday Trev Man.

Grammy is  your best buddy forever!

I know you know I love  you and that you love me back…

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The Giggle Box

It’s in the bag of goodies that comes with babies.

Did you check?

It’s right next to “The Mother Book.”

Oh, well, that’s okay. I’m sure you will find it.

It just has those bullet point reminders how and when to laugh with childhood,

not at it.

Because having a child is so hard and silly and stressful you just have to fall down laughing at all the things you will experience.

Nothing will bring you more stomach aches with worry

but also more joy

than living with that little thing

called your very own child;

and the instructions inside that giggle box.

Laugh together in love…your whole life!

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Cry Baby!

Fact: When you are in the biggest hurry, the most tired or hungry, or in a must-do-at-this-time circumstance is when your child will have that HORRID meltdown moment.

 It’s a given!

Have you ever heard anyone at the park or grocery store; or perhaps from your own mouth say, “Stop acting like a baby!” or “Stop being a cry baby!” or “Act your age!”

Well, guess what….

They are acting their age, they are a baby, and cry baby is actually a part of their recipe. It’s us that usually begins to regress when this happens.

It’s because we are so stinkin’ tired!

Being around children is for the brave at heart! Especially the ones who do it full time.

Yes, we love our own to pieces. But for heaven’s-sakes, it’s like that cake analogy, (big sigh inserted) an adult needs to have a break. A BIG break. Especially at these times.

Classy parents, I have witnessed acting unnaturally calm during these hellish tantruming moments, have acquired some kind of magic potion that whisks them off to a mental Caribbean Island as they “handle” their little tyke with calm and ease. It’s impressive.

I especially love the ones who are coyly asking to see if anyone wants a screaming child, for cheap as they walk out of the store.

Children are still considered children way past high school because of continuing brain growth and emotional development . So when you complain to your any age child they are being a cry baby, or acting like a baby it is their right. They are not adults. They can’t even think like one yet, even though we expect them to. And one really important thing to know is that crying is actually psychologically healthy; even for adults…

And name calling, well it is just going to hurt your child’s soul.

Plan ahead how you will act. 

  1. Count to ten fast over and over.

  2. Find a really goofy song and keep singing it to yourself. I love the chorus from “Sha-poopy” from the musical The Music Man.

  3. If you can leave your child to tantrum alone for a few moments, do it.

  4. When you feel the adrenaline build up grab something hard and squeeze it until your hands hurt and breathe slowly but do NOT shake your child.

  5. Keep that sense of humor. It will save your life with children.

  6. Hand your child to your partner and take a recess.

  7. Say NO gently but firmly and then stay silent and let your child have boundaries. Stick to your NO! Do not keep negotiating!!!!!!! 

  8. Tell them it is okay to cry it out but don’t give in. And give them boundaries so they do not hurt themselves or someone else.

  9. You will laugh but tantrumers hate it when you mimic them. They usually stop because they can see and hear what they are doing by looking at you. Scream and yell just like they are.

  10. Try whispering. Don’t yell. Even though it is the first response. It just builds the negative energy momentum like a pressure cooker of steam that is going to blow. That is why singing is good because it replaces that yell that is welling up in your throat ready to blast. Sing it baby!

 

How did you do it?

I have really amazing children. I honestly believe they came that way…

But I have been asked many times by other people, “How did you do it.”

I open my mouth to answer, and then a thousand thoughts flood my mind. I picture me holding stacks of dictionary type volumes of parenting strategies. All the wrong things crowd to the top.

But there are two simple ideas that I have condensed it to.

They are:

#1: Be present

#2: Show them how.

When do you begin? You begin when your brand new baby is handed to you after birth. You are present and hold them close and you look directly in their eyes with your eyes and you talk softly to them. And they respond to your sound. That is how you begin.

Children do not understand the world by mere words. (Most adults don’t either but they have adapted) 

Children learn by their senses and how you act with them. They will pick up quickly what you value. You have to understand that their brains are not developed and they learn only by what they perceive and what centers around them, only. It is called being ego-centric.

Here is an example: A little child comes up to you and asks, “Do you know my grandma?” And you say no. And they say, “Why not? I know my grandma.” Since they know her, you should know her. Because everything they think, they think you think too.

Egocentric is completely different than egotistic because that is when you understand as an adult, but choose to have the world revolve around you.

Children do not choose to be self centered, their brains are wired that way for them to understand how the world works from their view point first. They learn by someone modeling to them first. That is why sharing, for example, is a complex concept for toddlers but seems so simple to older children and adults. What is there’s is there’s.

Many adults assume children understand when they tell them to do something when it has never been modeled for them. The words are often hard for them to understand. They need you to show them. Children do not understand abstractions except gradually when they are about eight years old. If you say, “Stop acting like a baby.” They do not understand what that means. They, first of all are babies and have every right to act like one. And second of all what does a baby act like that they should not be acting like. You see?

The reason why I say that it is important to be in their presence is because when you are away, you really do not exist in the present form. You do exist but you are not in their frame of reference because they live in the now. Whoever is with them most of the time will be the influence of what they will learn.

If you want your child to be kind, be present and show them how to be kind.

If you want your child to be a good listener, be present and show them how to listen.

If you want your child to have good manners, be present and show them how to have good manners.

If you want your child to be believe in God, be present and show them how you believe in God.

You get the picture.

Children need you around to teach them how to live and how to love.

And guess what, children are your children until you die not just when they are preschoolers!

Parents create how their children become.

It does not just happen by chance.

 

A Piece of Cake

You’re home with baby.

The first 24 hours go

pretty smoothly.

(phew!)

You think, “Hey, I’ve got this parenting thing…”

Around the 96th hour.

(maybe even before)

reality hits.

You are now thinking,

‘I’m beat and I’m done!’

Here is my philosophy:

Time with your child

is similar

to eating a delicious, gooey, rich, most dreamy piece

of chocolate cake.

Chocolate cake

Each bite makes your taste buds dance and it melts in your mouth.

 Yummmm…

You are so happy.

That is until

you start getting sick of it.

Piece of Chocolate Cake

That most delicious cake is now making you feel tired, and monotonous, and…

well, too much of a good thing.

(Not me! I am never sick of my baby like that!)

(Well, keep on eating, then….)

The rest of us do become sick of the very important child-time

(The chocolate cake)

and reach ultimate and complete torture-inflicted exhaustion.

It is NORMAL!

There has got to be a few breaks from such gooey sticky goodness.

You are not alone in this.

And this is really key

because this could lead

to making some really bad or scary choices

because you were too tired or too sick IN the moment. (Way too much cake!)

Take that break!

You need to search out when you are not tired, support when you become too tired and need that break.

Your child needs your best self.

Not someone who becomes irrational or frightening because they have reached their limit and breaking point.

Remember, too much cake gets tiring to eat.

It’s the same with exhaustion with your sweet baby…