Day 102: a dose of reality and Justin Bieber-fueled dancing

We had an OT appointment with Addie today – we have been hit and miss with these appointments due to illness, trips, and car battery failure (random, but true story, folks).  I had to take all the girls with me, which I dreaded.  We started just talking with the therapist, all about the good progress I’ve seen and the areas that are still trying for us.  Then we got down to the therapy, with Addie trying out different sensory activities.  Nothing out of the ordinary except that today, she finally started to act like herself.

Let me explain.  Our previous appointments have gone rather well, with Addie being excited and intrigued by all the new toys, equipment, and activities.  Now that we have been there many times and she has become acquainted with her therapists, she is done being the compliant child.  She was frustrated and defiant today.  She spent a lot of time sulking and being redirected unsuccessfully.  Part of me was just as frustrated, feeling like we had been making progress and now we were regressing.  On the other hand, I was secretly thrilled – finally, her true colors were showing!  I need her to show these so we can really get down to those areas to improve upon and to work on.  It doesn’t do much good if I tell her therapists how trying she is at home yet she acts like an angel at therapy.

We talked about letting her make choices while also restricting those choices, and that for Addie, I have to be able to distinguish between the moments where she is overstimulated and the moments where she is trying to control the situation.  Both are tied together, but we also do not want her to feel like she could and should control everything!  The therapist gave me some new ideas to try for our goal areas, like sitting down to dinner and staying put for longer than a few minutes and for overcoming sensory fears.  And it did really help to have Addie act more normal today, so that the therapist could see what she is like and could offer more advice on how to work with her.

I am so grateful to have the help, and our therapists have been wonderful.  It is stressful keeping all her appointments straight on top of everything else, but it is paying off.  She is speaking more than she was a month ago, and her patience level has increased a little (a very miniscule amount, but I’m taking anything!).  Now the next hurdle, on top of all our goals for Addie, is how to make my other two girls feel like I’m now neglecting them.  That’s a whole other issue that we are dealing with that can be saved for another day…


A friend of mine writes for another blog, Quad City Mom’s Blog.  It is a local blog in mine and Andy’s hometown, and I read it pretty frequently still.  She wrote yesterday about how we often forget to treasure the smaller moments in life, ones that are less materialistic and more for the memory.  I tell myself to slow down and enjoy life here and now – in Italy, with three young children who will all to soon be grown up.  So tonight while waiting for our dinner to come out of the oven, I threw my girls a dance party in the living room.  We danced for half an hour, jumping and laughing.  It was so much fun, so silly, and exactly the kind of moment my friend was writing about.  I hope that when my kids grow older, they remember the little moments like that.  I know I remember my own from childhood, and I will remember ours too!


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