We met up with Katie, Steve and Lily at Cider Hill Farm on Sunday so that we could enjoy New England-y Fall activities... and cider donuts. Mostly, cider donuts. The kids had a great time running around looking at the chickens, goats, and turkeys. Mairead and Jack loved the pumpkins and Ben kept pointing at the tractor saying, "Wow, wow!" Tractors are exciting when you are a litte boy!
The wagon was also pretty exciting. We think they are actually for hauling pumpkins, but we chose to use it for hauling children. One mom asked if I had triplets and looked kind of horrified at the number of little kids we were wrangling. This is not the first time this has happened when Lily and the boys are together, but I am not really sure who people think Katie is. My nanny, maybe? She is young and pretty and probably doesn't look as crazy and 'mom-ish' as I do! I told the lady, "Oh, no, this one is a cousin. I just have twins." She still looked a bit afraid at the 'just twins' part, but it was better than triplets in her eyes. People are funny in their reactions to us.
Jack loved the chickens- he spent a lot of time looking at them.
Ben was more impressed with the rocks all over the ground and spent a lot of time being told not to throw them. He also kept pointing to pumpkins and saying, "Oooh, apples."
Thanks to the Crowders for a fun morning!
Mairead is always so much more talkative on days that we have 'outings' or activities, and yesterday was no exception. Last night, she ran into the living room and announced that it was "Circle Time! Circle Time, everyone!" So, I got down on the floor with her. She then grabbed Dave's hand and had him set. That wasn't enough, though, so she ran to my dad and demanded, "Grampy, Circle Time," and then, "C'mon, Nana! Circle Time, everyone!" So, they got down on the floor with us and with Mairead's animals. We all sang, "Itsy Bitsty Spider" and clapped. She thought it was the best thing ever. And, it kind of was. I just love being a mom- these little experiences are just awesome.
Today we saw the developmental pediatrician. He was helpful in that he agreed with me about pretty much everything- what we were seeking for treatments/therapies, what the schools should be doing, that her issues are a result of the stroke, and that she does not present as a kid with Autism. If you know me, you know that I love being right, so having a professional agree with me is always good. It is also reassuring to know that we are doing all the right things by her, even if that means waiting until March for the appointment at Children's, or making our case with the schools, etc. He also gave us the contact information for a neuropsychologist who specializes in young childre and who has experience with strokes. Apparently, people who meet those criteria are few and far between, with only about 2-3 on the entire East Coast. The doctor kept reminding me how rare her situation is, and he told me that in 25 years of practice as a developmental pediatrician, he has seen about 12 kids with strokes. And, he said only one of those kids was doing as well as Mairead is at this age.
I got a little choked up at that point because I am simultaneously so proud of her for all that she has accomplished already, but so frustrated that she is obviously smart and so teachable, and I just wish we could find a way to tap into that little brain of hers and learn so much more about her and what she is thinking. I do know that many stroke survivors have lives that are so much more difficult and wrought with health problems, so we are definitely blessed and lucky to have a little girl who is so amazing.
All in all, I'm glad we went, even though this doctor is not the one who can provide assessments that demonstrate her need to be in an integrated preschool program, which is our ultimate goal. For now, she will stay where she is at the preschool we love, and go for speech once per week. We are also working on getting her into an OT program to learn skills like dressing and undressing so that we can finally potty train her. She is definitely ready- when she has no pants on, she will use the potty every single time- there are no obstacles. But, when she is dressed, she can't articulate the need to go and she cannot undress herself to go alone, so we need some help in making that happen. I know that when she is 16 she will pretty much be horrified that I am sharing info about her potty training days, but I think it is my job, as her mother, to embarass her in her teen years, right?
This week's plan includes pre-school on Tuesday and Thursday for Mairead, as well as her first school bus ride to speech on Friday... let's hope that goes well! The boys and I will try for some quality playground time while she is at school, and then we have fun plans to watch the Pats with friends on Sunday... let's hope the results are better than they were yesterday!