Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yes It's True, I Blogged

Emily and Becca and I went to dinner tonight.
After tonight Em won't be invited again for a long time - the terrible two's are out in full form.
As the hostess was seating us she asked, "Should I get some crayons for your little girl or will she eat them?"
"She won't eat them but you don't need to give her any.  She'll just throw them on the floor."

Whenever I go to the bank the teller asks me if Emily wants a sucker and I smile and shake my head no.

It's really easy for me to accept and maybe even respect Emily's limitations when it comes to eating.
She doesn't put food in her mouth, and right now I don't expect her to.

With that said, help me understand something - give me some insight on my next scenario.

I've noticed recently that when someone says hello to Emily, no matter who it is or where we are my automatic response is to look at Emily and say, "Can you say hi?"

And by doing that I give the person who said hello the expectation of a response, when I know full well that Emily won't respond.

Tonight I did it again.  Someone said hello and I looked at Em and asked "can you say hi?"
And then I kind of wanted to smack myself.
In a way I feel like I'm setting my girl up to fail by asking her that question.
No.  She can't say hi.
No. She won't say hi.
And in most cases, unless you're Aunt Becca or Grandpa and Grandma, she won't even wave  to you.

She's not even two - she doesn't know that I'm setting her up to fail -  but it's going to happen that someone will not get the response they want and think to themselves, "she's not a very friendly little girl."

When the truth is the exact opposite.

Em will have limitations: the quantity and severity of those limitations won't be known until she gets older.
I will do everything I can to help lessen the limitations and to focus on the amazing things Emily does so well.
But it should start now - with the next person who says hello to my sweet little lady.

What do I say then?
Just smile and say nothing?
Speak for Em and say hi to the person?

Am I over thinking this entire thing?

* * * * *

Our girl is full of happiness and joy and love for the world around her - she points now, to everything.
Tonight it was a stack of tires at Costco.
Over and over again she pointed to the tires, waiting until I said the word tire before she raised her finger and pointed again.

She loves the Little Einsteins and Minnie Mouse.
I can't wait to show you the quilt I've made Em - with loving help from both grandmas.
I dropped it off tonight at a quilt shop where someone is going to quilt hearts on the top for me.
We went for a walk along the river Monday night, before Daddy left to go out of town for the week, and all I had to cover Emily up with was the quilt top.
The minute she saw it she snuggled up to it and kept her hand firmly wrapped around a piece of the quilt for the hour we were walking.

My life is full of busyness and stress, but when Em comes and wants to snuggle, all of the other disappears for a few minutes and I remind myself of all that I'm blessed with...

...even if I have to go to desperate measures to entertain her.

(This?  The best $40.00 I've ever spent.  My girl LOVES this thing, and spent all afternoon playing contentedly inside.)


Beth Zimmerman said...

So is the ball pit (is that what it is) in your office?

I don't think you're setting Em up for failure! And if people have unmet expectations ... that's their problem! Not yours! Don't borrow trouble, Noelle!

I took a greeting card, complete with Christmas stamp, out to my car today to mail it to you. I never went to the post office and I don't remember seeing the card in the seat when I got home. It may have been stolen at Walgreens! Hope that idiot enjoys reading about how much I love you and how amazing I think you are! =) Or ... it could still be in the seat and I'll actually mail it someday!

Love you!

Sandra said...

Did you say that the other day when I said Hi to Emily? I honestly don't remember because I never expect an answer from a child because whether they can say it or not doesn't matter- sometimes they want to and sometimes they don't so I just take whatever I get and take it at that.

Now having said that, if you think that it may be setting her up in the future then stop saying it. When someone says hi to her just look at her and say, "Oh, they said hi to you Emily. That was so nice of them" and when/if she is ready to say hi, she will.

Mom on a Line said...

I don't think you are setting Emily up to fail by asking her if she can say "hi". You are letting her know that is the socially accepted response. Just because she doesn't speak now, doesn't mean she doesn't understand and doesn't want to know what is expected. Obviously, she does want to know if she is pointing at the tires, waiting to know their name. I still have to ask my kids to say hi and they don't (even though they can). If the other person takes offense at a child not saying hi to them, then they don't know kids and they're not worth your worry!

Have you tried to use sign with Emily? DQ was non-verbal until about 2.5, but at 18 months, we bought our first "Baby Signing Time" DVD. She was hooked! And she began to communicate with us because she could sign. It cut down on a lot of the terrible two frustrations since most of that is related to lack of ability, yet lots of desire, to communicate needs and wants. DQ loved Signing Time so much, for her 2nd birthday, I found the complete 20+ DVD collection on Craigs List for her. She still listens to the music every night at 5. I can't begin to tell you how much of a difference those made in our lives. I can't guaranty the same reaction because you and I both know 22q really mess with communication and I think a lot of our success was the music, which DQ loved, but it may be worth a try if only to cut down on terrible twos.

Thinking of you all often!