Wednesday, February 25, 2009
There has always been something about Smooch. Something intangible. Something I could never identify or put into words.
When he was a baby I constantly thought he would stop breathing in his sleep. As a toddler, he was fearless and I worried that he'd run out into traffic. I was over protective and coddling...I get that.
In the past 16 months, there have been three occasions when he was so ill I didn't know if he would make it through the night. I sat beside him, in anguish, heartbroken.
Smooch has always been "That Kid".
He also developed language at an inordinately early age. He said odd things that were so profoud...just a little glimpse at the complicated innerworkings of his little mind. I knew he was different. I tried to quash the feeling of anxiety that I could feel, burgeoning in my heart.
I agonized over the choice to send him to school. The protective Mama-bear inside me screamed with worry when we sent him to kindergarten. I knew he would be mis-understood, likely labelled. I knew that it would take someone who truly cares for him, to create an atmosphere of warm calm, to gently encourage him.
One of Smooch's teachers is that person. Ms. Vivian is warm. When I see her with Smooch, I know he is in kind, gentle hands. I know she "sees" him, his gentle, exceptional nature. I trust her.
I wish I could say the same for his other teacher (One is for morning, one for afternoon), but I cannot.
From day one I could feel her judgement and annoyance with Smooch. There is no amount of forced smiling that covers those negative emotions. Yet, when we sat down for "parent-teacher conversations" and expressed that we did not think the school was the right place for him, she brushed off our concerns.
The kicker is that I had her fill out an evaluation for Smooch, as we are having him assessed. The evaluation was so different from any of the others that were filled out for him...painting him as a defiant, socially awkward and average. I am disgusted that I allowed someone, with such a negative view of my child, spend so much time with him...and paid her to do it.
She does not know that Smooch's VIQ has been assessed in the 94th percentile. She does not know that his OIQ is in the high 80th percentile. She sees him as average, with an active imagination.
Had she been honest with me, I would have pulled him out of the school. Now, we are on the hook financially until June for a program I feel does not inspire and motivate him, or serve his best interests.
My mind is SCREAMING to pull him out. If I had my druthers about me, I would write a letter, right now, to the principal of his school. However, I am so emotiontioal that I can hardly stop crying for long enough to speak, and know that I would have to discuss this with her.
I am so torn and so sad...I have no idea what to do.
We have received the other questionairre from Smooch's morning class and are happy to say it is much more positive and represents the Smooch WE see and know.
I am feeling much calmer and more hopeful. Stay tuned.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Ok, having been tagged by Jo-Ann from Where will his little foot take him? for a 444 Meme, I can honestly say I was very curious about which picture would come up...:)
Here is Noggin, in October '08, having his teeth cleaned at Dr. Oriel's office.
I was prepared for a fight, but he gave none...he was strangely compliant and almost appears to be sleeping in this pic (he wasn't).
The funny thing was that, despite wanting, desperately, to have the teeth of a pirate (green and mossy), he was the only one who didn't have a cavity or other issue that needed to be dealt with. His teeth were perfect!
Hmm...who do I tag...Jenn, Angela, Kris??
Sunday, February 15, 2009
He was gentle and inquisitive and loved to roll around in the plastic ball ($13) to explore our home. Smooch did a great job of feeding him daily and helping to clean his cage every week. I think Alan and I played with him more than anyone (being that he is a nocturnal animal).
I did notice, however, that he seemed to hoard a great deal of food in his sleeping quarters...and, come to think of it, he was losing a bit of weight too!
I chalked it up to the new, fancy-schmancy hamster wheel his cage included.
Unfortunately, despite now owning a cage that cost well over $100, Ralph developed wet tail.
Ignoring my nursing efforts (which included feeding him pedialyte from an eyedropper and cutting up one of my facecloths for bedding) Ralph died, in his bed, just shy of 2 months from the date we bought him.
I didn't realise, initially, that Ralph was dead. I heard the boys prodding at him to wake up and wondering why he was so tired. When I peered into his cage I was struck by a sick feeling. He looked a little too "relaxed"...in fact, his foot was in an odd, unnatural position.
I told the boys that Ralph was, in fact, feeling a little "under the weather" and that I was taking him to the vet.
Alan and I then spent most of the day driving around the city, trying to find a medium-sized all-grey hamster.
You would think this would be an easy feat. Nope.
I found one grey, short-haired hamster in Calgary. It already had wet-tail, so I passed on buying him.
I lay awake all night worrying about how I would explain the concept of death to Smooch. How would he feel? Would it hurt his little psyche?
I waited until he came home from school the next day and gently told him that Ralph did not make it (but that the vet said he looked very well-loved and cared for).
He cried, I cried, we talked about all the lovely little things we liked about Ralph and cried some more.
The next morning Smooch came into my room and announced that after a very difficult night of missing Ralph and feeling sad...he was ready for a new hamster! Even better, he'd decided on a new name for his new hamster - Reepicheep (of Narnia fame).
Kids are so resiliant.
Yes, I wrote all about our adventures in poxland...lovely stuff. That little lark was closely followed by the "OH MY GOD...I think I want to die" influenza that Alan so kindly bestowed upon me. Actually, he stayed home for a week and slept, passed it on to me and then went back to work on the Monday morning while I lay in bed with a fever of 103, chills and rigors.
I had to bribe my 6 year old with yogurt and wine gums to wipe his 3 year old brother's bum because I literally could not walk. (Yes, I am currently awaiting my "Mother of the Year" award. I will let you know when it arrives...should be any day now.).
We managed to avoid tha lovely stomach flu/projectile vomitting, explosive diarhea bug that seemed to show up at all of our friend's homes all through November and December.
Turns out it was just waiting until the morning of Smooch's 6th birthday party to rear it's ugly head.
So, after the boys vommitted on various beds, carpets and my expensive, 'hand-tied and tufted by little girls in remote villiages' Pakastani hallway runner, I convinced Alan to drive to walmart and buy an upholstry cleaner. I have no idea how we survived this long without one. It is a wonderful thing.
So...that seemed like the end of it. We all got well, there were no bodily fluids expelled on any piece of furniture for days and days and then Noggin developed a fever/cough that lasted over a week...stopped eating and dropped 10% of his body weight.
I have been feeding him cheese and nutrigrain bars to try and get him back up to the 39 lbs he was at 3 weeks ago...I am just slightly worried about the poor gaffer.
Smooch had a toothache in early December. We had him booked in with a pediatric dentist in February, but he was complaining about his tooth hurting so we took him to our regular dentist. I could forsee this being a challenge, so I had to think of something big...HUGE...with which to bribe him.
I promised Smooch that if he co-operated with the dentist (who actually had to do a pulpotomy...like a mini root canal) that we would go directly to the pet store and buy him a hamster.
Smooch was the most co-operative pediatric pulpotomy patient in the history of dentistry...giving me the thumbs up, periodically, to stop my from crying and tearing my hair out.
As promised, we drove directly to Petland.
I had no idea that hamsters required so many accessories;
Habitrail Ovo Studio Cage - $65
Hamster food/wet tail medicine - $13
Shavings/Chew toys/Salt lick - $12
Old grey hamster - Free with purchase
Having your 6 year old stop crying about his tooth hurting = Priceless