Saturday, February 10, 2007

The other day, I was missing my grandmother who died in October. I put on a jade beaded necklace that I found among her things. I was the only one who wanted some of what was left of her jewelery. My mother has been sporting her large diamond for over 10 years and the smaller 1/2 carat one is in my engagement ring. In other words, she gave away the valuable stuff when she was alive.

I found the jade necklace in my jewelry box and put it on and Eric immediately began to tug on it. I asked him not to because it belonged to my grandmother. We then established that my grandmother was his grandma's mother and he figured out who she was. Then I said that she had died and that I missed her.

He said, "She will come back from the doctor and you will be very happy."

"I don't think so, baby. That's what it means when somebody dies, they can't come back."

He looked at me wisely. "No, she's just at the doctor and she will come back and everybody will be very happy."

I suppose she is back when I see Kaylee's face. She does look like her.

Having children makes you immortal.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I know I'm about three weeks too late writing about the stabbing in Sudbury. A boy with Asbergers Syndrome stabbed and killed another boy.

But it's still keeping me up at night.

I am so heartbroken for all the parents involved. The boy who did the stabbing did not have a history of violence, but students said he had gotten very morbid lately. There was no myspace page detailing a plot to kill this particular student. There was no map somebody could have found to prevent this.

I don't know much about autism. My husband's 11 year old cousin is autistic and he is one of the gentlest children I have ever met. I sat on a couch and watched him offer my six month daughter toys and gently stroked her head. He is very high-functioning, I think in part because his family works incredibly hard to keep him stable. He has to have a special gluten free diet. He also has another world of other food allergies that they have to keep track of, dairy, eggs and some meats. It seems incredibly exhausting to keep up with it. But they just do it.

When Eric was a baby, he didn't look at faces and I was really scared that something was wrong. He really liked looking at electrical wires and windows, but I read that babies are supposed to look at faces. And he wasn't. I remembered my niece staring into my eyes from the time she was three days old and I was worried about him because he wasn't doing that.

I even found the following test, but it was really for older babies. Basically if your kid can do these three things by 14 months, chances are you've got nothing to worry about.
  • Protodeclarative pointing -- by fourteen months of age a normal infant will point at an object in order to get another person to look at that object
  • Gaze-monitoring -- by fourteen months an infant will often turn to look in the same direction an adult is looking
  • Pretend play -- by fourteen months children will begin to play using object substitution,e.g. pretending to make tea and drink it out of a toy cup.
But at three months, Eric became very "chatty" and interactive and all my worrying was for nothing. So, my heart finds other things to worry about. Like what happened at Lincoln Sudbury. I just want to keep them safe and live in the moment we're in.

How do you quiet that "What if?" voice in your head when you become a parent?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Didn't really watch the Super Bowl last night. But I am relieved The Bears didn't win. I believe that the earth can survive world wars, global warming and Paris Hilton. But it could not survive another Super Bowl Shuffle.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This morning we descended into that circle of Hell reserved for parents of small children on a cold day: Chuck E. Cheese. OK, it's actually not that bad. They have this giant habitrail climbing structure for the kids that runs across the ceiling and it's attached to a huge slide. Eric loves it. He goes up and we catch glimpses of him through round plastic windows, a grin permanently affixed to his face. He's just old enough to be up there by himself with one of us watching.

Kaylee and I hung out in an area designated for kids under 2. The age limit was blithely ignored by parents and children alike. There were 10 year olds flying through there. One family just left a two year old in there and went off and did something else. Said two year old nearly jumped, boots and all onto Kaylee's head. I realized he was on his own when I went to find his parents to get them to watch him more closely, and there was nobody there for him. Eventually his mom waddled in and shoved a piece of pizza in his face. This happened a couple of times with different kids. The parents would find the kid, who was very happily playing and shove pizza into them.

I know I'm really lucky in a lot of ways that Eric is such a picky eater. The main staple of his diet is pasta. He eats pasta, fruit, cereal, yogurt and cottage cheese and crackers. For treats, he likes lollypops and popsicles. He has no interest in most cookies, chicken fingers, pizza or cheeseburgers. So, when we go to a place like Chucke E. Cheese, there's no chance in hell that he'll even ask to eat the food. He's never eaten at Macdonalds, and if we wanted to go there, there is literally nothing on the menu that he would eat.

Childhood obesity is an issue close to my heart. I was always one of the fattest kids, but when I look at pictures of myself from the 1970's I wasn't all that chubby. In fact, if my nasty little classmates hadn't informed me that I was fat, I probably wouldn't have noticed for years. But compared to these kids today, I was downright skinny. It's so sad to see these parents shoveling lousy pizza into their kids when they're trying to exercise. It just seems so backwards.

Kaylee, unlike her brother has proven to be quite omnivorous in spite of her lack of teeth. She has one bottom tooth and we are calling her Kaykee Jack O'lantern. Rich was eating pizza a few days ago while holding her and she snatched it away and snarfed it up. With no teeth. I don't know how she does it. But she also likes fruit and veggies which I try to give her every day. She eats what we eat, and we make pasta for Eric. Ironically, the only thing she doesn't eat is Eric's favorite dish in the world: plain pasta. Come to think of it, she doesn't like cottage cheese either.

The good news is that they love each other.