Archive - July 2014

1
Super Simple Summer Fun
2
Taking Back The Word Retarded
3
Grief-Helping Kids Cope
4
Imagine If We All Approched Life Like Tim?
5
Paper Bag Princess
6
Affected By This? Then “Urine” For It!
7
I Like My EEGS Sunnyside Up
8
Hot For Teacher
9
What Do You Think Of When You Hear “Like A Girl?”

Super Simple Summer Fun

  As Canadians we spend a lot of time indoors. This past winter was especially brutal. Spring arrived just in the nick of time because the Thornburys were getting dangerously close to a “The Shining” situation. Rum—good. Red rum—bad. My kids have been itching to get outdoors and back to nature and that’s exactly what we did last week. We spent seven glorious days with family at their cottage on a lake in New Brunswick— sans wifi or television. No iPhone grafted to my hand? I expected it to be difficult. It wasn’t. It was heaven. Here are a few of the activities we enjoyed: On day one of our vacation, thanks to the last remnants of Hurricane Arthur, we had no choice but to make our own indoor fun. To be clear, the dads coordinated the fun. I sat on the covered porch and read for three solid hours. Bliss. So what fun did the guys come up with? First they played a game — “Super Moose” (Reg. $29.99). It’s a wooden puzzle challenge where players take turns balancing antlers on a wobbly moose head. It’s meant for ages 3+. The older more dextrous and patient kids enjoyed it,[…]

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Taking Back The Word Retarded

  As the parent of a child with developmental challenges, delays, cognitive disabilities… however you want to label it, I often flip-flop between two perspectives. 1. Wanting to let my fists fly (which is pretty hysterical if you’ve ever seen me try to punch something) on anyone who uses the word retarded. 2. Simply allowing the word to bounce off me and ricochet back at them. People who use the word retard are outing themselves as people I’d rather not know. Their word choice says everything about them and nothing about my child or anyone with special needs. I seem to be juxtaposed between violence and a “so be it” attitude so instead of choosing a perspective, I’m creating a new one. I’m going to take back the R-Word. Others have done it—taken a word used to discriminate and have claimed it as their own. By doing so they’ve taken the wind out of many biggoty sails. My daughter is retarded… Okay wait, I need to ease my way into this because just typing that made me squirm. Those seven letters pack a punch. Retard means delayed or slow. By definition, my daughter is slow. She’s slow to anger. She’s[…]

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Grief-Helping Kids Cope

My husband’s mum was a vital part of our lives. There hasn’t been a day since she died that we don’t miss her terribly. As adults who’ve had years to develop coping skills, it’s still tough. So how can a child possibly deal with grief when they can’t begin to reconcile the devastation of loss and moreover, the finality of death? Our eleven year old son experienced anxiety resulting from the loss of his grandmother, so we sought help. Grief counseling has helped him begin to accept the death and has given him skills to cope with the fear of losing his parents and sister.   Avery, our seven year old, seems to be the most profoundly affected. She and her ‘Grandie’ had a special bond (one that my husband and I are convinced has continued in some other worldly way. It sounds odd, but the evidence we’ve seen is impossible to ignore). At first Avery believed her Grandie had gone to the dentist and would be coming back soon. We don’t know where this idea came from. Regardless, the first dental appointment I took the kids to afterwards was difficult to say the least. When it became evident that[…]

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Paper Bag Princess

  My daughter read “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch and then did this project (with help from her EA at school). Cute right? Know what else is cute? This REAL LIFE Paper Bag Princess. (Filmed by her brother while they were BOTH supposed to be helping me pull weeds!) 

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Affected By This? Then “Urine” For It!

  Just imagine how many people pee freely in public pools. Wait, don’t. It’s too disgusting. (By the way, experts estimate ONE in FIVE people urinate while swimming. Thank goodness for chlorine and hot showers).  My daughter would happily stay in her grandparents’ pool all day if we let her—minus the dozen or more times she has to get out of the pool to pee. And not just a tinkle. We’re talking bucketfuls. Literally. To save the poor child from drying off every ten minutes to use the toilet, my mum fashioned her a makeshift outdoor-bucket-potty. “AGAIN?! There’s no possible way. She just went.” my husband would exclaim, shaking his head in disbelief. “What do you mean we need to pull over and use the bathroom at the grocery store? We’re almost home, can’t you hold it?” I’d whine, trying hard not to sound pissed off. Pun acknowledged. During swimming lessons Avery has to leave the pool to use the bathroom two to three times at least. We knew there had to be a scientific reason because on dry land, she’s just as dry as a camel, so what gives? My friend Sharon told me she experienced the same thing[…]

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I Like My EEGS Sunnyside Up

  We kept our daughter up for most of the night to deprive her of sleep, on purpose. Consider it payback for all the nights she’s kept us awake. In your face, Avery! Mwah hahaha…   Kidding. She was scheduled for an EEG the next morning.   Having her good and exhausted prevents her from having to be sedated (she fell asleep naturally on the exam table within seconds) and it ensures her brain will be disorganized and stressed—perfect conditions for performing an exam to look for the abnormal brain waves associated with seizure activity. The same test last year revealed ‘moderate abnormalities.’ This meant Avery would remain on medication—the seizures were still there, suppressed by the meds, but skulking in the shadows. This year we were hopeful that even if the result wasn’t completely normal, there would at least be some improvement, indicating that Avery is slowly but surely growing out of this condition. No such luck. The results were the same. ‘Moderately abnormal.’ We’ll try again in a year. There’s time, things could still change. And in the meantime we’re fortunate to have found the perfect balance of medications, with no side effects, to suppress the seizures. When[…]

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Hot For Teacher

    *Disclaimer: This post is me making nice for calling my husband “Susan” in a recent blog post*  I married a teacher and I highly recommend it. Teachers love kids, they’re silly and creative, and best of all they’re home all summer! Though by August 31st I’m pretty much ready for him to pack his school bag and hit the road.   Ten reasons I’m lucky to have him With hashtags. #justbecause   1. He’s always the first to apologize. Even if he didn’t do anything wrong. #peacekeeper 2. I don’t have to remind him that I don’t like bok choy. He just knows. #expertchinesefoodorderer 3. My mom told me that you can tell everything you need to know about a man by his eyes. If they’re cold, he’s cold. If they’re kind, he’s kind. If they’re crossed, well, he’s probably being goofy and that’s a good thing. #babysgotblueeyes 4. Even though it’s kind of emasculating he’ll walk the chihuahua if I ask him to. #mychiguy 5. He’d rather stay home with his family than go out on the town. #homebodyhardbody 6. He’s allergic to whining, gossip and cattiness. #Imarriedagrownup 7. He laughs at my jokes. #noaccountingfortaste 8. He[…]

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What Do You Think Of When You Hear “Like A Girl?”

At some stage in life the meaning of the term “like a girl” twists from something incredible into something insulting. When I was asked to spread the word about the #LikeAGirl movement, intended to remove the negative connotation associated with the phrase, I enlisted my son’s help. I planned to share a clip of his feminine impression how a girl might run. However, it seems he’s on the cusp of the aforementioned twist. At eleven he still views males and females through equality coloured glasses. When I asked him to demonstrate a “girl run”, he ran hard and strong. It wasn’t the stereotypical reaction I had banked on. I considered grounding him for ruining his mother’s blog post. 😉 So how do our sweet kids suddenly sour? What dark force clouds their minds thus creating this negative point of view? Oh wait a minute… “You throw like a girl!” “Shoot me if I ever start running like my mother. She runs like a girl.” “He screamed like a girl for the entire ride. It was like riding a roller coaster with Ned Flanders.” All of these gems above? Me. All me. (I made the Ned Flanders crack just last week[…]

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