Tag - Siblings

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Separated Siblings: She Waves Goodbye As He Leaves For High School
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A Brother Shows His True Colours For His Special Sister
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Family Hairstory
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Brothers and Sisters—special needs
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A Video For A SPECIAL Sister
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Sticks and Stones
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Still Siblings…
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The Dollhouse
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Big Brother
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Difficult Conversations With My Child – Part 1

Separated Siblings: She Waves Goodbye As He Leaves For High School

My daughter packed her backpack weeks ago in giddy anticipation of returning to school. She asked me to paint her nails and “do her hair pretty.” She couldn’t be more excited to start grade six.  My son was in denial that summer was ending right up until the end. He gave little thought to his first day of high school outfit. He wasn’t even planning on brushing his hair until I “suggested” it. I pleaded with him to let me take him shopping, but he refused. “Mum, I’ve got enough clothes. I’m fine.” Kind of hard to take him seriously when he’s arguing his point in mismatched socks and pants that are miles too short.  But he’s in high school now. He’s a big boy. In short pants. His pants, his choice I guess. (Mind you, I went to the mall today and bought him a few new things against his will. I can’t have the kid looking like he’s been stuffed into shrunken kahkis all year.) High school… no longer at our local elementary. He’s moved on and this is the first time his little sister will be at school without him.  At first she didn’t make the connection. “What?[…]

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A Brother Shows His True Colours For His Special Sister

You know when people comment on a video or a blog post saying, “This brought me to tears” or “This made me bawl”? Sometimes it’s true. But more often it’s merely a sentimental response to an emotional topic. When I watched this video however, I literally sobbed. I cried out loud, which I have to say is both cleansing and bloody exhausting. And now through red swollen eyes I’m attempting to share this amazing tribute by a brother to his sister. This sweet and crazy talented young boy of eleven, the same age as my son, wrote and performed this song (a cover of True Colours by Cindy Lauper) about his sister, eight years old, the same age as my special little girl. Sarah was born with Down Syndrome, but her big brother Matt doesn’t see her as different—he sees her as special in all the best ways. My son loves his sister more than anything. He made a video about her to help explain her differences to his peers at school. I guess this one of the reasons why this story touches me so deeply.  If you watch anything online today, you must watch this video below. It’s simply[…]

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Family Hairstory

  Avery’s mane of wavy blonde hair was a long time coming, but now at seven years old, her crowning glory is fierce and fabulous. To prevent glue and lunch and sand and small birds and whatever else from getting stuck in her hair during the day, I tie it back or braid it every morning. I won’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on You Tube trying to master the fishtail braid… The other morning I was running way behind. As I was frantically throwing lunches together I could hear the kids upstairs brushing their teeth. “Stay still Avery,” I heard my son say to his sister. “Okay now look. How’s that?” he asked her. “Wow… I booootiful!” Avery announced. She came downstairs proudly sporting a messy but awesome ponytail ala her brother (the elastic basically fell out before Avery reached the kitchen). “Maybe you should give me a ponytail lesson? In case you’re sick or away or something so I know how to do Avery’s hair for school.” Aw Sebastian. You’re mummy’s hairo. xo

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Brothers and Sisters—special needs

  I fell head over heels for each of my children instantly. When my son met his baby sister for the first time, he stroked her downy soft hair and vowed to always take care of her. Sure, they may tease and squabble and possibly bite leaving behind little teeth marks, but mostly they are faithful friends. I thought I couldn’t possibly love them more until the day when the ambulance came. My youngest needed help and my oldest child, blurred out of sight, was brought back into focus with the words, “Mummy, don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Just please, please let her be okay.” Standing with his back pressed firmly against the wall out of the way of the paramedics, I warned him about the mad rush of people who would be coming any minute, and cautioned him to stay out of their way. He was holding his sister’s pink bear, which he later handed me to bring along to the hospital. I knew in that moment, that he loves his sister as much as I love them both, and my heart ached under the weight of that realization. My son has loved his sister from the moment[…]

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A Video For A SPECIAL Sister

  He wanted a way to explain to his peers about how his sister is very different from, yet exactly the same as everyone else. Our son made this video to share with his schoolmates. He said it would be easier if people would just ask him what they want to know, instead of staring or whispering or making ignorant remarks. These are his words.  These are their photos.  This is his thoughtful message. *Over the course of a week he went from class to class to share this video with his schoolmates. He started by introducing his sister who was there with him. Then he played the video and answered questions at the end. Related: Creating a “Special Needs Script“

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Sticks and Stones

    As the saying going, “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt us.” Really? That life lesson seems a little naive, if not excessively violent. Sticks are for roasting marshmallows. Stones are for skipping over a glassy lake on a hot summer day. Of course getting a stick in the eye is going to hurt and a stone to the skull will probably leave you dizzy and in need of an ice pack. Painful granted, but usually temporary. But words? They have a way of getting under your skin and festering for awhile; stinging and burning like a painful rash. I heard my kids playing upstairs when my son suddenly said to his sister, “Where did you get that from? Did somebody say that to you??” He came down to report that Avery had called him “Dumbo Ears.” She didn’t know what it meant and was obviously only repeating what she had heard. She told us somebody said it to her at school. She couldn’t name who. Avery’s ears do stick out and it’s not the first time she’s been teased about it. The thing is, she has no idea. In the face of[…]

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Still Siblings…

My brother Mike and I circa 1976. Move over John Travolta… that stylin’ disco dude in the background is our dad.    Siblings fight. It’s totally normal. So apparently my children are abnormal. They’re still young though, so all hell could still break loose. But at this moment they are completely peaceful. They have never had a fight or disagreement of any kind. No bickering, hitting, tattling or vying for attention. I watch my son, the older of the two, and marvel at how fiercely protective he is of his kid sister. They are best friends.  This has absolutely NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with parenting. We have not taught them this behaviour. By all accounts the nine year old should resent his little sister. Her medical issues have resulted in him missing out on many outings and a large portion of attention has been diverted away from him to her. Instead of acting out, he simply loves her more. My brother, three years my junior, and I were the same; best buddies growing up. Apart from a few squabbles in our teen years, I don’t recall a single harsh word between us, ever. He’s a grown man now, but I[…]

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The Dollhouse

One dismal day a mysterious box arrived at my door. Behind said door, was a tired mother and a bored five year old, itching for something to do. I suspect Mom Central and Fisher Price may have some kind of “That Mama Needs A Break, ESP.” This was our first official toy delivery during our stint as a Fisher Price Family. The look on my daughter’s face when she saw her new My First Dollhouse….  …was sheer happiness. The look on my face when I read this…   ….was all, “Gah! They’re talking about me. To the treadmill!!” *For the record, my husband’s hands are an average size. Santa brought Avery a Fisher Price dollhouse two years ago. But this new abode is a more pimped out version. So now, instead of one lonely home, we have the makings of a neighbourhood. It’s a G-rated version of Knot’s Landing (at least, that’s what is going on in MY head when I’m playing along). Avery has a corner of her room dedicated to her imaginary town. Recently however, I noticed both dollhouses were missing. It seems the kids picked up stakes and moved the town to big brother’s room.    […]

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Big Brother

We are so lucky that our son, is our son. He’s an old soul, compassionate and wise beyond his eight years. Many children might resent the attention and time required to parent a sibling with Special Needs. Fortunately, our son chooses to participate and nurture. His little sister looks up to him and mimics his every move (dance moves included).  Last night after playing in the sprinkler, we took Avery inside to get her dried off and jammied up in preparation for family movie night. DS stepped up and said, “Don’t worry. I’ve got it.” They returned a few minutes later changed and ready for the movie. Yes, he neglected to put her in a Pull-up. And sure, she was wearing winter PJs on a 30 degree night, but it didn’t matter. He had chosen matching stuffies for each to cuddle on the couch. A pink pig for Avery to match her pajamas and a blue bear for himself. As I said, we’re lucky our son, is our son.

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Difficult Conversations With My Child – Part 1

  I knew it would happen, I just didn’t expect it would be today.   Instead of chatting about his day or having a snack, my boy took his sister right upstairs after school. I could hear him asking her to repeat after him as he named objects around his room. I’ll be very surprised if this child doesn’t end up going into teaching when he grows up.   He suddenly came downstairs, looking frightened, saying he was having “bad feelings about Avery.”   “What if Avery choked?” he asked. “What would we do? I’m scared something bad is going to happen to her.”   He looked so sincerely worried it scared me.   “Why do you think she’ll choke?” I asked him, trying to determine the source of his anxiety.   He said kids at school were talking about choking and Epi-pens. They asked him if Avery had one. This is when he spoke the words I knew would eventually come. The words I wasn’t quite ready to hear.   One of his classmates asked, “What’s wrong with your sister anyway?”   This child wasn’t being cruel, he was merely curious as kids are. Though Avery’s delays aren’t visible[…]

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