Thursday, May 27, 2010


It's eval time around these parts.

Not my favorite time, honestly.

If you've never had a kid with any type of difference from the typical, then perhaps you might not know what it's like to have your child evaluated on their skills and abilities at least twice a year.

You're not missing anything fun.

It's just one of those things that comes with the territory of special needs.


I mean, don't we all have those? Special needs?

To be fair, I probably won't like any term that has the express intent of picking out something different about my kid and setting her apart.

Difference are supposed to be cool, right?


These evals don't usually tell you anything you don't already know about your kid, but they do tend to put them in interesting formats. Like percentages. With "less than" symbols. Fun, right?!

Of course, you could opt out of this whole process. BUT it's all tied to services. So if it's services you want, evals you will get.

Even if you're like me and you're not 100% sure that you want services, maybe you're also like me in that maybe you might want something someday and if you give up the chance now, you fear that you may be giving it up forever.

And it's not even my chance. It's Playette's chance. That's a lot of pressure.

No one said this thing was fair or easy, y'all.

So, back to the 50/50.

We had an evaluation at home a couple of weeks ago. The "School Psychologist" (still confused about that title) came over and observed Playette while talking to me. As I was sitting on the couch, it hit me.

Are we supposed to do well or not?

I really didn't know.

One one hand, doing poorly would secure her eligibility for services.


But, honestly, sometimes Playette just doesn't do her best in these types of situations. She rarely shows strangers who pop up bi-annually for an hour what she knows how to do under everyday circumstances. They get to see Shy Playette or Show Guests to the Door Playette, and not the girl we see everyday.

On the other hand, doing really well might be what the evaluator needs to see in order to recommend that her Least Restrictive Environment is the kind of program in which we envision her being.

That sound you hear?

That's my head exploding.

Messy stuff.

Next up...Preschool via FAPE.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Case You Missed It

BD and I went out last night so I missed being able to sit down at watch the show. Thanks to Sheree, I saw this clip:

And now I'm BAWLING.

See, here's the thing. It's a very scary place to be when you have to hope that the world changes before your child reaches the age to realize how cruel it can be.

People will say and do what they say and do, but when it's your kid that's the potential butt of the jokes or the recipient of the slurs? It matters.

It matters a lot.

That's why the R word hurts me and so many other people. It infers that people with intellectual disabilities are stupid. They're not.

If you've met my child, you'd know that she knows sooo many things. She surprises people daily. She deserves to be treated with respect. So do all people with differing abilities.

This experiment may have made me cry, but it also gave me a glimmer of hope, knowing that there are people out there that are not afraid to take a stand for decency.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A while back, I believe it was a Friday night, I came downstairs to a lovely surprise. BD knows that I love snacks (I mean, who doesn't know? Really. Raise your hand.), but what's even better than just regular snacks is appetizers.

Ohhh, man! Little bite sized goodness! Warm or cold, passed or buffet-style. A little amuse bouche and I'm in heaven.

I'm in Weight Watchers for a reason, y'all. Slowest. Loser. Ever. Because I have food issues. My middle name should be Nom Nom Nom.


So I come downstairs and there's a fire lit. There's also a spread of perfectly toasted bread and wine and cheese and meat and seasoned oil and balsamic vinegar and olives and the best ever spicy mustard and truffle-y stuff and OMG I'M SO HAPPY!

He used the wine and cheese tray and the dipping dishes that we pull out for parties was the perfect dinner.

The best part ever was that our girl loved it, too.

She went at it like a mini-foodie and made her mama proud.

No wine for her though. Just in case you were wondering.

Oh, and unfortunately I didn't think to take photos until I had housed half of the food so the presentation is a leetle off.

I love how this post is juxtaposed oh-so-nicely to that of the lovely Wendy. Way to make me feel like a poser, Dub! You know I'd take your hose swing any day of the week.

Until next time? Here's a scrunchy face from that day. Because I never get enough scrunchy faces.

And because I can't stop there:

There's something - so much, really - about that face. Little, cute jack-o-lantern.

That's my girl.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Glutton for Tears

The TiVo is now set.

I know that this will upset me, but I have to watch it.

What Would You Do? : Grocery Clerk With Special Needs

How Will Shoppers React When Customer Tells Clerk With Down Syndrome: 'You're Absolutely Retarded!'

I got chills when I read the article linked above. My heart started beating faster. I wished I could have been there.

Have you seen this show? It's really kind of interesting. It's a hidden camera deal where they set up scenes in public, starring actors, and wait to see how those around will react. The one we watched last week had an abusive man and an obviously abused woman in a restaurant. First, they showed a white woman, then a black one, and, finally, they put the women in provocative clothing to see if that made a difference. It did. It was shocking and it was sad.

Which, ugh, lets me know that, at a minimum, I will find tomorrow's episode both shocking and sad.

It's real, though. This is how people treat other people.

And if you're like the lady I ran with about a month ago, and you defend you and your children's use of the R word to no end even after I politely mentioned that it's a word that hurts me? Well, maybe you should watch this, too.

Ok, now I'm off to read the comments on the article. Even though I probably shouldn't. That's where the real loons come out to the comments.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

About that tooth brushing pic...




See, she kinda doesn't brush her own teeth.

The thing about pics is that they capture a moment in time.

And if you have a quick camera, it really can be just a fraction of a second.

Which isn't real life.


Playette loves the idea of brushing teeth.

She'll go "dih dih dih?"* and sign brush teeth when BD brings her into our room in the morning, just after she's had her breakfast.

She even goes up on her tippiest of toes, opens and reaches into the top drawer of our bathroom sink space to take out her small tube of toothpaste and her toothbrush in the clear, ridged plastic holding tube.

And that's when all forward momentum stops.

Unless we decide to equate sucking the toothpaste off of the brush to actually and truly brushing teeth.

If we were to do that, she would be thrilled.

But we don't so she is Not. Ever. Thrilled.


Hey, she has teeth. I'm happy for that. Not all, but some, and more than before, so YAY.

The brushing thing though? Ick. It's just hard. She fights us and then we end up having to create these contortionistic moves that include heads in laps or legs on tub edges or arms pinned down on white bedsheets that used to be clean, but then somehow become stained with blue gel that leaves a hit of bubble gum smell behind.

I mean, if you look at that last post again, you'll see that the picture prior to the one in question has me demonstrating what needs to be done and her pushing my hand away. Nicely. *snort*

And don't get me started on my work clothes. I came to work yesterday looking like I grabbed my shirt from the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper. I swear it was kinda clean when I put it on.

Plus, her hair? The hair I work so hard on (almost) every morning? Well, after she thrashes around yelling, "Nooo!" and "Ah done!"? It's rather messy. To say the least.

So maybe we should change the order of our routine. Or wait her out and hope one day that she realizes the benefits of good oral hygiene on her own.

Oh, I don't know.

Totally winging it here.

But I wanted to keep it honest.

* "Dih dih dih?" seems to be her universal, go-to question these days. There's inflection and the signs help her to communicate what it is that she wants/needs, but she doesn't have the words, so "dih dih dih?" it is for now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Love them.

Can I just tell you again.


Even with the struggle of trying to obtain the perfect center part on a squiggling, wriggling child...I adore the finished product.

Last year, at the NDSC Conference, I sat in on a session that talked about reading and children with Down syndrome. They mentioned using a tactic that, as I recall, was like creating an A Day in the Life book for your child. They'd see themselves doing certain things and then the words associated with those actions.

I put that on my to-do list.

Last August.

And then a lot of time went by.

I considered a board book, but the prices shocked me a little and I figured I could do it myself.

So then a lot more time went by.

In March, I woke up one day determined to take pictures. "Let's get her waking up," I said, "And then on the potty, and eating breakfast, and getting dressed, and going to school, and in the car, and dancing, and in the tub, and at PT, and...and...and..."

BD just gave me a look. That look. Do you know that look? Maybe you're the person in your house with the big ideas. Or maybe you're the one giving that look. Hmph.


I did take some pictures. Lots of them, actually.

Remember, this was back in March.

It's May, y'all.

I still don't have a book.

This all came back to my mind because Playette's SLP came to me with a little photo album recently. It was filled with some pics she had taken at the daycare. If you flipped through the book horizontally, on the top was the photo and on the page below were blocks describing the actions along with words. Pretty cute, actually, and I appreciated her efforts. For example, with a photo of Playette dancing, it had three blocks. One with Playette's photo and "Playette" underneath, one with a group of cartoony-like people that said "friends" and then the last block had a treble clef and the word "music."

I ended up printing a lot of the pictures I took in March and adding them to the book that the SLP created (go, me!). She, in turn, took the book and my notes on what I thought the blocks could say and updated it. It's a back-and-forth process, sure, but at least it'll be done.

Or, well, sorta done. I still have my idea in my head that I want to follow through on so that it'll be all slick and for real done-done.

But, I mean, I know I'm not exactly known for my quick follow-through and craftiness, so the little photo album will be just fine for now.

So what does all this this have to do with pigtails?

Well, see for yourself:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

He Likes Me

I just came back into my office after going on a post-work, pre-home disappointment of a run and I saw Mr. P. Remember him?

Well, as I'm coming through the door, his face lit up. We haven't seen each other in a while and it was unmistakable: He was happy to see me.

We spoke briefly and I skipped up the steps a lot more easily, I'm sure, than I would have if we hadn't had our encounter.

That's a gift, you know. To be able to make another person feel like that.

I like him right back.


It's been weeks...weeks!...since I've posted here.

So this week, I'm thinking of posting every day.

That way, those of you that have been missing what I have to say?

Well, I will make you sick of it.

Trust, that will make the absences that much easier to take.

I'm kidding.

I think.

I have soooo many pictures. Have you been missing Playette? Well, this is the place for you. A while back, I had a scare. Actually, several people I know had scares and that kinda kept me from posting pics. Sad, huh? Blogging is scary sometimes, yo.

But I think I'm ready to forge ahead. There's lots to catch up on before the Littlest turns 3 and then we move onward and upward towards the next chapter of IEPs and preschool and dating and...oh, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, stay tuned.

I'll be back with the goods very soon.