Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another first!

But, this isn't a good first because Cooper got his first stitches on Friday night.  We still don't know exactly how he did it but he was getting off some playground equipment and nearly bit through his bottom lip.  There was so much blood that I thought I was going to pass out.  I just love Children's Health Care of Atlanta (Lord knows we've been there more than our fair share) and they were just wonderful with him!  He woke up on Saturday morning like nothing happened and doesn't even notice the stitches. 
Coop and his stitches.  The plastic surgeon said that you'll barely see a scar.  I still think he's the cutest kid around!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Thank you and perspective...

Thank you to those that took the time to leave words of support and even similar stories on my last post.  I've cooled down and this always helps to give a new perspective on any situation.  I've tried to pinpoint what about the situation made me so upset and did I handle it the best way possible.  I'm one of those people that evaluates every interaction, even good ones, to see if I could've done anything better on my part.  I'm sure that this over analysis of every day events is driving me into an early grave from anxiety and stress and this isn't my favorite trait to be sure.

I think I was most irritated by her choice of words.  If she had walked up to me and said "I noticed that your son isn't talking" or "I noticed that your son uses sign language and his talking is not typical" then I would've accepted this curious stranger with open arms and would've probably left with her telephone number for future playdates (hey, I like making friends!).  It was the "is he special?" and the use of "mental issues" that truly is what pissed me off.  I think I said this the other day but I don't label Cooper has special and I never want him to feel like he's different.  He's just the same as all the other kids but he talks with his hands.  Deaf kids talk with their hands but for some reason it messes with people's minds that he isn't deaf and that he just can't talk (right now).  They automatically assume that he's mentally handicap or Autistic.  He has a speech disorder!  ANYONE in real-life will tell you that he's funny, extremely social, affectionate and smart.  He knows all his shapes, colors, some numbers and is learning his ABCs (not how to recite the song but actual letter recognitition) and he's only 2.  Am I bragging about his accomplishments? Well, hell yeah, I'm his proud mommmy! 

Here is where my perspective has changed and where I wish maybe I would've handled things differently.  I wonder if this woman just feels so alone and maybe just thought that I could understand what she's currently going through on some level.  Instead I shut her off and was mildly defensive.  But, in my defense, I really can't understand what she's going through really.  My son isn't aggressive (minus, the one incident where he bit that kid, lol) and does well in all social situations that are appropriate for a 2 year old.  But, I do wish that maybe I would've offered more empathy to her but the whole situation was strange.  She was showing me a urine container in her stroller because they're trying to "see what's wrong with him" (her words not mine) and was talking to me about medicines that I don't know about.  Her son was yelling at Coop because the kid was swinging a bag of carrots in Coop's face and when Coop went to reach for one the kid lost his mind.  It was awkward and I just wanted to get away. 

But, in all of this, I know that Cooper has different challenges than his friends and the friends that he'll make in school.  I've been meditating on the fact that maybe this situation bugged me because it brought up fears about these challenges and the fight up ahead.  NOTHING has come easy for my sweet boy and he's known nothing other than fighting to catch up.  I laugh at the old Jen that was pregnant with Cooper because she thought just surviving his pregnancy with a living baby would be the tough part but that was just the beginning...

I do wish that I would've answered her "is he special" question with "in every way!" because he is...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is he special?

This is the question that I was asked this morning at the zoo and to be completely honest, it threw me for a loop.  I was actually speechless for a good 15 seconds before answering her question.  This lady was a complete stranger to me and I really hadn't even noticed her and her son.  She stopped me as I was leaving my favorite habitat and I was totally absorbed in the moment.  Now, I'm still a little upset because I just don't know where or what she thought she saw to ask this question but she stops me and says "is he special or something?"

She says to me, "well, I know how he was jerking his head and is irritable" and quite honestly, Coop was just sitting in his stroller and was wanting to get out to walk around but I was a little tired from chasing after him.  She then says "my son has mental issues, too".  Listen, my son doesn't have mental issues, he has a speech disorder!  He doesn't sound like other kids when he talks and I know this but I don't treat him like he's "special".  I want him to just fit in and blend in with other kids so I don't even adhere to labeling him.  Cooper has zero behavioral concerns that aren't age related.  Does he throw tantrums, well, of course, he's 2! 

I'm just so upset and it has nothing to do with his challenges.  I love him and he is special but not in her definition.  I'm upset because at the tender age of 2, the world is trying to pigeon hole him as someone that is not as capable/adequate as other normally developing children. 

I'm sure most will read this post and not even understand wth I'm even upset and I guess you would have to walk this walk to get it...

I'm just having a moment where I'm realizing that I'm not as strong as I think I am and am taunted by this world and it's view that I'm going to have to fight to make sure that my son fits in...


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mommy's little helper

Coop is becoming such a great little helper around the house and one thing that I'm getting him to help me with more is dinner prep.  Coop loves to big in the kitchen and normally I'm trying to shoo him away to his playroom but decided to take a different approach which is to put him to work!  My nieces stayed with us last week and we decided to make homemade pizzas for dinner (they're 11 and 13 and they love pizzas so being the cool aunt that I am, lol) which was an easy dinner for him to participate with his cousins...

Really, I just put the stuff in front of him with a few guidelines and I let him do his thing and he did great!  He's standing on a stepstool because even though they look awesome, I just cannot put money towards one of those learning towers.  I can't begin to describe the amount of wasted money in gadgets/furniture in our house, lol.  I just make sure to stay really close to him...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Coop's big sister!

August 3rd is Lily's birthday and we spent the whole day yesterday in celebration! I promised myself that yesterday would be a day that of no tears and just celebrating her life and we did just that! We took a short drive down to Callway Gardens to see the butterfly house and then we took Cooper to the Wild Animal Safari which he LOVED! I had no idea that giraffes sloberred so much but I found that out yesterday and almost puked, lol...

Cooper will always know about his big sister and yesterday we read his copy of "Someone came before You" and it was really sweet. Of course, he's only 2 so he doesn't have a concept of death but it's a sweet book. We do talk about Lily to him and he points to her urn and pictures that are on my bookshelf.

All in all, it was a beautiful day for a beautiful little girl!

Callaway Garden's butterfly house~

Cooper and his shirt :)

Coop thought the koi pond was pretty cool!

I'm feeding a giraffe, people!

Coop is totally fearless!

Do you think that maybe he enjoyed himself?

Lol, I love this one!