Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Now it's mine!

My husband bought me balloons for my birthday. Balloons that my two children have done nothing but fight over. The best one pulled loose from it's string and floated to the ceiling. We refused to get it down for days. Can't fight over something you can't reach. Finally, my husband rescued the balloon.

Emmi eyed it.

She inched closer.

She grabbed the string, pulling the balloon to her face. And SHE LICKED IT.

Then she turned to me and said, "Now it's mine!"

Um. Ems. That only works for food.

Little Bitty Lies

The first time Jill lied to me, I called my mom. Proud. My little girl was smart enough to think up a lie. I'm not even sure I thought to punish her. I still can't believe that I remember the moment as clearly as her first steps, her first word (hungry), and losing her first tooth. To me, the ability to lie, to tell me a story, signalled something. Intelligence. Understanding of language. It was about more than how those little hair bows ended up in her purse when she wasn't supposed to be climbing on the counter top to reach them.

Emmi's first lie came much older. To be expected considering she didn't say her first word (no) until two and a half. At the time, I didn't think much of it. Or, really I thought, "Quit trying to get your sister in trouble!" Then the lies became more elaborate. "No that is my bracelet. My Nana gave it to me for Christmas." And it dawned on me, she can lie. She can tell a story. This child who has struggled with speech and language development, is plotting out stories.

And once again, I was proud. Proud of my little liar.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This whole post made me wish it were Summer already.

I've been thinking a lot about summer. More specifically swim.
Emmi's likes to swim. It is one thing she could do before anyone her age. While she didn't walk until she well over two and talk until three and she struggled to keep up physically with her peers, she was swimming the length of our pool easily at three. Underwater. Swimming, it seems, might be her thing.

I have wondered how this will play out this year, though. In the past, the only swimming the girls really did was in our own backyard. In this house, we choose not to put a pool in. Can I add, that I am loving letting them play outside by their selves! Swimming, this summer, will be at our neighborhood pool. And? Both girls will be on swim team this year. Neighborhood pools and swim team, seem a world away from days when limited ASL and lip reading got us through an hour in the pool. Will her friends remember to tap her, and speak directly to her? None of her current friends sign much. And how necessary will it be for her to hear at swim team practice? At meets? Are these just my concerns because I am hearing, and I can't imagine participating in these events without hearing? Just thinking about it makes me slightly panicked. Like you asked me to swim across the pool with my arms tied to my side. Perhaps Emmi doesn't feel that way though. She hasn't heard in the pool, in the bath, in the rain in years. That is just what she knows.

In any case, I have been thinking about what to do. I have watched the youtube videos of families letting their kids swim with their CI's sealed away in bags. Was I willing to risk it? Would Emmi really want the burden of having them on in the water? I decided the worst I could do was try. I ordered a food saver to seal the CI's in. I ordered swim caps. And yesterday, when it all arrived, we tested in out in the shower.

For the first time since Emmi was one, Emmi heard during a bath. She thought it was funny, but she only lasted a few minutes as she said it was too loud in the bathroom. All of the echoing. She hated the swim caps. That seemed to be the biggest issue. After a search online today, I found Ear Band-Its (a headband that covers the ear). Meant for kids with tubes and earplugs, but perhaps a better option for Emmi.

Later she told me, in a voice that clearly pointed out my stupidity, she doesn't need to hear to swim. Perhaps all of this was in vain. Perhaps she will decide to try it out.

Perhaps I just wasted $350, because maybe, just maybe, this is my issue and not hers.

PS Emmi does want to try it out. She just doesn't seem overly concerned with whether or not she does. If you are interested, here is the video. The swim caps are intended to hold the bag with the processor in place. I found it really hard to get the swim cap on while keeping the coil in place. I was going to attempt to make my own headband, until I found these today.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Worthy of Mention

As Emmi's struggles become less, the therapies dwindle, and the doctors' appointments space out, I find myself posting less and less often. What should I write about? How nothing has happened? But it would be a injustice to only write about the negatives, the downfalls, the hardships. Emmi has accomplished so much this past year, and that, too, is worthy of mention.

At the beginning of last year, we were still questioning the push to move Emmi on to Kindergarten. Would she be ready? Would she struggle with the curriculum, the socialization, the separation from her beloved Lisa Moore and classmates? And moving her into a mainstream classroom would be one step closer to moving her out of the only school she had known. It was scary. I never imagined at the beginning of last school year where we, she, would be now.

As I post this Emmi is sitting at the bar top in the kitchen with a friend from her new school. They are discussing their syrup preferences. On the side. On the top. If I didn't know which Emmi preferred, I would not know which child was talking. A fact that amazes me. She sounds like any other kindergartner. Sometimes mixing up "ing" and "ed." Sometimes flipping noun and adjective. But carrying on a real conversation. It feels like Emmi has arrived.

She is thriving. She is consistently performing on target or ahead in all areas. She has made huge gains recently in verbalization. Quite possibly from being exposed to a mainstream classroom, and forced into constant communication. There have been no major setbacks. No major health concerns, since this summer. No surgeries. No hospitalizations. And I realized as I fell off to sleep last night that I was no longer holding my breath, waiting for something bad to happen.

At the beginning of last year, I never imagined we would have moved and Emmi would be doing so well.