This is My "Real" Blog: When it's time to change. . . sing it, Peter!

Angie's Blog!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When it's time to change. . . sing it, Peter!

If you're like me (and I pray that most of you are not like me!) you can gauge some of the big events in your life through episodes of the Brady Bunch. Example:

"Ouch! My nose!"
"She sells sea shells by the seashore"
"A wise man forgets his anger before he lies down to sleep."
"He fits the suit."

Just about every life lesson can be taught in one form or another by the world's most famous blended family. And of course, if you know "the Bunch" you know that next line of the song title in my blog post title is ". . .it's time to rearrange. . .who you are into what you're gonna be. Sha na na na na na na na na na. . " and now you're humming and/or singing along.What? You're not singing along. . . here you go:.

Things certainly are changing around here. Kids are growing. Cast-off clothing and house sundries are being donated to the church rummage sale. Furniture is coming and going around here. And with new furniture comes the challenge of re-arranging furniture.

This afternoon, my dad brought over two new end tables that he and Stan have been working on for my house. They were made to match my entertainment center -- and they are beautiful. They have drawers built into them, along with storage space beneath the drawers. Honestly, they are beyond words gorgeous. And, very shortly after their arrival, they were put in place to be used and enjoyed. Of course, this meant moving around furniture (recliner, *my* chair, the sofa sleeper). You know...the small stuff! It's totally different, but it's starting to grow on me.

Another change (or transition) that we've muddled through this week was Caroline's IEP transition meeting today. We met with representative from her current preschool and representatives from the primary school where she will be enrolled in the fall. Mark and I actually visited the school yesterday -- and the thought of my baby girl in a sea of over 600 K-2nd graders (No, I am not kidding) is daunting. But after spending just shy of an hour in the school, I feel better.

Our meeting today was positive overall. Some of the arguments or discussions we've had with her current teacher over her progress up until today weren't an overriding factor in today's meeting. The only true disadvantage Caroline seems to have is that she has this independent (or stubborn) streak which manifests itself when she is asked to do simple tasks that she finds unimportant. We also agreed with their assessment that she's easily distracted. I'm not sure what can be done about that. She's my child, for Heaven's sake.

Hey look! A pony! See. . . ?

But, overall, the path we've carved out for her is very well suited for her current and future needs. And the best part? We can call a meeting. . . and they have to comply within 10 days. So, we'll be able to work through some of the issues as they arise.

The biggest hurdle was her entry into a "regular" Kindergarten class. The plan is for her to spend the first couple of weeks centered in the Special Education class -- but pulled out for "special" classes (Art, Music, PE, etc.). Then, after a couple of weeks (or more, if necessary) she will begin spending academic time in a true Kindergarten class. And, during those first couple of weeks, when she's pulled out for "special stuff," they'll purposely match those times with the class she will eventually be a part of.

Her goals are fairly straightforward. The biggie? They want her writing her first name by Christmas. . . .and her last name by this time next year.

She can do it. She will do it. As she likes to say, we'll do it together.

I only cried once -- and it wasn't a matter of sadness. I was just overwhelmed as I sat there in the meeting, and realized there were people (literally) all over the world praying for her. I felt those prayers while I sat in that meeting. How did I know?

I maintained my composure while hearing them say things that she "couldn't do" that I know she can do. I very gently (as did Mark) remind them that she does many (if not all) of these things at home. And I stated that our concern has shifted some, from communication skills to social interaction skills. That, my friends, was prayer in action.

Of course, when they went to her classroom to get her -- and she reunited with us, she stated very clearly, "Hi Mommy & Daddy. I want to go home with you." (And to Mark) "Are you going to take me to my home?"

Literally -- every professional in the room stopped talking. They stared at each other. Then her (new) vice principal said: "Boy, she really does talk well with you guys." They saw it. They heard it.

God answered another prayer.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we've gotten to this point. We have had some very discouraging moments, and times when we felt like we were at our wits' end. We've been concerned that the school system was just going to put her in a box -- and leave her there -- and not challenge her. They may not push her as much as we want them to -- but they're going to work with us, and that's all that matters now.

Oh! And the best "change" of today was a change I didn't have to make -- twice!

During her IEP, we talked about her need to finalize potty training. One of the teachers said something about the fact that it's probably just a matter of Caroline not feeling like it's that important. . . and something about 'autonomy' playing a role here. (Sound familiar, Beth?)

Another told a story about how with their typically developing child they just thrust him into "big boy" pants out of need (no diapers on hand) and he was literally, suddenly potty trained.

So, what did I do? Yep, you guessed it.

I pulled out her Dora the Explorer big girl panties, put a pair on her. . .and decided we'd go for it. And yes, I know this was a dangerous thing to do with freshly-cleaned carpets. But sometimes you just have to take a chance. This time. . . it paid off. Twice. She not only stayed in those undies until she got in the bathtub -- she stayed dry, and used the potty TWO TIMES from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. I am not claiming victory -- just a mini triumph!

So, there you have it. Changes are happening all around us. As I type, Mark is installing a new toilet seat for the kids' bathroom. (ugh -- I cannot describe the previous seat without throwing up a little in my mouth -- so I won't!) A new floor lamp/reading lamp is about to be assembled and installed in the living room because part of the re-arrangement leaves one corner of the living room kinda dark.

Oh, and to top all this off? Edison's voice is (finally) changing. I say "finally" because he's been getting increasingly worried about the fact that it hadn't happened up until this point. Personally, I have avoided every possible verbal interaction on this topic with him -- but this is unmistakable.

Kinda like Peter . . . and that infamous song. . . from the Brady Bunch.

See what I did there?


Blogger Hilah said...

One thing I am learning: Life is a series of changes, some good, some bad, but God is faithful to bring good from them all if I will submit to his teaching.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Life is never boring.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Yeah for new furniture.

Like I said yesterday, we all knew Caroline could do those things..but finally she proved it by talking to you all. She will be just fine at school next year and if I'm right on the teacher...she really will do wonderful.

Yeah for using the potty. She just needed to have a reason to use it...and I'm sure she doesn't want to be wet. Good luck though with the newly cleaned carpet.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve is right. Life is never boring!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Donna Cooper said...

I'm so excited that things went well at your IEP. Congratulations!
I hope next year is awesome!

And congrats too on the big girl panties. It is important for Dora to stay dry : )

1:18 PM  
Blogger Shelly W said...

I'm so glad the IEP went well for you, Angie. As someone who hates change, I can totally understand your feelings.

As to the furniture, all I have to say is "pictures please."

11:05 PM  
Blogger 20Birds said...

you must have been wondering how i stayed away from commenting on this post.. i was dying... well maybe not, but it felt like it... after all of that long post, what did i come away with? you wrote about his voice changing on your blog????? he msut really love you... and before we got that moment in your post i was laughing semi-hysterically over the line "finalizing" potty training... i will have to find new ways to use that one... but i guess the main thing is ... God is so coolio... I keep on praying for the girl

9:10 AM  
Blogger Sandy B and Dick said...

Hello from a new reader. I'm a friend of Lois, and I hear you are gonna get to meet her soon. You'll love her. I promise!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Rock 'n Roll Momma¬© said...

we had our best success with just sticking javen right in undies. pull-ups didn't seem to phase him, even the ones with the cooling sensation. we had accidents that first week, to be sure, but he adjusted pretty quickly! hopefully you'll have good luck with that method too :-D

12:45 PM  

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