June, 2008

Sam is sick again with tonsillitis but at least he's not seeming completely out of it. A couple days ago he did something that warmed my heart and even brought tears to my eyes (because let's face it, I'm rather prone towards sappiness): he spilled a bowl of rice cakes and pretzels, then went very purposefully to get the broom and dustpan, swept it all up, and threw it away. Both Håkan and I were very impressed (especially because his temp at the time was 39C).
Nina is having trouble understanding why Sam doesn't want to run around quite as much as he usually does. Both of them are having fun intermittently doing their own version of skateboard tricks. Nina went to All Soul's Church last Sunday with me and came home singing some songs from Sunday school. Håkan is not sure about that but I think it's pretty cute. She is into singing in general at the moment and is making up songs about all sorts of things.
Today both kids helped me take down a bush in the front garden which we ended up cutting way back at our neighbour's (good) suggestion. Later on we spent time in Richmond Park where there was some shade (it is finally summery here).

On Tuesday we took Nina to be assessed by Dr. Okamoto, one of the borough pediatricians. After about an hour, Dr. Okamoto told us that her impression is that while Nina has some behaviors that may seem autistic, she has very good eye contact and joint attention, and does not seem to have a diagnosis of autism. Dr. Okamoto said that there are some gross and fine motor concerns that can be dealt with by the OT department. She will also refer us on for some help with behavior, especially in regard to sleeping.

This Tuesday Nina came home from Pebbles looking a bit flushed but I chalked it up to sun. Today, however, when I woke her up from a very rare nap (due partly to her waking up at 5:30am) and told her it was ballet time, it turned out her temp was 38.7C, a clear fever. When I told her she was too ill to go to ballet she was extremely upset so I gave her some Calpol and off we went. Today for the first time I peeked through the spots in the glazed window where many of the other moms peek and was rewarded with a glimpse of astounding cuteness. Nina is clearly very taken with ballet and I will be very excited to see her in the show on July 12th.
The visit with Dr. Okamoto had some interesting consequences. To begin with, I realized that I have probably been taking an approach to discipline with Nina that was appropriate for Sam but is not so appropriate for Nina. Nina is much more like three year olds in general and probably needs far clearer guidelines than Sam did/does. The resulting lack of diagnosis also caused feelings about Sam's diagnosis to resurface especially in terms of his diagnosis's effect on Nina both now and in the future. Mostly it brought up further anxiety about meeting the challenges of parenting two very different kids adequately. Luckily I have a mini cheerleading team; Nina sometimes hugs me and tells me I'm the best mommy ever. (Awwwww....)
I believe it was the visit with Dr. Okamoto that made me finally decide to try to cut out night nursing. So last Friday night Nina cried for about two hours before finally going to sleep listening to us count. The following night she didn't argue at all, but since then it has been sort of up and down, with the low point this morning at 5:30 when she wouldn't go back to sleep. Now it turns out she is sick, so tonight she can nurse if she wants, and then I guess I'll have to be hard-core again. Being hard-core has its pros and cons, and I have to admit that I am not sure the pros outweigh the cons. I guess that's part of the problem, but there you have it.
Nina announced on Tuesday that Agatha is her best friend which I found very encouraging. She seems to be doing better and better at Pebbles and I am so happy to have seen the side garden, which turns out to be a lovely space (I was sure it was small, cramped, and dreary, when in fact it is just the opposite).
Sam has been having a bit of a tough time at school the past few days. His second LSA, Mrs. Neal, fell while helping him on the jungle gym and sprained her ankle quite badly. He has been without an LSA the past couple days and yesterday was clearly at the end of his rope. Happily today he got a replacement LSA who will cover until Mrs. Neal returns, that made his day today a much better day. He is getting excited about his sixth birthday party which is coming up in just a little over a week!