Friday, April 04, 2008

Family Update

I figured now seemed a good time for a family update... I have no idea why, however. Haley: She's doing well. Though she's developed this habit over the last few weeks of calling me and Kelsee by our first names. Kelsee says this happened just after Cameron got here, so about a month ago. I didn't notice the habit until last weekend. Anyway, it got so bad on Sunday, I don't think Haley called me Dad or any derivative thereof without prompting the whole day. I finally got irritated enough to "talk about it", which never really works. Among my very rational arguments: 1. Appeal to her sense of being special (as in privileged). "No one else has the right to call us Mom and Dad. Just you." 2. Encourage respect. "We are your parents; we deserve it." 3. Invoke pity. "We waited eight years for someone to call us Mom and Dad." 4. Default parental response. "Because we said so." The following day, Haley was a major pill all day, smart-mouthed, sassy and rude, to the point that she and Kelsee had a "come to Jesus" meeting on Tuesday morning which included a round of "good mom brushing your hair/evil mom brushing your hair" after Haley accused Kelsee of being the meanest mom ever. Haley liked "good mom" better. She seemed to have lost her desire to call us Kelsee and Jason, until she got mad at me last night and called me that. *Sigh* Really, though, she's been fairly pleasant for some time. We've decided that she's beginning to recognize that she's unable to do some things or unable to do them as well as other kids her age. This is probably most apparent when we go to the playground or when she goes to gymnastics. Haley is the oldest in her class, and is one of the few that can't do handstands. Other kids her age are in the older class and doing much more advanced techniques. She used to enjoy gymnastics and couldn't wait for it, but she went last Tuesday for the first time in nearly a month. She was indifferent towards it when she got home, but mentioned she hated doing handstands. This might be the part of all of Haley's issues I most emotionally dread. We try to encourage her to do her best and help her focus on those things she does well: she is very artistic (you should see the concentration and designs she makes with fuse beads) and has a very nice singing voice. Listening to her sing is very pleasant; plus listening to her gives me the chance to realize how suggestive the words to all my favorite songs are. I'm mortified. Cameron: For the most part we are all adjusting. He did well with his grades during the first few weeks he's been here. We finally got him down into his room, even though it's not completed. He was definitely glad to be there. The only major sticking point is church. He doesn't want to have anything to do with it, and has mentioned he's disruptive, I'm sure in an attempt to get "kicked out" of it. Among my very rational arguments for why he has to go: 1. Appeal to his sense of being special (as in privileged). "It's what makes our home and family different (i.e. happy) from so many others." 2. Encourage goodness. "It's the right place for you to be; it's good for you." 3. Teach patience. "It's only five hours out of 168 in the week." 4. Default parental answer. "Because we said so." We're all still adjusting. We've learned that Cameron's palette is very similar to my mom's. He's willing to try new foods (and I think we've gotten out of the "Ewwww!" stage), but he just can't seem to handle spicy or very savory dishes. We are no strangers to sensory issues in our house. We've also learned that he likes to feel like he has control over something in his life. Trying to give that to him, but still exert the necessary parental controls is a whole nother matter. Kelsee: Doing OK. She had some old pains in her back and legs this last week, so that is a little discouraging. I think she and her mom are getting back into the custom clothing thing after a little hiatus. Haley came home with two new outfits, and Kelsee mentioned that they also made few boys' outfits. I'm unable to discern Kelsee's renewed interest level, but her mom seems to be gung ho. We'll see. Me: Doing OK. Missing teaching more than I thought. (Long story, but ultimately it comes down to state budget cuts in post-secondary education and the decision to give low level classes back to full-time faculty to minimize adjunct costs.) Hopefully, this is only a short term thing. I played ball on Wednesday after missing the previous week because of my pulled back muscle (see previous post). Felt good to be up and running, if that's what you can call what I do. Probably more like up and shuffling. My boycott of baseball because of the steriods thing lasted all of a month. Then I read the following sentence: "The Braves -- yeah, the Braves -- are our pick to win the World Series." (Jayson Stark, (Full article.) I'm so easy.

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