Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

His Friendships Make Me Nervous

Eli has come so far in his social skills. His vocabulary is amazing and he is so smart. He’s more comfortable interacting with others at school and in our neighborhood. Although he’s had such amazing growth I am still very nervous about him making friends. Mainly because kids can be assholes.

Eli is still so very sensitive. The littlest things make him upset. Currently, our biggest issues with him is his crying. At school when he’s told to change tasks he often times gets upset and cries. If the toy he wanted to play with isn’t there, he cries. If I’m not standing on the sidewalk when he gets through the gate, he cries.

At home, if he’s not granted the snack he wants, he cries. If he’s told he has to turn off his iPad and go to bed, he cries. When we can’t go out and do the things he wants to do, he cries.

Most significantly, he cries a lot during interactions with his friends. Whenever there is the smallest disturbance with his friends, he usually ends up crying and running inside. No kidding, as I type this the boys were outside playing tag and Eli just came in crying because he was it (which he’s usually it) and he couldn’t tag the other boys and was getting frustrated so he started crying. Lately when he’s upset he tells his friend he doesn’t love him anymore, and they look at him a little funny. I’ve explained that love is for family and like is for friends. I get very nervous for him because he’s 5 now and kids that age start to judge.

One thing I would LOVE to fix Is the interactions with friends that make him upset. Sometimes Eli is justified for being upset with his friends. Often times when they play tag he is always it, he will finally tag someone and they immediately tag him back. The other kids are a little older and a lot more fast than him, it’s almost an impossible game. Sometimes, though, Eli’s fits are unjustified. One time some of the kids were getting ready to play four square. Eli didn’t want to play and continued playing with his cars. His friend told him to move over so he didn’t get hit- Eli took that as go away we don’t want you here.

So how exactly do you get your child to stop crying for non-crying situations? You can’t just tell someone to stop crying. He feels these emotions and runs with them. I love the fact that he’s so passionate; he generally enjoys life. The problem is that even though his highs are high, his lows get extremely low. The only good thing about his behavior is the blow outs never last long. When he’s upset about a situation he is usually over it within a couple minutes. For the time being, his friends seem to forget about it almost instantly, too. As soon as he’s calmed down and wants to go back outside, they welcome him.

Another issue my husband and I are noticing is that Eli isn’t standing up for himself. He is new to socialization so he just kind of rolls with whatever the other kids too. When his friend comes over here he runs the show. They do whatever he wants to do. Which is usually play with Elis Ipad or Wii. Which are both one player so Eli either watches or plays something else. All we can do for that is regulate or tell them to do something together.

Really I think my nerves are normal and to be expected. Any parent probably feels like this sometimes (right?). All I can do is guide him, give him advice, and let him learn on his own. Friendships can be hard, especially new ones. But there’s not a doubt in my mind that Eli will find some great friends that are a perfect match for him and he will be just fine.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

How to survive Spring Break


Spring break season is upon us. On the last day of school when Eli’s teacher said “See you in a week Eli!” I went into a mini panic mode. The realization hit me that I was going to be stuck in the house all day with two kids for 9 days straight. I immediately went into planning all the fun things we’d do to pass the time: go to the zoo, automotive museum, picnic at the park, splash pad. It’s now Thursday of spring break and guess how many of those we have done? ONE! The picnic at the park is the only thing we’ve accomplished so far; and I’m really not sure if eating Panda Express at a playground is necessarily considered a picnic.

Obviously I am in no position to give advice about what to do for spring break. But….who cares? I’m going to make a list of good ways to pass the time during your Childs spring break that I actually did do.

  1. Continue with education- Just because they’re on a break from real school doesn’t mean their learning should take a break too! As a parent YOU are your child’s biggest teacher!


2. Find them new friends- what better way to pass the days than to make new friends, right? They will spend the day getting to know each other and having fun!


3. Household chores- Oh, you’re bored? Well I’m doing 5 loads of laundry, vacuuming 4 rooms, doing the dishes, and cleaning the bathrooms. TAKE YOUR PICK!


4. Wear them out- personally this is the most important one. If you want your little shits to pass out at the end of the day then you need to get them outside and active. Nothing knocks a kid out better than long exposure to fresh air. 60% of the time, it works every time!


5. When they’ve done chores, played with friends, and ran around aimlessly for hours outside, it’s time for some more inside diversions. Popcorn movie party is the go to in our house. Here’s your apple juice, bowl of popcorn, and the remote; I’m going to go hide in my room until you come find me asking for a second bowl of popcorn.


6. When you’ve done all these and your kids finally pass out. It’s time to reward yourself. Whatever your vice is, indulge; you’ve earned it. For me, the answer is obviously wine.


Hopefully after doing all these steps your child should look like this and spring break should pass quickly. Before you know it your monster will be back in school.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

“That man was mean to me”

A few weeks ago I took both kids to one of Eli’s favorite parks. As I went to a bench with Camille, Eli took off under a play set. There’s a table underneath the play set and he likes s-l300to pile up fallen gum tree balls (right). As soon as he walked to the table a boy around the same age dressed in a police uniform told Eli to leave. Eli got upset and came over to me. I told him this is a playground and he can go where ever he wants. He walked back over and the boy, again, told him he had to leave and that he was the police. Another boy holding a nerf gun grabbed Eli by the arm and walked him out from under the play area and walked him towards the sidewalk. Eli started crying and I yelled at the boys to let him go.

IMG_4540Now the boys weren’t just being cruel, to everyone else they were just playing pretend. He was the police and under the play area was where they were patrolling. Keeping out bad guys. However, to Eli, they were being serious. After the boys let him go Eli came over, still crying, and said that the policeman wouldn’t let him play over there and told me how the other boy grabbed him. I explained to Eli that it wasn’t a real policeman and it was only a kid pretending. I told him that the kids were just playing pretend, a game. The look on his face told me he had no idea they were just playing. I said if they try and do that again to just tell them that you are not playing the game and you just want to play by yourself. Eli stood up and started walking away; I asked where he was going and he said “I’m going to tell them that I’m not playing with them.” The boys at this point were long gone. I told him to not worry about it unless they tried to bother him again.

Eli is one of the most imaginative boys I’ve ever met. His whole life is one big imagination land. But for as creative as he is, he didn’t recognize when other kids were doing the same thing. If he’s in on the planning of the game, he is fully on board; but walking into this situation, not knowing what the other kids we’re doing, he was completely lost. He has always been a little slow on picking up on social cues. He doesn’t always recognize when someone is upset or not interested. He often times doesn’t take situations serious and thinks it’s a game (especially when he’s getting in trouble.)

One of my first blogs was about a time we were at a park (actually the same park as this story) and Eli thought he was playing a game with these other boys but they were in fact just running away from him. He didn’t recognize that they didn’t want to play with him until he turned around and they were all gone. That situation broke my heart and it still hurts my heart watching him struggle with other kids.

I do have my reservations about Eli starting general education kindergarten and not being accepted and liked by his class mates. I think he just needs more exposure to other kids to strengthen his social skills. As a military family, we move around a lot. He doesn’t always have other kids to play with, or when he does, we end up moving away from them. He’s in preschool right now with other kids just like him. When that is over I think he might do a few weeks of summer school so he is more than comfortable when he starts kindergarten this fall. Not all of his social interactions are this way. Yesterday we were at a different playground and he played with a pair of siblings just fine. They were all having a blast until the two kids had to go home. When I asked Eli where his friends went, he said they left. Then he started crying and yelling “I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIENDS!!!” lol. He’s a great kid and a lot of fun to be around. I have no doubts that he will be able to make good friends. Maybe we just need a little practice reading people.  😉

Posted in family, Uncategorized

Finding Time for Me

I took a bit of a holiday hiatus with my blog. Our family has been very busy lately and I wanted to enjoy what little alone time I had by doing absolutely nothing. Eli took a small vacation from school and therapies as well, but I will point out that the break did not affect his progress at all. He is talking more than ever now. He is saying probably between 100-150 words. He tries to repeat everything everyone says and can read some numbers and letters on his own. Getting Eli to this point has been anything but easy; it has been a lot of hours of school and therapies and constant modeling outside of therapy. In the midst of all this I somehow found the time to complete a certification course online for medical billing and coding.

I made a blog in the past about living my life for Eli. Since we started speech therapy at 18 months my life has been completely focused on Eli; I have never made time to do something just for me. I don’t necessarily regret doing that, I think that when you become a parent your life should be focused on raising that child and giving them everything they need, and for Eli that was therapy, structure, learning sign language, etc. The mistake that I made was thinking that because Eli needed so much of my time, I didn’t have time to do anything for myself. Yes, I had very little time to myself, but it is definitely doable.

So I took the plunge and started an online program for medical billing and coding. Trying to split my time between schoolwork, taking care of the house and laundry, taking Eli to all of his therapies, going back and forth to preschool, and cooking and cleaning up dinner was very difficult. Eli still came first, there’s no way around that; after that, whenever I could fit in schoolwork, I did. I mostly did my work when Eli was at school, taking naps, and after everyone else went to sleep. From August into December all of my free time was going into my school work (and blog). Now that I finished my classes I took my couple week hiatus and I’m ready to spend time back on my blog. It was very challenging to try and get this school finished and there were many times I wanted to just stop and throw in the towel, but I’m very glad I keep pushing through. With our upcoming move I’m sure I won’t be finding a job in this field anytime soon but just knowing what I have and can accomplish is enough for me right now. It’s not easy trying to find your own life when you’re a stay at home parent, single parent, or honesty- any type of parent at all. But speaking from experience, it’s possible and it is very much worth it.

Posted in family, Uncategorized

Getting There on Your Own Time

Childhood is not a competition. As parents we shouldn’t compare our children with other kids their age; of course that’s easier said than done. It’s very difficult to not compare kids when you notice all the other kids are doing something that your child isn’t. I was so proud of Eli when he was walking with a walker at 9 months. I was very happy when he quickly and easily got off the bottle at 12 months. Then he stopped talking after his first birthday, I started comparing and I’ve pretty much been comparing since.

I wasn’t just comparing his speech, though that was the main thing. I started looking at what else Eli was behind in compared to other kids I knew. This girl can sing the alphabet song, that boy just named 10 different colors, she just wrote her own name. Then I look at my son who couldn’t do any of those things. It’s not like I needed my son to be like everyone else, I didn’t need him to know these things the same time as everyone else. What I needed was for Eli to be ready for school. My biggest concern for him was that he wouldn’t catch up in time. I wanted him to have a normal childhood as much as he could despite his delays/difficulties.

It wasn’t until recently that I started to give up on comparing Eli with other kids. In the past 6 months he went from being behind on speech, fine motor skills, letters and numbers, color, etc to being able to say over 25 words conversationally (can repeat upwards of 50 different words), signs close to 30 words, knows 10 colors, can count to 5, learned about half the alphabet, and knows close to 20 animals and most of the sounds they make. It was after this big boom of his that I realized, it doesn’t matter if Eli reaches his milestones after most other kids do, what matters is that he is reaching the milestones. Some kids diagnosed with autism never speak and my son just skyrocketed his speech in only 6 months of therapy, that is something to be so proud of. I don’t care what the other kids are doing anymore, I just care that my son just wrote letters on his chalk board all by himself. Seeing the proud smile on his face afterwards is a great feeling.

Posted in family, Uncategorized

School days

Eli is over one week into his first semester of preschool and he loves it (Thank God!). I was very worried about him being ok going somewhere without me. In the past when he went to daycare he would either be happy to go by himself or he would cry and wail when I would turn to leave; it was very hit or miss. This time around he hasn’t cried once, well, except the first day when we came to pick him up (he didn’t want to leave!). I guess when they’re ready, they’re ready!

I do have a lot of concerns about this preschool so far. The whole thing just seemed very unorganized to me. Keep in mind, this is my first child and first time dealing with schools/preschool. I was, and am still, very unsure of how everything works. After meeting with the speech therapist at the school and being told they would like to enroll him in the integrated developmental preschool while we wait for a new IEP, I was just kind of forgotten. Weeks went by without hearing from anyone. I called the school district and was told I needed to come in and register him (who was going to tell me that? I had no idea.) After he was all registered, again I heard from no one. I had to, yet again, reach out to the school and told them I don’t even know the times and days of my son’s class. Do they potty train? Do I bring diapers? Does he get a lunch or snack? I finally got in to meet with someone and got to ask all my questions. I just found it odd, am I the only parent who has asked these questions?? There was no open house or orientation before school began. How are his teachers supposed to know that he signs? That he’s not potty trained? One parent came to pick up their son on the first day and the teacher asked her why she didn’t pack a lunch and the lady told her she didn’t know they served lunch! Class is only 9:30a-12p. Of course all of that information and my questions were all answered in a parent letter in the children’s backpack. How does that help us prepare for the first day of class though?? I have never even seen his classrooms; we meet the teachers out front of the school and they walk the kids back to the classroom. The whole thing is just bizarre.

But staying in the positive, Eli loves going to school so far. His teacher and aids are very friendly! One of the classroom aids told me he made a friend and they played together on the playground. They said he is the best eater in the class and he does very good with his signs. He has come so far in the last for months with all of his therapies and things can only get better after five days a week of socialization with other children and adults. Here’s to a great school year everyone!