Monday, June 4, 2012


I'm trying to concentrate on this post and all I can focus on is the "Hound Dude" song from Fox and the Hound II blaring in the background at, let's see, 10:00 pm at night.  I guess there goes the 9 pm bedtime! I guess in a perfect world my kids would be in bed at the same time EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, but if I make lemonade from lemons, at least Taj is finally sleeping in his own bed again. It all started when that sly little dog climbed in our bed after a bad dream one night, on my side. Eventually that turned into every night and I immigrated to Taj's twin bed that flopped like jello every time my big rump tossed and turned trying to get comfortable. Well after three months of that we thankfully got Taj back in his own bed!
We've been spending our days at the park every day. I can tell too judging by the dirt under Taj's finger nails and toe nails and my sweet farmer's tan and funky tan lines on my feet. It really helps Taj to go outside and run around for at least a few hours each day. Otherwise, the tantrums are mega dramatic and a lot more frequent, and he won't go to bed.  Add all that up and he's mad and I'm super irritated.
We had his end of year evaluation for school and he definitely qualifies for preschool next year too. He's made a lot of progress as far as speech, but I was surprised to hear that he is only understanding questions and commands directed toward him with 11% accuracy. I think he understands a lot more than we think he does because he doesn't verbalize his thoughts like other kids, but it would definitely explain why it's so dang hard a lot of the time to get him to do things. He learns visually, so I guess we need to be more focused on showing him how we do the things that we ask him to do. He is also still behind cognitively, so we are really hoping to be able to catch him up with the other kids by the time he starts kindergarten.
He is still very difficult to deal with when it comes to clothing. He HATES new clothing and it's pretty impossible to get him to wear anything new that we get him. The hard part is that he HAS to wear the new clothes/socks/shoes because he's either grown out of them or worn them out. We can't force him because he won't stop screaming and carrying on about it for at least a couple hours.  He is so overly sensitive to the way things feel on his skin. The new trick I've tried is hiding a few of his old things and pulling out a few new things and letting him choose what he wants to wear. He throws a fit at first and when he looks for his old clothes and can't find them, he will eventually choose something new to wear. This works with everything but socks and shoes.

 Taj at the Rocky Mountain Raceway track. Brannon told him to put his hands over his ears because the cars were super loud. This time he obeyed:)

Today at Payless he threw an epic fit when I tried to get him to choose a pair of sandals for the summer. He's worn completely through the soles of his cowboy boots.  He tried on a pair of brown boots for girls and of course that sparked the fit when I wouldn't let him have those. I bought him a pair of sandals and I'm planning on hiding the boots tomorrow. It may take us a few days and a lot of fits for him to try on the new sandals. I'm hoping by the end of the week that he'll actually want to wear the sandals. Why not just buy another pair of boots you say? Well I would, but his feet get hot and he ends up taking his shoes off outside and burning holes in all of his socks. He now just wants to wear socks outside as his shoes. Obviously, that is not going to happen and he doesn't like being barefoot outside, so I'm really hoping that the sandals work out soon! He is still pretty darn adamant about sticking to his routines too. He's only OCD about his morning and his bedtime routine, so I guess we can be thankful for that!
Taj makes up for like three kids at least I think! He might be tougher than most kids to raise and some days I feel the whole weight of that on my shoulders. Some days I lose my patience and I feel like a bad mom. Some days I just want to cry and I wish so badly that he could tell me what he wants or tell me what he did at school or what he learned in primary or why he's sad or what he wants to do today or tell people how old he is or what his name is. I get tired of the strange looks when Taj just stares at them and says nothing or when he does his quirky and strange hand gestures and makes weird noises around other kids because he gets so excited to play with other kids and hearing other moms say, "Be gentle!" and then give me hard looks because what kind of mom doesn't control her child? I am hoping and praying desperately that we can make a lot of progress before he starts kindergarten . I know how mean kids can be to kids that are different and I have already seen that happening to Taj and it breaks my heart because he can't understand why the other kids don't want to play with him at the park. It's so hard watching that. Every once in awhile there will be a kids that takes to Taj and wants to play with him and makes an effort to get him involved. I am so thankful for kids like that and for their parents. I want to teach my kids to be like that. Nobody should be shunned because they seem weird  or off or whatever it is. This applies to us adults too. If you really think about it, how can we judge someone when we don't even know their story? When we don't know what they are going through or their struggles or the circumstances that brought them to their present situation. It's not fair. It's not right. It's especially not right for kids to do that to other kids. It's very hurtful and can change somebody's life forever in a bad way. Watching how other people react to Taj has really brought attention to the way that I treat others. That's one area that I've made a priority to do better in because I know that my kids are watching and I don't want them making the same mistakes I have. I want them to learn to love people for who they are and get to know their story before they make any judgments. So I guess if I want my kids to be better, then I need to focus on being better.


Brian and Megan said...

Your post broke my heart. I have had some similar feelings raising Gavin. He is so picky about his clothes, shoes, and socks. Sometimes it takes an hour to get his socks on "just right" and get him to quit whining. He hates change of any kind! We have not had the speech difficulty though and I imagine that is so hard. I am grateful that Gavin is slowly growing out of some of this. I hope Taj does soon too for your sake and his. Sometimes I feel like Gavin is just so stubborn too. I read a book that helped me so much. I don't know if you have heard of it. It is by Elder Russel M. Neilson's second wife. It is available at Deseret Book. I can't remember the title but is is something about Answers to Life's Questions. It gave me so much perspective about trials in life and raising kids. I have not been through what you have but I can imagine the heart ache. You are a good mom. Hang in there!

Janice Twitchell said...

Taj is so lucky to have you for his mommy. You are so patient and loving, and it takes an amazing person to go through the daily trials you are going through. But Taj is so lucky that you "get it" and have the right perspective. A lot of kids get shunned by their own parents for their being "different." those parents leave it up to the school teachers to help them make progress. You and Bran are so great with Taj. He is a great kid and we miss him! I wish we lived closer because my kids talk about him tons. They miss playing with him! Hopefully we can see you guys soon and get together.
Hang in there Chelle, you're such a great mommy and you have two amazing kids to show for it. Love you! xoxox.

Cherish said...

Bravo Michelle! You are Taj's mom for a reason! Knowing your story makes me want to be more careful about how I may appear to judge others too. I hope my kids will seek out the down trodden and lowly kids and befriend them too!
Way to look on the upside of life :)

Kathryn said...

Sometimes motherhood can be so challenging- although mothers may not admit it. We sometimes put on faces that all is well, but when it really gets down to it, we are all struggling, just in different ways. I appreciate your honesty. I'm sure there are others that wish they could express themselves like you, but don't have the courage. Keep up the good work, and best wishes.