Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking Care of Business

Sometimes I feel like a slave.  Or a short order cook.  Or something.

When Haley is home and awake I am at her beck and call.  If she wants something to eat or drink she comes to me.  It doesn't matter who else is home.  Who else is sitting right next to her.  She comes to me.

Lately I have been trying to get her to do more for herself.

The other night she wanted some juice.  It was getting pretty close to bedtime and I really didn't want her having another glass of anything.

I said No.

She whined, like she does.  Then I said "If you are thirsty get a glass out of the cupboard and put some water in it."

I got a grunt.

So I walked up behind her and I showed her where the glasses are kept in the cupboard.

She knew that already.

Then I showed her how to turn on the water.

She knew that already.

Then I showed her how to hold the glass under the water.

She knew that already.

I said "See, you have a drink of water."

Well, apparently that was all it took.

The next time she wanted a glass of juice and I didn't want her to have one I said "Get yourself a glass of water."  And she did it.  She has done it about four times in the last week or so.

Just a few minutes ago I heard her go to the cupboard and get a glass.  She got herself a drink of water.  She didn't ask me for anything.

She just did it.

I am so proud of her right now.  She can take care of business.

I should have known that already.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Countdown

I didn't tell her.  Her Dad says he didn't tell her.  And as upset as her Big Sis is I am pretty sure that she didn't tell her.

Somehow she just knows.

We are planning a trip to visit my Mom in Montana.

She just started talking about it one day.  She wanted me to write it on the calendar.  I decided to count down to the day that we would leave.  So instead of just pointing to the day that we plan to leave I wrote the numbers of days until we leave on the calendar.  That was back when there were twelve days to go.

It took Haley several days to get that concept, but I think she has it now.

She really wants to pack.

She keeps making piles of DVDs.  Her toy purses have been packed solid for awhile now.

I told her we would pack when there were three days left.

If she asks I point to the calendar and say "What day is today?"  when she points to it I ask her what the purple number is.  The purple number is the number of days until we leave.  Then I say "When we are on the day with the purple three that is the day we will pack."


It is getting close.

I wonder if she will notice.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You Are Correct!

So, all week long when Haley gets home she says "School tomorrow?"

And I answer "Yes, there is school tomorrow."

Then she says "Stay home."

I say "You can stay home on Saturday."

She says "Sunday."

I say "Well, yes, you will stay home on Sunday too."

"School tomorrow?"

"Yes, you have school tomorrow."  I say.  Then I usually head her off by asking her about her day or asking her to put her shoes away or sometimes I just clap and say "Yay!"

Well, today when she got home I thought it would be fun to turn the tables on her.  I said "Do you have school tomorrow?"

And she said "Yeah."

I said "No, Haley, there is no school tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Saturday." 

She said "Yay!  Stay home!"

I said "Yes, you will stay home tomorrow."

A little while later her Dad came downstairs and said "Haley, is there school tomorrow?"

She said "Yeah."

He said "No.  There is no school tomorrow, it is Saturday."  Then he asked her again.  "Do you have school tomorrow?"

She said "Yeah." again.  Then he said "No, you don't have school tomorrow."

Well, then I got in on the act and I asked her to repeat after me.  I said No.  I asked her if she could say No.  She seems to have a problem with the word No.  Eventually we got her to say it.  Then we asked her again.  "Haley, is there school tomorrow?"

She sheepishly replied "No."

We both yelled and jumped up and down.  I gave her a high five and we danced around hugging.  Then of course, her Dad asked her again.

And again she said "No."

We did it all over again.  We had gotten through to her.

The test came when her Big Sis got home about fifteen minutes later.  When she had come in to the kitchen and greeted her sister I asked Haley the question one more time.  She said "No."  I whooped and hollered and jumped around.  Her sister gave me a look, but she got it.  She knows the history with that word.  She asked her several times and each time she answered correctly.  Then she asked her if there will be school on Monday.

Haley said "No."

We both told her that she did in fact have school on Monday.  Then Big Sis asked her about the following Friday, which is a conference day. 

Haley said "Yeah."

Big Sis said "No."

I said "I think you are confusing her."

She asked her about tomorrow a couple more times.  Then I decided to record her. 

I wanted proof!

video

Misunderstandings Part 2

or

Why I hate the word Case.

Haley loves her grandparents.  That's nice.  Haley likes to visit her grandparents.  That's nice.  Haley is obsessed with visiting her grandparents and won't stop talking about it.

That's not so nice.

In fact it is driving me crazy.

If you have read this blog at all you will know that this is nothing new.  This has been going on for quite some time.  We have breaks occasionally, but it is pretty much the status quo around here.

At any given time, maybe she hasn't mentioned going to her grandparents house, I may say something innocent like "Where is the case for that DVD?" or "In that case..." or "I like this iPhone case." and Haley goes ballistic.

"CASE.  CASE.  CASE." she yells.

Now, I don't know why she yells.  I don't know why she repeats herself.  I don't know why she get mad immediately.  I don't know why she doesn't just listen to the context of the sentence and understand that I am not talking about packing the Suitcase.

Sometimes if I say "Where is the case for this DVD?" she immediately thinks I mean that she should pack all of her DVDs into the Case that we use to pack DVDs that we are taking to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

I know that is what she is thinking.  I know that is what she wants to do. 

What she says is "CASE.  CASE.  CASE."

I say something like "No, Haley.  We are not packing.  We are not going anywhere."

Of course that doesn't help.  She just keeps yelling. 

Do you realize how many times in any given day you might say the word Case.  I would be willing to bet that it is a lot.  I seem to say it frequently, and believe it or not, innocently. 

And I have a legitimate reason to avoid it.

So, if I stop and think about what I am saying, I find myself thinking of new words to use instead.  Like the Box that the DVD goes in.

It can be exhausting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Misunderstandings

Our lives seem to be filled with them lately.

I don't know if it is because Haley is understanding more so I am pushing the envelope or if she is starting to understand less.

It is happening frequently and it seems to be more upsetting to her now.

And to me too.

Like yesterday afternoon.

Haley likes to have popcorn when she gets home from school.  I make a microwave popcorn that only has oil in it, so no dairy or artificial flavors.  I usually dump the bag in to a larger bowl and then take handfuls of popcorn and put them into a smaller bowl for her to eat from. 

I do this for two reasons.

1.  Her Dad likes to eat some popcorn too.  If there was just one bowl she would eat it all likety split.

2.  If I just dumped the bag into a bowl she would eat it all likety split, unpopped kernals and all.

The unpopped kernals eventually make their way through, but I like to avoid that step.

So, Haley finished her small bowl and then brought me both her empty bowl and the big bowl.  She wanted me to put some more popcorn into her small bowl for her.  I started to do that and then I thought "She could do that herself." 

So I started to show her how to take handfuls of popcorn out of the bowl big bowl.  Then I thought "I dumped the unpopped kernals into the garbage can today."  I was trying to head off the eating of the unpopped kernals by getting rid of them entirely.

My thought continued "She could just eat the popcorn out of the big bowl."

So I said "Why don't you eat the popcorn out of this bowl (holding up the bowl with the popcorn in it) and put this bowl by the sink (holding up the small bowl.)"

She took the bowls and walked away.

Then I heard a weird sound.

I got up and headed to to kitchen.  There she was standing at the sink making a sad sound and looking down in to the sink.  I walked up behind her and realized what she had done.  She had dumped the popcorn in to the sink and put both bowls on the counter next to it. 

She was looking at the sink with a sad look on her face. 

Then she looked at me.

"Haley, that is not what I meant." I said.

And don't freak out...

I picked the popcorn out of the sink and put it in the small bowl and handed it to her.  She still looked very sad, but she walked away carrying her bowl.

I couldn't make this stuff up.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Should I Apologize?

That is a rhetorical question.

Maybe a better question would be "Should I feel sorry?"

Let me explain.

This week is a testing week at my daughters' school.  The testing is for sophomores.  My daughters are not sophomores.  One is a freshman and one is a junior.  So the testing does not apply to them.

I got a phone call from the school telling me that only the sophomores need to go to school at the regular time (7:30 a.m.) and that all of the other students don't have to be there until 9:30 a.m.  Then the voice on the message said that the buses would be running on the regular schedules.

What?

Well, Haley's Big Sis was all over that.  

She would not be going to school until 9:30 a.m.  Done deal.  She also wants to drive to school all week, because that would be for convenient for me.  Sweet thing.  (Can you hear the sarcasm when you read that?)

That is just fine, but I was still stuck on the buses running at regular time while my child doesn't need to be there until 9:30 a.m.

So yesterday morning I asked Haley's bus driver what was up.  Would she be picking Haley up in the morning this week or not?  She told me that she would check and let me know when she brought Haley back in the afternoon.

So I waited.

When the bus came around the corner I ran out to talk to her.  She said that Haley had a note from the teacher, but the gist was that Haley could go to school at regular time and the bus would come and get her or I could take her later.  It was up to me.

So I asked her if Haley would have something to do.  Would the teacher and helpers be there for her?  The answer was Yes.  

So I said "See you in the morning."

What would you have done?

Another rhetorical question.

I did what I did for several reasons.  

Believe me there was a little voice inside my head saying "You could sleep in every day this week!"  

But, there was another little voice inside my head that said "Haley won't."

So, if Haley is up and the bus will come to get her and her teacher is there for her she is going to school.

Done deal.



Monday, March 12, 2012

Not Quite Enough

During dinner last night Haley was pointing to a model of the Daylight steam engine in her Historic Rail catalog.  It was a model of the engine when it was painted red, white and blue as the American Freedom Train. 

She wanted to know how many dollars it was.  I looked and told her it was $185.00.

She pointed at several other things in the catalog during dinner.  Some videos and some puzzles and a t-shirt.

After dinner I was in my office when I heard a sound that I didn't recognize. 

I went in to the kitchen to find that Haley had dumped her wallet on to the island and was counting her money.  She was counting it one, two, three even though she had many different kinds of coins.

I reminded her the difference between the coins.  We talked about the dime being 10 cents and the nickle being 5 cents and the penny being 1 cent.  Then I helped her count her change.  She had 85 cents.

She pointed to her catalog again and said "Money."

"Haley, that model is $185 dollars.  You have 85 cents.  That's not even 1 dollar."

I know she doesn't get it. 

I don't know when she ever will, but she is definitely thinking.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This is what happens...

...when I don't post in a while.

People are asking me for posts.  Several people in the last week have upbraided me (politely) for not posting.

Here is my problem.  I am a little late with the posts.  Lots of things have been happening around here.  Now I can't decide what to write about, where to begin.  I want to tell you everything, but I know I should be picky.  I am a procrastinator.  This is my life.

So, this is what you missed:

Haley is on the Honor Roll at her High School.  She has a 4.0 grade point average.  I am sure she will be valedictorian when she graduates. :)

Haley has pooped on the toilet, not once, but four separate times in the last couple of weeks.  It is a big deal around here.  We all high five and yell.

On Sunday I was out of the house most of the day and when I went upstairs I was greeted with a toy explosion.  ALL of Haley's toys were ALL over the second floor.  She had been busy.

Haley is a teenager.  You know how teenagers can be.  She has an attitude sometimes.  For some reason the attitude is directed at her Father more than anyone else.  She grunts when he asks her something.  She pushes him away when he gets too close.  Last night he was walking by her as she sat at the dinner table on his way to sit down and she punched him.  She punched him, um, you know where...he yelled and landed on the floor.  I tried not to laugh.  Haley's Big Sis tried not to laugh.  He tried not to laugh.

It wasn't funny...really...it wasn't.  Hee, hee, hee.

Don't tell her I told you this, but Haley's Big Sis enjoys putting Hannah Montana songs on her computer and playing them loud so that Haley can dance around the kitchen singing.  And boy does she!

Haley got a notebook for Christmas from our neighbor.  It is so cute.  It has her name on it and it came with a pen.  Haley likes to write and draw in her notebook.  She likes me to write words so that she can trace them.  She had her Grandma write some words in her notebook when we were visiting them.  She wrote Grandma and Grandpa in the notebook.  She only wrote it on one page, in hindsight it might have been better to write on several pages because Haley looks at that page and points at that page and talks about that page so much that it is very dog-eared.  I am afraid that it will soon fall out of the notebook.

Haley still wants to go tent camping at the Tree Farm.  She talks about it everyday.  We have the words Tent, Camping, Fire and Tree Farm on the Magic White Board.  It is only a matter of time.

So...Life is good.  Haley is busy.  She improves at everything just a little bit every day.

And that is what you've missed.

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