J was such a sweet little "Bugga" when she was born. For some reason E started calling her Bugga and it just fits.
She has a personality all her own and yes, she is part dinosaur. She growls and her hands become claw-like. It scares her sister! In addition to being part dinosaur, J was born with a congenital fusion of her cervical vertebrae, Klippel Feil Syndrome. She has had a few surgeries to include detethering her spinal cord, correcting a sprengel's deformity, and a tonsilectomy. She is limited physically in that she is prohibited from doing gymnastics, specifically somersaults. Absolutely no whiplash activities which means we stay away from indoor bounce facilities and trampolines. J's main challenges are in the areas of speech and eating. She has a swallowing reflex delay which means she never learned to eat things with textures that don't melt in your mouth. We spend a lot of time with a local therapist working on feeding issues. J is currently in an early intervention program for children with speech issues. Three teachers and six children in a classroom twice a week. What a dream teacher-student ratio! But it made us realize she is going to need a lot of help to catch up before being mainstreamed in our local schools. So here I am being proactive about J's development. I've visited preschool homeschooling blogs and I've started working with her every day. She's doing great, but we have a long way to go. Wish we had some practice teaching our eldest child, but she's...well, different!
E is self taught. That is everything she has learned from potty training to writing her name to crossing the monkey bars, she has needed absolutely no help from her willing parents. She didn't need our help and actually required we stay out of her way. She doesn't like help. She doesn't even like the word. Over the years, I have made various attempts to teach her things without success. She prefers to learn herself and reaches her milestones very early so who am I to question her successes? Unfortunately, her perfectionism drives my husband and I to drink. She believes she has to master a task completely and perfectly on the first try. E is such a smart girl that this has worked for so many subjects. And then there were the monkey bars. It took her a bit of time to master this all important playground skill. Every trip to the park, E would not leave the monkey bars. She forced herself to spend the entire time trying to cross again and again and again. Repeated trips to the park included blisters, tears, yellling, tears, falls, more tears...until she finally made it across the first time. I was ready to ask the city to remove any monkey bars from within ten miles of our home and actually started driving out of my way to avoid even a peek at any thing resembling monkey bars. And of course, after successfully crossing them the first time, she jumped down, ran to the swings and was finally able to enjoy a trip to the park. I was ready to throw a party! But to E, this was something she should have mastered on the first try. So as parents of E, we are always telling her to slow down. When she wants to do math equations before bed or read a 60 page book in one sitting, we sometimes have to tell her to stop...take a deep breath and someday learn that it's okay to fail.