But anyway, we went to A Place To Be to meet with the music therapists for an evaluation. First of all, such a great place to walk into. James was being super shy. And he has this new thing where he retreats into himself and becomes...a bird. I can't honestly say I blame him. He's met some awful strangers in his young life. They were all Dr so and so, or a nurse in scrubs. ;). BUT, one of the reasons we want to get him involved in this therapy is for his confidence. We are hoping that all the major trauma is behind us, and we all have to move on and act kinda normal. After a little while, he will warm up to people and start talking, but we believe that as long as you can speak in social situations, you will be ok in life. Look people in the eye, have a conversation. You're good. So, you know, acting like a bird probably won't cut it. The hard part is, it's difficult to know how far to push him, and especially in a therapy type situation. Anyway, we kind of let him do his thing for a while so they could see where the issues lie, but then had a leeetle chat with him about proper behavior. This helped a bit, but he still wasn't super into participating. They tried different instruments and made up a song about birds (which I was completely impressed with, btw). He was doing what we asked but was very upset about it. Then he sat on a stool at the piano. And, no joke, immediately started singing parts of the song with the piano, playing the keys, and repeating patterns. He was completely focused for the following 10 min, and would have stayed longer. It was a remarkable turn around. And after that he was talking into the microphone and showing Eve around. Different kid and loved it. We were then told we need to get a keyboard and a microphone because these would be key for him, and we 150% believe it after seeing what had happened. Super cool and we jump into therapy next week! I can't wait to keep you posted.
After this we headed to SMILE for a parent teacher meeting (I still giggle when I say this--seems so grown up...). First of all, one of the lovely interns watched the kids so Eve finally got time to play in the gym. I thought she was never going to leave. It was adorable. And we always love meeting with Arousha and hearing about all the amazing improvements James has made, as well as learning new things to help him develop. We still have so much to learn. This time she probably went home laughing because we, again, ended up asking parenting advice (in a therapeutic sense...I swear). The thing is, only in the last couple of months has James acted like a typical almost 5 year old. He really never did anything bad or naughty before. Because he felt awful all the time and he was so sheltered and overprotected. That's hard to break. So we are like parents who have barely been around little kids and somehow acquired a 5 year old with no prior training. We. Have. No. Idea. What. We. Are. Doing.
We are learning more with Eve. All this happens gradually and by the time they are 5, they won't behave perfectly, but the rules and consequences are in place, they work for that child, and that's your thing. We never had a thing with James. Or we just never got the chance to learn a thing. Or whatever. Basically, the first time he was little boy naughty, we were partly excited. My mom said, and I quote, that it "warmed her heart". Nice. Anyway, we are working backwards and while Tom and I are both not ones to take a lot of crap, it's hard not to smooth things over with the little one who you picture in skin and bones with tubes coming out of everywhere. But again, we are also aware that that's not great for the future. Everyone needs their ass kicked. Builds character. But we aren't always sure what's "normal" and what's happening because of James's fears or holes in his development. We're a little over sensitive too. We use Arousha to tell us what's what. Cause honestly no one else that we know knows. Got that? We are so lucky to be surrounded by such great people!
Cause, you know, parenting is hard...