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Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Break

This week was spring break and I must say, it's not like any spring break I've ever had. No beach. No swimming. No drinks by the pool. No sleeping in.

Can you say snow? And major temper tantrums. And smiles. And giggles. And, NO SLEEPING IN, did I mention that part?

Monday Kate went back to Dr. Boyd for another attempt at getting her mouth jewelry. We've been having a time of it as her mouth is just so tiny (oh the irony) and she has such sensory issues anyway that, well, it's been a thing. We were finally successful at getting the top retainer fitted and, with some love from Blue Boyd, the trip was a success all around. (How genius is it to have a dog at a dentist office?)
Monday afternoon was gymnastics and I have to say, Lucy is such a ham. She saw me through the window taking pictures and just had to wave while trying to do a backbend. Silly girl.
And then came Tuesday, the day that ended with me drinking two, well-earned margaritas (that's almost like Spring Break, right?).

The day began quite well with everyone in a good mood as we headed out to meet Jackie, Leander and his brothers at a local inflatable play area. Everyone was playing well when Lucy spotted the 20 foot high slide. The slide with no reasonable way to get to the top. Something entirely unsuitable for her age. It was a series of levels only accessible by standing on and pulling yourself up on elastic straps. The first level was right above her head and there were 5-6 levels above that with the final access to the tunnel for the giant slide another full body length above the top level.

I did not discourage her from trying, figuring she would soon figure out that it was a bit advanced. Wrong call Mama! Lucy diligently applied herself to figuring out how to master this and stayed inside while many other kids tried and then failed, falling past her to the trampoline bottom. I kept encouraging her, giving her suggestions when she asked where she should put her feet for better leverage and although her progress was slow, she was making steady upward progress.


 Along comes Kate who wants to try. Kate, who, when she isn't able to master something will take one of two tracks: 1. keep trying diligently and with intense concentration or 2. half-heartedly try but start whining and crying and flailing about while yelling, "I CAN'T DO IT!".  The latter course of action is what she generally takes when Lucy is succeeding at something faster than she is and, naturally, this is the course she chose.

I kept encouraging Kate while keeping an eye on Lucy (who is now almost 20 feet off the ground and is starting to panic). Kate goes into full-on meltdown, inches from the bottom, unable to move as her brains starts to short-circuit from too much stimulii.  

I help her out of the "cage" and try to calm her down with a hug. That is met with screaming and hitting. So...timeout for hitting Mama. Major tantrum....eliciting lots of attention from everyone in the vicinity including one woman who came rushing over and crouched down right in her face to find out what the problem was, which only made Kate's shrieking louder.

Meanwhile, Lucy is stuck at the top, about 4 feet from the top. Two older boys have lapped her twice and are approaching her again. She (I can't believe I could hear her above the din of Kate and the machines/music of Pump it up) screamed her pterodactyl scream at the boys who were literally about to climb over her. Fortunately, I was able to pull away from Kate long enough to tell her to use her words to ask the boys to help pull her up once they got into the slide tunnel.
All of this screaming and whining from Kate had already been continuing for 20 minutes so I managed to miss most of Lucy climbing so that by the time she got down the slide (which was just a blurry picture since Kate was wrestling with my legs), Lucy's whole head was sweaty and she had obviously been crying (which I couldn't hear b/c Kate was wresting my attention away).

This was the only smile I managed to get out of Lucy as the rest of the time she spent telling me how scared she was and that she cried "just a little bit". It made my heart break "just a little bit" too as this scenario happens with one or the other of them far more often than you would imagine.

She then took off with Leander for calmer waters. Jackie got a good video of another slide adventure at least!
Sliding from Lisa on Vimeo.
Kate was done, her nervous system wrecked. I spent the rest of the time sitting on the couch with her working through various methods to calm her down, none of which worked. It pretty much ruined the rest of the day as she just never fully recovered.
We had a much better time at a local park on Thursday with Lucy D. Less noise, less competition for my attention, and less time in the car all made for a calmer morning.



Today we planted jelly beans in the yard with Ms. Julie in preparation for Easter. She also shared some "fresh from the hen" eggs with us that served them well for supper tonight. We rounded up the evening outside by playing with Brandon (a sweet 7 year old from down the street whose parents moved here from China) who graciously let the girls ride his bike for a bit.



 
It's amazing how vibrant the yolks are in eggs that are raised locally, truly free-range and without antibiotics.
Tomorrow we gear up for Easter!

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