Thursday, July 9, 2009

giggly girlfriend

I caught Abby giggling and got it on video! She giggled on and off for the at least 20 min! It was hilarious! As awful as cranky Abby is, giggly girl is so worth the trip down to come back up. I only wish I had a clue why she is so awesome. If only we could put a finger on why. Andy's best estimations involve the sun and warmer weather... he! he! He may be right, but not entirely likely. It's always worth some comic relief though. We even sat in the ER on the 4th of July because she had nearly purely bloody urine, and she couldn't have been happier. She even laughed when they did the ultrasound on her stomach and back. I've seen her teeth more in the past month than the rest of the months in the past year put together! Sure, she still hits, pinches and pulls hair while banging her own head, but she's also kissing the babies on occaision and being generally enjoyable. I sometimes wonder if we just get used to her behaviors or if they really improve? It's probably a combination of that and we're seeing a behavior specialist along with a doctor of pharmacology and a sensory specialist to address her "behaviors", and in doing so feel better about doing something instead of just sitting idle and just wondering what to do.

It's such as different view of parenting I'm seeing for the first time. I've always known that there really aren't any resources on stuff like this, but all the stuff we've read on parenting typical kids is the opposite of what we need to do for her. I'm always trying to get to the "why" behind a behavior. It doesn't make sense to keep correcting a child's behaviors instead of changing the heart so they can regulate themselves, but with Abby we may never know exactly why she does things so we have to just let her know that we won't allow her unsocial "forms of communication" (ie. hitting scratching, pinching) and hopefully replace them with something more appropriate. It all seems a bit overwhelming, but having a plan of attack always makes me feel better. I'm much better with a plan. I get really frustrated when my bag of tricks is empty. I've been at a loss for so long that it's hard not to feel like a failure in many ways. I've always thought I was pretty good at the whole parenting thing, so maybe this is just God's way of humbling me.

It seems like all the blame ends up on my shoulders when she's doing poorly. I've had quite a few people say it's probably because she wants more time with mom. Maybe so, but does that mean that my other girls don't get a mom in the process or Andy loses his wife? Who gets the short end of that stick? Or do I spend the next eighty years on the floor with her? Is that realistic? And what if something happens to me (which is inevitable). Isn't it best to push her to more and more independence even if it isn't the kind we are used to? Is it selfish to not just drop the rest of my world for the rest of my life to tend to a child stuck as a toddler like most moms do for around four years?

I just wish they had a book on how all this odd behavior affects siblings and how to shield them from it. They share my frustrations, I know, but it just doesn't seem right to be correcting for getting too close to her and startling her or taking her guard down in the car so she can reach her. I find myself fussing at Belle because she forgot to get her pillow shield up and she's crying because Abby is pinching her. Unfortunately, they don't make a car wide enough so Abby's long arms can't reach the person sitting next to her.

Well, whatever the reason for the return of "Happy Abby" I am grateful. I will enjoy this time because me of all people know it can end just as quickly and without warning as it comes. To lock eyes on hers and have her lean in for a kiss is priceless. I've let go enough to share her with the world. I've tried to keep her all to myself, but found God has a plan for her life in conjunction with so many others... not just mine. It turns out she's not just my secret blessing, but a blessing to be shared. It might be tough trying to figure out what that looks like, but I'm willing to endure the process. Entering our world the Lord has a plan for her life. He created her to be exactly who she is and He will be glorified in her. She is able to touch lives in ways I never could.

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