Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Vacation

I have to remember in the thick of things to sit back and write sometimes. Steven is growing so fast, before I know it he'll be four, and we'll be celebrating another Mickey-mouse themed birthday. Or perhaps Doc McStuffins. I have been replaced (for about a half-hour at a time) in my son's heart! It's cute, though. Except when he's giggling at 3 am for no reason. Well, that's cute...but you're so sleepy you can't really fully appreciate it. He's bouncing around the living room now.

So I decided to keep Steven home for the summer. The school he was transferred to when we moved was sub-par, and I found myself increasingly angry as he came home having lost all the progress he made with his first school. A friend of mine says I focus too much on abstract terms like "progress", but for Steven this is everything. I won't be around forever, and I surely cannot count on family to be there for him. So I have to teach him to be as independent as possible. Luckily that spirit is already within him.

I had a few reservations about keeping Steven at home first, but I'm so glad I did. He's doing much better at potty training (and I will demand that his new school take him potty, instead of telling me they don't have time!), he gets so excited when he goes pee-pee. I got some of the baby signing time videos, and he LOVES Ms. Rachel. He'll even sign "eat" from time to time. That's the only sign I can get out of him most of the time, but he has so many other ways of communicating, it's okay. I want to get him an ipad, but I can't afford it.

So many changes in Steven's life, and so many changes to come. I am keeping two young boys now, to bring in extra income. The income definitely helps, as my son and I are temporarily not eligible for the government assistance we were receiving. This evens it out I am still waiting for my disability (hence the break in assistance), and with that independence. When that comes, I'll be able to live on my own with Steven. Sadly, it has become necessary to separate from Steven's father. I feel really badly, because Steven loves his dad, and I don't know how much big Steve will be in his life after the split, but the man's issues are entirely too much for me and his child. Steven has enough challenges to face, he should not have to witness abuse or violence. Thank God I am strong enough to make my way out now. I just hope that his father gets the help he needs. I only came back because I thought it was best for our son. He hates seeing either of his parents leave, and the guilt over that is difficult. But the ramifications of living in a house full of tension are far worse for my dear child. Best to get my personal independence and peace now, so that I can continue to be stable for Steven.

Because honestly, I'm the only one who has been.

Back to the "playmates" that Steven has each day:

Steven definitely enjoys his playmates, aged 3 and 5. He gets excited if he's awake in the early mornings when they come. He engages in parallel play with them, and sometimes joins them. I so do not regret keeping him home for the summer. Still, it is difficult at times, trying to get one child who is only a week older than him, and his older brother to understand just how Steven is different. I am currently facing a challenge as a childcare provider, in which my two charges want to be able to get away with some of the same things Steven does. I have to find a way to explain to them how Steven's mind works, without disparaging my child. This world thinks in such black and white terms, and I don't know that young children (at least ones this young) can really understand. But we shall see.

My birthday was last weekend, and Steven surprised me and his father. I do so hope that Steven's father will allow us to co-parent and be friends for the sake of our child. He is so precious, this little one. Steven surprised me by first touching my birthday cake, then eating a crumb and licking the icing. He drank out of a straw. He tried ketchup. I'm so glad that he has awesome table manners. In fact, he's pretty much an angel in public. Though we did have a scene last Saturday. We were riding the bus home, and big Steve got off at Walmart to pick up something for me. Little Steve saw him leave, and how I know how the parents feel, whose kid(s) flip out on the bus. It took a couple of miles to calm him down. I don't know whether it's seeing his father leave, or just the change in "routine" (daddy's always here, I may not pay him attention but he's here) that bothers him. I hope to be able to find out, so that I can give him the comfort he needs.

Well, the day has begun. My charges are awake.

My little angel...growing up. He was smug about 
going potty in this pic...

So many surprises...

Steven playing with the train set my mother got him....