Friday, June 17, 2011

Then & Now


Miss Lizzie had a tough day today. And when she has a tough day, I usually do too. We've come far from when we didn't even know what was going on and the days where she could not communicate with us what was going on.

Then, Lizzie would strike out at people. Now she cries and can tell us when she is hurt or needs something. Then, she would bang her head against the floor. Now she tries to tell us what is going on, but even now she struggles to communicate with me what is really bothering her so I have a difficult time knowing if she's really hurt or if she's just frustrated. Then she would do a lot of things on impulse, and now she is still impulsive but not to the same extent as before. She has gotten better about listening, and we are still working on eye contact.

Then, I used to protect her and be a buffer between Elizabeth and the outside world and children. Now I fight with ever fiber of my being to stand back and allow her to learn how to navigate life on her own (within reason of course). Now I fight to make sure she gets what she needs, but I also teach her how to talk to others and tell them when she is upset or they hurt her feelings. Now we are slowing starting to tease her a little to help teach her how to zing them back at us, so hopefully she will be able to stand up to bullies and others.

And yet we have so many challenges we are facing. She still confuses genders in her pronouns. A boy might accidentally be called, he or him or a girl may be called he or him. She has imaginary friends and no reservations about talking to them in school, on the bus or in public. At nine years old, it opens her up to ridicule and other children call her crazy. I talk to her about it, but it's going to take some time. She is making friends, slowly, there is a seven year old girl, named Madison who plays with her. She is a good kid but they often fight like sisters and tattle on each other. LOL! She's being picked on by a group of kids in our apartment complex and I am struggling to remain Christlike and nice in all of this. Then there are the little odd quirks in her speech - little Elizabethisms that you know Elizabeth to understand and sometimes not even that works. At least we no longer deal with her own Elizabethesse as much. But occasionally we still call one ponytail in the back, a Mulan; two ponytails are Kai-lan for Ni Hao Kai-Lan one of her favorite shows or Josie and the Pussycats who she loved for several years.

Then I used to have to constantly watch her or she would run out in traffic, hide in a mall thinking she was playing "hide-and-go-seek", or she might start getting into some stranger's car (yes she actually did that). Now I still have to watch that she doesn't talk to strangers or get into a stranger's car, but the hiding at the mall doesn't happen and she's starting to get a lot better at looking both ways before crossing the street. I could entertain the idea of letting her go with some friends of ours who live in Florida to look at the pond with an alligator in it because I don't worry she will try to touch it now. She's beginning to develop a healthy dose of fear.

Today was one of those days, a day where her teacher called me because Lizzie cried off an on and she was very upset. So tonight and this weekend we'll see what happens, we'll see if I can get her back on track and settled down. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day so she can go to church on Sunday because she loves to go to church. That is the neatest thing, she loves to go to church and God colors her life in a lot of ways. While we've still got a lot more ground to cover, I also know that God will help us the rest of the way.

Have a good weekend.
Love in Christ,
Maureen

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