I was feeling pretty stressed heading into the holidays this year. I planned for the worst, just in case. Our sensory survival kit was put to very good use, particularly the earphones. We had several very chaotic, busy days where we bounced around to various homes (as per our usual routine), but Maddy did amazingly well.
Some of my favourite moments of the 2012 holidays include:
- Seeing how mesmerized Maddy was by the Haines’ family annual Christmas sing-a-long (accompanied by piano and cello). After every song, Maddy repeatedly asked for more until the next song started.
- Watching Maddy warm up to her second cousins at the Haines’ family Christmas. She sat on one of her cousin’s laps for most of the sing-a-long.
- Spending a week with her cousins, Logan & Chloé (and of course her Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Jérôme). It was such a joy to watch Maddy run, giggle, dance, scream, and tear around the house with Logan. We’ve never seen her play in our own home the way she has with Logan here (and we’re hoping some of it might stick beyond Logan’s visit).
- Maddy hugged and kissed me a couple of times!!!! Yahooo!!!!!
- Enjoying a delicious (and quiet) New Years Eve dinner of duck confit after all three kids were in bed.
Both Eric and I took a full week off over the holidays – and it was oh, so wonderful to have a week at home with Maddy. One of the most relaxing parts of the week was not having to drive to therapy. We’ve been at therapy with Maddy 2-4 times a week for the last 10 months and it was really nice to have the break.
One of the reasons the week was so relaxing is that we had no demands on us. It didn’t matter if Maddy didn’t want clothes on – we didn’t have to work through a fit to get them on, because we were home, and she could just be naked. If Maddy didn’t want to eat or napped late it didn’t matter. We didn’t have to worry about her not sleeping at all if she didn’t eat all day, because we didn’t have to wake up and go to work in the morning, and we could alternate naps during the day. One night we watched her run around the house until 10:30pm because we couldn’t get her down for the night, and it didn’t bother us in the slightest. Consequently, our emotional reactions to some of her behaviours was a lot less, and I’m sure that impacted Maddy as well.
When life is on hold, a lot of the daily struggles aren’t a struggle, because they aren’t impacting our work, Maddy’s therapy, our sleep, etc. The reason they become so frustrating, is because of their ripple effects and the constant emotional reactions they create in us.
I’m looking forward to 2013 – we’re starting off with a bang by attending an SOS feeding workshop for problem feeders, offered to us by Thames Valley Children’s Centre, and seeing a specialist to work out if there are any medical reasons for Maddy’s lack of ability to sleep (also recommended by TVCC as Maddy’s sleep patterns are atypical for her age).
Happy New Year to you all. I hope your holidays were as enjoyable as ours were.