Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Second Nature

Me and Noel at Pizza Hut

My mother, step-father, and niece recently stayed with us for two weeks. They were vacationing from Florida, and I think the heat was worse here in NJ than it was in Florida. Anyway, I made a funny discovery while my mom was here.

I took Noel up to the room my mom was staying in. We were chatting and all of a sudden my mom says, "Where is the cap to my water bottle?" I had immediately removed it and placed it out of Noel's reach without even thinking about it. This type of thing has become second nature. I do it as naturally as putting the milk back in the fridge when I am done with it.

It is very rare to go anywhere and have it be Noel-proof. That makes visiting friends and family members a bit of a challenge. Often times I can't let go of Noel in a place, not because I am mean, but because the place just isn't safe for a child who does not understand danger. Noel puts everything in her mouth, including bottle caps. Her risk of choking on something is extremely high if her surroundings aren't made safe. That means I will pick things up and move them out of her reach, sometimes without even realizing I did it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Noel Learns a New Skill

Noel with her ball.

It is always exciting when an Angel learns a new skill. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought about the ramifications of Noel learning certain skills. For example, my daughter Anna and I have been trying to teach Noel to throw a ball for eight years. Three months ago she finally got the idea and starting letting go of the ball and throwing it.

What I didn't think through was that Noel wouldn't just stop with throwing balls. She throws everything. Since she is super strong, she also throws heavy objects. Yes, she has hurt us a few times when we weren't looking. What I am more concerned about is that she started throwing everything at school. She goes to a special services school and the children in her class don't know to watch out for her, and duck when she throws an object.

Noel is not trying to be mean. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She just doesn't understand that you are only suppose to throw balls. I can't yell at her, or punish her for throwing other objects. I just hope it doesn't take years to teach her what is appropriate to throw, and what isn't. Until then we will have to keep an eye out for flying baby dolls, toy cars, and fake food.

PS. I should mention the positive. Noel's DDD behaviorist was extremely proud of Noel and surprised at how she throws like a pitcher in the major league. She even has a wind up before she throws. So cute!