Tuesday, October 19, 2010

31 for 21: #20 Clarifications

In writing the last 2 entries, I neglected those of you who don't really know me.

I am a freaky, verging on obsessive, mother. While I have never been a freaky germ person (barring the time Elise was on Chemo and the following year while her white blood cell count was low), I am very aware of my kids and their safety. In case any of you lovely people were considering calling DFCS, the post on Elise's opportunistic abilities was an illustration of her abounding abilities and stick-to-it-iveness in the face of her IQ...every time she does something, I am forced to try to "proof" it.

This is tricky, because her abilities have her advanced enough that if you "Elise Proof It" then you have "You Proofed It", too. I currently have 3 gates up, twist-ties up on two cabinets, a zip-loc on the fridge, 6 barrel bolt locks, we installed a key lock in the front door, we are considering installing another 3 barrel bolts or 2 key locks...We wall-mounted our TV to protect it. I have locked all the doors inside the house and carried hair pins to let myself in for months...this hacks Ethan off, but he also doesn't like his stuff broken or carried off or dropped off the porch railing (oh, yes. the voice of experience again). She has broken 4 toilet locks, 5 "safety pin locks", and ripped screwed in locks out of the wall. If I don't want her watching TV, then I have to unscrew the cable co-ax cable.

I just wanted you to know that her antics and their consequences are not for lack of preventative measures. It is just that the part of your brain that tells you that something is a bad idea is not mature in Elise, yet. And she is super impulsive. (The pediatrician is considering a secondary ADHD diagnosis, too.) I watch her like a hawk, but I can't be "On" 24/7, and this fact scares me. I pray. A lot.

I also have notified all the neighbors of her penchants and how to get a hold of me and which house is ours. Thankfully, she tends to visit the same people. She finds someone she likes and revisits...so we have regular spots to check...

I have also bought a Brickhouse Child Locator for times when we are allowing more experiments in personal freedom.

And on the entry subject of grooming and clothing choices, we are not discussing naughty child, I-don't-like-that-so-I-won't-wear-it, fits...we're talking sensory processing/defensiveness issues. So, that is a whole other barrel of monkeys. This is one of the additional benefits of her Hippotherapy. We see a significant impact on these behaviors and see a difference in her behaviors when we miss a week. (I do have a lot of sympathy for this, as I have struggled with it myself for years, too.)

With the sensory "stuff", she also pets things and people. And while it can make you nuts if she's petting your eyebrows or eyelashes while you are trying to watch TV, it really is sweet. You feel very loved. So there are perks. :)

I just wanted you to know that I have not thrown up my hands and said, "I just can't do anything." It's just that there are a lot of outside factors that need to be figured in. We continuously try new things and constantly make sure that she is cared for physically and encourage her independence...while keeping her as safe as we can. Honest.


  1. We are witnesses - and, at times, witless participants ! A perpetual challenge to keep ahead of Elise! No "shrinking violet" she. . . I've often said that the blessing of her eager, grab-life-with-a-gusto, is often, at times, her curse - the impulsivity, no-holds-barred approach to life. Psalm 121 comes to mind! Tiffany, I know you love that particular Psalm. Vs. 4 reminds us that He who watches over Israel/Elise NEVER slumbers nor sleeps! Human vigilance continues - but comfort found in a God who never slumbers - who "saw" and "formed" her - to bless you and stretch you - "God I AM" :)

  2. I haven't experienced this of course & maybe we will or won't, but I have an extremely busy 3 year old son so I understand a small bit of your frustration. He can lock & unlock doors now - he goes outside when he's not allowed to, he locks me out of the house, and he climbes to eat all kinds of candy - he's fast - he has ran from me in a Wal-mart parking lot. He gets in serious trouble, but if you could see his face while you chew him - he does not get it yet & time out works part of the time. I can't watch him 24/7 like you said. Sometimes you must use the bathroom or take a shower & you just hope in that 10 minutes span that the older sibling can watch them well enough, or you have everything put up & tucked away to keep them safe. Luckily we live deep in the country with no neighbors or busy roads, but we have the woods & a pond & that freaks me out too.