Sunday, September 19, 2010

Derailment and Change-ups

I'm just getting back from a good 3-week fight against a sinus cold. It's sapped my strength and threatened to turn into an ugly sinus infection. Exercise meant trudging to the bathroom and blowing my nose. Victory was getting kids to/from school on time, with lunches & completed homework. We won. Barely. Go, us!

In the midst of this haze, puffiness, coughing, and exhaustion, North Bay Regional's past referral sent us a good fairy from California Parenting Institute (or, CPI, as it's commonly know around here) to help.

Oh, how we needed her. We just didn't know it.

First, there was the relief in talking to another adult. One who's mission is to help parents become better parents, regardless of the background story. Second, it was extremely helpful to have someone ask focusing questions about concerns and goals. Third, hope was renewed in defining said goals and realizing that I could indeed make some basic, small changes and renew commitment to make our time less ... well, dragging. Focus. Focus is a good thing.

Together we came up with some simple play activities with which to engage James. Because he cannot focus on anything on his own except TV, computer PBS kids games, or (occasionally) a book. This has been making feel as though I was losing my mind, because I can't DO anything else when he is home. Also, I know that plugging him into electronic media is a bad idea, because he does not transition well away from it.

What ideas did we come up with? Well, simple ones, like:

coin sorting ...

helping him play with his trains ....

and working on colouring projects, which also help as a connection activity with Dad

what I love, is me recommitment to taking the kids with me to the gym, so I can get in some exercise, steam room, and TLC while they get to play and do crafts with other kids. The kids also like the possibility of getting some frozen yogurt at the cafe.

What makes me even more grateful for this change-up in our daily routine is that I fell off the wagon and went back to our old ways one day and discovered what a hideous contrast it make for me, when compared to the new changes. I am sold, happier, and more hopeful. Also, so thankful that this service and these people are here and available to help. Even though I think of myself as lucky, caring, and smart, I certainly need this help!

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