Friday, September 26, 2014

3 years later...

So it turns out-- all that emotional volatility, Millie's vivacious but sometimes socially inappropriate candor...

3 year later all that individuality morphs into something of a diagnosis:  Aspergers.

Oh, I know the DSM-V removed it from it's diagnoses and now categorizes it all as High Functioning Autism but Asperger's is still more descriptive.

When most people think of Autism they imagine a child who is barely verbal and somewhat functional but mostly impaired. Millie is bright and extroverted but misses the social cues that are obvious to the rest of us.

Let me tell ya folks- it's been quite a journey but we are just one foot in the door... she's only 7.  It's a blessing and a struggle.

Tonight all I can think of though is yin and yang.  My second child is 4 yrs old and is (as far as we know) considered "neurotypical".  But she is more than that-- she is actually hyper-empathic and she is my life raft of hugs.

Tonight Joy, the second child, had a birthday party to attend. Dad took her, so Millie and I had special "Mommy and Me" time.  Long story short-- we went somewhere that I hate but she thoroughly enjoyed (Chuck-E-Cheese) but at the end of the night would not stop complaining about missing the birthday cake at the party that her little sister got to enjoy.

As I mourned the apparent lake of gratitude and tried to control my indignation-- 5 minutes later she looked out the window and said, "Look! The Moon!"

While I tried to recover the emotional hurt from her complaints despite getting to go out to a rare treat, she has moved on to absorbing the world in all it's glory.

Joy, the little one though, is hyper-empathic.  A friend once told me that being super empathetic has always been a struggle for her- feeling the feelings of others too much. For now I am deeply grateful to have an extra source of empathy in our home.  I know Millie feels empathy but is not sure how to show it.  Joy will hopefully show her the way.  This week when I dropped Joy off at pre-school, there was a child struggling with her zipper on the playground. Joy stopped to help her get it started, once she saw that the other child was ok, she grasped hands with a friend to go play.

So, as Millie takes us on her psychedelic journey through the world, Joy and the rest of us will get a chance to experience more magic than we otherwise might. And Joy will, hopefully, gently lead Millie down the path of learning how to display the kindness, gratitude, and empathy that lies within her own heart but she's not quite sure how to show.  Joy gives the best hugs and most touching gestures of kindness of any child than I have ever seen. It is all suddenly more clear-- For now, we will soak up all the nourishing extra rich hugs Joy has to give,  while we soak up all the extra magic that Millie has to share. Hopefully it will all balance itself out.  Yin and Yang.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Forrest of Bubbles

So we've been told that Millie has a way with words.  Her preschool teacher actually said that her use of language is "unprecedented" in her 35 years of teaching kindergarten. She's 4 years old. wow. We've been told to write it down but honestly it flows like the rapids in a river-- it's hard to get a teacup full to give a sample.  

But here are are some recent examples:

Today we went to the local aquarium. They have a lovely bubble fountain feature that's pretty cool.  

Millie ran up to it and said, "Look Mom, a FOREST OF BUBBLES!!"  Leave it to Millie to transport you from an aquarium with a cool bubble feature- to a forest of magical tall bubble trees. 

Millie was talking with a friend about how brave she is (no problems with self-confidence here). She admitted though: 
Millie: I don't care for shots.
Her friend: I don't mind. I think they feel like a pinch.
Millie: I think a shot feels like a big shark tooth gnawing a teeny tiny part of me away.  
No wonder she screams like she's having her arm sawed off. Apparently, that's what it feels like to her. 


A few days ago, she ran off/away from her grandmother while they were playing outside.  She's fast and she flew around the corner of the house too fast for her grandmother to see that she had actually run inside.  It's actually the THIRD time this has happened and if you're the responsible adult-- it's terrifying when she disappears. It happened to me in her school lobby, it happened to her teacher while coming in from the playground and now her grandmother. Our conversation this time went this way:
Millie: I just wanted to go inside.
Me:  But you have to tell the adult what your plan is.
Millie: But I can't!
Me: Why?
Millie: Because I'm HOT like a candle in a menorah and I'm thinking so fast like a candle burning that the words will come out too fast for a grownup. So I have to just GO!

wow. hot like a candle in a menorah. We're not even Jewish. I explained that she should take a few breaths to calm down and slow down, then tell the adult so she doesn't get in trouble or get lost or hurt.  

*As a side note, with an imagination as vivid as hers, I'm reluctant to feed it stories of child abduction but I think I'm going to have to.  Simple request and reasoning just isn't working... She's an adventurous girl and loves meeting new people. Right now her universe is boundless and technicolor and full of vividly wonderful things at every turn. Somehow I have to figure out how to convince her that it is possible for her to get hurt without raining on her Magical Millie parade...*


She had a bad cold the other day.  We were eating dinner and she said, "Ow! My head hurts," and grabbed her right jaw. We were worried that she had an ear infection so my husband took her to the pediatrician the next morning.  

Pediatrician: Millie, was something hurting you yesterday at dinner?
Millie:  Yes! A pain ERUPTED into my mouth.
Pediatrician was speechless for a moment and exchanged glances with my husband who shrugged.  That's just our Millie. It didn't hurt- it ERUPTED.


Her teacher actually sent us an email with the following story last week:
Time: Monday 3:10 PM

Scene: Millie and the last of the nappers are packing up their nap things and getting ready to walk back from the nap room to our room. 

Me: Stopping by the room to say hello! "Hi nappers how was your sleep?"

Some children mumbling sleepily "Ok, fine"


It was so cute and heartfelt and sooo Millie! She really is one in a million!


Her teacher has forecasted that whatever she decides to pursue in the future it will involve an imagination and mastery of words.  An author perhaps? Who knows.  Needless to say, three different people bought her blank notebooks for Christmas.  We'll see what unfolds.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Tonight at bedtime, Millie grabbed my hand.  Then she pretended to write on it and touched each finger. Then she said, "This book is jus' fuh you. It says I love you Mommy. It will neve' wash off no mattew how many times you wash it. Whenever you feel sad you can put it on your heart and know that Millie loves you."


How do you go from that to wanting to rip your hair out and yell at her for not going to bed after the 5th or 10th trip into her room when she's supposed to be asleep knowing that if she doesn't get sleep she's going to be a nightmare the next day for herself and everyone else- this the dark mystery of parenthood.  Sigh.

The Ecstasy and the Agony all wrapped up in one bedtime.


Saturday, September 3, 2011


Millie:  (Burp) Oh. Excuse me. I burped.
Mommy: I see.
Millie: Hm. I think I deflated. (Holding up her shirt)- Look Mom! I deflated like the puffer fish in Nemo!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Millie Moments

It has been a while since we've posted and Millie has been amazing as usual.  It all comes so fast and fabulous that I can never seem to get it into the blog fast enough.

So without much preamble or preparation, I would just like to share a couple recent moments:

1: Millie's grandparents are visiting and it's been wonderful watching Millie and Joy have such a great time with them.  Sadly, they'll be headed home this afternoon and Grandma and Grandpa are a little sad about that.  
Grandpa said to Millie, while holding Joy in his arms:  Millie,  Can we take Joy with us?  Please? 
Millie: NOoooooo. Mommy made her in her tummy- she's OURS.  She's not a Valentine to give away!

2) While leaving for work two mornings ago:

Mommy:  Bye Millie. I'll miss you.
Millie:  I'll miss you too mommy.  Don't worry- our hearts will be together forever.

3)  Millie has reached the age of bad dreams.  So sad, when you rush in the room and her cheeks are all wet with tears.  A few nights ago, I went in as she woke up wailing.

Mommy:  Millie- what is it?
Millie: Mommy it was my dream.  It was so scary.  (She told me what it was but I've already forgotten).
Mommy:  It's ok. It was only a dream.
Millie: Mommy, sometimes I have bad dreams and they make me sad. Sometimes I just need a little bit of couwage. 

Oh Millie-- you have more courage than most people I know. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Millie

Dear Millie,

You just turned 4 years old.  I have not blogged much recently because you have kept us quite busy.  It has been quite a challenge for all of us.  You have heard "No," quite often and exasperated sighs and occasionally louder moments of frustration.  Three was a tough year.  But, I am starting to see the light in the distance... the warm glow of reason and cooperation returning to your brain.

I thought this might be a good time to let you know that although it has been challenging, we have had some really truly wonderful moments that I wanted to share with you.

Tidbits I:

I LOVE the fact that you giggled out loud in your sleep the night after your 3rd birthday party. You loved the Great Zucchini. 

This year at your 4th birthday gymnastics party, you let them lift you 20 feet into the air on spotting ropes.  You are soo brave!!

You are an outgoing little firecracker who is kind to the quiet kids: At the playground the other day Milie was playing with daddy but there were no other kids. Eventually another daddy arrived with his 3 year old daughter and Millie, who had never met this girl before, ran up to her with arms wide open, yelling, "Hoo-wayyy! My fwiend is heah!!" Although she was ready to tackle this stranger with a hug, the little girl was not sure. "Don't worry," said Millie, "It's just me- Millie. I'll give you a minute."

You love sitting and looking through books for 20-30 minutes at a time... then will hop up and run and dance around like a wild child.

I love that you cheer for the other kids in gymnastics class louder than their own parents.

I love that you laugh easily and love to make others laugh.

If you want to get us to laugh you'll get a ribbon and wrap it around your forehead and sing the theme to Rambo (Dad taught you that).

You dubbed your grandparents "Grandma-Honey" and "Grandpa-Honey" because they always are calling each other Honey.

I'm amazed by how you memorized entire magazines and books word for word.

At 3 years old you were amazingly creative and you will create entire fantasy worlds and give everyone you encounter a role: "Step-muddah? Where are you? It's me Cinda-wella"

I love that you appreciate the great outdoors. You have walked outside and said, with a big sigh and with arms wide open, "What a wonderful refweshing day!"

We love that you love your babysister so much that kissing her is like eating a potato chip for you- you can't have just one. You kiss her head, her cheeks, her toes, her elbow-- anything you can get to before she starts fussing for some personal space. If she's fussy, you try to get her to laugh or frantically try to find a toy for her.

You have so much energy that you RUN every where you're going-- even if it's 10 feet. Sometimes if there's a long way to get there, you'll take it just so you can run farther.

Happy or sad- you live passionately.  It is my goal to encourage your joie de vivre without smothering your passion.
Dear Millie, thanks again for choosing our family and sharing your joy and passion with us.
We love you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Laugh Factory

Millie has so many funny quotes these days I can't write them down fast enough.  Here is just a sample of magical thoughts and fun with words.

Most recently we've been playing music with Pandora. You can build a great station by putting in your favorite artists.  She often asks who's singing and her response just demonstrates what a magical world she lives in.

For example:
Answer:  Kenny Loggins.  Millie: Wow a log is singing that song?
Answer: Jewel.                 Millie:  Wow, a jewel is singing that song?
Answer: The Beatles         Millie: Wow, a group of insects sings that song?

Daddy:  Millie, sometimes things change based on different circumstances.
Millie:  Really?  Why would circus dances change it?  I can do all kinds of circus dances.  See!

Millie: Diego hidded the treasure.
Daddy:  Hid. Diego hid the treasure.
Millie: Yes. Diego hid the treasure. He is very good at hidding.