"So what testing has been done on the Vampire?" I look at the therapist, and am clueless exactly what she is asking me. I tell her about the IEP testing and how they said she was a little below average in her speech right now. She asks again "Exactly what tests have been run?" I tell her intelligence, speech, and a hearing test. Then she says, the reason I wanted to know is because I would like to try and figure out if she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. A label. Could three words really express what is going on in that child's mind when she eats mulch, rocks, people.... What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Did my sister really drink while pregnant? How deeply has this been studied? How will it affect her for the rest of her life? I have some research before me.
The Drama Queen or Miss Obstructionist as the therapist called her... Well the therapist would like to test her for ADHD or ADD, and another syndrome. Another label. These children whom I love and adore.... whom I see so much goodness and beauty in. Bam... a label for each of them in less than 1/2 an hour. Ok, so the therapist isn't saying that this is for sure what is going on with them, but she would like to study them both further to see if there isn't something deeper. Uncle M and I said right there that we don't want to go the drugs route. We don't agree with all the medications that children are on in society, and don't want to subject these kids to it. She said it might be controllable with diet and exercise. So now we have a whole lotta testing to do, then after that, who knows what other things we will be doing to change the lives of these kiddos.
So did my sister drink, and do drugs when she was pregnant with her three children? I can't stand here before you and say 100% yes that she did. I can't say that she didn't either. The Redneck has accused her of being an alcoholic on more than one occasion. She hid herself from my eyes, my parents eyes because she knew we wouldn't approve of the things she did wrong, so I just can not say what she did or didn't do. I know that none of the three she gave birth to here in Ohio were planned. Each pregnancy took her by surprise. Yes she loved them, yes she was happy to have them. So to the three of you she gave birth to - if you are reading this... she did want you. She carried you to full term and gave birth to you. She smiled and cried in happiness when you were laid in her arms. Z-man she struggled to nurse you but for whatever reasons - it didn't work out, and she didn't have the heart to try it with the girls. When she was pregnant with you Z-man, I remember having an argument with her about her lifestyle. It was a very heated discussion on both of our parts. I remember her telling me "I am pregnant and this stress isn't good for the baby." I stopped then, hugged her and told her I didn't want to do anything to harm her or the baby, but she had to think about what was going to happen after the baby got here. I felt lower than low for even arguing with a pregnant woman.
Regardless if we saw eye to eye or not, she wanted me there holding her leg (yeah, would be hand but I got to be at the end with all the action and helping her push) when she was bringing all three of you into the world. She didn't want your fathers there for various reasons, none which I ever questioned her about, but she wanted me, Mamaw, and Papaw there to help her bring you into the world. And we did. They were the most joyous, beautiful moments of my life when I watched each one of you take that first breath, and got to hear the doctor or nurse announce how healthy and beautiful you all were, and got to be one of the first 5 people in the world who could hold, nuzzle, and just adore you. When Z-man was born, my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach because he wasn't breathing. My sister saw the look on my face and began to cry and said what is wrong? I was speechless. I couldn't answer her, I stood there looking at this lifeless little guy, who wasn't screaming like I expected kids to do when they fell into this world. I remember the doctor moving Z-man just the right way and when he sucked that first breath into his lungs I cried real tears of joy, and kids... your mom did too. There is nothing a mother wants more when she gives birth than to know that all fingers and toes are accounted for and that baby is healthy and strong.
When you all were born, I was dating a man who wasn't always nice to me. I had used his video camera to record Z-man and Drama Queen in the moments after you were born. When my ex didn't want to be with me anymore in 2008, I had to leave in a hurry, and forgot the tapes that the first moments of you lives were recorded on. Today, I finally had the courage to ask for them back, and received them. I haven't seen them yet, as Mamaw and Papaw have them and are making me copies of them, but I am so glad we have them now. I am so very happy that one day I will be able to sit you down, and let you see how happy we all were that you made your entrance into the world. Your mother included. I can not wait to hold them in my hands and watch them, and remember the pride and joy at being able to help your mom bring you into this world. Being at your births... was the best gift that anyone has ever given me. To my sister... thank you.
Vampire - I am sorry, but I was unable to tape your birth. I was called at work when my sister went to the hospital, and didn't have time to run home and get the video camera. I hate this. I don't ever want you to think that I didn't tape you because I love you any less than your siblings, because it's just not the case. I just couldn't get to the camera in time. I am sorry. You were born shortly after Mamaw and I got to the hospital. I don't know that Papaw even made it in time to be there. It is so hard to remember all the little things. What I do remember is the doctor tricking me into cutting your cord! He asked me to hold the scissors, then said "Since you're holding that - cut right here." He was crafty!!!
I will treasure these memories for the rest of my life, and I am so thankful that your mother thought highly enough of me to ask me to help her. Your mom loved you so much, that she left you with us. Mamaw and Papaw are in her shoes, and now I am in her shoes. We are the people who have to scold you when you are bad, kiss away the tears when you are hurt, make sure you get a bedtime story at night, and are up and ready for school every morning. We love this role in your lives. We did not think twice when your mom left and we had to pick these pieces up. We were scared, we didn't know how to handle everything, but we knew that we couldn't ever let you be put in foster care, and we knew in our hearts that this was the only way. So to the three of you, treasure this gift we give you. It is one that is not easy to come by in life. Not everyone you meet or love will give you the unconditional love that we have now and will always have for you. It will be finest thing you will ever receive from us, and will pale in the light of any present you treasure some day. You have our absolute unconditional love.
Today was a good day for the Vampire at her new daycare. The teacher seemed pleased with how well it went, said she had one incident where she did hit someone, but was otherwise a wonderful child. The Vampire was so happy when I came to take her to the therapist meeting. She was all smiles, and told me she didn't bite today. I got down on her level and hugged her and kissed her and told her how very proud I was of her. She put her shoes on, got her snack and left happily with me. I hope there are many more days like this to come. We talked with the therapist about the Drama Queen saying she doesn't like Uncle M anymore and all the lying she tries to do. The therapist talked to her about how she felt, and had her voice it to Uncle M, then she had Uncle M tell the Drama Queen what upsets him. It was good to have her help them get it out into the air, since my attempt last night wasn't the most successful thing. We talked to the therapist about the mark that was left on the Vampire's back last Wednesday. She didn't believe it could have come from a basket hold as we were told it might have. I hate to accuse anyone of abusing my child - but it was odd. The therapist seemed to really think so as well. She is seeing another child that goes to that center that has some issues, and said she would keep us posted on the findings of his issue because it is similar with what happened to our Vampire. So sad, but I guess people in daycare don't have to like their jobs, and put their heart and soul into their jobs any more than you or I do.