Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Last week when I spoke of how well parent teachers went for DQ, I neglected to tell you everything.  You see I felt an immense sense of pride in DQ.  Not only is she a good dancer, but she is an excellent student, and she can sing so beautifully (Her favorite song to sing right now is My Country 'Tis of Thee).  I am so very proud of her accomplishments, and have hopefully found a balance in keeping her ego in check while also praising her, and encouraging her to keep striving for better.

What I neglected to tell you is that although I had this huge sense of pride I also felt like crying.  Not the happy kind of tears either.  Upon hearing all of this good news, one of my first thoughts was to call my sister and tell her how much good we are hearing about her daughter.  To let her know what an amazing child she gave birth to, and how very blessed I feel to be a part of her life.  I wanted to thank her for giving me this opportunity to help her grow and learn.  But I couldn't.  Her phone has been shut off, and there is no other way that I know of to get in touch with her.  So I couldn't share this bit of good news with her, and although it didn't at all diminish my sense of pride in DQ... it did however make me deeply sad that I couldn't tell my sister about all of these amazing things.

This weekend, DQ will be dancing in her first dance competition.  They will be doing three songs.  Jazz (Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini), Ballet (True Colors), and Tap (Oh La La).  It will be a nerve wracking day for everyone involved I am sure.  This will be my first competition, and although I have an idea what to expect (the info the Instructor has given us and talking to the other moms), I am sure I won't really understand it all until I'm in the thick of it.  The instructor told us how she wants hair and make-up done for this weekend, so I am going to practice the hairstyle a couple of times this week to make sure I have it down pat.  DQ also has a lot of hair...  so I need to come up with a good way to pin it flat against her head for the beret she will be wearing in the final dance.

DQ doesn't seem nervous or anxious about it at all yet, which I am glad about.  I am so nervous for her and the rest of the girls.  I hope they can take all of the corrections that the Instructor gives them, and they can get out there and dance their best. 

They are still toying with V possibly having FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), and RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder.)  I am leaning toward RAD.  I feel like she fits 3/4 of the criteria for the diagnosis, if not more.  M and I are on a huge learning curve right now with her.  It is so difficult to discern if she is acting out for attention, or if she is just plain being mean.  The therapy school she is in right now doesn't want her to be consequenced for the little things or the attention seeking things because they feel that we are reinforcing her bad behavior.  They want us to ignore as much as we possibly can, and give positive praise as much as possible.  So we are having to switch gears in our own minds, and look for anything she does positive (sitting quiet, playing nice, eating well, doing what she has been asked, etc.), and then praise the holy heck out of it.  Talking in a high pitched voice, and making a huge deal out of these little things.  In time the hope is that we will reinforce the good behavior (instead of the bad), and she will understand that good attention is so much more rewarding than bad attention.

The other night she didn't want to go to bed.  So she threw herself on the floor and screamed and cried and yelled while kicking her feet.  Typical tantrum.  M and I ignored it.  We talked with DQ.  We played games on our phones.  Five minutes went by and she was still laying there kicking, screaming, crying.  My nerves were shot so I asked M to help me get her up off the floor to be put in bed.  As we were lifting her up, I saw out of the corner of my eye that she was grinning.  So I looked at M and told him I changed my mind and set her back down then walked away.  She laid there and cried for 10-15 minutes longer, with us ignoring all of it.  I was beginning to think she would cry herself to sleep on the floor.  Then she got up and ran into her room and laid in her bed.  On her own.  Of course she cried in there for a few minutes before she fell asleep.  But I got it in that moment.  I realized that what I was doing was reinforcing her.  She wanted me to pick her up and carry her to bed.  Once she was calm, I did go in and tuck her in and kiss her little cheek.  

V also has developed a penchant for lying.   She will bold faced lie to anyone about anything.  She told the therapist at her school that she is getting really good at push ups.  The therapist was like push ups?  V then proceeded to tell her that M makes her do 31 push ups when she is in the time out room.  Which is not at all true.  So that is another thing we are learning about RAD children, that they will try to manipulate others into feeling sorry for them, and could get their caregivers in trouble.  Luckily we have a good support circle, we are open and honest with our therapists, and they know what really goes on.  Oh and it helps that V has lied to them too, so they know that is nothing new to her.

I will try to get plenty of photos this weekend of DQ in her dance outfits to share with my readers.  I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Aunt TT

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