I’m going to pause for a minute from skincare and talk kids. My kids. I know I screwed up somewhere down the road, but I’m trying to figure out where.
He’s 5, and my first born. I found out I was pregnant with Joey on my birthday. We had only been married 5 months and we are now expecting our first child. I was over the moon and looked forward to every pregnancy milestone.
The day he was born the delivery room was insane. So many people in the room. It was pure chaos. As soon as he came out though, it was like the whole world around me went away and it was just him, me, and my husband. Nothing else mattered but my little family. Joey was the cutest baby!
When Joey was 5 months old we found out we were pregnant with Katelyn. I spent every second with Joey that I could. We went to the zoo, we went to Longwood Gardens, we joined a playgroup. I loved every second with him. At his 18 month check up we had an assessment done on Joey. I’m a new mom, I don’t know what I’m doing. My husband and I needed to know that he was developing and where he should be. I noticed that he struggled in social situations and his Pediatrician also noticed some things. My friend, who I trust, guided me through the whole process. By the time he was 20 months we started early intervention and at 25 months we got an official diagnosis of Autism.
Joey had a Speech Language Therapist, 2 Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapist, an Educational Credited Evaluator, and Applied Behavior Analysts. He saw 6 to 7 different therapists every week. Sometimes 3 in one day. He had a busy schedule. I took Joey to OT and ABA in a town 30 minutes away. ABA Therapy would last 3 to 4 hours depending on the day. It was never enough time for me to go home and get anything done so Katelyn and I would go to the park or she would nap in the car, or we would even spend time sitting at a coffee shop. We did this for over 2 years. We were there so much I signed Katelyn up for school 3 days a week just to give her something to do. I needed her to have some kind of social interaction. I was scared she would have a social delay as well.
Joey is my sweet kid. He’s funny, sensitive but not in an emotional way, and he is insanely smart. He’s 5 and he’s been reading for at least a year now, and he’s an excellent reader. Joey is full of energy. I wish I could have half his energy. He isn’t a fan of younger kids, but is that because he’s always had a team of cute young girls? Is it because he intellectually identifies with older people? Is it the old soul in him?
So here’s where we screwed up with Joey. Before he was even crawling we let him play on the iPad. We downloaded educational games. Games about shapes, colors, letters and numbers. We thought, oh isn’t he so smart, look at him figure this thing out! Today, the kid is obsessed!!! He will not play with toys. He wants a phone or an iPad. We can’t even have a conversation with him. It’s bad. He disappears into his room and won’t come out when he’s on it. I delete all the games he downloads, I’ve deleted YouTube and YouTube Kids I don’t know how many times. I even password protect everything, he still finds a way.
Katelyn came as a surprise. When we found out we were pregnant with Katelyn, it was on my husbands birthday. We like finding these things out on birthdays. It’s our thing. As soon as I found out, I called my Dad. My exact words, “How the fuck did you do this?” My sister and I are 10.5 months apart. After my dad talked me off a ledge I felt better. A little better anyway. We talked about terminating the pregnancy but after having Joey, there was no way in hell I could go down that road. I didn’t even want to think about it. I just couldn’t do it.
When Katelyn came, it was the most peaceful delivery. It was my husband, me, the nurse, and doctor. The epidural worked this time too! And, I got a better room where I actually got some sleep. Katelyn was a beautiful baby and such a good baby, she slept through the night after just a couple weeks at home, and transferred to her crib without any issue. Well, we had to make sure she had 5 pacifiers in her bed just in case, but she did awesome!
Just like Joey, Katelyn also has an IEP. She was a very late talker. She was diagnosed with Apraxia, which is a severe speech delay. We have had her in Speech since before she was 2 years old and you wouldn’t believe it today. She is my little rockstar!! Now she won’t stop talking. It’s a lot of fun when she knows she “gets it.” She get’s so excited when she says a word that she couldn’t say in the past.
Katelyn is stubborn, very funny, crazy smart, and has the intuition of an adult, not a 4 year old. She understands more things that most adults don’t. She’s very sensitive and really emotional. And bossy! She’s so bossy and demanding. She’s a girl that knows what she wants and won’t ever settle until she gets it. It sucks right now, but it will be so good for her when she’s older.
My picky eater
I kid you not, Katelyn used to be an amazing eater; she would eat salmon, steak, pork, quinoa, sweet potatoes, bananas, homemade applesauce. Katelyn tried everything, she preferred peas over french fries. Today, girlfriend will only eat bean quesadillas, vanilla yogurt, chocolate anything, peanut butter, processed cheese, and Costco Pizza. That’s it. The doctor said not to stress out over her eating habits, and not to make it a big deal. But, today, and why I started this post, she had an epic meltdown over hot dogs. Yes, I said HOT DOGS. She refused to eat them and wanted me to make her something else instead. It was one hot dog. Hot dogs she eats. They aren’t cheap hot dogs, they are the Trader Joes all beef hot dogs. My husband is at his wits ends, I’m sick of throwing so much food away because she won’t eat food she ate yesterday.
I’ve tried hiding healthy foods in other foods, but she sniffs it out and refuses. I’ve tried smoothies and told her they were milkshakes, nope. If someone has the secret password, the magic code, any suggestions on how to get her to eat something healthy, please share. I want to know the secret.
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