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The Melting Pot

According to Monkey Boy, the summer of 2014 was the worst one ever.  Because I failed to engage him in much academic work last year, I decided that Monkey Boy needed a tutor.  I hadimg_3081.jpgMaster Yi-Yi and Monkey Boy also hoped to send him to summer school, but once again, he didn’t qualify because, if I understand it correctly, only kids who might get ahead in those three weeks were offered a spot.  I still think it might have benefitted him, but unfortunately it wasn’t my place to decide.  In addition to having a tutor for an hour twice a week, he had an hour of Occupational therapy (OT) and a half hour of speech therapy each week as well.  So, while in reality these things didn’t take up much time at all, in Monkey Boy’s mind, they ruined “everything.”

Despite his negativity, and sometimes the inconvenience, I wouldn’t change any of it.  I loved his tutor (she was a special education teacher at his elementary school and already knew Monkey Boy), and she was wonderful with him. She used lots of math games and interesting, short articles for reading and tried to make it as fun as possible.  Not that Monkey Boy ever showed much enthusiasm (he is almost always reserved with adults and not a “touchy feely” kid at all), but I knew when he wanted to show her his favorite lion or the “kinesthetic sand” we had purchased that we had made some headway.

20140919_174.JPGCurtis Park LakeAlthough he complains about going, I know Monkey Boy enjoys OT.  Once he is there, he’s fine and always leaves in a better mood.  It’s the transition and car ride that bother him the most.  And like I said in my previous post, his occupational therapist at Helping Hands is wonderful.  He’s even gotten to the point where he’s comfortable and “chatty” with her.  His speech therapist at Fox Therapy is also great, but it’s definitely the thing Monkey Boy likes the least.  Regardless, he has made a lot of progress with his speech sounds, specifically “ing” and “th,” so he is also working on more practical language, such as multiple meanings, inferences and social language.   He wasn’t exactly thrilled when I told him we are continuing the OT and speech throughout the school year!  As an aside, both these places now do speech and OT, but originally Helping Hands didn’t have speech.  Since he has been with his speech therapist for three months now and his Occupational therapist for nine months, I don’t want to change either, but this is something to think about if your child needs both services.My daughter, Little H, also had tutoring once a week to help with her dyslexia. I will get into that more in my next post.  Of course, she wasn’t happy either, but it was the right decision.

PICT0010_001.JPGWoodwardIn addition to these appointments, we had a lot of other things going on.  Once again, Master Yi-Yi spent a week at Woodward at the end of June.  This time, my husband and I took him, and my mom, Little H, Monkey Boy and I picked him up.  The trip with Monkey Boy was a step up from from two years ago. The car ride was fine, but I typically visit Master Yi-Yi on the Friday evening we get there (he needs to be picked up on Saturday by 9 am, so we head to Pennsylvania on Friday), and Monkey Boy wanted no part of that.  He just wanted to hang out in the hotel room!  So, he had a bit of a meltdown before and during our visit. 

In July, my younger stepdaughter was here from California for two weeks.  She is almost sixteen and has her own set of issues and we felt it would be good for her to spend some time with all of us.  The kids get along in the same way most siblings do, alternating between acceptance and annoyance.  The boys generally have less patience than Little H.  She arrived on the fourth of July, so she was able to enjoy the fireworks with us.  We had a fun get-away to Great Wolf Lodge while she was here.Great_Wolf_Lodge1.jpgGreat Wolf Lodge

August also brought us TR’s great aunt.  We fit in a trip to DC, some sightseeing around Fredericksburg and a couple trips to Kings Dominion.  Monkey Boy wound up staying with my mom for much of it.  I’m not sure what I would do without her help!  There were parts of the DC trip he would have enjoyed, but he wouldn’t have tolerated the twelve hour day, nor would he have done well with all the walking.  As far as Kings Dominion goes, he can’t deal with the heat or the crowds, and Little H stayed home with him.  Neither she nor Monkey Boy enjoys the rides, unlike Master Yi-Yi who can’t get enough. 

Not that Monkey Boy was left out of everything fun.  He saw his best friend throughout the summer, and we fit in a couple playdates with another friend as well.  We managed a few outings to the YMCA waterpark, and spent a day at Aquia Landing Beach. 

The last week, we wound up attending three open Houses; the high school on Tuesday, the middle school on Wednesday and the elementary school on Thursday.  I don’t think the kids could have shown any less enthusiasm. 

IMG_5878.JPGFirst Day of Fifth GradeMonkey Boy has been in fifth grade for three weeks now, and so far, so good. He likes his male teacher (first-ever), is better prepared thanks to his “ruined summer, and his language has improved.  I’ll give you a brief update on how that is going next time as well as start touching on some sorely neglected topics.  Master Yi-Yi and Little H have stories to be told.   I have a husband, ex-husband, two stepdaughters, a part time job and pets that add their own anecdotes to our melting pot family.  And I will touch back on my first post when I introduced donor eggs.  Remember that one?  It seems so long ago now.  And of course, I’ll continue to keep you up to date on Monkey Boy’s progress.

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About Laura

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Laura is mostly a stay at home mom who works part time at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.  In the past, she was a first grade teacher.  Over the years, she has kept herself busy volunteering at school, babysitting and caring for her children.  Currently, a lot of her time is spent dragging her youngest child, Monkey Boy, to various appointments in search of answers to his developmental issues.  She also has two teenagers, son:  Master Yi-Yi and daughter: Little H. Her melting pot family also includes her ex (father to her kids), the world’s best step-dad and husband, “TR” two step-daughters, two cats and a part-time dog!

Pouches' Community Corner

Adoptive parents in Fredericksburg now have a new partner on their journey to a healthy family. In 2016, Children’s Home Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services to extend their Richmond area post-adoptive services to the Fredericksburg area.

ChildrensHomeSociety

Now CHS is looking to find adoptive families in the area who need support before they hit a crisis point. “It doesn’t matter which agency they adopted from, or when that happened,” said Buckheit. “We want to offer a lifetime of support to adoptive families in the Fredericksburg area, especially those who haven’t been aware of our services in the past.”

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