Nov 25 2014
One of my most commented upon Kveller posts came in January of 2012, when I wrote about my daughter’s Black/Jewish hair. In a nutshell, she wanted to wear it long (like Rapunzel!), and I was terrified of the tangles, the snarls, and, most of all, the arguments.
So we made a deal. (Yes, you can negotiate with 5-year-olds. Just as long as they want something you’ve got.) We agreed that I would let her wear her hair long. But that she would let me take care of it, brush it, wash it, condition it, anything I saw fit. And the minute she complained or whined or so much as whimpered, off it would all go.
It’s been three years, and we’ve only had to hack off several inches once, and that was to make combing through easier during a lice outbreak.
You would think that all is now serene in our household (at least as far as hairy issues are concerned).
You would be wrong. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 7 2014
Throughout my pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to sing to my baby. I collected songs, carefully choosing the soundtrack of his first year before he was even born. My son was a happy baby who laughed at everything. So it took a long time to realize that he was not a music fan. His second full sentence turned out to be, “No sing, Mama!” but he had to repeat it many times until I understood. It turns out, my son is very sensitive to sound, and the sounds of music are often too much for him.
I doubt that I could have stopped forcing music on my boy if fate had not intervened. Shortly after his 1st birthday, stress stole the music from my own heart. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and during my 15-month treatment course, I lost my ability to work, my home, all my savings, and eventually, my marriage. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 29 2014
So my son is going through a growth spurt right now. One way I can tell is that he is eating more food than I eat sometimes. The other way I can tell is that he is totally not in control of his body.
Here’s the thing. J is wonderful. He is often polite (his recent thing is to thank my wife and I for dinner when he likes it). He is very funny (“I’m just being silly Daddy”). He is extremely verbal (particularly with anything relating to trucks, but also with rhyming words). But he also has a bit of SPD, which leads him to being out of control.
SPD, or Sensory Processing Disorder, is a condition in which any of the various sensory systems can be either over or under developed leading children to have inappropriate reactions to a variety of situations. Some kids may be averse to sounds or smells. Others may have trouble with light touches. J has difficulty with what they call “vestibular tracking” (i.e. combining balance and visual stimulants), and he seeks out deep pressure. Often the need for deep pressure leads to “disorganized” behavior and actions that, frankly, we don’t want to happen (i.e. pushing, laying on other people, occasionally biting). Read the rest of this entry →
May 2 2013
The first thing most people notice about my 2-year-old, Shaya, is his hair.
He doesn’t allow us to brush it so we have given up and allowed his crazy locks to bloom. Straight on the top and wildly curly underneath, his hairstyle encompasses his personality completely. Baruch Hashem we only have four more months till his upsheren. We joke that no one will recognize him once he looks “normal.”
Normal is all relative, especially when talking about Shaya.
The next thing people quickly notice are his clothes. Always in black and white, Shaya likes to only wear Shabbos clothes. It’s a running joke amongst our friends and family that our 2-year-old little boy is the most religious member of our brood. My husband doesn’t even wear a black hat nor does he wear the Yeshivish penguin suit. But Shaya loves to rock it out in his t-shirt tzizis and Shabbos clothes, flopping around in his one size too big Shabbos shoes. I thought my husband would have a heart attack when we bought those for him, but what could I do? None of the others were “right.” When you sit “fixing” shoes for 20 minutes until he’s okay walking in them and now you’re late for school, appointments, etc. I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles when it comes to Shaya. Read the rest of this entry →