We have decided to take a break from church for a little while because I need to focus on potty training with Daniel. When I told the kids that we were taking a break however, they were not very happy so we will see we may be going off and on depending on how Daniel does. The potty training is in the works, the good news is that he is sitting on the potty and giving it a try. He has only used it twice but he is trying and that is a huge accomplishment. This is the first time he would even sit on it longer than two seconds. I also wanted to take this time to help him with social skills, both Ariel and Joshua need to work on this as well. The problem is that I am not the most socially skilled person there is but that is mainly with my peers. I get along much better with people younger than me and kids.
I love kids!
Kids I understand, we speak the same language and nothing they say offends me. I get it, they are the most honest people I know and they “learn” how to be not so honest. (Not in all situations but in a lot) So I decided that we needed social curriculum to go along with our school curriculum and places to go to practice our new-found skills. I am learning right along side my kids when it comes to this stuff and applying it to my own social situations. Right now we are trying this one for the kids Community Social Skills and Faces and Emotions. We are waiting on their arrival but I have been watching the clips on their site. I am looking forward to the faces and emotions one because I always fail at that. I cannot read a persons face at all, I can read their mind but not their face! The problem is that people are usually not portraying on their face what they are actually thinking or saying, hence my confusion and lack of face reading skills.
As we focus on this we have opted to try a new place to go for the kids.
A couple from our past church headed up the children’s classes on Weds. nights, I discovered through Facebook, (which is no longer my enemy and I now understand it somewhat) that they were doing the classes at their new church. It was about a month ago that I had been playing vacation bible school songs for the kids and we came across ones that we sang at the past church, Ariel got very sad and asked why they couldn’t go to Rainbows anymore and I thought of the couple and thought well let me find out what it is all about at their new church and see if it will work. We have been going for the past three weeks and it has been very good. They have a Rainbows class which is 3-4 year olds, then the boys and girls are separated, I am not a fan of that but our society seems to think it is best for girls to do girl things and boys to boy things. I think they should do them all, but I have no comprehension of a difference between myself and males we are all equal and I may like some of the things they like and they may like some of the things I like.
The main thing is that we can all learn something from each other and be on level ground.
Anyway, Ariel is in Daisies and Daniel is in Ranger Kids. Ariel is so happy to be in a group of girls her age. David and I both were kind of leery because we know how evil girls can be but it seems to be going ok. It is clear though that she is much like I was as a child, completely care free, giggly, loud, says whatever comes to mind and doesn’t have a real understanding of authority. She is not unruly or disobedient but I can see how her teacher would think she was being that way. I have to let her be there and go through real life stuff but I hate it! I don’t want her to experience anything like I did and I want her to be confident in herself and not lose her care free and joyful self. I am over protective I know but it is so precious I don’t want anything to ruin it for her. Joshua is doing great, the thing about him is that he has what David has, a natural self-confidence. It’s not cocky, though people think that it is, it’s not that.
They naturally challenge anyone who tells them that they have to do it a certain way.
This gene runs in me, as well as Ariel but we are not as confident as they are and will begin to doubt ourselves. Not David and Joshua they doubt everyone else and must be proven wrong. Although, it is not cocky it is just cautious I guess, there is really no clear way to describe it but I have no doubt that Joshua will not put up with stuff and if something is wrong he will tell somebody. Ariel seems to internalize things like I do. I was kind of happy that Daniel would be in a class of just boys that were his age. I am thinking this may help him socially and be able to mimic conversations and see how boys are. His class is 5-7 year olds so there is a lot for him to observe. The first week he did not want to go in but he explored the whole area, we walked around the church building, the forts that the boys are in, and Ariel’s building. He was observing everything and taking it all in.
When we were leaving he told me that he wanted to come back.
During the night and the next day Daniel told me about the stuff that was going on there. He told me about the boys running and playing kick ball, the big fans that the church has all around the buildings, the huge locus we found (that was so cool, he was huge and had awesome colors on his belly) and the window air conditioners that he studied the majority of the time we were at the forts. He did take it all in and the next week we went. He didn’t want to go in class so David and I played with him outside and it was good but at the end he decided that he wanted to go into the fort and check it out. We went in and then looked at the other classes and their forts. This week he went to class, we stayed with him.
The first part the leader had the boys go outside and play.
We went to the basketball courts and the boys got to run around. The only issue I really have is that the attitude around here is “We are men and do men things and girls go do girl things”. I have been around it enough to not care at all and if I want to play with the boys I will. I played chase and kept an eye on the boys because the older ones had some aggressive tendencies but over all it was good. Daniel jumped right in the midst of them and was dribbling his hand with a pretend basketball. But what he was actually fixated on was the court lines and he was running them with his pretend ball. The other boys thought he was playing just like them, I guess that was good. At one time he began hitting the basketball pole because it makes an echo sound that he figured out last week and a couple of the boys came over and asked what he was doing. They soon discovered the fun of making echo noises as well, a few minutes later Daniel ran over to us and was smiling.
None of the boys gave Daniel strange looks but they could tell that something was different from them.
Daniel sat on my lap in class and then moved back and forth between me and David. The boys Daniel’s age were perfectly fine with this and they seemed to have that longing for mommy look themselves. I felt for them and wanted to take them all in my arms and huddle together but it is a man cave and that is not allowed. Over all we are pleased and it seems good for right now. The leader usually has his wife with him and I met her last week, she seems to bring in that balance that is needed in there so it’s not all manly and there is some nurturing going on too. I like that a couple is leading the group. They have been very understanding and accepting of Daniel and for now it exposes all of us to something new. The other thing I like about the group is that it is structured much like Boy Scouts so they will be doing outdoors stuff, it is learning survival skills and how to take care of yourself and they go camping and canoeing, things like that.
I think these are good things for Daniel to learn and see how he does with it all.
We are planning on staying with him for a while, at least until he feels comfortable and is able to communicate to the leader. He can earn badges and this may be a good thing for his self confidence and independence. We are currently taking them to Lowe’s every other week, they have Build and Grow classes and they build items and earn a certificate and badge when they complete it. They all seem to enjoy this and are proud of their accomplishments. We will take it week by week and see how things go. If he doesn’t feel up to going to class that is ok, he then has alone time with David and myself, which he does not get often and Ariel and Joshua get their much-needed social time as well. So far it seems to be a win win situation.