Wednesday, October 29, 2008

overheard in target

Little boy to his mom: (pointing to Baby G) "Look Mom! A baby!"
Mom back to boy: "I think that he is more of a toddler, honey, not a baby."

Me: (thinking) "Dang. She noticed. Bummer." (I may have said "Bummer" outloud under my breath.)

How did he get to be not a baby so fast? I want to bottle up his littleness because it is so fleeting.

Despite our disbelief that he has grown so large before our very eyes, we are seriously adoring this one-year-old phase. Surely it can't get any better (though that's what I thought when he was a newborn, when he was 6 months etc. etc. etc.).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

civil rights in a new light

I had a little experience at work yesterday that had made me think a lot over the past 24 hours. I think it is something worth sharing because of the passionate feelings it has generated in me.

I am currently working at a school in Granite School District(GSD) for two mornings a week (both mornings J is able to be home with Baby G because those are the days he goes straight to school instead of going in to work, so it has been a really fantastic situation). However, I am not employed by GSD. I am employed by The Elizabeth Academy, which I wrote about in a previous post. It is a private school, and since this is its first year and we weren't quite ready for our own place we teamed up with GSD. Anyway, the point is, that in the classroom (it is a preschool for typical children as well as kids with disabilities) there are at least two other adults at all times that are the GSD employees and they are technically the ones responsible for all the students in that class. I am there to work with the students that have special needs on a one on one basis, and I help a lot with classroom management as well. So, with that background, this is the important part.

Yesterday I had a small group of kids that I was working with. The other two adults were with the other half of the class on a walk to look for letters of the alphabet around the school. When they all came back one of the teachers came up to me with a disgusted look on her face and said (loudly enough for the students to hear), "We sort of have a problem with L's diaper." L is a five year old little girl with Down Syndrome, and she is not yet potty trained. I wasn't sure what she meant. I was like, "You mean she needs her diaper changed?" And the other two adults were all, "Uh yeah, and it smells really bad."

I was honestly shocked. I sat there for about two seconds looking at them and realized that each one was waiting for the other one to step up to the plate and offer to go change the diaper (it is supposed to be their job to do this since I am not even an employee of the district). Before either one relented, I got up, walked over and grabbed L's backpack, bent down and whispered to her that we were going to go change her diaper. The other teachers gave me looks of both relief and pity as L grabbed my hand and we walked into the hall. When we got into the bathroom there was a student in one of the stalls. We waited outside and looked at the fish until the student left so that L could have some privacy. Then as I changed her I quietly talked to her about her family and her dogs. When we were finished, I lifted her to the ground, we washed our hands and discreetly walked back into the classroom. As soon as we were back one of the other teachers asked, "Was it bad?" I pretended not to hear her.

So tell me, what is wrong with this picture? Are you as upset about this as I was? Let me let you in on why I am still fuming about this whole thing.

People, ALL people, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Even 5 year old little girls with Down Syndrome. L did not deserve to have the news of her dirty diaper being broadcast to the other kids in the classroom. That is embarassing to her. Clearly the other adults did not think that she would be aware of those social cues, but let me tell you, she is all too aware. She didn't need someone changing her diaper who was going to make her feel like a disgusting animal while they were changing it either. She knows she has a poopy diaper, and she knows that it isn't pleasant to change. She should NEVER be made to feel like she isn't worthy of having dignity. That is why I quietly talked to her while changing her. Trust me, she is uncomfortable with being naked on a table and having the contents of her diaper looked at. It is obvious. She deserved to be made as comfortable as possible in that situation. We slipped back into the classroom in a way that the other students wouldn't have even noticed that L was gone until one of the teachers had the nerve to ask how the diaper change had gone.

Are you kidding me? Do you really think that it is fair to L to sit there and discuss her diaper in front of the other kids? Are there really people in this world that think that just because someone has a disability they don't have the right to be treated with the same respect and concern any one else deserves?

In college I remember one of my professors (hi Katie!) saying something to the effect that the fight for equal treatment of people with disabilities will be the last civil rights battle we will all face. I think she was right.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I wasn't kidding

when I said he was a hurricane.I was uploading pictures to my computer and when I looked down at He Who Was Happily Playing at my Feet this is what I found. To my credit, he wasn't sitting where he is in the picture while making the mess-- his head was right below the chair so his body was pretty much blocking the whole area on the rug where the lotion was being rubbed in. I know that's not a very good excuse, but it's the best I've got. Also, he isn't crying because I had just yelled at/beaten him, I promise. He's mad because I had picked him up to take him to the bathtub and then thought to get my camera and take a picture so I sat him back down. He wanted a bath and he wanted one NOW.

Monday, October 13, 2008

my version of your tags

So there is this thing that my most daring (I kid you not-- she knowingly takes her life in her hands every day when she goes to work) friend Karissa tagged me to do. I am not sure if I am going to do it right, so this is going to be my version of it. I think I am supposed to tell you all my favorite number and then list that many things under each category? Correct? Well, that's what I am doing anyway.

My favorite number is actually 27 or any multiple of 9, but those are much too large for this tag. In cases such as this I have reserved the right to make 7 my backup favorite number because 27 has a 7 in it and I like 7s enough by themselves to make it okay. If you would like to know why I like 27 and/or multiples of 9, well then you are just out of luck. That is a story for another day, my friends.

7 TV Shows I Love to Watch:
-The Amazing Race
-Jazz games
-ReAl games
-any other sporting event (Jazz games were pretty much the ONLY reason we got cable)
-Project Runway
-Challenge on the Food Network (especially if they are making big cakes)
-Murder shows (real ones, not pretend ones. And yes, "Murder shows" is their technical term)

7 Things That Happened Yesterday:
-went to church
-Baby G sat through the ENTIRE sacrament meeting without getting up and walking up and down the aisles. This is the first time since he started walking that we have made it through the whole meeting without going out to the hall so we had a little celebration for him after.
-took a 25 minute nap with Baby G while waiting for J to get home from church (his calling requires him to stay after each week)
-made the most AMAZING side dish I've ever had. It was the Pioneer Woman's Fresh Corn with Wild Rice and it was pretty much the highlight of my month (besides the fact that the wild rice cost $4.99 for 6 ounces--I almost had a heart attack and then I bought it anyway, which I am exceedingly grateful for)
-made pumpkin pie with a real pumpkin and it was yummy, but not as good as the corn/rice
-made this new dessert bar for a family dinner and J said it was the best dessert I've ever made him (obviously yesterday mostly just revolved around food at our house)
-went to my parents' house for a fun get-together with my dad's family

7 Favorite Places to Eat:
-El Matador in Bountiful
-Aunt Sandie's farm in Montana (you haven't lived until you've had her Steak Rice)
-Yogurt Stop (not really food, but one of my secret addictions lately)
-Chipotle (loving their huge veggie burritos)
-The Hungry Bear (have you tried the cheese rolls?)
-Outback (if only for the Thunder Cream)

7 Things I'm Looking Forward to:
-San Diego in Novemeber
-taking Baby G to an amusement park
-Jazz season starting
-last home ReAl game (unless they make the playoffs, which I am really hoping for)
-finishing all the odds and ends projects we've got going on with our house
-dressing Baby G up in his Halloween costume and bringing him to school with me to see all the kids in the parade
-having another baby (one day. No, I am not pregnant.)
7 Things on My Wish List:
-go to Brazil
-babies in orphanages
-someone to come and just finish all the projects on our house instantly
-a new computer
-a new car (both our cars are slowly falling apart)
-no more snow until the end of November (let us have fall, please!)
-travel back to the Land of Miracles and stay awhile

7 People I tag:

Also, Rach (AKA Rotor Rooter) tagged me to do this picture thing where you go to the 6th folder on your computer and pick the 6th picture and post it, but since I'm all about 7s today I'm breaking the rules and doing the 7th folder and 7th picture. Here you have it:

Playing in the fountains at Gateway in June '08 (back when Baby G was still a chubby legged baby. Check out RR's attitude pose in the background).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

a hurricane in the house

I'm sure anyone with a mobile baby/child can relate. If I got a dime for every time I cleaned up the contents of my cupboards or shelves, I would at least be able to afford the new camera I am coveting (Nikon D90-- a cool $1300.00 is all). Here are just a few illustrations of the daily messes made at our house:

He can get into the fridge and climb. That pretty much speaks for itself, right?

"What, you mean you wanted your swimming suits inside this lovely organizing bin?"

The next two photos illustrate what I have to do in order to get dinner prepared (otherwise he wants me to play with him). I have two options:
#1) open the dishwasher and let him sit on the door and play with knives, or

#2) open the fridge (or let him open it) and get out as many grapes as he wants. I get bonus minutes if I let him throw and smash the grapes. To be honest, he usually gets both the dishwasher and the fridge (I am a sucker, I know, but I kind of like being able to cook dinner).Really child? You need to eat THREE plums at once? In order to achieve maximum juice drool on his shirt and the counter the answer is yes, yes he does.
So much for a freshly bathed, lotioned, and jammied (not really a word) baby ready for bed. Apparently some extra moisturizing was needed.

You'd think that having him actually STRAPPED to his father's body would prevent him from having access to things that would make messes. Nope, not him. A little wall plaster, anyone?This is precisely the reason that I have banned J from tying flies in our house. Those feathers, fur patches, and thread bobbins are too much to resist.

Have I mentioned how much I love this little boy?

It's a lot. A whole lot. Messes and all.

For you baby boy, for you I'll clean up all the days of my life.

Friday, October 03, 2008

knock knock

You just never know who is going to be behind the door when you open it. Yesterday it was a sweet elderly woman from Albania with a young American man by her side. She began saying the few words she knew in English, heavy with her Albanian accent: "Bible? See? You like? I read?" I was puzzled and looked at the man for a little help.
"She's from Albania," he said. "She doesn't speak very much English, but she is zealous to work."
I still wasn't sure what this was all about. Zealous to work at what? So I just looked at her with nice eyes to let her know she could continue.
"No speak English lot, but I read? I read Bible?"
"Sure. You can read something from the Bible."
(a verse from the book of Revelation is read)
"Bible? See? You like?"
"Yes, I do like it. It's beautiful. I believe in the Bible."
(with giddy excitement) "Oh! You like! You like Bible?!"
(smiling and trying to match her enthusiasm) "Yes, I do! I like the Bible, too!"
By this point I had realized who they were and why they were there, but I had no desire to turn them away immediately. I felt like I should treat them the way that I would hope a stranger at a door would treat a missionary from my church. So after a little confusion about what she wanted me to do, I was gifted a book to read and sent on my way with two kisses on my cheeks. Her desire to spread her Truth warmed my heart, and I was glad for her example. I browsed through the book she left with me because, again, if an LDS missionary had left a Book of Mormon in someone's hands I would hope they would at least give it a look. This is the cover of the book: And this is a kind of scary illustration from it: (I recommend clicking on the pic to enlarge it for full alarming detail)
I think it is safe to say that I won't be converting to her religion any time soon, but it was a lovely exchange with a kind, believing stranger that has left me a little more motivated to share her zeal in spreading my own Truth.
I cannot wait for Conference this weekend.