Sunday, November 27, 2016

Turkey Trot - a story of success and other things.

Thanksgiving morning this year brought Mom to the kitchen and Dad (and the boys) plus Neighbor T to the Baltimore City Turkey Trot 5K run.

There was a great deal of complaining from all three guys, but they dutifully headed out so I could cook Thanksgiving dinner. The race went smoothly (ish) depending on which of our sons you ask, but none the worse for wear.

As my weary racers approached the car to go home, Hamslice tripped over a chunk of concrete and went careering into a ditch. A major cement burn to the face, a black eye and two black knees later, Hamslice arrived home, still sniffling and needing a lot of TLC.

In all of the excitement about Hamslice, nobody really paid attention to the race standings (really with our un-athletic family, who would?) but we should have.

Little Ham had the fastest time in the entire Male 9 and under category for the race. Amazing!! He ran his first 5K with a final time of 29:20

We sent a note to Little Ham's running coach to let her know. We are so proud of him. AND he is proud of himself, which is also really, really good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Roadside Chat

This week on Monday, Little Ham refused to get out of the car to go to school. Like... refused. We were in the drop-off zone and he wouldn't budge. It was a new one for me, so I dug deep for a way to handle it. I said this foolishness: "If you won't go to school, then there must be a big problem so we are going to sit here in the driveway and talk about your feelings all day 'till we get to the bottom of it."

And so we sat. We watched all the other parents drop off their kids and saw the buses zoom by until we were all alone. And we sat some more. 45 minutes ticked by.

Finally Little Ham started talking. And talking. and talking. He emptied his poor heart to me, and I felt for the first time that we were connecting as parent and child. He said he is feeling overwhelmed by the new school, and that he is worried every minute of the day that Hamslice is stealing his Pokemon cards, and  and and...

So we devised a plan where we would get him a safe for his room with a combination that only he knows. I also promised to talk to the school administration RIGHT AWAY to make sure they are helping him. We also talked about locks for bedroom doors and other things we can do to solve some of these problems.

That very day Hambone went and bought safes for both kids. I marched right into the school as well and relayed this most urgent request.

The immediate action made an impression on Little Ham. And now he talks to me about lots of other things instead of just asking for hugs and kisses all the time. We are ... connecting.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Normal people advice

Hamslice asked a few weeks ago to see his old therapist -- said he had a things he wanted to talk with her about, so yesterday was his appointment. At the end, the therapist had us both sit together and talk about how things are going in our family.

Hamslice had ideas that he wanted to spend more time with Mom and less with Little Ham, and maybe some time with Dad too.

The therapist then started asking me "what hobbies and activities do you do together with your children" and for the life of me I couldn't think of a thing. The session then turned a little judgey and uncomfortable for me. Hamslice had several ideas of things we could do together, and I was thrilled to hear his thoughts.

Of course the first thing I did was come home and yell at Hambone "Why don't we do anything with our kids!" and his response was "like what."  And of course that didn't help. It just meant that he wouldn't have been helpful in the session either.

I've been rolling this over and over in my head, and I think it's like last year when the school administration told me to "stop helicopter parenting" and I was so overjoyed that they felt that *I* was the problem (and not Hamslice). Maybe this little judgement session was a sign that our family is finally ready to start having hobbies and living like a normal group of people.

If you think about it, we have not been able to do *any* family activities as of yet due to the behavior issues we have had before us. Anywhere we went was met with fury and tantrums from one or both boys. And Hamslice's refusal to enjoy any activity prior to Little Ham's arrival, well that has been lifelong.

So, now, are we free to try things? Actual activities? fun?

Sounds too good to be true, but I'm game.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

*not* an Olympian

This semester I have both kids enrolled in a program called "Kids with Goals," which provides fitness training and overall life lessons. They both LOVE the program, and I am thankful for the very capable gym teacher who brought this program to life.

At any rate, on Tuesdays they do exercise in the gym. On Thursdays, the students AND THEIR PARENTS run on the NCR trail near the school. We are required to run for 40 minutes, which I would like to point out is a pretty big stretch for ol' Mom.

Little Ham is probably the fastest 9 year old runner I have ever seen, so he goes off with the older kids and runs his heart out. Hamslice and I bring up the rear, because often Hamslice runs with one arm hanging limp, or with one of his feet turned completely sideways..."just because." 

I was doing my incredibly slow near-jog, when Hamslice looked at me with a completely serious face and said, "Mom, did you ever win the Olympics?"

"No, honey, I did not win any of the Olympics"

"But you were in them, right?"

I loved his precious serious face and serious questions. I am going to really miss this age when it's over.