28 November 2011

Don't brag about your little genius

...well, at least, don't do it with strangers.

I realize that every mother would view her progeny as gorgeous as they are brilliant, but I ask that you refrain from voicing that skewed opinion unless you are among an audience of close friends and family.  There are really only a limited number of possible outcomes and they all seem bad to me.

Let's say your child really IS a genius.  Well, who like a braggart?  No one, that's who.  And what if you're yammering on to the mother of a child with developmental issues that severely hamper age-typical cognitive milestones?  Now you sound incredible insensitive.  On the other hand, what if you're extolling your mini Einstein's academic prowess to the mother of a child who is also gifted?  That mother has the good sense to keep her mouth shut while you, conversely, sound like a blowhard. 

Let's say your child ISN'T a genius.  Oh, I don't know...let's suppose that you are professing the strides your child has made to a psychologist who is cleverly disguised as a full time stay-at-home mom.  And we'll suppose that this former psychologist has had years of experience administering huge batteries of assessment tools and diagnosing children from both ends of the intellectual spectrum.  Yes, folks, you will end up looking like a boastful idiot. 

Chances are, any given child is average because that's simply how the normal curve falls on the graph by definition.  And average is a good thing, trust me.  I know many, many people who would wish average upon their children.   But if you go on and on about your average child at our first meeting, it will only leave me questioning your ability to gauge your own child's abilities.  It also will leave me wondering if you will place undue pressure unto your child.  And that just scares me.

Okay, so those of my 3 readers who have been here before know that I myself go on and on about my own kids: my excuse is that you know me!  I share far more here than places like Facebook because no one is forced to read this text.  You only come here if you choose to, not because some computer algorithm decided to drop it onto your news feed.  Also, while I only suspect A2 has a good handle on how he processes novel stimuli, I know A1's cognitive scores, and I have empirical evidence to back my bragging!

Unrelated photos of A2 at his last day of PALS, his mommy-and-me class from 2 weeks ago:

27 November 2011

I have become an old person

I'm well aware that I continue to age every single day but I think I've finally reached "old person" status.  I can tell because the recent automatic changes, which some might consider improvements/upgrades, to both the Facebook and Gmail interface have me spiraling.  I am also well aware of the fact that these are both free services (okay, technically, social networking and email aren't the products, *I* am the product, but you get what I mean) but seeing my FB friends' activity on my feed is horrible and so is knowing that my own activity is showing up on others' feed.  And my darn Gmail labels kept collapsing--I had to go searching around for the simple yet hidden way to keep them expanded without mouseover.  Why do things keep changing?  Oh...progress, you say?  Hmph!

It was over 80 degrees today so we headed to the beach.  Photos unrelated to the preceding text follow:

Dusk comes too early these days.

Red Rock Canyon State Park

We had a little Thanksgiving road trip.

When we first got married, James couldn't stand the idea of a road trip (even though it's always been my idea of a great time!).  Now, he's the one who suggests and plans these trips.  Yay!

They're up both up there...see 'em?

And then the sun started to set and it was our signal to start on our way home.

These 2 shots of the day's waning light are through the car window.

26 November 2011

My position

Rant Warning: I'm going to blow my lid now.

Sometimes there is a (make-believe) divide between psychiatrists and psychologists such that the former favors medical intervention while the latter would opt for various talk therapies. I would argue that in any area of study when the question is either one choice or another, the answer generally sits squarely between both choices.

As far as medicating children, I don't think that it should be the first line of defense. Before risking the deleterious effects of pharmacological treatment, it's of great value to determine whether other, noninvasive treatments might be just as effective.

I also don't think that it should be the sole line of defense. There are simply no magic pills to cure all that ills. Greater strides can and will be made if the child is treated as a whole person by addressing his cognition, affect, and behaviors and well examining his family and social functioning.

But, yes, there may come a time when medication is necessary and helpful. If the child poses a danger to himself and others to the extent that these dangerous behaviors are unable to be curbed, then this child is absolutely a strong candidate for medical intervention if he is to be mainstreamed with typical peers. I imagine that I will make enemies here (you know...if I actually had readers), but there is no amount of organic eating, holistic remedies, or yoga that will make it okay if the child is still engaging in high risk behavior. I realize that I'm endorsing what is ostensibly chemically restraining a child, but when others' verbal prompts and self-direction are insufficient, the only other path is to isolate the child. And *that* is cruel. Medication, used with adjunctive therapies, is the humane choice. Because, really, allowing a child devoid of the ability to self-regulate and inhibit his own ability to cause harm near my child...that is an unacceptable choice. I do not accept!

Completely unrelated photo of the boys at a recent Chuck E. Cheese birthday party:

23 November 2011

The ones that almost made it

I think I'm finally done photographing and creating our holiday cards.  It's so stressful, I'm sure the gray hairs on my head multiplied.

Okay, everything is wrong with that statement.

First, there is no empirical evidence to support the belief that worry and gray hairs are associated with one another.  Second, I love photos.  And more importantly, I love photos of my children.  How does the process of creating cards every year cause so much worry?

In any case, here are the ones that almost made it but didn't because their color or composition didn't quite work with the final design.  (Yes, I repeatedly dressed them up on the same clothes and took them out for photos a few days in a row!)

Actually, while I'm at it, here are a few fun ones that weren't under consideration, but I dig 'em anyhow.

22 November 2011

Photographer's children

While I still don't call myself a photographer, I do consider the A's photographer's children. Just today, when we were out trying to grab a few pics for our holiday card, I overheard A1 admonishing his little brother, "Stop goofing around--we're losing the light!" At a later point, A2 whined and criticized, "Move farther left: you're still in my frame!"

I've been finding something wrong with every shot!  How is it that I love my shots of them the rest of the year, but can't seem get anything decent when the holidays roll around?  Here are a few of the rejects:

See how A2's arm is just dangling?

This one is too hazy.

Look carefully at A2's head.  That branch in the background seem to be radiating from it.

And none of them really show their personalities like this one with A2 dancing and A1 looking pretty exasperated by said dancing. But am I really going to use this kind of photo for our card?

Foiled holiday photo plans

Why. Won't. They. Stop. DANCING?!?!  I may have to go with goofy cards again.  I think they sense my stress and the urgency of the situation and grew even goofier than usual!

20 November 2011

Silly dancer

While A1 was engaged in his Archery and BB Gun date with his Cub Scouts, I got to spend some time with my goofy A2. 

I used to take credit for much of A1's calm demeanor, as if my parenting had everything (something...anything?)  to do with his temperament.  It wasn't until A2 was born that I realized I have diddly squat to do with these qualities of theirs with which they were born.  Both are parented so similarly yet they leave such different footprints in the world.