Thursday, February 2, 2012

You're Going to Play and You're Going to Like It!

Do you ever feel like your kid is pulling the wool over your eyes?  Like they're actually trying to keep you in the dark?

I feel that way every now and then but today, it was officially confirmed.

Lily has been playing me like a fiddle.

And I have been a willing participant.

I spent an hour and a half at the Bird's school on Wednesday and let me tell you, it was quite educational.

For me.

I know.  I know.  Kids usually tend to do more for teachers than for mom or dad.  Or do more when they're at school as opposed to being at home.

Having taught school myself, I was always surprised when a parent would tell me their child couldn't do something that I knew good and well they could because they were doing it at school.

Like tying shoes, for example.  I mean, honestly.  It's much easier for ol' mom to tie the shoes than to do it yourself, right??  So why let ol' mom know you've been tying your own shoes for months when she's so good at doing it herself and it's just one less thing on your kiddie to-do list?

Any-who, back to the observation.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting that much because I wasn't watching Lily Bird on the camera.  I was just hanging out in the room with her, right where she could see me.  Most of the time, this doesn't work all that well because I'm a total distraction for her.

Now I think that maybe it didn't work because she was afraid I was going to discover all she was perfectly capable of doing and start expecting her to do it at home.

First of all, I walked in the room and I immediately noticed was how quiet it was.  Just about the time I was thinking Lily must not be in the room (thus the quiet), I saw her move out from behind the therapist.

So of course, I'm thinking the quiet won't last long.


I want you to know that my child sat on that rug and together with her therapist, quietly built the tallest tower of large Lego blocks I've ever seen her do in her entire life.


And while she's building, the therapist occasionally asks Lily what color Lego she'd like next.  To which Lily responds appropriately by selecting a color word on her Touch, then choosing the selected color of Lego from the pile.


Then, totally relaxed like, she lays on her tummy, tumps a puzzle upside down and proceeds to put it back together while identifying the shapes on her Touch.


Then she indicates on her Touch that she is ready to transition from the floor play to some fine motor work at the table. With absolutely no trouble moving to the next activity, she sits at the table and proceeds to complete not one, but two lacing cards.

At this point, I am simply flabbergasted.  I mean, I'm wondering who this kid is and what they've done with the Bird.

I feel bad for thinking it but this behavior is just so.... foreign to me.

Lily then takes her Touch and asks to use the potty.

They walk to the bathroom, Lily does some verbal imitation while on the toilet, and gets a piece of chocolate as a reward.

For the verbalizing, not for going to the potty.  Because she never actually used it.

I felt a little less like a dunce at this point because I really think she knows good and well that she gets chocolate as a reward for verbalization, which usually takes place while she's on the potty since she's a captive audience and I totally think she asked to use the potty so she could have a piece of chocolate.

Had she just asked for chocolate outright, the answer would've been no.

I personally think she was doing a little ABA of her own.

The reason I know this?  Because I think the best ABA therapist in our home is the Bird.  I know when she's doing it and I still fall into her evil little clutches.

After the bathroom break, Lily washes her hands, which she loves to do, gets a paper towel and here's where I had to be picked up off the floor..... she walks to the trash can and throws the paper towel away.

Oh. My. Stinking. Gosh.

Lord help me, I am a fool.

Because here's what I learned at the school:  As five years have now passed, I am guilty of doing the one thing I don't want anyone else to do with my daughter.  I have lowered my expectations of what she is capable of doing.  I have made assumptions about what she can and can't do.  Sometimes, I don't even expect her to try something so I don't even present the opportunity.  I spend more time trying to make life easier for my child than giving her a chance to prove herself.

And that has got to change.

Effective immediately.

So listen here, baby girl:  I'll go easy on you on school day evenings since you've been working hard at school all day.

But Saturdays and Sundays?  It's Birdie Boot Camp, baby.

I'm scouring Pinterest, not because I want to (definitely not!) but because I am a woman on a mission.

We're going to play.

And we're going to like it.

But most importantly,  I know you can do this.

It's on.


  1. You need t-shirts. Birdie Boot Camp t-shirts :)

  2. Yeah, it's stunning isn't it? You love her. She knows you love her. She knows she can get away with the things her school therapist will never let her get away with because she knows that. (at least that's my theory).

    Good luck sticking to this. . .

    1. Words really can't fully express how utterly floored I was by what I saw. I'm going to get a little help in sticking with this - we're going to start doing regular full day home visits with her therapists. Some of the self-help skills (read "make my life a little easier" skills) I want to see her transfer to OUR home and not just at school.

  3. OK, this is just great news!!! Isn't it exactly one of the things we've been praying for - that she reaches her full potential. She was reaching it, you just weren't aware. Ha, I love it!!! What a 'aha' moment for you. Now the balls in your court. Sorry, but at least you have some direction. lgm

    1. It was totally an a-ha moment for me. And yes it is great news, for sure! Except Lily might not think so when I start placing those demands on her around the house.... :)

  4. She's a sneaky little bird that may just have her mama figured out! Go Lily!!!!!

    1. Definitely a sneaky bird, that one! But I'm on to her now..... :)

  5. I'm sure she would NEVER pull one over on you. She probably just learned it all that morning.
    She's a genius. And a typical taker advantager of her momma.

    1. Yes, I'm sure it was just a "breakthrough" moment for her that one day.... except no one but me was shocked at what she was doing. So maybe not.... And why is it always this kind of typical behavior that she picks up on??

  6. Go get 'em, Lana! And, yea for Lily!!

    1. Thanks - I definitely need a cheerleader for THIS boot camp!

  7. I was that therapist once. I used to wonder why parents would report their was unable to do something I've seen them do easily. Now that I'm a parent of a special needs child...I totally understand!

    1. Ah, these kiddos are something else, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by and making a comment!

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  9. Yay, sneaky little Lily! :) :) Gotta love that smart girl! Lana, I can just imagine your shock and joy as you watched all of this go down! We'll never figure these kids out, eh?

    1. I am utterly convinced Lily does not want me to know all she is capable of because she truly enjoys being a mystery to me. Sigh....

  10. You learned sooner than I...ha. K is 8, and I figured out I should probably give her more credit around halfway through kindergarten. I was just so used to doing stuff for her, and not expecting that she had certain skills, and thereby never actually giving her a chance to prove me right or wrong. It's hard, when they don't communicate well (and K is actual verbal, so I don't know what my problem was, although she wasn't in preschool) to think there might be a whole lot more going on we just don't know about. Even now, Katie is 8, and really HF, and I still catch myself having low expectations sometimes. It's def a process to get out from under that.


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