No More Twirly Skirts

GB came home from school yesterday agitated. Her speech was pressured and she couldn’t make eye contact. I couldn’t understand most of what she said. There was one phrase she kept repeating and I finally caught it. “No more twirly skirts”. It didn’t make sense. GB loves twirly skirts. GB and I went through her breathing exercises and I prompted her to hold on to the twirly skirt thought. She did.


GB said that her first friend in her new class, S, said they couldn’t be friends if GB was a “goody-goody”. I asked what a “goody-goody” was. GB said they wear twirly skirts, sit by the teacher, and never get their “cards” pulled. (Cards are pulled in her class when a rule is broken.) I pointed out to GB that she loved twirly skirts and hated getting in trouble. She answered that if she wanted to be friends with S, she would have to change. I tried talking about the difference between trying not to annoy people and trying to change who she was. I confused her. She told me S found goody-goodies annoying.

I asked her the difference between real friends and people who just say they are your friend. The blank look on her face told me it was time to stop. We will revisit this with her therapist tomorrow.

Not a Tween


When they were younger

GB has been friends with a neurotypical girl since they were three. They went to nursery school together, took swim lessons together, attended the same gymnastic class. They loved dress-up and dancing. They took hip hop and went roller skating. Our families took day trips to water parks, overnight trips to Six Flags. The girls went to Sesame Street Live, Disney on Ice and a Selena Gomez concert together. There were barbeques, parties, and high tea. Our families grew so close that we went on a cruise together last summer and swam with the dolphins. We go to dinner with them most weeks.

Over the years, the girls progressed from coloring sheets we brought to entertain them, through dolls, craft projects, singing Kidz Bop, to Double This, Double That and Mary Mack. Both girls will be ten in less then two months. Double digits at last. Nothing stays the same, but sometimes you don’t notice the little changes as they happen. When you do notice them, it is all at once and the glare can catch you by surprise as it momentarily blinds you.

At dinner last night, it caught up with me. GB’s BFF was a Tween and GB was painfully left behind. BFF received a Kindle Fire for Christmas. She kept to herself, absorbed in the wonders of the internet. GB had made them bracelets and  BFF refused to take it. GB tried to connect with her and couldn’t. She was sure she had done something wrong and tried to make it right. It hurt to watch. Eventually, I brought GB by me and just held her.

On the way home, I cried silently. GB is unable to be a tween. With her developmental delays, it won’t be happening anytime soon. Like most mothers, when she hurts, I hurt.

Laying in bed together, GB asked me what awful thing she had done to make BFF not like her anymore. I told her she had not done anything awful, but was unable to explain what happened so that GB understood it. I can’t change it. I can’t take the hurt away.

Friday nights at Friendly’s was an enjoyable era that may be coming to a close.

Fun With Friends

We spent two nights taking a mini vacation with friends of ours, from mommyneedstherapy. We went to an all included dude ranch, which happened to be half price this week. There was an indoor water park, good food and great company. The Dads took GB and Noah horseback riding. They all enjoyed snow tubing and ice cream at every meal. My friend and I got mommy time (and a drink or two). 

Hope was too young to go horseback riding. We spent the time drinking Shirley Temples and at a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. It may be the best time Hope and ever spent together. Hope did OK, except for Sunday night. She poked from 8 pm until 2 am in the morning. Overall, it worked out really well and we have already booked a return trip just before Christmas 2012.


 They are back in schools for two days. I pray Hope can hold it together.

A Victory for GB

There was a birthday party today for one of the neuro-typical girls in GB’s gymnastics class. She was invited! The kind mother also specifically said Hope was welcome, too. The Dad wanted to give Hope a chance, so the four of us went. It was at a roller rink. GB has never successfully skated, but she was excited to be invited.

When we arrived at the roller rink, we found out the party was one of 14 parties being hosted this afternoon. We were among the first arrivals, hoping to get them settled in before there were a lot of people and noise. That worked out well for GB. She got on her skates and headed right out to the rink. The first time around, she didn’t let go of the rail. Even so, she fell several times. She got right up and resumed skating. By the end of the party, she was skating by herself, away from the wall completely. You could see the pride on her face. She handled the music, noise, and people.

As we were leaving, I asked her what the best part of the party was. Without hesitation, she told me it was the prizes she picked for the 150 tickets she won in the game room.

Hope struggled, but also experienced some success. For the first time, Hope made a whole event without having to be taken to the car! I wish we could just stay home for the rest of the week and bask in our success.

Thankful November, Day 11

Last night, GB’s Godfather came to talk the girls out for fast food. He was trying to be helpful since the Dad is out of town. I was leaning towards keeping Hope home, as she got off the bus and had problems almost immediately. Time out had encouraged her to pull it together somewhat, and both GB and her GF wanted to bring Hope. I let myself be persuaded. BIG mistake. Home came back screeching about some plastic toy she had lost, refused to say “Thank you” to GF, and demanded cookies. I spent the rest of the evening paying for her going out. I managed not to (visablely) react. GB was thrilled that Hope was not cooperating, as she was allowed to watch PBS for a half hour- there is no school tomorrow- and she didn’t have to compromise on what show was on. She still needed her Dad’s picture to go to sleep.

GF has been friends with the Dad for a long time. Today, I am thankful for good friends who try to make things easier, even if they don’t get it. It is the thought that counts.