First came this quote:
"New college grads don't realize they [potential employers] are not allowed to ask anything about your health. Even if you walk in limping or on crutches," says Fisher. That extends into alcoholism as well. "You could walk into an interview drunk, talk about how you're always drunk, and legally they cannot use that information against you."That's it all you new grads - go out there and tip a few before your next interview. Then this next quote nearly made wet myself:
Fisher points out that if you get asked about kids -- and if you do, indeed, have children -- be sure to mention that parenthood has not interfered with your career.
In other words - pretend you are a rug and lie. OK you mothers out there who feel that children don't impact your careers - who are you, what are you children like and what do you do for a living? I am not criticizing working moms - no way! I just think that people want us to say that raising kids is no sweat, and that is false. The only way this could possibly be true is with a lot of support, and that means a lot of money. So perhaps for those with a lot of money and support, this is true. Funny. I just don't seem to meet many of these women. And I am undoubtedly not one of these women.
I did not lose my job because of my children. I lost my job because of my priorities. Once again, I am concerned that when (notice I didn't say if because I am feeling hopeful) my kids read this blog one day, I never want my kids to feel bad that my career went down the toilet because of them. It went down because of me! I am now convinced that I was the world's lousiest engineer. OK - not the lousiest, but let's just say my heart was never in it the way it should have been. I know I never felt inspired like I should have been, although I am coming to realize this might have been the industries I worked in more than the job category. In my children, I find great inspiration. I am using every bit of education that I worked on, every work experience to deal with this crazy situation we are facing. I would almost say that I love my "new job", with the exception that I hate that Zach has some of the issues he has. But my heart is in it, 100%. It's hard, the pay stinks and I want to quit on some days, but I never will.
I have some concerns about Zach's progress. I worry that preschool is not an appropriate place for him - he seems to lack so many of the prerequisite social skills that are needed to really get anything out of it. Sometimes I feel that he is in daycare, not a school setting. The therapists that work there are top notch. I am concerned that he doesn't get the one on one and intensity that will make a difference. I am not sure if he is getting what he needs.
I hate looking at my failures. And the fact that I left his last CPSE meeting in status quo makes me angry with myself. I suck at confrontation. I suck at thinking on my feet. And those skills are the most important during those meetings. uugghhh
Zach loves going on the swings. After the last 2 years, feeling that we might have made a foolish investment in the playset we bought, I can now say it is a joy to watch him run to it every break he gets. This good weather we have been having is helping to make more opportunities for him to get out there. He loves the sand box. He likes the slip-n-slide. He picks up sticks, he plays with dirt, he gets in my garden.
Zach's language skills are still lagging very far behind. I am realizing that his receptive language (what he understands) is much better than his expressive. It's easy for a novice like myself to misunderstand that these two are separate, and should be evaluated separately. I have been trying to work on goals with him, and without the credentials or experience of an SLP or special education teacher, with the only tools that I have: my educated and trainable brain, my interest in technology, my engineering troubleshooting skills, and most importantly my never ending love which inspires me to stay the course.
I am happy to announce that Zach's alphabet knowledge is right on. I witnessed a game tell him to pick the letter that made the "teh" sound and watched him search the letters of the alphabet until he found the 'T'. He managed to do this for several letters. As we sat on the orthopedist office, he pointed to the Waiting Room D sign and said "D". While in school playing at the magnetic letters center, he grabbed a letter showed the aid at the center and said "C" proudly. He recognizes capital letters, he recognizes lower case letters. He can say the phonetic pronunciation of a letter when prompted with a: "the [name of letter] says" _____. I know this may seem out of order in that if he doesn't even understand what a word is, why do I have him learning letters? I saw a sparkle in his eye when he learned his letters. When he spelled out a word on his one game the other day - he looked at me like "Holy sh*t - this means something doesn't it? " When he spelled out some words on his one game - he stimmed like crazy. Normally, stimming would be something we try to avoid - but I know that when Zach feels pleasure/happiness/excitement this is what happens. How many kids would feel this way about letter recognition and letter usage if they didn't know it meant something?
We are working on some stuff with him. I am very excited. He is such a joy to me, even though he is such a mystery too. When I saw him seeking my eye contact out when he spelled this word on his new game, I felt a pleasure like I haven't in such a long time. It's not a wish, it's not hope, it's not the possibility. This is real.