Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen, 4 Green and Speckled Frogs Proudly Present Diva Frog
Diva frog has been happily helping me put this blog together - picking out pictures and previewing some of the posts. She hasn't said anything yet, but I can read her pretty well (When is this going to be about me?! - we don't call her "Diva Frog" for nothing ;0).
Diva frog has always been off the chart with her developmental milestones. At 18 months she was talking in paragraphs, she crawled for about four days then got up and walked and never looked back. She was reading in pre-school and works fractions in her head at age 7. She seemed so advanced that we missed signs of trouble in little frog because we did not feel it was fair to compare any child's development with diva frog's.
Diva frog is a born negotiator and debater. She is always quick to point out why our answer to her question is not entirely correct. This can be wearing even on a mommy lawyer frog! Diva frog has also been very "adult" from a young age. She has a very old soul. She is patient, kind, and tolerant - qualities that serve her well. She is also painfully shy and has a perfectionist complex that boarders on an anxiety disorder. I too was like this as a child. I know the pain it caused me and am tempted to find her some help with this. But, I also out grew it or grew into it and I know she will too. There are just some life lessons that must be experienced to be learned. We have been asked by most of little frog's professionals if we see any signs in Diva Frog. She does have her quirks, but they are more anxiety related than ASD.
Before little frog came along, Diva frog was the center of the universe. A fist child, and first grandchild on both sides of the family, who lived in the same town as both sets of grandparents, a childless Aunt and Uncle, and two great-grandmothers. We didn't know how she was going to take to a new sibling. She was convinced the baby would be a girl named Zoe. "But what if the baby is a boy?" we asked her. "She's not." answered diva frog. "We won't know for sure until the baby is born." we told her. "She's a girl, but if she is a boy we can name him Olie" (she was a big Rolie Polie Olie fan at the time). Now I do have some Scandinavian heritage, and Olaf is a family name, but we didn't think we could do that to our new baby boy. We bought diva frog a doll named Zoe and she was willing to let us pick little frog's name.
She had a ball helping me take care of baby little frog. She managed to sleep through the nights of screaming, and she kept her cool better than daddy and I when the screaming started up in the car. She kept bringing me little frog's baby blankets saying "Does the baby need this now?" When I said no, she would use it to put pooh bear, tigger, piglet, gopher and baby doll Zoe to bed. We had sleeping babies all over the living room. Diva frog would also entertain baby little frog. She wanted me to put him in his carrier so he could watch her as she danced and sang and put on plays. She was very excited to hold him, but as he was 10lb, 11oz at birth, she told us to take him back as soon as he was placed on her lap. She was also very excited about his first bath. She was disappointed when I didn't float him in the big bathtub, and his SI issues made his response to that first bath less than endearing. But overall she handled the transition with grace and continues to be an amazing sister.
She does have days when she feels very cursed to have a brother at all. Usually because of regular old little brother stuff like getting into her room or chewing on Barbie's shoe. Occasionally it is related to the autism - she is afraid she is going to get pinched and sometimes the shrill shreak that goes on and on is too much to take. But, overall, she is very attached to her little frog brother and loves him for who he is.
I'm sure there will be more issues as the kids grow up. (I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried sibshop and get your impressions.) We try to spend a lot of one on one time with diva frog and let her know how incredible we think she is as a person and as a big sister. We let her know that we know it is not easy to have a brother with autism. But we also point out that it is not easy for little frog either and that she also gets to do some pretty neat things that she might not have gotten to do if we didn't have to deal with autism - like skip school to go to the zoo when it isn't so crowded, or have season tickets to the Seattle Children's Theater so she can have mom all to herself for several weekends each year.
She is an incredible ballet dancer and loves her gymnastics class. She sings and dances all the time. She writes short stories on her computer. She has a lot of friends and is a very sweet child.
We are blessed to have two amazing children to raise, enjoy and learn from.
The Ballerina Frog picture can be purchased as wall art from: