The good news is Haley is progressing. She does not seem to get frustrated as quickly when she speaks. She is trying to get all of the sounds in each word which causes her to speak a little slower. She seems to speak a little clearer. When I do not understand a key word she tells me over and over and if it is an object she will show it to me to help me understand. Yesterday she was trying to say ‘headband’. I thought she said ‘hair bands’. When she showed it to me I said oh you mean headband. She then repeated the word a couple times trying to get it to sound the right way. I’m happy she wants to learn and will try to improve without my prompting.
She is smart and tries to get her way with whatever tactics she discovers works. Last week she said, “Mom my head is going to hurt you need to turn on Wreck it Ralph.” I didn’t give in to that request though I did chuckle. Usually turning a movie on will allow her to lay down and relax for a while to get her past the really bad times. It seems if her head is hurting and she screams and cries as hard as she does it should hurt her head even more. So why does she does she do it? Probably because she doesn’t know any other way to express her feelings but it still seems counter productive.
Another time last week she wanted me to go upstairs with her. I was in the middle of another activity with a different child and told her I would go up when we were finished. She sat on the stairs and said, “Mom if you don’t come up with me now my head is going to start to hurt.” Apparently she knows the key phrase that makes our house stop and turn our attention to her and is now using it against us. Luckily it has been 7 weeks post-op and as parents we are better judges of her behavior. We are figuring out when she really does hurt and when she is playing us to get what she wants.
These moments make me laugh and make me grateful her brain is working well enough to demonstrate this behavior.
Another funny story: when Haley came home from the hospital she did not want to take her medicine. We gave her flavor options and liquid or chewable tablet options. We were desperate for her to take tylenol or ibuprofen in any form because she was in so much pain. We finally were able to get her to take it if we closed our eyes and didn’t watch her. This graduated to having anyone in the room close their eyes to everyone in the house close their eyes. We would yell at everyone “close your eyes.” She would check up on everyone and then she would take it. If that was a little thing we needed to do for her to take it we were willing. Just the last couple of days she has decided it is ok to take it with our eyes open!