Day 13

06/03/2013

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I know today is technically day 14, but since Gabriel is asleep and it's 1 in the morning, I'm saying 13. I can't sleep. I've been trying to fall asleep for the past 2 hours, but all I can do is cry and pray to God... I know I haven't posted in over a week, it's been a crazy week and I have a lot going on. Trying to get the house back in order, we're getting ready to go on a mini vacation at the end of the week, and that in itself will be a task, trying to prepare snacks and foods that we can eat while there, since our room is not equipped with a kitchenette. I have been trying to work with Gabriel some this week. I have found that one of his biggest weaknesses is the alphabet. For some reason, he is pretty good with recognizing shapes, colors, and even numbers; but when it comes to letters, there's only a handful that he recognizes. I guess tonight I realized just how severe this all really is... I got his flashcards out and tried to go over a few letters. It did not start out well... He couldn't even tell me what 'A' was. I told him, and he repeated the letter. Then I moved on to 'B', and same thing... He said he didn't know. I told him, and again he repeated it. Moved on to 'C', and yet again, he did not know. So 3 letters in, and he didn't know any of them, I thought it best to just focus on the first 3, and we could move on later. So I went back to 'A'. He looked at it, and then me, waiting for me to give him the answer. I said, "Gabriel, what's this letter?" You could see the confusion in his eyes. It killed me. I said, "Baby, we just went over this one, what's this letter?" He replied, "Ummmm.... I don't remember." So I told him again, 'A'. He repeated the letter. I could tell he was focusing, and he was paying attention. He was really trying. I went into the house and got a few chocolate chips for him. I told him when he got one right, I would give him one. I know food isn't the best way to motivate a child, but it works with him, and seems the only way. I've tried many other ways, but nothing gets his attention like a little chocolate. So when I came back out, I picked the flash cards back up and asked him what the 'A' was. Again he said he didn't know. I told him again, and he repeated. We moved on to 'B'. He didn't know... So again I told him, and again, he repeated. So instead of moving on to 'C', I went back to 'A'. "What's this?", again, he looks at me, obviously confused... He says again, "I don't know". Now I was getting worried. It wasn't 2 seconds since I asked him, and he already forgot. We had been doing this for about 15 minutes now, and no progress. I told him, 'A'. and we repeated it while pointing at the letter, about 10 times. He repeated with me... So when we repeated it the 10th time, rather than moving on, I put the card face down for 2 seconds, and then showed him again. "Gabriel, what's this?" He gave me this pained look like he had done something wrong... He had forgotten, already. He couldn't tell me that it was an 'A'...Now I'm very concerned... What do I do with this? How do I teach a child that forgets that quickly? I mean, he obviously can learn, but how? I did not have this much trouble with his colors, shapes, or numbers. Why the letters? He is talking better, saying new words. He has said some pretty funny things the past week. We've been in stitches all day from the crazy things he's said and done. He is more focused, or so it seems. It's just setbacks like this that make me question whether it's all in my head? Then my mom kept him a few nights ago alone, and she is not used to eating the way we do... She called me the next day pretty much chewing me out, saying that this diet is crap, he can't eat anything, even though I sent all his meals and several snacks for him. I know it's difficult, I do. Like I don't know??? Of course it would be easier to just pop a TV dinner in the microwave and give it to my kids. But I don't. Because I believe in this, and I believe that I am healing my child. And to me, that is more important than convenience. Even if some days it's a pain in the butt, and I feel like I'm killing myself by running myself ragged! But I keep going, for Gabriel, for all of us. Don't get me wrong. I KNOW my mom loves my kids, and she believes in "healthy eating" and diet and exercise. She just doesn't believe in OUR version of it, and I don't think she believes in the healing properties of food to the extent that I have come to believe. My mom still thinks everything is fine in fact. She doesn't believe that Gabriel is delayed, although it's painfully obvious. I get wanting to see the best in your kids, and act like there's nothing wrong, even when there is. It's painful for me to face this, but, if I live in denial of my child's delays and weaknesses, how am I ever to help him? It is my job as his mother to face the facts, and do what I know best. Not deny it. Not to mention, I take things my mom says to heart. When she bashes something, even if her intentions are good, it kills a little of my spirit and makes me doubt myself or ideals. This has just been a rough week all around. I'm feeling a little hopeless, and I wish I were writing about more progress than failure. I love my little boy to the moon and back, and all I want to do is to help him and help him heal. I want him to be whole, and I want him to be "normal". I will always love him, no matter what, no matter how smart he is or isn't. But I want the best for him too. I don't want him to struggle through life, especially if it's something, I, as his mother, could have fixed. I guess I just needed a bit of a vent, and we could use some prayers.
 

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    My name is Arminda, and this page is dedicated to my son's development. Please read "Our Story" to better understand the purpose of "Our Journey", or as I like to call it, "Our Experiment".

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