Buds in Bloom: Turning Points … An introduction

Life is about Turning Points; moments that present a decision which changes your life forever.
One of mine began with the sound of a phone ringing. You see, my wife and I had tried to have children but were unable to do so. So we decided to open our home and adopt. That was the sound that began a new chapter in our lives over 12 years ago.
Funny how a little thing can become a much greater one without fanfare, without much ado, and yet the smile of a baby can change you in an instant. Before you know it, you’re a parent, a Dad, and you realize that you have no idea what you’re in for, and someone forgot to mention that kids don’t come with a manual, the hours are non-negotiable, and vacation only happens in the wee hours in the bathroom before the kid wakes up.
Then you’re told your child may have a “disability”, or a significant “challenge”, or whatever wording they use at the moment to say that you’ve been upgraded to the deluxe adventure free of charge. Ho boy.
But really, that is what you’ve signed up for, knowingly or not, you are now a Parent, and being a Parent means you are now Indiana Jones and your child is going to show you the secret temple in the jungle. How you get there is more important than what is waiting for you at the end of the trail. So let me begin with our adventure with Eddie when he began his preschool life.
You see, Eddie didn’t talk. At the age of three you’d expect to be inundated with questions about the sky, food demands, and why Auntie June smells like catnip. For Eddie it was more of an “Uhn” sound and lots of pointing. What this meant to us is confusion, using a Rosetta Stone to decipher the language and a frustrated 3 year old.
Now before I continue, I’d like to say while I’m the one who can tell a story, my beloved wife is the true adventurer in the family. She’s the one who speaks to the experts, the educators, and manages the overall logistics of our trek. She’s all that and really smart to boot. So when I say “We”, it is more her, and then I’m ensuring that her plans come to fruition. Still a team, but she’s doing more of the overall work, so let’s be real about who does what.
We decided that our son needed help, so she did the calling and we had the meetings, and then Eddie enrolled in a preschool program designed to assist children with learning skills that are currently out of reach. To say the program was effective would be an understatement. Within 3 weeks our son was talking! Words began to flow out of his mouth, and we began to notice his visible frustration steadily being replaced with questions, wonder, and understanding.
It was an excellent beginning to our journey to say the least.
He spent two years in that program, learning the basics about social interaction, positive expression, all the while showing the sensitive nature that would later win the hearts of anyone who took the time to know and understand him.
But I digress for a moment, you see, like any good story you need to add more characters to challenge our protagonist and Eddie’s adventure was no different. You see, a few months into his first year of preschool our journey arrived at another new crossroads that once again began with the ringing of a phone. Once again life gave us a new turning point in the form of a baby brother for Eddie.
And with that our journey was altered forever.
Next chapter, I’ll tell you the story of how Ricky changed our house and the new challenges he brought to us all.
Until then, take care of yourselves and be well.

Buds in Bloom: Turning Points Blog

Life is about Turning Points; moments that present a decision which changes your life forever.
One of mine began with the sound of a phone ringing. You see, my wife and I had tried to have children but were unable to do so. So we decided to open our home and adopt. That was the sound that began a new chapter in our lives over 12 years ago.
Funny how a little thing can become a much greater one without fanfare, without much ado, and yet the smile of a baby can change you in an instant. Before you know it, you’re a parent, a Dad, and you realize that you have no idea what you’re in for, and someone forgot to mention that kids don’t come with a manual, the hours are non-negotiable, and vacation only happens in the wee hours in the bathroom before the kid wakes up.
Then you’re told your child may have a “disability”, or a significant “challenge”, or whatever wording they use at the moment to say that you’ve been upgraded to the deluxe adventure free of charge. Ho boy.
But really, that is what you’ve signed up for, knowingly or not, you are now a Parent, and being a Parent means you are now Indiana Jones and your child is going to show you the secret temple in the jungle. How you get there is more important than what is waiting for you at the end of the trail. So let me begin with our adventure with Eddie when he began his preschool life.
You see, Eddie didn’t talk. At the age of three you’d expect to be inundated with questions about the sky, food demands, and why Auntie June smells like catnip. For Eddie it was more of an “Uhn” sound and lots of pointing. What this meant to us is confusion, using a Rosetta Stone to decipher the language and a frustrated 3 year old.
Now before I continue, I’d like to say while I’m the one who can tell a story, my beloved wife is the true adventurer in the family. She’s the one who speaks to the experts, the educators, and manages the overall logistics of our trek. She’s all that and really smart to boot. So when I say “We”, it is more her, and then I ensuring her plans come to fruition. Still a team, but she’s doing more of the overall work, so let’s be real about who does what.
We decided that our son needed help, so she did the calling and we had the meetings and then Eddie enrolled in a preschool program designed to assist children with learning skills that are currently out of reach. To say the program was effective would be an understatement. Within 3 weeks our son was talking! Words began to flow out of his mouth and we began to notice his visible frustration steadily being replaced with questions, wonder, and understanding.
It was an excellent beginning to our journey to say the least.
He spent two years in that program, learning the basics about social interaction, positive expression, all the while showing the sensitive nature that would later win the hearts of anyone who took the time to know and understand him.
But I digress for a moment, you see, like any good story you need to add more characters to challenge our protagonist and Eddie’s adventure was no different. You see, a few months into his first year of preschool our journey arrive at another new crossroads that once again began with the ringing of a phone. Once again life gave us a new turning point in the form of a baby brother for Eddie.
And with that our journey was altered forever.
Next chapter, I’ll tell you the story of how Ricky change our house and the new challenges he brought to us all.
Until then, take care of yourselves and be well.

Buds in Bloom: Turning Points … Sleep

To say Ricky changed the dynamics of our household is like saying huskies only shed a little bit. A serious understatement to say the least.
Ricky to Eddie is the Sun to the Moon; complete opposites in every way possible.
Eddie was a calm child who loved to play with his Lego in the same place for hours on end watching the TV. He would have a nap in the early afternoon, get up content and have something to eat while smiling at the dogs.
Ricky on the other hand couldn’t stay still for love or money. If he wasn’t trying to climb down the stairs at the tender age of 18 months in pursuit of the dogs, he was making a mess in the kitchen with Nestle Quick container. It was a serious time of adjustment. Another Turning Point. Ricky would have to be strapped into his high chair and fed by hand or the food would be all over the place.
And let us talk about bedtime for a moment.
When Eddie was ready for bed, we get him ready with the minimum of fuss, turn on his favourite bedtime music toy and off to sleep. Such was not the way with Ricky.
Ricky was the energizer bunny connected to the power grid; he just kept going and going. At first, we were slightly amused, but after several days of no sleep, early mornings, and late work days, our patience was coming to an end. We needed relief and a solution.
You see, Ricky’s sleep patterns were all messed up. He would get up at 6 A.M., play until 10 A.M., have a nap until noon, up for lunch and going non-stop until 10 or 11 P.M. at night. Then just for fun, he’d hop out of his crib for late night exercise. Energizer Bunny indeed.
So, my wife and I decided to try something new before we’d end up doing something we’d regret. Thank the stars for melatonin*. Now before you think this product is something you’d have to get a prescription for, it comes over the counter at your local pharmacy. Be warned, some kids can have nightmares when on it so as always when trying medications of any sort, monitor your children closely for adverse effects. For example, Eddie tended to have nightmares when we needed to use it for him early on, so we stopped once we found out about this little side effect.
It took 6 weeks to fully change Ricky’s sleep pattern; a great Turning Point for him and us as the stress levels in the house dropped dramatically. To this day, he is still a bundle of energy. We now know to put him in several of after school activities that help him calm down at bedtime.
With that I shall pause our story here and pick it up with more stories about our little family in the next instalment. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Nick Baane, Father of Eddie and Ricky
Thank you Nick Baane for this candid share. Sleep deprivation can be life threatening. Your story brings up an important topic to talk about. Here are a few evidence-based resources and suggestions of where to look for support resources in your geographic area.
Resources for Sleep: The evidence