We are still experiencing firsts with the boys... well as they grow there will always be firsts. But, at almost 5 years old, Erik rode on a sled for the first time last night. There was a good wet snow and it was also good for building a snowman. When the snowball started to pick up all the snow on the grass as I rolled it, Erik became quite alarmed. HE did not want it to ruin his option for sledding!
The new thing Gregg taught the boys to play in the last week is the story of Daniel in the lions' den. They were naturally playing David and Goliath- seems a natural boys story! But even as I right, Gregg gets thrown into the den of lions- (David being the lion) then tells that an angel comes to make the lions not eat. After this Erik comes as the king to rescue him.
The other thing they play is based on the TV series- Lazytown. It is a children's show that models good virtues and has a hero Sportacus, and the nuisance- Robbie Rotten. They learn on this show that apples and carrots are sports candy. Makes you strong enough to do anything. (We were going through a lot of apples for a while there!)
The beginning of last week we had the sobering realization that maybe not all is as well as it seemed in Preschool for David. We are used to his accidents and bumping things and always having a bruise or cut on his face. We have also been working at safety issues and it feels sometimes that we get nowhere. The teacher sat me aside and started to ask how we handle things at home- do we have any boundaries at all? do we just allow him to grab and do anything he wants? Well, I tried to assure her that we do have rules and he simply tests it constantly. She complained that he screams when he does not get what he wants too, much more than ones younger than he.
It took me back to this summer when we were told by International adoption clinic of the factors involved in our boys' behavior. It was hard then to separate them- to know what was from adjustment to family life, what was attachment issues, (what was being in the US- as we discovered later when they settled down in LT), and what was due to alcohol exposure in the womb.
I guess we still cannot be sure, but certainly the overall adjustment to family life seems mostly completed. But there are a signs that are still coming. In the last weeks both boys have been in our bed. I know - it is the time some parents work on weaning kids off of coming to the parents' bed. But, with ours they would have nothing to do with it, even when upset. Until the last few weeks.
For David though the chances are greater that alcohol exposure will have longer term effects. This saddens us of course. There are some things that he just does not get because his attention span does not allow it. And things that Erik was aware of a year ago- at David's age now, David does not have awareness of. There are just some neurological changes that mean development will be slower. And the time it takes to explain what is wrong is noticeably longer. And it takes the wisdom of Solomon to figure out what response to have to him- because he is also very able in some things much of the time. He is even counting to 10 spontaneously which Erik did not do until a few months ago!
I also decided it was time to let the teacher in on the cause of the developmental delay, but we have not had a chance to really sit down and talk about it.