Tag Archives: therapy dog

Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Vent.

Before I have my vent, I just need to share a HUGE accomplishment of Aidan’s…

We went to our weekly Reading with Cooper session last night. Aidan read 20 pages of Dick and Jane. Yup, that’s right. 20!

I realize Dick and Jane doesn’t have much sustenance when it comes to comprehension and story flow. My intention wasn’t to test his comprehension of the story, but rather to teach Aidan to focus on the letters that make up the words. To take those letters and sound them out, combining the sounds until he is able to form the word.

This has been the highlight of my week. It’s what I’m holding onto to prevent myself from slipping into the abyss. That and the fact that we’re going to New Jersey from Friday until Monday. Translation, I’ll have a couple of days where I’m not raising 3 kids alone.

 

I was on the phone with the guidance counselor at Aidan’s school a total of 5 or 6 times this week. He’s still having some issues with one of his admirers. So much so that he had two meltdowns in two days, which is alarming because he hasn’t had a meltdown in quite some time.

Aidan is also having difficulty with his auditory processing. I have to repeat EVERYTHING. And I’m not talking one time. It’s more like 5.

I know it’s his auditory processing and not just him ignoring me. Don’t get me wrong, Aidan is capable and does ignore¬† me on occasion, but I know the difference between him choosing not to listen and not being able to.

His focus has also been lacking these past few weeks. He’s been very forgetful in certain areas, but hyper-focused in others.

Remembering to bring our sneakers inside so they don’t get rained on or inhabited by any kind of creature, lacking. Remembering mommy promised a special treat and reminding her every 2 seconds, not an issue.

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Leaving sneakers outside to get rained on creates more work for mom. It also means we have to base all of our outfits around brown sneakers until the black ones are dry.

 

Lincoln has had his share in causing frustration and stress.

He’s been lying. And is really good at it. Maybe not good as in me believing him. but good in the respect that he doesn’t break. Easily. And his responses are short and consistent.

Did you fart? It smells awful.
No.
Lincoln, it’s just you and me in the room. And I didn’t fart.
I didn’t part too.
Lincoln, seriously. Did you fart? I’m not upset. I just want you to tell me the truth.
I didn’t part.
This conversation went on for about 5 minutes before he told me the truth.

Who colored the glass door with marker? Lincoln, did you do that?
No. I didn’t.
Please don’t lie to me. No one else is here. Aidan is at school and Autumn is taking a nap. Did you color the door?
No.
Lincoln. Do. Not. Lie. To. Me.
he shakes his head and then starts to nod.
Well, you need to clean it off.

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He’s been aggressive towards his siblings, Autumn especially.

When you reprimand him, he laughs. I don’t know if it’s a nervous habit or a fuck you behavior.

 

Listening has not been one of his strengths lately.

I’ll just 1 instance.

I had to talk to the librarian after we finished reading with Cooper. Lincoln would not stay by me and was running around the library. I was soooooooooooo tempted to say that he if he didn’t stop, his running would wake up the troll that lived beneath the library. And that he would snatch him up as soon as we went outside and drag him underground and eat him for dinner.

Awful, right?

In this case the thought doesn’t count.

And I would never risk the chance of him having nightmares and being unable to sleep. NEVER. Because his sleep habits suck. Ass.

 

Oh, and you can pile the laundry and dishes and general keeping up of the house to all that.

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Stuff I found on the floor when “tidying” up. This is from 1 day.

 

Mix it all together and what you get?

My eyes will give it away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

My eyes will give it away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

 

 

 

 

 

Library Adventures and Reading with Cooper

We LOVE the library. It’s no secret. And the libraries in our area of Massachusetts are AWESOME (as Lincoln would say). I’m not just talking great books. I’m talking toys and playsets (kitchen, castles, etc.) and hand puppets.

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As if that isn’t enough to make the library a weekly adventure, they offer amazing reading programs. For free.

These programs have been a god send for us. Lincoln, who HATED music, has favorite songs and requests them to be played/sung in the car. I’ll occasionally break out into “Open, Shut Them” while changing Autumn’s diaper or vacuuming. Instead of screaming that I’m making “TOO MUCH NOISE”, little man will sit down next to me and sing right along.

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Lincoln is dancing, to music, with a streamer pom-pom he made during one of the reading programs.

It can’t possibly get better, you say.

Wrong! It can!

The library in the next town over offers programs in the evening. One of which is reading with a therapy dog. For free. I took one look at his trading card and knew the kids would LOVE this. Where do we sign up?

Image courtesy of Cooper & Friends

Image courtesy of Cooper & Friends

For those who don’t know what a therapy dog does…
A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with learning difficulties.
Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and be content to be petted and handled, sometimes clumsily. –Wikipedia

 

Last week was our first experience reading with Cooper.

Everyone was super excited (I apologize if I sound like I’m taking to my children. It’s habit). So much so that reading didn’t appear to be on anyone’s agenda except mine. We had the first session which was at 6 o’clock. The kids are typically bathing at this time and instead were stepping foot into the library and hanging out with a dog. If I was them, reading would be the last thing on my mind too. So, let’s skip all the chaos and fast forward to this evening.

Cooper and his handler, Andi, were outside of the Children’s Room waiting for us. Greetings were exchanged. Heads were patted and ears were scratched. We walked into the room together and our session began.

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The boys were browsing through the books they wanted me to read, with Cooper by their side. Aidan was pretty thrilled with a picture he found in the next book of the series we’re reading.

 

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We’re reading Bad Kitty in this picture. At several points in the book the line “bad, bad, bad” was used. Poor Cooper looked at me with a confused expression; he thought he was in trouble.

 

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Although they all don't sit and "read" with Cooper, or me, the kids absolutely love being around him.

Although they don’t all sit and “read” with Cooper (or me), the kids absolutely love being around him.

 

A huge thank you to Cooper for being such a great sport about being poked and prodded by my Dragons and Peanut. And an even bigger thank you to Andi for being so patient and kind.

If you’d like to see more Cooper, you can check out his Facebook page by clicking here. I really enjoyed looking through Cooper’s pictures and seeing him let his fur down before and after working hours.

You can also make a donation to Cooper by clicking here.