Happy Children, Happy Life

You know that saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life”? (Of course you do) Although that’s often true, I actually think I need to amend that rule for our home–I think it ought to go “Happy Children, Happy Life”.

I had a very hard week emotionally. Everything just felt dark, and heavy. It was as if there was this ominous cloud just waiting to rain on my parade. Why? We had no scary doctors appointments this week (in fact, no appointments whatsoever, for once!!), I had started a new workout program that brought me a lot of energy (“Shift Shop”-love it, highly recommend that program!), I read a fantastic new book in only 5 days (that hadn’t happened in years!), and gotten much purging & organizing done throughout the house. So why the heaviness? I was seriously stumped…

But then it dawned on me that Evrett had learned to use the iPad/iPhones just over a week ago, and since then it was as if I had lost my little bug. He wasn’t part of our world anymore. Although it was amazing to see him doing things that months ago had only been a hope, such as pointing/selecting items with his index finger, and it definitely made me proud to see him master the functionality of it so quickly (our little smartie pants!), it also meant that it took all of his focus. Not in the typical way that people can get glued to a tv show, either. For Evrett, it’s different.

The neurologist explained to us that since the white matter of Evretts’ brain is abnormal (and the white matter acts like the “information highway”, as I like to call it, between the different areas, which are called the grey matter), when he does something, it quite literally takes more brain power than it will for a neurotypical child (such a better term than “normal” child!). For example, when he was originally learning to run, his elbows would be bent, forearms up, and hands kind of dangling (like a little philosoraptor, actually. If you’ve seen any of the Jurassic Park movies, ha!!). This was because it took so much focus for him to get his legs coordinated to run, that his arms just did whatever they wanted. Similarly, now that our little einstein had learned to control the iPad, he was completely immersed in it, as his brain cannot easily focus on multiple items at once. I know what some may be thinking–“why didn’t she just take the devices away?” Good question! And the answer is that I DID take the devices away. Evy is such a wonderful little man that he was fine with that, every time! But the thing about having a husband who loves his devices, and a 6 year old who is also becoming more in to them, is that juuuuuusssst as you have put all of the devices away and redirect Evy, one of the “big boys” brings something back out. And Ugh!…the whole things just starts all over again! Although he was happy, I didn’t have my baby bug present with me anymore. We could be in the same room, but he would be lost in space somewhere. Scott and I have always said he is our ray of sunshine, so when that sun is shaded with clouds?…well, then ain’t no sunshine when he’s “gone”. And we all know vitamin D is essential for happiness, no wonder I was so down this week…

Those devices had to go!

So, I got up early this morning, and had a chat with our darling Cody (who is just the sweetest guy, he loves his little siblings to the moon and back!….most of the time, lol!). I explained to him what happens to Evretts’ brain when a device gets brought out, and a lightbulb went off in his head. He said to me “I get it mommy! It’s like when the iPad is on, Evrett can’t learn anything else! And me too, when I’m on iPad, I can’t teach him anything either.” We made an agreement to keep screen time for when Evy is asleep. This made for a totally different morning! 😀

Evy was back!! He gave me one of his good morning kisses (this may not seem a huge deal to many, but our darling bug couldn’t coordinate a closed-lip kiss until the last few weeks. And now he puts his hands on the side of my head, and brings my face to his to plant one on me EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. I hope he does this for a long time!), took me to the pantry to ask for a bear paw (ok, it was more like 2 bear paws) and spent the morning playing with us. He even learned some new Wiggles moves!! For those who don’t know-The Wiggles is Evy’s all-time FAVE show. And it’s fantastic for his development, because he seems to learn new things best when they are put to music (I knew that music degree of mine would come in handy one day ;)) This morning, when “Follow the Leader” came on, he tried not one, or two, not even three, but FOUR new moves!! He coordinated jumping with hand clapping (awesome for his core muscle tone issues), the “rolly-polly” (where you sort of cycle your fists like a bicycle wheel), shaking his hands up by his shoulders, and finally, patting his head! All of those things require the brain to fire coordinating areas all at once, and he did them beautifully!!

My heart danced along with him.

And it has kept on dancing all day long. Lydia has been playing with us as well, and Cody has had the most hilarious (albeit somewhat exasperating) things to say. Evy’s presence, his sunshine, just ignites more lightness in all of us. His happiness spreads like wildfire, and it’s all I need to bring me out of the darkness.

See? “Happy Children, Happy Wife”

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