Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Tale of The Purple Witch and Count Johnny

"I want purple eyes, too, Mama!!"
"And pink cheeks?"
"Yes, Mama. I want purple eyes and pink cheeks!"

This was our conversation as I put my make up on before the kids' portrait session two weeks ago. Jordan was super excited because she was getting her picture taken and she got to see Gammie and Great Grandma. She saw my purple eyeshadow and my blush, and decided that she must have it too. I didn't see the harm, so I told her to sit on the toilet seat and close her eyes. She followed directions beautifully, and sat very still with a big grin on her face as I applied minimal purple eyeshadow and pink blush. When finished, she flew into the the living and flung herself into John's arms, shouting "Daddy I have purple eyes and pink cheeks!" She was so proud of herself for being a big girl and wearing make up, and I was proud of her for listening and following directions.

When we arrived at Sears, she paraded in ahead of Johnny and I and ran to my mother, who I had brought in for extra support to avoid a repeat of last year's meltdown. We quickly dressed both kids in their costumes and led them into the studio. She immediately tensed up, and I felt my stomach clench, sure that we were on the verge of another meltdown. I chanted over and over in my head as we tried to calm her:  Not again. Please, not again. I really want this to be a positive  experience. Please, not again!

That's when she threw us a curve ball and relaxed. The photographers were very patient and attentive to her, which helped her realize that this wasn't so bad, and she was going to be okay. They played games with her and earned her trust, easing her qualms, as well as mine,  even further. Between them and my mother, this session suddenly became a breeze.  Every time they snapped a picture, she ran to see how it came out and high fived every one, congratulating not only them but herself for a job well done. She even tried to soothe poor Johnny, who, in sharp contrast to last year, wailed and sobbed through the whole sitting. (In his defense, he was recovering from a double ear infection and was rather grumpy to begin with!)

What a difference a year makes! I was so proud of Jordan for being able to calm herself down long enough to listen, and for her ability to understand that she was okay and this was safe. She has changed so much since last October, and gained a wealth of new skills from being in school and interacting with typical peers. She has made leaps and bounds, and continues to grow stronger and smarter each and every day!

Trick or treating was a hoot. My brother Patrick and I herded Jordan and PJ, along with Malik, Nathaniel and Rosa around his neighborhood gathering treats. Jordan walked up to each and every house, proclaiming 'trick or treat' and holding out her pumpkin for candy. She always remembered to say thank you, and held my hand for the entire walk without protest. She even played Safety Patrol and told the boys to "Slow down!" and  "Use walking feet!" when they would run ahead up the yards and driveways.  Count Johnny and Pirate Princess Genevieve only made it to two houses, as it was quite cold when we went out. With her expanded comprehension and listening skills, Jordan continues to progress, and each year is better than the last!

That's our tale for today! As we jump into November and the unofficial start of the Christmas season, we begin the wait for Santa in our next episode!

Here's the results of our photo session and a few snapshots from trick or treating!

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