I can still play in my mind the morning my wife woke me to tell me we were having our first baby, I can see her arms waving the test in my face and screaming noises that were supposed to form words. And me in my state of mind that was prepared for one more failed pregnancy test thinking to myself she just peed on that and it is in my face at 7 in the morning and then realizing that it was not my tired eyes playing tricks on me, there really were two lines and the loud rush of unfamiliar words that had been filling the room came together and formed in English this time that we in fact were having a baby.
That one single moment was the beginning of a long awaited healing, I was set to be a full man again. A proud Papa that was no longer defined in their mind by the dark shadows that consumed alot of my youth but instead defined by the fact that I was now a father. The only thing about this whole scenario that is not in any man handbook I have seen, is the fact that when the Dr. proclaims it's a girl alot of that macho is melted by the simple coo of your baby girl. Which is exactly what happened to me. I was wrapped around my daughter's little chubby fingers before they had even formed.
I will tell you the crazy thing is all the horror stories about sleep deprivation and crazy first months were not there for me of course my wife can't say the same as our little angel only allowed mama to feed her at first. Daddy was just good for cuddling, singing and sleeping on. (She would sleep on my chest with her arms spread out like wings for hours) What I did experience is that something about my daughter was special. Yes I know all parents feel this way but in this case it wasn't just me being a proud father. As the months passed and she grew older she began to speak as do all children (first word Dada by the way) but in her case it was an extensive vocabulary. She began to "barrel roll" which is a term I came up with for her crawling technique mainly because that is exactly what it was. She would see something she wanted and she would roll to the item like a barrel in the circus. She had obsessions with shows like Toy Story or Baby First TV. And she even had a feng shui moment when we switched her room and she refused to sleep for 3 months until one day we switched it back.
My daughter was growing a personality but we had our little fears, I remember looking at my wife when we were watching NBC's Parenthood and the son on the show Max who suffers from Aspergers did something that made me ask my wife if that was what Belle had.....
So we had her tested and she came out fine but she had a Sensitivity disorder that affected her.
Suddenly things made sense she was just sensitive to sounds, touch, lighting, etc,etc and these are things she will learn to cope with. That explained to me how she could spin in circles and never fall or dizzy. But the one thing that hung in my mind that for me wasn't explained is how intelligent she was for such a small child and how she knew things that kids her age should not comprehend.
What has made me sit down and write about this now is that she was tested for her developmental pre-school and they are basically saying that she has no issues with school so the occupational therapy she was receiving will no longer be provided and that my daughter in fact has Aspergers.....
This was a crushing blow to me and my wife.....On one hand we now understand the intelligence, the ability to spin without dizzying, the constant struggle to reason with her, the fact that change is really hard on her, the fact that after a fun day her brain is on overload and the only way for her to decompress is to scream and cry uncontrollably but on the other our 3 year old daughter is now being rejected for help because she does OK in school......
I have never been more frustrated by a system in my life.....what it boils down to is that the county who is in charge of helping us does not want to use the money they get from the state to help our child because she is intelligent which is ridiculous because she still has other needs that are not met by just school with no OT. i sometimes spend my days off work on the verge of a nervous breakdown because she has a bad day but because she is smart she is deemed not worthy for help by the county. As a father who loves his child more than anything on earth this is not what you want to hear ever. I am so heartbroken that she has to suffer in any way. It frustrates me even more to think that the best psychologist in the state deemed her to be a just cause and the county still says she is fine and needs no assistance.
The reason for the title is that I feel like the students and the teacher in those old comic strips or cartoons. On one hand I feel like my daughter tries to tell me what is bothering her at times and to me it just sounds like Charlie's teacher and I don't understand or I cannot fix her pain.....which kills me....on the other hand I feel like we are explaining everything to the school and the county and they refuse to hear us like the audience could not make out what the teachers were saying in the Peanuts cartoons. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS - there were 5 mentioned teachers in the Peanuts gang cartoons: Mrs. Donovan, Mrs. Othmar, Mrs. Hagemeyer, Mrs.Halverson and Mrs. Swanson.