Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lip Service

by Jubbified,,
No changes made to image.

Something I forgot when I posted the snow day story and videos was a thing that happened to/was said by Lily.  I had hit the post button and the story had probably been up a couple hours before it occurred to me and I mentally slapped my forehead with the palm of my figurative hand and said in my mind, "ding dang it all...I forgot to mention that!"

The thing that I forgot to mention was this:  Lily, upon her second to last sled run got to the bottom of the hill and said, "I bit my lip."


Oh, you don't understand.  (or maybe you do, but I'll explain anyway, or it's my shortest post ever and I do love to drag things out)

We never really know how aware of her own body Lily is.

Cuts/scrapes...they really don't get a lot of play with her.  Does she feel full when she's eaten enough?  We try to teach her, "My belly is full" so we don't keep trying to get her to eat when she's full, but even when she's said that, it's only sometimes true.  She may be sick of a particular flavor, for example, but will happily continue eating some other food.  Does she recognize when she is in pain?  Can she figure out where it's coming from?  We prompt her..."Does your ear hurt, Lily?" and she says, "My ear hurts."  Does it?  Or did she just echo our own words back to us?  She has told us in the past, and we were ironically so excited that she was able to communicate her pain to us. 

What do we know and what don't we know?  We know, for example, that when placed upon the toilet at some "reasonable" frequency, she understands how to use it and does so successfully.  We don't necessarily know whether or not she understands the feeling of "having to go" that might prompt her to independently tell us, "I have to go to the bathroom."  She has been initiating this more frequently, which makes me feel like that feeling of awareness is dawning, but there have also been misfires where she has been placed on the toilet, gotten off seemingly not having to go, then having an accident minutes later.

Lily is hyposensitive and her pain tolerance is pretty high.  She rarely cries.  What does she feel?  One of the things that we looked forward to with her big sister, Emma, was the day when she would be able to tell us why she was upset, not just cry about it and leave it to us to eliminate...hungry/wet/sleepy/sick... And to some extent we're still waiting for that day with Lily, although we've learned to interpret her nonverbal communications much better than we were ever forced to with Emma.  "I have an ear ache" still would beat the hell out of not eating, sleeping like shit, and screaming "NO" to everything at the top of her lungs in response to any question.

So at the end of her ride down the hill with Emma, she said, "I bit my lip," and I was pleasantly surprised.  I immediately bent down to ask if she was alright.  Sure enough in the middle of her lower lip a tiny trickle of blood was visible.

"Are you okay?" Emma echoed.
"I'm all better now," she said, and took one more trip down the hill with her big sister.

Minor pain.  Awareness of where it was on her body.  Understanding that she was okay.  All that stuff seems mind bogglingly complex to me when I break it down and try to "think through" what the brain has to do in order to process it all, and yet it all seems so ridiculously trivial when I think that it's typically something just taken for granted.


  1. It's also a perfectly formed sentence with correct use of tense and pronouns :)

  2. Fabulous news to take with me to bed tonight. I'm thrilled for you and your whole family.

  3. That is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us. :-)

  4. That is so awesome!! Yah for Lily!! My son Braxton is much like Lily in this way. He gets blazing ear infections when his tubes fall out. He has never once told me his ears hurt and he's 10. If I or school doesn't notice him rubbing or pulling his ear, usually the left, I don't know how bad it could get before he said the words or if he ever would. It's the same with any other issue he may have. Fortunately, I too, have become pretty darn good at reading his body language, behaviors, etc and am able to figure out what is wrong much more often now than just knowing SOMEthing is wrong.