Praise the Lord! Emily's ear-piercing experience went great yesterday. I had prepared her ahead of time, telling her step-by-step exactly what would occur so that there would be no surprises when the moment came. We arrived at Claire's about 1:45 p.m. Emily was so pumped! Upon arriving, we found that we would need to wait another twenty minutes before the second worker got back from her lunch and could assist in the procedure. A tip for those of you who have yet to go through this particular process with your daughter: It's best to have them pierce both ears at the same time---that way, your sweet little one won't be screaming her head off and twisting to get away from the second piercing! Claire's has learned this over the years, and their workers have always been superb at making the event exciting but not drawn out.
In our case yesterday, the extra twenty minutes gave Ashley some time to shop before manning my cell phone camera to take some memory photos. Dale spent most of his time sitting on a comfortable chair outside the store, but he did ask to come in with me for a few minutes to look around. Claire's is generally a girlie store, but they carry a few things to appeal to guys.........like strawberry-flavored gummy bacon. No kidding. And bandaids that look like strips of bacon. I know bacon's the new thing, but this is ridiculous. Even Burger King has begun carrying bacon sundaes. Yuck!
When it was time, Emily jumped happily into the tall chair for the piercing. The lady in charge was so kind and helpful; she made the experience even more pleasant for my youngest. First, she cleaned her ears; then she marked a dot on each ear where the earring should go; she even let Emily see the dot before calling her helper over to pierce both ears at the same time. Emily had chosen (under parental guidance!) a pair of 3mm pinkish-purple round earrings for her "starter set." She didn't really even cry (SURPRISE!); only, when they stepped back after piercing her ears, she said, in a somewhat strangled voice, "Oh, that really hurt!" But she continued to sit still for the application of the soothing ear solution and agreed that it did, indeed, help her ears feel better. Over the next hour, Emily kept saying, "Oh, my ears hurt," but with a huge smile because she is THRILLED to have her ears pierced finally. Eventually the redness faded around each earring and she stopped mentioning any discomfort. I didn't even have to give her any pain meds, although I did offer. We use the solution three times a day (more if necessary) and twist each earring after applying the solution to keep the earrings moving freely in the new holes. All in all, Emily is glad to be grown up now, and I'm glad the piercing went so well.
After we got Emily's ears pierced, we drove around the mall to the SP building in the same parking lot. We were early, but, other than causing the receptionist a shock---we usually arrive right on time or a few minutes late---that wasn't a problem. When it came time for Dale's session, Ashley and Emily came in with us and sat at a small table in the corner of Lisa's office. Lisa is so kind and caring about each member of the family; she admired Emily's new earrings and wished her a happy birthday. She also told the girls that they could read any of her children's books on the lower shelf and even play with her Memory game. I was so very proud of my girls yesterday. They read books quietly and played the game with just whispers, not distracting Dale one bit but allowing him to work just as he would if they were not there. I wanted to reward them in some way for their outstanding behavior........but I had spent my allotted money on Emily's earrings! So I just hugged them and praised them for their excellent manners.
Dale was having a time yesterday (and the day before) just trying to keep his feet under him! I told him several times, "It seems like your feet are on backwards." I mean, watching him walk was almost painful but funny. He would take a step with his right foot, but his left wouldn't follow. This would cause momentary panic before he realized I wasn't going to let him plummet headfirst to the floor---not this time, anyway. We would get to walking pretty well and then one leg, for no reason, would jerk out to the side. This would throw anyone off balance, and, even though Dale has learned to expect this, he still struggles with steadiness because of this. Alison had to cancel PT yesterday because of illness, so Dale did not have a chance to really work the bugs out of his system. We tried walking around the mall a bit, but Dale's legs wouldn't let us get very far. Finally, when we got out of the van in the SP parking lot, I told Dale, "Okay, try again." He did much better this time, still taking frequent pauses but not needing to hold my hand. He was able to walk into the building, down each hallway, into her office, and back again without much trouble.
In SP, however, it seemed like his brain was disconnected at first. Lisa had him listening to a recorded message and clicking a button whenever he heard two days of the week in succession. He's done this before and done well; yesterday, he kept missing consecutive days over and over. Finally, after fifteen minutes or so, Lisa took pity on him and let him be done with that activity. She then told him, "This is our goal for today. I'll read you four stories (paragraphs). You will need to retell those stories, achieving a 75% rate of accuracy of detail." This is also something they have been working on together for some time; Dale has good days and bad days. He surprised both of us by doing very well with this! She gave him quick breaks in between stories, using this time to play a quick memory game with him and asking him each break to recall the images on the separate tiles. By the end of the session, Dale could recall each image (eleven total) and had reached, I believe, a 79% accuracy rate when detailing each story. Considering his struggle at the first, I was very pleased with his performance.
I got to speak with both Amanda and Katie last night---very late! They had just gotten back to their hotel after the first Youth Conference meeting and were soooooo excited. They talked about the preacher and which teens from our group have already made important decisions for the Lord and all the exciting activities that are planned for this week. Today they are going to Great America before attending the evening service. There is also a water park activity (boys separate from girls, of course!) and other fun things before the conference is over. This is Amanda's third trip and Katie's second. I'm glad they got to go this year; each time they attend, they come back on fire for God and "raring" to go! It seems like many of our teens feel that way, too. This only serves to prepare them further for a life of willing, joyful service to our Creator.
I'm going to close. Thank you for all the jokes you post here---we enjoy each and every one of them. Have a blessed day!
Revelation 3: 20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me."