After lots of deliberation and weighing the pros and cons we decided to take the boys out of the house and let them start physical therapy on horseback again. We spoke with the therapist beforehand and planned it out to the point where we felt like it was a low risk situation.
Malachi has been riding for 5 years and was so excited to get back on his horse. His little body has not handled being home all day- he is usually in several seating options throughout the day when he is out and about. At home we only have three that we can switch him in and out of, most of which focus on his comfort rather than proper positioning.
Levi has been having a lot of balance issues due to his cerebral palsy in his core so we thought starting him on horseback therapy couldn’t hurt. We didn’t think he would last long, but he shocked the socks off of us by lasting the whole 30 minute session and actually enjoying it. We took a progression of photos from start to finish and you can see how much more comfortable he was by the end.
Unfortunately that same afternoon Malachi started having some pretty major seizures. I am fairly confident that the dust from the barn was enough of an irritant to set his brain into chaos. After having several large ones he was exhausted and limp for most of the evening so we spent time snuggling on the front porch bed and listening to the birds.
The boys also got haircuts this week (another first for Levi)! A friend came by house and did them for us.
Levi has been keeping us on our toes this week with his crazy antics. I mentally bookmarked a few good stories from the week for you to enjoy…
One morning Levi decided to help me mop. He grabbed the mop and when he couldn’t find the bucket of water he decided to use the only bucket of water he could think of- yep, the toilet. He got a few splashes and swipes onto the bathroom tile before I could stop him.
That same afternoon we drove into town to give the boys an opportunity to get out of the house. Both Jake and I thought Levi was strapped into his car seat so imagine my confusion when I heard him breathing really loudly close to my ear. I glanced over my shoulder to find him resting his chin on my seat and staring out the front windshield. I obviously panicked and shrieked which scared him to tears. We pulled over on the side of the road and that little rascal had worked his way out of his car seat.
This week Levi has taken a new interest in his g-tube…well all g-tubes really. He is continually going up to Malachi and lifting his shirt to look at his and compare theirs. Then he ventures over to Jake and I to see if we have one. He is starting to understand that not everyone has a button like he has, and I am sure that concept has to be hard to grasp.
Tonight we did a minor surgery on one of his favorite stuffed animals and gave his monkey a g-tube.
When we gave it to him his eyes lit up and he carried the monkey over to Malachi to compare buttons.
Before he and monkey went to bed he grabbed a syringe and extension and pretended to give nighttime medicines and milk to his monkey. He has such a nurturing little heart.
And one final feel good story for the week! We have been trying very hard to help Levi develop an understanding of Malachi and be a helper. We send him over to ask Malachi questions and are trying to teach him how to read Malachi’s sign language. Something has really clicked recently and he is continually bringing Malachi toys to play with, books to read that he knows Malachi loves, and just being an amazing little brother. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes.
This week Levi went and got his crocodile game and made sure to help Malachi have a turn. I didn’t catch the original one on video because I was crying but he did it again the next night and I managed to video it:
A few months ago I read an article from the Gospel Coalition titled “When Kids Won’t Bow to Your Idols”. To be truthful, I can’t remember much of what the article said, but the title alone really infiltrated my thoughts. You can read the whole article here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/when-kids-wont-bow-to-your-idols/
But at the beginning there is a quote from Dan Allender that says “One of the biggest sources of conflict between you and your kids is when they refuse to bow down to your idols.”
I know that some of you may not have children, so change that part to “spouse” and I am sure you can find some points to relate to.
Lately I have been really trying to identify the idols in my life, and if I am being honest they are not hard to spot. What are the things that take my focus away from being Christ-like? What are the things that trigger me and why do I explode when those buttons get pushed?
Levi is like many other stubborn, strong willed two year olds. I expect those behaviors from him and recognize that they require correction and teaching. He is predictable.
But in a moment of pure honesty, parenting Malachi is where the quote above comes in. I feel shame even typing this, but I always try to be transparent and honest in case others reading are in the same situation.
One of my BIGGEST idols is control. My brain fights like a stray cat against anything that I can’t control. I haven’t always been this way, and I truly think it is a result of being a medical mom and being in so many life and death situations that I can’t control. But enough with my excuses…back on track here…
Malachi is not sleeping well at all these days. On a good day he is sleeping 5 hours, and after seven years of this I still go to bed every single night thinking THIS will be the night he sleeps a full night! And each morning before dawn when his brain wakes him up I get so incredibly frustrated. I get mad at Malachi, mad at Jake snoring in the next room, mad at life. I get mad because everyone else isn’t bowing down to my idols…my comfort, my control, my happiness.
If you really want to do some self reflection, sit down today and try to come up with 5 idols in your life. What are things that “rattle you when they’re threatened”?
The Bible warns us over and over again about the dangers that idols can have in our lives and hearts. They steal our focus away from the Lord and become something we turn to rather than Him.
This week I am going to pray for eyes to recognize my idol moments and divert that focus back towards God. He should never be in competition with things in our lives, and it is our job to spot the distractions and learn to hate them.
Please continue to pray healings and progress over my boys.