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At the Lake

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Mordecai has a real flair for jumping off the swings!

Yesterday we finally had another beautiful summer day. They’ve been few and far between this year, so we try to take advantage of every one.

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Hezekiah’s a wee bit more practical and straightforward in his jumping.

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And Avi. You, my dear friends, are always up for a good Avi story…right? Avi saw me taking pictures of the boys jumping off the swing and wanted to get in on the action.

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So I took this shot. But despite the Mary Poppins-esque-ness of the photo, she didn’t like it. It didn’t have the oomph that Mordecai’s photo had. So she wanted me to take more. No problem.

As she was swinging a little girl came up to her and said, “Excuse me, but when you come back to play would you please not throw bark at us?”. Being the mean, cruel mother that I am, I made her answer the little girl. The girl replied with a cheerful, “Okay, and thanks for answering!” and skipped off.

Avi, on the other hand, was fuming. I’ve said it before, hell hath no fury like an Avi scorned.

Now Avi was out to punish public enemy number one. Me. Her face was dark and angry and she immediately began complaining that if I took pictures of her jumping Hezekiah would be in them. In a moment of uncalled for optimism, I moved directly in front of her and said, “Okay, I’ll take pictures from here”. Avi would not be appeased. She continued to complain loudly that that Hezekiah would be in her pictures (something that didn’t bother her a bit until she was mad at me). So I responded cheerfully, okay, I’ll just take pictures of Hezekiah then. I turned my camera and waited a few moments to frame the shot, then took one of Hezekiah. The moment the shutter was pressed and I began to lower my camera, Avi launched herself off the swing and before her feet even touched the ground she was wailing, “You said you would take a  picture of me. Why didn’t you take my picture?” and on and on ad naseum. The entire time until we left the park.


I share this story with you because this is life with Avi at six. When I talk about her behavioral issues, this is a prime example of what I mean. Any time we take her out around other people, or we have people over to our house, she becomes overstimulated and begins to act out. Please don’t take this antedote in the wrong way. I wasn’t mad at Avi. Quite the opposite. As infuriating (and humilating) as it can be at times, my heart breaks for my little girl who doesn’t yet have the skills to play with others her age. Prior to this incident, I watched Avi looking and groups of children playing. She was observing them. Studying them. And yet, when she approached, she couldn’t keep herself together. Craving the negative attention, she felt the need to be mean, rather than to play. It is something we are working on and I have confidence she will eventually overcome this, but right now it’s really, really hard. For both of us.

If you see me at the park, you will recognize me right away. I’m the mean mom who always either: picks on Avi (look, I refused to take a picture of my little girl!) or the mom who makes her poor daughter sit by her side the whole time.


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My older children were at the park with us, but they were off exploring the lake.

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And hanging around.

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I see a future Gap model, what do you think?

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Apollo discovered the simple joy of throwing wet sand. At me.

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Judah said he saw some fish and when I told Apollo, he walked over to the lake and started making his very distinctive sound “zzzsssszzzzzz” that means fish. It sounds nothing like the word “fish” but we all know what it means.

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Have a great weekend!



  1. Delia

    I really LOVE the floating Avi pic – maybe crop her brothers out of the background & add an umbrella, then show Avi a pic of the “real” Mary Poppins next to it! I think you handled this beautifully – you are very sensitive to your children’s needs.

  2. Kristi

    You are a wonderful mom to Avi- from the things you share you have the perfect balance of patience while also keeping her accountable. I would REALLY struggle to parent a child who fought me that much, it would make me crazy. Keep up the good fight, you’re doing awesome.

  3. Kimberly

    That last picture had me cracking up. You got some STUNNING photos yesterday. Your kids are beautiful!
    I’ll continue to pray for Avi, and for all of your family. Your stories about her remind me so much of life with my younger brother… ADHD, ODD, and most likely undiagnosed RAD. At least you have the fortitude to discipline her when you need to! Don’t falter in that! My parents were far too lenient with my brother (even therapists and CPS commented on it), and it made life so much harder for them and us. Good luck! And for the record, I absolutely adore her jumping picture.

  4. Tracy W.

    HI. I’m a long time reader, but haven’t commented before, until this post about your beautiful Avi. My son is exactly the same way, but he’s my biological child. He has been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. I often time see my son in your posts about Avi. I hope it helps. There’s a book called The Out of Sync Child that I’m hoping to read soon that suppose to be helpful. God bless you all!

  5. Jessi

    Your patience often leaves me in awe. I’ve only got 4 children and seem to lose it a few times a week. That Avi did that and you didn’t want to ring her neck(or didn’t show you wanted to ring her neck) is awesome. Good job Mama. I strive to be more calm and patient like you. Perhaps I should put up a sign WWRD? to remind me to find the inner calm.

  6. Anne

    I have never posted before but just this morning while in the middle of another episode with our 6 year old daughter I was thinking of you and your Avi and was hoping for more stories of her and how you deal with everything. Our daughter came to us at 15 months of age and is an incredible challenge some days. The line about all your other children off playing and Avi sitting by your side is SO MUCH our story. I hurt for our daughters. But I know God is bigger than their hurts and can heal them. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  7. Jo

    My son was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder when he was little, his problem was simply people. Any crowd at all made him act oout, and from a very young age he picked on the biggest child. We later learned he didnt want to hurt someone, and the biggest could take it. He didnt have any drug during pregnancy issues, seems like Avi has an extra-heavy load of stuff to work through. I think its amazing that you guys stay consistent with your parent while admiring her for trying. It will be a struggle for her I am sure, but its wonderful that she has a good family. She will come through it, God chose you guys for her and her for you with a purpose.

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