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Raya has had a really, really off week, and today was no different. She cried for about 40 minutes this morning and the whole time she was crying, she repeated over and over, "I want a purple Tum!" (referring to Tums, because her throat is bothering her) Then after she got over that, she cried for another 20 or 30 minutes because she wanted to play with squirt guns. Then after that was over with and everybody else had gone to church, she started crying because she asked if she could watch Lion King 2 and I told her she couldn't. (um, that's a creepy movie. A little dark for Disney.) We were waiting for her poor, sweet respite provider whose car blew a tire on her way to our house, so when she got here, I peeled a whining, crying Raya off my leg and left. Apparently the crying went on for a good 20 minutes after I left. Then this afternoon, she cried because she wanted Smarties and I said she had to wait until dinner. At dinner, she wanted pudding so I made her some. (Raya's "pudding"=vanilla Elecare+Simply Thick, just FYI) When I brought it to her, she got upset that it wasn't blue because I had put blue food coloring in her pudding on Easter just to make it special. After about 10 minutes of whining & crying about wanting her pudding blue, she laid her head down and fell asleep. It's been hard to be patient with her today. I know she doesn't feel good though, so we all just do our best to ignore it until she gets over whatever it is that she's upset about. Giving in never works, and there's no reasoning with her when she's in that frame of mind, so that's really all we can do. 
Days like today make me worry about sending her out into the world. I'm her mom, so I see her worth no matter how she happens to be behaving at the moment. I know that no matter what she's doing at any given moment, she's a sweet, determined, tough-as-nails, strong, smart, and just plain awesome little girl. The rest of the world doesn't see it that way though. People see a young child doing what she did for a greater portion of her day today and assume that the child is just a brat. They judge the child and they judge the parents who "let" the child act badly. I saw this exact thing play out with another child today, and as I saw it, I couldn't help but imagine Raya in that little child's shoes. It was hard to see the adults who were dealing with this child's outburst making faces to each other and whispering comments to each other, and other adults asking if they needed help dealing with this child, and not imagine how I would feel if it was Raya that they were dealing with in that way. Not that any of them did anything out of line, but the whole tone of the interaction made me want to keep her at home as long as we can. Of course that wouldn't do her any service, it's just another one of those things that's hard as a parent to know that when you send your child out into the world, nobody will ever love them as much as you do or see their value & worth the way that you do. You just hope and pray that the adults in their world will treat them kindly and look past the things they sometimes do while they're learning to cope, exist, and live in their world.
Every now and then, I get to have little moments that make up for some of the things we've missed out on with Raya. When my 2nd & 3rd kids were about her age & younger, they stopped taking naps. As a result, they were constantly falling asleep during dinner. I loved it. There is nothing cuter than a toddler that's been running around like a crazy wild animal because they refused to take a nap that they really needed who is suddenly totally passed out at the table. When you see how sweet and adorable they are with their face smashed on the table and partially eaten food everywhere (except Raya, she hadn't touched hers), you kind of forget about how they were acting all afternoon and just can't help but love them to pieces.

I can now add this picture to the treasury of pictures I have of the other kids sleeping during a meal. ♥ The best part was that when she woke up about 20 minutes later, she ate the whole 2 oz of pudding and asked for more and was in a great mood the rest of the evening.

Kaida, age 2 1/2, and yes she's eating in her sleep (looks a little bit like Raya, eh?)

Cole, age 2 1/2

Cole, age 2 (before we knew he was allergic to peanuts, hence the half-eaten peanut butter sandwich)

Cole, age 2

Kaida, age 20 mos



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