Just caught DD STOMPING the cat. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 12-08-2011, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And he just laid there like an idiot.  But she was stomping him!  She's in a time-out, we talked about it though.  She just doesn't get it.  Idk what to do.  What would you have done?  She's in a fit of rage screaming bloody murder and throwing things around her room.

 

I just can't catch a break.

 

She's violent towards me, her sister, and now animals.  She's been hitting the cats too, but stomping... just wow.  What the _ am I doing wrong as a parent?!?!?

 

She's turning 4 in three weeks.


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#2 of 27 Old 12-08-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess no one's btdt.... sigh.


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#3 of 27 Old 12-09-2011, 03:27 AM
 
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I find it concerning you wrote 'and he just laid there' as though it was somehow the cat's fault.

 

You also say she's been violent towards him before, and her siblings?

 

Sounds like gentle discipline isn't working.

 

If she were mine, she would certainly get a slap for this, you do realise the serious implications of this type of sociopathic behaviour don't you?

 

As a woman hoping to become pregnant soon, I am quite distressed by what I read here to be honest. It sounds as though violent behaviour and refusing to go to the toilet are quite common!

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#4 of 27 Old 12-09-2011, 04:03 AM
 
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Hugs.  I would have also put the kid in some sort of time-out type situation, and talked (and in all honesty, there would have been some yelling), and been frustrated by the cat since it would be so much simpler if stomping the cat came with the immediate consequense of getting scratched by the cat.  

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#5 of 27 Old 12-09-2011, 05:08 AM
 
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I'm going to ignore TTC1983 for now, but my dd5 has showed aggression to our dog now and then.  I strive to gentle discipline most of the time, but I do. not. tolerate. cruelty. to. animals.  When she almost slammed the door on the dog's head she went to timeout in her room for 30 min.  After I calmed down, I explained to her in detail what would happen if she hurt the dog (ie. the dog would die, her head can't take that kind of trauma, how all living things are delicate and must be treated with care, etc.)  She promised not to do it again, of course that means nothing coming from a 5 year old.  But there will be consequences if she hurts an animal or does not show compassion for animals. For one she isn't allowed to hold the dog's leash anymore when we go on walks.  I told her when she learns how to treat an animal then she can.  


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#6 of 27 Old 12-09-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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When DS is rough with the animals we put the animals in "time out"--they go to an area of the house he cannot access so that they get a break from him--and he from the stimulation of being around them.  Then we bust out the book "Tails are Not for Pulling" to read :)

 

We work very hard to model gentle behavior with the animals and explain as we go..."the dog needs a walk to go potty, so even tho' it's cold outside we will take him because he needs us to take care of him" and we also have DS pour the food into the dog's bowl, "thank you so much for feeding the dog, he really likes it when you take care of him"

 

We also read books about animals and reinforce whenever there is an opportunity how to be gentle.  He's younger than your DD tho' (19 months) so I'm not sure if any of this would work for y'all.  But good luck!!


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#7 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone- it's not easy!  


 

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Originally Posted by marimara View Post

I'm going to ignore TTC1983 for now



huh? :) Did I miss a post, or did a post get deleted?  Phantom MDC posts lol.gif


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#8 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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is it harsh to suggest re-homing the animals?  at least temporarily? 


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#9 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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What a hard situation!

 

The fact that you have your cats in your siggie shows how much you love them!  I assume this means they are an important part of your family and that your DD has been shown many, many times how to pat them.  True? (I feel like I said over 1,000 times to each of my kids: "gentle touches for animals, please" while modeling the behavior, before it finally sank in.)

 

The angriest I ever felt was with my older DD when she was 3 1/2.  We had just adopted a dog who had been through hell and back and clearly had been abused.  About 2 months after we had him, she was angry about something I had asked her not to do and so she picked up a box of wooden blocks and HURLED them at his head from about 3 feet away.  She did this deliberately.  Clearly she was feeling powerless and angry and looking to lash out in a way that would make me sit up and take notice.  The dog immediately sank to the ground, tail between his legs, peed, and started shaking violently as the blocks showered down on him.  I was so angry that I picked her up and pretty much tossed her into the playroom and slammed the door. I think she flew about 4 feet.  I am not proud of my reaction but there you have it.  I can still see the image of my dog's terrified face so clearly.   I feel so strongly about violence against animals and I was just outraged that she would take her aggression out on our helpless dog. (And by the way, some 6 years later, the dog is now fabulous, happy, and well-adjusted and adores my DD.)

 

We talked about it a lot for the next several days.  I know she was ashamed and bewildered by her actions and it never happened again.  Today she is one of the most gentle, sensitive kids I know, and very much in love with animals.  Three is a very hard age for some.

 

I am curious . . was she randomly stomping the cat, or was it part of a temper tantrum she was in the middle of?  If it was the latter, I think there is a lot more room for discussion and change.  (Likely her temper tantrums will abate, and you can always move her to a separate animal-free area during a tantrum, if need be.) If it was a curiosity thing, I feel a little more concerned, and don't have much advice for you except to renew the discussions about how animals need to be treated.  I'm sorry you and your family are going through this.  I started a thread a couple of days ago in this same forum about how my 3 year old is driving me to the breaking point, for other reasons as those you stated here, but please know I sympathize and hope things take a turn for the better soon. 


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#10 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

is it harsh to suggest re-homing the animals?  at least temporarily? 


 

I wouldn't put my youngest up for adoption if my oldest was hitting her (which she does, unfortunately), so nope.

 

A temporary re-home would just be putting a bandaid on the problem, only to be ripped off slowly when they'd return.  I need them her so I can work on DD with it.  If they aren't here, it would be kinda hard to teach her not to hurt.

 

 

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#11 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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PennyRoo- yes they're a huge part of our family.  The cat was laying next to the Christmas tree, and she was standing next to him stomping away with one foot, while holding onto the windowsill (tree is in a corner), if that makes sense.  I wish that the cat would just DO SOMETHING about her actions.  I mean, our one kitty runs and hides when a rambunctious child is near, and the other scratches and swats if he feels threatened.  But this guy?  He just laid there....

 

DD has Sensory Processing Disorder (though she's not sensory seeking- she's easily overstimulated) and the developmental ped said that Aspergers was probable but it was too early to diagnose.  This was like a year ago.  I don't think she's an Aspie, but she does have issues with mood swings and huge social issues.  Major social anxiety.  Yesterday at the grocery store a "sampler" offered a piece of cheese, DD was staring blankly and finally stuck her hand out, only to drop the cheese through her fingers because she was motionless and catatonic-like.  The lady put another piece of cheese in her hand and it happened again.  I couldn't get her to follow me away from the lady, so I had to scoop her up and put her in the cart.  She was ok 10 seconds later, but she just froze up.

 

I've mentioned all of this to her doctor, so we got referred to the developmental ped.   and he put us on a waiting list- and... yeah.  called back, still on that waiting list.  we're not high enough priority. and it was only for a play group therapy thing.. so idk.

 

frustrating.  but back to the cats.... yeah, it's really frustrating.  she's been ok since then, not physically harming him, but not exactly gentle either.  (say he jumps on the couch she's sitting on- she pushes him off with her foot roughly.)


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#12 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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I wouldn't put my youngest up for adoption if my oldest was hitting her (which she does, unfortunately), so nope.

 

A temporary re-home would just be putting a bandaid on the problem, only to be ripped off slowly when they'd return.  I need them her so I can work on DD with it.  If they aren't here, it would be kinda hard to teach her not to hurt.

 

 



Up thread you said she's violent toward her younger sister and you.   I'm not sure the cats need to participate in her learning curve, and if you aren't busy protecting the cats you'd have more time/attention to protect your younger DD.

 

My son was a hitter at 3-4.  I'm not being superior or dismissive.  It can take a long time for kids that struggle with using their bodies when their emotions are up to learn new patterns of behaviour.  I would focus on teaching her how to recognize when her emotions are pre-boiling and strategies to calm herself down (breathing, heavy work {google this for ideas - but it can be as simple as crab walking, making the room bigger by pushing against the wall, carrying heavy things as a chore like helping mom by carrying the laundry basket}).  A great technique is to name their emotions when they're simmering - "Wow, that's frustrating!  Ugh!  Let's ___ for a bit." Some kids need only a few words, others like more.  And note the redirection - don't let her keep doing what's frustrating her.  In moments of calm, talk about standards.  After problems, when it's calm, talk about a different choice she could have made.  Be clear that you accept her as she is and that you're confident that she can improve her behaviour.   This takes time, and while she's learning you need to keep those around her safe.  I had to work to protect my older daughter from her brother.

 

Set her up for success by ensuring she's getting enough sleep, food and play time (both free and directed).  This isn't always do-able, but it does make things run more smoothly.

 

You could also consider getting an assessment to ensure that there aren't developmental issues making it more challenging for her to deal with big emotions and to self-regulate.


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#13 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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Ok, just saw your more recent post.  DS has SPD, also an avoider.  Is she getting OT?  Heavy work is an OT approach and makes a huge difference for DS.

 

I love my dog dearly, but if one of my kids was standing over him pounding him with their foot, he'd be staying with family for a while.  He deserves to be protected.


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#14 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.  They said she didn't need OT... only the playgroup thing, and we're on the waiting list.  

 

And I have no one to re-home our cats with, even for a temporary stay.  Separating the 3 of them would stress them out, so we wouldn't be able to split them even.

 

She's not as violent towards my DD as she is to the cats- and I find that she's more understanding afterwards when it's her sister and doesn't do it as often.  With the cats... she just doesn't "get it".

 

And I mean- we're a gentle Waldorf inspired home... gentle discipline, attachment parenting.. making her feel loved and appreciated when DD2 takes up so much of my time.... it's tough, but I don't think we're contributing to it.  I could be wrong though... 

 

And I'm wondering if being with my MIL over the better part of the summer may have switched something on in her brain that said it was "okay".  We're limiting contact with them, but she was around my 17yo SIL who watches violent shows like "bad girls club" and those crazy VH1 reality shows... all the women are always fighting.  I didn't think (and don't know) if my DD was exposed to this, but I know that 17yo SIL had no problem with teaching DD the "N" word (used in slang, not derogatory towards people, but still) and MIL was okay with THAT, so I'm not so sure she'd see anything wrong with my little ones being around when those shows were on.

 

I DO hate that we use timeouts, but they're only used when she physically hurts someone or in a few other instances where *I* needed time to center myself.


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#15 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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We used time-ins - you sit with the child while they regain equilibrium.  Four year olds are all about big emotions and learning how to deal with them.  Add sensory sensitivity to that and it's a lot for a child to handle.  If you think of it as she's fallen out of equilibrium (dysregulated), your job is to coach her to learning how to regain equilibrium (regulation), and to recognize when she's going in that direction.  Her stomach may flip flop, she might feel hot, her palms might itch...helping her figure out what her body does before and during is great.  When she's out of control, remove her so others are safe, and then the two of you go sit together somewhere while she calms down.  Her brain is pretty much shut off at that point from anything other than fight/flight/freeze, and there's no reasoning with her until her brain switches on again.  Leaving her alone to try to re-regulate is not realistic, and arguably unkind.  Sometimes you'll need to remove her to deal with the aftermath (hurt toddler, your own temper), but when you can, being with her to help her regain equilibrium will make it return faster and is a coaching opportunity.

 

That deals with when it's in the moment stuff.  If she's calmly harming an animal and doesn't seem to get it, then you need to create a rule and a consequence to protect the cat.  If she's not able to understand it yet, you need to create external boundaries for her.  So..."in our house, we treat each other with kindness, which includes not hurting each others bodies.  That includes the cats.  Earlier today I saw you kicking Odie.  That made me very upset, because I love him and want him to feel good.  Do you like it when someone hurts your body?  No, I didn't think so, and neither does Odie.  You may not do anything that would hurt Odie.  If you aren't sure, just stay away from him, and come ask me.  If you do hurt him, like hitting, shoving or kicking him, we will be on a time out on the bottom step and I will be very upset because I love Odie and I don't like when those that I love get hurt." That's a lot of words, and I would expect going through the elements would take a while because kid would be fidgeting and avoiding.  But you need to make the expectation explicit to her, and give her alternatives.  If she repeats, then you need to set short term goals with rewards.

 

IMO, when kids have self-regulation issues, GD looks a bit different.  Think of it this way - she has not yet developed the internal abilities to navigate her world.  While she's developing them, she needs external supports (scaffolding).  This can all be provided gently and empathetically, but it may include a bit more structure and direction than you'd envisioned.  I am ambivalent about reward systems and avoid them when possible.  But kids who are struggling to learn something may need external motivators to keep them moving forward, and the hope is that it becomes a habit.

 

She is not happy when she's out of regulation and melting down.  She is not happy when she knows she's upset you.  She needs extra help to learn these skills.

 

I would go back and indicate that she needs OT.  A child's development is not entirely predictable, and what was true for her before (only needs social group) may not be true for her now.

 

ETA: there does not need to be an external influence (TV) for a sensory kid to lose control some of the time.  And she's 4, their development is uneven.

 

And also, my DS is now 9 and is doing very, very well.  He's learning how to regulate himself, and never hits.

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#16 of 27 Old 12-10-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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First off, at 3/4 it's still pretty normal to not always be gentle with the animals.  I still had to closely supervise my son and his interactions with our dog at that age.  Can the cat be in a different part of the house when you can't closely supervise?


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#17 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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I have been a mothering fan for over 10 years.  I have never posted until today and probably never will again.  I just have to say that Sane in SA was the first nasty post I have ever had the displeasure of reading.  Mothering devotees have always been a classy, supportive and civil group.  SaneinSA, you do not belong here with your attitude.  Go spread your mental filth somewhere else or learn how to behave.  After that, consult a medical professional for your agression issues.

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#18 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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Holy hell.  *jaw drop*  Is that someone you know who has a personal problem with you, WCM?


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#19 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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uh... looks like a troll. first post...

 

how do you report such a post?

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uh... looks like a troll. first post...

 

how do you report such a post?


I already did. You just hit the flag on the bottom of the post, and then type in your reason for flagging.

 

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#21 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Mods, please remove that nasty post! It has been up for over 16 hours and has been reported multiple times!
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#22 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I reported it this morning, too.  Only post I've ever reported.


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#23 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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I reported as well.

 


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Looks like the icky post is gone. Thanks mods!
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#25 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

IMO, when kids have self-regulation issues, GD looks a bit different.  Think of it this way - she has not yet developed the internal abilities to navigate her world.  While she's developing them, she needs external supports (scaffolding).  This can all be provided gently and empathetically, but it may include a bit more structure and direction than you'd envisioned.  I am ambivalent about reward systems and avoid them when possible.  But kids who are struggling to learn something may need external motivators to keep them moving forward, and the hope is that it becomes a habit.

 

She is not happy when she's out of regulation and melting down.  She is not happy when she knows she's upset you.  She needs extra help to learn these skills.

 

I would go back and indicate that she needs OT.  A child's development is not entirely predictable, and what was true for her before (only needs social group) may not be true for her now.


I would second this -- one of the ways you know you have a 'special needs' child is when the traditional discipline doesn't work. I used to scoff at people when they said "Oh, I don't teach my child politeness. I'd never tell them to say "please" and "thank you", they just learn it from hearing us use it." Hah! Not my son. He needed social behaviors explicitly described and modeled. For heaven's sake the child needed to be SHOWN how to hug me! He's not on the autism spectrum, but he's a huge introvert and has sensory issues (mostly avoidance). He needed overt, explicit instruction. He's 10 now and his social development is on track. But it took some overt teaching by us and the school to get him there.

 

. And then along came dd -- her 2nd word was "please"! I rarely had to do more than raise an eyebrow at a particular moment to get the politeness words out. A lot of things were like that: potty training, getting dressed, learning new skills. Ds needed/needs explicit instruction and expectations. He's the poster child for a rewards chart. Dd is internally motivated to learn these skills. She's the poster child for why rewards charts don't work with all kids. She could care less about the reward. Having dd was also reassuring in that it showed me that my parenting wasn't inherently flawed. Ds was just different.

 

I would also second the OT -- if you can't afford it and your insurance won't provide it, then I'd highly recommend: The Out of Sync Child Has Fun, Raising a Sensory Smart Child and Sensational Kids. All have very practical ideas about how to set up a sensory diet. OT made a huge difference for our son. I hadn't realized it, but he was selectively mute before OT. He's still quiet, but he talks outside the home. I did a little happy dance when his K teacher got upset because he was talking too much to his friend during rest time. (I'm sure she thought I was nuts!) Even today, he NEEDS heavy work to feel better. I encouraged him and his sister to wrestle and tackle each other in the living room yesterday because he clearly needed some heavy work, and I was grading papers. Winter is hard on him because he gets less outside time.

 

Can you get a little mini trampoline for jumping (you can get cheap ones off of Craigslist for $10-$15 from people who thought they'd use them for exercise and now want them gone)? Give her a small backpack with a book or two to carry around for a bit. Have her help carry the laundry or the groceries.

 

Finally, I'd say that when our son was out of control, he needed me to go away. My presence simply upset him more. So, we'd put him in his room and go in an connect when he was done. You'll have to experiment with what works for your daughter. Our daughter needs us to be there; our son needs his space.


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#26 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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Lynn and I are singing from the same song sheet.

 

It's interesting about the proximity thing.  DD needed proximity (she LOST it if she was put in her room, like throwing up lost it - that isn't a consequence, it's cruel).  DS was better about being away from us, but I could get him to get it together faster with proximity.  But this was all after I figured out how to avoid a lot of the mayhem, and to intervene before they went into rabid hysteria.

 

When DS got physical before I could get there, I calmly removed him saying "no hitting, you need to move away from her."  You have to be really, really calm, and you need to be very directive. 

 

What are you doing prior to her losing it?  Are you working on avoidance?  For a kid without self-control, it's over once they've lost it.  There is no teaching them to behave better while they're raging.  You have to avoid it, work to de-escalate them when you can see it building, but once they've lost it, forget about it.  Then it's just about bandaging the wounded and de-briefing where you talk about future strategies and get them to apologize/repair the relationship.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

If you are working methodically to preempt the violent behaviour and it's still happening more than randomly, you need to go get another eval.  Kids are developing constantly, and what was true last year may not be true currently.  Is she in preschool?

 

 

 

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I would second this -- one of the ways you know you have a 'special needs' child is when the traditional discipline doesn't work

This is so true.


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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Oh, and complete this online and send it to the ped.  It's an ages and stages questionnaire and will indicate where she has developmental lags.  Tell the waitlist folks what's happening in terms of her violence with you, her sister and the cats.

 

http://asqoregon.com/


Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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