Snot on my scrubs

If I worked in a traditional medical office, snot on my scrubs would probably be normal. But I’m an office manager in an eye clinic. Snot is not a part of my day.

Today is the first day back to school after a 2 week spring break. J woke up today adamant that he was no longer going to school. He barely got dressed after putting pajama pants on instead of clothes first. He didn’t eat breakfast. He tried to leave without shoes or me before I was ready. He decided taking a backpack was too much work.

When I got him to school with a lunch box that also contained some breakfast and his binder, he didn’t want to get out of the car. I explained that I had to work and if i don’t make money, he doesn’t get food or fun stuff. So he got out of the van and nearly kicked his binder into the way of on coming traffic.

I stayed in the van watching but it seemed that he was really agitated and being verbally abusive to the parapros who were there with him. So I pulled out of the drop off line and into a parking spot. I went up to hug him (deep sensory input)  and he blew his nose on my scrubs.

I ended up having to walk him in to school. We compromised on going to a life skills room instead of class. I basically left him with hi low expectations. No fit throwing today so you can have electronics time. Electronics time means he can spend his money on Amazon. I told him he’s allowed to feel the way he feels about school but he’s not allowed to act badly about it.

On my way out, I ran into another mom on the sidewalk who I know from special Olympics. She was trying to coach her son to go into his classroom from across the lawn. We acknowledged that it was a rough morning for all of us, a few tears escaped, and I hugged her. We walked out of the school together, hopeful that our kids navigate this Monday well.

And the award goes to….

ME!

Best Mom Ever!

When the boys grumble or complain about something I’ve done or made for them, I usually reply with, “I’m sorry, I think you meant to say, ‘Thanks mom, you’re the best mom ever'”

Yesterday they each said it on their own, in separate instances, without prompting, for something they were genuinely grateful for.

I couldn’t ask for a better reward.

(I’m writing this now as a reminder since lightning might not strike twice…or at least soon.)

What’s for lunch?

Little j: I forgot to take my lunch on Friday.
Me: so did you eat school lunch? What did you have?
Little j: salad.
Me: really? Salad? Did you eat any green stuff?
Little j : no but I ate some of it.
Me: what kind of salad?
Little j: chicken
Me: so you ate chicken off the salad?
Little j : yeah it was really chicken nuggets. And I ate the crunchy bread pieces.
Me: croutons?
Little j : yeah that and the roll.
Me: so you ate salad but you didn’t eat any vegetables?
Little j: I almost ate a zucchini. It was stuck to a proton. <— not a typo

At this point I couldn't stop giggling.

A supercalifragilisticexpialidocious morning

6 weeks has passed since my last post. A lot of good has happened to/for me and the boys peppered with some not so good days.

Today, despite the winter rain and gray skies we are having in the desert, I’m having a great morning. I got woken up by instant messenger just before my alarm. Normally that would make me crabby but when I got done talking with the friend and the alarm went off, I was already wide awake.

I found little j in the kitchen already making his breakfast. J woke up without complaining and I didn’t have to yell even once to get him moving. Plus, he’d slept in his bed all night.
Little j then said he was going to make his brother’s oatmeal for me so that I could have more time to start on lunches.

In the meantime, another friend started messaging me and put a smile on my face for the day.

Both boys and myself were ready a few minutes early which made getting through the rainy day drop off lines easier.

Getting to work early meant I didn’t have to rush my devotional time while eating my breakfast.

In this moment, I’m grateful for a peaceful rainy day.

Cross referenced

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Last night J wanted to snuggle with me. We started out next to each other reading our respective materials. He had a new Ranger Rick magazine and I had my Kindle app. Then he got to a story about an iguana. And he had to look though his books to find the one on endangered species so that he could give me all the facts about the iguana. Then he turned the magazine page. In a matter of minutes, I got monologues from the movies/tv shows Totally Tropical Rainforest, Rio 2, and Wild Kratts to go along with the animals he encountered.

He left me with this gem:

Welcome to the rainforest. Mom we went into my book.

Great, can I still read my book? (kindle app on my phone. )

No you don’t have international coverage.

Oops

I have an addiction to fuzzy socks. Many of them are striped, purple, or striped and purple. I think this falls under the category, “close enough.”  Sadly, I thought they were a match when I grabbed them from the laundry this morning. One of my favorite quotes is,  “life’s too short to find matching socks.” My mom likes to remind me that in junior high, my friends and I would compete to have the most outrageously mismatched pair.

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A miracle day

I worked half a day today. I told the boys last night that they would have some responsibilities to take care of while I was gone. When I left for work, I left a checklist of chores plus thier rooms to clean. Last night before bed, J started on his room all on his own. Little j was busy in his when I woke up. When I got home, they were making their lunches and that wasn’t even on the check list. All their chores were done and their rooms were age appropriately cleaned. Then I found out that J helped little j with one of his jobs because they were worried I’d be home before he could finish.

Now they are outside playing chase/hide and seek/cap guns together.

If I ignore the fact that J was sneaking electronics at 430 am, I’d call it a perfect day.

Comic relief

Little j is naturally funny. Especially when he isn’t trying to be.
It is red ribbon week at school and every day has a theme. He was especially excited about mustache day. He let me draw one on with a blue marker. When I picked him up he told me that lots of kids had them drawn on but he thinks he was the only one with blue. He also said he wished it was mustache day everyday so that he could choose different colors and styles to draw. I made him scrub it off just before our scout meeting. He says this is his serious mustache face.

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I’ve been trying to convince him it’s time for a hair cut. I think part of the reason he doesn’t want one is because he gets a kick out of styling it after his shower each night. Here’s his grease lightening/Elvis look.

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Too bad he can only get his hair to do fun stuff when it is wet. As it dries it gets crazy and he had no interest in styling products. Also, he takes night showers so his hair dries while he sleeps… Recipe for hilarity in the morning.

One Day

J had an unbelievably rough start to the week. I will confess that it wasn’t all his fault (and I feel horrible about it.) Sunday morning I wasn’t feeling well so I got up long enough to tell the boys what they could do for the morning and what they needed to do if they wanted electronics later. Then I went back to bed. Monday, I got a call pretty early in the day that J was not cooperating and didn’t want to work. I kind of expected that since we spent a tiring weekend at the State Special Olympics swim meet. They said he wasn’t out of control but that he was really agitated and refusing to do anything but read or talk about animals. Then Mrs. S picked him up like usual. When they got back to her house she wanted him to do his work, he wanted to nap. Somewhere along the way he got out of control. Really out of control. If you’ve never seen it, it is hard to imagine. It is actually hard for me to remember because it hasn’t happened at home or with me in several years. But he was a raging tasmanian devil. Things were flying, he was screaming, etc. S tried calling me and putting me on speaker phone and all he did was hiss at us. I ended up having to leave work early and when I arrived there was another adult from across the street also coming over to help. It was bad enough that she’d had to call for back up.

When we got home I noticed his morning meds still sitting at his breakfast spot. That is when I realized that he also didn’t have any the day before. Morning is now when he takes his anxiety/OCD meds. I had him take it right away and then sat him down to start catching up on all the work he had missed. He was a blubbering mess for a couple hours. He slowly got his work done and he also slowly returned to himself. We got a lot of work caught up, he did his night time routine and then wanted to go to bed a little early. When I tucked him in, I prayed over him extra peace and then sang a lot of songs to him. He wanted to know why I was singing more than one song and I reminded him that when he was little (and often had day long fits) I would sing him off to sleep. He wasn’t happy about it so we agreed that I’d just sing one more.

3:40am I was woken up by the dog. I got up to check on things and found J in his room on a handheld device. He’d already lost electronics through the end of the month for the Monday stuff. Add another day.

Tuesday morning before school he seemed fine. He took his meds, I triple checked. He promised it was going to be a great day and that he’d do his work. It wasn’t. He took a really long nap at school and only did about 10% of his class work. S said he was pretty wound up when she got him. I told her she could put him at my house for the last bit of time I’d be at work and for everyone’s safety, she did. He called her every few minutes to tell her what adventure he was imagining and she knew he was fine. (Side note: We’ve been slowly letting the boys stay home alone for short periods of time. They seem to do very well with the rules that come with the responsibility.)

When I got home we got right to work on catching up with the work. S and I were texting and brainstorming since he seemed to be doing better out of school this week. We needed something big to turn his week around. Since it seemed he really wanted to be away from school, I put that out as a reward. In the mornings he goes to a traditional teacher led class but in the afternoon, he does online courses with parapro support.

The deal was this: Go to your regular classes, stay awake, participate with a good attitude and if you can do all that, I will come get you before lunch starts.

12:45am I woke up from a dream and saw a light on in the hall. He was up getting a snack and books. Tucked him in again, reminded him of the deal.

This morning we went over all the desired behaviors. I also reiterated that me picking him up was not for fun but so that he could do his online work in the comfort of home.

I am happy to say it worked. He got to come home early and then we put in about 3 hours of work online and doing homework. He still has more homework to do because we didn’t get to it earlier this week, but today was successful. He navigated his two classes even when there was a slight change in the schedule. He stayed awake and he behaved appropriately. I’m hoping this broke the cycle. I’m hoping he remembers what a good day feels like and how nice it is when your teachers and support staff and mom are proud of you. Sometimes One day is all it takes.