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.
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.
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.
I’ve heard it said a lot lately that people often compare their worst real life days to the best of someone else’s facebook. (which leads to low self esteem). I, however, aim to make you feel good about yourself. I don’t hide the bad stuff. Here’s my theory on that, if I’m having a rough day (usually with J ) I’m probably going to need your prayers. I’d rather have that than to “look like a perfect family. ” I don’t share all my (personal) lows, I’m not an open book. I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the events but I do put them out there.
•••••••Before I sat down to write this, I had dinner at my parent’s house. Thank goodness my dad and mom decided to cook some comfort food not even knowing what kind of day I’d had. (biscuits and sausage gravy with warm chocolate pudding all from scratch)••••••••••
Today was one of those days. J and little j went to YMCA care since I had to work all day and didn’t have any one to watch them at home. This is the same care I used for both of them last year after school and this year for little j. This is the 3rd week of break. With that said, this is not a new place or situation for J. Today he didn’t want to go outside. He got physical with the staff, they restrained him, and then at some point he ran away. He ran around the school (where the YMCA operates) and eventually ran out the front gate and across the street. I got a call when the incident was over to let me know he was fine and safe and calm. Then I got a call a couple hours later. The staff had called their supervisor and the supervisor said that if it happens again, they had to call 911 because by the staff leaving the other kids it put them out of ratio. Most parents would be upset, I’m not. Here’s why, I can use that info to my advantage. When it was time to pick him up I told him about 911 bring called. I asked him what he thought would happen. He said he might go to jail. With further questioning he’s decided that he would rather not go to jail and that he doesn’t have money to pay for bail. I’m hoping that’s enough to scare him straight for Thursday.
Stop now if you don’t want TMI….
I hate that he reacted that way. It was in no way the right thing to do. Normally it would mean a stiff punishment. I’ve decided to go easy on him. He’s got some other stuff working against him. Poor kid has been cycling through constipation and diarrhea for a month. He gets backed up for several days and then it explodes out of him. The longer it takes the more his behavior spirals. I’ve been able to link his worst days in the last 4 weeks to the end of the constipation cycle. And his 2 worst of the worst have happened on the day before the full moon. He’s always been most agitated that day every month. This kid’s body is so sensitive that I don’t think his brain can process the emotions properly with his gut out of synch and the gravitational pull.
So we talked to his psych today, made a few minor changes, had an evening of no electronics and we are spending the night at my parents house with the intention of some fun in Phoenix tomorrow. Praying that Thursday he’ll be more himself and have a great YMCA day.
Last night J came out of his room and told me he needed to write some stuff to Captain Barnacle. I wasn’t really paying attention except to notice that he had his special pen that has a 3d fuzzy bird body on it (a gift from his elementary school parapro.) Lately he has been writing down summaries or verbatim dialogue from his favorite shows. I don’t discourage it since any initiative he takes towards handwriting instead of avoiding is a good thing. So, when he was done writing, he told me he needed an envelope. I asked him where he was planning to send it. He said he needed the mailman to send it through a warp zone to Captain Barnacles. After much discussion about how our local post couldn’t do that, I compromised and told him to put it in my work bag so I could mail it from the office.
After he went to bed, I got curious and decided to see what he wrote down. Turns out he wrote an original letter.
This morning I asked who Captain Barnacle was. I assumed he was from Jake and the Neverland pirates and thought it might be an easy costume. I was wrong. He’s from Octonauts. Also, even though J acknowledged that they are animated fiction, he is fully convinced that a warp zone could bring them here.
If you perhaps get the letter in the warp zone, want to dress up for Halloween, and trick or treat with the boys, let me know. The octonauts link above will take you to meet the characters, but for reference here is captain barnacle.
I spend a lot of time (as I’m sure most of you do) trying to find the fine line
The line between over parenting and lazy parenting
The line between being overbearing and timid
The line between being forward and shy
The line between hyper and exhausted
The line between obsessed and curious
The line…well you get it.
Often when I know I’m teetering one way or the other I find myself in a bubble of non-decision. I decide to be neither but I don’t really find the line. I just ignore the line. We’re all a work in progress. I feel like if I knew where other people were on the line, I’d be able to make my decisions. But then I have to decide to ask them or wait for things play out. And that’s a whole ‘nother line.
J is often grouchy in the morning. He wasn’t feeling great last night or this morning so we stayed home from church. Now he is doing a little better. He came to lay down with me and said, “can you set your phone timer for five minutes? ” why? “cause that’s the amount of time I’m going to snuggle with you before I go to eat breakfast. ”
Parenting tip: I know he really isn’t feeling well when I say, “okay we’ll stay home but no electronics. ” and he agrees. Works for those times when the symptoms aren’t visible or measurable.
Since today is my day off we decided to head out for an adventure. First stop was one of our favorite spots in Tucson. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. This is a place where static museum displays meets live animal habitats. Lots of walking outside with indoor exhibits scattered about.
We walked for a couple of hours. One of the coolest views was the bobcat who had just caught a squirrel. He was walking around the exhibit with it hanging from his mouth. J explained to us “he is looking for a place to cache it. It can stay good for a couple of days if buried in the cool earth. ” too bad there was no place to dig in the exhibit.
After the desert museum we drove back towards home and stopped at the International Wildlife Museum. Or as locals call it, the dead animal museum. Thankfully many of the exhibits are really paper mache and not taxedermy. J loves this museum best of all. I think it is because very little changes from visit to visit. He knows where to find his favorite animals and he never has to worry about them sleeping out of sight or being off exhibit.
We had a great first half of the day together. They have plans without me this afternoon. My plans are to enjoy the quiet.