23 March, 2009

16 March, 2009

At This Rate...

I will never ketchup catch up on:
  • sleep
  • laundry
  • dishes
  • blogging
  • emails
  • that stooopid monthly massage club thingy I joined which I cannot just up and quit because then I need to use up all of the roll-over massages within 30 days. However, since I now have 10 of them I should probably just quit while I am only this far behind rather than continue to pay for something I clearly have no ability to use given the fact that my children are apparently going to be snotty or with bad butt or both for the next 10-16 years. 
and I may need to give up entirely:
  • going to the gym
  • paying attention while grocery shopping (because I am ALWAYS in a hurry)
  • having friends be able to rely on me
  • working for money
  • having a clean dining room table (I swear I have not had this table cleared off since Christmas day)
  • bathing

10 March, 2009

Conversations I've had Today...

Other:   That was great. Thank you so much.
Me:        My pleasure. I really enjoyed working through this with you.
Other:    Make sure you bill me.
Me:         Oh no.  I couldn't.
Other:    No really. Please do.

(good)

***********

Other:    Jake has been doing so well.
Me:         I've noticed it too.
Other:    Well, 
Me:        How do we go about replacing his aide so he stays this happy and productive?

(fair to middlin')

**********

Me:        Let's go look at the fish. I think there is a dead one I really need to get out of that tank.
Other:    Actually, I think there are two dead fish. How often do fish die at your house?
Me:       Well, uhm, only seven since Saturday mid-day.

(not so good)

**********


Other:     So I can't really breathe. I won't be able to make it today (15 minutes afte normal time of arrival).
Me:        Okay. We are okay. Feel better. See you tomorrow.

(pain in the ass)
**********

Me:        Oh my gosh. What is that smell? Oh dear God how many boxes of raisins did they feed you at school today? Oh whoa, wow
Other:   silence
Me:      WOW! Okay it is everywhere. Okay. You are okay. We are okay. Okay.
Other:    snicker snicker
Me:      Okay. We are taking all of your clothes off out here. Wait I will get gloves. Don't move. 
Me:       Okey dokey we have no more gloves. Fant TASTIC!
Other:   Whoaaaaap! snicker
Me:      Okay buddy into the shower.
Other:   giggle. Doot doot doooodoooot!

(resolved)

04 March, 2009

Pink Eye Stink Eye

Who knows if Jake *really* has pink eye, but his little lid is tender and his eyes are both a bit bloodshot. Allergies are here again so I would normally attribute eye puffiness to that but given the two cases of pink eye in Jake's class, I am guessing it really is conjunctivitis. Lovely.

and so Jake is giving me stink eye for about ten minutes following the administration of eye drops. Since I am giving them every two and a half hours, that's a lot of stink eye for one mom. Oh and it's off and on sheeting rain in the back yard, so outdoor play will be very limited. Yeah he is thrilled with me today. Currently he is staring out the guest bedroom window no doubt trying to figure out a way to unlock the window and zip line it to the trellis so as to scamper down the wisteria and hightail it to the back yard so he can sort the rocks out of the flowerbeds.

Lucy is a bit more enamored with me, having just made a batch of bread for the bread machine AND pizza dough (which will not be ready in time for kiddos lunch, and I am certain this will cause a crisis in less than a quarter of an hour.) Then, against the urge of nearly every fiber in my body to do other wise, I gave her a bowl, a cup of flour, a tablespoon of sugar, another of salt, a half of a lemon and a half cup of water, oh, and an empty spice container. She also has her little pink rolling pin and a mat for rolling out dough. I played "recipe" with her for awhile until she told me she was going to do the rest by herself. She has been happily making her recipe for nearly ten minutes now without a peep (except for her song which goes something like this "I'm making my recipe toDAYYYYYY. I'm making a yummy recipe toDAYYYYYYY").

Jake has had a great week at school, which of course makes me a little distressed. Hmm? Well his aide has not been there this week, and so perhaps it's true that her more punitive versus reward based interaction with Jake is tiring him out and making him less productive in class. I spoke to her a little last week about setting up smaller more attainable goals for Jake. He does not to well with, "I told you back in the classroom thirty minutes ago that you cannot have a cookie if you don't stand in line when we get to the lunchroom..no cookie for you". Smaller goals and rewards that are within maybe a ten minute time period provide an opportunity for him to feel success and reward in the present moment, which is where we want him to be. I want to encourage him to interact and achieve.. not that I am not concerned with overarching behavioral issues, or nurturing the idea of long term reward and pay off, but those concepts are bigger and more vague for a kid like Jake. I don't want him rewarded with a cookie every time he hits a switch. AS strange as it may sound given that I have an entire pantry filled with sweets and treats for bribes, I hate food based reward, having had an eating disorder earlier in my life, and believe food should be most often eaten for nutrition and less often tied to emotion. What I want is for Jake to be praised when he lines up in the classroom for lunch, then reminded to stay in line, and praised again when he makes it to the cafeteria. I know, it's dog training. Most child rearing is really the same as animal training, but you can't kennel your kid.
Anywhoo, Jake has been happier because he is only experiencing action and reward. Janet and I both recently realized that there needs to be a bigger conversation with BB, and his happy, productive little self this week has just reinforced that.

03 March, 2009

Things to Do

It's always interesting for me to see my life through other people's eyes, or at least how I perceive others perceiving my world. Sometimes it's a great feeling; like when I found out that I was a nice person in first grade, or that someone always thought I had a good heart in high school. Or it is just sort of an uncomfortable feeling, like when my really neat, organized friend comes to my house the day before the housekeeper comes and sees how messy our house really can be.

Other times it's more difficult for me, mostly when I see the things in my life over which I have no control and the things I feel are out of control in my life.

My parents came to visit this weekend, and honored my son by visiting the classroom where he has been for two and a half years. I think it's a hard thing for grandparents to face a grandchild's disability, mostly because it hits them twice, the first pain they have is for their grandchild, and the other is for their own child.. but they went just the same, and they gave a donation to Jake's classroom which will make a big dent in the glue stick, wipes and tissue debt that Jake's teacher has each year.

We visited the library with Jake's class, then came back to the classroom while they ate pie to celebrate the bundle of joy Jake's aide is about to deliver. We sat at a table towards the back of the room at the library and later after the children were seated we declined pie, mostly so we could talk and watch Jake in his environment. Lucy was her usual self and infiltrated the classroom setting up shop next to the librarian for story time and at the head of the table during the afternoon sweet fest. 

Jake began being silly the minute he saw us all there. I could tell that he was happy to see us, and he greeted both of my parents in his own way. Sometimes this just means a pause instead of walking on by you. He couldn't sit still in the library, he grabbed the hair of one (or three?) of his friends, and continued on in his grope-y happy silly way. My poor parents. I know that Jake has better behavior in class than this. Okay, I know at least some of the time he does. I know today he went to speech therapy with his SLP and she is 5 foot nothing and weighs ten pounds less than Jake...and she took him all by her lonesome to speech with no trouble.. so I know that he is more calm, less grabby, able to sit still at least some of the time. He did use a 'talker' while he was there ( to answer YES! for pie). Heck, I've taken him to the movies, so I know he can sit still at least for a little while... but then I saw him through their eyes. They see a little boy who will be taller than most of his caretakers  within the next two years, and a boy who is probably stronger than some of them already. They see a boy who still can't talk (because he did not use any words English or Spanish while they were with him). A boy in pull ups, a boy who needs to be fed most of his food. A boy who, even in a class with severe disabilities looks like a kid who has profound disabilities. And of course they see his elfish ears and lean, healthy body and his beautiful hazel eyes (if you can catch a glimpse). Of course they see his smile, but they see the whole package.

I don't see all of those things anymore, not the tough stuff. At least I do not see them all at once because it is overwhelming to think of how many of his goals are the same goals he's had since he was three. I do not want to feel as hopeless as someone could be living with  this beautiful boy who develops so slowly I need to re-read this blog to find the changes he's made. 

We talked later in the weekend about our plans for Jake in the future, and of course I have one. I have a plan. I always have a plan. I know where everyone should be at all times.. indefinitely. And of course I have absolutely no idea what we will do, what I will do. Not. One. F*cking. Clue. I am not sure right now how to even tackle tomorrow or Friday, or summer, or swimming lessons, or haircuts, or the sprinkler system, or finding shoes that fit my son. There is a list so long, I'm not even sure I have enough ink, (or gigabytes?) Some of the things we need to do can be fixed with more time, more money or more effort, but some things just aren't going to be fixed. Some things might not even get 'better'. So there they are, those things over which I have no control... 

except I do. because I am not doing anything for Jake right now.  That's how I feel. I think I have been using Lucy as an excuse. Believing that she takes up time so I can protect myself from the fact that I am at a bit of a loss as to how to help my kid. 


and there I go again, seeing my life as others may see it, and I am having that feeling again like I cannot nail down any of the corners and the canvas is getting smaller and the frame is getting bigger and bigger. 

and now for my internal pep talk:
I have a list. Okay I am going to start a new list. On a clean sheet of paper. and I will check them all off one by one. and I am not depressed, and I will sell that stuff on eBay, and I will stop listening to the newscasters, and I will play more music and sing louder, and I will write daily because it makes me feel better every time. I will kiss my son in the morning, thankful for another day with him, another opportunity to make good choices for him and for our family. 
and tomorrow night I will go to bed before midnight.
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