March 23, 2015

come so far

Since I've been down on my buddy's behavior lately, I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane and focus on just how far he's come.

When my buddy was little, he was allowed in the kitchen. I emptied a drawer and filled it with toys. He would toss the toys out of the drawer and use it to climb. As he became a menace in the kitchen, he was no longer allowed in. Even after he was gated out, he used to throw every toy he could get his hands on over the gate and right into the cat's water. When we moved into this house a year and a half ago, I was worried about the open kitchen. I took the Potentially Deadly Weapons (vegetable peeler, rolling pin, pastry cutter, etc) and put them all a drawer with thoughts that I could somehow lock it if I needed. So far I haven't needed to lock it.

Starting when my buddy was 2 years old, I had to put all the kitchen table chairs in a corner and push the table in front of them to stop him from climbing on top of the table and swinging from the light. (yes... he actually did that once) All the floor lamps, coffee tables and pictures were put away. You couldn't even have a cup with any liquid on it anywhere within reach. My buddy has outgrown all of that. It is amazing when I think about all the things he would get into. I honestly never thought I would see the end of that era.

When my buddy was 3, he would push or tackle every child smaller than him. Every. Single. One. I had to hover over him whenever we were in public. His favorite were babies. Pretty much every baby he came in contact with ended up crying because of him. Now he's still not 100% safe around babies, but only because he would try to pick them up and hug them a little too tightly.

I've repressed the memory of just how many full plates of food my buddy threw across the room. And how he used to spit out whatever was in his mouth just to take a drink of milk. Meals may not be exactly civilized but they are so much better.

Smart. That boy is smart. I'm sure he wouldn't do great on a test that asked him which number was greater than or less than, but when I tell him he has 2 more minutes to play - he asks for 10. When I tell him he needs to read 3 books to get the iPad - he says, "One." He can dress himself and has made great strides using the potty.

My buddy's maturity level has grown so much. I know that we will get past the not so great place his is now... and find some new hurdle to overcome.

I saw this awesome T-shirt recently. It said, "Some people only dream of meeting their biggest inspirations. I raised mine."

How true.

A few of my favorite pictures of the girls so they don't feel left out.

March 16, 2015


Not so great days can really stink but they seem to lead to positive change. Sometimes I need a kick in the pants to get my Mama Bear in full swing mode. I've decided that if my buddy learns nothing more this year than to identify when he is feeling overwhelmed, ask for a break and never enter full meltdown mode - than we have had a successful year. 

If his one teacher can't seem to understand that my buddy not hating school is more important than AB patterns, she will no longer be his teacher. I have given her more than enough chances to change how she sees him and handles him. 

Things will get better. Now I just need to figure out what I want my buddy to do this summer. It's such a dilemma. I want to push him - but just enough. He does the extended year program that the school has but I think he might need more. There are summer camps that my buddy can attend for a couple of hours with a para, but if he hates it and doesn't participate, then it's not really worth it. Where's that darn crystal ball to see into the future???

I do have some concrete parenting advice. Skip buying toys and just head to Target for paper goods. 

Oh and my other advice - if life gets you down, put on your fanciest dress and dance in the sunlight.

March 10, 2015

not so great

My buddy has had a series of not so great days at school. Not so great as in emails saying they had to physically restrain him because he was hurting himself and others around him. Not so great as in a call so he can talk to me on the phone and stop crying. Not so great as in when he finally calmed down after one restraint and they brought him his communication book so he could choose what he wanted to do, he pointed to the 'backpack' picture and said, "home."

I'm a nurturer by nature. These stories make me want to pick him up from school and snuggle him in my arms all afternoon. I'm better with a hug than with a "buck up buddy." I know that there have been a lot of changes at school plus the time change. It's all it takes to throw him off. He also sneezed a ton after school which usually indicates that he is getting sick. (Perfect timing because he's actually been healthy for 3 whole days.) Plus the moon is in retrograde and all those other excuses I use.

I don't know why he behaves the way he does. I assume it is extremely frustrating to lack the ability to communicate with those around you. Plus he just wants to do his own thing. Change is not his friend.

I asked one of his teachers today about the search for a new para. She said it was going slow because they are looking for the right person who they think can handle him. Then she said that unfortunately people talk and word has spread that my buddy isn't the easiest to deal with. Now, I appreciate that I am an easy person to talk to and she is being honest with me, but I did not need to hear that coming out of the mouth of a professional that works with my child.

I say at least daily how hard my buddy can be. But I don't want to hear his teacher say it. It's like making fun of your brother - fine when you do it, but as soon as the words come out of someone else's mouth, you beat them up with your Care Bears lunchbox.

Some days I marvel at just how far my buddy has come. There are so many things he can do and a level of maturity that I never thought he would reach. But other days it seems like he still has so far to go.

March 9, 2015


I'm not good at asking for help. I have no idea why. I love helping other people and I've never once thought less of someone because they needed help. Yet I find myself only asking for help in the most extreme circumstances... like last week.

Just as we pulled into the parking space at school, big sis (in a panicked tone) let me know that rara was throwing up. I grabbed my travel cup and tore around the car dumping the contents on the way. Once things had calmed down, I surveyed my surroundings. I was standing in an ankle deep puddle of ice water. Big sis had crawled through the front seat and out of the car as fast as possible (she gets that from me) and was standing on the sidewalk in 10 degree weather. Rara was a mess. Then there was my buddy. Sitting very patiently waiting for me to get him out of his seat. Unfortunately, my buddy can't handle walking safely into school and to his classroom on his own. I was in a pickle and needed help. I decided to abandon rara in the car (for less than a minute and I could see her the whole time) and walk the kids to the principal, who stands out front. After a quick explanation, he was more than happy to help.

On a normal day, I believe I can do it all ... and for the most part I do. But wouldn't it be nice not to have to spread myself so thin? Hire a babysitter and get a pedicure. See a movie. Browse the bookstore. Logically I know the kids and I would both benefit. So, really, what's my problem?

I know my buddy isn't easy and not just anyone can keep him safe and happy. The kids are my life. If I had a job, I wouldn't ask for help to do it properly, so why should I ask for help with my kids?

But what it really comes down to is asking for help gives me a headache. The stress of asking someone to lend me a hand is worse than just doing everything myself. You can't fight the introvert that lurks inside of you.

I find plenty of time to do things for myself... just with kids around. So I'll continue my hermit ways... at least until Saturday when the husband is dragging me out of the house for the day. Then I'll happily burrow back into my home surrounded by my family.