ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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Lots of little things have been going on in recent weeks. School let out. Sweet Pea has attended birthday parties and done well at them. Things with the babysitter are going well. On a personal level, my father is not doing well and I am not sure how much longer I will have him. And then there is the cruise in July that I should be looking forward to but am dreading. I have plenty to write about, just no time. I’ll start with the end of Kindergarten. I’ll try to take up the other topics in the coming days.

School’s Out For Summer!  )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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It was a huge relief to cancel all those interviews with the potential babysitters who were interested in watching my son over the summer. Huge. It’s always a pain to interview people for a job to start with, but there is the whole "full disclosure" part of asking someone watch my son that I dread. Ideally, it’s best to have him along on these interviews, so he can play quietly and look angelic while I tell them about the behaviors that got him thrown out of daycare when he was 4 and that earned him a "special education" classification shortly after he started kindergarten this last year. You can’t just ask someone to watch a child and not warn them that he is capable of throwing screaming, kicking, throw-down tantrums that last for an hour and a half. Perhaps I could have skipped over the part about how the school quit having the kindergarteners hand the ladies in the lunchroom a wooden clothespin with their lunch account number on them after my son tried to stab another child in the eye with his clothespin after the kid bumped into him in the lunch line. We got a note asking us to please help him learn and remember his lunch number after that. Because he likes eating, he learned the number easy enough and the whole clothespin program was disbanded for all of the children.

Everyone wants their child to have an impact and be remembered. My son will be remembered as the reason wooden clothpins are now classified as potentially dangerous weapons that are no longer allowed on his elementary school campus.

You know that kid from The Omen? Well, he’s nowhere nearly as bad as that kid. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I met my son’s fiancée this last Saturday at the party for her 6th birthday. She seems like a nice little girl. A bit goofy looking, but judging by how pretty her mother is, I suspect she will be very attractive once she grows into her features.

“Are you [Sweet Pea’s] mom?” the mother of the birthday girl greeted me, “Mallory talks about him all the time at home. She tells me she’s going to marry him when she grows up.”

“He mentioned that to me,” I told her with a smile. I didn’t mention that he is not yet ready to commit to her daughter. There are so many little girls at his school that he’s not sure which one he will marry, he has confided to me. I told him he doesn’t have to pick one for a couple more decades, and not to rush. There is a good change (say 99.9%) that he will marry someone who he does not go to Kindergarten with. But his world is very small right now, and he has no way to imagine how many people (including girls) he will meet as he makes his way through his life. Right now the dozen or so girls in his class are overwhelming enough to him.

Sweet Pea Syndome )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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The report from the Meyer Developmental Center arrived in the mail over the weekend. The doctor there was kind, but she wasn’t much help. She specializes in ADHD and Autism Spectrum disorders. She thinks my 6 year old is more likely just nuts, and referred us to a psychiatrist to drug him into submission.

“I could write you a prescription for an anti psychotic medication, if you like,” she said sweetly, “But I think you would be better off getting it from a psychiatrist who specializes in these types of conditions.” Not that she could say what my son’s condition is. She also offered to write a prescription for an ADHD stimulant-type drug, if I liked that idea better. Her willingness to let me, a person who has never been to medical school, chose whether my son was prescribed a stimulant or an antipsychotic drug made me trust her judgment about as far as I could pick her up and throw her.

Doctor, doctor, there’s a hole inside my head… )
ninanevermore: (Family)
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No one around my house is good at holidays, or anything that requires planning ahead, really. We are good at muddling through at the last moment. We excel at that, and do it better than anyone eles. I am certain that the secret to happiness is setting really low standards, and taking it with a grain of salf when you fail to meet even those.

I would say that today’s half-ass Valentine’s Day was pretty much typical for us, except for the part about the school nurse calling to say Sweet Pea had a fever. Since this is his first year in school, I won’t know until next year if that kind of thing is going to be a new tradition or not. Cards, chocolates, and a lemon tree. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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Sweet Pea has forgiven his father, and I am glad. Just last night he said he never would, and that he planned to run away and never see his dad again. He was serious. His face was long and flushed like he was trying very hard to be brave and not cry. But can you blame him? What if your father were as cold hearted and cruel as his, and told you that there would be no TV or time on the computer FOR A WHOLE EVENING?

You’d hate that person, too.

But officer, my Behavioral Intervention Plan says I can go up to 19% over the speed limit. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I was driving Sweet Pea home from school the other night when he started telling me about the family of one of his Kindergarten classmates. The dymanics of this little girl's family are a bit surprising, to say the least.

Read? More. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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I don’t think the average jerk knows he or she is a jerk, or feels at all like a jerk even at their jerkiest moments. They aren’t trying to be jerks. They aren’t trying to be self righteous or small-minded or hateful. Life just hasn’t handed most of them a mirror and forced them to see themselves for what they are. Last week I was handed just such a mirror, and I'm holding it up just in case anyone else out there needs to take a look in it.

I've discovered that phone calls from my son’s school have a way of changing my viewpoints. I should be thankful for the opportunities to gain these wisdoms and insights, but I’m not: I liked being ignorant. Being a jerk is easy. Being kind and insightful is a lot of work, and the self examination leading up to it is painful, to boot.

Riding the Bus to Wisdom )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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“Forty five minutes,” my husband, Jeff, said with amazement as he read the report from our son’s school, “How can anyone stay that angry for forty five minutes? I mean, I can go off when I get mad, but…”

“You’re over it in about 10 or 15 minutes,” I said. Our son is not the only one in the house prone to the occasional hissy fit, but Sweet Pea’s last much, much longer. There is a wide array of styles for individual tempers, and our house comes with the variety pack. Jeff has a quick temper that, like a firecracker, goes “pop!” and then dissipates in a little cloud of smoke. My anger is of the charcoal variety; it takes a lot of work to get me hot under the collar, but once I am there my anger will smolder indefinitely. Sweet Pea has a temper like a Molotov cocktail; a quick burning fuse that explodes and leaves a lot of damage in its wake.

Read? More. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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Sweet Pea was sent to the cooling off room for 45 minutes last Friday for trying to dissect a frog. Well, sort of. The frog was actually a child pretending to be a frog, who hopped up to Sweet Pea in their kindergarten class and licked Sweet Pea on the ear. Sweet Pea was holding a pair of scissors at the time, and when this happened he threw them at the frog that was assaulting him

Now, a person with good impulse control might think, “Hmmm. That was uncalled for and unpleasant, but I am not actually hurt. Therefore, while I may voice my irritation at being licked in the ear, it would not be appropriate for me to do this person physical harm.”

A person with moderate impulse control might think, “Yuck! I’m offended, but not mortally wounded. I will put down this cutting implement and punch him, instead.”

Sweet Pea has poor-to-non-existent impulse control, and I guarantee that all he could think was, “AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRR!!!!” Which did not bode well for the frog. Filled with rage at the assault of wet tongue on his ear, Sweet Pea threw the scissors that were hand. Since this was in Kindergarten, the scissors were the blunt tipped kind made out of plastic, and “the frog” survived intact.

Read more... )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I have a terrible confession to make: my son’s IEP meeting was not so terrible. The school was very reasonable. They accepted my input and he got two extra accommodations because I thought they might be a good idea and everyone else in the room agreed. All of the advice that people who have had to fight tooth and nail for their kids gave me (“Don’t sign anything!” “Don’t accept what they offer – demand what he needs!”) had to be set aside, because the team presented a very good plan filled with reasonable and practical solutions.

Nice Schools Finish First )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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ARD stands for Admission, Review, and Dismissal. It’s what the state of Texas calls an IEP meeting. IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. I will attend my first one tomorrow to go over what his school things might help him learn and function a little better. I am neither looking forward to or nor dreading it. I guess, to borrow a phrase from Pink Floyd, I have become comfortably numb.

Sweet Pea is suspended from the YMCA After School care again for throwing a Lincoln Log at another child and hitting him in the eye. Jeff is on vacation this week, so we are okay as far as childcare goes. When I got the call from the Y today, I didn’t even ask what was wrong, I just said, “Oh, God,” and the girl spilled the beans on what had been going on. I called my husband and told him, “You need to go pick up your son.”

And then the numbness set in.

No one here is practically perfect in any way at all. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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Last week my husband and I were given a draft of the report that will be presented at Wednesday’s ARD/IEP meeting. The psychologist went over it with us, and gave us a overview of what her conclusions are about our son. By in large, her conclusions are kind of inconclusive; he straddles all of the lines of ADHD, Autism, and Emotional Disturbance. She picked Emotional Disturbance – a vague catch-all category that covers everything from anxiety disorder to bi-polar disorder. She said he barely missed the criteria for ADHD on the scale she used to rate him, but that if she had used the scale her own son was classified for ADHD at his school, Sweet Pea would have fit the criteria.

Moving and Shaking )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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My son's IEP Meeting (or as they call it in Texas, an ARD Meeting) is next week. Going through all of this during the holiday season has inspired me to write a Christmas carol about the whole IEP process we have gone through since the school year began. I think I will print this out and hand out to all the team members as a parting gift, once we hash out the details of just how special my son and his needs are. You know, since this is happing at Christmas and all.

henseforth, I will call this The Year of the Acronyms: IEP, ADHD, SID, etc. etc. )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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My husband showed up at 8:35 for our 8:40 interview with the school psychologist, the occupational therapist, and the educational diagnostician. We could have waited to show up until after 9 since that’s when the three of them were ready to see us, but that would have made us look like we weren’t very concerned about why we were there. Sitting in the front office, I looked at the framed photos on the front desk of the principal, the vice principal, and the school counselor, each with a stack of their respective business cards in front of it.

“Look,” I pointed out to Jeff, “Three pictures of people who have been hit, bitten and kicked by our son.” It was like a photo lineup of his frequent victims.

Jeff made a kind of pained groaning sound. I get a kick out of it when I hear one of those women tell me they love having my son in their school. I wish they could look me in the eye when they say that, but I think it’s sweet that they say it at all. They are trying their best, and God love them for that.

Finally, the psychologist, who I’ll call Ms. Psych, came around the corner and called us back. So, tell us about your son. )
ninanevermore: (Default)
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Tomorrow morning my husband and I will be interviewed by the school therapists who are assessing our son. This is the last little get together we all get to have before the ARD meeting (what IEP meetings are called here in Texas) in early December.

“I say we douse ourselves in alcohol on us before we go. And I’ll put makeup around my eyes like they’re bruised. Then we stumble in there and pretend to fight the whole time. Then they can go, aha! No wonder the kid’s a wreck!

“You mean splash vodka all over us? That’s an idea.”

“Yeah, like it was cologne. Make their eyebrows go right up when we walk in.”

I don’t know if the glass is half full, or if I’m half cracked. )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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My husband called me this afternoon to let me know that our son had a pretty good day at school.

“Well, there was one trip to the office, but just one.”

“Just one?” I asked, “No one got hurt? No need to restrain him? The police and fire departments weren’t called? I call that and excellent day!” To be fair, the police and fire department have never been called, but sometimes it’s fun to wallow in hyperboles.

“No police, you’re right. It was a good day.”

“But mommy got pulled over by a policeman,” I heard a sweet voice say in the background. Suddenly, I was no longer a part of the conversation, just the subject of it. Jeff’s voice sounded a little further away as he spoke not into the phone, but in the direction of my beloved 6 year old snitch.

Daddy Never Stays in The Dark )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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When my cell phone rang this afternoon at about a quarter past three, I thought maybe the school was calling to confirm how my son would be getting home today. I could tell as soon as I answered that they wanted him picked up. Not that I could understand what was being said or who was saying it to me; my son was screaming pretty loud in the background. I heard the assistant principal trying to outline the series of events and behaviors that led to him being taken to the office, but it was difficult to make what she was saying.

“Can you put me on speaker phone and let me talk to him?” I asked.

“Okay. Hold on. [Sweet Pea], your mom’s on the phone. Can you talk to her?”

The line went silent, like someone had flipped a switch from hysterical to off.

Quiet After The Storm )
ninanevermore: (Motherhood)
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I’ve been away for a week. Not away in general, just away from writing. I don’t have any sick time or paid time off from my new job, so in order to take 3 hours off to get fitted for a crown last week I worked a bit longer to make up for the time. In a few more weeks I’ll need to do the same when I have to go in and have the permanent crown fitted. Turns out I grind my teeth in my sleep, and not just a little. I clench and grind my teeth so hard that I can (and do) break them. This new crown is my trophy for a very stressful year.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * # * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


Sweet Pea got written up by the YMCA afterschool program this last week, for throwing a ball repeatedly at one of the caregiver's faces. He said he was only playing, but when he is in a state of agitation his play turns rough. I noticed when she wrote him up that it was the 3rd write up (I can’t remember the 2nd one, maybe Jeff signed that one), and that there was only room for 4 write ups. After that, I suppose the child is kicked out of the program.

A woman's voice, a man's tone )
ninanevermore: (Bite Me)
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So it wasn’t the worst day ever. Not by far. No matter how many incidents are on my son's daily report, a day that the school does not call me to come over and intervene is, by my definition, pretty good. Some shoes were thrown. A teacher got bit. The P.E. coach was told that he can't wait for her to die and that, in fact, he wanted her dead. But it could have been worse.

Having low standards helps me cope. I'm always relieved when it is an adult rather than another child that gets bit. I'd rather no one get hurt, but I don't feel as guilty about injured adults. I'd just as soon the parents of the other kids not be demanding that “something be done” about my son. The fact that the teacher’s husband probably wants something done about him doesn’t hold near as much weight on my conscience as all those other parents.

”I’ve )

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