Wicked Roller-coaster

That is what I am thinking about!

Charlie got kicked off the bus because he didn’t want to go to the new after-care last Tuesday. Today, when I arrived to pick him up from after-care he was mad because he didn’t want to leave. He wants us all to live there. And sleep on the mats.

Wicked roller-coaster.

Coco is delightful. She is always hopping and talking and when she’s not, she’s drawing like this tonight on Dad’s computer. She wanted to draw like him:

Cameron has been busy, too. He is becoming more and more like Chris and I where he holes up and gets busy on what ever he is creating at the moment. This was tonight:

GoAnimate.com: This direction by none of yo business
http://goanimate.com//api/animation/player?utm_source=embed
It’s a good life!

Psychologists

Maybe I just haven’t met one that I liked. At least not for my kid. I went to the appointment last week. The doctor that is the ADHD specialist insisted he visit with a psychologist before she would treat him. I don’t know why I swallowed the fly….What I mean to say is I don’t know why I even bother with the medical community. The only thing they have to offer is to drug him. Even the doctor thinks he’s too skinny.

Anyway, so I went to the psychologist. He asks Charlie questions like “What makes you mad?”, “What makes you sad?” and “Do you want to kill anyone?” and after a few minutes he says he has ADHD, and asks Charlie if he will go to the other room while Mommy and me talk. The other rooms consists of not much that hasn’t been colored on by  other kids and a dry erase wall. The Dr turns on the monitor and I hear Charlie get bored in about 5 seconds. I jump up and find Charlie in the break room looting the chocolate bars that were in a bowl on the table.

The Dr calls Charlie ‘sneaky’ and is surprised that I knew what was up. Really? I know I blow off a lot of behaviors. I have to. But it isn’t because I am stupid. It’s because I am sane, or in of the sane. There isn’t much difference when you are a parent, I assure you. Anyway, we bring Charlie back in with us because their playroom sucks. And after considering my options, and not really wanting to, – because really, does the kid need more candy? – I use the chocolate to bring about the behaviors that I want. Draw me a picture and I will pay you in chocolate.  The doctor tells me that I need to be more specific with my asking and my rewarding. So when I was floundering in my disgust at giving the kid candy I was fucking up. Great. But I apparently recovered when I started paying Charlie in chocolate. I know it makes sense in the immediate, but what about the longer term? Is there a long term when dealing with the ADHD mind? I understand bribing your kids/rewarding them, but when do they learn to do stuff because you are just supposed to? When do you teach them about inner rewards?

Then, Charlie started using the pencil to poke the chair upholstery, because honestly, everything can  and will be weaponized.  I couldn’t get him to stop and guess what? Neither could the doctor. So this is the guy I want to use as an ADHD parenting coach?

No, I just need to drink a little more.

 

 

What does this mean?

Charlie and Coco ride bus 7 in the morning. Bus 7 is in the shop and has been for a few days. The first day bus 16 showed up, Charlie was pretty insistent he couldn’t get on the bus. I finally convinced him it was okay. The second day, he hesitated, but got on anyway. Today, he walked away and when I went to get him he angrily informed me that it wasn’t his bus. It took some cajoling, but he got on. So, any theories on inflexibility?

P.S. The bus driver looks at me like “control your kid, lady” and I really dislike him for it.

Ah, relief.

We are doing better, thanks to me and my ability to control my temper. Damn, if it doesn’t always start with that.

In the meantime, I have been hit, kicked, had my glasses broken and kept my cool. Coco’s room is finally painted, a lovely blue that is known at Sherwin Williams as ‘Celestial‘.  She is very excited about inviting people to play in her room, especially in her make-shift makeup dressing table area. Charlie got 10 smelly stickers at school, which means he got to pick out a model. He chose the USS Arizona. Cameron has started to practice his baritone/euphonium in the basement and it doesn’t sound near as bad as you might think.

After Charlie got his tenth sticker, he started going to the darkside again. I know, they have cookies, but still and all. I found out that he has a new teacher for his pull out literacy class. He has serious misgivings about change. By the end of the week, he pulled out of the spiral and has been better than ever. He even did his homework tonight. And wrote his name. The boy is writing his name. You can even read it. That is new.

Coco has proved that she is full of piss and vinegar. But I have known that for a while. Whatsup with GWA? I try extra hard to give her loads of attention, but sometimes, it just isn’t enough. Isn’t there a song about that? Anyway, she’s quite adorable, even so. And she did her homework, too. I think that was a first.

We have stopped with the extra-curriculars. I was trying to exercise it out of them but it only succeeded in stressing them out. And me, too. I could never get around to making dinner.

Things are chillin’ and the sun will be leaving here soon. I got a month of rain already and I was down. Really down. I am already making plans to visit a sunny clime in the middle of winter.

How’s it going?

Well, Charlie and Coco had a fine week in school. Charlie peed on the floor in the kindergarden bathroom, admitted to it and helped clean it up. Nice. And a few days later, Charlie and Coco made fun of a kid on the bus. The bus driver said she had never seen kids so young act so aggressive. Poor kid, Charlie and Coco say he smells like poo.

I have felt especially out of control with them all week. I ask them to do stuff and they laugh maniacally and totally blow me off. I wonder if they are just kids being kids or if one or all of us are just really fucked up.

Coco’s room still smells like smoke. Chris got a new car. It’s really cool and he is really happy.

So yeah, that’s how it’s going.

 

what a long strange trip it’s been

Wow, so much has changed in the 8 months since I have written a post. I have become a real web developer (see here: chmcreative.com) hence my lack of time for writing, we have moved from Dallas to Cleveland, and all my kids start public school for the first time today.

In all the upheaval, life is still pretty much the same. Cameron even noted it yesterday when we were getting gas. He commented that the move didn’t stress him out and that he didn’t really feel like anything had changed. He seems really happy, generally. I love that about Cameron. We visited his new school and he seemed to be excited. He said that it was the biggest school he has ever gone to. It has the best facilities although I don’t know about it being the biggest.  He thought it was cool, nevertheless. Charlie doesn’t seem to have been adversely affected by anything, he is the same as ever. He loves the river park and wants to go fishing. We haven’t done that yet. They did see deer while on a walk, and he thought that was exceedingly awesome. Coco, however, talks a lot about wanting to go home. That makes me sad but there isn’t much I can do to comfort her. I have been trying to fix up her room, but it still smells like smoke*, so it is less than inspiring. Besides that, it’s hard to take everyone shopping to the fabric store when I don’t know where it is yet.

Hopefully, school will bring playmates and that will help Coco settle in. We were at the park last weekend with Cameron’s fencing club and Coco asked if she could go fill up a squirt gun with another girl her age and an older girl. I said sure. I watched her get behind them, open the cap to the water gun and empty the water out so that she would be like them, with them, a part of the empty squirt gun club. She also wanted to have a play-date with the girl the next day. I think having some girl time would do her good. She and Charlie play well together most of the time, but they are still siblings and like to get under each other’s skin.

I am nervous and excited for Charlie to start school. For Coco and Charlie it’s only half day kindergarten, so it should be okay. Hopefully it will give Charlie a little more time to mature, because, really, that is the biggest issue I have with him right now. I was reading a book called Neurodiversity:  Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences by Dr. Thomas Armstrong and I really found his insight about ADHD beneficial. He states that immaturity is one of the mainstays of ADHD and that it may be helpful to be immature or childlike in other aspects of development, particularly creative development. He speculates that the ability to multi-task originates with the inability to sit still. So, I am all for that, if I can only survive the daily raspberries, inattention and ridiculous messes that get created. Coco and Charlie thought it would be really funny to put all the Barbies, clothes and other toys in the floor vent in Coco’s room. It’s on the second floor. Some of the toys have made their way to the first floor. In the vent. Egads. This winter, when we turn on the heat, our house will smell of smoke and melted Barbie.

*The house we are renting has it’s good and bad. Because of the schedule of the movers, we had to take possession of the house before it was ready. So, while it has all new carpet, it wasn’t clean or painted. When we arrived after 20 hours of driving from Dallas, we took Charlie out for his birthday dinner, went to Target and bought him a toy and cleaning supplies and were up till way too late trying to remedy the grossness of the house. The man who lived in Coco’s room was a heavy smoker. The whole house has a smoke smell that is fading, but even after painting her room, the smell lingers there. I noticed it was in the uncovered light switch, so I put the covers back on, but it still assaults me when I walk in the room. It is so unfair to her. She hated the room and was very upset the boys got the interesting room, and she is left with not only uninteresting, but also stinky.

Update on Charlie and the effects of Neurotherapy

How is Charlie? Wow, what a question. I don’t know that neurotherapy was the answer but I don’t know that it wasn’t. We don’t have anything to compare him to. We started neurotherapy around the same time we started OT two times a week. And he just keeps getting better. We have had to find the right places for him to thrive, like a Montessori school, rather than public, but he does thrive.

I think the neurotherapy did help. I think there was some sort of switch that flipped that gave him something to build on.  After the first day, he was less oppositional. Through the treatment I feel like his understanding got better. Rather than fight in reaction to things immediately, seems to have better comprehension. Things don’t overwhelm him as often.

We are also trying so to meet his needs through OT, karate and school, I think his improvement has been phenomenal since we did the neurotherapy. Before neurotherapy we didn’t feel like he could go to school. None of the schools that we tried would take him because he “didn’t listen.” Even in OT, he would have colossal melt downs when he didn’t do well and didn’t get a treat. Now, we have good days and bad days, but mostly good. He is almost if not actually on target with his age group in his physical capabilities. He gets treats almost every time at OT and when he doesn’t, it’s okay. He is hopefully going to test for his orange belt in the next few weeks. He came home from school asking if he could stay after for Spanish and Art classes. All of these things are what we wanted for him but weren’t sure we could or would achieve last year. We actually went to a restaurant last week and everyone (read parents) stayed happy the whole time. That has never happened before.

We still haven’t seen much improvement in is academic skills. He has started to do some math when we talk about numbers at the dinner table. He can read signage when we are driving around, like McDonald’s and Target. Some others, too, that aren’t as obvious. He has a remarkable and surprising sense of direction and even knows which neighborhood we are in whether we are going to some one’s house or just driving by.

Does he listen? Mostly. Does he still try to push our buttons? Yes. Does have a short attention span? Yes. Does he frustrate us, still? Yes. Has he accomplished what we were wanting and become part of a group? Yes. Can we go over to friend’s houses and not worry? Yes. Does he ask that we see his accomplishments because he has them and he is proud of himself? Yes. Could this all be a matter of maturity? Yes. Do I really think it is? No. I thank Dr. Sams for giving us something to build on.