Thursday, December 15, 2011

another red letter day

i decided that this was the year Malachi could handle the information regarding his autism diagnosis.
mostly because I see a lot more awareness on his part this year, much more growth, and I see him hitting a lot of walls. not understanding why he doesn't have friendships the way other kids do..not sure why he can't stop thinking about the same thing(s) over and over.. but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about this process either.
thankfully at just the right moment a special ed teacher came into Malachi's life and asked if she could meet with him weekly to prepare him for the information and also to help him cope with it.
in talking with her i found that her philosophy was very similar to mine and her approach was just an extension of what I have already been telling all our kids, which is that we are all different. We all have our strengths , we are all unique and not one of us is like the other nor are we intended to be, and that we should love everyone . I have also talked about how different people learn in different ways, some people learn well by seeing pictures, others by listening...some of us like being around lots of people, some like to be alone or just with one person at a time. ..
I was thankful to hear the teacher tell me that her goal was to emphasize what Malachi is good at, where his strengths are, and give him ways to cope with the things that come harder. But that over all we wanted to present it to him in a way that was to say this is a learning style, this is something unique about some people and they happened to give that special way of thinking/learning a name. Autism.
we also felt that it made sense to have him "learn" about this in a school setting where he is open to learning new concepts and it was a natural step in the social curriculum he's been doing.

Today I had a meeting at school first thing this morning regarding general progress for malachi at school. This specific teacher was there and I asked her- as I always do- if she had used the " A" word yet. she said she had brought it up last week , but not specifically about Malachi, and was planning to talk about it today.

it has weighed on me heavily all day. feelings of guilt that someone else would be presenting this information. worrying that he might think we are telling him something is WRONG and he would be worried or upset by it. And even worrying that he would not even give it a single thought too.

Tonight as he was getting into bed I asked him if he met with Mrs S. today. He said " yeah"
me: " what did you talk about?"
Malachi: " we read a book about a boy who had (something I can't understand)
me: " ..what? oxygen?"
Malachi: " no, not your brain.."
me: " a boy who has AUTISM?"
Malachi: " YES"
me:" ohh yes. autism. what did you think about the story?"
Malachi: " it was good. I liked it"
me: " did you feel like the story was about you?"
malachi: " well, yes"

we went back and forth a little as he tried (rather sleepily) to ask me/ tell me that autism was a thing..
I felt he was a little confused and I re-explained that Autism is just a name for a certain way some people have of thinking/ learning.
" like you"
I said.
" how do you feel about that?"
Malachi: " good. fine"

he's very sleepy at this point so I just let the conversation wane and brushed the hair out of his eyes as he closed them and started to drift off to sleep.

and thus begins Chapter 4 .

PS I have since received this explanation from his teacher:
" We did read a book called "Taking Autism to School." It was about a boy named Sam who has Autism.

As ideas were presented about Sam that "matched" Malachi, I'd prompt and say something like, "Do you feel frustrated with loud noises?" He would answer "yes".

At the end, I said, "Malachi, do you think you're like Sam? "

Malachi answered, "Yes."

I said, "Do you think you have Autism?"

He answered, "Yes."

There wasn't any emotion with it, so I think the concept still might be a bit abstract for him yet. "

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

you know how sometimes you listen to a song by accident and you are suddenly in a different time and space ?

the heart is a TIME MACHINE

Monday, December 5, 2011

THAT just happened.

i sold a painting, but i couldn't be happy about it because the painting paid for me to have my teeth drilled into this morning. i felt a little bit like what i think it might feel like if you sold an organ and then used the precious money from your GUTS to endure your face being wrecked for a day and that's basically it.

also we are having hard times with our children. i think you call it "parenting" . whatever it is- it sucks.
oh i know you're not supposed to actually admit that. whatever. it's my blog.
the thing is- it would be fine if we didn't have to have them be in school. that's basically where all the problems happen.

example: kid teaches my 7 year old to say F word . he does it , even though he has no idea what it means, and gets in big trouble.
kid teaches 7 year old to stick up his middle finger. he does it. and is then told that that means the F word, and he gets in big trouble AGAIN.
teacher calls our Dr to plead her case that the 7 year old is a monster.
i go to the dr today thinking we will prove that this is utter nonsense and we are not out-of-control it was just circumstances...
what happens?
7 year old and 3 year old get the case of the sillies. i'm talking sillies on an epic level. full-on laughing hysterically, wrestling, rolling on the floor, spitting, ripping paper and general stinker-towns. but the thing is- they aren't being malicious, they seriously can not - for one filthy second stop laughing and control their bodies.
at one point the pediatrician actually holds my 3 year old and gives her a time-out , because she is THAT ridiculous that we can't even have a conversation.
half of me wanted to scream and beat them and the other half wanted to lay down on the ground and start laughing with them.
what ? why? why for the love of all that is holy do they get the super sillies TODAY? when I need to prove to our dr that all this complaining from his teacher is unfounded...and
OHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh dear lord in heaven. the insanity.
I'm surprised no one wet their pants with all that laughing.
you know the scene in Mary Poppins when they are all up on the ceiling and Mary is clearly PISSED?
if I could have told a story about a dead puppy to get them to come down i would have. at one point i hissed in ivan's ear " i'm serious- you are in such major trouble" and he still could not contain his mirth.

so i have to do the walk of shame out of there...dragging my two hoodlums along with me as all the "good" parents watch ..shaking their heads at us as the two red-cheeked glassy-eyed little varmints just keep right on giggling as they decide to RACE to the elevator . without me.

and then i have to come home. feeling like the most giant failure ON THE PLANET all because - yet again- we did not do what society wanted us to do .
and what happens?
we get home and 7 & 3 year old go into 3 year old's room and sweet as pie play quietly on the floor.
no fighting. no wrestling. no licking. no hysterical laughing.
like normal children.
can i please call all the teachers and drs and have them come to my house NOW? at this very second? because i swear to you i am not crazy. they are not crazy. we just don't belong here.

we get home and i do what i always do when we get back from germ-land (pediatrician's office) I take their clothes off and wash them. then we put on pjs.

after this happens i look around and survey the damage of a night and day without mommy cleaning up after everyone. DISASTER. every single area that can be messy IS. laundry basket overflowing, toys, dirty dishes on the table, carpet cleaner in the middle of the floor. pile of dirt that didn't get swept up yet..don't even get me started on the kitchen..
so what happens?
someone knocks at my door.
and OF COURSE it's Malachi's case worker. YEP. I spaced on our appointment . i can do nothing but let her in and apologize. profusely about the state the house is in. and we are in.
I slide piles of stuff over and we sit at the table. the kids proceed to eat all the granola bars and an entire sleeve of crackers while I talk to her. they know i am powerless to stop them.
in the middle of our meeting my husband wakes up from his nap (yes. at 4pm. yes- he works a weird shift) and comes out of our bedroom WITHOUT HIS PANTS ON. lucky for him she didn't turn around quick enough and he was able to jump back into our bedroom before she caught him in his shorts.

so that happens.
and she leaves and i suddenly remember two things.
A) tomorrow is St Nick's day
B) I didn't make dinner.

Jes picks up chinese. i have not eaten ALL DAY because of my dentist appointment and numb mouth, so i am RAVENOUS. I eat two hot bites and Violet starts screaming.
she has never IN HER LIFE pooped her pants (since she has been potty-trained) so of COURSE she would pick the middle of dinner to poop her pants, get it on her hands and on the floor. And be completely hysterical about it because she's a lady. and ladies DO NOT poop their pants.
so i have to take her to the tub and clean up the floor and all that while my husband and boys eat their dinner.

I am hesitant to push " publish" now for fear it will set off another chain of crazytown events.

tomorrow I get to take Ivan AND Violet to the dentist. Someone WILL lose a tooth. (the dentist- when Ivan kicks her in the face)