Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yes, I Am a 12-Year-Old Boy

The other night we had parent teacher conferences at our kid's school. Thanks to the considerate teachers there, we were able to have G and K's conferences one right after another, saving us some very spirited whining and us desperate to kill time in between, as we had both kids with us.

K's conference was uneventful. The teacher remarked that she was doing well, and we checked to be sure she wasn't having any issues with her attitude. Beyond that, her teacher had remarkably little to say about our spirited girl. It was a little bit of a disappointment.

At G's conference, we were greeted by a woman who looked like she should have been our babysitter, not a teacher. She must be fresh out of college, and not at all what GH and I expected. She was very nice, and very enthusiastic about G and the work that he's been doing with a Gifted and Talented teacher. I talked to her a bit about G's Asperger's, a bit concerned that she she probably had no experience dealing with any kids with G's particular quirks.

As we chatted, G presented me with a story he had just written about getting out chihuahua. I perused the pages as I listened to his teacher. Suddenly,there in front of me, was the sentence "He has four balls." I lost it. I laughed so hard tears were coming out of my eyes. I explained my outburst to teacher and GH and they laughed as well. But they stopped. And I kept going.

I tried my best to pull it together for the remainder of the conference. I did giggle randomly one more time as "four balls" popped into my head. I hope she doesn't think I was high. I immediately felt bad for judging G's teacher's maturity level.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Accentuate the Positive

After my spew into angry-mom territory, I've been trying to pull back and refocus on the good things. Luckily, this weekend was jam-packed with highlights.

- A puppy play date over at our chihuahua breeder's home, where our little darling got to romp with his chihuahua family. It was so much fun to watch the puppies play and enjoy one of the last beautiful fall days outside, having fun as a family.

- Having a lovely lunch out at a local park, once again, soaking up the last of the fall sunshine.

- Getting to treated to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants by my mother-in-law. It was even better due to the fact that there was no father-in-law there.

- Running errands and finding some great deals on things I was looking for. This also included making a pants exchange at Old Navy that I never though they'd do since I had washed the pants. But they did. Yeah me!

- Canning the last of the apples from apple picking before they went bad.

- Watching one of the kid's last soccer games. It was special due to the fact that they did it in the evening at the high school field under the lights. There was even an announcer. Even though we froze our butts off, it was a lot of fun.

- Turning on the heat for the first time. Even though I vowed not to turn it on before November, and it made me cringe at the money puring out of the radiators, it sure felt nice to be warm after sitting outside and freezing for two hours!

- And last, but not least by far, we had an entire weekend without one meltdown from G! Boy did my mental health need that. It really gave me the chance to regroup, and I'm confident that I'm ready to tackle the next fit with love and patience that I know I'm capable of....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just Failing At Life...

Yesterday was a bad day. Considering how my days have been lately, that says a lot. Usually I'm good at putting my head down, plowing through and dealing. Usually I get frustrated when the people around me won't just suck it up and do the same. Usually.

Thursdays are always hard, due to the fact that GH isn't home when I get done with work, and he doesn't get home until after 11pm. This means I've got the kids to myself, which also means dinner, shower, and bedtime myself. It means breaking up fights, handing out punishments, curbing begging, and wresting temper tantrums all by myself.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I really love the time alone with the kids, getting that one-on-one time in, talking, cuddling, playing games. Sometimes I really enjoy having the evening to myself as well, watching the TV shows I want, hogging the covers, selfishly cuddling the puppy- all of that good stuff. But yesterday....yesterday was just out of whack.

There has been a lot of stress boiling under the surface of my tightly stretched skin-Christmas gifts and winter clothes looming in the near future, job worries, heating fuel concerns, my perpetually messy house, the kids screaming, a husband who largely ignores me, etc. All of it has been stewing, festering, locked down tight, held in check to seep out only in moments of private anxiety.

Last night I got my work's emergency pager for the week. Even though it's only once every month or so that I have to carry it, it's an immediate ball of anxiety. I don't sleep well for fear of client emergencies or late night call outs. So I carried this Albatross home, to the immediate complaints of two cranky children over my choice of dinner. For G, these complaints soon escalated into a full blown fit.

Now please understand, I am patient with G's Asperger's. I've read the books, done the research. I do my best to be flexible, adaptable in the face of his rigidity. I try to hold him, sooth him. I try to ignore the screams the verbal abuse. But yesterday? I just couldn't do it. As G lay screaming on the floor, telling me how wretched the dinner I was preparing was, how I never fed him anything he liked, I'd had enough. I shouted for him to get up to his room. I resisted the urge to haul him up off the floor and march him to his room, knowing the level of my temper at that moment.Instead I snarled my way to a count of five, and he catapulted himself up the stairs, pausing to scream at the top of his lungs how much he hated me. I shouted back that he could just stay in his room. Not my proudest moment. I was rewarded with the sound of his feet battering his bedroom door, and screams that he hated everything, wished I would die, and so on.

So, hoping to recoup a few parental points, I took a deep breath, forced a smile, and sat on the couch with K. As I hugged her, and attempted to ease the suffocating Rage Beast that was burrowing in my chest, she proceeded to tell me that GH and I didn't spend enough time with her. She went on to bemoan all of the time we spent at work, cleaning the house, cooking dinner.

The Rage Beast gnawed at my insides, and I asked K if she would like it better if the house was even more filthy? Or maybe if I stopped working, she wouldn't have to worry about me making dinner because we wouldn't be able to afford food. Before I could go any further, I removed myself to the kitchen to check on the dinner nobody wanted, and then, to cry on the kitchen floor. It was pathetic. I was pathetic.

And so today, I try to forge ahead. This morning was greeted with yet another G fit, and a teary moment at work. Right now, with some advice from a beloved co-worker, I'm researching Asperger's support groups. Today I will fight the Rage Beast once again. Today I may even win. Today, I will take solace in the blogs of others, as they struggle with parenthood and bare their flaws. Today will be better. Today I will make it through....

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Brain Train

Due to some concerns over a few recent episodes, we've brought G to see a Neurologist. Our concerns, in conjunction with G's Asperger's and my family history of epilepsy made us think a consultation was a good idea.

After an initial screening, the Neurologist said he wanted to do an EEG. This, he informed us, would consist of G staying awake the entire night before the appointment, because he would be required to sleep for a brain wave reading. G was so happy he was bouncing. It was like a dream come true for him- he had permission to stay up all. night. long.

The EEG was Tuesday morning, so Monday night GH agreed to stay up with G as he didn't have to work the next day, and I would be headed to work after the appointment. I was up most of the night as well due to GH's loud computer gaming, and G knocking on the door periodically to announce the hour. All told, G did sleep a little bit- three whole hours.

After arriving at the appointment, G's head was measured and then hooked up with electrodes. He was instructed to blow on a pinwheel for 5 minutes. G interrupters a few times to ask questions- mainly if he was almost done. After that, the light's were turned off, and GH was asked to leave the room so there would be less distraction for G to sleep.

G itched his nose. He coughed. He whispered questions. He would not sleep. Finally, they gave him a dose of sedative, and waited. He continued to squirm, and would not relax after repeated prompts. He was given another dose of sedative, and I was told he was now at the max dosage, and if he wouldn't sleep, we may have to go back another day. I silently urged G to sleep as the technician counted out loud for him, telling him to focus on her voice.

He slept. I watched over the technician's shoulder as the computer showed the waves emanating from my sleeping son's head. I watched, and caught my breath every time there was a jerk in the pattern. Is this what they were looking for? Was that an abnormality? I watched every line, waiting, wondering. This was my son's amazing, overactive brain. Could there really be some glitch in there? Something that needed taming to help him?

After about 20 minutes, the technician woke G up and yanked the electrodes from G's head in one pull. She took a futile swipe at the goop crusted in his hair. She also gave G an electrode to keep, and a print out of some of his brain waves. He was excited...and not a bit tired.

And now we wait for two weeks, while the Neurologist reads the mysterious waves of G's brain, deciphering the peaks and valleys and translating them into an answer- or not.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Stress Break

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled stress-filled ranting to bring you a moment of pure cute:

This moment of cute has been brought to you by the lovely breeders at Silver Spoon Chihuahuas, my adorable dog Loki, and the letter C.

Now back to our regularly scheduled stress.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

When Life Makes No Sense....

** sent me an email today, telling me to be sure to watch the new show on CBS "The Ex List". This makes no sense to me on a few different level. First- why the heck is Amazon trying to get me to watch a a TV show? I mean, I can understand when they send me a book recommendation (even if it is sometimes a book I've already ordered through them)but a television show? What's the story there?

The send thing I take issue with, is why would assume that I would like the "The Ex List"? Does think I'm a fan of cheesy romance shows? What have I done to lead them to this opinion? I'm pretty sure my last book order did nothing to indicate that I'm a person who would get a real thrill out of this particular show. Oh, what have I done for you to judge me so?

** I receive child support (sporadically) from my ex. At the beginning of this month, one his checks, issued directly from his employer, bounced after the state had issued me the check. I have not received another check all month. I'm supposed to be paid weekly. Now that I've discovered the state has received a check after a month, the state has turned around to inform me that since my douche-bag ex's company has not responded to pay them back for the bounced check, they'll be taking 10% out of all of the payments I receive from now on, until the state is paid back. Let me repeat, just so I'm clear- Because HIS company bounced a check, the state is now taking the money from ME because they can't get HIS company to cover the bounced check. To further clarify, this is after I haven't received a payment in a month, AND on top of the fact that he owes THOUSANDS of dollars in arrears. I can barely buy groceries this month, and the state is making me cover HIS mistake. Does that make sense to Anybody!!!???? If so, I'd love to have it explained to me. Slowly. So my head doesn't explode.

** My husband hasn't had his licence now for almost 5 years, due to a very complicated set of circumstances between the New Hampshire and the Massachusetts DMV. Frankly if he had had a DUI or ran someone over, he would have had his license back sooner. It's very strange, and we haven't been able to iron it out, even with the help of a lawyer. Anyways, the point is, in these 5 years, he's had his old car sitting in our driveway. The battery is dead, the tires are toast, the windshield's cracked, and who knows what damage has been done from it sitting around for years. He had one offer to buy it, and I almost lost my mind when he said no. Recently, some random guy came up to our house and offered to buy it for parts. I was excited. He was not. He got upset and said he had to think about it. Finally with the financial crunch we're in this week, he's grudgingly agreed to sell it. Why on earth is he being so difficult about it? I still haven't figured that out...

** Why is it when you have a week where you can't figure out how to buy both gas for the car and groceries, do both children get invited to birthday parties that make it necessary to buy gifts? And why does the circus have to be in town the same week? Why Universe, oh why?