Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the butterfly effect

I could not have been more wrong about how this school year would go. DD has both shocked and amazed me with her glorious choices at school. Her teacher knows what to look for and still she is passing all tests with flying colors. She gets to attend a sleepover this weekend and participate in choir at school (something she's been looking forward to for 2 years) and it's all due to her wonderful actions at school. At home, she still struggles...she may always struggle at home. But, homework hasn't been a big deal and I find that dealing with her behaviors is much easier for me right now - maybe just because there is such a golden lining on the school front.
OTOH, DS2 is bombing in most arenas. His behavior at school is not atrocious...but it's just lacking on all fronts. He's turning in work that is sub-par - actually illegible...the bright spot there is that his teacher is calling him on it and I believe she'll be giving him the grade he's honestly earning - which probably isn't good right now. We found that he tested high on the state tests. I know that isn't a great predictor of ability - but by school standards it means that I have little leeway in claiming that he needs more services. We are looking into options for next year...we wrote up a 'contract' with him outlining the behavior guides he needed to reach. They are very basic...nothing that should be hard for even a child half his age. He's not reaching those goals. He has lost privileges dealing with school (he's not going on the 6th grade trip in a few weeks) and I'm sad. Mostly sad for him...but sad for us too...we want him to succeed so badly. I'm finding dealing with him excessively difficult.
So, it's a complete turnaround from my expectations - yet, sadly - still correct in one way. One is succeeding and one isn't!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

what's the movie with the boiled rabbit?

DD is obsessed with DS2. I don't know how else to put it. I know I've commented on it before, but it's getting so bad lately. Yesterday (which I'll tell about soon) she told me that she would rather go away with him than be in our family. That's interesting and really, actually, painful to hear.
The kids get home from school late this year...don't walk in the door until 4:35. Many times we have activities or even just dinner and they don't get homework done. So, when that is the case, they go to bed early in order to wake early (since DS1 has to be up at 6:40) and do their work in time for school. So, yesterday, DS2 had to get up early. I made the mistake of telling him his schedule in front of her. I think I learned that lesson. She went to bed at her normal time and YET...bright and soon as I got Cole she came. She was out of her room, hiding on the balcony to stare at him doing his work. After being caught (she's not quiet enough to sneak around in a silent house early in the morning) she lied and said that we were being too loud and she couldn't sleep. She received the pleasure of doing chores for over an hour while he completed his work and I sat and relaxed. If she's going to be up - she may as well be useful!
I kid you not, every time I looked at her, she had found a reason to be in the living room with him (the chores were in the bathrooms) - simply staring longingly. Ok, that sounds yucky - but there really isn't another way to say it.
According to her files, there is no sexual abuse...but I'm really starting to wonder. Can a 10 year old be this obsessed with a boy (who is her adopted brother...Jerry Springer comes to mind again) and, for the record, other boys without there being something else in her history? I just don't know.
We discussed how families work - used mine as an example. Siblings grow up together and care about each other - but mom and dad are the central people in a family. Then siblings grow up and leave their family. They remain friends and hopefully stay close in heart - but chances are that there will be miles between most siblings. Each person goes about life and creates a new doesn't mean you lose your childhood family, but you are tied to your new one more firmly. I pointed out that when I tell a story and say "my family", I mean DH, DD, DS1 and DS2...none of whom were with me when I was young. Should I be talking about childhood folks, I start out by saying "My sister, L" or "my mother in XX". Did she get it? Well...her response was "I can move wherever he goes". So, no - I don't think so.
Overall, I worry about the effect of this on DS2. He feels sorrow for her so often. If he plays with her and moves on later, she tells him that she has no one except him. She guilts him incredibly. She is his shadow and he asks me for help - which I give him...but at the cost of him feeling even more guilty. I have to physically remove her many times from his side. It generally ends in him getting to choose where to play or what to do and me forcing her to be elsewhere (actually, she generally ends up with me in time-in). I am having trouble distinguishing a response to this one.

Friday, August 14, 2009

soapbox - big soapbox

So I got an email today from the vice-principal. She gave the information I sent to the EAs (classroom/lunchroom assistants) and *gasp* - none of them had ever seen any of what I mentioned. NO WAY! My children are faking someone out...I cannot believe it. Did I not mention that they would act like angels for the first month or so? Now, I am wondering if they all just think I'm crazy and then I realize that I don't CARE! Nope. Crazy woman is my Native American name now. Like 'call me Ishmail' - but crazier!
I'm back to wanting the sign. I want to laminate something and carry it and have it say "You can think I'm crazy and guess what? It won't change my home life...THAT will still be crazy!"
This morning was very quiet at my house. If I couldn't say something nice - I decided to say nothing and there it is. Seriously, not a word spoken from me - except "time to leave for the bus". They got breakfast, they got supervision and they got safely sent out the front door. That was the best I had today.
I met some ladies for coffee at Starbucks and I'm yet again impressed with the glory of friends and strangers. So many people have told me that they are scared to talk about attachment disorder, scared of being judged harshly or honestly, being embarassed (heck, I'm embarassed everyday...) - and I get that. I was scared too. But, since I've named it and claimed it - I have been truly blessed. I've yet to meet anyone IRL that hasn't been totally supportive. Not that they get it - how can you without living it? But, they listen, they care about someone going through something hard (me at this time). I was afraid I would end of blubbering over a frap at the table and instead I could talk and laugh and feel ok. Yes, I had to go back to real life and I'll have to a mom again in a few hours...but fabulous my life is to get the joy of being listened to.
I read an article today about how to bring yourself out of a funk. Most of it was the typical stuff - be thankful for what you have (two children trying to kill me), name 5 things that have gone right lately (Starbucks...and.....ummmmm.....), so on. One of the ideas said to give back. Volunteer or even buy a gallon of milk for a neighbor...that one I like. People give to me a lot...I'm going to find a way to do that each day. Just give back...

The jinx is on

Within hours of posting about the beauty of it all - it fell apart. I find out that Cole has been warned twice and consequenced twice (three of these in one day). He lied to me about it and even called his teacher a liar when I read him the email she sent. The theatrics were incredible and amazingly, my voice only raised after he told me how terrible and hateful I am for the 100th time. I was tired at that point.
DD went to the park across the street, where we can see her - I glance out the window at least once every 2 minutes. All seemed fine. DH went out to get her and it took forever to call her over (from 50 feet away) - when I walked out DH was fuming and staring down a man across the street and I find out that DD had beelined for him (after checking the window to see if we were looking) and talked to him and picked up the hat he had 'dropped'. I can't explain how many times we've discussed this! She walked in the garage already saying that she 'didn't do anything' and I think I skipped in the space/time continuum. I left. Threw a piece of corn back in the pot and left. Took my keys, said good-bye and got in my car and drove. It probably wasn't so safe - I had no shoes, no purse - no idea where I was going.
Maybe the upside is that I found a lovely walking trailhead that I never knew was there!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am NOT jinxing this...

BUT - I have to tell this far and wide. My DD has had 3 good days in a row at school. Home hasn't been so bad either. It may seem small - and yes, it's the beginning and she's in "impress" mode - however, it's impressive none-the-less!
DS2 is doing allright also...I will know more after meeting with his teacher Monday. Homework didn't go well already - but we put a foot down (or up his hiney...) and he seemed to turn it around yesterday.
That's really it - I'm feeling good right now!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Attachment in the strangest places

I had a bike wreck. The details are a little sketchy, even to me, but alas - I ended up on the ground with my ankle under the bike. Cole and I both heard a huge pop and I was sure it was broken. After a trip to urgent care, I am lucky to know it's not broken - just sprained. So, crutches and splints and swelling are all around me! While I can't move and I'm terrible on great thing is coming out of this. Attachment. I can't believe I'm saying this - but I believe this could be the best thing that's ever happened to my children and I in the attachment realm. After I fell DD was RIGHT THERE...close to me - concerned and worried about my well-being. She was cradling my head and stroking me - so loving. DH left with the boys to get the car and she sat there quietly, right beside me - giving me drinks and being very attentive. But, not overly so - not fake. It's hard to explain the difference. Sometimes if I sneeze, she'll run over and get down in front of me and yell out "Oh my gosh, are you ok?"...that's not real. This has been so different. After we got home and DH laid me on the couch to check the scrapes and swelling - she had tears in her eyes asking if I'd be ok. She said "I don't want a broken mother". After telling her that I wasn't totally broken and that no matter what, I'm the only mother she has - broken or not....she was able to let DH take me to urgent care. DS1 said she worried the whole time. Since then, she's been quite the nursemaid to me - she brings me breakfast and answers the phone...she even did a few loads of laundry and delivered the clothes I folded to everyone's rooms. My kids are always helpful, but they have all 3 stepped up majorly these past couple of days. I'm very blessed.