Deep breath… wow has this week felt never-ending. I wonder why when things happen they continually seem to happen all at once. I cannot remember having a calm moment in months. This week started with me pushing Daniel to do 8 hours of school on Sunday. Yeah, it happened and it was rough. Then, I had to push him Monday and Tuesday in order for him to complete all of his lessons by the designated date. He did it! He did not complete his last two portfolios in their entirety, but he did most of it.
He was exhausted and hit his limits.
He still did his OT, Speech, and reading helps classes. (With a couple hiccups) He was sad that he would not see his teachers and therapists. He does not really know how to process summer break. We hope to get the same therapists next year, but it is not set in stone. It would be very beneficial to his progress if he did. Everyone knows this, but things happen so we just have to wait and see. He will have his Special Ed teacher next year. Yay! She is working on trying to set up Joshua’s assessments and accommodations too. I am thankful that I know her and she understands where I am coming from. It would be wonderful if Joshua were to get the teacher that Ariel and Daniel had this year for his second grade year.
It would help him because he has met her and ME because she already knows me and I know her.
I am already feeling anxiety about meeting Ariel and Daniel’s new teacher next year. I really hope I can connect to them. However, I am a little freaked out wondering if it will be a man. A man!? Then, I think maybe that would work out better I do tend to get along with men better, BUT what if he is a man that I cannot relate to and he does not understand the needs of my children and he won’t listen to me because I am a woman and he has a voice that gets on my nerves AND he thinks he knows everything in the entire world and and… AND what if it is a woman who is like that and what if she does not understand the struggles my children have and will not listen to me because she does not like me and…
I will stop with the “ands.”
Thursday was the last day of school and my mind hopped on the “new teacher” anxiety train. I did it throughout my entire school career why not do it with my kids too. OK! We made it through to Tuesday pretty well. On Wednesday, I still had to squeeze five hours of school out of everybody. I managed it, barely. (Same thing for Thursday these kiddos were tired, me too.) However, on Wednesday I scheduled a dentist appointment for all three of them. I know, what was I thinking? That is another post. It went well for the most part.
I planned to have a nice calm day on Thursday.
Um, nope. The floor decided to spew water all over the place leaving nice puddles for Joshua to fall on sliding down the kitchen floor like a Slip-n-Slide. He did not think it was fun. Wet clothes are never a good thing around here for us sensory sensitive folks. As I investigated the matter, I discovered that the kitchen pipe was leaking and it was under the floor causing water to come out through the seam at the base of the cabinets. I had already had a slight panic earlier that day because the owner’s (we rent) sister came by to look at the yard and the frog pond. We told everyone repeatedly that it was bad. We had asked several times for them to send someone out to take care of the landscaping (it’s in the lease) and each time they said someone would – no one came.
I was told NOT to touch the landscaping; we are to take care of the grass and leaves.
We have been trying, but the leaves are ridiculous because we basically live in a forest. The grass is looking good. I was nervous because even when nothing is my fault I take responsibility for it. I feel badly if something is wrong because I feel as though I am responsible for this house because I am living in it. I felt the same way with the kitchen pipe. The frog pond is a mess and we discovered that it was supposed to be covered. The cover is in the garage. No one told us and the gardener was supposed to put it on!
We are not responsible, but I still feel bad.
I felt anxiety about that and because of the anticipation of her coming. She DID NOT come at 8:30 am when her sister said that she would be here. With every minute that she was not here, the more anxious I got. Finally, I told David he had to talk to her. I was almost in tears at 8:49 am when she finally arrived. Then, we had to wait for a maintenance person to come and check out the kitchen. I could not think straight, my head was fuzzy, and I felt panicky and nervous until the guy arrived.
Thankfully, the kids had computer reading classes that they could do.
He discovered that the main kitchen pipe burst and he made plans to come the next morning. (I am getting to the old man part, hold on. I am sharing all of this because these factors contribute to Daniel’s response that I share later in this post.) He had to take out the pipes and replace them, turns out it had a slow leak from the time we have been here or before. I had to make unscheduled plans with the kids because well, it is just much better to take the kids out to do something than to try to explain every single what, why, where, when, how, so and so forth to Daniel. He would have been too anxious about everything going on. The noise and smells would have sent him to a massive meltdown.
I decided to take them to the park, have a picnic, and to the library.
We went to the park and a little boy tried and tried to make friends with Daniel. He asked him his name, and then asked me his name when Daniel would not answer him. I told Daniel to tell him his name and asked him if he wanted to play with the boy. Daniel said, “No, I don’t want to.” So I called for Ariel, but the boy did not want to play with her. I called for Joshua and they were a perfect fit. They played the entire time. Daniel was happy doing his thing – alone. Ariel was sad because she had no one to play with. I decided that she and I needed to play on the bars and the monkey bars.
There were groups of preschoolers coming in and out while we were there.
Daniel loved it because he likes to play with younger children and he LOVES babies. He is so cute to watch. He is very gentle and smiley with them. Another little girl who seemed about Ariel’s age came, she was very shy like Ariel. I decided that I would try to bridge the gap. The girl became comfortable talking to me, it helped that I was doing flips and hanging upside down off the bars. She and the other little kids thought I was the coolest mom. Daniel even started to participate by hanging on the bars and said, “Hey, mom look at me!”
After a little while, the girls took off to play among themselves.
I stayed back helping little kiddies get on the bars and swing back and forth. I thought to myself, I am very good at making friends for others, but not for myself. This has happened numerous times in my life. I have been able to connect people and they become friends then, after the connection it seems my part is done. Just an interesting tidbit.
We had our picnic and headed to a store so I could grab something to eat.
I did not have enough time to pack myself a lunch and I was starving. Everything went fine, but Daniel was showing signs of being overloaded. I managed to get him out to the car and that is when it happened. I stopped Daniel from going into the car first because Ariel and Joshua have their seats in the back. They needed to get in first; I had been telling him this all day and he kept forgetting.
When I did it this time, he lost it.
He started yelling at the top of his lungs, “I keep forgetting! I keep forgetting. Why do I keep forgetting?” I looked around not to see if there were people around, but because I was confused by his response. I did not understand why he would be so upset about forgetting something. (Of course, I did! I do that too.) As I looked around though I saw in the corner of my eye the old man sitting in his car right next to us, window down listening to the news on his radio. I ignored him, quickly hugged Daniel, and said, “It’s ok, we forget things sometimes. It is ok to forget.” He was banging his body into mine and then, he tried to pull away from me screaming a blood-curdling scream that ripped through my ears.
He would not get into the car.
He started crying, repeating, “Why do I forget? Why do I forget?” I continued to reassure him that it was ok and there was nothing wrong with forgetting and that there was nothing wrong with him. He did let me hug him and give him some deep pressure, which calmed him enough to get him into the car. When I got in, I asked him if I needed to take him home to have a break. He said, “NO! We are supposed to go to the library!” I told him that we could not go if he felt like that because it may be too much for him. I reminded him of how much we had done and that it was ok if we needed to go home for a break. He said that he was going to be fine and that he did not want to go home.
I buckled the kids, got out of the back, saw the old man, and said, “Sorry, for the screaming.”
I was sorry that it was so loud, I was not sorry for anything else. I must give some props to the man. He did a head nod, a little finger up move without a judgmental face or word. I got into the car took a deep breath, opened up my turkey wrap and off we went to the library. The library went great. A few moments of “almosts,” even though Daniel was tapped out he still wanted to stay. Ariel and Joshua were tired and really wanted to get home. Luckily, grandma was coming over to give me a break so when I told Daniel that she would be there soon he was ready to leave right away.
“Grandma with the white hair” trumps ALL things for Daniel.
I know I shared quite a bit in here, but I had a lot to process. These are outside sources that have affects on me (and the kids) inside my mind there is another whole perplexing and complicated world mixed with emotions, social, sensory, and whatnot. I was happy with the fact that yesterday I had no thought whatsoever about what another person might think, say, or do when Daniel was having a hard time. I am glad that I was able to understand his frustrations about forgetting. I was happy that I could help him and have the situation end with him feeling good about himself. I was VERY thankful that the old man just sat there.
His head nod, finger move, and nonjudgmental silence made me wish a lot more people would do just that.