Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anxiety over a new baby

I'm just a few days away from the March 1st due date with our fourth child, and it's so hard to enjoy the thought of a baby in the house.
Everything else going on revolves around Calliope and her needs, then there are the 3.5 year old, and 1.5 year old that are also demanding.
Baby will be staying in our room. The little kids, Cooper and Clio, share a bedroom. Calliope has the larger bedroom, and it just isn't safe for a kid sister to share it with her.
We'll be in close quarters for some time until we are financially able to move into a larger home.
I'm not thinking clearly enough to write it seems.
Mostly I think I'm just wondering how much one mom can do.
I've got Calliope that could take up all my time.
I've got Cooper that could take up all my time.
I've got little Clio that could take up all my time.
Soon, I'll have a newborn that could take up all my time.
Somehow, I've got to take these four full-time jobs and do them all as one person.
I have my doubts.

Our plan is to labor and birth at home, and I just don't know. We got lucky last time with Calliope in school when the birth happened. I hope we get lucky again because I can't deal with her crap while I'm in labor. I won't have the patience or the ability to hold my tongue when she starts her bitching. When I'm not in labor, it's hard.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Triggers for tantrums

I almost hate to have good days because I know what's coming when the fun ends.


Saturday was a fun day for all of us; daddy was home, my parents visiting. I was sick and stayed home, but everyone else went to the farmer's market and park for the morning. It's the sort of thing Calliope loves because grandma will listen to every word she has to say about every vendor while grandpa and dad take the little kids to the park to play. After lunch at our house, Calliope went to the trailer at the campground with grandma and grandpa.

The break from Calliope's constant stream of insults, complaining, arguing, questions, threats, bargains, negotiations, and general garbage was lovely! Chris and I got to enjoy our time together while little kids were in bed without the worry of what garbage was coming down the hall next as it normally does for up to two hours after lights out. We spent the next morning at Lowe's getting curtains for our room without her complaints and picking fights with us and the little kids. It was amazingly easy to shop with just a 3 and 1 year old, really!

Chris had been thinking about a carpet steam cleaner for some time and finally bought one. He got to work right away when we got home to clean Calliope's room and give the carpet time to dry before she came home. The yucky spot from a doggie piddle puddle finally came up (spot treatments only made it spread-yuck), and we thought she'd be glad to have it finally gone. It was amazing what came up out of her carpet. GROSS!!!

Then she came back, and things were sort of fine until it was time to get ready for bed. We ignored complaints about dinner; it's normal, and I think she skipped eating. She did her laundry and had some trouble with the follow through putting her clothes away properly. She spent quite a bit of time arguing and threatening us about what she would do to make us let her watch tv before the work was done, and I didn't respond-Chris was busy with little kids' bath. After all that trouble, she put her clothes away and came out to watch 16 and Pregnant with me on the couch. It was the same routine with taking a shower; arguing, complaining, threats, yelling, and she finally just took care of it.

No new holes in our walls, but the tantrum kept rolling after the shower. She had misplaced her hairbrush (AGAIN!!!!) and knew we had been sneaking around and took it from her, so she came out yelling at us about everything she could think of. She lost her tv after that because we weren't enjoying her company, so she got even more mad. She came out and sat on the couch. I turned off the tv and sat silently. She kept up the bitching and threats. I asked her is she cared to keep the things her grandma bought for her at Michael's. When she behaves badly, she loses things, and I told her that I'd take it all. She wanted to keep them and went to her room. PHEW! The yelling continued, but it was further away.

It's the dumbest thing ever the garbage that she does and says. She gets everything she wants for longer than 24 hours, but it ends up that we never do anything nice for her and never listen and never do what she wants. SO DUMB!

The Asperger's Syndrome I sort of get. Change is tough, so the fun-fun-fun is over, and it's hard to change gears into normal 'get ready for bed on a school night' routine. I totally get to be calm and not fuel anxiety over that change. It's the oppositional defiant disorder that seems to cause the train wreck stuff. She wants to push and push and find anything she can to pick a fight over. She looking for the fight and for more drama. I hate it and don't know what to do to settle her down. I actually try to avoid stuff that would be fun for her because I know what's coming when the fun is over and don't want it.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paperwork goof and the fallout

We were finally getting close to the testing we've wanted since 4th grade. Our pediatrician said the school did the sort of evaluations I was asking for, and I'd been asking then pressing the school ever since. So, two years of frustration was about to end when I checked boxes, initialed, signed, then hand delivered the Plan for Assessment forms to the Special Education office.

I thought all was well and was counting the 60 days until the IEP where the findings would be discussed and changes would be made to help Calliope get through her school day, improve her learning, and hopefully help her enjoy learning. But, 23 days into the countdown, I get a letter in the mail from the school psychologist that I initialed one place where I shouldn't have. Oopsie. They needed me to fill out the Plan for Assessment again, and the 60 day count down would start again from the date they have the new form. NO WAY!

Oh, it was devastating. I called our advocate, and he asked me to wait for a call from the head of the SpEd office. That call didn't come, so I called her the next day, explained what happened and offered to do anything to note the error and protect them from any legal trouble they thought could happen, just please don't make my child wait and suffer another three weeks over a tiny error. It took a few days and a few emails from me and our advocate to his contacts, but I did get a letter saying the tests would go on and the original 60 day timeline would stand. PHEW! That was such a relief.

March 5th is the big day now. That is the end of the 60 days, and we'll have the individualized education plan (IEP) meeting.

I've explained it to Calliope as gently as I can. Everyone has a brain, and most brains work pretty much the same way, and kids with that kind of brain putt along in school doing fine. But, when a brain works a different way, grown ups have to figure out how it works and how that brain learns and how to help the kid using that brain to learn and succeed in school. So, all the grown ups are working to figure out Calliope's super smart 11 year old brain and help her learn and enjoy school. If all this works out, and keeps working, I want college to be an option for her.