Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Want You to Die

We almost had a great day yesterday but Patches was determined to ruin it for herself. She loves the TV and will often try to spend all her waking hours in front of one. I am constantly trying to find ways to keep her away from it. We put a TV in the girls' room quite a while ago but they are only allowed to turn it on Friday and Saturday nights. She sneaks in there and watches it every time I turn around. Friday she fell asleep in the afternoon doing it and so yesterday I made it my mission to keep her occupied. After swimming the girls were changing their suits and she turned it on. Emma (a bit whiny and bossy on a good day) informed her she wasn't allowed and reached to turn it off. Patches grabbed her arm, twisted it hard enough to leave a large red mark for several hours, and shoved her to the ground while screaming in her face. Lovely. I tended to Emma and quietly told Patches she had lost the TV for the rest of the weekend and for each time I caught her on it she would lose an additional day. She apologized and promised to find other things to do to entertain herself. ROFLMAO! You know better than that. She screamed for about 3 hours about how much she hated me and when she didn't get a response from me she began her letter writing assault. I received 6 letters, 4 were all about how much and why she hated Emma and myself, the other 2 were death threats and details of what she wanted to do to me. Good times.

Eventually, I made a wrong move thinking she had calmed enough to discuss her threats and she punched me. I held her arms tight for a minute explaining that she had a choice to make, it was one thing to me nasty to me and another to attack me physically. I got up and left the room. A few more minutes of her screaming and I told her to move it to the porch. She did but began screaming she was going to kill her self and run away. In an anger induced lapse of judgement, I suggested she choose between those options and let me know. I assume she decided to run away to the ditch in our front yard b/c that is where my DH found her when he came home.

Then I did something that I do not suggest anyone else do. It worked for us but if it didn't you would do damage to your child that you may never be able to fix. I informed all the kids that I would be giving Patches a dose of her own medicine. They were to believe nothing that I said and be truthful when I asked them anything in front of her. Patches entered the house and refused to join us at the table for the best Chili Cheese Fries ever. I made several comments about hating Patches b/c she hates me and that must be what she wanted. When I asked her to put her book bag up she said some horrible things to me that I brushed off and explained that since I hated her her opinion about me didn't matter. She went over the deep end and told me to call DFCS to get her. I continued as long as I felt I had things under control and explained that she has been adopted and DFCS is no longer involved. I showed no emotion and just responded to her many complaints, assuring her that I felt the same way she did, she was not my real child and I was not her real mother. When the tears began to fall I asked the kids to tell her what, if anything, I had told them before she came back in. They all jumped at the chance to inform her that I was tricking her. I had told them all to remain calm while I lied to her about my true feelings, she was my real dd and I loved her no matter what she did. I could see she was relieved and she began making eye contact when asked. After a couple of minutes I suggested a warm shower to cry it out and a snuggle after. I waited until she was in and sent Cyr up to talk to her. (Patches is completely safe with Cyr b/c Patches will beat anyone that tries to sit next to her if she feels threatened) Cyr has to be forced to show empathy and make any effort to help anyone. I actually gave her words to use, it is that bad. It helped a lot and when Patches came down to snuggle she told me Cyr helped her calm down. We rocked and talked about what we both said. I reassured her that I really love her and need her in my life, she is my real child and no amount of acting out will change that. She agreed she knew that and she has been fine since. She now knows how awful it feels to hear someone tell you they hate you.

Her and I have had to go down this road about other hateful things she used to do. I feel she is attaching in her own very slow way and I do not think this has done any damage. She is one of the few kids that needs to feel something before it clicks, none of my other children need it like this. She has made huge progress with this type of "back in your face" response at a very calculated time. I am sure she will not do that to me again, she will find new and more interesting ways to torture me.

On another note, someone has accidnetly locked the girls' bedroom door. Ruthie, Michael, and Ella are very concerned that they will never get back in there. I am such a prankster, I told them that they could sleep in the barn. If you could have seen their eyes, they were huge. They are all scrambling now to open the door. The best part is that Michael locks his door all the time and I have a "key" that opens it. They should know better. This should be fun....

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Leash?

I love her, really I do. I have no idea how to reach her and at 6 yrs old, I am wondering seriously if I ever will. She is bright, beautiful, entertaining, helpful, and inquisitive. She, however, is also manipulative, deceitful, annoying, charming, and unattached. I worry about her complete lack of self esteem and obsession of boys. I am having a very difficult time having Pizazz through my grinding teeth and since her AT insisted we hold off thumping her between the eyes for every infraction, I am not sure how to turn things around. I consider him a good therapist and even he said today that he will have to consult with other AT's for some more ideas. Nothing works. He is out of tricks.

She is not outright vicious, she just has to have complete control over every event. I had no idea there were so many ways to take the damn trash out. You can leave it untied, rip it, dump it out, behind the trash can, on front of the trash can, on top of the can, down at the mailbox, on the porch, etc... You get the idea, it is NEVER what I ask, she has to change it up. If I turn my head in the same room she MUST do something wrong. It is not like most of the time she is up to something. She is constantly aware of my every intention to turn my back on her so she can break, use, steal, or hide something she is not supposed to have. She is perfect when I am in the room, plays nicely through her constant stream of chatter about the wind, school, her boo boos, and the kids. I am not concerned she will attack anyone, she isn't violent in any way. She is dangerous in her recklessness. She swings from the ceiling fans, her bunk bed, breaks glass and hides it, opens windows and sits in the sill, and so many other things I never imagined a child could think of. She must be supervised at all times. She is so sneaky and quick to act that if I turn my head, she is gone. With all the needs of the kids after school she uses this to her advantage . Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to notice she has moved and then I find her hiding to watch TV or playing outside on the trampoline. This kid is slick and smart, not a good combination.

My DH mentioned last night that a child leash might work. We had used one a few times on Emma as a toddler to keep her from running off. She liked it and thought it was a game. I have heard of people trying this with unattached kids and threw it out for the AT. He thought it was a great idea. It would give me more opportunities to praise her if we eliminated the disappearing act she does. I am gonna see what I can find to use. I don't want it to be an animal leash b/c that seems a bit degrading but maybe a scarf or cotton rope/string tied around each of our wrists. He set it up in therapy when we used the puppets to be a sad girl named Mava and her parents. We were both thinking she might enjoy the time attached to me too much since her goal is to keep my attention on her and instead of her siblings and we were hoping it would allow me more time with them without being focused on where she is.

Anyone tried something similar? If so, how did it work out?

Ella was also seen by the AT today. She spent the entire time acting pitiful and telling us pitiful stories. We gave her a goal of playing with someone at least 3 times this week at Recess. She claims to have no friends to play with and that she sits by herself all the time. I let her teacher know of her goal and discovered I had been duped. She plays every day with many of the girls. It was all another lie to get pity. Why would you want pity? I have said it before, she will be the victim in every situation and make up the the part if there isn't one. I stepped into the lunchroom to see her and she had conned the staff in the lunchroom that she was hungry b/c she hadn't eaten. The kid ate right before stepping on the school grounds and there she sat with a full lunch plate. She, too, is manipulative and charming. I can't wait for my kids to use their energy for the good of mankind instead of orchestrating everyone around them in silly games.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

There are days I am tempted to hang myself from the kids' rope swing. Today is one of those days. Actually, there have been several this week alone. I am so busy volunteering at their schools and helping Rosa that I am not spending a lot of time here sharing my own adventures. I was volunteered to be Emma's Room Mom by her teacher and discovered at the meeting this morning that 2 of my other kids classes don't have one. I will, of course, let them know I am available to help out but now I will need to increase my time there by a day. I have also been asked to run for VP of their PTA. I politely declined with a, "You must be crazy!".

Ava. This child will be the death of me. She is so unattached that I wonder if she will be saved. We are currently out of Risperdal and I can see the difference in her. We have had to change P doctors to a local one that did not have an available date until the middle of September. I am not sure we can make it so I am going to try to get the Health Dept to do it. Not sure if it will work but I have to try something. This little issue is causing problems for Patches and Michael, as well. Ava has to be in my line of sight or she will instantly be into something. Those of you parenting little Radlets know what I am talking about when I say instantly. Most of the time no one is in danger but she destroys EVERYTHING she gets her hands on. She is stealing and lying with every breath. I can literally tell her to pick something up and turn my head to answer a child and she breaks the pool stick a foot away from me. I am finding it hard to add Pizazz when I want to smack her rear end every 30 seconds. I could go on for an hour of all her annoying behaviors but it wouldn't help anyone to focus on those.

Ruthie is doing better with her hanging on me but she is so desperate for attention that she is willing piss me off to get it. She screamed at the bus driver last week and hid the darn letter refusing to give it to her. She lost and found her raincoat, has taken to lying about stupid things, and is so focused on boys that I am more than a little concerned about her future.

Patches has gotten a bit snippy lately and spent about 15 minutes practicing rolling her eyes at me in a mirror. She is good. I wish it was a skill she would need in her adult life. She refused dinner and has been antagonizing the kids to the point I am having to keep her close enough to hear her at all times. She will not be fun to parent as a teen.

Emma faked a tummy ache to get to come home with me. My first clue was the first step out of the building her voice changed to a high pitched squeal. The next one was her asking what was for lunch and she didn't mind if we went out. LOL

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a Weekend

Rosa came with her 3 gorgeous children. I wanted to scoop them up right away and smother them in kisses but figured since it had been awhile, I should wait. It was obvious right away that they were nervous, the clinging to their mother's leg was the only clue needed.

We took them out to dinner and laid out the expectations, as we always do. Her kids looked at me as if I were speaking in Spanish. Every one was fine and did very well. I was, however, manipulated by her 2 yr old that allowed me to take her to pick out her ice cream. She asked so sweetly for a cupcake that I HAD to get it for her. I knew right then she has a talent I will teach her to use to exploit her mother. By the end of the weekend she had the head tilt and batting eyes in motion while she asked her mom, "Please!" She captured all our hearts instantly.

I watched Rosa with her kids all weekend. She is a very good mother considering she had no role model as a young child. A few years as a teen just doesn't count. She lacks consistency, imagination, and confidence. Those are things she can learn. She is gentle and caring with a ton of patience. She carries a lot of guilt for things that she did with the best of intentions. She wanted them to have a father, unfortunately, the one she chose was and is a severely attachment disordered young man. This does not make a good mate or father. She did the best she could to make up for it by being their caregiver, bread winner, and their personal maid. She fears the children will reject her if she is too strong with them, not understanding it is what they crave.

She listens and asks lots of questions trying to get this parenting thing right. I arranged for her to get a Psychological Evaluation for her son with our therapist's office. I do not think he is full blown RAD but their are many signs of attachment issues there. I think she will be able to do this, she is so much stronger than she thinks. The confidence will come. She feels she did this to her child and the reality is she did but it was not intentional and it was not her fault. I think the world of her for asking for help and seeing all the effort she is willing to pour into him to help is quite moving.

She has made a few simple mistakes that probably seem odd to the school but we will both be meeting with them in the AM to explain the new changes in her parenting style and to ask for their support. She is trying to understand how to work the consequences and is still needing some redirection in that area. I hope one day she can laugh at all this. My kids have ODD and when I tell them to make sure to stomp up the stairs, pull their hair out, and beat holes in their walls, they refuse. She thought she would try it and told him to continue rubbing his face into the floor and he gave himself a lovely rug burn. I mentioned I took my son's shoes away for throwing them at me and he wore flip flops with socks for the first winter he was here. She sent him in slippers. She struggles every day to get him to school so I suggested arranging with the school to bring him "as is" and let him finish there and to follow through with everything you say. He refused to put on his shoes this morning and she threatened to find other shoes for him and ended up with High School Musical pink shoes. Won't kill him but I am sure they are thinking she is nuts b/c they didn't support her and let him go in stocking feet all day. She needs their support, I hope they step up and they to understand her situation.

Her son is aggressive, violent, angry, and would greatly benefit from some Risperdal or any mood stabilizer. I see my son in his behaviors. He hits, doesn't understand intentions, and rarely smiles. He doesn't present himself as a happy child. He makes little or no eye contact and is superficially affectionate. Both of her older kids fight for her attention by claiming boo boos and being scared of things at night. She is torn and exhausted.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Poor Babies

The kids were an entire hour late getting home. They had a sub bus driver and she got lost. She called for help and scared the crap out of all the kids. She couldn't find her way back to the school as she was told to do, freaking them out further. They were covered in sweat and tears when they finally stepped off the bus and into my arms. They held it together and didn't throw a fit. Progress?

We have AT for the first time in many weeks. Yeah!!!

Michael just beat the crap out of Ava's head. He lied and then decided to try the truth. Doesn't change what he did but shows he is changing. I am currently ignoring his desperate attempts to communicate now that he has calmed. I have not given him a consequence so he is getting anxious. Hee hee. I am taking the kids to McDonalds to play and for ice cream, he will be sitting with me since he can't control his arms and I don't want him arrested for assaulting someone else's kid.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's Been Confirmed

We are a Virus Factory! I have 6 with Strep but none with any symptoms. What does this actually mean? They have all their normal energy but I was told they need to rest.

I am running away.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rosa's Son

I am deeply afraid he is on the extreme end of crazy. The boy not only refused to participate in school today, he growled at the teacher when she talked to him. He was curled on the floor and growled over and over. They called her in to get him b/c they were at a loss. She tried to talk to him and he again began growling. She ended up carrying him out with the teacher's help. He kicked her repeatedly.

Once home, he tried to trip her and has been screaming for hours. He hates her. His tantrums are above and beyond normal, I am convinced he has attachment issues. I am so tempted to say RAD. He was separated from her at birth for many weeks, she wasn't able to care for him until he was almost a year due to her severe injuries, she left the state for many months to work to support her family, he lived in a household where violence and chaos was the norm, at one point I helped her regain control and he had a "safe" life when she allowed her violent husband to return, and she struggles to bond with him due to her own attachment issues. His father was abandoned as a very young child b/c he father ran her off, he was not treated as a family member when his dad remarried and was regularly beaten by his brother at his parent's request. He didn't have a chance to bond with anyone and no idea how to parent without any role models.

She is coming over for the weekend for a crash course. I hope she learns what she needs to help him. She has already asked if I would take him until he is better. I laughed it off and told her I would help her heal him. She is in for a ride.

A Strep Fest

I took Emma, Cyr, and Ava for their yearly check ups only to discover that they don't do them yearly after 6 yrs old. Who knew? So Emma wasn't seen, at first. Ava is over 50# and Cyr is at 108#, they are growing like weeds. Ava is one of those kids that is solid, looks normal size and weight but when you try to hold her you are shocked. We get in the little room and the new doctor comes in and asks a bunch of questions I have already answered on the sheet when she realizes I don't know all the answers. You can see it in her face that she is thinking something is off that I can't tell her about the birth or if she has had chicken pox. I kinda giggled to myself waiting for her to ask b/c I had written it on the sheet and told the nurse just a few minutes earlier. Just as she was about to excuse herself I told her they were all adopted. You could see the relief in her face and she apologized. She said it should have been written across the top of the form that the nurse just did and she had forgotten to write it in. She didn't want to say anything in front of the kids, in case they didn't know. How sad is it that some families still do not tell their kids?

She continues to check out Ava and tells me she wants to do a culture on her throat for Strep. Great, no biggie. I have never had the doctor do the test right there in the office with me. She swabbed her and stuck it in the little tube with a test strip. She laughed, it started turning immediately. She said their was no doubt she has had it for awhile. She complained about 2 weeks ago about a sore throat and stuffy nose but has been fine with OTC meds.

She told me to bring back in any child with a headache, stomach ache, or sore throat with or without a fever. That gives Emma the chance to complain about her ever aching stomach. She insists on a culture. Guess what? Emma has it, too. I have a feeling I am going to be bringing Ruthie, Michael, Ella, and Patches in tomorrow b/c they have all been complaining about headaches for a couple of days. The best part is they get to stay home until Thursday but they aren't slowing down a bit. Why do some sick kids not act sick? I begged them to fake it for me at the drug store.

I, myself, have had a slight headache for the last 2 days but ibuprofen has helped. I did notice that about an hour ago I was feeling warm so I took my temperature. You guessed it, a fever. We are a walking virus factory. I need a nap.

Ruthie, Again.

She was caught having Emma do all her homework. Emma loves to help the kids with their assignments and she is easily suckered into believing they do not understand so she does problem after problem trying to teach them, eventually completing the entire assignment. Ruthie let her do all her math and reading before she got caught. When I asked her she melted down into a frenzy. She began slapping at me at first and I smacked back at her with a paper folder. It surprised both of us but Cyr giggled and told her it couldn't hurt. She tried to grab the folder when I wrote a note that it wasn't her work in it, desperate to not let the teacher know she has issues of any kind. Screaming I am ruining her life. I asked her to go ahead and get ready for bed, hoping it would slow down her fit just a tad. No such luck. She went to her room and began tossing things, as I walked in she laid on her back and began kicking me in the left knee over and over. She had both her shoes on and the kicking brought me to the floor. I grabbed the shoes to remove them so she switched to Plan B. She thought it was a good idea to then smack, slap, scratch, and kick me so I wouldn't take her shoes, knowing full well she lost the privilege of wearing them for a few days. (This child has the use of at least 3 other pairs of tennis shoes, they were hers and her sister's from last year so not as nice but still in great condition.)

At some point, I had to flip her over and hold her down to protect myself. Some of her sisters came in to check on me when she started yelling I was abusing her and she was going to tell her teacher. Her reason is her hair had been pulled in the flip over and I was to blame. She was so far gone at this point that all that came out was how wonderful her life was before me, her parents loved her and never restrained her, her teacher loves her, she hates me and never loved me, she wants to live somewhere else, and the ever present "You're not my real mom!". I never give a reaction while she is angry, I have been addressing it after she calms. It took over an hour for her to listen to me through her tears. It funny how they hear what they want and no matter what I say to them when they are angry, they twist it. For example, "You don't seem to like yourself right now." becomes "I don't like you." "I know you are smarter than this." becomes "You are stupid."

She will be making false allegations about me at some point, it has become her regular threat lately. "I'm gonna tell my teacher you hurt me. I'm gonna twist my arm 'til it breaks and tell her you did it." It's a matter of time. I have been accused before but things turned out OK b/c the officers quickly determined I couldn't have performed oral sex on this child I had only seen in a group setting with cameras. The other time was a girl that told her friend's mother I called her "retarded" and ran away from me to be saved by this woman with a DFCS open case herself. The Judge determined that what I said was actually true, "All of you are emotionally retarded due to the abuse you have survived. Retarded not meaning stupid but not developed or stunted." She took it out of context and was the only one that took it to be mean out of 7 girls. They volunteered to testify. The Judge was shocked I was willing to take her back after that and told her she was one lucky girl. As you see, neither really was dangerous like if she said we were abusing her and had marks that she gave herself. I have already addressed this with her teacher and she seems to get it. Today she and I will be talking to her teacher together about how she really cares about her but does not love her and she can't live with her.

All this drama left Ava and Michael with a chance for a lovely evening. Every one else did their homework and showers without incident.

Ruthie missed her bus this morning. She will pay me, as her taxi, to take her to school.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've Been Busy

I have had many foster daughters over the years and they seem to come and go when they need something or their lives change. There have been 3 that held my heart Frankee, Stephanie, and Rosa. All 3 probably had RAD and were very difficult to parent. Most of you remember Frankee and the dust storm she left in her path. Stephanie died in a car accident. Rosa is the one I haven't mentioned, for many reasons but mostly b/c it hurts so bad.

Rosa lived with us at the group home and moved into our home when we left there as our foster daughter. She wasn't available for adoption and we had planned to adopt her after she turned 18. She was a gorgeous young woman that sucked up any attention she could get. She had been abused by male relatives, her mother had abandoned her and her siblings, lived in a bus, and she parented the kids until she was taken. She is a very strong young woman.

She has wandered in and out of our lives since she left our home. She married another young man we took care of (not through foster care but her was a minor living with us). Since she had not been dating boys, we felt it was safe to have him there. They began a sexual relationship and got married when she became pregnant. She disappeared. When she became pregnant with her second child, I called to tell her about Stephanie. We moved her back to GA from PA. Her and her DH were in a serious car accident shortly after they arrived that fractured her pelvis, broke multiple bones and was hospitalized for many weeks. Her and her family moved in with us. Her DH, Ed, became too much to deal with. He is a control freak. It was awful trying to take care of their small children, mine, and work full time. Our daughters, theirs and mine, got a hold of Ed's Oxycontin and we had to rush them to the hospital. It was the beginning of the end of our co-habitating.

We discovered later that they had a violent relationship and she had to file DV charges against him. While they were separated I had the opportunity to spend 4 nights a week with her children while she worked in a bar until the wee hours of the morning. I loved every minute of it, they called me Nana and I spoiled them rotten. They managed to get back together and break up a couple more times over the next year. When they were back on full time, she ended contact with us b/c of ultimatums he gave her. She tried to make the marriage work. Fast forward 2 years, she served him divorce papers about 6 months after they received a hefty settlement from the accident. The money is gone and they have nothing to show for it. He spent it on stupid things and was the only one with access to it. She had his accounts frozen and is waiting to finalize the divorce.

I was thrilled to talk to her last Wednesday. She sounds great and I have missed her terribly. I have no illusion that things will be perfect and I am hoping to see her babies since she has since had another one that doesn't even know me.

I started this several days ago and have been too busy to get it posted. Rosa came up to see me Saturday and we went to lunch. Her life is very complicated with the divorce in progress and raising 3 tiny kids when she only had parents in her teen years. I am convinced her 5 yr old son has some pretty serious attachment issues and his teachers have been telling her about SID. He is a mess. She cried for 30 minutes at lunch and kept apologizing for it. She is lost in the whole parenting thing but she tries so hard.

Speaking of Saturday, my MIL came out Friday night and spent the weekend. It was like I had a weekend at a resort with all my meals catered and a babysitter. I went out for lunch, as I said and then my DH and I finally had our date. I had a blast all day.

My son is still freaking out and I realized why at a random moment this weekend, since school started back he hasn't been taking his medicine in the morning, only at night. Ooooppps! This morning I had to put it in the back of his mouth and add water. He was shocked that I could do that and was calmed down in a matter of seconds after. He has never refused his meds before, I guess he thought he found a new way to act out. He had a rough weekend and I am hoping he gets a grip soon.

Ava is going to be the death of me. The child spends all her energy on annoying me and I may lose my mind. A few examples from the weekend, she threw a light bulb against a tree and broke it into tiny pieces right where the kids play and refused to pick it up, she kicked dirt over it. She has a habit of laying the trash bags by the can outside for the animals to spread throughout our yard instead of inside it. She lost her homework and insisted I took it and threw it away instead of taking responsibility for misplacing it. She hid her twin's shoes b/c she was asked to put them away. She pretended to pick blueberries to get money and let the others do all the work. She has begun peeing in her bed regularly and leaves it to make the room smell bad for the girls and doesn't shower either. She ripped the brand new shirt she had on the Friday to see if I would notice. I caught her watching one of the dogs dig through the trash in my bathroom, spreading it all over. The girls cleaned out from under their bed Saturday and she was caught shoving random things back under there Sunday. You get the idea, she is very busy. I hope my other children allow her to live until adulthood.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

They are driving me crazy

Angela, I can't get to your blog through your name, it says your profile is not available.

I have had a rough couple of days thanks to Ruthie and Michael. Let me begin with the threats I get from my kids. I hate it, it freaks me out, and the kids that are in control at the time become unglued with fear. Ruthie is my main accuser. Every time she is angry, for whatever reason she sees fit, she threatens to tell her teacher that I am mean to her. This time I had had enough and very loudly explained what would happen. She would lie and say I abuse her (she will have the marks b/c the child mutilates herself every time she is stressed or angry), the teacher would call DFCS, DFCS would come over and remove the children while they investigate her claims (the other kids would go to Nanny's and Kiki's but since she is abused she would go to a foster home), they would determine our home is safe so her siblings would come home after have a blast, she might be charged with making a false allegation, and we would have to seriously reconsider where she would live b/c she would be endangering the kids by making these allegations. I pointed out SHE would be the one that suffered.

This only made her scream that I didn't want her here after I was very clear and said repeatedly for the previous hour how we all wanted her to be here and loved her. I can't win. She only hears what she wants to hear when she is like that. She screamed at me from 3:15 to 6PM. She was nearly hoarse. This may have been one of her shorter tantrums but it certainly got me riled up a bit more than usual.

Today Michael is giving me a run for my money. He hit Emma for opening the door before he did. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, for a crazy person it does. I was so hopeful when I questioned him and he admitted he did it. This has only happened a couple of times and I immediately praised him for being honest since that is one of big family goals around here with so many liars. He went off. I have spent the last hours rearranging his restraint to avoid being injured further by his new shoes and fingernails. I have scratches on my wrists that are burning and he kicked me in the shin and knee. The darn knee is killing me. He faked me out at one point (first time ever, I won't fall for it again) and then ran to his room, locked the door, and hid in his closet. Since the rule is he has to stay near me instead of going to his room, I had to go get him. I still had high hopes of helping him understand that while he had done something wrong, I was proud of his moment of truth. This of course was his excuse to really get me, he tried to shove me down the stairs. Thank goodness I am an old pro and knew to hold on tight when near the stairs. Ruthie and Patches have both tried to injure me by pushing me down the stairs when they were mad. One of them seriously hurting me, funny now that I can't remember which one.
I wanna back up a minute to explain, I think I have before but it is a real struggle in our daily life. My kids do not read emotions, can't do it at all. We work on this by me telling them my emotion as it is happening and showing them how my face reacts to it. This is something most kids pick up on as babies but mine can not do it. We are no closer 2 yrs into this with them than they were on day one. That is an exaggeration, there is progress but no one else could tell. If they are in trouble, I deliberately use a deeper voice, make it louder, and wrinkle my face. When I am bringing something up to them that is a concern but they are not in trouble I have to say, "You are not in trouble." over and over. I watch them scan my face never believing my words. I change my tone of voice, open my eyes up wider, get down on their level, and lift the edges of my mouth a little without smiling. I then point these things out so they look for them. I think part of it is they get stuck in a PTSD moment along with this inability to read emotions. I know it is frustrating for them but if they could learn to it would illuminate so many tantrums like today with Michael. I am open to advice on this, people.

I spent the day with Ella. I thought she had an appointment with her new Orthopedist at 11"15 and it was 1:15. Whoops! We chatted and she played at McDonald's until she asked to just go b/c the other kids there were too rough on her. The appointment went fine, he doesn't do kids usually and refuses to do surgery on her tendons due to lack of experience. He will continue to see her for scripts for her braces, OT, and PT. Nice guy. Ella liked all the senior citizens in the waiting room, I was 50 years younger than all the other patients, they adored her.

I got 2 hours of sleep last night so we are going to bed early.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Swing and a Shoe

My DH put in a tree swing the other day and I haven't seen the kids since. They are up and out the door to wait in line for their turn at 7 AM. They are getting along great and helping each other out all without violence. Why didn't we think of this earlier? You can barely tell Michael is crying on the side, no reason that we could tell.

This is Emma sitting on the table reading Patches' 5th grade reading passages to her over and over so she can answer her worksheet. Emma is the only one patient enough to do this. I usually do it the first 50 times and pass it on to her. Ruthie is pretending to do homework to be cool.

Now that I have had a day to recover, I will share our recent shoe shopping experience. Normally, I shop alone, bring in the shoes and they LOVE them, take them and they can't decide or only want the really expense ones. Since I was enjoying myself so much on my lunch date Friday, I lost track of time and had to take the kids with me when I returned home. My bad.

As soon as the elementary kids walked in the door, I loaded them up and headed to the mall leaving a note for Cyr to have a snack and lock the door. We went over the expectations in the van before we got out. I told them how long it would take, how they should behave, who is with who (they have to have a partner at all times), exactly what I will be buying, how much they have to spend on their shoes, consequences for any additional asking or poor behaviors, and where we would be going in the mall. I cover everything, every time. This time, they forgot the second we stepped into the store.

It was actually not too bad until they realized that the Girl's selection in Sears was so limited b/c I do not buy tennis shoes with lots of white or licensed characters on them. They are ruined within a week and grey, black, even pink does better than white and the other ones are usually too cheep to last. The girls didn't see anything they liked and that was when the trouble began. We had only hit one of 6 stores and it just kept going downhill. Lots of whining, jacking around, wandering, threatening, and begging. Not my finest moment as a parent. Of course, had we not run into several teachers I could have been a bit more stern. That is not entirely true, I just wouldn't have put up with as much crap as I did and they wouldn't have gotten new shoes. I wanted them to have new shoes, I feel good buying them nice new shoes.

Everyone got what we came for in the end. Ella was the only one without new shoes b/c she will get hers in a few weeks when her braces are redone. Cyr didn't want new ones, yet. I have three kids in a size 13, one in 1, two in a 6, and Ella really is an 11 but with her braces I suspect she will need a 2 or a 3. Much to their surprise, they all survived the trip and not wearing their new shoes home from the store. They became extremely quiet when they realized I had pulled into McDonald's and only ordered for Cyr and I. Things got back to normal after their bologna sandwiches with carrot sticks, it is our typical meal for kids who can't for whatever reason, join our family for dinner.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

It Has Already Begun

We are finally at that stage that all mothers dread. The one where their things start to miraculously disappear. As I began to do my makeup yesterday, I realized I was missing something very important, my eye lash curler. It is a must if I am to look as if I actually have any. I knew right away where to look and began to feel my blood pressure rise as I entered Cyr's room. There it was right on her vanity. This has happened twice now and I just explained to her that it is a natural phenomenon that seems to begin as a girl becomes a young lady. The uncontrollable urge to "borrow" their mother's things becomes too strong to stop. She will find herself drawn to my previously considered "old ladyish things" and need to have them as her own. All her common sense will slip out the window and she will "forget" to ask permission to borrow the item(s). I understand this won't be about my clothes b/c she is much too small for mine but she will be tempted by my jewelery, shoes, make up, pocketbooks (that I never use), and other various things I can not even fathom at this point. When I ask everyone when if they have seen said item(s) she will again be overcome with the need to lie about it. I warned her that we will have this conversation several more times and each one will be louder and more irritating. There is a cure to this ailment and only she can heal this, ask. Just ask first. She thought it was funny and even laughed. I assured her she wouldn't be laughing the next time.

Friday, August 08, 2008

We Lost Track of Time

The old friend I had lunch with today is the same girl that I smoked my first cigarette and drank my first beer with back in 6th grade. I don't remember where we got the cigarettes from, probably her older more sophisticated sister and I stole the beer from my parents. I don't think we got caught but I do remember having a blast. She looked exactly the same and was as beautiful as I remembered. She married a boy we went to school with, I remember him to be a quiet, gentle person that was fun to be around. She told me he has turned into a wonderful husband and father, I wasn't surprised in the least. He never doubted he wouldn't grow up to make his parents proud, it's just they way he carried himself.

She only brought one of her daughters and she was the spitting image of her parents. She was very well behaved for being forced to reminisce about times she wasn't even around for. She entertained herself with her mom's phone and randomly called people to come save her from the unending boredom. I am honored to share my name with such a lovely child.

The time flew by as we talked about people we remembered and some that she has recently seen. It makes me sad to think of all the wasted lives. Most of the friends I had way back when are now in prison or are struggling with an addiction to Meth. We could have ended up like them. I am so glad we didn't. To date she is the only one that I know of that came out normal, that is a huge accomplishment in itself. She is more than a success story, she was warm, smart, beautiful, and a patient mother. Best of all, she sprung for lunch.

Alison, I hope you have a nice transition back to work and do call when you are in the city b/c next time is my treat. Thank you so much for the 2 1/2 hour lunch!
Running out the door to have lunch with a childhood friend and her 2 tiny ones. I am so excited b/c I haven't seen her in many years. Stay Tuned.....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

He is so confused

Michael: Mom, I know Spanish

Me: Really? Tell me what you know.

Michael: Yeehaw!

Me: Yeehaw?

Michael: That's Spanish for Yeah.

From the Day at the River

All the cousins. Patches was unable to get into the water for personal reasons, poor girl was not a happy camper.

All the kids slid down the rocks, they are helping Ella here.

Panty Check

Ava. bless her heart, tries so hard to mess things up for herself and others. I have decided I am addressing her too negatively, not that I am being mean to her but I noticed that so many times I have to say something to her and it is about her negative behavior. I will no longer say anything, I will point and give the look. I will make sure for every point and look she receives 3 positive comments about her. This will be extremely difficult.

Ella was kissed on the cheek by the neighbor boy. She was blushing when her sister told me. He just leaned over and kissed her cheek on the bus. I am not surprised, she is such a beautiful child. I think he relates to her b/c she has a physical disability and he has a severe speech disorder that makes him impossible to understand. I mean the child has no friends b/c you can't communicate with him. She doesn't care about that and just sits quietly with him. Ava teased her a bit and said she was going to marry him and have babies. Ella's eyes got huge and she looked to me for answers, scared that may be her fate now that she has been tainted by his love. I laughed and promised she was allowed to choose her husband and is not tied to this child after just one kiss, 2 and we would need to talk to his Mom about his intentions. She took this very seriously.

Cyr didn't eat breakfast at school b/c she couldn't find the cafe'. Poor girl is lost. She didn't think any of the boys at school were cute but she did think the PE Coach was "hot". That's my girl. I called and let the Counsleor know to have a safety talk with him. I am sure he would be manipulated within days into feeling sorry for her and spending a moment alone with her to "help" her in some way. She will figure out his likes and dislikes and make them hers in an effort to "bond" with him.

Patches is spending an enormous amount of time on homework. They are giving her 5th grade work and she is on a 1st grade level. I am trying to give them a little room to get things organized but I fear they will not be taking her out for her Special Ed subjects and try to serve her in the room. This will not work for her, she is already showing signs of frustration.

My son has had a couple of accidents and not told me. He is getting up to change his clothes but not his bedding. I only discovered this b/c he was changing his underwear the last 2 mornings before school but claimed he was dry. He was dry but had been covered in urine just hours before. I love that they are all very independent about their wetting but it is an issue when they hide it. We are going to have to have a chat about his accidents and how they happen sometimes but it doesn't mean he needs pull ups again. He did take comfort yesterday afternoon when I told him Dad had wet his pants after a seizure years ago. He was amazed that he did that as an adult. I throw my poor DH under the bus like that regularly. I am glad he has a sense of humor.

Ella has an underwear issue that was recently discovered. The girl has decided to stop changing her underwear after her shower. She gets a clean pair out and then puts back on the old ones. I have no idea why but she now has to have a panty check every night. I almost puked when I had her on my lap a couple days ago, the girl stank. She also used a towel to dry off after she cleaned up a piece of dog poop with it. She knew this and didn't care. EEEEWWWWW!! See a theme going on here? She is trying to make herself stink.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The First Day

My kids had an excellent day, all except Emma. I tried to find out what was so bad and all she could come up with was she had too little playground time. Too bad, so sad. Michael is 2 years older than every one in his class and is only bigger than 1 child, our neighbor. He didn't play or talk to anyone all day. Ruthie couldn't find her classroom and blamed me for only taking her there once. Patches had an excellent day and her teacher called to tell me she couldn't see a single issue. She also confessed she had been in foster care for most of her childhood. (I guess this is why she feels she has "been there done that".) Ava and Ella couldn't recall a single event from their day but said things went fine. Cyr had a good day, she said it flew by. No complaints or conversation about being late. She will get nervous about things but can't identify the feeling. She doesn't understand the sweaty palms and shaky feeling are from being nervous, she doesn't even recognize her angry or hurt feeling very well. It helped her get through the first day but we have been working hard to help her read the signs her body gives her to help her label her feelings.

Ava had a very difficult night. She is back to her many irritating ways. About the thousandth thing she did was at bed time and she was smacking the string hanging from the ceiling fan in her room. I went to put my hand in front of her to stop and she jumped into my hand as she was trying to hit the string again. It kinda smacked her face and she thought I did it on purpose. I apologized but she refused to accept it. I am struggling so hard to help her and some days I wonder if it will ever sink in. After over 2 years she still thinks I will smack her on purpose even though I never have before.

My Dh was home a bit early yesterday and after they were all in bed he asked me how I ever managed to get through a day with this child. She doesn't do hateful things, just extremely annoying things. A few example from yesterday, when asked to pick up the floor in the LR she went outside and hid. When asked to stay near me, she snuck off to the bathroom and filled the soap and shampoo up with water. She volunteered to do a chore for my DH for money with 2 other kids and then went and played until they were almost done and ran in to accept the money for it. Every time I spoke to another person she suddenly had 4 million things she had to tell me and refused to be silent. She asked if she could brush my hair and proceeded to repeatedly beat me in the head with the brush. I asked her to sit on the sofa so I could use the restroom and she went to the kitchen to aggravate Patches. I asked the kids to quit putting the dog food down for the dogs, she waited a few minutes and put both the food and water down. She was asked to dump the trash can and pushed off the trash on top to hide it behind the can and claimed it wasn't full enough. She also lied about a dozen things and stole money and toys from several kids. I am so grateful that she is no longer eating and trashing her clothes but that is about the only positive thing I can think of right now. I know I need to focus on the positive things but when someone tries so hard to make sure there aren't positive things it makes my job extremely difficult. I took her in my arms last night, like I do almost every night, and promised her nothing she did changed how I feel about her. I told her to keep trying as hard as she needs to b/c I am up for the job proving to her I am for real. I reminded her we are on the same team and together we will get her through this. I wish she believed me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

What a Morning

I am officially an idiot. For the first time in years, I set the alarm clock to go off at 6PM instead of in the AM. This did not ensure a slow paced, easy morning. I woke up 15 minutes before they had to leave and I planned on serving them breakfast at home. I am so glad I finished everything last night. They rushed around like chickens with their heads cut off but didn't fight or cry at all. All my elementary school kids made it out to the bus and actually had to wait. They were tickled pink to be outside while it was still cool and thought the weather had changed just for school. I noticed after they were on the bus that I forgot to put their lunch money in the envelope I sealed shut. I also forgot to mention their meds on the counter. I was relieved when my Dh volunteered to bring the cafe' (I giggle every time I hear them call their lunchroom that) their money and check in with Patches' teacher.

Thinking the hard part was past, Cyr jumped in the shower and got dressed. She had so much time left over she had breakfast and worked on the dishes she had managed to forget several times last night. She waited at the bus stop for about 5 minutes when the bus approached, slowed down, and drove away. She was left standing there. The bus never came to a complete stop. I called and called Transportation and after many tries I called my DH to turn around to come take her to school. Why didn't I just take her, my tire is flat and so is the spare? I was finally able to reach Transportation and they told me to hang on, she would turn around and get her. The bus showed up 40 minutes later, after they dropped off all the other kids. My poor little 6th grader was so afraid of fitting in on the bus and it turned into a bus nightmare. She missed her big Orientation in the gym.

I can't wait for them to tell me all about their day.

My Dh just called, he is on his way home (a 45 minute drive) b/c he forgot a scaffold in the confusion this morning. He is pretty upset that he will be using up most of his gas money to fix this. He will have driven to work 3 times today.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

What better to work up a bunch of kids than to suggest they get their clothes ready for their first day of school tomorrow? Every one except Cyr and Emma lost it and continue to act like little boogers. Cyr is off with Dad and Emma is excited about school. This is going to be a long day.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


We have spent a great deal of time at the pool this year with very few incidents like last year. For those of you that are new may not remember the many things they did that attracted unwanted attention. Coming out of the restroom completely naked, peeing on the side of the pool where everyone stared at the yellow stream coming very close to the edge, or the lovely tantrums requiring my arms to be wrapped around them while I continued to watch the others swim. We were actually asked not to come back to the YMCA, they were nice but didn't want us peeing on the other guests or subjecting them to angry nude children. I couldn't blame them.

This year the worst that has happened is they have had to sit out under an umbrella and watch with tears streaming down their little faces. No fits, not screams, no peeing, and no streaking. My children are turning into excellent swimmers w/o all the anger to side track them. Emma, Michael, and Ava have learned to dive this week. They did a few belly flops but are really good after the first couple of tries. Michael can dive in and swim over half the pool before coming up for air. Emma is good at anything athletic and can go and go and go. She is a strong above water swimmer. Ruthie is so graceful when she dives that it looks as if she really knows what she is doing. Ava tries so hard to dive but ends up doing flips about half the time. This is so Ava, rush and do a half ass job instead of listening and trying. Still an excellent job for a 6 yr old.

This deep end diving gives Ella another opportunity to feel sorry for herself. She has to wear a floaty bathing suit b/c she can't swim yet and is not allowed past the rope. This is not her fault, she tries but having Cerebral Palsy makes physical activities more difficult. She will eventually get it, I am sure. As you all know by now, I do not baby her and do not put up with the pity party crap. She, however, has not gotten this memo and insists on sitting at the shallow end or on her towel by herself for the hour that I stand at the deep end for them to dive. SHe could float on the other side of the rope and participate in cheering them on but that would take the focus off her and her pitifullness.

Open House

I have been quiet this week and as we wind down summer. I took the kids to meet their teachers on Thursday and the kids were great. I don't mind meeting them but it is so stressful deciding what to say and what not to say. I don't want to share all their business but they need to be aware we are not "normal". We get stares and questions every where we go, the school is no exception. My kids are like little rock stars, everyone knows one of my kids. (Yes, I know it is b/c I have one in almost every class but let me dream it is b/c they are so popular for just a minute.)

The twins' teachers just got a letter I printed off the internet for teachers about attachment disorder, I hope they read it this time. Ruthie has the same teacher as last year b/c she is in the MID (Mild Intellectual Disability) class. She will be fine. Emma's teacher has already asked me to commit to a day a week to be in her class. Patches' teacher was way too friendly and confident of herself. I hope it doesn't become an issue. Michael was retained so he will be in the same class with the same teacher. He left and told me his teacher called him her friend, he is in love. She also was the only teacher to attend the party in June. I hope she understands a bit better and I don't have to let her have it again.

There was only one child's schedule that caused me so much stress. She has so many teachers and her issues are so scary to discuss with strangers. What do I say to keep every one safe but not turn them against her? How much do I say? (Hey, watch out b/c my beautiful kiddo here will groom and molest any kid she can steer from the pack is not an option.) I ended up explaining it the best I could without telling them too much. I reminded them that they couldn't tell a soul under the HIPPA Law and that any friends she makes are perfectly safe outside of school b/c she is so closely monitored at home. I sure don't want anyone running to a bunch of parents to say "watch out for that girl" b/c they worry that she is befriending someone. I explained she is healing and working very hard towards her goals and hopes to build a social life this year. I am not concerned about other students b/c she is the youngest in her school and her peer relations are so important to her. I asked that she not be alone with a single child, in charge of any child, and not allowed to roam the halls without supervision except during classroom changes. They are to call her on everything and she is fully responsible to follow those rules w/o reminding. The really hard part to swallow is this child doesn't care if they know. She is not uncomfortable at all. I am not sure how to take that, is she so comfortable with her mistakes and the fact we love her regardless of her behaviors or is it she has no emotions? Likely the latter.

Michael has been without a pull up for over a week and no "spills". I am so proud of him and more importantly, he is so proud of him.

Patches has asked that I not go to the school. I hope she is OK, she insists she will be. She knew a couple of kids in her class and even though she stood with her head buried in my back the entire time, she said she could handle it. (Poor girl is looking a bit weird with poison ivy all over her face, arms, and legs. I am sure someone will comment on it and she will go off on them. I will be asked to stay at the school to protect others from her outbursts.)

We didn't have a night out, we canceled on my MIL b/c it was too much work. Sad, I know. I want to have an evening alone but it just isn't the right time. As of tomorrow, I will have a spare bed in our extra room and she can come and spend the night w/o worry. I plan on using her for that in the very near future.