Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Broken Back

My son fell out of a tree last weekend playing with the neighbor boys. He barely mentioned it to my DH in passing and ran back out to play some more. I didn't hear about it until Thursday night when he casually mentioned that his back hurt. I questioned him a bit about it and gave him ibuprofen. He never complained again. The next day I offered to take him to the doctor or he could go to the Parent's Night Out at the school for a couple hours and we'd go over the weekend. He opted to go to the school. Saturday morning he freaked out and screamed that I don't love him and I refuse to take him to the doctor. He said he keeps telling me he can't sleep because it hurts so bad and nothing helps. He threw everything he could reach at me and sobbed that he knew he had broken his back. It was quite the scene. It took a lot of conversation to prove I hadn't known it was serious and why. When I took him to the doctor, he downplayed it a lot. They x-rayed him and nothing was wrong. It broke my heart that he feels so unloved no matter my efforts. I promised him over and over that nothing will make me stop trying to make him understand how much I love him and he can depend on me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Just Realized

that none of my children give me the heebie jeebies when they hug me anymore. I'm sure it sounds horrible to those of you that are reading with attached children or your own homemade ones so let me go back and explain.

When the kids came home to us, several of them had clingy and sexual affection for us. The sexual part got under control but the clingy, hanging on for dear life hugs were still present for a very long time. Have you ever known someone that hugged you too long or was desperate for your attention to the point it made you feel uncomfortable? Multiply that by 100 and you may begin to feel what some of my children do to others. They were so desperate that it was hard for others to be around them the first years. Their loving aunt and uncle were afraid to hurt their feelings and our extended family and friends were horrified to have this little child sitting on their lap or refusing to leave them alone. (We are still having an issue with friends. A couple of our kids will even still scoot towards them after the friend has been obvious and scooted away from the child.)

Try and form a parental relationship with a child that makes you feel like that. One that has to have 100 kisses on your lips and then 100 more blown back and forth before you finally put your foot down on the number they are allowed. Sound harsh? It felt awful. I loved these children but their poor boundaries with me and any other breathing adult was overwhelming at times. If I was sitting in a chair, they would lean over my back, hurting me while they lay all their weight one me. This "love" they were sharing was not affectionate but painful.

We knew to be straight forward with them from the start. We knew no one had sown them the right way to be affectionate and they needed to be taught was appropriate in a caring way. In other words, I could see myself losing control if I was kneed in the face one more time by a child climbing up in my lap while I was using the restroom. (Yes, that happened.) We began with the big stuff like "please don't kiss my breast because it is not OK but if you'd like to kiss my hand, that's OK". We figured the sexual stuff would draw the most attention and needed to take priority for every one's safety. We used a the term "personal space" to let the kids know they had crossed a line within our family and with others. It was easy enough to say and funny to watch them all scatter to appropriate places without anyone being singled out. I still have to use it on a regular basis when others are here or we are out and I can see all my kids double checking to be sure it's not them.

I sat some of them down about a year ago and had a real heart to heart about it. These kids were still extremely clingy and desperate towards me. I worried it was me. Maybe I didn't like this child as much as the others. Maybe that child was just more of a hugger. I really thought about it and put myself on trial. I realized that it wasn't me. These children needed to find other ways to be affectionate and as their mother, it was my job to teach them. I explained how hugs that hurt didn't make me feel lovey towards them but made me feel like I didn't want to hug them. I told them it wasn't their fault and I would help them regulate their need for physical affection. Sounds horrible, I know. It felt worse, trust me. I was clear that I wanted to get hugs from them but they needed to ask before they ran into me or laid their bodies over me. I put a limit on the amount of kisses I was giving at bed time. I made a point to initiate physical contact before they asked or did it.

It took time and we are still working on it. What is better is we no longer have to put limits on it. These same children have learned appropriate times and how to hug. I am not leaving the hug feeling violated. The best thing is they feel good about it. They know I love them and want to snuggle now. It has been great for our relationship and their growth. It did hurt their feelings at first but has made them feel so much better about themselves now. One child had mentioned it awhile ago, she told me she is a good hugger now. She admits she still hugs her teachers a lot but tries to make them quick ones;)

"Your kids are too much for me"

This is what the latest new pediatric psychiatrist said to me among other things like,

"I'm thinking of retiring so I won't be around for the many years they will need a doctor." (but he is still accepting new patients)

"When you return, please leave the little kid at home. She is very distracting." (Kiera was playing very quietly in the floor. I should have known it was an issue when he refused to see us in his office and made us sit on tiny chairs in a playroom.")

"I don't think I can be available for all the after hours you will need." (I was clear, we don't need him other than regular hours so I am not sure what he was talking about)

"I can't believe you still keep them at home with you. You should really consider a hospital setting and visit them. Some kids are so traumatized they never adjust in a family setting." (This was after he read the psychological evaluations of Michael and Patches.)

"Your kids are just too much for me. They need someone willing to stay involved long term. I can't manage this many severely ill children in one family." (I don't see why it was important they were all in one family since he told me he only see them 2 at a time and he doesn't have to live them. I do appreciate he let me know he couldn't do it and was honest about his hesitations.)

Our AT gave me the # to his child's doctor. I about jumped through the phone and hugged him. We are set to see him at the end of the month. His office is close to the area we are moving to and the staff was polite on the phone. Now if we don't scare him off, we will be set.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Did you know you could scream so hard that the tiny capillaries under your eyes can rupture? I have a second child now that has managed to do it. It's like tiny poke a dots under her eye.

Did you know if you left a half a cup of coffee sitting for who knows how long it turns into a thick sludge that will stick to the person you throw the cup at? It will make them smell so bad and feel like they have been covered in goo.

I discovered I could still protect my child with throbbing pain in my foot. It's crazy how your mind will shut off the pain in order to help them.

I looked forward to a quiet day with the baby today after a hard weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Trouble

My foot is throbbing. I want to lock myself in the room and sleep through it. Kiera is all for it, to. She is my kind of snuggly baby during the day. LOL I was woken from my fitful rest to the Principal from the middle school. (I love this woman. All the kids at her school hate her but I love her.) Anyway, she called to tell me Cyr's boyfriend had been sending her emails and texts about gang crap and he had made a "Hit List". You read that right, he plans on killing several classmates because they are disrespectful of Cyr. Now throw in a mixed up little girl and she is proud of him. She feels protected by him. She doesn't see anything wrong with it and thought she could change him. Any one else see a problem with that thinking?

It seems we have discovered Cyr's area of weakness. BOYS. She is attached to me. I know this for sure and that used to be the biggest concern. She worries about me not because of how it would affect her if I was hurt but for my actual pain. Huge progress for her and I am so proud of her. It has become painfully obvious that boys will be her downfall. She is so in love with this boy. She would do anything he said. To me he is a punk kid, no real threat to her, until now. He acts tough but I don't think he would do anything to anyone. The fact she is attracted to a boy that talks this crap is a problem. The fact he was moved here to get away from a gang makes me worried. He also goes there every other weekend to visit and has access to them. These same people were a part of the threats today. The fact he wouldn't do something doesn't mean he wouldn't involve someone else. She has been talking about pot with this boy but we don't believe she has been doing drugs. She offered to drug test and pay for it. She is just trying so hard to be cool. We have removed her MySPace privilege and all phone calls must be in the room with an adult. She lost her cell last Fall due to nude photo exchanges and sexting with multiple boys. This is going to be a tough few years. I can't wait to watch her with her teens and giggle about all the lovely fun her and I had.

To top off my week, another one of my girls became a "woman". I am seriously considering options to protect that child in the next year or so. Someone will take advantage of her and she is already boy crazy. She is such a pretty, petite thing, the boys will look past the fact she can't keep up in a conversation.

One final thing, Kiera is limping and complaining her foot hurts, too. She wants to eat lunch in bed with Sesame Street on. Little Booger.

A Really Bad Day

The morning started off great. Kids ate and we were all in a great mood. We had discussed watching a movie together on the living room floor and I had asked them to pick up their room and grab pillows and blankets. My bad, I should have known it would throw someone over the edge. Ava and Ruthie went to pick something up at the same time and Ruthie felt like Ava was "snatching" it from her. Now we all know that is the cue that a child has permission to beat the crap out of another one, right? Yeah, neither did I but she did. She slammed Ava's head into the corner of the TV. Nice, huh? I went upstairs and asked her to come down to time out. She refused. I couldn't leave her up there so I gave her 1 minute and then offered to help her down stairs. I put my arms under her pits and lifted. She kicked and went crazy once we were in the hall. I let go and asked her nicely to compose herself and follow me. Not a chance. She went nuts, started hitting me and grabbed a handful of my left breast. I tried to turn her but she threw herself on the floor kind of in a ball and began kicking and hitting me. I managed to flip her over to protect myself but the hall was too narrow to get into a proper position. The entire time she was screaming she was going to kill me, the kids, or herself. I had to hold her and I knew it wouldn't be easy. I got on my knees and sat over her careful not to put all my weight on her. That's when she moved her right knee onto my foot and dug it in. I heard it crunch and within seconds I felt sick to my stomach from pain. I held on as long as I could but I had to get her to come back to reality quickly because I couldn't hold on for long.

I sent one kid for ice, another held her feet and I managed to reach her enough that she stopped trying to kill me. The top of my foot was lack and when I tried to put weight on it I cried. I called my DH and asked him to come when he could. Unfortunately in the meantime, Patches lost her grip and began her own version of slow torture on me. She can't handle it when I get hurt. She feels unsafe and attacks me, usually physically, but this time just verbally. I was in so much pain and needed to rest but she couldn't allow that. She kept threatening to kill herself and put plastic bags over her head to suffocate.

I only got her in the van with the promise that she could stay at the hospital, if she wanted. By the time we got there, she had calmed. The presence of another physically able adult helped her feel safer. We waited a couple hours and I had xrays. I left with little more info about my foot other than the pain caused my blood pressure to go through the roof, so I must be in a lot of pain and pain pills. The xrays did not show a break but they countered that with, "a small fracture wouldn't show up on our machine so go to the orthopedist in a couple days, if it still hurts". After all was said and done the nurse wrapped it up, told me to use crutches for a week, and quietly told me she thought it probably was fractured considering the pain I was in.

I still can't step on it and I want to cry because I am so tired. It's hard to sleep with throbbing pain and nightmares of horrific foot injuries. Thank goodness, all the kids are back in school and I can rest up a bit with the baby.

Oh and Ava woke up this morning with a weird swollen thing going on just on one side of her face. She'll have to go to the doctor after school today. Poor thing was mortified about kids seeing her like that. I'm sure she will be fine. I gave her an antihistamine, just in case.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

We spent the entire day at my sister, Kiki's. We brought melt in your mouth Ribs, homemade Mac and Cheese, and The Best Baked Beans Ever to go with some wonderful Green Beans, Venison Burgers, and homemade Cookies. So the eaten was good. We were all stuffed when Kiki announced it was time to play.

Maybe I should back up a bit. For those of you that haven't read the entire blog or know us in person, we DeBruces play some mean Kickball. I'm sure you are sitting there thinking, we must be great. That's not what I meant. We are mean when we play or so a couple of my kids say. Patches and Ella may or may not be the 2. Actually, most of us love it and the other 2 or 3 need a few minutes of crying to warm up and then it's all grins from there.

We all got our full bellies on the field and we let Uncle Todd and my DH pick the teams. Being the thoughtless wieners they are, they made Ella and Ava last and then argued over which one they were going to force on the other. Honestly, they meant it to be funny but the 2 girls were horrified. (After a little private chat, Kiki and I will always be the last ones picked from here forward to avoid hurt feelings.) Once the sides were picked, my team was up first. Shoving Ella into the line she was terrified when she had to kick. I ran up to her and took her by the arms and drug her into the ball and off to the first base. A few kids came up and went so I ran with her to the bases one at a time, screaming words of encouragement every step of the damn way. When her and I finally got to home base (Really, I thought we should have been granted 2 points since I had to run, jump, and scream around every base), I had to do the same things with Patches. By the time it was my turn, I was breathing hard. We played for what seemed hours and the 2 kids ended up grinning from ear to ear most of the game. Patches even asked to pitch and did a fantastic job at it.

I think we ended at 30 something to 4. We had to stop and let the other kids kick a few times so they wouldn't have hurt feelings. Who won and lost was only important to the men. The rest of us just had a blast.

We managed slip in some 4 wheeler fun and roasted marshmallows on the bonfire. Not sure we could have handled any more fun but are willing to try in April when we do it all over again.

Kiera had a really good time playing with her sister and Mom. They spent most of the time inside because her sister couldn't wrap her tiny head around kickball. She is being raised as an only child and has 2 semi retired grandparents that play with her. In other words, every one in her life's world revolves around her. Not a bad thing but it made it hard for her to understand why all of us were not giving it to her constantly. She kicked the ball and then screamed because they caught it and didn't roll it to her again. It was too funny. We tried so hard to explain but in the end, they each got a baby and a stroller to push around. They bother went home with their clothes trashed. When they weren't busy with their babies, they were chasing chickens.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Poor Guy

Michael told me last night, after a huge blow out because I asked him to find his gloves for today, he feels like he is getting sicker. He isn't hallucinating but he thinks the girls are trying to get him in trouble and we are all against him. He said he can't help but get into fights with Patches over and over and he wants to die. He had been violent towards me before this conversation and had to be held.

I'm up early this morning making Baked Beans, Homemade Mac and Cheese, and wrapping up the Ribs I cooked last night to take to my sister's. We are going to pick up Kiera's sister and meet up with her Mom for the day. We have a day of kickball, bonfire, and roasted marshmellows on the agenda. I can't wait.