Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Apparently my child is a brat

Well, that is my interpretation of it.

I had to have a meeting with school on Wednesday night. The report --

L is getting progressively more aggressive. He isn't listening to his teachers. He doesn't follow certain rules (like today he peeled off every last label in the work room when he was supposed to be napping). And when he gets in trouble he poops in his pants or wets his pants.

Granted that was all in one day and even his teachers wanted to make it clear that this is a recent problem. Actually, they were more concerned that there is something happening at home which is causing upheaval. There isn't. He is just being a brat.

I can't say that I am suprised though. He can be very spiteful - purposefully doing mean things when he gets in trouble (usually throwing toys or hit R to get a reaction from B or I). And B and I had a talk last night about the fact that we were suprised we haven't gotten reports from school because of how poorly he has been acting in the evenings at home.

The teachers also wanted to make it clear that this week is different at school. Normally they follow a very strict Montessori schedule, but this is an extended care week. A normal week off for most teachers over the week between summer school and the beginning of preschool next week. They provide the extended care during those times for people like us who work full time.

However, I am not one to make excuses for my kid -- or kids. His behavior is atrocious and we know it. To sit there and say not my kid would be assinine of me. Or to say well it is because... I see it. We have been trying to figure out a solution for it. I understand it has a lot to do with his SPD, but that is not going to be an excuse for him. He needs to learn to live in the real world - even at almost 3 - and allowing him to act like a crazy man because his schedule is off is not going to happen.

So, B and I have had to crack down. A naughty chair came out to the living room (used to be in his room) and he spent a great deal of time on it the first hour he was home from school. The second hour was apparently a 180 (I had a meeting and he was home with B). Granted, Daddy is usually the easy going one so when HE told L how disappointed he was and HE brought out the naughty chair and HE enforced it calmly and swiftly, it made a big difference.

Lets just hope that L is testing his boundaries and this too shall pass. Raising a bratty child is not something I want to be part of and blaming it on anyone else other than B, L and I won't solve the problem.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh my

Every day I promise myself I will send an email to those friends I left behind in NY, FL or even in AL.

Everyday passes without doing that.

I guess it is a sign that I am loving my job that I rarely have time to email anyone. Even my mom called today to check on me since I only sent her a single email all day.

Thursday was B and my anniversary. We celebrated with pizza and I stepped away from the ever growing pile of stuff that needs to always been done around the house. How the hell did I do all of this while commuting 2 hours a day.

Oh that's right, I had the wife.

Add that to the list of Smoo's needs for the new year -- a cleaning lady.

Updates on other things -- R has decided talking is not for him and those 5 words have disappeared and only mama and tractor remain. A pediatrician has been found and surprise, surprise she was a former swimmer and finds me facinating. Garlic and mullen oil to treat an ear infection... miraculous idea. Altered vaccination schedule... sounds good, just get everything in before school starts (always the plan -- actually in 6 months L will have every shot on the ridiculous AAP schedule -- only about 10 extra visits required in the last 3 years). House in NY is officially sold.

Now, back to the reason I am awake. A brief that needs my attention.

Friday, August 22, 2008

No longer shy

I don't know if it is daycare or L coming into himself... or the parade of people we have had through our house in the last month, but L is officially no longer shy.

I noticed the change on Saturday. We -- meaning the kids, B and I -- all headed back to the old house in NY. We were supposed to close on that house on August 7, but had a major set back before even getting to closing (a basement that has never been wet was in fact wet. Not puddles wet, but wet just the same).

Luckily we have the best buyers in the world and after a few contractors came through the house, and they met B, it finally started to sink in that this wasn't an issue. A few fixes by B and some handholding and we are headed to closing on this Friday. Yes, B saved the sale of our house. I guess I need to actually give credit where it is due.

Anyways, the soon to be new father walked in the house and L ran for him and greeted him with a hug. He attempted to score a piggy back too at some point during their inspection of the house and I was left with my mouth agape. This is a kid who used to run to B or I around any stranger and here he was going out of his way to greet people.

Then Sunday, The Saint and her hubby came by the house. L promptly grabbed hubby's hand and led him off to show him his trains. Now that might not be surprising to most of you, but since we used to live almost 6 hours away from them, L hasn't seen hubby frequently. The Saint makes trips when her girls are out of school, but her hubby usually has to work. He even greeted The Saint with new vigor. It used to take a few minutes for him to warm up. Not this time.

Then later Sunday we were off to visit a good friend of mine. Kimmy was my best friend from 7th grade until college. I have always been close to her dad, Doc, and my parent to her. L, however, has never met Doc or his wife Susan. Both got giant hugs when they walked in the door. Even Reed joined in on that greeting. Then trying to pry L off Doc when we left was a bear.

Who is this outgoing kid? I want to keep him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finding a match

When I read Amalah's post yesterday I almost broke into tears. I had had a similar conversation with B over the weekend and there just isn't a right answer.

Noah and L received their diagnoses (is that the correct plural?) within weeks of one another. Noah and L also got dropped from their programs around the same time. L was a little different, he was still qualified to receive services through the end of the year in NY, but since we were moving, we were told he wouldn't qualify. His speech had improved too much.

As and I said before, he is light years ahead of where he was when we left NY now. And for that I am eternally thankful.

However, the loss of OT services is noticable and pronounced. He is back to gripping pencil/pens/crayons with a fist grip. If you remind him, he will switch back, but the need to even remind him stands out.

He is also still quite "quirky." Shoes have to be arranged in a particular way. He has to clean his hands all the time as being sticky makes him cranky.

He also doesn't have great social skills. He can't talk to other kids. I can't tell you how many times he gets pushed down and just looks at the kid in wonder. Granted, I don't want him to push back, but I don't want him to be a push over either. With R, he is completely different. He will push him down. He will tell me no if he doesn't want something, but put him in a new setting and it is too much for him.

He also still has a complete oral fixation. Everything still goes in his mouth.

He doesn't transition well. It took more than a month for him to be comfortable at his new school and now if B and I switch days we pick him up, he is totally thrown for a loop.

I guess all of this is to say -- yep, he too is past labels, but he isn't past his problems.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh holy crap

Anyone checking out the US swimmers? Having been a member of a US Olympic team in my youth (location and year would easily give me away -- and therefore my kids identities away too) and having known Michael for more than a decade I can't even tell you how exciting this all is for me. I would link you to a story about Michael, but pretty much -- turn on your TV or open up a browser and you will know who/what I am talking about.

Although I think B, L and R are all counting down to the time until swimming is done. I don't think they like being woken up at 1030 - 1130 with my screaming.

I am also ready to return to my nice normal 10pm bedtime!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chatty Cathies

L speaks in paragraphs.

Considering this is the same kid who just started using 4 word sentances when we left NY, this is a major improvement. I knew he would do well in the Montessori program, but the change in the last 2 months has truly been mind boggling.

And all of this for less then half the cost of a mediocure daycare in NY.

I spoke to one of my former co-workers and was floored to learn that Montessori near her in NYC would cost them $22,000 a year.

We will pay $10,000 for both boys come September.

And talking about words, R now has 3 words... Ok scratch that. I took a break to eat dinner and apparently he has 5 words now. No (complete with the finger wave and all), Tractor, Mama, Done and More are all part of our lexicon. Yes, he is almost 17 months and yes, he is still substantially delayed, but we are having a bit of a word explosion here.

He will still go through the Early Intervention evaluation we planned next month and see what that turns up. L went in for a speech delay and we promptly found that he had so so much more than just a speech delay. I am curious to see what is going on with R -- especially because of his excessive drooling which just started 3 months ago.

Regardless, the whole EI program is a whole lot less daunting the second time around. Sad but true. I am not scared at all this time and I know I got two wonderful boys -- even with all the extra work they bring. Can't say that I am not hoping that R is a lot less severe then L though.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Finding a pediatrician

Who knew that this would be the hardest part of our move?

So we loved out pediatrician in NY. His mentality is that WE are the parents, he is just there to provide advice and recommendations. We were so so sad to say goodbye to him. Although actually we still email with him all the time, so it was less goodbye then usual. I just know I am not driving 4 hours each way for well baby check ups.

But, we figured we would find someone in PA who was reasonable and would at least defer to the current vaccination schedule we have. I mean that is reasonable right -- not too outrageous. We aren’t skipping any shots, just have them spread out a bit with monthly appointments from 1 to 6 months. Well, I met with one about 2 weeks ago. I got good recommendations for the practice and it is literally less then a mile from my house. To say it didn't go well was an understatement. I am still ticked about it.

It pretty much came down to the fact that I said we weren't going to do the MMR shot until at least 2 years and I would prefer to split it up and do measles first at 2, then rubella at 2.5 and mumps at 3. Obviously, I would pay the co-pays for the extra visits, etc. Blah blah. (again -- pretty reasonable, right).

So, he told me that, no -- AAP recommends 15m or 18m and that is the only option if you are going to be a patient here. Are you kidding? Then he goes on with some story about you wouldn't hire a contractor and tell them how to build a deck and not take their advice to make it structurally sound. Oh and then hold them liable if it fails. Huh, wah. He is talking to me about negligence standards and totally misquoting the law -- isn’t that what he is preaching about anyways (he is the expert and I should just listen to him?). That relates to me making an informed decision, how? Oh and then he said I was sychzo because I said I didn't think MMR was related to autism, but you never know and I wouldn't want to regret it later, so I feel more comfortable splitting them up. Of course there are other reasons I don’t want to do it until 2, but God forbid he listen to me because he is the freaking expert and all.

I took L with me too and he was acting up and all of a sudden he pipes up and tells me -- that is because he is tired. Shut up asshole -- he isn't tired -- HE IS BORED -- and probably sick of hearing your rhetoric.Needless to say -- he will not be our pediatrician. I am truly shocked that someone would actually be that self important to think he 1) needs to be in control of my parenting decisions and 2) thinks he knows MY kid better then me after 5 minutes in the office.

I just said as I left -- well then it seems like you aren't the practice for us and I appreciate your candor. This isn't a decision I would want to regret later either.

I return

I have spent the better part of 4 days trying to come up with what to write about. I am not lacking for ideas, but I highly doubt anyone wants to hear more whining from me. So I am going to attempt to keep these whine free.

They will not however be vent free.

I totally understand why our current youth are self-absorbed, spoiled pricks! I thought I was just in some kind of alternate universe while living in the New York City burbs. Something to do with nanny’s raising kids, both parents needing to work, and the excessive amount of money readily available for these pampered princes and princesses.

I was wrong. It is an epidemic.

Apparently, parenting these days involves 1) being “friends” with your kids, 2) letting your kid do whatever, where ever and when ever or 3) flat out ignoring your child.

I don’t know whether parents just get overwhelmed with the sheer energy it takes to discipline a toddler so they give up or what the cause is but holy hell, it makes me want to take my kids and live in a bubble away from all these brats.

We were at a water park. L was trying to play with one of the spouts of water. He was made to wait his turn while another little boy was playing. When that boy stepped back away from it, I gave him the go ahead to play. That little boy proceeded to shove him down and kick him repetitively any time he got near the spout. Mind you -- the kid WAS NOT PLAYING in the water, just didn’t want L to. Needless to say -- his mom and I had a bit of a shouting match. Apparently this is completely acceptable behavior for her 3 year old. I pointed out it isn’t even acceptable behavior for my 1 year old. The slob of a mom just sat there like a lump until I went over to her. You have no idea how much effort it too for me to not drag her brat along with me when I did it.

Why do people think it is ok? Seriously, if L or R did that, I would reprimand on the spot and apologize to the mom and kid. If it was L, he would be in a time out immediately following his apology. R doesn’t talk, so there is no apology forthcoming there, but I would certainly still step up to the plate an apologize.

I would also be all over my kids like white on rice if I saw them kick another child. Not just sitting on my ass doing as little parenting as possible.

I guess I should just get used to it. For every 1 parent I find that actually parents, there are 9 that don’t do anything. You know, God forbid their teeny tiny little egos get a dent because we all know that life is just a bunch of roses.
And if you are sitting there saying to yourself, well I just sit back and watch and let the kids work it out -- please stop fooling yourself. You aren’t parenting. You are being a lazy slob and contributing to your kids idea that nothing he/she does is wrong. The only kids that need to learn to “work it out” are siblings or close relatives. If you are dealing with strangers, YOU are the problem, not your kid or someone else’s kid, get off your ass and parent.