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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Head Bonks and Bus Swearing

The last couple weeks around here have been pretty typical. Let's see...a principal called because one of my darlings was swearing on the bus. A kid told his mom. The mom called the school. My boy was identified as The Swearer. My boy admitted it guiltily so the principal admired his honesty and the punishment was just a call home. My boy failed to tell the principal that his friend told him to swear on the bus. And when a friend tells my boy to do something, he usually does it because he can't control his impulses very well. Not that that makes it acceptable at all, but just that there is always more to the story when my kids are involved.

Ella got bitten by a neighbor's dog this week. Poor little thing was running away from it when it bit the back of her leg. Broke skin, teeth marks are still embedded in shades of swollen purple. My poor baby was terrified and heartbroken and couldn't stop gulping and sobbing. She kept wailing "This is my WORST OWIE EVER!!!" Until she fell down on the sidewalk yesterday and her knee bled and then that was the worst owie ever. The doctor said to watch Ella's dog bite to make sure it doesn't get infected, so I'm on leg watch this week. So far so good.

Ella is also struggling with self esteem and school. Our speech therapist is testing her, and is starting to be able to pinpoint where exactly Ella is struggling, and surprise surprise, it's in the area of auditory processing. That's what the preliminary findings are, at least. Just like Aidan. So following multi-step directions is hard for her. That's why she says she can't keep up with her class. The class goes too fast for her and she says she's stupid. 

*ouch. mama's heart cracks in half.*

I've reached out to our fabulous teacher and told her what Ella's therapists and I are seeing, and what the therapists have suggested as interventions to help support Ella in school. The teacher does her best to implement these supports, so we'll see what happens. But worry worry worry. These kids, geez. Thanks for the gray hair, kiddos. Luckily I have a fabulous hair artist who can conquer the stress that exhibits itself in the graying of my hairs.

Two days ago the middle school had a suicide prevention day. The kids filled out risk assessments to see if any red flags were raised about depression or suicide. I expected a call. I waited for it. I anticipated it. And sure enough, the phone rang. Just because I knew the phone would ring about this, doesn't mean it was any easier to hear. Terrifying, actually. 

One of my boys had been pulled by the social worker because of his answers to his assessment. Nothing too major, but enough to cause concern. The social worker had talked with my sweet boy about his answers. He said he had thought about suicide last year but not this year. This year he is on new medication, he told the social worker, and in therapy. The social worker felt he is not at risk for suicide. I explained that my twins frequently talk about suicide, and have since they were five years old. It's almost a way for them to cope with their extreme feelings. I take this seriously, but I also know, to the best of my Mama Knowledge, that they are not actually suicidal. But I'm always on watch. Always on watch. 

We reinforce over and over that suicide is not ok. The world would not be ok without my boys in it. They are not allowed to hurt themselves, and if they do or feel like they will, they have to come to us and tell us so we can help them. Because we will move heaven and earth to help them. Because we love them more than is even fathomable. 

They get sick of hearing The Suicide Speech.

But I know that I've talked with my boys about it, so they are informed and knowledgeable. That's all I can do. Bottom line, their lives are in their hands. But I will do everything in my power to make their lives happy and healthy. 

I had an IEP meeting for one boy yesterday- just an annual review, so not too much fighting. It actually went very well! I know, what a surprise! My boy is improving. Things are getting a little bit better in many areas. We still have some work to do, so we tweaked some things, but overall it was an extremely positive, productive meeting and my boy will have even more support at school now.

One of my boys has been crying his eyes out since Saturday. Well, he took Monday off from crying, but was back at it yesterday. He is worried about some family health issues in our extended family. And he is worried about leaving me. For days, he has either been raging or crying. Yesterday he literally could not get out of bed because of his depression. He laid on the couch most of the day, crying on and off. I couldn't get him to school. He was incapacitated by his anxiety and depression.

And get this. At the IEP meeting that went so great yesterday, the SOCIAL WORKER had the AUDACITY to say that it surprised her that my son was so distraught because she had seen him just the day before and he was fine. Excuse me. What kind of social worker is this? Let's use the term "social worker" loosely from here on out. Why is it that 2 out of the 3 social workers my kid has had in middle school are so jaded that they have the gall to say my kid is lying about his feelings. I've never heard of social workers being so incompetent. I trained to be a school social worker, a lifetime ago, and I've done social workey things my entire adult life. I would never, ever say the things these school social workers have said to me. Unbelievable. I didn't even know how to respond to the ridiculous accusation that my kid is faking his distress. Luckily, my advocate jumped in and wisely said we should be very careful when making assumptions about my son's emotional state. Luckily for the social worker, my advocate was there, because I was about to jump across the table and throttle her. Seriously. 

While I was at that IEP meeting yesterday, I got a text from our babysitter saying the school nurse had called from the elementary school. Aidan had gotten bonked in the head with someone else's head during gym class. THEN he got hit in the face with a lunch box and it cut his skin above his eye. I swear, every time I'm at an IEP meeting at the middle school, Aidan goes bonkers at the elementary school. I don't know if he senses my stress from a mile away or what. Poor kid.

And then to top it all off yesterday, one of my darlings had a big, stinky rage. Because he couldn't get the TV to work to play his show. This is the same boy the "social worker" accused of lying about his distress. Like I said, he is either raging or crying. He can't regulate his emotions well, and can't control them either. 

I did find out one bit of pertinent information this week. My son told me that when he and his wife are trying to have a baby, he is going to eat pickled herring and sit on ice. Hm. Ok...why? Because that's how you have a boy, he informed me. And if he wants a girl, he will eat lemons. I asked him how he gleaned this very interesting information. He said he learned it from the TV show "How I Met Your Mother." Aha. Mystery solved. 

So you know, just the usual around here lately. A few calls from the school about suicide, head bonks and bus swearing. Dog bites and cracked skulls from lunch box attacks. Fits of rage and weeping. Social workers who doubt me and my children. A few million extra gray hairs. AND IT'S ONLY WEDNESDAY. Fabulous. I expect only amazing things from the rest of the week. 

At least I do know now what will need to happen in order to have a boy or girl grandchild. I can rest easy, now that I have that information.

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