Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thomas Got Egged.

Daddy's sick again.. another skin infection. He's out cold. So I did the evening routine on my own, but it was fun. Scott often cooks dinner, but if he comes home too late then I take care of it. Our kids keep us working.. we need to get Willow & Sebastian on the same diet. They eat quite a few of the same things & Sebastian seems to be at a place now where he will eat what I give him. Anyway, too much of the time we end up making 3 separate meals for every meal time. Judah has a very limited diet. He'll eat about 10 different foods.. which we buy & buy & buy some more. We've got to try harder to expand his diet. Tonight dinner consisted of an omelet, fresh strawberries, toast & jelly, a turkey sandwich, veggie straws & apple sauce.. that's most of it. Willow could eat popcorn all day long. Sebastian could eat raisins all day long. And Judah could eat Veggie straws all day long. We did not put enough focus on diet the first 6 years of parenting. Instead we focused on keeping our kids happy & safe (alive).

Judah's massage was incredible tonight!!!!!!!!!!!! Before we did it he had been playing trains. He was very excited because he finally had a train with a working battery in it! He was very clever, he attached a bunch of other trains to the running train. Where as, my first thought was, oh hell, I'm going to spend all night trying to screw & unscrew tiny hardware so he can have more running trains. But he had only asked me to fix that one train.. he had brought it to me and showed me how to open it. Low & behold, a rechargeable battery was inside! All this time! We have a battery charger that could charge it, we could keep this Victor train running for months to come! As he played with his running train I secretly opened up other trains to search for more rechargeable batteries. Some had regular batteries, some had none & some had rechargeable. And after all of this investigating I discovered that the ONLY train with a rechargeable battery that would fit the battery charger was the one he had handed me. The entire night long, he never requested another train be opened. ??

Another odd happening.. I set the timer for 3 minutes and told him that it would be time to potty when it went off. He always looks at the timer, it's as if he understands it. He looks at it just long enough and in that certain way that someone who could understand it would. When I walked back into the room 5 minutes later, it occurred to me that I hadn't heard the timer yet. He looked up from his trains when he saw me and handed me the timer saying, "uh-oh". There were 2 seconds left on it, and the numbers weren't moving. Someone had stopped it. ?? Today he has shown his intelligence repeatedly. He is suddenly showing us flashes of things that he knows & obviously has known for some time. He's funny too! I feel like I'm just discovering his personality, that has been buried away for years. The manifestation of interests, knowledge & humor has been known only to him all this time.. for 4 1/2 years

We were looking at the Thomas catalog that Judah had taken out of the train table to show me. It's more like a brochure, a medium sized brochure with many pages. It was pretty run-down, missing pages and water damaged. The trains are shown one by one, with their names written underneath. This was exactly what I had been searching for online last night! I felt like that was the reason he was showing me - because he had been watching while I was looking at Thomas train collections online last night. He showed me this book with big eyes, pointing only to the trains he liked as he turned the pages. I found something very similar online, but couldn't print it in color since we have no color ink right now. I want to print up the trains in color (color & detail allow you to recognize them), laminate them and let him tell me their names. This I know he will do (he has done it while watching YouTube for 2 days straight now). This will give him practice pronouncing every letter in the alphabet & practice with so many sounds that he needs! This could bring him a lot of success.

In the Thomas book, there were 3 Thomas trains featured on the second page. One Thomas covered in paint, Judah says, "yuck" and I tell him it's paint. The second Thomas covered in some kind of thick, white goo and the third covered in snow, to which Judah says, "uh-oh!" I tell him it is snow and shiver. I tell him that Thomas is cold!! He thinks it's funny. Then I point at the white goo Thomas. Judah looks at it and says, "egg". hahaaa! He was right on, it looked like Thomas had been egged!

Judah pointed to trains on the shelf in the play room and named the ones he wanted me to get down. We did pretty well! Sebastian helped. While we were doing this, Pixie brushed up against the back of Judah's leg. Judah quickly turned around and said to her, "sit" and then went back to naming trains. ??! They all played really well in the play room tonight, really enjoying each other.. it was as if they were not related, cause siblings definitely don't play like that! They've been cooperative & polite lately too. I wonder if they think I'm dying or something? I haven't quite figured it out yet. I don't know, my memory is awful.. I could be dying, and just forgot that I was.

Judah brought me into the play room and kept peeking under the train table. Sebastian followed me in. I asked Judah, "What's under there?" Sebastian pulled out a large bridge and Judah says, "shake shake bridge!" (that's what we call it) At that point Sebastian declared that now it was time, "It's time Judah" he said. Then he said something about it being time in the United States of America, haha. "Judah, I'm going to open this drawer, Judah. Judah, I used to think you would break these, but I don't think you will now." The drawer was actually stuck a little bit, which was very fitting, as if it had been closed for years. Sebastian pulled small signs & tiny wooden figures from the drawer. "You can play with these now Judah." Then they set up all of the little signs that Sebastian had pulled out, placing them in various locations along the train table railway. Later Sebastian declared that Judah could play with them, but the baby could not, yet. Willow understood and she took this news very seriously, haha. She didn't get upset and she did not touch the signs, haha!

Willow is so funny. She can be in the middle of a huge tantrum over chocolate not being in the cabinet (or something), but if you pop out something completely different like.. "Hey Willow! Want to watch Sophia??" It confuses her & the tantrum stops.. and is soon completely forgotten - 9 out of 10 times.

School drop off was everlasting misery this morning. This time I tried parking in the preschool lot. The last time I had tried parking by the bus, but the bus driver kept shaking his finger at me.. it was awkward. ;) Judah is supposed to meet the staff at the bus as they get the kids off of the bus. From there he walks with them to class. This is our second time doing this (this rule came about because of the 6 month review meeting where I voiced my concern about his morning routine - how it was not consistent). So far we have accomplished the bus pick-up routine one out of 2 times. Not good. I got him out of the van in the preschool lot, which was where we had always parked. So he likely assumed we were going to run down the sidewalk to preschool like we did every day. He had his trains with him. He's been great about not fighting to take them with him out of the car lately. I wasn't worried about it. He handed them to me & I set them in the car. He hesitated.. and he grabbed them. Meltdown begins to ensue here. This is the point when you have to think quick and think STRATEGY and you have to know the kid. I unzipped his backpack and asked if he could put his trains in. He did. But then I made the mistake of starting to zip it back up & seeing them disappear was too much for him, he grabbed them back. I tell him the trains need to stay in the van. Meltdown in full force now, he's on the ground in the parking lot (did I mention it was raining?). So now his pants are muddy, he's upset & I can already see the staff being angry at me for allowing him to bring in not one train, but a string of large trains.

The teacher assistants are heading to the bus now. I am a bit nervous because I don't want to mess up the routine that had just been personally created for Judah days ago - a routine created because I had complained. A routine that 5 staff must now follow every day that Judah has school. I didn't like the routine they created (leaving Judah at the bus & staff walking him in). It pretty much shut me out of the classroom completely - but I was willing to do it.

Back to the meltdown in the rain, I tell Judah that we need to go & he goes, trains in hand. I talk with him as we walk, trying to sway him from taking the trains in. A staff passes me, a child's hand being squeezed in each of her hands. She completely ignores me, doesn't even look our way (we're 3 feet from her). We follow her into the classroom since going to the bus was now out of the question - his classmates were already heading inside. Tomorrow we'll try the main parking lot, which would force us to walk in the direction of his classroom to reach the bus. It could work.

Once inside the classroom Judah takes off his jacket & backpack, still clearly upset (but doing his routine! haha), and then he lays down on the floor & begins to play with his trains as classmates & teachers try to walk over him without stepping on him. He's never done this before at drop-off. He wasn't going to make this easy. I crouched down & talked to him, telling him to look at me and telling him it was time for school. Once the teachers had the other kids headed in the right directions, the staff that had ignored me outside confronts me, "Aren't you supposed to meet us at the bus??" I said, "We're having problems today. I tried." She does not know the hell I went through yesterday at the art studio. She does not know how close I am to breaking down into tears. I just stop talking.. staff quickly get the "all done" box & force Judah to put the trains in. He is screaming & crying. I leave and begin to walk down the ramp.. hearing only him screaming & crying, "Mommy!! Mommy!!", banging on the door. I stood there for a while, not knowing how to handle this. It felt impossible to walk away. I went to the only other classroom door & motioned for the substitute teacher to come over (she's been there about a month and a half now) I talked with her and asked her what she thought would work best.. I told her I could go back in to help or I could leave. They knew his classroom demeanor better than me. She said, as every single teacher and assistant has ever told me for both of my boys when they are melting down at school.. "Leave". They always tell you to leave. They tell you he'll be fine, don't worry. One teacher even told me I was making it worse by staying, that was one of many Sebastian breakdowns at preschool - the owner told me that.

I agreed to go and walked away. I could hardly talk to the sub, I was starting to cry & she could barely understand me. I should have tried to gain some composure & banged on the door until they let me back in. They said he was like that for FIFTEEN MINUTES. If you've ever experienced a kid having a big meltdown, fifteen minutes feels more like 4 hours. The only reason I know the length of his emotional nightmare was because I had emailed Shelley (the old teacher, but still our contact) right after I had gotten home. I told her to apologize to the staff for me - explained some of what had happened & how we ended up so off track. In my response email to her I told her how upset he gets when he really needs/wants me. At the Awesome 3000 Scott had to bring Judah back from the racetrack because he had seemed to suddenly realize that I was not around - he was screaming, crying & running away... "Mommy!!! Mommeeee!!" I also mentioned that he has hyperventilated in the past when he was really upset. I told her that I was embarrassed to go to pick-up. None of this was easy - none of this is ever easy. At pick-up I had Sebastian go get him as I stood within sight, waiting on one of the teachers to bring him to me. They had sent the aide with him that seems to be the only one who likes me, haha. I realized this morning that everyone that works there suddenly knows my name.. wonder why that is...

Sebastian finished up his birthday cards to Erin & Boone tonight. So they'll get those a week past their birthday, haha.

Oh Judah's massage.. THAT'S what I was writing about! So he's playing with his trains, refusing to potty. It took quite a while. I began to log roll him and I caught a glimpse of a smile. And that's how he traveled to the potty. While we were in there I did not do anything for him unless he asked me to. He pottied, put his own diaper on and pants (with no tantrum), washed his hands with soap and then stuck his hands out towards me and said, "wash, wash". He was actually trying to tell me "dry" but got the words mixed up. I gave him a towel. He looked at me for what to do next. I gave him his toothbrush that I had just prepared & hidden. He brushed his teeth and went back to the trains. I knew getting him off the trains again was going to be another train wreck, so I did everything else that needed to be done pre-bedtime. As I was finishing, Judah began to follow me around. He knew it was time for his massage. I rolled out the mat & he smiled, climbed right on & laid down on his belly. He played with his train & did a bit of humming while I massaged him. His body was like melted butter. During a few movements he actually laid back on me, as if I were a human pillow. He let me massage each of his fingers & toes (3 times!) Typically we are only able to get one or two fingers & toes massaged individually before he pulls back. I did some extra repetitions during one movement. Apparently he was paying attention because he looked up and said, "That's nine." I had gone past nine, the number that we always stop at. Later he wanted me to stop (sometimes he needs tiny breaks). I kept going, being very gentle, he pulled my hand away and said, "Mom, stop!" clear as day. He never calls me Mom.

After his massage he wanted to watch Thomas. I told him we would watch Thomas tomorrow and he said clearly, “Okay” and smiled. I kissed him & picked him up, cuddling & cradling him in my arms. As I carried him to his room he said, “down… down”. I said, “Down? You want down?” He answered with, “ah dah..”. Then looked at me to make sure I understood, waiting for me to repeat the words.. he said it again, I repeated.. and he started to get down at the door.. or should I say at door -  “ah daaah”.

Willow gets on all fours when she poops. Sometimes she tells me things like, "Mommy, poo-poo. I made poo-poo." Tonight it was so funny! She said, "Mommy, I made some poo-poo." hahaaa. Then she crawled over (still in poop position) to sleeping Daddy on the couch trying to wake him, "Daddy, I made some poo-poo! Daddeee!", raising up on her knees to hit him in the face. He woke for a second, tried to lift his head and told her that was great. Then his head fell to the pillow, and he slept for hours.

I'm sure it sounds like I am obsessing over my middle child. It's just that I have never experienced anything like this before. It's incredible. It feels so good to finally be able to see pieces of my child clearly. As a mom, I can't even put that feeling to words. I've waited so long for this and I never expected it to be so clear so quickly. It's not much to anyone else (even his Dad), but to me it's a million pieces of heaven falling from the sky. I'm not even thinking about what's next to come.. I'm too wrapped up in what is happening now, what I'm seeing & hearing.. I'm getting to know my child. I feel so unbelievably lucky. Rosemary, our massage trainer, congratulated us yesterday when I shared some of Judah's progress with her. A congratulations seemed to be the wrong reaction to me, but now I see it. She was telling us we were witnessing a beautiful fortune in bloom. Congratulations, you can see him, you are starting to see him. Congratulations, you get to see him. Now I feel where her sudden bright positive light, excitement & laughter came from that day. She has seen this before - she understood much faster than I did.

Judah took 1 tsp fish oil, 2 vit d., 1/2 a bethanecol (we ran out), Oxymag and docusate sodium (twice). He also took 1 tablespoon l-carnatine. No Miralax. Hasn't pooped in 2 days. Scott is sick - I have no one to help me do enema.

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