Merry. Freaking. Christmas!

What a day! Or days… or week or whatever.

I know I haven’t written for months, haven’t had the energy or inclination but I am still here apparently.

So we have done Christmas and New Years Eve and now it is the long summer holidays. Three more weeks til school is back! Not that I am counting too much because it is nice to have a break from the mundane routine of life.

Christmas was very stressful for me because of the boy. He didn’t understand that you don’t get everything (and sometimes anything) from your Christmas list because of various reasons. I tried to explain the cost of items he was requesting, or the suitability of items. Apparently Santa could just buy him anything that was too expensive, and anyway, he was going to ask Santa to bring US money so we would have lots and lots and lots.

Hmmm…..don’t you just love 9 year old mentality??

The end result was a very stressed mummy who was racking her brains trying to think of something that wasn’t on his list which included a dog (not going to happen because I don’t want another child to look after) and various guns (his current obsession)

*sigh*

Enter a WiiU

We had a Wii console but it had broken, and had been lying dormant for many months. It was going to be expensive to fix and I refused to buy a different games system as we already had a heap of games. I asked the very knowledgeable 12yo in the shop (ok, maybe he was 18) if the old Wii games would work on the new WiiU?

‘Oh yes’, he assured me, ‘all the old gear works so it will be fine’.

Fast forward to 6.55am on Christmas morning and the man set about sorting out the new toy.

It. Didn’t. Freaking. Work!!!!

There was tears and tantrums and name calling – and the boy was quite upset as well.

The man accepted it as something else that was destined to go wrong in our world and nearly cried. All we wanted to do was give the boy something that would put a smile on his face and take the pressure off us for a while. We couldn’t afford to give the kids much this year so that’s really all the family got.

It made for a very quiet Christmas Day. We were all feeling a little defeated and sad, and after a very long lunch out at my sister’s house I came home and spent the evening in tears before crawling into bed.

The next day just after lunchtime – after we had had 48 meltdowns from the boy about the lack of cooperation from the WiiU (Which I had quietly christened the FuckU) – and the man was just about to drop-kick the thing back to the shop, the boy suddenly shouted that it was working!

No freaking way!!

Cue party time and sighs of relief all round.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Help!

Hmm my first post in a while…things have been a bit hectic here lately.

Finding it very hard to cope with it all at the moment. What I would do for some help or a holiday. Or just someone to get the girl out of bed and dressed in the morning. I am usually exhausted by 7.28am every morning and my spine has fallen out just from wrestling her out of bed.

This morning I had two of them to get dressed as the boy has collapsed and was incapable of moving due to one of his obsessions. He gets these obsessions for things and that’s what consumes him. There is no getting him to think or talk about anything else and heaven help us if we can’t get it for him. Of course once he gets whatever it is he moves on to something else and the need starts again.

At the moment it is a BB gun. Yep, an air rifle! Of course I am going to be rushing out to get one. Just wait while I grab my bag will you!

I physically had to dress him and brush his teeth and shove his feet into his shoes just to get him to school as he was just being an immovable lump on his bed. No response was had from him in regards to anything other than that was all he wanted and that’s all he ever wanted for ever and ever.

I do feel for him about these obsessions – to be consumed by something like that would make it very hard to function. I wish I could help him get over these but I don’t know what to do.

Wednesday he wouldn’t go to school at all and when he gets angry he is very very strong.

I also got very very angry.

I smashed the lead-lighted window we have in the front door. I was so so angry that he could do that to me. Of course him not going to school was the straw that broke the camels back after having a crappy night with the girl. She had been awake since 3.30am and both the man and I were tired.

I need a break!

Just shoot me. Please…

Anyone know what to do with obsessions and how to help the boy overcome them??

Anything…..

The boy and his tennis

image

What a morning!
The boy was supposed to have tennis today.
He loves playing tennis, and I love him playing tennis because it uses up some of his copious amount of energy….although he has usually fully recharged his tank by the time we get home.

This morning it was just not happening. I had already left home at 6.50am for a running session at the local track for an hour so by the time I had got home at 8.15am I was hot and tired. The boy just didn’t want to go along with the plan.

I asked him to get dressed a few times and he just buried himself into the couch and frowned.

He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. Not then and not either of the 375 times I asked him after that.
I am embarrassed about how I lost my temper and ranted at him and quite possibly made him feel worse. I just wanted him to speak to me and say WHY he didn’t want to go.

I had a voice in my head telling me that he doesn’t speak when he is stressed, that that is how his aspergers comes out, but I couldn’t calm down.
It. Drives. Me. Crazy!!

Anyway, I finally told him to write down what was bothering him and he wrote this message.

Finally, an answer! When I asked him why he couldn’t have told me before the lesson and avoided all this stress for us both he couldn’t tell me. I (tried) to explain to him that is there is a problem he can tell me and I can try to do something about it, instead of having a massive meltdown about doing something he loves. And yes there was a boy that was awful to him a few weeks ago, and really upset the boy.

It’s all part of the syndrome! There is no hope for us then. Perhaps 10am was a little early to start drinking but it certainly was tempting!!

A fast game is a good game!

The boy decided that we should all have family game night tonight.

He decided upon Monopoly, which is fine. It has rules and is quite easy for everyone to follow.

The girl asked if she could be the banker and there were no objections raised from the peanut gallery. All was good. I should have seen the warning signs though, harmony and good cheer always spells danger…

The boy started the game. All was still good until we started on our second turn each.

I decided to buy a property (how dare I) and I gave the money to the girl who had to work out how much change to give me. The boy decided that he wanted to give me the property card which annoyed the girl so she yelled at the boy who promptly hit the girl on the arm. She burst into tears and ran off to her  bedroom.

Game over!

When’s the next game night scheduled, I might be out that night!

 

The homework dilemma

After another night of tantrums about homework I am about to throw in the towel. I have had enough and so has the girl.

She is tired. They are currently doing their two week swimming program at school and it is taking its toll on her.

Apparently they are meant to be doing about 25 mins of homework a night. I put an end to the girl doing hers after 3 hours tonight. And it still wasn’t finished…. Granted she was illustrating a story she has written but it was getting beyond a joke. And all the obstacles she puts in her way are unbelievable.

They have four activities they have to finish each week, as well as spelling words which sometimes are so hard that I would be hard pressed to spell them, and the usual reading plus learning their times tables for the weekly test…. and on it goes. Also, on a Thursday, the girl’s teacher is different and invariably will bring home another piece of work that has to be finished by the next day.

I know that there are children without Aspergers who struggle to do all their homework – or resist doing it for hours on end. I know we aren’t out of the ordinary, but how stupid it is to put the family under so much stress that we dread the arrival of each week and what work it will bring?

As the girl cried herself to sleep over all the work she hasn’t done I said that I would have a word to the teacher about it. I am not sure what I will accomplish but it is better to have it out in the open. The psychologist recommended that she don’t do any, but how does that help her when she starts High School? What do they do then?

Something else for us to worry about.

My black dog

I don’t know how much you have figured out from previous posts but I suffer from depression. I have had it since the girl was born nearly 10 years ago.

Most days I have a handle on it but sometimes it all just gets too much. I just want to hide from the world for a while or forever!

At my worst I was hospitalised on two occasions for 4 weeks each time. It saved my life and my baby’s life. I won’t go into it now but I was in a pretty bad place.

I am not there now but I just want to stop for a bit. The boy threw an almighty tantrum this morning about going to school. He does this periodically and recently we have been able to overcome these tantrums by saying that he will be going to school so either get dressed now or he will be getting dressed in the principals office after walking into school in his pyjamas.

It didn’t work this morning and neither the man or I could get him out of the door. We gave in and said that if he was sick then he would have to stay in bed the whole day and do nothing. He screamed and cried at that for a while but then calmed down.

After asking to watch the tv and being told no, and getting the same answer when he asked to play with his DS, or play with lego, or read a book, he gave up and asked where his school clothes were and could Dad please drive him to school. I even got a hug and a kiss goodbye. He left and I promptly burst into tears. It is all getting too hard…

I do some work but I have no motivation to do that any more. I have an idea for a mini-business/hobby but I have no energy to get started with that either. I feel safe at home and don’t like leaving home sometimes and I enjoy being by myself when everyone is either at work or at school. I relish the silence….

My head is a lovely place to be at the moment.

 

 

 

Hard times…

I know it has been a while since I have written anything. It has all seemed to hard and daunting. I’m sure you all know the feeling.

Welcome to my life…

The kids went back to school last week but I feel like I am still playing catch-up after the holidays. The house is a mess, homework routine has gone out the window and the meltdowns are building up. Last night’s was a whopper from the girl. One section of homework took 3 hours, and it still wasn’t complete by the time I was about to throw it in the bin in disgust. In fact, the man did throw it in the bin but the boy got upset at that and got it out.

You see, camp is next week and that always causes problems. Changes to routines, changes to environments and mum and dad won’t be there. Stress overload.

She wants to go but she is scared. She cried herself to sleep on the two nights she went away last year, but she did it and we were proud of her. At this stage I don’t know whether she will be alive by next week to go.

The man and I had a good laugh tonight about a questionnaire we received about a sleep study. Sleep? Can anyone please tell us what that is? The girl goes to sleep any time between 9pm and 11pm and then wakes a couple of times a night and sometimes can be awake from 4am. I would hate to be her teacher at school on those days!

The good news so far this term is that the boy started tennis lessons and actually spoke to the coach and participated in his first lesson!! That would never have happened a year ago! He is making so much progress this year and he can’t wait to go back again tomorrow morning.

I am struggling with my depression but have turned to exercise to try to beat it this time. I am enjoying running and being out of the house and as a bonus the centimeters are coming off me as well. I love the freedom of being outside and not contactable. No kids, no screaming, no demanding.

Maybe I will go for another run today!

Or maybe have some wine instead.

Just a bad joke of a day.

Yesterday was not a good day. So good in fact, that I gave it up for a bad joke and went to bed when the kids went.

The day’s plans went to pot about7.30am when I received a phone call from the mother of the boy that was supposed to be dropped at out house at 8am. I was going to look after her son for 3 hours whilst she went to work, then she was going to pick both boys up and take them back to her house for the afternoon. Unfortunately she ended up being called into work for the whole day so her husband stayed at home instead.

The boy went back to bed and sobbed his little heart out. He had been looking forward to spending the day with his best bud. If I had been more awake at the time of the call I would have said to bring the friend over for the day. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.

First mistake of the day!

The girl had spent the night at my mums house, so I had to go over to pick her up at lunchtime. The boy wasn’t the least interested in coming because it hadn’t been on his agenda, but I got him there eventually.

All was fine for a few minutes – until the boy realised that neither his sister nor his cousins who were also there were interested in going outside to play with him. He loves being outside at the moment, either kicking a ball or riding a bike or just generally being loud. The catch being is that he needs someone out with him. Actually, I correct myself. His 2 yo cousin would have gone outside but the boy said that he was too young to play what he wanted to play.

So, instead of accepting that getting them outside was nigh on impossible, he threw a tantrum and got his sister in a headlock and kicked her. Thereby securing his position as a contortionist. Breaking up this fight was fun. The girl was screaming at the boy and the boy was yelling at the boy and at me. As soon as I spoke to the boy he started mimicking me which really drives me up the wall.

I left him after telling the girl to go play somewhere else. Let him calm down a bit I though. Except when I left the room he immediately let himself out the front door and went and sat on the car bonnet. As long as I didn’t see him walking down the road he would be ok. At least I couldn’t hear him out there.

Eventually he calmed down and he came back inside and proceeded to sit next to me and draw and relax. I decided it was time to go anyway as I had promised them a trip to the ‘new’ library. New as it had just reopened after a couple of months of refurbishment. Anyway, as we were packing up the toys and cleaning up a bit he walked past me just as I moved my arm and he walked straight into my elbow.

‘Why am I just having a bad day?’ he wailed through his tears. The poor boy just can’t cope with changes.

Eventually we made it to the library and he was happy. A big pile of books on his favourite subjects of sharks and spiders and all was right with the world.

We even made it for a bike ride to get rid of some more energy. Fingers crossed, I thought, that there would be no more tears or meltdowns.

I spoke too soon.

Just after dinner the boy mentioned that he couldn’t find on of his drumsticks. You know, the kind that they use to drum on everything they can find and drive you batty with the noise!

So the girl jumps up to help him look on the couch and in the process of both of them ‘helping’ each other, the boy accidently knocks over the girls drink that she had left on the floor. Of course all hell breaks loose… what else!

So the girl yelled at the boy and he started shrieking at her and more yelling, then the boy  called the man a fricking idiot because he had dared tried to calm everyone down. Then the man smacked him on the backside, so the boy told him to fuck off. I couldn’t help myself by this point I was so angry (no wonder everyone else has a problem!) so I stormed after him as he ran into his bedroom. Meanwhile the girl is still shrieking about her drink and how the boy kicked it over and it was on purpose. Oh my ears!!

I sent her to her room still shrieking and I sat down in exhaustion.

Eventually the boy came out and apologised to me ‘for using those bad words’ so I gave him a cuddle and sent him to bed.

Then I gave up and crawled into bed myself.

 

 

 

 

Routines and rewards

Well that was fun!

I had to speak to the Psychologist at school today about the boy. He had finished his tests at school as part of his diagnosis and the psychologist just wanted to give me her report and let me ask any questions about it all.

I then told her about the girl and how a lot of behaviour was getting worse and that the man and I are at our wits end with it all. She let me explain about the night time routine and how it is not working for us (even though the girl thinks it is) and how much of the evening is spent either trying to reason with the girl, or argue with her.

She said that is sounded like the girl was getting a lot of negative attention from us, as we jumped through hoops to get her to go to bed without a battle. That sounded about right. She went on to say that all the girl has to do was say no to something or put up a protest and then mum and dad start paying her a lot of attention, and then one parent disagrees with the other and hey presto, the girl has one humdinger of a fight over her in her bedroom. Free show!

So tonight we started a new routine. We told the girl that we were changing the routine because the old bedtime routine just wasn’t working. She was happy with that – until bedtime came!

The first part was easy. She had to go to the toilet and brush her teeth BEFORE getting into bed. Then if she did that she would get a chapter of her book read to her as a reward.

Sounded easy to me!!

She cried and threw objects around the room and banged on the walls and yelled out to me and ripped up the new routine that I had written on a piece of paper. We had calmly told her through gritted teeth that we wouldn’t be back until she had gone to the toilet and brushed her teeth.

‘I HATE THIS ROUTINE AND I WANT MY OLD ONE BACK’ was shouted a few hundred times. Cos apparently she knew better than us.

The man and I did not rise to any of her attacks on us, and whenever she screamed at us from her room we just replied that we would return to read her book when she had done as she was told. And that we would be glad to spend time with her then.

After a while (read one and a half hours) I went into her room and tried to give her her toothbrush again. Another meltdown from her but I didn’t react. I then reached over and managed to get the toothbrush into her mouth and did her teeth. This made her cry harder but it was all over pretty quick.

She then coughed, blew her nose and smiled at me. A completely different child. How do they change so fast?!

We spent some time chatting and then reading her book. Yes it was late by then but she had to have some positive attention. Even though I had ended up doing her teeth for her she had not had any fighting or extra attention about that, so I figure that is a start.

I figure this will not be an easy road but it has to be done for our sanity. Although, according to the boy we are already dimwits so maybe there is no hope for us at all!

I think I have earned my wine tonight, two hours of a bedtime routine will do that to a person.

 

 

 

Seriously??

The ongoing saga of the assessment continues….

The boy had his second speech pathologist appointment yesterday which went much better than last weeks attempt. This week I left him alone with the speech pathologist and he was fine. Obviously when I am there with him he relies on me to answer questions for him.

45 mins later the therapist comes to get me and she was all smiles. The boy was pretty pleased with himself as well. She said that as he had been so so good that he deserved some treat for it. Luckily I had a lolly for him in my handbag. No, she says, I think he deserves something bigger than that because he was so great at the testing.

Great!

To him, treat means a new toy.

Obviously she didn’t take any notice of the questions I had answered last week about his obsessions. He loves new things. He needs new things and if he doesn’t get what he wants then all hell breaks loose. That’s all we hear about until he either gets what he wants (by either doing chores now to earn the money for it, or waiting to a birthday for example) or he moves onto a new obsession. And I mean obsession. He once asked the tooth fairy for an iphone when his tooth fell out. And no, he still hasn’t got one….

So The Man and I have decided that he can get something after next week’s appointment. We think he does deserve something, but it has to be on our terms, not because we are told to get him something. He hadn’t even expected a treat for going along to all these appointments and this is a big step for him. To make him expect something is just making our job harder the next time we have to do something for him.

So do you think we have had a minute’s peace about it?  I am pretty annoyed at her. How dare she suggest ideas to him without consulting me.

I know it was done under the best of intentions – but it was just handled wrong.

What do you think?