IEPs, EKGs, pre-ops and pre-school

12 08 2009

I finally figured out how to use RSS feeds and it’s great stuff!  My brain is so off right now. Thank God for Google making everything easier.

The pre-op appt with my primary care doctor went fine yesterday.  My pulse was high (105) which is normal for me.  My BP was so low the machine couldn’t read it, which is normal for me.  I weighed in at 129 lbs which is NOT NORMAL for me.  That’s about 10 lbs heavier than normal.  My EKG was fine and just showed the high pulse – which was normal for me.  So, the only thing that was worrisome is my weight and that’s probably from the endo and the fibroma that the ultrasound tech inflamed.  Dr. H said she’d send all her recommendations to the surgeon and said that I may need to spend some extra time on IV antibiotics just so we don’t have to worry about endocarditis.   My mom had endocarditis last year and that was SCARY.

This morning I walked out of the bedroom – in freaking huge amounts of pain – in search of coffee before the kids got up.  All the kids were up though – and both boys immediately said “Alyssa is stealing food and it’s all under the couch.”  She had eaten 3 peanut and granola bars, a box of raisins, and hidden several other granola bars and snacks under the couch.  She not only had the evidence all over her and caked in her teeth, but told me that she did not do it – that it was Ethan who did it all.  LJ said “that’s a lie.  She was trying to force Ethan to eat some raisins.”  I checked E out and he had minty fresh toothpaste breath and so did LJ.  Grrrrr….

None of us got much sleep last night due to the storms and power outages so everyone was cranky this morning.  E just got sent back to bed for throwing the mother of all tantrums, of all things, so I’m thinking I’m going to take a nap too.  It was so adorable last night.  I walked in with the flashlight to check on the babies and Alyssa had shot straight up out of bed.  She says in her little pumpkin voice “Mommy, I’m scared of lightning.”  She came out to the couch and laid down in between me and Shaun and went right to sleep.  She had her head on Daddy’s lap and her feet snuggled up to Mommy and apparently that’s all it takes to make lightning irrelevant.  I held the flashlight in between my knees and kept crocheting.  I finished another washcloth and have been working on some dish towels to match.  When the power came back on, we were able to get A back to bed and I was able to go to bed too.

So, this morning I had to go meet with the school because they were offering food as rewards in her classroom and had basically told me I couldn’t regulate what she ate there.  I was going to let it go yesterday, but she’s not acting with her brain right now.  This is pure instinct.  I spoke with the school vice principal and it went so well.  Not only can I regulate her diet, I can VERY specifically regulate it.  We have an IEP (individual education plan) set up for Monday so that the school psychologist, the counselor, the principal and vice principal and her teachers all agree – in writing – to meet certain goals.  I also let the vp know that I didn’t think the teachers and lunch room manager had taken me seriously when I talked to them last week.  She HAS to be watched at all times.  We are under a 24/7 safety plan with her because she self-harms.  If she can’t stuff her face, she pulls out hair and cuts herself.  She lies like she breathes and people fall all over themselves to give her things.

They see an adorable little 5 year old.  They don’t see how scared she is that she’s going to be rejected, hurt, beaten, sexually abused, and starved.  They don’t see that she’s had to build up these defenses just to survive and that we’re working every single day to build trust and reassurance that she’s safe.  So, the vice principal understood and I told her that I have all the documentation they need to keep the school covered to follow what I’m asking for.  That we need to make sure that she knows that school isn’t a different “life” than home – that school and home co-exist and the rules don’t change.  They need to make sure that every word and action she sees (she is hyper-vigilant about observing people) reinforces the therapy plan that’s in place.  Right now, they’re thinking we’re way too strict.  Most people do.    They don’t realize the safety the kids get from knowing the steadfast rules and routines.  I have letters from therapists and psychologists, letters from doctors from Emory, years of reports and information, safety plans… we’re trained to be strict because that’s what the kids need.

We weren’t able to get E into a public pre-K (that I approved of) this year so he’s on a waiting list at the same school Alyssa is going to.  Until then, I’m the pre-k teacher!  It’s a good thing I bought the curriculum last year when A was having so many troubles in pre-K that we had to take her out.  He’s so angry that he’s not going to school this year so it may be hit and miss with getting him to sit down for a structured “class time. ”  I have yet to be successful at it but I’ll keep trying.  He already knows all the stuff anyways, he just plays dumb to see if people are paying attention.

Oh well, in 8 days, it will be Mom’s problem to play pre-K teacher and taxi driver.  She raised me and my siblings successfully so she’ll fit right in to the role.  She told me last time she watched the kids “they don’t listen very well.”  That’s crazily funny because they listen 100x better than normal kids – even better than my nephew who lives in her house.  It’s just they aren’t military brats like we were.  From the moment of birth, we knew you not only accepted the routine and chain of command, but thought it was the most natural thing on earth.

It will be interesting and fun to watch.  I’ll have to charge up the video camera and see how she handles it.  She still thinks I’m nuts for adopting three kids – but then again, if you mention her 3 kids, she gets this terrified look on her face and says “I never planned that.”   It’s great fun because she’s so incredibly good at being a mom – she just has no patience for being challenged as alpha female and she’s probably the most stubborn woman on the planet.  I was informed (yes, informed) yesterday that I was going to bring the kids to church after Amber’s birthday party because they were having a puppet show.  I asked if it was going to be one of those creepy “sin and you go to HELL” puppet shows and she said she didn’t know, she just wanted her grandbabies there.  She wants to show them off but she’s too stubborn to admit that she’s super-proud of them.  It’s so damn cute!


Be smart or GTFO

16 10 2008

Parenting makes you reflect on your childhood quite a bit.  Being a foster parent of ready-made kids makes me realize how DIFFERENTLY I was raised.  We currently are the proud owners of an 8 yo boy, 4 yo girl, and 3 yo boy.  We’ve had the little kids almost a year and the oldest for a little over 2 months.  The oldest is who is making me realize quite a few things about my past.

One is that I never understood why teachers liked me.  In my own mind (and to my parents) I was an arogant, smart-mouthed, disrespectful, anti-social little geek of a girl.  My parents raised me to be smart-mouthed, geeky, and anti-social though… the rest I came up with on my own.  I always thought teachers hated me until the parent teacher conference – then it was “oh, she’s perfectly lovely and precocious. She’s so smart and does her work without complaining.  She gets more free time in the library than anyone and she’s always so quiet.”  Then my report card would come and I’d have a 100 average.

Now, I know.  If you are smart and not disruptive, it’s pretty hard for teachers to NOT like you.  It turns out that I was the easy child to teach but the hard child to raise. Teachers didn’t have to do jack shit with me and I still knew more about it than they did.  I could actually hold a conversation too, which is very rare in children.

My 8 yo… boy… his teacher hates him.  She writes him up for stuff like speaking up during someone else’s question and embarasses him in front of the classroom.  He’s smart – very smart – but he has significant language delays.  He didn’t speak until he was 5, so he’s got the verbal skills of a 3 yo.  He also has no concept of social normality – like take turns, don’t hit when you’re angry or frustrated, look at someone when they are speaking – and this causes problems in the classroom.  His teacher just cannot stand it.  She tells me that she can’t watch him all the time because – now get this – she has 20 students in her room.  Oh. My. God.  20?  No kidding? Are you serious, lady?

The school doesn’t want to change his classroom in the middle of a semester, so I’m trying to teach him to shut up and be smart.  When it comes down to it, this second grade teacher is going to matter less than what he had for lunch today in his life.  His job is to survive and learn as much as possible before he gets out into the real world.

I also realized how much martial arts changed my school-life.  I used to give a damn what people thought and what bullies said to me.  After I knew I could break a 3-inch piece of pine with a spinning side-kick, I didn’t care what they thought about my hair or my new boobies.  I went to my husband’s 10 year reunion last year with him (high school sweethearts) and all those bullies were lining up to lick my man-eater heels.  It was all “LOOK AT YOU, I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!” with me staring blankly like “you used to throw gum at me and trash my locker, bitch.  Fuck off.” (I never got over being anti-social.)

I do feel really sorry for my kids.  They have me as a mom.

At least I can teach them how to get teachers to like them.

My 3 year old is a troll

9 10 2008

Today while dropping off my eldest at school, my 3 yo son had been practicing making his siblings yell “EWWWW!”  He settled down while we approached the school, and was very quiet when the teacher opened the door.  (This is highly unusual behavior.)  As soon as the eldest got out of the car, this rugrat yells at the teacher and it took me a minute to decipher it.  Me and teach just stared at each other in shock.  

He had yelled at the top of his lungs:


My son is an IRL troll.  He’s learning how to make a momma proud.