Thursday, June 11, 2009

The kid we fight for (and other news)

Genea is on the upswing. Every few months she goes through a period of stellar behavior. She is as close to a regular kid as I think is possible for her. She is playing with a full deck. The lights are on, someone is home. The 6 pack has 6 cans. The switch is flipped.

She relaxes. She can wait her turn. She is funny! She laughs at jokes with a regular, normal sounding laugh. She catches on. She can put 2 and 2 together and get 4 instead of "banana". Her eyes are clear and there are no bags. She cares. She asks the person who tripped or fell or whatever, "are you all-right"? She doesn't have to ask over and over what is for dinner because she is confident it is coming, whatever it is. She can wait. She can hear the word no, and keep going. She stays on the topic of the conversation she is having. She ate a small portion of food at dinner and did not compulsively ask for more.

She is a 6 year old. She went to her friends house with explicit directions to play only outside. I could not see her and found her inside their house. She sits where I sit every time I get up. She asks questions she knows the answers to for our attention. She interrupts. She tattles on her sister. She jabs her new Barbie dolls hair an inch from my face so I can "see" it. Normal. All normal 6 year old stuff.

She is still toe walking. She falls and knocks stuff over and runs into things that are not there. She has to be able to see me or she will jump up, indeed she will levitate, to find me. She will follow me so close I literally trip over her, often. She paces back and forth, unable to focus on one thing to do. She is clingy.

This is it. This is the real kid that is in there, under all The Crazy. This is who Genea can be, what we fight for. The constant pace of manic- panic and fear is what we usually have. Even when we are having a good stretch, we always have that stress, the nervousness, the strain of mania and impulsivity, just to a lesser degree. But every once in a while, for a week or 2 if we are lucky, the real kid comes out. A regular kid who has been through a whole lot.

So what does that all mean? Does a kid with Reactive Attachment Disorder have periods of typical behavior? Does a kid with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder show periods of lucidity? Could ADHD cause all of this and her problems are related to hyperactivity and impulse control and does that go away once in a while? She is not free and clear. This break is a significant lessening of symptoms but many still remain. They are manageable. They are what you would expect from a child who has been through her situation. I don't know if an accurate diagnosis would make all the difference or if it matters and maybe there is no one thing that would explain everything. Would it change what we do and how we approach Genea? WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO AND HOW DO I MAKE THIS STICK?

In other news, The Husband is really sick. Now, Teena is really sick. And The Husbands parents are coming for a visit on Saturday, until Tuesday. Genea was mildly sick over the weekend but seems to be better. I am the only one left standing and I have suspicions that will not last much longer. Coincidentally, every time The Inlaws come out here (they live out of state), The Husband is either: A. Really Sick or B. Really Busy. This results in me having to do all the damn work for their visit while he slops around making a wreck of everything complaining that he is: A. Really Sick or B. Really Busy. Girls, beware that if you marry a man for his mind, there is a good chance he will spend decades using it to get out of household responsibilities!


  1. I wish I knew! Yesterday my son greets me with a hug and says I love you. First. Not in response. And although I watched all evening, I couldn't see where he was trying to get something from me to explain his sudden sweetness. This is the same kid who hated me and wanted to hurt me on Sunday. How do both of these people live in that one body?

  2. Good luck with the in-laws and hope you don't get sick!!!!

  3. They're his parents, let him entertain them. That's how we do things at Chez Kizzle.

  4. Hi Essie
    Can I ask you about the 'toe-walking'? My 6 yr old does this a LOT... My mother always says 'Oh, I think she would be good at ballet??!!!!!!
    I laugh because I did read somewhere ages ago that it has implications for something else!!! Only I can't remember where or what it means? Can you shed some light on this?


    Hope you manage to escape the 'sick bug' and that your hubby recovers in time for the visitors!!!

  5. I've found that the crazy times become fewer and farther between. Well, the INTENSE crazy times. Most days are crazy. Significant improvement was made when he'd lived here twice as long as he hadn't, like he'd read the book or something. So, when she's twelve all will be well:)

  6. Hell, stock up on play dough and baking supplies and your MIL can go to town.

  7. She sounds like a great kid.

    Good luck with the in-laws and with staying well.

  8. Rachael said good luck staying well...I was thinking maybe a stress-induced illness might require you to take to your bed during the in-laws' visit.

    But you are probably a better person than that.

  9. Here at Chez Accident, I only have to participate with The Inlaws about half the time. They are a bit, hmmm, compulsive on that side of the family stick so you either go along for the ride or suffer (entertain yourself with) the consequences.
    Toe walking can be a sign of sensory integration disorder, and is seen often with Autism, sometimes with ADHD, and also stands on its own. It can also be a sign of a great up and coming ballerina. I used to work with a boy with Autism and his older sister was the youngest kid ever to go on toe shoes at her dance studio. So go figure!
    You know, I sent the play doh and cookie cutters to Taiwan! I really did! To paulatrieshard over there on my list. LOL!
    I am going to write about our fun sickliness later. Ugh, it is not good.
    I just don't know what causes such dramatic changes in Genea time after time. I would sell every last possession to find out though.

  10. Your last paragraph cracked me up! I just hope you don't get as severly sick as you did last time, bless your heart!!

    Wow....don't you wish you could some how bottle up all her goodness right now, as medicine for her to take later when she is having trouble? Hopefully, her good stretches will become more frequent as she heals.

  11. sorry for all the sickness, i hope your stuff arrives soon when she is still being good! lots of love and luck with the in laws

  12. Yay for some stellar holding patterns!

    Get some EmergenC now and suck'em down like they're the best Margarita you've ever had. Raspberry. Put an umbrella in it if needed. Then pretend sick while hiding under the covers with a really great book.


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