Monday, August 31, 2009

Up, down, all around

You know those cans of biscuits? I think some people call them refrigerator rolls, they are little blobs of dough in a cardboard can. You can get regular dinner rolls, crescent rolls, cinnamon buns, all different kinds of dough in this form. They are tightly sealed and the dough is stuffed in there so tight that you have to use a special technique to get them open. You peel the paper off the roll and position something sharp and steely against the curve of the cardboard which has been pre-scored for a ridge to push into. You jam your sharp and steely tool into the ridge and the tube will start to bulge and within a second -or two- will abruptly and loudly blow open. It makes a loud pop and then the can explodes in your hands. We, as consumers of heavily processed foods, allow this crap into our homes. But that is not the point of today's post.

Today's post is about the similarities of a tube of refrigerator rolls to my beloved Genea.

We have a change coming folks. And there is one thing Genea hates more in this world than rice, or re- making her bed and putting on that damn fitted sheet, it is change. She has the rest of her life scheduled to be exactly the same as yesterday. And oh my unholy hell people, you better duck and hide if you are bringing change with you.

It is a strange set up, but Genea is going to a different school from her Kindergarten. New school, new teacher, new kids. New bathroom, new playground, new desks. Everything is going to be new and new is NEVER a good thing. So she is understandably nervous. And what happens when Genea gets nervous? Nothing good.

She is so tense her muscles are like rocks. She has been non-stop toe walking for 4 days. When we remind her to walk on her feet, she stomps. She paces constantly, cannot sit still. Jumps on the furniture. Runs in the hall to the stairs. She bumps around, tripping and falling. She trips over the flowers in the carpeting. She falls from standing still. She is not processing normal information and instructions. Like, throw that tissue in the garbage. She will stand there and stare next to the garbage can, pace back and forth a few times, then ask, where is the garbage can. It has not moved in 2 years. She asks Teena to see her toy while simultaneously taking it out of her hands. She got into the cabinet and tore open a box of granola bars, ate 4. Lies. Lying about nonsense stuff. Changes her pants, swears she didn't. On the verge of a meltdown all day for several days. Incessant questions, incessant demands. Breaking rules just one step over the line. Picks up my papers, makes sure I see her. Rubs the paper on the wall to see if it will stick. Tries to put the paper on a lampshade, maybe it will stick there. Starts to crumble the paper when I finally tell her to put my paper back and knock it off.

With all that happening, I have to say, this is SO much better than last year at this time. Whew! The meltdowns were just constant. She was getting us all up at the crack of 5 AM and howling and wailing all day. Every little thing set her off and she began to make things up to set herself off with. She was peeing all over the house and even poo'd herself twice while in a time out. It was one of her worst times ever, hopefully the record holds. She has come so very very far this past year. We are doing all kinds of things to help her stay on track, and she is helping by identifying when she is having trouble holding herself together. So while the past few days have been really rough, I can so clearly see how much better she is. Because she has not gone over the edge into total crazy. She is trying so hard it almost makes you want to cry, because with all that effort as huge as it is, it is still so hard for her.

Nothing is really helping, but of the 700 things we have done, at least they have held off The Crazy. Redirecting, changing focus, playing outside, assigning chores, turning it around. Going out in public. Rub her muscles, dance in a circle. Watch a movie, play leapster games. Read together, read apart. Time outs, time to rest. Ignoring the least offensive offenses. Concentrating on fine motor skills, using large muscle groups to climb on the playground. Breathe. Feel your feelings in your tummy. Press your thumb spot to relax. Take a shower, eat on schedule, jammies on schedule. Bed on schedule, with fan on and nightlight on and string lights on. Go to the school. Review the first day. Describe school day to her. Remind her we were all nervous our first days too. Remind her all the other kids will be nervous too. Trying to laugh, trying to have fun and trying to be silly. Trying trying trying.

One more day then the next day is the day school starts.
Ex. Hale.

Anyone want to do shots Tuesday morning? I have tequila!


  1. I'm headed your way. Make sure you have some lime. K?

  2. You described me to a "t". Yes; I can trip over the flowers in the carpet. I don't start anything but that I find myself standing next to it staring blankly into space, thinking, "Why am I here?" "What am I doing?"

    I've had a few moments lately when I've actually had the startling idea that it would be GREAT to be just a tiny bit weaker....then I could just let go and end up in some nice place where no one would expect me to do anything......

    So, I "get" your dear daughter. Sounds like you do, too, and she is amazingly lucky to have you. God has certainly blessed that child.

    Your comments on my last post were SO apt. Thanks.

  3. I will bring the limes! I love the biscuit analogy!

  4. I'm coming if Lisa is, she can pick me up on the way north.

    I love me some tequila . . but I prefer lemon.

    As for the biscuits, my technique is peel off the paper, hold on to the bottom of the tube and whack it on the counter on the seam. Works just as well with a sharp object, but this way I get to hit something!

  5. We are building up beneath the surface at our house too. I can feel it in the air. But he's holding it together better than any other year.

    I was going to suggest going to the school whenever it's open before it officially begins, to walk around in the peace and quiet and possibly meet the teacher and see the names of whoever else is going to be in Genea's class. We do this every year, and it helps a ton. But it sounds like you already did it.

    Just keep telling her she's safe, she's safe, she's safe, she's safe.

    Be sure to plan something restful/rejuvenating for after her first day -- she may be exhausted (even if euphoric) when she gets home.

    Now, get your limes and salt lined up and ready to go.

  6. Sing with me, "One day more!" You just have to get through one day more and then, even though it's new, it will be HERE. And in a week (?) it won't be new anymore.

    Favorite breakfast tomorrow. Heart drawn in sharpie inside her palm so she can hold on to it, a fun lunch and a comforting riceless dinner that night.

    Hmmm...that's a lot about food...

  7. I think you've stolen my SD and renamed her?! I guess I should feel lucky that she's Genea's improved self right now, huh? Our meltdown this morning was over brushing teeth. Not that she didn't want to brush them but that she didn't want to stop brushing them and needed to get ready to ride the bus (was going to be a trial to see if going to school went better that way) Unfortunately it ended in a full meltdown which = no bus, big kids missed the bus as well so we end up back in school line up with a screaming kid that keeps trying to go hide in the back of the van making me crawl over seats to get to her. Not the way I wanted to start my week. I'll join you on the drink but can I have a girlie drink? Lol

  8. One more set of fingers and toes crossed for a good day tomorrow. Hope it helps.

  9. Even with all she is going through (and you too) how cool that she is recognizing her feelings! It takes alot of energy to be mom to a kiddo like this. Everything you mentioned we are doing for Andrew too, only we have a whole 'nother week till school!

  10. oh man, a whole nother week would put me over the edge.

    Thanks for the pep talks!


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