Friday, December 31, 2010

Ok, Who Pushed Fast Forward to New Years?

No seriously, how did this happen? Do other people know about this? Was I the only person not in on the trick? Or is it a surprise to you too?


When I find out who is responsible for this, heads are going to roll. Roll I tell you!

Okay, well since the damage has been done I'm going to move on. Happy New Year, y'all!

2010 was...... unusual. We had the arrival of the Fucktard Moron, the previous adoptive father of my daughter, when he moved in with the skank across the street. He stalked our daughter and we were granted an Order of Protection against him, but he was legally allowed to stay in the house.

However, 2010 also saw the relocation of the Fucktard Moron. So although we endured his presence for much of the year, the skank eventually tired of him once she discovered we refused to play in the Drama of her Life and she kicked him out. He came back several times over several months but finally seems to have left forever in September-ish. For the curious, Skankenho had Fucktard Moron babysitting her two children while she was out. When she returned home, she arrived with The Thing in the Red Truck who was moving in. HA! Seriously! She moved in the new boyfriend while the previous one was babysitting her children! In her house! LOL!  Ah, it's a lot funnier now that it's been a few months. *snort* lol.

2010 brought me my new friends, fellow Knitting Ninjas and Mothers of the Wango Tango, courtesy of Corey Watching the Waters. Love them, love her, MWAH to all!

2010 saw my little baby begin Kindergarten and my return to the..... hmmmm, no jobs out there...... my return to the living room from the bus stop.

I could go on and on, but really it would be very boring and the fact is our year is documented fairly well right here. I'm not a big resolution maker except for the one resolution- not to bother with resolutions anymore. Kept that one. I do believe however, that one can always benefit from acknowledging a few goals and dreams. In no particular order.....

  1. Get to the Oprah show audience. This one is time sensitive, actually urgent. Ideally an appearance on the show with a makeover.
  2. Fix it or forget it. I have been "meaning to" do a much better job of responding to comments, reciprocating, and answering questions. I got to either shit or get off the blog.
  3. Get out more. With Husband. And others.
  4. Seek job. Said job must provide killer health insurance with an affordable employee contribution that does not exceed paycheck. Yeah. 
  5. Finish blog posts in a timely fashion. For example, this post. Finish it before New Years Day. LOL!
Now I am off to put on my fabulous lbd made by a fabulous, expensive designer. I have already spent an hour doing my hair and make up. We are going out to dinner at a fabulous restaurant where there are no children allowed. Then we are going to drink ourselves silly and vomit our way to 2011 the way nature intended.

Yeah, no, actually I have not changed out of my pajamas yet, being as there was no reason to, and there will not be. I put deodorant on though. Going to go watch some un-great TV and then go to bed where I will kiss my cat if I am still awake at midnight.

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Santa Does NOT Come Early!

    Christmas is over and now we just have to plod through that stretch of dead-air time where we are on "Winter Break" until school starts again. One week. I can live through a week right? I mean in my life I have lived through, like, a really *unspecified number* lot of weeks so surely I can do another one. Right?

    Our Christmas went well! The girls opened the gifts from us on Thursday and Santa came on Friday, Christmas Eve. We are slightly unsure as to how he accomplished it but The Husband had taken the girls out to run some errands that afternoon and possibly that is when he came. Alternately while we were eating dinner I thought I heard something outside on the roof. So we don't exactly know. However Teena is sure of one thing and that is that it was all wrong. Genea is the type of child who knows what she knows, and so if she believes in Santa and Santa is magic, then the man can come whenever he wants. Teena is the type of child who wants to know how. She has done her research (watched all the claymation movies), consulted the experts (her kindergarten teacher) and developed her hypothesis. Santa does his thing on Christmas Day and when you wake up he has been there and gone. And, fyi, she better darn tootin' be the most right because she does not take well to being wrong. The Husband and I did our best to come up with answers on the fly to Teena's most logical questions but I am afraid that we pushed our luck a little too far having Santa come early. Regardless, the whole point of doing it that was to avoid the Christmas morning Puke- a- la- Palooza of the previous two years and so by that measure we were successful. No one enjoys a holiday when there is vomit on the gifts. Words to live by.

    On the actual day of Christmas we packed up and went to my sisters house in The South of Wisconsin where she has a lovely, large home with long, roomy stretches of track that just beg to be run. Beg, I tell you, those hallways beg for children to run hysterically through. Laughing, shrieking and running like a herd of four happy buffalo.

    I had a few irksome moments. Weigh in with opinions if you want. When The Time Came on the big day, to open gifts, we started telling the kids to pass them out. That's the tradition in my extended family. My sister and I were the only kids for like, 28 years straight, and had to pass out gifts that whole time so we have been waiting for someone to be old enough to read and take over the job. Finally, three kids started reading at the same time. So there are gifts to the ceiling in front of the tree and the kids start diving in. Only of the three who could read, they disregarded all names but their own. The fourth knew enough to find his own name and did the same.

    Chaos hit the floor and flew through the air. The roar of paper ripping matched by screams and wordless excitement.

    And I was irked off.

    Before I had time to sit down, the whole thing was over. (I was wearing a new pair of "jeggings" and I have to say, I do not recommend it. Who thought it would be a good idea to make leggings out of super stretchy denim? They are rough and stiff and bunch up miserably in every body part that bends. Incidentally, the things also apparently shrink once they leave the store, making your legs resemble burst sausage casings). Anyway, as I tried to sit down without lacerating myself with my own pants, I also tried uselessly to redirect my children to open their gifts calmly, pass out gifts to other people and to take their time. No go. It was a free for all of manic tearing. My two girls whipped open boxes and shoved and jammed new toys in my face and up my nose all the while shrieking in the strident voice of little girls everywhere, "LOOK MAMA LOOK!", then throwing the thing aside to grab something new.

    Now, I remember being a kid. Really! My parents let us blaze through wrapping paper only to glance at the concealed present and move onto the next. I have to admit it was fun. Then, once we saw everything we went back and examined things more closely. We were never a family growing up that opened one gift at a time. But this was nuts. I barely registered what was received let alone who it was from and you can be sure my kids did not notice who things were from! Then there are little pieces and instructions to stuff and it is all flying out of the packaging. A relative quickly scooted around picking up boxes and wrapping paper and miscellaneous trash, and I am serious, within minutes it was all over.

    I want my children to be gracious and polite and to always use good manners. Now how the heck I am going to get that to happen in this situation? I want them to open something, look the giver in the eye, say something polite and after it is all done approach the person and say thank you. I guess I felt embarrassed, having to ask people, was this doll from you? Was this shirt from you? So, the discomfort and irksome feelings were definitely about me. No one else seemed to mind and no one else was worried about it. No one else seemed to think my children were rude. So, I leave it go and move on.

    In other news, Teena is staying with my parents for a few days while Genea came home with us. I will write a different post about it, but I have to say, this has turned out far differently than I expected. One of my top 5 rules of parenting........ Never ever let yourself think that you know what you are doing.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    Have a Merry Christmas

    Yep, that's my whole post.

    Merry Christmas!

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    FWIW, it's my opinion. Keeping holiday meltdowns to a minimum!

    Over the past 3 and 1/2 years, I have learned a few things. Some of these things have worked to help  Genea remain on the planet during times of stress and I thought I would pass them on. With holidays coming up the kids can easily go haywire and stay off track for weeks, even months. I try to knock as much of The Crazy out ahead of time as is possible. In no way does this mean I know what I am doing. I actually debated with myself..... should I put this up? Will I seem pushy? Know- it- all- ish? And I thought, Self, after all this time you have a few hints to pass on. People can take them or leave them. Okay.

    First and foremost, be mindful that your RADish will probably not emerge from the other side of the holidays in good condition. Work from the position that expects problems and makes the effort to contain them before they blow. Anticipate. Think to previous years and plan.

    RADishes do not like change!
    My RADish (affectionate term for a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder) does not like change. She thinks there should be a law against all change and the rest of us should have to comply. So you might think that a holiday like Thanksgiving where my little food hoarder/sneaker can eat all she wants would be a positive. It is. However, the overriding feeling will be anxiety due to change in schedules, locations, people and rules.

    Anxiety always comes out.

    When your child starts up with provoking behavior, constant demands and does bizarre things it may mean she is feeling unsure and unsafe.

    So what do you do? You talk it through at every opportunity. I would describe every single thing I could think of to Genea ahead of time. We are going to Grandma's house.We are taking my car. It will be a long car ride and I want you to bring a few books. We will try to drive straight there without stopping. When we get to Grandma's, remember her 2 dogs will bark at you at first. We will not eat right away, it will be about 2 hours after we get there. These are the foods she will have. These are the people who will be there.

    But wait! Do Not tell her too far ahead of time because then she will freak out anticipating the day. For Genea, usually the night before a big event is good. Sometimes, the day of. Seriously, rarely more notice than that. Where you have anticipatory anxiety you have your  Wango Tango. Simple.

    Do what you have to do to keep the chances for failure at a minimum.

    My child cannot control her urine when she is stressed. Even though she is 7 and fully capable, unfortunately her continence is one of the first things to go. We use night time underwear style diapers at the homes of other people. Nancy Thomas can come and get me, and bash me over the head with a diaper genie. If Genea doesn't need the back up, she doesn't need it but if she does it will not ruin the whole day, her clothes, or the furniture of others.

    Know your child's signs of stress and look for them.

    Genea can look perfectly calm, even happy, on the outside. I know she is feeling anxious because her pupils dilate. That may well be the only sign at all that she is internally dysregulated. And where does all that go if left to fester? After all, she looks good on the outside, why not take that for the truth? Here is why. Because the Wango Tango will always come out somehow. Maybe not at Grandma's for Christmas, but the next day? The next 7 unstructured days at home without school? Oh yeah, you will feel it!

    Check in with your child often with physical contact.

    I am always amazed when I casually hug Genea and I can feel her heart beating out of the chest cavity. Another cue she is feeling stress! I make her sit  next to me and I firmly hold her. Not forcefully but as the adult in charge. We might discreetly work on breathing or counting. I will have her place her hand on her chest to feel her heart beat and work on slowing it down (I call that biofeedback for the poor, lol). We might escape to a bedroom and close the door and do some strong sitting in quiet.  We can do quick brain shifts now that she is getting older and can do some academics. I might ask her to spell "frog" or do basic addition. The answer doesn't matter in the slightest- it will shift the brain out of panic and fear and away from fight/ flight/ freeze. Other ideas- ask her favorite color, favorite tv show, etc. Think of it as driving a car with a manual transmission (good God, why do those things still exist). If the car is in 1st gear going 45 miles an hour you are going to wind up with a messed up car. You have to shift to bring it into safety.

    Other things that have helped Genea and I survive:
    • Keep visits to other homes short. Short short short.  Short as you can.
    • Plate your child's food for her. A buffet style or family style meal is going to overwhelm and freak out your little loved one.
    • Keep as many rules from home as possible. Example- we have a rule that you have to try everything on your plate with one bite, then you can decide not to eat it. Awkward and annoying to keep that rule at another persons home, but rules are reminders that someone is in charge and the child is safe.
    • Try not to "let it go because it is a holiday". I have wound up with 2 ungrateful overstimulated brats on many occasions thinking I was giving the gift of fun and freedom from structure. Not. Good.
    Get over the idea that this is your holiday too and you should be able to have some fun. Maybe you will, maybe you won't. Yes this will all be a lot of work. No, it probably isn't fair.

    What about pushy relatives?

    Those that are sure your RADish needs a fistful of crackers and you are just being too strict, you know them? They spend half the holiday trying to convince you that you are too hard on the child, you need to loosen up. Or the other where your child runs off totally out of control and just needs a good spanking. I have two lines that I have found will stop all opinions, second guessing, and unwanted "help".

    1. Say this with your head tilted to the side and try to look tragic.
    "You know, she will just never be totally sure that we won't leave her somewhere. No matter how long it has been she still doesn't quite fully believe we will bring her back home. Our rules may seem odd but she functions so much better with them".
    Without fail, the "helpful" relative will make sad clucking noises, quickly look off into the distance, and wander away. I think the comment helps kick open the door that reminds people, we are not working from a regular box of chocolates.

    2. Looking helpless or a little doubtful, shift the focus (blame) off of yourself.
    "Mmmm hmmmm, her therapist (insert whatever professional you want) says we have to 'blank' for her to be emotionally healthy you know, after all she's been through". Around my relatives that will move immediately into a discussion about all this feelings crap in society these days, psychiatrists are nothing but drug pushers and the Big Pharmaceutical Companies are running the world.  Clears the room. Get out with everyone else.

    note- I realize the above idea may turn you off completely. Do what works for you. This is what has worked for me. 

    Now, on to gifts!

    Around here, my kids get a lot of gifts. What a problem, right? No, it's not something I complain about. However with my children, too many new things at one time overwhelms them. Then they wind up playing with a box or an old cat toy from way under the couch. Spread it out.

    We will do our family gifts on Thursday, 2 days before Christmas. That will give the kids most of Friday to play with their new stuff. Santa will come early the night before Christmas because.......

    For the past 2 years my little neurotypical child has become so excited about Santa Claus that she vomits. She works herself so far up into a tizzy that she gets a fever going and cannot keep food down. We have had to reschedule the extended family party both years. So, Santa will come early the night before, like 7pm,  instead of Christmas morning. Does that just seem not right? Kids are supposed to wake up Christmas morning at 4 am all excited and flipping out about Santa! Well, that may be how it is in all the stories but if the excitement is too much for your kids than how much fun is it going to be? Do what works for your family.

    note- I had a recent epiphany about this. I wonder if Teena gets all worked up because she is wondering if Santa will leave her gifts or a lump of coal. Not quite sure if she has made the naughty or the nice list.

    Anyway, like I said, these are the things that have worked for us. You may have already tried every single thing on the list and none of it worked. For me, it's about maximizing the fun and helping my RADish be successful and that may mean my day sucks. But I would feel worse if she managed to ruin the day for a bunch of other people.  We will absolutely still have fallout but if we try to work at the problems ahead of time and have a plan for the other stuff, it helps.

    So, opinions? Suggestions? What has worked for you and your family that is not typical? Fill me in, I will take all the help I can get!

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    And the winner is........

    Genea and Teena were kind enough to help pick the name of the person to win the book "Mamalita- An Adoption Memoir" by Jessica O'Dwyer. So here it goes.......

    In a brief moment of cooperation, Genea holds the "peacock" color Fiesta vegetable bowl while Teena picks a paper slip....... (ps, I cut Teena's bangs right after this, lol)................

    Teena has selected a name.......... (Genea's expression is due to her wanting to have a turn and pick another name)..... (I explained the uber importance of the bowl holder, that is kind of heavy, that her sister would probably drop).....

    And the winner is..................


    So I will email you, Ms Annehueser, to get your address and send the book off to you on Monday!

    I just have one other thing to mention as a sort of public service message to anyone still reading after seeing the winner was not yourself. Okay, it's not along the lines of "reading is cool, stay in school!", or "how do you treat a disabled person----    like a person!" but it has value. In my opinion. 

    I spent this afternoon cleaning out 2 cabinets in the bathroom. Having 2 daughters, I am finding myself swimming in bad habits and an excess of stuff. In my other life, that bathroom was mine, all mine. I did not even let  The Husband keep a toothbrush in there. Now we all share it. We have another bathroom downstairs but the potty broke a few years back and it has never been fixed (*sigh*). So all of us use one bathroom. I guess it is amazing that I held out this long refusing to give up cabinets but the truth is, as I discovered,  the contents of these particular 2 cabinets was mostly garbage. 10 year old free samples, old toothbrushes, etc.  Lots of bottles of shampoo, hairspray, nice soap and stuff with a half inch of product left that one day I was going to scrape out and use..... collect into one bottle..... never happened, never will.

    Okay, so I cleared them out and decided to clean while I was in there. Ick. I decided to wipe down the outsides as well. Lots of scrubbing there what with all the built up hair spray, dust, dirt and other junk that defines filth.

    My mistake.

    Here is the public service message: Dirt is magic. It hides scrapes in the wood finish. It masks chips. It holds things together, things that when scrubbed too much, fall off.

    Also, if you clean the visible exterior of 2 cabinets they will suddenly glow. Your other cabinets will not.

    Learn from me, learn!

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    If Santa Filled Your Stocking......

    On that goober site Facebook I belong to a group called "Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid" (click! you can join too!). It is two women, sisters I believe, who wrote a book with that title. Both have children who are atypical and imperfect and much like myself, try to tackle the Wango Tango and all of it's teachers and therapists with humor and sarcasm. I may have mentioned in the past that I feel sarcasm is a gift that should be nurtured so you can imagine how I banged on the door demanding to be let into the group.

    Anysnot, they put up prompts daily to encourage little stories or comments on the daily lives of parents and children. A day or so ago they put up the prompt "If Santa were to fill your imperfect stocking, what would you like in it?" My immediate thought was the usual...... a Xanax floated in a Bloody Mary and a new Coach handbag. Then I read the comments of people after me and they had a *ummmm* different tone. Like all altruistic and lovely. So, I would like to add to my stocking. Make no mistake, I still want my drink and my handbag but now there is more:

    1. A treatment for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I mean something that will work. I don't care how long it takes or what the requirements are, I just want something, any ONE path to take that will effectively and permanently treat the disorder.

    2. Some of those super tasty chocolate covered espresso beans.

    3. Children's hair that brushes itself.

    4. A neurological system for my daughter that does not sabotage her at every turn (okay, tricky to get that in a stocking but we all know Santa is magic).

    5. Peace.

    Okay, easy right? Santa should be able to handle my stocking without a problem. I just hope there is no hole in the toe. And, maybe I should hang up Shaq's sock just in case. FYI the above group on Facebook is a lot of fun and they are helpful too so if my link works I would recommend joining up! I know I am full of the linkies lately, I just happen to find several good ones at the same time and I like to share.

    So, what would/will you want in your holiday stocking?

     ps Giveaway will be announced tomorrow! I hope!

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    The Anti- Me

    The style of my home is what might be called, "garage sale chic". The word "chic" is French, it means "cheap".  So here is my take on holiday decorating....... we have enough chic shit laying around this house without adding stuff that has an expiration date! Holiday decorating adds up to just one thing, and that is more work. It is a well known fact that I am violently opposed to such.

    By the way, anyone who is reading this who has a big holiday display or who even enjoys it is exempt from any comments I may make with terms such as gaudy, tacky or useless. By virtue of being a blog reader you are obviously intelligent and with unimpeachable taste and so clearly this does not apply to you. Also, I do not wish to alienate everyone in one fell post. If you love it, I love it. I am talking about other people. Mwah!

    I digress.

    It seems that I have given birth to The Anti- Me. On a dark, drunken night long ago in a land far away known as Chicago, a stray sperm showed off to the others and actually hit the target but with one massive error. The DNA possessed in that little sperm contained The Decorating Gene!  It so happens that I can trace the biological responsibility for that crap directly up the family twig. However, marriage vows prevent me from getting any more specific. What I can discuss is my own spawn. My pink- loving, doll- playing, holiday- decoration- coveting, even- though- I- gave- up- caffeine- for- you- ya'- little- ingrate daughter Teena. 

    Safe to say I do not care for holiday decorating. I find I get more than enough at other people's houses, not to mention they usually do a far greater job of it than I could ever dream of. Stepping into any retail store after Halloween fills in stray gaps that might lead me to decorate anything myself. Honestly though, it is the outrageous overkill that bothers me. The shameless overindulgence that Christmas has become.

    It was only after Genea arrived that we even bought a tree to put up, and I think there is a good chance there is nothing in nature that quite resembles it. But see for Teena, her greatest distress has been how we do not decorate outside. Look, she points out whenever we go somewhere, those people have decorations and we don't! Her other complaint on a repeating loop is, look at our house, no one could even tell we are having a holiday, there are no decorations!

    Unfortunately, I love my little girls and my little girls wish desperately for a decorated holiday home. (By wish desperately, I mean they have commenced with such elephantine whining that I would like to remove my hearing mechanism with a wine corkscrew). (Get it? Whine/ wine? HA!).

    If she had her way, this would be our house:

    This is how it might look at night. From an airplane:

    I found the above pictures on the most hilarious website:
    Ugly Christmas Lights

    This is my ideal decoration:

    Right, you don't see anything there, do you.

    To really clinch evidence of the profound DNA error that occurred, I present to you the following.

    The child likes Christmas music. 


    I mean, come on! We were painting picture frames for their school pictures to send as gifts and I had put on some music. Teena crabbed and grumbled that "they should really be playing Christmas music right now". During a Prince song.  Seems she must have thought I had the radio on, when in fact it was my ipod.  My child, fruit of my soul and stretch marks, fussed and complained during "Let's Go Crazy"! 

    I did not mention that I had control over any of it. Serves her right for whining while Prince was in the house.



    I let Christmas music come into the house. With the echo of whining still vibrating my brain, I bought up a bunch of cheap ornaments and bows to put outside. Then, I put them outside. Discreetly. In a non- tacky fashion. Yo ho ho!

    PS Don't forget to enter the book giveaway below- I'm drawing a winner in 2 more days!

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Mamalita- An Adoption Memoir, and Giveaway!

    So, you all have to know how excited this made me..... I was contacted recently by a publicist from Perseus/ Seal press to do a book review for a blog tour. EXCITED is putting it mildly- I was thrilled to combine two of my favorite things. That is, reading and giving opinions!

    MAMALITA- An Adoption Memoir
    By Jessica O'Dwyer
    Available at all the usual outlets
    Here is a promotional trailer on YouTube.

    "Mamalita- An Adoption Memoir" describes the journey of Jessica O'Dwyer in her efforts to become a mother. Adoptive parents will immediately recognize this book as real. Real descriptions of real experiences telling the real truth about a process that can be so gratifying and simultaneously frustrating. As most do, Jessica and her husband start with the purest of intentions. Hopeful and excited, she rapidly finds herself struggling to walk an increasingly curved and twisted line, eventually forcing her onto a tightrope with corruption on one side and dissonance on the other. Yet Jessica is blessed with the resources to eventually break through the heavily tainted process. Despite passive incompetence and open hostility, Jessica makes the hard decision to agitate Guatemalan bureaucracy to advocate for her daughter. 
    The author takes care to describe realities of adoption and loss, as well as rejoicing in the exhilaration of connecting with a child for the first time. Convincing a confused child to trust is a process, and Jessica's unflinching exploration of building a relationship will only help others understand it is not always a given. Creating a family through adoption is complex. Jessica's dedication and determination, love and loyalty take the reader from the optimistic beginning to the joyful end.

    Half the fun of doing a review is of course then doing a giveaway of said book. Assuming no one minds a slightly used book. Here is how you enter- leave me a comment with your email. That's all. Like this: "Hey I want to enter the giveaway- this is my email address blah @". I tried to think of something fun and clever to leave with your entry, but I got nothing. It's been that kind of week. So, if you have something cute or clever to say go on. Likewise if you have a good joke, share! I could use it! I'll pick a name out of a pot in about a week.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    They Get to Go Home

    I admit that I am a fan of reality TV. I realize that might put me in a category of folks with a presumption of IQ lower than a snails. I don't care. I love that crap, all of it. Well, except for the recent onslaught of bizarreness on MTV. It's the regular stuff I am addicted to. The Amazing Race, Big Brother, Project Runway, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, Hoarders and Intervention. Supernanny, Worlds Strictest Parents etc. Even Survivor, despite my suspicion that the winner is already decided by demographic and half the "contestants" are actors. Fun, fun, fun! FUN!

    My daughters like to watch some of them too, especially shows where there are competitions. They always root for the "girls" and become pseudo upset when a "boy" wins. We encourage Girl Power in this house!

    However, for a long time I struggled with getting them to understand the point of the games. The goal of winning. The way they saw it, both of them, was that the great prize the 'winner' received was to go home. That ultimately all that physical exertion was for one purpose and the victorious contender was the one who got to leave. The losers had to stay wherever they were at the time. No no, I would try to explain, the contestants want to stay there! They want to stay in that house or on that island or keep going in a race around the world. 

    Nope. They were insistent. The winner of the competition each week was the person who was voted out or came in last, because that person got to go home. Home, back to their families, their house, their life. Home!

    They get it now of course. After I explained to them a little over 500 times that the purpose is to stay in the game, to stay on the show and compete in the next race and try to be first. The winner each week is the person who does not go home in fact what they want is to be away from home. But I think it is funny how kids see things, especially my kids. Whether it is a reaction to Genea being moved out of her first home and into ours I don't know. Maybe Teena has internalized Genea's circumstances into a file in her brain that says, that's the worst thing in the world, to be unable to return to your home. And Genea's file says, oh hell no. To be moved away from your home with all those people you don't know, that's the worst. Then there is the possibility that all kids view the competition results on reality shows the same way, and it's my personal file that has been rewritten after feeling Genea's pain these few years. That I see their thoughts as based in what they must have viewed as terrifying, tragic. Or is that merely my perception of reality, based on my own experiences?

    I speculate endlessly sometimes. It is quite likely they just enjoy the TV shows and got confused as to the outcome.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    It's the Hard Place Calling

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU THAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOOOOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So many people left fantastic, thought-provoking, intelligent and on-target comments from my last post asking for help with my daughter and a school issue. It was great to pull up my blog every few hours to find a new suggestion,  a perspective I hadn't thought of, or just a "dude, that's a rough one, good luck"! Again, THANK YOU!!!!!

    Ultimately I am still weighing what frame to work from to make a decision. I have to decide if her academics should be the primary focus, or if I can accept, and if Genea can still be moderately successful if social interaction becomes a factor. Then there is the aspect of a child with Attachment Disorder being allowed to control the show, as it were, and I will get into that again in a minute, as well as the proximity to the teacher providing a safety net, which I had not even considered.

    Genea is not on an IEP, and that is not by my choice! I have fully laid out Genea's delayed development, background of neglect, institutionalization, that English is not the language she used her first year of life, that she is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder and Early Onset Bipolar Disorder, and that there has been massive trauma in her life up to and including events earlier this year. In this state, they have what they call an "Educational Diagnosis" versus a "Medical Diagnosis", essentially for example a child can be diagnosed by a neurologist with Autism Spectrum Disorder but if the school decides that the symptoms do not interfere with learning, you get no IEP. They do not have to provide the BEST possible education, just an appropriate one. So last year I banged and hollered and they finally did a bunch of testing on her to try to qualify her but she hit just above the cutoff line in a few area's, and average in others. This year the teacher went around to everyone for miles evidently to discuss how poorly Genea is doing and they will now try to qualify her under "OHI" which stands for "Other Health Impairment".

    I hold not my breath.

    Back to the issue of Genea's desk being bumped into the teachers desk and the effects on attachment in a child with Attachment Disorder. A few people pointed out that if Genea is misdirecting attachment with the teacher, than she will likely progress into testing the teacher out in unpleasant ways and move onto controlling and disruptive behavior.

    Sigh. SIGH!!!!!! Because I vaguely thought something like that might be happening but did not have all the information. What I have is about a month ago Genea started peaing on herself like a fiend. Like she never met a toilet before and thought they were for growing tomatoes. I mean it has been bad. So bad, the school had to call me when she wet herself twice in one day. Then she decided that was not enough and pooing herself would also be a good idea. So she is peeing herself at school, which is new, and pooing herself at home which is rare. Why, why do these children express themselves out the butt, why???? This is what leads me to decide that Genea is going to have to go back to sitting at a regular desk like everyone else. I worry that it is too late and she will never recover from her dysregulated behavior. And pray tell, how would I go about requesting Genea move to a different class where she does not feel the need to test the teacher out by peeing on all her stuff????? I am currently sending her to school in diapers. I wonder if that would be considered an "OHI".

    Genea does have serious problems with her ability to focus and concentrate. She is "hyper vigilant" and feels compelled to constantly check her environment for changes.  I would prefer she lay down on the floor to do work under her own desk with the other kids, if that would help her. Or whatever would work. I think I am going to tell the teacher that I want Genea moved back into a "cluster" a few days before winter break and then stay there following the break. I'll reference social development as my reasoning. Last year with a different teacher she was allowed to get up and sit at a desk in the front of the room up against the chalkboard when she was unable to concentrate. Do you know that Genea initiated moving on her own when she felt the need! Then, she went back to her regular desk when the focused work was done. I think that would be optimal again.

    I have mild concerns that this teacher has a case of "poor orphan syndrome" but she definitely likes Genea and wants her to succeed. So do I.

    Any other input will be appreciated again!!!


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