Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wednesday

Today was early dismissal for both boys. Coram’s bus came, but he didn’t manage to get on it. It was sad actually. By the time he figured out he wanted to go, the buss was driving away. He chased it a bit down the road, but the bus didn’t stop. I gather they have safety laws that they aren’t allowed to stop again. He had this really forlorn look on his face when he realized he had missed it.

The upside is, he hopped right into class as soon as we got there. I didn’t even go in the building. This despite the fact that there were workers belt-sanding the building and it was REALLY loud. That’s the kind of thing that would usually upset him. He knew the class was having a popcorn party, and I know that motivated him. I’d like to think he also is getting more used to the idea of going to school.

Coram’s teacher was speaking with me last week about the possibility that this might not be the right class for him. She had good reasons, mainly that his needs are different than the other kids, and he takes two adults when he is having a fit leaving only one adult for all the other special kids. However, I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t sink. I really don’t want to have to move again. It’s hard to get used to a new classroom, a new group of kids, new teachers and administrators, and a new routine.

I consider myself to be fairly accepting, and flexible to what the teachers want to try. However, even I hit blocks of resistance in myself. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to deal with a parent who refused to believe there was really a problem. I have teacher friends who have dealt with those kinds of parents, and it’s really sad. The biggest victim is the child who doesn’t get the help because the parents refuse it. I don’t want to belike that, I want to help and listen and try as much as I can to work as a team with the teachers. But my back seems to go up whenever someone suggests moving him on to another class. I just want someone to dig in and commit to helping this kid get through school.

I applied to a local charity today for respite care. I don’t know if they offer care to families like ours, as they say they help kids with ‘progressive life limiting illnesses’, and I‘m not sure if we fit that, but it was worth asking. So far I haven’t heard anything back.

Success Today

Today was a pretty decent day.

Despite a 48-hour suspension from his bus (stemming from an incident last week I didn’t have the energy to blog about), Coram was able to have a successful day at school. I had to drive him in, and that means he misses the first half an hour because of timing of dropping Lucas off. We have never once had a successful day after I drove Coram to school.

But today, we did.

It wasn’t easy. I had to spend some time in his classroom, answering questions and letting him show me around, but he did get to the point where he gave me a high-five, a hug and a kiss, and I left.

I spent the day doing some housework and resting, I’m still pretty sick.

When I picked Coram up, his teacher said he had an awesome afternoon. Despite making a face and saying he didn’t want to do work, he was the first in his class to be finished. Coram was beaming.

We picked Lucas up and came home, and they hung out together. They played some cars, watched some TV, and messed about with my new raspberry hand cream. I didn’t really mind – they just wanted to use a bit because they liked the smell.

I’m sure it won’t be long that my sons will want to smell like raspberries, so I should enjoy it while I’ve got it.

IN the evening, as Coram got tired, he began shouting at me again about my ‘sleepy voice’. I just stopped talking to him. Steve and Lucas both stood up for me. I really don’t know how to handle the ‘sleepy voice’ issue, since I can’t change my voice and I don’t believe I deserve to be screamed at.

But it was only an hour or so of torture, which, in the scheme of things, is a good day.

Steve started a blog today with computer tech advice. I am trying to figure out some of the editing so that it doesn’t show the ‘about me’ info. If anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sleepy Voice?

Apparently I am using my sleepy voice.

I am sick. We all are. I gather my voice shows that I am sick.

Coram is screaming at me that I have to stop using my sleepy voice.

I have no other voice to use.

‘STOP USING YOUR SLEEPY VOICE!!!!!!!’

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A New Start

Yesterday Coram had to get a new cast.

I took him to Children’s to have a follow up visit. They did an x-ray, and determined that his current cast was too loose. They said it’s quite common, and is a result of the swelling. His cast was tight when they cast it, but his arm was swollen. The swelling went down, and now the cast is too loose.

The x-ray also showed that there is more of a buckle to the break than we originally saw. The doctor said it might be from the angle of the x-ray, and it might have gotten worse since the first x-ray.

He explained to me that this was ‘acceptable angulation’. What this means is, in young kids, this amount of angle in the bone will heal itself. He said I will mould itself straight again within six months to a year. The same kind of angulation in an adult would not fix itself.

It was amazing watching Coram. He was calm through the x-ray, and calm while they sawed his old cast off. They had this contraption with a saw and a vacuum together, and it made a big buzzing sound. Lucas ran out of the room, and couldn’t watch. Coram just watched in interest. I’m not sure if even I could have been as calm as that with a saw going through my cast.

We thought the cast would be off for good next week, but the doctor said this new one has to be on for four weeks. So I’m of to make a new cast chart for us to mark off the days.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Playland

We went to Playland on Sunday. I would have written about it sooner, but we have been sick here.

Playland was awesome. The boys have been asking for years, and I have been putting it off. I think the timing was perfect this year though, because they were tall enough to go on the rides by themselves.

I went on a few rides with the boys before I hit my ‘sick limit’. I went on the swings a few times, and the roller coaster and the Ferris Wheel. Then I went on a ride called Break Dance and, well, it broke me. The cars spin in their frames, which spin around on the base, which also spins. I can’t actually imagine anyone enjoying the ride, but Lucas did. He went twice. I went once and it was the last ride of the day.

Lucas was amazing. I had no idea what a little daredevil he was. He went on lots of rides that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. He even went on a ride called ‘Hells Gate’ which was insane. It flips upside down three times really, really fast. Lucas sat there, his orange hair blowing back from his pale forehead, wearing a huge smile. I really could not believe it. He did draw the line at the Hellevator though. He said it just looked too scary. Go figure.

It just goes to show how much our kids really are their own people – because he didn’t learn that from me, and certainly not Steve. Steve made it on one round of the swings and that was it for the day. In his words, he hates being in the air.

I think the coolest thing of the day was how happy the kids were. They seemed so free and content. They had huge smiles on their faces all day. There were very few line-ups, as it was raining slightly so the boys could go on any ride they wanted, and usually stay on if they chose. They would wave and smile from way up in the air, or call hello as they went spinning by. There was no bickering, no whining, and no complaining.

It was a perfect memory for us to have of our first family trip to Playland.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Welcome Back

Today was the welcome back barbeque at Lucas’s school. Steve wasn’t feeling well, but the boys and I went. It is always nice to see old friends and chat with other parents.

It feels kind of sad this year, because it is Lucas’s last year there, and since Coram is no longer there, it means this is the last barbeque we will be going to.

I am sure that whatever school we chose to go to next will have something like this – but it is always hard to think about saying goodbye.

In other news – we still don’t have a retainer in Lucas’s mouth. His gameboy is still at his orthodontist’s office, and he hasn’t come to the conclusion that he will co-operate. I really hope he does before his mouth changes too much to use the current appliance.

We went for an iCAT scan for Lucas on Monday. This is a really new and high-tech scan of his head, which provides a 3D picture for the dentists/orthodontist/oral surgeons working on him to have an extremely accurate picture. We waited three months for the appointment.

When we got there – Lucas refused to co-operate. We spent half an hour trying to get him to sit still, then gave up and came home. We even did a ‘dry run’ so that he could see what the machine was going to do and know that it wasn’t scary. He laughed and said, ‘Is that all?’ But he still didn’t do it. The technician was not at all happy. She said, ‘ I’ve had about as much as I can take.’ I guess that was my cue to stop trying.

I gather we need to just back off on the orthodontic stuff for a while. However, Lucas needs bone graft surgery next year, so we don’t actually have unlimited time.

I guess I need to just stop worrying and let it be.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The saga continues…

Yesterday at the orthodontist, I am not proud to say I resorted to threats of consequences to get Lucas to allow them to put the expander in his mouth. The final consequence I had offered was taking away his gameboy,.

I am not proud of it, but I upped the ante and told him I would have to sell it to pay for the wasted expander. The orthodontist said not to sell it, just to give it to her. So that was what we agreed.

We went back the today for another try, bringing the gameboy. Lucas this time refused to even lie back on the chair. We spent an hour and a half trying to talk him into it. The orthodontist said she usually would not bother after one refusal, but it was so important for bone graft.

We left without the expander, or the gameboy.

I am at a loss. I don’t like using threats to get my kids to do things, and it feels that much worse that it didn’t even WORK.

He can have the gameboy back if he decides to go in next week and put the expander in.

The orthodontist isn’t really interested in keeping the gameboy, she just wanted to impress upon him how serious this is. She said that even if we don’t get the expander in, he can come and apologize to them all next week and have the gameboy back.

I feel like a candidate for the worst mother of the year award.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sigh and Sigh again.

Today was supposed to be my rest day.

To be fair, I did putter for the time that both boys were in school. I picked up a package at UPS (walkie-talkies free from Airmiles! Yay!) And hung out at my house doing nothing. It was nice.

However, if I felt refreshed after my time to myself, the feeling is vanished now.

I just got back from taking Lucas to the orthodontist. It was supposed to be a quick half hour appointment to put in the appliance they made from yesterday’s mold.

The dental technician was able to put the appliance in and make sure it fit well, and do a thorough cleaning of his teeth.

But when she put the glue on it, Lucas dug his heels in. He absolutely refused to open his mouth.

We spent a half an hour answering all of his questions, over and over again. He was afraid it would hurt, he was afraid it would take too long, he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to talk. He wanted to know if there was any other way to do the expanding. He was afraid of the blue light they use to set the glue.

I think we addressed each question at least 10 times.

I offered him stickers on his reward chart, and a package of Pokemon stickers. I upped the ante to two packages. Lucas agreed, but wanted all of his questions answered again – the same questions. Then, he lay down but refused to open his mouth.

He bit the orthodontist twice.

I told him I was going to change from offering rewards to offering consequences. I counted to five, then offered the consequences. The orthodontist explained that the retainer cost $300, and that was what he would have to pay back if it was wasted. I told him the first thing we would sell would be his gameboy. This was really the first reaction I got out of him.

We ended up there a total of an hour and a half. We didn’t get the retainer in. We have to go back tomorrow.

Lucas is now in his room, banned from TV, radio, CD player, games.

I feel like the absolutely WORST mother in the world. I hate that I had to resort to threats and punishments. I hate that I kept four different employees late at the orthodontist and still didn’t accomplish what needed to be done.

I want Lucas to truly understand how disrespectful he was to everyone. Myself, the orthodontist, and everyone who tried to help him. I want him to know that the time spent over the last three days preparing for this appliance was worthwhile time, and that he wasted it by refusing to put the retainer in. I want him to never, ever do this again.

But at the same time, I worry that I’m being too harsh.

I am validating that he is scared, that he doesn’t want to do it, that it’s not fair. I am validating that he is scared. Then I firmly tell him that this is something we have to do, even though we don’t like it. I tell him that it will be over in two minutes, and I remind him that I have never lied to him – if I say it won’t hurt, it won’t. I always tell him when something will hurt.

But none of that worked. I ended u using threats and even that didn’t work.

I hate this job. This unpaid, thankless job.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Scrambling

Today was Coram’s first day of school.

With the trouble we had last year, we were quite concerned that he would have a hard time getting on the bus in the morning, but he didn’t.

He was so excited, waiting by the door. He asked to wait outside in the yard, and took some bubbles with him. He happily blew bubbles until the bus arrived, then hopped onto the bus no fuss. He waved as we drove away, and then he was gone.

It was such a relief.

I thought I would spend the day resting, doing scrapbooking , and generally having some down time.

However, I forgot that Lucas had an orthodontist appointment at 9:30. I missed it. Because what was being done today is time sensitive, we had to squeeze it in today. So, we moved it to 1:30.

I spent and hour playing phone tag to set something up for Coram, since I wouldn’t be here when he got home, and Boys and Girls Club is mysteriously closed today. I had Grandpa all set up to keep him, but needed to arrange for the bus to drop him off at a different place. You’d think this would be as simple as calling the bus company, but nope. I had to call the school board liaison, leave a message, wait for her to call the bus company, and wait for her to call back.

Finally, after just over an hour, we had it all set up. Coram would be dropped at his grandpa’s house at about 3:15. I called the school and left a message asking the teachers to prepare Coram for the change, so he didn’t panic when he was taken to his grandpa’s, having been anticipating being taken to his home.

Then I got a call saying that it was early dismissal today.

Yikes. Coram was getting out of school at noon instead.

Spent another hour re-arranging the details, so that Coram would be dropped off at his grandpa’s at 12:45.

By this time it was 12:00. I had to leave at 12:20 to get Lucas to take him to the orthodontist.

So much for my restful day.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yikes!

Wow.

Well, yesterday Coram seemed to get a kick out of the novelty of his bright red cast.

Today, first thin in the morning, he says, ‘I’m gonna take my cast off!’

We didn’t think he could. I mean, these things are supposed to be built like a Mack truck, right?

Wrong. He could. And he did.

Now I’m off to the ER again to get him re-cast. Steve is going in late to work so he can get Lucas to the first day of school.

Am I the only one who has ever had this happen? The incredible kid who managed to take his cast off? Please, tell me no. Please tell me others have gone through this madness.

Monday, September 04, 2006

This is How We Spent Labour Day...

One of the recommendations the psychologist made for us regarding Coram was this: get him a chin-up bar.

This is because he spends a great deal of the day trying to hang of myself or Steve, or other adults in his life.

He has a need for the feeling of hanging … the doctor figures it is either because he has balance challenges and when hanging he doesn’t have to balance, or because the feeling up pulling deep in his shoulders is satisfying, or both.

So, we got a chin up bar this week. I was really looking forward to using it as a tool for Coram. I get really tired of having a person trying to hang off me all day.

We have had the bar for 5 days.

Today, Coram decided to try to hang upside down (against our house rules regarding the chin up bar).

And of course, he fell.

And of course, he broke his arm.

And bonked his head badly, and bruised his thumb on the other arm.

Poor kid.

We were planning to spend today, Labour Day, at the playground of his school. We had packed a picnic lunch, and we were going to play there all day, to let him get used to the space again.

Instead, we spent four hours at emergency.

Coram still wants to go to the playground. He can’t climb it, but he wants to be there.

So off we are going to blow bubbles at the playground, and maybe kickthe hacky-sack.