before facebook stages an intervention…

I’m sorry in advance for whatever it is you are about to read.  I’m having a moment.

I have been rambling senselessly on facebook for the better part of 45 minutes, and just realized I better knock it off before all my friends get together and stage an intervention. For my sanity.  I have most certainly lost my marbles today. It started with my sister posting about losing weight (bitch) and me taking off on the hugest rabbit trail  you’ve ever seen somehow ending with me doing whole scenes of What About Bob in the comments.  It ended with me talking about how neither Bono or the Gays can live with or without the one they love and that I think this is a conspiracy of the worst magnitude and somehow P.Bam’s fault because his speech on the matter was just cray-cray. (P.Bam is President Obama.  Did I make that up or has it already been done? I don’t know but I LIKE it.  If I were president I’d want a sweet-ass name like that.)

Do you see what’s going on here? I have lost it. I think I’m in the middle of a manic episode.  I blame it on my kids and my husband.  Who else would be to blame?  Jordan is sick again and it’s probably pertussis.  We are at defcon 5 epidemic status on the whooping cough here in the great state of Washington.  I refused to immunize Jordan until he was five.  I don’t know why I picked that age, I guess because I wanted to.  And the schools pressured me what with their “out of compliance,” “can’t enter school” jargon and I got scared.  So…now he is not fully vaccinated in the midst of a damn outbreak and has all the symptoms.  Until I get into the doc at 4:45 today I will probably be a wreck.  Even though I’m 99% sure he doesn’t have it.  He is still sick and needy and clingy and NOT SLEEPING.  So therefore I am not sleeping.  And cray-cray.

I would like to take this moment to tell you about my newest hip-hop inspired terminology.  At any point during the day you can bet I am going to bust out in a “that shit cray”  a la Kanye/Jay-Z.  The kids are immune to it.  Elle just rolls her eyes.  I try to keep it to a “oh girl, you cray-cray” but sometimes I have to stick to the original.  Why is it the hip-hoppers have the catchiest tunes that get stuck in my head and really apply to everything I need to say?  I can’t be blamed if my kids get suspended for telling their teachers “that shit’s cray” when they get a 84% on their spelling test and they know they are A+ students, can I? Because…well, that might very well happen someday soon.  Elle is actually already planning it.  I might need to reign this in.

I have tortured you long enough.  Where’s Leo? I need some meds. Dr Marvin?  Doooooooctor Leeeeeeooooooo Maaarrrrrvin?

Crap. I’ve come full-circle.

Send sleep and good thoughts for my child, if you please.

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a successful day…

Today was a successful day in the land of “impropers.” Well, successful for the most part.  I still have around a half ton of dirty laundry to reason with, but lately, that is of no consequence to me.  I am immune to the piles.  Unless, of course, no one can find underwear.  Then, there’s a problem.  So…I better get on that.

I woke up to two snuggly kiddos on either side of me, giggling as they tried to sneak in and steal some time on a rare morning that daddy was already gone and they woke before mommy.  After a few minutes, we thought we better get moving.  I hopped in the shower and called Jordan to get in right as I was getting out so I could wash him up.  He got in right away and there were no problems in getting ready for school.  He moved quickly and without incident.

Jordan jumped off the bus when he got home and showed me his daily report from his teacher – the third day in a row this week that he got all smiley faces for his focus and behavior during class.  He worked on homework, had a healthy snack, and then went outside to play with friends.  It’s dinner time and he just kindly asked for ten more minutes of play before he has to come in.  So I said yes.  Because he asked nicely and without a fit.

Why are some days so easy and without incident where others are ridiculously like all of us are trudging through quick sand to get the basics done, and even that is asking too much.  I swear there is not one thing that I do differently.  I know there is supposedly nothing but the “pistons in the brain firing differently” from day to day, but that just doesn’t do it for me.  I need a miracle formula that makes for days like this every day.  Do they sell those on eBay?

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.   I love days/weeks that things are so darn easy.  I just wish I knew how to replicate them.

continuing to process this process

I feel so torn about writing so publicly about this process with Jordan and having him evaluated for Sensory Processing Disorder and/or other similar “whatevers.”  I don’t want him to look back on this when he’s older and feel like I exposed him.  But, I also know my kid, and I know that there’s a 99% chance he won’t mind, and would be happy to help one person, even if that is just mom.  So, for now, I write.  Until I don’t feel comfortable with how he would feel about it.

I have been reading books and articles and blogs like a crazy person lately.  On one hand, I feel like I am empowering myself with knowledge and perspective.  On the other, I think I’m just getting some relief from the fact that I may have some answers.  Every time I read a new “symptom” that has been a funny little quirk or annoying habit Jordan has exhibited over the past few years that we have passed off as “just Jordan” I go through a range of emotions.  I feel intrigued that some simple things may actually be involved in a bigger picture.   I know I’ve made light of the fact that I hoped Jordan would be able to “wipe his own butt” by the time he reached college, but those types of situations are actually a common part of this life.  I feel like an ass for being so cynical about something that he truly does just struggle with.  But, at the same time, I am still just a smart-ass mom that is sick of helping clean up after challenging trips to the toilet.  This is just such new territory to me.  As much as I want to be sensitive, I know I also still have to help him learn every thing in life that every other person learns, even if it is a little more challenging than it might be for the average babe.

Jim and I are both taken aback by how much new patience and even grace we feel in navigating through life with Jordan lately.  We both had a sense of it even before we had a name to put to the struggles that were going on.  Now that we are seeing that many of those struggles aren’t just because Jordan is being stubborn or spoiled or purposefully difficult, but are actually a part of a bigger picture, we are both amazingly calmer and more in tune with his needs and how to not only teach him, but find a way to communicate with him in a way that connects the dots for him.  If you don’t know anything about SPD, this will probably sound weird to you.  And, let’s face it, I am two weeks into knowing anything about it, so I could be so freaking wrong right now it’s ridiculous.  Either way, I just know we are feeling a new level of patience, which for us, was mandatory!

Both of our kids are so supported and loved by our family.  Saturday was Elle’s birthday and the child spent a solid hour or more on the phone with different relatives calling to wish her a happy birthday- and that didn’t even include the family that we spent the day with.  Jim and I kept remarking about how supported our kids are and how they will never lack for love and nurturing.  That is such a relief for us as we think of both of them and what hard work growing up in this generation really is.

We have friends who live across the state from us, and have a child with SPD.  They were so gracious to offer some of what they have experienced with their child to us.  As I was reading through it tonight, as I have been more often than not lately, I was in tears.  I swear I could have been reading about many of my days with Jordan as I looked over this information about their experience.  I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that we have friends and family that are supportive to, not only us, but more importantly, Jordan.  It was so encouraging to read through the every day struggles that all parents face, but even more so when you’re experiencing more than just the average bumps in the road.  Knowing that parents I have deeply admired as extraordinary are facing some of the same hurdles and even impatient and less than perfect attitudes that I *occasionally* (um-hmmm) do is just so encouraging.

I guess what I’m saying here is, we are moving forward quite comfortably.  Every day is full of a new challenge but also more encouragement.  I am a happy momma.

 

a mother’s work…

I read a quote recently that I assume is about three quotes rolled into one as only a sleep deprived, scatter-brained and desperate mommy is capable of.  It went something like, “a mother’s work is never done; from sun up to sun down, and more if you have a son.”  I would like to lend a hearty amen to that.  Actually, I may have actually made that up.  I can’t even remember anymore, because let’s face it, my brain is like oatmeal 75% of the time these days.  In addition to the usual mommy and wifey tasks I have on my plate, I have a new obsession.  It’s called “name that disorder.”

I say “disorder” very lightly at this point because I really don’t think I like that word for our situation.  At least, I’m not ready to say it yet.  Have you ever been in a position with your kids (or dogs or significant others for that matter) where you know something is up, something big that is going to require a major change in the way you do things, but aren’t ready to really say it out loud?  It’s probably safe to say that’s where I am today.

We recently had school conferences for our little man who is nearing the end of Kindergarten.  This is a conference I have not been looking forward to.  I knew what was going to happen.  I knew the words “not ready to move forward” were going to be said.  I knew the school’s learning counselor was going to be there.  I knew because I invited her.  I invited her because I knew we were at a point where I needed help.

Let me tell you some things about the little man.  He is six and the size of an eight or nine year old.  Seriously.  He is the most sensitive, loving and kind-hearted little guy you’d have the privilege of knowing, even if you weren’t his mother.

He has also been referred to as the following things: “destructo boy,” “mr. destructicon,” “aaaalllll BOY,” “three boys in one,” “just a typical little boy with lots of energy. LOTS of energy,” “rambunctious,” and oh so many more.  Are you catching my drift here?

He’s also known as a tender-hearted sweetheart,”  “Mommy’s little boy” (aka: Keli totally babies that kid and coddles him) and “the baby” of our family.

For all intents and purposes, Jordan is “normal.”  He really is a rambunctious little guy that is all boy full of energy.  He’s a boy that likes to run and jump and climb and play.  He’s a little boy that likes to be good at stuff.  He likes to be praised and be told he’s doing well.  He likes rewards and stickers and routine.  He is also a little boy that learned to throw himself out of his crib before he could even crawl all that well and one that we had to lock in his completely bare room at night in order to keep him safe because of what an expert “house explorer” he was.  Trust me, once you find your toddler sitting on top of the stove attempting to turn on the burners, locking him in a completely empty (except for a bed) and child-proofed room at night no longer seems like child abuse and just seems damn smart.

Before this year, we tried Preschool twice with Jordan.  Both attempts were very unsuccessful.  Both attempts ended with us removing him from the class and saying we’d “try again next year.”  We also had him in a formal daycare situation for a year and a half.  You’ve probably heard me refer to this as the time from hell, and the reason I became a home daycare provider.  All this time, I secretly wondered if there was just a little more going on with Jordan than met the eye.  I always waited for someone to tell me that he had some sort of a “disorder.” Each doctor visit I waited for someone to say “autism” or “aspergers” or something.  Each time no one did, I was relieved, but left with lingering wonderment.

Beginning Kindergarten this year, I knew at some point there would be a “conversation.”  You know what I’m talking about.  That moment when the teacher or counselor comes to you and says the combination of some dreaded letter formation that means my kid is labeled for the rest of his life.  I was on guard.  I was scared.  I was hopeful.  Hopeful that it would be the beginning of some sort of answers to questions I haven’t dared to even utter out loud.   Questions I knew I would be judged for asking and questions I didn’t want to be thinking.  Questions like, “what if Jordan isn’t just ‘all boy’ and has something special going on inside of him?”

Part of me feels like a coward for not asking those questions out loud much sooner.  And part of me knows I’m a coward for not wanting to face the opposition that I feared would come from some people around us, saying once again that “Keli is a dramatic, over-reacting attention-seeker.”   Could Jordan be having a far more successful Kindergarten year if I’d asked someone if there was something special going on and would they have even listened?  I know I’ll never know the answer to that.  And it’s stupid to even ask it, since it really doesn’t matter at all.

The point is, I am asking questions now.  I have started down the road of finding out if there’s something I can do to help my little man learn how to read, learn how to sit still when it’s carpet time and he doesn’t like sitting there in that completely unstructured circle listening to sounds that have nothing to do with story time, and learn that no matter what, he’s smart- probably even too smart.  We are letting someone that knows far more than we do take a look at the way he thinks and learns and reacts and responds to see if there’s something more there than “a typical little boy that needs more discipline and less coddling.”  There may be, and there may not be.  I’m completely open to whatever it is we find out.  I know no matter what, we will all benefit from this experience, we already are.

But, the more I read about a little something called Sensory Processing Disorder, the more I know, deep in my gut, that I have finally stumbled onto something that may make my baby’s life so much less frustrating and so much more “right.”   My mother-in-law always tells me that God gives us the kids we need in order to make us the kind of people he wants us to be.  Never more than in this time has that statement been so true for me.  I love my kids more than anything in this world, and I will do all I can to be the mom they need.  I’m not perfect, but I think that’s what makes me such a good mom.

I know I’ll be processing my way through this experience on my blog.  I know it’s not what many of you expect when you log on, and I’m sorry if this is just not for you.  But, as always, this is where I get my crazy out.  And right now, my crazy pretty much revolves around this.  I hope you’ll stick through it with me.  Or not.  I can appreciate that too.  I also want to apologize for my absolutely non politically-correct or proper verbiage when I talk about these things.  I know calling a kid “normal” is frowned upon. I know there are better words to use than “special” or whatever.  I don’t care.  This, for now, is me exploring a world that is foreign.  I don’t mean to offend or be off-putting to anyone.   I just need to get the crazy out.