Middle Son, Behaviour, and Medication

Middle son has been getting sick from the Strattera. I thought it was from the Clonidine, but it was actually the Strattera, so the doctor dismissed it from our medicine cabinet today.

We see the child psychiatrist next Thursday for the first time. I am so glad.

Tomorrow we see his psychologist and his behaviour therapist. These appointments were already scheduled. Today there was an incident at the pool at the daycare, that made made me grateful that the other child was only scratched. Pools are dangerous places to engage in fighting, the child could have drowned.

My son was bumped by another child. He took it as intentional, and turned around, fighting.

Whatever the reason for it, he also was not given his lunch dose of Clonidine. I do not know if that would have helped him to resist impulse, but that is why he is taking it.

My son is in jail. I took everything fun out of my room and put him in it. I tried to do bread and water for his dinner, but I failed. I did dry turkey burger (quantity 2) and water, instead. I told him if he behaves in jail, he can come out for the last half hour before bed and have that time to watch the before bed movie with the rest of us and still get a story.

Taking away his possessions does not work. Depriving him of electronics time does not seem like it fits the crime.

I reminded him of this story:
In the shelter, there was another mother who had an older child (eleven), who was violent with the smaller children. I found some threatening messages from him regarding our family, and I went to his mother and asked her in the nicest way to help me in keeping our children apart. I had made this arrangement with other mothers before, if our kids got into trouble or my kids were a bad influence on hers.

This mother did not like my suggestion that her son should stay away from my kids. The most profound case of denial I have ever seen. Her son had already removed the skin off of my son’s back by dragging him around a playground, and I had watched him throw a bicycle into a six year old who was going full speed on another bike. Those were not the only incidents, only the ones I was involved with.

Here are the parts of the story he did not know, that I explained to him today after reminding him of the above history:
She became very angry. She became aggressive. She backed me up and was attempting to intimidate me and provoke me into taking the first shot. I don’t fight, and I have a decade’s worth of experience with violent men, so I wasn’t about to fall for any traps.
I talked her down. When the staff called us into a meeting the next day, I continued to talk her down. I talked the staff down. She and I remained friends after she had left the shelter, until she got busy with her new life. Friends who had nothing in common but eight weeks of shared space.

I told him, if someone tries to pick a fight with you, you cannot fall for it. It is always a trap. You must walk away. You must never answer a hit with a hit, it creates a cycle that never ends. I told him if I could stand up to a big aggressive woman and insist on the right things, and demonstrate the correct responses, and gain respect for it, that so can he. He is my son.

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Backpacks, Bribes, and The Medical Staff or THEY KNOW WHO I AM

I call the clinic today, which is a multi-clinic, actually, as well as a hospital with over eighty beds and a hundred doctors, give or take a few.

I am leaving a message for my son’s doctor with the nurse who was manning the phones for the day, when she interrupts me and says ¨I remember you! You came in for flu shots last year with your kids, I was the administering nurse.¨ I told her how proud I was that they did not cry. I had the nurse give me the first shot, with a needle in the arm, and then the kids had theirs up their noses. I did that in front of them so that the kids could see that shots might hurt, but are routine and do not always require tears. Whatever the reason, we managed to make it through without crying.

She tells me she remembers me because I had everything all planned out. I had the backpack with the books and little toys, I had the M&M candies to hand out after the flu shot, and I went first. She told me it seemed so under control. I laughed. I needed to hear someone say that. Twice in two weeks, first the psychologist, then a nurse. Maybe I am getting somewhat on top of things. Or maybe I should knock on wood.

I did try to ditch the backpack. I spent some of the summer without it, but it got to be a bother to not have what I needed, when I needed it. I have it again now, it is my daughter’s. She allows me to borrow it, and reminds me of her favor now and then, so I can thank her.

I actually did try to buy a purse. I wanted one that held everything and also had outside accessible pockets. I found the perfect one, a miniature backpack. I keep it inside the bigger backpack and take it out to use when I am on a rare errand sans children.

Flu shots are coming up again, next month. I am so glad she reminded me, I need to throw some Tootsie Rolls into the backpack and schedule an appointment.

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Checkers and the Beach, But Not In That Order

Yesterday at daycare my children were each coloring Mario and Luigi when I arrived to pick them up. They wanted to finish, and I let them, because finishing a task is important, and a good habit. Also because my autistic child NEVER colors. He seems to be unable to handle the drag sensation of a crayon or pencil on paper. But he was doing it, and I want him to, so I waited for them.

Middle child finished first. I secured his paper. He began asking for games. He always wants something, and for that minute it was a new Mario DS game. I told him if he could refrain from throwing a fit on Saturday I would buy it for him. I do not like to use large rewards, they smack of bribes, but I am intensely curious to see if he can manage any self control at all on any Saturday.

We started off the day with breakfast, a little bit of media time while I did some chores and had coffee, and then we went off to the beach.

The tantrum started at the beach. Middle child started bullying his brother and sister, I think due to jealousy over sea gull feathers, and I would not allow it.

So he threw himself down and had a nice fit. He threw sand at me and I explained he was not to do that. He began to throw a rock at me and I told him he may not. He threw it, to the side. He threw the sand at my feet. I ignored him and pretended to eat his sister’s sand ¨cookies¨ that she had prepared for me. He cried and cried about not being able to dig a pit in the sand. I offered to teach him, he refused my help.

I really like tantrums at the beach. The risk is the running off, which he has not tried lately. I weighed the option to take everyone home, but this sort of thing throws a wrench in plans too often. What I like about tantrums there is the space. The crying sounds far away, there are no walls for it to bounce off of. It bothers me much less, I have water to look at while I wait, it’s soothing. I decided to let it pan out.

When he had slowed down a bit I asked him if he wanted to go look for fish. He did. We went. We all had a nice time. The baby let us go out deep without panicking this time. Everyone insisted we do it together. We pretended to be sea creatures.

After two trips to two parks to get his energy out and keep him sane, we played checkers at home. His first time. He grasped the rules more quickly than his brother ever did. He lost. Of course. He cried, a lot, and started kicking. He asked me to let him win. I explained that if I did that, he would never learn to play well, and his friends would beat him, and he would come home and ask me how his friends got to be geniuses at checkers while I was so stupid at it. He laughed(the word stupid is like swearing at our house), and I unwrapped him when he said he was ready.

I don’t know why each game he learns we have to start over with the sensitivity to losing. I would have thought it would be just when he started playing games at all, but it is every time he learns a new game. He is starting to understand it is part of a process. Kindergarten is in two weeks, I hope he is ready.

He also figured out for himself that he would have to try again next Saturday for a Mario game, that this Saturday was lost. He took it well, it helped a great deal that he was the one putting two and two together, and not having it spelled out for him. That is the best way to give him bad news, it keeps the blame off of myself, and normally translates into zero tantrums.

Much better than last weekend.

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Today the Kurdish Yazidis die on the Mountain

These are the cousins of my children, dying on the mountain. ISIS has been culling the Yazdis. They have been killing the men and selling the women and children. This is Sunnah. That means that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, has done this very thing before, and it was immortalized. It was immortalized because Muhammed is believed to be a perfect human, chosen by God to lead people onto the right path and therefore into Heaven. Everything he did has been written down and read over a million times, to be emulated. That right path is called the Sunnah, and ISIS is comprised of Sunni Muslims. The Prophet said Islam was perfected in his lifetime. Nothing new can come after his death. This effectively seals the religion into the dark ages.

What they are doing now is exactly how the Al Saud tribe seized power in the Arabian Peninsula and declared themselves to be royalty, about a century ago. Kill anyone who does not believe as you do, who does not swear loyalty to you and your ideology. And they could, because they had superior arms, as does ISIS.

So. This has been done before. To the Bani Qurayza, a Jewish tribe. That is where this began, in Medina, fourteen hundred years or so ago.

The world has seen this previously elsewhere, and more recently. It happened to the Armenians, the Jews in Europe, the natives of anywhere that were overrun by superior arms. We could go on, and list Rwanda and the Congo, and talk about Pol Pot or the Cultural Revolution in China. But the point is that we are supposed to stop this sort of thing. Not allow for it again. Is that not why we have the UN? Is there any difference between Nazism and Islam?

Did you read what I said at the beginning? Did you read that this is Sunnah? There is no escaping the history that the Prophet left for all of us. This is his legacy, to insist that the ¨traitors¨ and ¨apostates¨ and the unbelievers remove themselves from existence, or pay an exorbitant tax, called Jizya, if they want to live. Oh, and swear obedience to the ruling power.

No money? Your men are slaughtered and your women are sold. Your children are sold. What are they sold for? To live in servant’s quarters and play with children and cook meals? Don’t be naive like that. ISIS is tapping into the oldest profession in the world. This is for sex slavery. They have been selling Christian blood, you know. To wealthy Saudis. Now they can sell women, too. Did you know many Kurds are blonde? A very popular haircolor on women right now, I am sure they realize.

The parents on the mountain are watching their children die. They are deciding, right now, sex slavery for my boys and girls, or death? What would you decide, for your children, for your wife, for your mother?

These are our cousins. The Nazis have come for us, this time in Iraq. No one stopped them.

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New Referral, New Meds

Middle son and I had a fantastic weekend, after a horrible Saturday morning.
Saturday seemed to be going well. Then he went from zero to Hulk in under sixty seconds, and I found my son beating on me, again. He had done it the day before. I don’t mean a lost-it-in-the-heat-of-the-moment flail. I mean purposefully hitting me and then moving quickly away, to come back and hit me again when I was busy with something or turned around. My kidneys were sore from the day before, when he had found an opportunity to do it while I was sitting on the floor. He would use his elbows, feet, knees.

I snapped. I wrapped him in a blanket and I held him restrained on a bed. I screamed at him that he would not hit me, would never hit me, and should be ashamed to hit me. I told him that he hits myself and his brother often and that it is mean, that he knows it is not allowed, and I am going to stop taking his things away when he does it. I told him there would be worse punishments than that from now on. I told him I don’t have to treat him like my son. I can treat him as badly as he treats me, and if he wants me to cook the food he likes and put in the movies he wants, he can act like he deserves it. I told him he is not immune to spankings, if nothing else convinces him to be nice to others I can do it the old fashioned way.

He was firmly in fight or flight, though to be fair he did not try to bite me as he has done in the past. So he fell asleep, immediately after I let him go and told him he can choose to come out and apologize and keep his hands to himself, or he can stay in the bed until he makes that aforementioned choice.

I sat next to him until he woke up fifteen minutes later, reading a book on ODD. A little late for that, right? So he wakes up, perfectly calm. I know his fight or flight chemicals are exhausted, for the rest of the day, per the time of morning it was.

So we talked about it. I told him people are going to be that angry and more when he hits them. I told him many people will hit him back, that living this way will not make for a happy life, and that this cycle of hitting will never end, as he can see from how it plays out with his brother. I told him I don’t want to live this way, that I left it behind long ago, and does he think I feel like giving him the things he wants when he acts like this? He was very logical. He seemed thoughtful. I apologized for screaming. I told him I did not have a right to intimidate him, that I was angry, and I behaved badly with my anger. He accepted that.

I also told him the next time he hits he will be restrained in exactly the same way. Every time. He asked for time outs, instead, and I pointed out to him that refusing to take his time outs had led to this problem, that I cannot trust him to take them when he is angry and so when he hits he will be forcibly calmed by deep pressure (wrapping). Luckily he is still small enough for me to do this.

The rest of the weekend was fantastic. He did lose it twice or thrice more, and when he raised his hands to hit I scooped him up and wrapped him. Once I held him upside down until he could not stop laughing and that did the trick. I don’t know how tickling is not working, anymore. That was a sure thing for months. Each time he was wrapped he calmed in half the time as the previous incident, and though he did loudly protest, he did eventually stop the noise and get let go within fifteen minutes the first time, and did not scream again.

The other changes are:
using Kidpointz online
playing with him for a good chunk of each day (yes, the house is much messier)
reading books on anger and bullying

The daycare teacher pulled me aside on Monday and explained to me that he was not doing better there, he was actually now the class bully. That was the last straw, nothing would make my mind up faster than that.
Tuesday I called the doctor. His meds are being tapered off and replaced with another, and the pediatric psychiatrist will be seeing us for the first time, two weeks from now.
I need therapy. This has been very depressing. His PTSD triggers my PTSD. His ODD triggers my PTSD, and his ADHD triggers my PTSD. Our lives would be a lot simpler without all these abbreviations. I have been fantasizing that buying a house with a huge amount of yard to run around in would cure him. That is my first indication that I need help, trying to solve my problems with unrealistic dreams. I am calling the therapist tomorrow. I will have to take time off of work to see her, she only does mornings. I don’t know what else to do. Mortgage calculators will not fix this, nor will they magically up my income.

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ADHD, PTSD, and Trying To Fake It

So my son’s doctor told me I have to bite the bullet and call the school district next week for a 504 so that he gets accommodations for his ADHD, at least.
If I get something in place for him, where the school has official notice of special needs, then he is less likely to be facing serious consequences for bad behaviour, and will instead get HELP. Help is better than being expelled or suspended.
His medicine barely works at all. I have to call the doctor on Monday. I don’t want him to be a zombie, but I don’t like his fits, either. So the dose goes up or he tries something else. It works only enough to enable him to get mostly good reports at daycare. So I was biting the bullet about his behaviour at home. But Friday he had another bad day, and school will be much more demanding.
I was hoping he could take his meds and just be like all the other kids. Too much wishful thinking, time to get practical.

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Dear Children, Sorry About Story Time

Dear children,
I am sorry that I was so Tired. I worked and ran errands, made lists of more things to do and more things to buy. Then we had dinner and dessert and I am Tired. Capital T tired. My brain is tired, today.
This is why I told you not to cry and whine for what you want. I cannot help you self regulate, when I am Tired. Crying and whining makes me More Tired. As I told you. Being Tired at me while I am Tired makes us all Too Tired.
You were Tired, too. That is why you all went to bed early. Because one of you fell asleep a half hour prior, and two of you could not stop whining. That is proof of being Tired.
You were Tired yesterday, too. You seem to never have recovered from your outing with daycare to the splash park, which I understand was so terribly exciting yesterday that you actually crashed while there and fell asleep on your towel.
I do realize that this is the fifth time in the past year that we have missed bedtime stories. I know that is only three hundred and sixty days of stories. If I recall correctly, half of the missed days were from Tired, and half from Mommy being Sick With Flu.
I love you. I do feel bad for being Tired. Sometimes Mommies are Tired, and I hope you can understand that Tired does not mean there is less love. Only less activities.
Tomorrow we will be sure to take our vitamins and put our life jackets on at the beach, so there will be less worries and therefore less Tired.
Tomorrow we will, of course, read extra books. Because reading is as important as playing tag or swimming at the beach. Tomorrow also we will learn how to count money. So you can buy your own things at the fair on Sunday. All by yourself. So I can see you need me less and less, and so I will Worry less and less, and be Tired less and less.
Love you always with hugs and kisses,
Mommy

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