Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Imaginary Villain

There was a child in my son’s preschool who was more disturbed than he was. Which was shocking. This boy, who, for decency’s sake I will call John Doe, did every sort of physical violence imaginable on every being available. But not myself.

I loved him, so, so much. Every time I dropped off or picked up my son, he ran to me and hugged me, about the legs, even if I were standing. He was so full of emotion. Like my own son. He could not speak. I did not know why. He screamed and grunted to compensate. He was the same age as my fully verbal son. He was a smaller child, always had some sort of injury on his head or face, sometimes looking as bad as road rash. 

His little sister had a birthday party. We were lucky enough to be invited to this nice family’s home. We had birthday cake and the children shared all their yard toys with my children. They had a lovely time. At this party I found out the family was withdrawing from our daycare, as this little boy could not stop hurting other children and had put one child into the emergency room. He gave a teacher a black eye that day as well, and his mother had to be called to the office for the final word. The director was reluctant, but it was for safety. There were tears all around that day.

I knew I would miss him. I asked what sort of help they were getting for him. His mother looked at me, astonished. I explained that my son had been evaluated for physical therapy that was ruled out, was getting behavioural therapy, and was waiting to get into the psychologist. She had never mentioned to her doctor that anything was amiss. Indeed, she suspected nothing wrong. She said “boys will be boys’, and when he ran out into the street, she called him back. He did not listen to her. I had to pick him up for hugs, and walk him back to his house to get him off the street. They told me the week before he had been hit by a car, in that same spot. 

I do miss him. My son does, as well. But in a different way. He never did like him, they were at loggerheads, daily. When he gets any kind of scratch or scrape at daycare, I ask him what happened, or he will volunteer to me “John Doe did it.” I will tell him, “John Doe is not in your class, honey”. He will insist it is from the time John Doe was there, even if months before. If someone is crying or hurt, it is from John Doe. This loveable, frustrated little child has become a scapegoat for my son, to be blamed for all injuries and unhappiness, even now. 

This week my daughter started in that preschool, and my son has been out of it now for four months, moved up to the next level. In the back seat today, my daughter, at less than three years of age, is telling about how a boy has kicked her, pushed her down, and made her feel “owies”. I ask her, who has done this to her? “John Doe”, she says. And tells it again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Holidays Focused On Behaviour, With Tentative Results

I spent the Christmas holiday fairly traditionally, (though it was just us and not any extended family) and the day after is when the first fever kicked in. Illness in my house does not stop at a 24 or 48 or three day bug, because each child has to have their turn with it. They are all equal, fully. It can take weeks to leave our residence.

An ADHD child is much more manageable, in my opinion, when exhausted from fever. Though the panics over sudden discomfort when the fever is spiking are a bit alarming. So we had a quiet house, when it was his turn to be sick. 

But keeping an ADHD child with PTSD quiet and indoors during the other children’s turns with this illness was much more difficult, and would have been worse for me to handle, three weeks ago.

When I had my update from the psychologist, I did not wait. I began with her recommended changes immediately. I am making a huge deal out of violent and disobedient behaviour. No tolerance or reasoning even with outbursts. 

I have also begun mercilessly beating him at cards. He mentioned his therapist had begun doing this upon getting a family present at Christmas, a deck of UNO cards. I knew why she was doing this immediately. The first few games he somehow won three times in a row and I nearly despaired. Then it changed. The first time I beat him at UNO he had a tantrum and threw a chair. Today, after days of losing, he won, and he thanked me quite nicely for playing with him. He no longer makes any sort of fuss over losing. 

I have seen some improvement from him. A marked decrease in violence, which is a step closer to the desired result, of no violence at all. A decrease in backtalk and disrespect, again a step closer. He has earned back a few Pokemon cards. Not many. He still does not have his Christmas presents back. If he wants them, he will earn them.

The baby has stopped hitting and pinching. She has been watching this play out. This is a great prevention, maybe years of therapy averted.

I have hope for the New Year. More than I did at this time last month. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized