Fourth Grade, Week Three

The long and the short of it is this: this week, mornings before school got much worse, but time spent at school got much better. Afternoons and evenings have ranged from impossibly difficult to pretty darn good, and you can’t ever predict which it’ll be.

That’s not what he’ll tell you. He’ll tell you he hates everything about school. It’s very important to him that everyone, especially his parents, thinks school is complete torture. But Mrs. Aide assures me that he’s really doing great there and I can tell he likes her by watching how he interacts with her when he gets home from school. He gives her hugs and sometimes even kisses every day. Also, he’s typically very happy when he gets home, not like someone who’s just suffered a trauma. But, man, just getting him on the “bus” is terribly difficult. He had a couple of nights where it was really hard for him to fall asleep and then a couple of early mornings, so that may have had something to do with it.

Monday, it took an inordinately long amount of time for Mr. Driver to get a screaming and crying Javan stuffed in the back seat of the SUV. Every morning, I wonder if I’m making the right decisions for him. But then he brings home his daily report and it looks like they’ve accomplished some really good things. Here’s Monday’s report:

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I mean, none of those activities are things I couldn’t do myself, apart from just providing a learning environment with other children to interact with. But not having to spend the time and energy to constantly come up with and organize new activities is really freeing and leaves me more energetic and less frazzled. He told me they read a dog story and that he thinks they’re doing dog stuff on purpose because he likes dogs. Um. Can we take a minute to appreciate that he realized that hinself? Cudos, kid.

He also told me they read a book called If the Dinosaurs Came Back that he really enjoyed, so we looked it up on YouTube and enjoyed listening to it together. And he loved the insect activity. I guess they have an assortment of sensory bins to choose from, and Mrs. Aide told me he always chooses that one. So it’s got a bunch of little plastic insects and a pair of these scissor-type bug scoopers and the object is to put matching insects next to each other in an ice cube tray. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it might look something like this :

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Notice also on the report that, of course, Javan pointed out that Mrs. Aide does her checkmarks wrong. **cough, cough, DAD**

He also met the campus police officer, Officer Brown, Monday and seems to have taken to her. Even if he sometimes accidentally calls her Professor Brown. He told me he likes Mrs. Officer and Mrs. Teacher, but nothing else about school. He did get rewarded with these Pokemon cards that day:

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Tuesday was the day from Hell. Like, I think Satan was all like, “Demonic minions, assemble! I’ve had a thought. We have more days down here than we really need and it’s getting kind of crowded. Too many days. So what if we gave some away? Kind of like a free promotional deal. Yeah, sounds good. Make it so.”

It had taken Javan a very long time to fall asleep Monday night and then he had the unmitigated gall to rise early Tuesday morning. Getting him dressed and medicated was probably lot harder than pulling his teeth out would have been. It was pouring down rain outside, and when the bus got here that child ran out the wrong door and around to the far side of the house. In the mud and rain. So Mr. Driver and I marched out there and pulled him across the yard to the car. After they pulled away I went inside and started to clean up and dry off…only to get a text message from Mrs. Aide that they were coming back. It had been literally less than a full minute since they’d left. Ok, maybe he forgot something. Nope. Big fat nope. The other classes in Javan’s hall at school would be doing benchmark testing that day and Mrs. Principal had decided that having him there on an off day could be too distracting. Oh, balls. So I’d gone through all that struggle getting him ready for absolutely nothing. And now, just as I was ready for my break, he was home again. And he’d also just learned the false lesson that being really bad gets you out of going to school. Double balls.

Later that morning, he kept getting these sudden, sharp chest pains that he’s gotten off and on for the last week or two. This seemed like a valid opportunity to take him to the pediatrician to get that looked at. The nurse said on the phone that it could just be his chest plate expanding as he grows and that her son had experienced something similar, but it was worth bringing him in to see the doctor about it to be sure.

As you can imagine, this doctors visit did not go well. At all. Actually, I’m not sure you can imagine. It was that bad. My mom took us to the appointment, because any doctors visit requires two adults and I wanted to avoid making Dad take time off work. Won’t be making that mistake again. We needed Dad’s sheer size and strength on this one. Luckily the doctor had a med student observing, and it was a big strapping male med student. I wonder if he still wants to be a pediatrician after our visit.

First, they needed his weight. After having unplugged the dang electronic scale and refusing to step upon it, and after so many spankings that I asked the nurse if they would have to report me if I kept going  (the answer was an empathetic “Naw, girl.” I just love his nurse.), he finally weighed in at 124 pounds. We then waited in the patient room for quite a while because they’d had to squeeze us in where there wasn’t actually an appointment, during which time I was required to rearrange practically all of the furniture and supplies for safety reasons and I felt more like a defensive lineman than a mom.

The nurse came in to get his blood pressure and pulse, which I think was a like 104 because he was freaking out so bad. He was so violent that I was hurt quite a few times and thoroughly sweaty before she was through and there was no way he was getting a prize out of her treasure chest. Then the doctor came in. This is where I get really thankful for the male med student. He and my mom were able to keep Javan cornered while the doctor and I shouted and pantomimed to each other in the opposite corner, furthest from his panicked screaming. Then it came time for her to examine him. She walked slowly over to him and got his eye contact. She spoke so calmly and just really exuded peace. She tried to get him to focus and recognize her, because he was so far out of experiencing reality that his anxiety had taken him somewhere else completely. She wasn’t able to bring him back to reality, but it was a valiant effort. Instead, three adults had to hold him down on the floor while she listened with her stethoscope and somehow he still managed to punch to doctor in the face. How she managed to hear his heart or lungs over all his screaming is a mystery to me.

After she examined him, my mom took him out to the car so I could discuss with the doctor what we needed to do about his chest pains. She said she thinks his chest pains stem from anxiety, but that we should get an x-ray and EKG just to check. Then the room was silent for a moment. I was so afraid she was going to tell me she couldn’t be Javan’s doctor anymore. That he was too uncontrollable. But she didn’t. She told me that she wasn’t mad that he’d hit her, because he didn’t even realize where he was, who he was with, or what was happening to him at the time. She said, “For all we know, he could have believed that I was a vampire.” To which I responded, “Well, you do kind of have a thing for blood.” She went on to encourage me and applaud me for my efforts at motherhood, and the visit ended with me in tears and us hugging each other. She is a truly beautiful woman and I’m so thankful for her and doctors like her that don’t give up and that keep loving no matter the cost.

I’m told that Javan had a spectacular evening at home with Dad. I wouldn’t know, because I was partaking in light retail therapy and heavy taco consumption with a friend. To say that that night out was needed would be the most drastically understated understatement ever to be stated or understated. Thank you, dear husband, for by providing these breaks for me, you have saved many lives.

By Wednesday morning, I was afraid that Javan was going into full manic mode. He’d had trouble getting to sleep again the previous night and woke up a full hour early that morning. I couldn’t for the life of me get him to get dressed or take his medicine. I broke down and had to call Dad home from work just to help me get him ready for school. Not only does that make me feel completely inadequate as a mother, but it’s one of the signs we’ve identified that he may be headed for another hospital visit. To my surprise, though, he had a pretty good day at school once he got there. Here’s a picture of a bluebonnet that he made. It was supposed to hang in the hall at school, but he insisted it be brought home.

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Again, Thursday morning we had a super rough morning at home in which he refused to eat breakfast, but he had a good day at school. He gave Mr. Driver and Mrs. Aide so many hugs and high fives when he got home that it was totally obvious that he considers them friends. His sleep deprivation finally caught up to him during our regular lunchtime game of UNO, in which he was literally falling asleep on his cards, and we both took a much needed nap.

Friday morning was a little easier than the other mornings this week. Maybe because he knew it would be Fun Friday at school? He brought a few games to school and played UNO with Mrs. Aide and another kid. When he got home, Mrs. Aide told me he’d had his best day ever! The class had made salsa, which he tells me he did not help with, but he really wanted to bring some home so they packed some up for him and we enjoyed it with chips for an after school snack. He chose some silly putty from the treasure box, which sadly perished by kitty sometime during the night.

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Rest in peace, silly putty.

He later told me that he’d called the police on Mr. Driver’s phone and told them he was being kidnapped. He couldn’t tell me anything more than that, so I called Mrs. Aide and she explained that Mr. Driver’s wife is a police dispatcher. Since Javan is always screaming that he’s being kidnapped, Mr. Driver and his wife had hatched a plan for Javan to call her and report being kidnapped. That way “the police” could reassure him that he was not, in fact, being kidnapped. So Javan calls the dispatcher and tells her he’s being kidnapped. She asks him where he is and he replies that he doesn’t know, but they are taking him to school. She tells him that going to school is a good thing, and it’s a safe place, and that kidnappers don’t take people to safe places. She also told him if his mom said he should go with them, then they are not kidnappers. I have no idea if this will have an effect or not, but it was a good effort.

That evening, we took him in for his x-ray. It was awful. He was terrified. He fought so hard against Dad that he fell and hit his head. He got a pretty big goose egg where he hit it and he still has a tender spot on his head three days later. Getting the x-ray was definitely no walk in the park. After that experience, I called the pediatrician’s office back and requested that they cancel our EKG appointment unless they really felt it had a high probability of showing something. If a simple x-ray was that difficult, I think an EKG just might traumatize us all.

This weekend, like our evenings, was full of high highs and lows lows. The whirlwind is exhausting. We played lots of card games, one of which is our new fast-paced matching game called Loonacy. I thought we might need to modify the game for him, but he is actually better at it than we are! He dominated us at that gane. Twice in a row.

Starting tomorrow, the plan is for him to stay at school for lunch. I can’t see how that’s going to end well, but he does so much better there than at home for some reason that maybe it’ll work out. Who knows. Then if he’s still doing well at lunch, they want him to stay as long as he’s able.

Here’s hoping to continued success at school and more evenness at home this week!

As a special treat for making it through this entirely-too-long blog post, I’ll leave you with a link to one of Javan’s favorite videos. He scripts this video at random times because he just loves it so, so much. We’ll be riding in the car or having dinner, and he’ll just start in with it. He knows every word. And he will not stop scripting until he’s said the whoooooooole thing.

May I present to you, How to Mouse, by Beavernator: How to Mouse

Enjoy!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. J Smith IV
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 00:03:08

    I stopped reading at “Oh balls.” No….wait….I actually stopped reading at “Double balls!”

    Top funny!

    Reply

  2. joyfulmom2boys
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 12:53:06

    Love you, Krista! Continued prayers for strength. God is beautifully at work in your midst, bringing folks that only HE could have put together for such a time as this.

    Reply

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