Remember some weeks ago when Huby and I tried to have this day together?And Beaver went haywire? That was on a Friday. Ever since that day, Beaver plays up on Fridays. He cries in heaving sobs. There is no reasoning with him when he gets like that. I guess it's a full blown anxiety attack. Things get so bad they have to take him out of his classroom and a plethora of special ed teachers and teachers aides have to look after him.
The one thing that calms him down is knowing that mum will come and pick him up. I've done this a few times, and on the days it wasn’t' too bad, insisted he stayed at school, trying desperately not to get into a "if I cry I get a day off" routine. Last week I had a meeting with the special ed teacher and she said she's work out a schedule of what to do when this happens again.
Well, it happened again last Friday, and she wasn’t there, nor was there a programme, nor had the other teachers been briefed as far as I could tell. So I ended up having to take him home. On the way home, it all got too much for me, and I had to pull the car over to have a big cry. Every Friday this malarkey. He still doesn't sleep in his own bed – he goes to sleep in our bed and will only go to sleep if I am lying next to him and read my book. If I don't he'll stay awake until we go to bed, and he sleeps on the sofa ever night (we transfer him there when it's our bedtime). I am tired and worn down.
Aren't things supposed to get a bit easier as kids get older? Boo Boo is getting more and more independent. She now no longer cries when she is dropped off at preschool. She just pulls a sad face, waves bye bye and drives her wheelchair into the courtyard for outside play. I am so proud of her! I have taken on the wildlife work and some disability advocacy, trying to do something useful and carve out a bit more of a life for me. And then there is Beaver nibbling away at the edges. Arghhhh. Combine that with some really bad behaviour recently - hitting, lashing out, punching, and endlessly saying things like "I hate you" and "No, I don't care" – and I am really at my wits end.
Yes, we do see a psychologist with him. He loves it. He sits in her comfy chair, legs casually crossed, and chatters away about all matter of unimportant things, avoiding the real issues and lapping up the attention (I know, he wants me to stay, another thing I'm gradually trying to change). That's fine, but it's $160 a pop!
I guess I just had a bit of a "what about me" moment. I have not worked for 8 years, I have put my PhD on the shelf (well, bin really) and been a full time parent; all with the idea to be there for my kids, to give them lots of love and stability so they will he happy and secure. Yet there is Beaver, giving me the big "na-na-na-na-nah". What else am I supposed to do? Oh man!
Of course, this whole thing is not really about me, it's about the boy.
Thankfully today (Friday again) was a bit better. He seems to manage to stay at school with a timetable the special ed teacher made for him to give him structure and security. I will come a bit early to do a final session of work with him, and praise will fly around as if he has just won the Nobel Prize.
Seana put it well. Beaver is "stuck in a groove" about Fridays now. He can't seem to get out, and by being stuck in it he deepens the groove. This week he started on Thursday evening, getting worried about Friday.
I'm going to have to find a way to get him our of this state. I've cleared my diary for the next few Fridays to be on hand. I'm not going to take him home anymore; I'm going to stay with him at school. And we are going to celebrate every little achievement with one of those old fashioned star charts. There will be little rewards on the way (like crossing the road with me this evening if he gets through today, his current "thing"), and lollies, and the final goal, a Nintendo DS. Yeah. I don't particularly like these things, but I'm willing to pretty much sell my soul here in desperation. He's a tricky customer, that boy!
There. I've written it all down now. Please don't feel bad for me, I've had my moment, I'm ok. It just sometimes helps to have a cry, have a self-centred moment. And it makes me feel better to write about it.
But if you have any ideas on how to deal with anxiety attacks, feel free. I'm needing to learn here….