Its the end of another week and I am so pathetically grateful to not have to get up tomorrow and put one foot in front of the other while pretending I have it all together I could cry.
The stress of fending off the world seems to be cumulative, and yesterday I got the good/not so good news that SG might be staying longer on this Nebraska job. Yay, because its more money into the pathetically empty coffers, but really, BOO because he won't be here for Thanksgiving and I'm so lonely and so tired of dealing with everything and not having my husband at home to sit down after a long day and talk to over a nice glass of wine. I still have the glass of wine, but the dogs are less interested in hearing about my day than they are in having their dinner RIGHT NOW PLEASE. If it wasn't for the evenings I get to stop at my parents and visit before I take the kids home I think I would give up the attempt to stay sane.
My struggles pale in comparison to what's happening over in New Jersey and the outside buroughs of New York City, so I should quit complaining. No matter what's happening in my life, there's someone somewhere dealing with something a hell of a lot worse. See? Mindset changed. Gratitude abounds.
Mr. Race Car Man had a good start to his school year, but has been struggling the last few weeks. His good days still outnumber his bad days. Last year he had to earn the letters K-I-N-D-L-E by displaying expected behaviors. If he earned all six letters, he got to either play on my Kindle Fire or play games on the Wii. This year, since he's older and has gotten better with his skills, his teacher upped the ante and now he has to earn the letters P-L-A-Y G-A-M-E. If he doesn't earn all eight letters he doesn't get Wii at my house or Playstation if he's at his dad's. Since he's absolutely mad about gaming, this is a very big incentive for him to master his behaviors and his responses. He earns his games more days than he does not, but the days he doesn't are really tough days, not just for him but for his teachers and classmates. Monday morning he decided to run away rather than get on the bus, and my friend Debbie who watches them in the mornings, the aide from the bus and my daughter had to go on a merry chase around the neighborhood to catch him. The upside of having a very tall and strong daughter is that she was able to nab the little turd and carry him on to the bus. He then went on to have a very rotten day at school. I hate those days, because he is so upset and fixated over over not getting to play his games. Eventually he can be distracted, but he's got to go through his process of coping and folks, it ain't fun. I feel bad for him, for his classmates, his teacher, and for those of us at home with him.
Fortunately we already had an appointment scheduled with our psychiatrist for Tuesday morning. One thing I like about our psych is that he doesn't just ask me questions, he asks my child questions and carefully responds to him. Throught a very calm and methodical interview, we were able to piece together some of the things that were going wrong for Race Car Man at school. He is having great difficulty focusing in class. He is very easily distracted by other students physical and verbal behavior. This frustrates him greatly and makes him more likely to have difficulty controlling his behavior.
The psychiatrist made a med adjustment which we started immediately, and so far it seems to be helping. Two fantastic days in a row doesn't mean as much as a couple of good weeks, so I'm not going to commit to saying "it worked!" -- but I'm encouraged.
He can be such an engaging child. A lot of adults we encounter who don't know he has autism, if he's having a good day, are usually charmed by the way he interacts with them. He loves to explain things, and with his extremely detailed memory and his love of reading information books rather than fiction, he can actually converse about a lot of things. Combined with his extensive and very precise vocabulary, he seems far beyond his years.
I wish he'd eat, though. We weighed and measured him at the doctor's office. Since last school year he's grown three inches but gained no weight whatsoever. I can't find pants to fit him that don't leave his ankles and half his shins exposed.
One of his favorite new activities is to brush his sister's hair. Its almost to her waist now, and I found a special brush at the local beauty supply that lives up to its claims of being "ouchless." He will sit behind her in the chair at my desk, and while she plays a game he brushes her hair. Whenever they do this my heart just melts.
So things aren't as good as they could be and they aren't as bad as they could be. I just feel drained right now and unable to cope with even the smallest setbacks. Maybe Race Car Man isn't the only one who needs a medication change.