Friday, August 1, 2008

Demon Child

You'd think my son had sprouted horns and his pupils turned red... Ok, maybe not. But he acted like it yesterday.

In my household, we have two kinds of days, with a few variations. First kind is the Good Day (or the Very Good Day) in which Jaymes has few to no tantrums, and Sierra is either happy for slightly whiny. A Very Good Day would be a day where both children were perfect angels, in happy moods, with no fussing. We don't have a lot of those, but they're nice when we do.

The other kind of day... -Cue scary halloween music- ... Would be the Bad Day. Or, one of it's variations: The Very Bad Day, or The Horrible Day. These need no explanation, I think the names say it all.

Yesterday marked a whole new level for my Day system. Yesterday was Devil Incarnate Day. Jaymes did everything but spin his head 360 degrees and vomit pea soup. Not a fun day. Obviously, being Thursday, it was therapy day. Therapy day is always a little hard, because he has a long day (We leave at 12pm and get home at 5pm) and because his three sessions are spread out with time gaps between. Even on a good day, waiting is hard for Jaymes. I can't blame him, I guess. If I were little and energetic, I'd hate waiting too. I'm content to sit and enjoy the feeling of not moving for awhile.

Jaymes had his first session with the new Occupational Therapist first. It takes some time to get Jaymes respect (and his attention), so of course Jaymes was Jaymes, and ignored a lot of the time. That's ok, it was his first time. Then, somehow, he managed to pee out his diaper, through his pants, and onto the mat where he was working with the therapist. You'd think his little dangly parts had a life of their own, how on earth did he manage to maneuver himself out of the diaper (no hands!) to pee all over the place? It's not the diaper brand, I've been buying the same ones since he was a baby and we hardly ever have leaks... They've been increasingly occuring lately, and he always seems very pleased with himself. Anyway, the therapist looked a little horrified, and asked me if he might have just peed. I looked down, having been entirely oblivious (as usual), and saw a realllllly big puddle. Lovely. Glad I thought to bring an extra pair of pants for the rotten lil devil. Those things don't really bug me, a puddle is a puddle, not that big a deal. More amusing than anything else, because it was so totally an omen.

Apparently, while we were in the OT session, it started to storm pretty badly outside. Of course none of that rain came anywhere near Kernersville, no that would mean my pasture would get watered and it NOT be on my water bill. Yeaaaah. So, with rain comes... Umbrellas. -Cue that scary music again-

Umbrellas are something I despise. I wish they would be banned or something. Not because I like getting wet in the rain, or because I cannot appreciate the pretty patterns on them, but because Jaymes is obsessed to the point of Freak Out Mode with them. We have outlawed umbrellas at our house. Anyone who knows us hides their umbrellas when we come over. No friggin umbrellas.

And of course, in came all the other patients, each with their own umbrella. Jaymes took off, sat down next to a blonde lady who came in with an umbrella as tall as she was, with a red paisley print. I let him sit there until he went for the umbrella, at which time I had to go grab him. He went crazy trying to get away from me to that umbrella, so I hauled him back to our seat across the room and held him (or Forcibly Snuggled, as I like to say) on my lap. He went ballistic, screaming, kicking, hitting, turning bright red... He yelled out how sorry he was, while kicking me in the shins with his hard little sneakers, and sending ribbons of toddler drool down one of my arms. Then he reverted to the time tested "OWWWW!!!" so people would think I was skinning him alive with an apple peeler. At this point, there were only a few people in the waiting room, so it wasn't sooo bad. Then in came another family, with 4 kids. Each one had an umbrella. The little girl was Jaymes' age, sweetest little girl. But she kept offering Jaymes her umbrella. he can't have them because he either breaks them, or stabs himself or others with them. I told this to the mother, who said "No, it's ok."


As usual, the tantrum reached epic proportions... Then exceeded them. I'll stop right here to say that I have the distinction of being the parent of a child, who, while in a room FULL of special needs children (some with behavioral issues) can horrify all the parents and therapists. I thoroughly expected the boy's head to begin rotating, but it didn't. I guess that's a plus. At this point, I had his torso and arms wrapped in my arms, his legs trapped underneath mine, and his head smacking me in the chest. Normally he'd calm down after awhile, but he just wasn't wanting to. Poor guy was so far gone he probably couldn't have stopped even if he wanted to. It didn't help that the parents kept offering him umbrellas and telling me it's ok.


Come on now, parents of special needs kids are supposed to be the few I can count on to:

  1. Not judge my child
  2. Not tell him something is ok when it clearly is not ok
  3. Not glare at me for trying to control a tantrum
I'm NOT being mean when I hold him there, and we try to ride out the tantrum. I'm protecting YOU from getting your umbrella taken and broken. I'm protecting jaymes from himself (he got in some good hard head bangs on the floor before I had him tight). I'm protecting anyone he may come flailing into. Just because he's crying does not mean I should let him go or let him play with your umbrella. Jaymes doesn't get to just go take things from people and do whatever he likes. If he for a second thought that was ok, our lives would be hell.

People need to understand that we all know our kids, and we know how to control a behavior or stop a fit. Ok, I didn't manage to stop anything, but I did what I could. Either way, I don't need the dirty looks. To her credit, the lady with the bunch of kids with umbrellas was really sweet, it was the other parents who were making me crazy. She did finally get Jaymes to sit on the floor and play with markers, and finally stop screaming. He didn't color, but he connected all the markers by their snap in tips to make a long train.

Did our other session, then PT with April (who, as I've said, is a kickass PT). He was horrible for her too, lots of whining and yelling and a little flailing. But April is realistic, and she also doesn't put up with that garbage, so he worked through it. He rode the tricycle down to see the fishies, and did the stairs, and the ball pit and some other stuff... Did some swinging, but he wasn't having it. He was still screeching when we left, but not nearly so loudly. He did get two stickers, neither of which were earned.. but as always he was immensely proud of the stickers. He loves those.

Oh, new obsessive behavior... We now carry around a diaper (he stole it from the Therapy place's bathroom) that has baby Elmo on it, and snuggle it and talk to Elmo. Enough snuggling and a diaper looks used, even when it has not been. Yay Jaymes. I'm so not buying expensive Elmo diapers for him to snuggle.

All in all a horrible, horrible day. Lucky for Jaymes, he's too darn cute to strangle. It's really aggravating though, I do my best to handle Jaymes' problems, and I get glared at like I'm a bad parent. I'd like to think that someone would back me up. Those other parents go through the same things, so why do I get judged? Would it be better to let him go and attack everyone's stuff? Imagine that aty age 15. Not pretty. Jaymes has to know he can't get away with things. Everyone needs to shut the hell up, and trust that we know how to handle him. Even his grandmothers (both of them) nlet him get away with murder and make me feel bad for disciplining him... I just wish for once, people would stop with the "you're so meaaaan" BS. I'm not mean, I'm keeping Jaymes under control, and I'm teaching him that his behavior is not acceptable. You'll appreciate it one day, when you meet up with us in a waiting room and Jaymes isn't a teenager attacking people.

Oh, and if that were not enough, my husband added his own level of ick to the day. We're out with the kids, Jaymes and I are busy doing something, while Jason watches Sierra. He gives her a handful of grass, and sends her to go feed the horsie. She loves to do this, but as I've told Jason time and time again, she is not to feed the horsie unless someone is holding the horsie's head. Instead, he just gave her grass and told her to go, while he stayed sitting 20 feet away. Of course she did, and when I happened to glance over, what did I see?

Sierra, on her back, with a front hoof on her tummy. That hoof, of course, belongs to an 800 pound animal. The tummy belongs to a 25 pound little girl, and is soft and squishy. Jason ran and snatched her up, and started screaming at me about how dangerous the horse is, like Buddy attacked her. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was a moron, and he could have killed our daughter. He said that he didn't know horses, which is very true, but I had just finished telling him not to do this! He was being careless. He has gotten over his initial "we have to get rid of this horse" idiocy, and admitted he was stupid... Thankfully Buddy did not put any weight on the foot that was on Sierra. Either he felt something squishy and knew not to step down, or he was startled by my shrieking. Jason and Sierra are no longer allowed near the horse without me.

What a fun day.


thedens said...

The judgemental parents are awesome, aren't they? But you know what gets me? Parents who go on and on about how good their kids are BECAUSE THEY ARE GREAT PARENTS. "Oh, it just takes a little consistent discipline." Comments like that. Bullshit. Here's a thought for those of you who have ever congratulated yourselves for your kids' good behavior: why don't you take a break from patting yourself on the back and thank your kids for putting forth that effort to be so good? And while you're at it, why don't you take a moment to thank whatever universal power you may believe in that your kids were born without serious behavior problems, and to remember that maybe the "bad parent with the horrible brat" you're looking down your nose at wasn't so lucky?

Amber DBTD said...

I agree, Dens, but these were parents of special needs kids. Of all people, they should have understood why I was doing what I was doing. You'd think people going through similar situations wouldn't judge someone just like them!

thedens said...

You would think so. I know I was a lot less understanding of this kind of thing before I wound up dealing with it myself. Even the parents of special needs kids may not understand the concept of an autistic meltdown if their kids are dyspraxic, or down's, or whatever else you can think of. And some of them may deal with such problems by giving the kid whatever he's screaming for just to shut him up and avoid the embarrassment, and perhaps thought that you would, too.

Puh-leeze said...

Perhaps it's the one thing that the judgmental parents have to feel smug about that day: "Yeah, my kid is doing X, Y, and Z, but he's sure as hell not doing what THAT kid is doing. Therefore, I am a fabulous parent. Hey, I am better than someone else! This makes me feel warm and good inside."

It certainly doesn't excuse the JP's. It's just a thought.

rf said...

I can't even imagine what you have to go through. I know that other kid's screaming can drive people crazy, but you would think parent's of other special needs children would understand. But not everyone looks at the long term results, as you are doing with Jaymes.
If he's like this at 4, I can only imagine what he would be like at 15 if you allowed those other parents to undermine your parenting. Good for you for standing up for yourself and Jaymes.