Thursday, July 24, 2008

NOT A Good Morning...

6:40 pm update. Both boys received lots of extra TLC from their various caregivers today, had pretty good days, and seem to be doing allright now.

And to my shock and delight, I found a lot of understanding, support and even a little comfort in a very unexpected place/situation. More on that later...

Not a Good Morning at all... Don't even know where to begin....
Better sit down, dear Reader, this is going to be a long post...

So Salamander as of about mid last week has been quite "Oppositional Deviant". Constantly challenging rules that he knows are not negotiable. Talking Back. Attitude. Purposely picking fights over silly stuff. Pushing everybody's buttons. Yes, yes, sounds like *kiddo entering puberty* stuff.

He has also been OBSESSIVELY talking about all the foods he cannot have. We can't pass a McD or a Burger King without him launching into a long monologue about how he used to be able to go there (up until he was 6 - before mommy realized that the foods he was eating were poisoning him.. ), how he LOVES going to these places (he obviously forgot all about the extensive screaming meltdowns), and how it is so unfair he can't go there anymore (and he's right. It's not. There is however nothing I can do about that.. the food that is served there is simply not stuff he can eat). Same thing with ads on TV or the radio about places like Uno's, Domino's, Friendly's, etc. He goes ON and ON and ON and ON.

He used to do this "Oppositional/Deviant, picking fights over nothing, talking excessively about foods he cannot have" a lot, especially in the early days of dietary interventions, when I was weaning him of gluten, soy, dairy etc. These behaviors would be very pronounced during *withdrawal* periods. And I have seen *spikes* whenever there has been an infraction.

I've been thinking quite a bit about the potential for infractions these past few days, in light of the *slapping* episode and some other stuff. I gave Salamander the 3rd degree about what he may have eaten on Friday afternoon - all clear. So I suspect that things may be slipping in at camp. He does bring all his foods and drinks, but as you all know, soy, gluten, dairy, artificials are in art supplies too; and he IS doing a lot more arts and crafts this year. I did provide *safe* art supplies, but I am wondering.. so it's a question that needs to be asked. I also need to check out the *special* snacks at camp (remember I mentioned that camp bought special snacks this year instead of me providing them?).

Last nite was a crazy nite. Lots of T-storms rolling through. And while they no longer trigger utter terror and panic attacks in Salamander, I do think he is sensitive to the atmospheric pressure changes. And last nite too he did the excessive talking about foods he cannot have thing (while I made pizza from scratch, he monologued on how a pizza from Pizza Hut is so good.. he's never EVER had pizza from Pizza Hut in his entire life!!).

And yes, my feelings do get hurt when he does this. I work my a$$ of, spend enormous amounts of money and time in making foods from scratch, and he and Potatey are so much healthier for it, and all he can talk about, while he's kinda picking at the pizza I made (which Potatey is scarfing down .. and typically Salamander inhales his too) is how he misses the McD Quarter Pounder w/Cheese, or the Mozarella Sticks at Friendly's (and he has not had any of that stuff in 4 (!!) YEARS). [yes, this all does sound remarkably like a *junkie looking for a fix* eh?]

Yes, a long lead-in to this morning's *fun and games*...

This morning, 7;15 am. Both boys were still dead asleep (almost unheard of for Potatey) and v e r y s l o w to wake up, get showered, get dressed. So we were late getting started on breakfast .. And during breakfast again, Salamander lamented about all the foods he cannot have, that he cannot bring in a lunchable like his friends, etc. etc (and believe me, I SO get how hard it is to have food that looks so different from what your buddies are eating.. Social eating is so important for (pre)teens, especially combined with that strong urge to want to fit in...).

Salamander needed an enormous amount of coaching and prompting to actually EAT his breakfast and get his supplements in, so we were running waaaaay behind on our usual schedule (plus it's so much FUN to put a lunchbox together while hearing a constant stream of negatives about everything you're putting in it).

Yes, all of the coaching, prompting, reminding, redirecting, combined with deflecting the endless stream of negative food related comments was really getting under my skin (and of course poor Potatey is feeling completely ignored .. he wants to talk with me about stuff too .. but he cannot get a word in ..)

We finally get everybody in the car around 8.50 am (Salamander's camp start at 9 am, Potatey's outside playtime at HIS school starts at 9 am too; so it's always an interesting *juggling act*). The sunroof in my car is not closing properly (hasn't done so in a while), typically not an issue, but with the downpours we've had.. Yup, drivers' seat SOPPING WET. So I comment 'hmm, somebody messed with my sunroof.." And immediately Salamander goes "Well, it wasn't ME." (and that's another thing I've heard a LOT since mid last week .. any comment I make about anything, Salamander immediately goes: "Well, it wasn't ME." Anything anybody says is immediately perceived as an accusation .. )

And I just lost it.. I actually had to get out of the car and walk back into the house for a few minutes to take control of my temper, because otherwise I would have ended up yelling at Salamander. Which never solves anything. Me walking away for a bit DID make Salamander realize that he was crossing a line again (of course poor Potatey is trying to *broker peace*, as he hates it when Salamander and I get mad at each other).

Salamander is now getting upset because I walked away for a few minutes, he gets more and more agitated and panicky, then finally bursts into tears. It's now 9 am and we still haven't left the house, and out comes: "I am really not feeling good and there are problems at camp, and I don't know what to do."

We really don't have time at that point to talk about the camp issues .. I have Potatey to get to his camp too otherwise he'll be missing HIS outside time... But I do the best I can while driving to camp..

And here's what's going on. Salamander right now, of his circle of friends/camp buddies (and this particular group is all high functioning spectrum kiddos), is by far the socially most sophisticated one. And his friends realize that. So they come to him to resolve conflicts, to mediate, to smooth things over (this particular group of kids are all strong willed, determined young buggers; while they play really well together, their disagreements can get quite *intense*.. LOL). And right now, doing that kind of stuff exceeds Salamander's level of social competency (heck, a lot of ADULTS can't do what he's asked to do), and combined with him working really hard on making new friendships himself, it's just too much for him to handle. And he doesn't know what to tell his buddies/friends when they ask for his help with something and he doesn't know what to do (Good for him recognizing that, and we talked about what he could do/say..).

Now the above is obviously NOT a quick, 2 minute conversation. So by now its 9.10 am, we're at camp, and Salamander is still waaaay too upset to leave the car. So we talk for another 5 minutes, but Potatey is getting annoyed as he knows he is missing HIS outside time, so I HAVE to get Salamander out of the car to get to camp so I can get Potatey to where he needs to go.
Salamander leaves the car, still upset, having that intensely sad look on his face that just cuts me to my soul (I KNOW he needs more time..). Lead counselor comes over.. helps with getting Salamander out of the car and inside the camp facility.. Lead counselor and I talk for a few minutes about what transpired, where Salamander is struggling and she promises that she'll find an opportunity to talk with him about stuff too.

Potatey is now SUPER ANNOYED, so I don't get a chance to ask about food/art supply infractions... As I get back in the car, I see Salamander's sad sad face peer out of the camp facility looking at me (and I just want to run back and grab him.. but I can't.. as I have business commitments all afternoon today..)

It's now 9.20 am and I need to get gas for my car (something I had wanted to do on the drive IN to Salamander's camp, but as we left so late..). I HAVE to make a stop at the gas station (and the one thing I HATE about VW's is that they have the gas tank hatch on the passenger side, NOT the driver's side..), gas station is a mob scene, I have to back into a slot (because of the gas tank hatch location).. that pump is broken. More maneuvering, finally I can fill up.

9.27 am, we're back on the road. Potatey is SOOOO missing his outside time (and he's not happy about it.. I can't blame him.. it really isn't fair that he is missing out on one of his favorite activities because of shenanigans around his brother). And then, to top things off, Potatey HAS to go potty...

9.40 am, we get to Potatey's school. And we see his class mates line up on the playground to go back inside.. And Potatey looses he has NOT lost it in a long long time (as he is typically very flexible, understanding and accommodating, but he IS only 5 years old).

I got Potatey inside, we sat quietly somewhere, me just holding and hugging him. But finally, at 9.55 am I HAD to go.. I have stuff to get done BEFORE I need to get to my business meetings..

So I have to leave another sad child....And I feel like sh#t, like a miserable failures as I have not been able to get either of my kids back to their *good space*.

Some days I just cannot win...


At 12:05 PM, July 24, 2008 , Anonymous Cheryl G said...

So sorry to hear about your crappy morning... :( Hope the afternoon/evening is better...

At 9:44 PM, July 24, 2008 , Anonymous Jeanne said...

I was very pleased to see your update that the boys had a decent day and that thing are going a bit better. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story...


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