Thursday, January 17, 2008

Child's Play

I tiptoed down the stairs, moving swiftly into the kitchen, out of sight but peeking around the corner to witness this amazing turn of events. Two boys, heads close together, searching through a bin of toys and making a plan.
"I know, you be Darth Vader and I'll be Harry Potter and pretend you are trying to kill me and I put a spell on you" says the older boy.
"Wel-l-l-l okay" says the younger brother as they move quickly to set up their scene. Light sabre versus wand action commenced, Darth Vader was quickly defeated and the boys moved onto a new plan of action.

I waited for it, the sharp exclamation "HEY!" followed by smacking noises, crying and outright rage. It didn't happen. I waited for the "That's not fair - M-O-O-MMMMMMMMM!" and the ensuing mad race to get up the stairs (where they think I am) to get to me first to tell on the other. It didn't happen. Was it possible that they were actually playing? Did I just hear J make a suggestion for their play and C actually said "okay" instead of overriding him, or worse, yet, hauling off and smacking his brother.

Who are these boys and can I keep them?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's all about Rear Ends - A week in Review

Last weekend A finally gave in and called a plumber to come Monday. Our ancient toilet had been "rocking" when you sit for quite some time. Living in a house of males, who only have to sit sporadically, meant that my requests to have it taken care of ASAP went unnoticed. When the leak appeared that finally made A leap into action. After many calls from the company to reschedule the appointment time (I knew the original small window of between 10 a.m. and noon was too good to be true) the plumber finally showed up 5 minutes before I needed to leave to go pick C up at school. I had REALLY wanted it taken care of while the boys were at school - anything out of the ordinary, particularly strangers in our home, really throw C for a loop.

Knowing things might not go according to MY plan (do they ever?) I discussed the fate of our old toilet with C the night before and reminded him on the way to school that when he came home we should have a new toilet and the plumbers might still be there. We also had to talk about the fact that we were getting a new toilet. We knew this would be an issue for C. As the years go on he has developed more and more rigidity around toileting and using other people's bathrooms has been an issue the past two years.

The plumber and his assistant were very efficient and helpful. When C first got home from school they kept saying "oh no, he's ok" when I was trying to get him upstairs to watch TV and keep him out of their hair. Funny how after he got into full OCD swing of things they were no longer trying to stop me as I attempted to redirect him. After all the work was complete and the workmen gone home, C kept going in and just looking at the toilet. He held out for as long as he could and then asked for me to help him. Basically he just needed re-assurance that even though the toilet didn't "feel right" it was all going to be ok. That night at bedtime we talked a little about the new toilet and he said "It will be ok mom, cause I know you'll be there to help me". Ah, melt my heart.

Then on Wednesday I uncharacteristically decided to go home on my lunch hour and for my troubles I got rear ended by a lady that proclaimed "Honestly I didn't even see you because I was looking in my rear view mirror!" WTF? Anyhow, though my neck was a little sore the next day there was very minimal damage to the car so I could take a deep breath and be thankful that it wasn't much worse.

So that folks was the highlight of our week

The [REAR] End

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Horror of it All

A few years ago I threw in the towel and stopped taking C to get haircuts. I was tired of all the stress and disastrous results. Looking back I can recognize now that the experience put C into sensory overload and it was doomed before it began. A few months ago C started to express interest in having a hairstyle other than what his Dad could do (which was basically a buzz cut). So we agreed to try going back to the place our family frequents. Before we went I decided that it would be best to explain (briefly) to the stylist about C's Tourette's and to make it clear that while he would do his best, it is not his fault should he need to move. C was fine with this plan. The experience was amazing, the stylist was very patient and C stayed fairly still (well, for HIM it was still - compared to other kids he was probably moving like a live wire).

Fast forward to last week, when C needed another hair cut. We waited for a "good day", meaning very few motor tics and no excess anxiety or worries. Unfortunately, the two stylists that were there last time were off and C did not want to come back another day. The stylist that took our name has cut my hair before (and seems sweet) and the place was empty so I figured all should still work out. C's name was called and he headed for the chair when, BOOM, a different stylist pops out of the back room. I take one look at her and the frown on her face as C goofed around getting into the chair and I wanted to bolt.

Instead, I took a deep breath and say "I just want you to know before you start . . ." as she pauses, water bottle held in mid air " that he has Tourette's which is . . ." and before I can finish she gets this horrified look on her face and she BACKS AWAY from C. Luckily he was still playing his Nintendo DS so didn't notice. I had a split second to decide, be all upset and offended or push through and hope that I could enlighten this woman. So I started again, as though she hadn't done what she did " . . . it's a MOVEMENT disorder". She moved back but still looked bewildered. I took another deep breath and tried to act all nonchalant. "Basically it means that his body moves in ways he cannot control, so while today is a good day he might sometimes move unexpectedly - you need to know this and you need to know that it is not his fault."

Finally the haircut was underway, C did a good job, with a little bit of lecturing to the stylist about not being so rough (it was then that I remembered she had done my hair once and WAS rough about it - ooops). He did a nice job advocating for himself, even I hadn't said anything when she was rough doing my hair. I bit my tongue cause there is still that old fashioned mom in me that wants to chastise my kids if they say anything to anyone that might even be remotely seen as rude. He wasn't being rude, he was being factual. I then focused on being thankful that he hadn't swore at her when he said it (we are battling that issue at home a lot right now).

After the cut the stylist confided in me that she thought when I told her Tourette's that it was some sort of communicable disease like scabies or lice. What she didn't do was apologize, but, whatever. I told her that the horror on her face told me exactly what she was thinking but that I was glad she now understood. Her face went red at that time so I knew it was all sinking in. When it came time to pay I still tipped her extremely well. She had done a nice job on C's hair and I didn't want to act petty and not do what I always do. She was very shocked by the tip and thanked me profusely. I'll admit, I do hope that helped to solidify this new information that she has about TS, and maybe, just maybe the next time she's in a similar situation she won't back away.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Baby no More

My baby turned four years old on December 31st. Like that wasn't hard enough,yesterday I gave him a kiss on the cheek and as he walked away I witnessed him WIPING IT OFF! sniff sniff - where did my baby go? I wasn't ready for this.