The New School….Homeschool!

Phew! It has been one whirlwind of a ride here at our home! Lil man has been home just short of 4 years now. It has taken him up till just 7 months ago to be able to tell me that he loves me ON HIS OWN without my saying it first! He’d come up to me and say ever so sweetly, “Mommy, I love you SO MUCH!” and he’d hug me SO TIGHTLY! I loved it so much as those of you who have kiddos with this kind of trauma know, it takes so much for them to trust us, to truly attach to us. to get to that point where they can BEGIN to heal….they MUST trust SOMEONE first BEFORE they can begin to truly start to heal. Well, it finally happened 7 months ago! Now mind you, he has NEVER been able to do this with ANYONE else, not even daddy, which hurt daddy to the core! Then, yep, school was coming. I could see changes beginning to happen to him. Somewhat subtly, and then somewhat suddenly in some instances.

His daddy was working SO MUCH Overtime that he was not seeing as much as I was seeing….so I tried as best I could to let him be aware of what lil man was trying to “let us know” through his behaviors. Did you know that I’ve since learned that Behaviors are actually a form of COMMUNICATION!!!! Think about it!!! I mean it….really think about it!!!!! When things are going well, what do our children’s behavior’s tell us?

Exactly! Then…he began “drowning” as I’ll call it….k. He was slipping fast and falling further and further away from the “trust” we’d worked SO HARD to build over the past 3.5 YEARS!!! I knew in my heart of hearts that lil man was NOT emotionally ready for Regular school, but my dh had to see it for his own eyes….no matter what I said or did…..dh just had to. I had to let it happen….no matter HOW MUCH I knew in my heart it was going to hurt lil man, if I wanted dh on board with this. It KILLED me…but worst of all..I knew it was going to kill a part of lil man. I don’t want anyone..and I mean anyone…to be upset with my dh for being like this. This is how he rolls so to speak. IF I had insisted that I Homeschooled off the bat….and dh had went ahead and let me….he’d of “never known” in his OWN HEART that he had done what HE BELIEVED in HIS HEART what was in the best interest for OUR son. Remember this….this is OUR son….not my son…not his son….OUR SON. NO matter how much I’ve studied and have been the one to go to the counseling sessions with lil man….dh had to know in HIS heart in HIS time…..that he’d done all he could do. Well, that time came the other night when lil man finally said something that dropped me literally to my knees!!!

We have a LONG, drawn-out bed time ritual that we do every, single night that includes lullaby’s and bed-time stories, lots of rocking (per lil mans choice of who rocks him that particular night), just to make lil man feel lots and lots of love….lots and lots of just knowing that mommy and daddy will ALWAYS be there for him. Lil man is VERY VERY fearful at night. Hence the bedtime ritual. When a child has experienced so much trauma at a very early age in their life….night time usually is EXCEPTIONALLY fearful for them. Lil man is NO exception. He always starts out in his own bed and then at some point in the night, wakes up screaming, always for mommy, and then gets into bed with us for the rest of the night. Now, the ONLY exception to this is IF daddy is working night shift: lil man immediately comes to bed with mommy at bedtime or if daddy is night-time fishing then the same happens. Lil man LOVES those nights as you can imagine!

Now…back to what dropped me to my knees the other night that helped dh see why Lil man really NEEDS to be homeschooled and NOT in a regular Public School any longer!! I was half-laying on the edge of Lil man’s bed and holding him sorta like a baby (he loves this). He was ALMOST asleep, where he’s really most honest at moments like this too! He tells Me (mommy) EVERYTHING really…NO ONE ELSE…not daddy…no one. I’m the ONLY person he really trusts in this WHOLE world…Really! This is why what he said to me that particular night shook my world to the very core! I said, as I do EVERY night, “Mommy loves you SO MUCH! You know that!” He then shook his head, “no” and closed his eyes, and said, “Not anymore!” I was taken aback and ALMOST cried immediately but really held it in to find out what he meant!!!! Believe me….THAT was HARD to DO!

So…I held him close….leaned in and asked, “Honey, you REALLY don’t KNOW that mommy loves you!?” He again, shook his head, “no” and said, “Not anymore.” I asked, “Why?” He said, and mind you, he’s been saying these words MANY MANY times daily since starting school, “Because you’re not ‘fixing it’ like I keep telling you.” I was so sad and broken-hearted at that moment! I could ONLY think of my poor child who ONLY trusts ME….and NOW he thinks that the ONLY person he TRUSTS in this entire WORLD now he does NOT think even LOVES him!!!!! All because I’m not “fixing his feelings he gets WHILE AT SCHOOL!” I was almost livid to be honest!!!! Yes, at dh. To have not listened up to this point. I couldn’t WAIT to go tell him what our son had just said NOW!! What was it going to take for dh to see what OUR son was screaming for help!? Anyways…..I held Lil man and assured him that I WOULD “fix it”!!! He then drifted off to sleep. I headed to our room and quickly told dh what our son said….

DH sat there silently. I expected more. But dh was taking it all in. By morning he told me I was right and we “WERE doing the right thing by Homeschooling Lil man”!!!! FINALLY!!!! Gosh….PHEW!!!! Like I asked before…don’t judge if you’re not here. ok. Don’t judge my dh if you don’t know him. I’m just letting you know MY struggles to get OUR son to be homeschooled. My DH had to see it with HIS own eyes. That is how he has to process it. I had to accept it, as hard as it was. I could see it plain as the nose on my face. BUT I’m here with Lil man MUCH MORE than DH is. I go to the Counseling sessions with Lil man. Lil Man trusts me…not daddy, do Lil man tells me things I cannot tell daddy, out of sheer consideration for our trust-pact we have w/ each other. I simply CANNOT break that with Lil Man!!! I won’t and daddy TOTALLY gets that!!!!!!

Anyways…..Lil Man is finishing out the week at Regular Public School. He doesn’t really WANT to….but he needs to say good-bye to his friends + he needs to transistion into this. We would NEVER just pull him out. NEVER. His first day of Homeschool is Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. Keep Lil Man in your thoughts and prayers, k. He’ll need them but I really think he’ll be fine. His FIRST words the morning after I told him were, “YEAH! My first day of Homeschool!” I had to remind him that he still had 3 more days of regular school left yet. He didn’t like that, but once realized, was fine w/ it.  We’ll be ok. My shipment of supplies is scheduled to arrived TODAY via UPS!!! I truly cannot wait to receive them!!!!!!!

I’m thrilled to get a desk ready for him and I’ll try to post more this weekend about his adjustment to his last day of school once it hits him. Then once Homeschool gets here..and yes….I’m going to Co-op to keep him in touch with other kiddos as I truly feel socialization is KEY….I’ll let y’all know how he’s adjusting to that.

Blessings to you and your children!

Mama249

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These Words Should Never be Uttered by a Four Year Old

Tonight MM and his daddy were playing flashlight all through the house, going from room to room, looking at our house in a whole new “light”….no pun intended. They were having a blast……Daddy would hide an item and then MM would take his trusty flashlight and look all over for it. Well, MM decided he’d rather play “Thomas the Train” in the middle of their games……with MM being Thomas (as usual). Daddy tried to convince MM that they could finish their game first. No go there….he wanted to BE Thomas.

 

And when I say, “He wanted to BE Thomas,” I wasn’t kidding. MM pretends to be Thomas the Train all day long. He chugs along the house moving his arms as if they were his rails moving his wheels…..to which he always refers to his feet as “Wheels.” Then I heard something that shook me to my core……..

“I don’t want to be MM.”

“I want to be Thomas.”

Daddy was expaining as best he thought about he loves MM, not Thomas…..Mommy loves MM, not Thomas. I quickly came downstairs to ascertain the situation.

I outstretched my arms and asked MM gently to “come here sweetheart.” He immediately came to me, let me hold him and he rested his head upon my shoulder. He had the saddest look on his face.

I asked him, “Why don’t you want to be MM?”

“I just don’t.”

This went on for a few minutes.

I started to guide him in his thoughts as sometimes it’s hard to say the words for the RAD kiddos….they know it, but they are afraid to say it.

I asked, “Do you not like MM?”

Shaking his head “no”, “Uh uh.”

“Why honey…..tell me what is the one thing you don’t like the most about being MM.”

“That I can’t be Thomas. That is who I want to be. I don’t like being MM.”

I tell you this…..I wanted to cry for my son at that very moment…..but Knew I needed to stay strong for him……I continued on….

He continued, “I don’t like how I feel.”

I said, “Oh, because you get those feelings inside that you don’t understand?”

“Yes,” he said.

I went on to explain to him that we all have feelings inside of us that we don’t understand and we aren’t sure what to do with. He lit up somewhat.

“Do you not like MM when you get into trouble?”

Shaking head emphatically, “NO! I don’t like it when that happens. I want to be Thomas.”

I stated that everyone gets in trouble, even mommies and daddies. Everyone…..he’s not alone.

His entire demeanor changed at this point. His lil head lifted, his eyes got that sparkle back, and he asked,

“What did you do to get into trouble?”

I explained a few things…..and a few things about daddy…..everyone.

He hugged me.

He said he didn’t really feel a lot better about it and still didn’t want to be MM, but it is a start…….

My heart is broken in a million pieces…………….

 

My son, my son……do not despair……..we’ll get there……we’ll get there someday…….to where you like yourself……and you want to play with other kiddos…..and you finally understand all those jumbled up feelings going on inside of you. I’m here……I’m not going anywhere, my son……..I love you, my son.

 

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249

 

Why am I Saying “I’m Sorry?”

Hey there blogger ppl!! I have had a busy week and have neglected the blog. Sorry bout that. This week is full of “anniversary’s” for my family! First is my birthday, and then it’s the anniversary of MM’s Forever Family Day, then our wedding anniversary, which we spent that day in Guatemala in the Embassy swearing that we’d love our son forever and ever, etc….we took those words to heart, and then finally we have the anniversary of MM’s first steps on U.S. soil!! Personally, when we returned to the States, I wanted to literally kiss the ground we were standing upon.

Now, onto my topic…..this was several weeks ago. Maybe even a few months ago. But I thought of it and thought it deserved blogworthyness, is that even a word? MM has serious sensory issues when it comes to going to the grocery store. It is too overwhelming for him. It ALWAYS ends up in a meltdown….ALWAYS. Makes for going grocery shopping a bit frustrating. Well, MM was at his finest….meltdown I mean….and I thought it best to just take him out of the situation and take him to the vehicle. Dh thinks differently….I “won” this time. As I was taking MM out of the grocery store….he was flinging arms and legs all over the place, kicking me, screaming bloody murder…you get the drill. ALL sorts of ppl were looking at us….geez…why wouldn’t they with the scene he was causing? AND I kept saying “I’m sorry.”

 

I look back at the moment….and ask myself…”WHY THE HECK was I apologizing to THEM!!??” They mean nothing in the immediate moment…my son does. I kept apologizing for a behavior that MM cannot “help” at the moment because of his Sensory Processing Disorder…..and those ppl don’t get it…..why the need to apologize to THEM? Was I embarrased? Not really, I think anyways. My son has a disorder that needs my attention…not my apologizing for it. If this ever happens again, and it will, I can forsee that, I will NEVER apologize for his behavior again to ppl that have nothing to do with the situation.

Who is important in this? Me, Dh and MM. But moreseo, MM. I’m sorry MM, I let you down….but just so you know…once we got into the vehicle, I was able to calm him down with kindness and love and some redirection, and we played “I Spy.” I’m proud of MM for being able to come out of “it” with my direction….I have to revel in the small steps…the baby steps. By the time dh got back to the vehicle, we were happily playing and laughing…..he was dumbfounded.

I beg each of you….don’t apologize for your child either. It shows him/her that there is something “wrong”…..we apologize for those things…..not our children!! I for one am ashamed I did it.

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249

 

Sharing…..a Concept He’s Still Learning

Sharing isn’t a foreign concept to MM…..it’s just a concept he’s still learning and I had a proud mama moment yesterday.

It’s tough when you’re the “only child”…..or at the very least, the only one in the house. MM’s sisters are grown and live away from here. How does one learn to share when there is no other children in the house to share with? Well, it’s a bit harder and takes more time, but it is possible. You must model sharing for your child/ren to learn the act. There are games you can play together to learn sharing techniques. MM went through early intervention with First Steps when we realized something was amiss and we could not do it on our own. Things were going downhill and we needed the help to learn how to help MM, and to have someone helping Munchkin Man. (MM came home from Guatemala at 18 months of age)

First Steps came to our home for their initial visit to evaluate MM to see if he qualified for First Steps. MM totally surpassed all their “tests” except one…..behavior. They kept telling us they couldn’t believe how smart he was for his age. I tend to agree but I work with him a lot, which helps, and some of it is pure genetics. During their visit, First Steps watched our interaction with each other and made a suggestion to me. Something I never even thought of and just did without hesitation…..what you ask? MM would want something that I was playing with and he’d take it out of my hand and I’d let him. I never thought of it as actually TEACHING MM to not share, but also was teaching him that it’s ok to take things from other ppl. WOW…..was that ever eye-opening to me and dh. I have consciously never done that any more…not once. MM saw First Steps on a once a week basis until he turned 3. We were then on our own again……

Behaviors were getting worse and while at preschool, there were a lot of tears on the part of MM and other children because of lack of sharing…..I know this is a trait all kiddos need to be taught…it doesn’t come naturally. BUT….something happened yesterday that made me sooo very proud of MM….and he was proud of himself, too.

We were at a birthday party for a 1 year old…..and MM does NOT do well with children younger than he or even if they are his age and not on his level…..not a good mix for him. He tends to get extremely frustrated and makes this grunting, aggravated noise if anyone comes near him. MM was getting very very antsy just sitting watching the baby and others mingle…..he needed to be active and NOW, not later. I took MM to the back of the room where there was an empty space and let him play with a balloon…kicking it, hitting it, throwing it up in the air…..he was having a great time. As the party wore on, more and more kiddos were showing up and MM didn’t like that at all and expressed his dislike of this…..too much chaos in his world is not good…..and something that you and I think is nothing at all, like more ppl showing up and it filling up, was simply too much for him.

There was a little girl who had just gotten to the party and she was the ONLY lil kiddo without a balloon. She was crying, naturally. I told MM that it would be very nice to let her play with the balloon he was playing with since he’d been playing with it for a LONG time and she didn’t have anything to play with. He expressed that he still wanted to play with it. I said, “How would you feel if you just got here and everyone else had one but you?” Sad, he said. Then he walked over to the little, crying girl and offered her his balloon. I was sooo proud of him!!!!

He had been learning bit by bit……but what I was honestly trying to teach him beyond the sharing was empathy. Children with RAD lack empathy. It’s a start but boy oh boy…….we’re making progress. I celebrate each and every step….however small it is!

God’s blessings to each of you….

Mama249