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

Not to Be “Corny”……

Our food battles continue……I’m tellin’ ya….my son is persistent! Tonight I made one of his favorites:

Yep…..good ‘ole Hamburger Helper. I gotta continue to make something that he’ll eat so that he does eat dinner sometimes, ya know.  But…yep….there’s a but in this story…..I also had corn on the side (frozen….it tastes SO much better than canned). He saw his plate…..1 TBS of each on it…..and he immediately threw his head back and started in on the whining. I calmly stated to him that he can have more of the Hamburger Helper when he eats all that is on his plate. He whined a couple more minutes saying that he’s “scared to try it.” I told MM that I was there with him, what could I do to help?

Most likely, if he were older and thought of it…he’d of said, “Mommy, you can help me by taking this corn off my plate!” LOL.

After a few minutes of the whining….he said, “Oh, all right,” in the tone you can imagine when a child says this very thing. He asked if I’d feed it to him because he was scared. Certainly will dear one! If I can get him to start eating vegetables, sure, heck yeah….I’ll feed it to him!

He tasted the corn…..with some spray butter on it…..and he actually said he liked it. But then the next bite he said he didn’t. He kept asking me to put spray butter on the corn…..I put it on once and it would’ve been swimming in spray butter if I’d of put on how much he requested!!!!

He ATE THE WHOLE TBS of corn!!!!! I am so proud of him and told him so. He ran into our bedroom, where dh was sleeping (midnights tonight) after hearing him move around in there. MM was SO excited to tell daddy that he actually ate his corn!!!!! Daddy’s eyes were wide with delight.

I see a light now…..a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s still off far in the distance as I know we’ve got a huge battle on our hands. It’s our own faults…we let it go on too long. The fact that I’d make MM something different every single meal was outrageous. I have realized my fault in this and am taking charge, making a different plan, and meeting it head-on.

I spoke with a very dear friend of mine about this very thing earlier today. She stated that I need to stop giving him milk at meals because he’s “filling up on milk” thus not hungry enough to eat what is on his plate. She also stated that I should only be giving him water between meals…..so he’s nourished but yet will not be filling up on “good ‘ole Gatorade,” and other sugary stuff. No Snacks at all for at least a month. MM gets 2 snacks a day…….no more for now. He will be able to “earn” his milk & Gatorade back…..when he eats what is on his plate……but not for every meal otherwise he’ll expect it.

This path is a tough one…..but again…..I see the light!!!

 

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249

 

It’s a Food Fight, Baby!!!

It wasn’t until recently that my “feeble” (lol) mind has realized something. Hard to believe, I know. My son has complete control when it comes to food issues. Phew, there, I said it…..it’s off my chest. I’m a bit ashamed about it too……but wallowing in that isn’t going to fix it.

This is a game to MM. He was holding the control……remote control as you will. He’d push the buttons that he wanted to go his way……I’m speaking of meal times. It’s funny, too, because I’ve always been “careful” of not letting him have the control.

Here’s what happened to us…..so it doesn’t happen to you too. MM was diagnosed with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). He has a difficult time with loud noises. He’s a sensory “SEEKER” that will constantly be jumping on the furniture, running into walls, you name it, he does it. One thing I’ve noticed and don’t really do “anything” about because I feel he must NEED the extra sensory input is that he’ll walk on his toes…..but not just the run of the mill, walk on his toes…which he does do….but he will bend his toes downward and walk on the folded up toes…..I truly have no idea how better to explain it…..I’ll have to post a pic sometime. I’ve NEVER seen anything like it and neither has MM’s counselor. Anyways…..I have always thought his troubles with food were all related to his SPD. WRONG! I see that now. 

I was talking to a wonderful and very dear friend of mine who has walked this road before and whose daughter is on the path to complete healing!!! (YEAH!!! WAY TO GO!) She stated that MM sounds like he’s “very good at controlling food issues in our home.” That  is one of the many things I love about this friend of mine, she tells it like it is. No pulling the wool over your eyes, she’s amazing and I’m blessed to have her friendship. Back to MM…..when she stated this to me….last night as a matter of fact…..I knew in my heart of hearts that she was right on the money! How could we have let him do this? Well, easily….very easily! I got caught up in the not wanting a tantrum every single time we eat……OH……and I MUST mention this…..the LAST time we tried to “Make” him eat what we were eating, he stopped eating all together for NINE days!!!!! Nothing….I mean, NOTHING…..he ate nothing! He did drink so I wasn’t worried about dehydration. On the 9th night….I made Hamburger Helper…..he finally ate again. I was so worried about him the entire time, naturally. I’m telling you, this kiddo is stubborn!

Well, not wanting a repeat of the NINE DAY ordeal……I caved, we caved. I made seperate meals for MM and always (almost anyways) gave him 2 choices of what he was to eat. He couldn’t waver from the 2 choices……and I seriously THOUGHT I was doing good by him. BUT BUT BUT…..he still had the control at the end of the day when you really look at it. Last night, for example, I made Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup…..YUMMY….and set aside some noodles for MM. He arrived at the table and the look on his face was remarkable, as if I’d taken his breath away! Lost his best friend. You get the picture. He started freaking out, saying that he was NOT GOING TO EAT this!! He was trying to engage us in a battle. And you know what……that will be the LAST battle I’ll have with him…..I must if he’s going to heal!!

                                                                                                                                                                           

Today is a new day!!!! A day for real healing!!!!!! Lunch time came and I didn’t even tell him that I was fixing lunch. I just made it and put it on the table, called him to the table and waited to see what ensued. At first, MM was whining and pushing himself into me (which is what he does when he is whining and wants something I’m saying no to). I clearly and calmly stated that lunch was on the table (only 1 TBS of each item and when he finishes that…..he may have whatever he wants more of from his plate but doesn’t have to eat everything again) and when he finished ALL of it, he could have more mac-n-cheese. The other item on his plate was a chicken nugget in a kid-friendly shape…..which he always FLAT OUT REFUSES TO EAT! I never said another word. I ignored his “pleas”…..I went about my work in the kitchen. Then the MOST AMAZING thing of all happened…..something I NEVER expected!!!! He actually stopped whining, went to the table on his own and ate every single bite!!!! You go MM!!! I was so proud!!!!!! He stated he didn’t want seconds of anything though.

I thought, gee, it can’t possibly be THIS easy can it? NOPE…..along came dinner which I KNEW was going to be a TOUGH battle. I had left-over Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup (with carrots and celery mind you)! I also made him a grilled cheese in the shape of stars (I gave him only ONE of the 3 shapes). I knew he’d eat the grilled cheese, but the soup, no way. I was correct, too. He threw a heck of a fit……complete with pushing the table away! He kept yelling at me to “Take that nasty soup away from me! Why did you MAKE something that you KNOW I won’t eat!?” Stuff like that, but constantly!!! I went about eating my dinner. I calmly told MM that I was almost finished and he needed to figure out what he was going to do…..dinner would be over when I am finished tonight. I looked lovingly at him……and calmly said……”ssssshhhhh, it’s ok. I’m here for you. I won’t leave you. You can trust me.” He immediately calmed down and ate the single star grilled cheese….ONLY. He flat out refused the soup. That is fine……he’s learning…and will CONTINUE to learn as I won’t back down this time. I want my (our) son to heal and he can’t possibly heal if he’s feeling so out of control and yet that he has to control his environment. That is a tough pill to swallow…for anyone……especially a 4 year old who’s suffered trauma. He should be being a kiddo. He shouldn’t have to worry about these things. It’s high time I take the bull by the ring and do what I’m supposed to do….be the one in Control…..so that he doesn’t feel like he has to.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249                                                                                       We don’t need any more of this, now do we??

How do you handle this very thing in your homes? Thanks for your input!!!!

I Won’t Give Up on You!

The last two days have been hard…..hard on MM and hard on me trying to figure out his triggers. MM was soooo crabby that it was horrible. It was almost constant.

MM is “usually” more happy go lucky than having a hard time with his rages and SPD, but not the last couple days…..phew. Is it something in the air? Is there a Full Moon? Whatever the case may be, he was not a happy lil guy.

Really strange, but on Saturday night, we took MM to see a Monster Truck show (without prior purchase of tickets) so we stood in line for QUITE some time. There was a lady 3 ppl up for us who asked if anyone wanted to purchase the tickets she had JUST purchased….strange, right? Well, her reason was none of the seats were together! Uh, no thanks…..this is family time and that means family sits together! We were just discussing that we may have to break the bad news to MM shortly as it appeared no seats together were available any longer……when we heard a loud voice come across telling us that the place had JUST SOLD OUT!! Sorry, thanks for coming he said! Uh…..we paid for parking (a ridiculous amount I might add), and now we just stood in line to have to tell our RAD child that we had to turn around and go home?! Oh boy! I was, to say the least, a bit nervous. We decided to go to the next building and check out what was going on with the crowd over there. THANK the good Lord above……there was more “stuff” going on that we could check out!! It was hilarious…..but MM told us he was having “fun!” Oh YES!!!!!! He understood that the Monster Trucks SOLD OUT……and he was “OK” with it. He is making strides for sure because this would’ve sent him into a tailspin a year ago or so. On the way home, MM stated, “This was the BEST day ever!”

Are you serious, I thought?! I was estatic that he was able to take a “hard” situation and turn it into the “BEST day ever!”

We got home…..that is when it all hit the fan. Bedtime is ALWAYS hard and it is ALWAYS a battle. MM started to melt down….quickly I might add. He was stiffening his body so that we couldn’t have him go to the bathroom before bed. He was in full rage mode. I sat with him in his room (just as I do every night) until he finally fell asleep.

Then came Sunday……Boy oh Boy was he crabby! And mean! Now….I know with every fiber of my being that RAD kiddos go through this…..but it doesn’t make it easier on either of us. I just trudged through the day…..doing lots of holding! Poor kiddo.

On Monday, he awoke with a furry……he was not over whatever was going on with him. We had a day much like that of Sunday.

The above picture is almost exactly what MM looked like for those 2 days…….phew…..poor kiddo.

NOw we’re here on Wednesday…..whatever it was that was either bothering him, or just was causing the tailspin, is over. I must say that during that couple days, MM decided he was NOT going to drink Milk any more and was going to strictly drink Gatorade. Uh, no you’re not. No matter how much I talked to him or anything…..he FLAT OUT refused to drink!! I mean ANYTHING until I gave him what he wanted. I was NOT going there and letting him control the house. I AM the boss…..I MAKE the rules (along with daddy naturally), not my RADish. I’m happy to report that his “fast” for milk and all drinks only lasted 2 days……he drank, of all things…..4 big glasses of Milk yesterday! I was thrilled…..he is still using a sippy cup for most drinking…..he doesn’t want to give it up. He said that the sippy cup doesn’t “allow air to touch his milk and THAT was the trouble! HHhhhhmmmmm….ok. So long as he got through it. He was glad to drink all that milk in his opened top Thomas the Train cup. Go figure.

Today is the first day of February! I’m thrilled because that means that Spring is not that far away! I adore Spring and all its splendor, the gorgeous flowers…..the budding trees……the occasional rain shower (I don’t like ALL the rain……just some of it)…..and the general awakening of “life” as it is. It is our opportunity to take a look at ourselves and say……”wow, I’d love more beauty in my life!” Plus the fact that I’m an beginner photographer (insert the fact that I’m still learning a lot) and Spring shows much opportunity for myself and my trusty Olympus E-Pl1. I had received it a tad over a year ago…..for my birthday……it is the best gift I can imagine…to be creative…..to chronicle MM’s growing up…..and to look back at the many memories that exist in photographs. I must admit……I’m addicted to taking photos…..seriously addicted!!

Blessings to you and your children…….

Mama249

 

 

Don’t Feel Guilty if You’ve Let it Slide: Strong Sitting

I have read much about Strong Sitting. On one particular website, radkid.org, I really throughly enjoyed all they had to offer…..so much so that I printed off the entire site and use it as a quick reference for myself….I’ve highlighted all I need to refer to…..my paper is mostly all highlighted…LOL. It’s THAT good. On the website, they refer to Strong Sitting as being very impportant in helping children to learn discipline of self-control and quietness….both emotionally and physically.

I used Strong Sitting with Munchkin Man for quite some time awhile back…..but somehow, some reason….I let it slip..I’m upset a bit with myself for doing so, but am just thrilled that I found this website to get ME back on track. So that brings us to yesterday….I had told MM that he’d be doing some strong sitting…..which was followed by much grunting, rolling around on the floor and rolling of the eyes, fussing, and plain and simple saying he wasn’t going to do it. I don’t want to say I forced him to do it….but I’ll tell ya…..I STRONGLY encouraged him to do so in a soft and calm manner. First he said he’d do it later and he’d let me know when he was ready…..UM….no sir, that right there….did you notice what he was doing? Control……he wanted to control WHEN he was going to do them. He couldn’t control that he must do them…..but he thought he could control that. NOPE….not with me, mister. I told him I’d be ready for him in exactly 5 minutes. MM was so upset and began to do that whiney crying sound. 5 Minutes went by rather quickly &  MM gave in to it……sitting with his legs criss, cross applesauce, back straight, eyes closed, hands on either  side of legs or on top of legs…..just be comfy…and then he will Strong Sit for 1 minute for each year of his age. He’s 4…so 4 minutes. He was begrudgingly doing this…..he kept peeking out…..trying to be sly…but I know my lil guy. Also…you want no distractions going on at all when you begin doing Strong Sitting. Later, you may add some….I’ll reference it in another paragraph.

It is suggested that Strong Sitting be done several times a day…..anytime but especially first thing in the morning because it will clear their minds and get them off to a great start of what could possibly be a beautiful day. Who doesn’t want that? Shoot…..I may do some strong sitting myself if it produces such a wonderful result!!! LOL!

Our jobs as the parents, is to not make constant remarks as in, “Wow, look at you! You’re doing great Strong Sitting!” “Hey, look at those criss cross applesauce legs…I’ve never seen such perfect criss cross legs before!” We are to be silent and coach as needed…..and hopefully not much is needed….but always always always be calm, collected, and warm with a smile on your face to show your lil guy/girl that this is a great thing to do. If you are begrudginly putting them in place…..that signal brings with it MUCH negativity to your environment and to your Strong Sitting. You DON’T want that….believe me.  The goal is for them to work up to a grand total of 20 minutes at a time and to be able to have some distractions in the background and still be able to concentrate and Strong Sit without trying to figure out what is going on behind them.

My lil guy is about to arise for the day……and I’ll snuggle with him for about 10 minutes to get our day off to a pleasant, loving and delightfully engaging day. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It does to me as well. Then comes Strong Sitting…..afterwards….our day together….hopefully regulated and peaceful. I wish this for all of you as well.

 

Blessings to you and your children,

Mama249