I’m pretty sure y’all know that Munchkin Man started school at a regular Public School for about 7 weeks and it JUST DID NOT WORK, right?! There was A LOT of knashing of teeth, wailing, and boy oh boy, was there a bunch of kicking, spitting, hitting and nasty words hailed at Mama!
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!
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….
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…..
Somebody pinch me! No seriously, pinch me! My lil guy is STILL in his own bed and it’s almost 6:30 AM!! This is unheard of in our house! My poor lil fella is so scared of his room……especially the closet and the dark…….that he simply cannot stay in his room a full night without calling out to Mama (he always calls for me) to come and get him & carry him safely to our bed.
It is a rule here that he at least has to start out in his own bed….which he balks at every night….then upon waking in the night, he certainly may come stay in our room and finish sleeping in our bed. I spoke with MM’s counselor about this and she said that this arrangement we have will create boundaries….necessary ones….and that she says it’s ok to have him co-sleep the remainder of the night.
It never fails…..somewhere between 12-2:30 am……he awakens screaming for me…..and I rush down to him and scoop him gently into my loving arms and comfort him, drawing him close, saying to him so that he knows he’s “safe now, mama’s here, it’s ok now.” He nestles his head into my shoulder, tucking his arms into his own chest (presumably to keep warm? Or he doesn’t want to hug me? I really don’t know what the answer is on that one), and breathing a sigh of relief…..as if he’s saying…..yes, Mama, I know you’re here now, I’m safe. Thank you, mama.
BUT…..this night…..last night into this morning……he didn’t do any of this. Boy am I a proud mama! He’s either so stinkin’ tired he isn’t going to wake up even if I were on “The Gong Show” and just banged on the gong! Am I really showing my age here with that last remark!? OR…..he’s getting better about wanting to stay in his own bed. Well, I know better……it’s NOT the latter!! LOL!! Here’s why I truly believe he’s not ready for that yet…….and it’s just a fluke…..
We have an elaborate bed-time ritual that starts with all of us (myself, dh and MM) on the couch in the front Living Room and we sing about 5 lullabys. Then he gets to choose either mama or daddy to rock him in the rocking chair for 3 more lullabys, which are the exact same every single night….he loves it. We then move into his room……where he proceeds to start to turn his ankles inward, as well as his wrists, saying (actually whining and crying) he doesn’t want to go to bed, that he’s scared. When I see him doing the inward turning of the wrists and feet…..I KNOW, without a doubt, that a meltdown is going to occur very soon!!! I’ve learned to see his cues and work with him there…..meet him where he’s at, ya know, and try to curb the meltdown to a small whimper if even that. Well, after that, he goes into his bed, gets covered up….and MUST MUST MUST have his feet wrapped in a “cocoon” which is what he calls it, but it is just wrapping his feet up tightly in the blanket. With his SPD issues, he’s a sensory seeker…..I’ll write a post soon dedicated to just that subject…..he longs to be wrapped tightly to receive the extra sensory stimulation. He can be so hot….in the summer even….but he wants that blanket on him with his feet wrapped! We all kiss and hug g’night……then it comes…..he is terrified of his room! Of being alone! That darn closet! The shadows in the room! We have 4 nightlights in his room along with the overhead light dimmed. He will ask (always asks for me) me to stay in his rom until he’s asleep. No problem, right? HA……he takes about 1 hour to fall asleep because he’s so afraid and knows that I’m leaving once he does……so he does all in his power to keep me there for as long as he can.
Phew…..that is EVERY night. I’m glad to be able to be there for my lil guy. If it is what helps him to feel safe….then I’m all for it.
Here we are….and it’s now almost 7am…STILL in his own bed!!!!! Yippee!!!! Let’s cross fingers for this happening more often than not. Huh? Nah, I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon either.
Blessings to you and your children….