Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Thank you. I needed to get that out of my system. November has not been kind to me so far.

First of all, we have NaNoWriMo. I think I'm doing well! I have written about 8,500 words in my projected-to-be 50,000+ word novel. I had more written this morning until the Blue Screen of Death appeared on my laptop and ate my work with relish. I hadn't seen the Blue Screen of Death in a long time. I haven't missed it.

Then we have M2. She's back to the girl she was before all the poo hit the fan back in March or April or whenever it started; I've blocked the date conveniently from my memory. We went to see the psychiatrist yesterday, and when I told him that she was back to baseline, we chatted a bit about the nastiness of the Lexapro and then he said, "So... if she'd been like this all along, you'd never have come in?" "Right." That answer pleased him, apparently, because the invisible wall that had been up before, the one that basically said he was taking me at face value and didn't really BELIEVE me, disappeared. He said we're left looking at three options to explain her behavior:

1. It was all a phase and we'll never see it again.
2. It's all anxiety, but she's one of the odd kids who just react negatively to SSRIs due to age, and if we have to try it again in a few years, she might have a different reaction.
3. This is the upswing in a roller coaster that will eventually include the rages again.

He thinks we're looking at option #3, though he'd like to see #1 or #2. We go back in three months or sooner if the symptoms return.

So there's that. Which is good. Never mind that I still feel like I'm on pins and needles around her waiting for the other behavioral shoe to drop, and when she's at home, she's like a leech stuck to my leg that can somehow make its thoughts heard in my head and doesn't SHUT UP. Today, after violin, we got home and she insisted on coming out to the chicken coop with me to collect eggs, add straw, clean out and refill water containers, get mail, etc. Leech. I love her dearly, but sometimes I need five minutes of silence. Five minutes. An eternity of silence in a mom's world.

M1... M1, M1, M1... he's the one that caused all the anguish today. The boy has. no. self-control. NONE! I don't understand it. I can tell my 5-year-old to go do a simple chore like picking up the toys in her room, and she will go, and she will do it, and it will be done, and more often than not, it will be done well. I mean, she's five, she ain't perfect, but she FOCUSES and she TRIES. That's what counts. The boy... the boy would honestly and truly lose his head if it wasn't attached. I think I've mentioned that next year I'm going to have him dress up as the Headless Horseman for Halloween just so I can watch him lose his head.

And he's sneaky.

And he lies.

And he doesn't CARE, because if it doesn't affect him or he doesn't think he'll get caught, it must not be wrong. I thought kids with Asperger's were supposed to be rule-followers. Where on earth did MY kid come from?? Oh, right... rule-followers as long as the rules make sense to them.

Today, he lost a library book. Not a big deal in and of itself. I thought I'd help him look for it, and in the process I found Halloween candy wrappers hidden in a drawer. He tried to lie and say they'd been there a long time, but it's only been a few days since I've opened that drawer, and they weren't there then. He finally owned up, but he lost the rest of his candy. I told him he needed to clean up his room in an effort to find the book, and when I went to check on him, he was playing his sister's Didj. I confiscated that and gave it back to her AND took his Didj as well. Anyone want it? Now that he has a DS (which lives in my room permanently because of this exact issue), he doesn't need the Didj. It comes with a blue plastic 'case.' I'd be happy to sell it to ya. And ship it. The process went like that for the rest of the evening. I gave him a 20-minute warning before it was time for supper, warned him that he needed to get to work on *something,* because he hadn't done squat, but it wasn't motivation enough. Twenty minutes came (with warnings) and went and he was no closer to being done than before. I told him he had thirty minutes to be at the table, gave him multiple warnings in between, and still nothing. I told him that he had 15 minutes if he wanted leftovers; nil. I started yanking allowance bucks, and that finally motivated him a little bit, but he still lost $5 before all was said and done.

The book is still nowhere to be found. Since it's not due till next Wednesday and I can recheck it online up to three times, I figure it'll turn up somewhere between now and then. No worries. My beef is that I do not have the time to stand over an 8-year-old boy and monitor his every move. When I say don't play the electronics, it means DON'T PLAY THE ELECTRONICS. When I say clean your room to look for a book, I mean that, too! I know he hears me; he can repeat verbatim what I tell him to do. But somehow the words don't make it from the ears to the brain. The brain is simply bypassed for the mouth.

Someone tell me that eventually a synapse somewhere will fire and he'll be able to monitor his own actions. Just humor me if you have to. I just need to know that at some point my son is going to quit stealing and ignoring and lying and will actually be able to complete a string of commands or own electronic devices (including flashlights) without a 24-hour monitor. Because if he can't start following rules and laws and commands, that 24-hour monitor is going to be attached to his ankle.


Mom on the Verge said...

Okay breathe in. Breathe out. He's EIGHT. The prison guards won't be on the lookout for him for years yet.

Have you tried being excruciatingly specific? My favorite is, "You must put clean sheets on the bed now. If you do not have clean sheets on your bed in 15 minutes, I will charge you $1.50 to do it myself." Then I make him repeat it.

I require eye contact, verbal agreement, and I make sure he understands the clock and the price for disobedience.

"Clean up this mess," just isn't working for us either.

I like telling The Boy, "It's still a lie, even if I don't catch you. And it's still wrong." Tragically, I didn't teach him that God is ever-watching, ever-punishing, waiting for him to screw up so He can blast him into eternal damnation. That would be handy right about now. Instead, I have to do that posessed screaming while my head rotates 360 degrees. ;)

Good luck!

Sarah said...

*inhales... exhales...*

Yeah, my kids don't fear me nearly enough, either. I do the eye contact, repeat, etc. Unfortunately, he can hold the eye contact and repeat the command AND any subsequent punishment... and then promptly forget about it. Bleh.

At least he's started eventually telling the truth when he knows he's caught. Baby steps, right??