On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She-Ra, Captain of the Universe

Ya'll have been making me crack up with your insane stories! I have had to put down my cup of coffee before opening my email for fear that I would snarf my mouthfuls all over the laptop. Tomorrow I will edit your stories for length and repost them for voting. Voting closes Friday midnight with winner announced Saturday morning!

It has also been fun using the stories as examples for Sissy who has been O.M.G. RADilicious the past 48 hours. Today began at 5:30 am ...

Sissy laughed at all the stories and then would stop mid laugh. "wait. I do that." So I've used them as teaching examples. She's also had some insight for some of them. One mom told how her daughter put ketchup in the strawberry yogurt. Sissy believes her daughter did this because it was funny to watch the teacher get upset and grossed out by it. Another mom explained how her daughter put purple nail polish on her eyelid. Sissy said that girl was probably trying to get her mom's attention and then was totally freaked out when she realized what she'd done - Sissy thought maybe she worried it would be permanent!

It's been fun to watch how Sissy has heard and absorbed these stories because she has done something similar to almost every single one. It's been a great teaching tool the past 24 hours so I'm going to archive a post that catalogs the stories specifically so it can be a learning post for your RADlets too.

Back to our morning ...

Sissy started it early, hollering that she needed to get up to get dressed, could she please get dressed now, is it time to get up yet, Mommy, Daddy, I have to get up (yeah, as IF she calls us "mommy, Daddy" in a sweet singing voice. NOT!!), and on and on. It was 5:30, 5:45 ish.

I said to myself, don't do it. Don't get up. Don't go in there. Don't talk to her. Resist the urge. She's baiting you, don't take the bait.

Then I started to get irritated as her hollering prolonged. how is she so daft that she can't figure out that it is dark, no one is up, there are no sounds in the house, no lights on, that it is CLEARLY not time to get up!?!?

And she continued to holler and fuss about getting up and getting dressed and on and on until The Dad started talking back to her in his sleep (they've done this before, the two of them. She'll talk, he'll answer and they're both sleeping. It's a riot, let me tell you.) My first impression was to be proud of The Dad, who, while sleeping, responded in an extremely appropriate therapeutic parent way. (I love him, he's so awesome even when he's sleeping.) And on and on Sissy hollered.

Then, we both jolted. I swear to you she said it, we both heard it, I know it's what she said but she won't admit it.

The Dad jumped out of bed, grabbed the key fob to turn off the alarm and ran to her room. By that time she'd changed her tune about having to PEE. "I'm going to PEE myself!" was her new tune and by golly, she was sticking to it. So The Dad marched her to the toilet and instructed her NOT to holler that she was washing her hands [1] and guess what?

Sissy hollered that she was washing her hands!

(Boy, you guys are so smart. I can't believe you guessed! lol)

And thus began our morning. By the time everyone else was up for school, Sissy was raging, swearing up and down that she NEVER said a thing about getting dressed, that I was lying, that she never shouted she was going to kill herself, blah, blah, blah.

I was trying to make a cool, calm, collected point with her about waking up disoriented and taking the time to figure out whether or not it really WAS time to wake up but she was hollering, hollering, hollering. So I said, "Sissy, I'm counting down from three. By then you'll need to stop screaming so I can talk to you. If not, you'll need to rage it out in your room."

count down.

rage louder (yeah, like you didn't see that coming! LMAO)

I said calmly, "OK. To your room. I don't talk to screaming heads." And I gently lead her by her shoulders to her room. Oh, she didn't go easily mind you. She dug in her heels. But we made it to her room and I said, "Sissy, go ahead and rage it out. I don't care if it makes you late for school."

Which was kind of the point, actually. See, here's the thing. Sissy does all of this insane morning raging crap all the time. And that makes AB rage and it makes WG irritated and then I'M hollering and then we're somehow, arms, legs, hollering and fuming, getting into the van and screeching our way to a halt at the car rider lane just in the nick of time before the first bell rings.

Yeah. I'm not doing that anymore. That's insanity. In addition, we're still working on getting that coveted IEP for Sissy so the more evidence we gather that demonstrates that school jacks her up and makes our lives a living hell being with her all jacked up, the better. Two tardies [2] in 6 school days should begin to make the point, don't you think?

So Sissy raged while AB, WG, The Dad and I laughed it up having a jolly good morning. Fortunately, the nature of our business is typically pretty flexible for unexpected morning nonsense from Sissy or the unanticipated toilet issues for AB. I took the happy AB and WG to school and returned to let Sissy simmer before I lugged her back. It helps that we got a waiver [3] from the county to be at the elementary school one mile from our house as opposed to the school we're zoned for that is 5 miles away. It's also a huge load off my back knowing we're getting assistance for AB and WG so I don't always have the but I've got to make money!!! broken record playing in my head every time the unexpected crops up.

Somewhere in the middle of all this insanity, I said to The Dad, "Here's the deal. Just because I'm She-Ra, Captain of the Universe, invincible and capable of amazing things every day for these kids, doesn't mean I HAVE to be She-Ra every time an issue pops up. Just because I CAN herd this crew off in the midst of a maelstrom, getting them to school on time come what may, doesn't mean I should."

The jury is still out as to whether or not my ingenuous thinking will result in enough medical evidence to support the need for an IEP. Our next RTI is Friday. And She-Ra will be there with bells on.

[1]we used to stand at the bathroom to survey her handwashing after toileting because she lied so badly about it and we were all so grossed out by it. Now we ask her to call out with the bathroom door open that she is washing her hands so we can listen for running water and occasionally spy on her from the hall

[2] she was late last week too - panic attack

[3] highly recommended. The school we're zoned for is unsympathetic to parents with challenged kids and extremely resistant to writing RTIs, EIPs and IEPs. We got a medical waiver for Sissy to switch to the school we live closest to because her needs are too challenging for her to be so far. It's also a smaller school that is a charter school getting extra assistance from the federal government. Bonus - the school is A.Mazing about getting kids the appropriate placements. Sissy's IEP hang up hinges on her benchmark scores which indicates to the county that she's not a floundering student academically and therefore shouldn't require and IEP. *rolls eyes* All that to say, being so close to the school is a HUGE advantage for AB and Sissy.


missjenngirl said...

When my step daughter started pulling the "I don't want to go to school thing, so I will wonder the halls looking for my planner that I hid" The school started giving her tardies. After 7 she had in school suspension. (That part totally backfired because she loved the do noting atmosphere and all the one on one attention) But it did help document a case for and IEP.
Are there consequences at her school for the lateness?
Have they given her an FBP (Functional Behavior Plan)? I know that is probably a dumb questions but can that be tweeked so it reflects an issue for her to get her self ready and in school on time?
Rational: if she can not meet the FBP then she needs something stronger (ie IEP)

Ranger said...

She Ra, she has the power! There's can't be much mileage in raging if the answer is have a nice rage sweetie, we'll be eating breakfast, brilliant response. Wishing you the best of luck with the RTI.

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Ah, I see I'm not the only one struggling to get an IEP due to benchmark scores.

Bam Bam and Kate are in two entirely different school districts, with two entirely different calendars. If Kate is here on a day she has off, but he doesn't...He will literally make himself throw up so that he doesn't have to go to school. Alas my dear boy, I see past your scheme to stick your fingers down your throat!