We survived the first week post-Stepford Academy. I ended up being home most of the time. Sure. By the end, I was ready to chew my own tongue off. However we are all alive if not totally well. My heart still breaks when Stella asks for “kids, please.”
Will and I have both done our best to keep working with Stella on some of her more problematic behaviors as well as keep her as busy and occupied as possible without resorting to the boob tube or iDevices. But let’s face it: You can’t stay on the go all the time. It’s financially ruinous as well as a huge energy suck, particularly with the behavior issues. It’s just a crap shoot which Stella you get on any given day: the girl scout or the rampaging toddler. And since you don’t know which one you might get you can’t trust her, seriously limiting your choices.
There have been several trips to Chuck E. Cheese. They actually weren’t bad. I’ll admit, my sphincter tightened the first time we went, anticipating the noise my god the noise. However, if you go when they open no one is there. It’s bliss! Stella loves it, is well behaved, and now requests to go at least a thousand times each day. CEC may become the ultimate carrot for all manner of things: pooping in the potty, not freaking bellowing, using feeling words.
We paint a lot. We dress up a lot. Or at least we dress up a lot when we’re not reenacting Naked and Afraid in the living room. For whatever reason clothing has been deemed optional these days when we’re at home. I let it go. I figure we have enough to work on. I’m trying to keep other options on the mental list so that things don’t get too stale. Maybe potato printing? Dressing up for holiday pictures?
Some day she communicates great. I’ve been working on her “feeling words” vs. the constant random bellowing, as well as the old “inside vs. outside voice” phenomenon. Some days are better than others. Yesterday she got 2 outings to Barnes and Noble and tantrumed both times. I can handle the tantrums. Yes, they suck and are a bit embarrassing. What is more difficult is handling a tantrum while Felix is in the carrier on my chest, unprotected from potential flailing and kicking. If only my not-quite-3 year old weren’t the size of some 5 year olds.
I am not always patient. It’s hard. Some days I do, in fact, have a little sippy cup of wine to get through dinner and bed time. It’s rare, but it does happen. It’s hard not to be afraid that we’ll get kicked out of her new school. They emailed me last week to say we could start early. I actually declined although it was a tough thing not to jump on. We figure we want to give Stella as much time to work on some of her issues as well as get through her neurologist appointment (next week). I have started on the mound of paperwork for it, though. I got to the standard “we reserve the right to refuse service if… danger to themselves or others or are disruptive enough such that other children cannot enjoy the facility…” and had to just put it away. I know they have to have that for their own legal protection but after what happened at the Stepford Academy, it’s tough to see in black and white.
I just have to try to believe that things will be ok and get easier, particularly once we get some kind of answers or help in the way of therapy or behavior modification techniques. It really seems like the random bellowing was the nail in the coffin. That’s the one we’re really working on. In the meantime, Oui Oui is back in action and will take over the kiddos 3 days a week for us starting next week (thank the stars!). Crispi is also coming for a couple of days to visit and pitch in. I get to spend a whole day at the office today. Things are looking up.