Thursday, November 18, 2010

The line between quirky and weird is a very thin one.

Yesterday P had the longest conversation he has had with Grandpa since he was admitted to the hospital. Grandpa is slowly making progress, the NG tube is out, his kidneys are improving, his foot is looking better, and the doctors seem to have an idea about what happened. They believe that atrial fibrillation caused blood clots that spread through his system. That, coupled with the rhabdomyolysis due to the time spent unconscious or immobile caused his system to shut down. They expect him to remain hospitalized for another two weeks. Grandpa is bummed about missing Thanksgiving, we are elated he made it through.

The laissez faire attitude of the social worker and case manager finally resulted in some actual help. Legal aid came to the hospital and completed a durable POA, medical directive and living will. P should receive copies of the former two soon. P is relieved to know he won’t have to suffer through another 10 day stay in Hades. That uncertainty took a lot out of him and SS was a casualty of all the stress. Not cool when it affects the most vulnerable member of our family. We are making sure that SS never feels like that again.

After P called Friday to tell me the good news it was my job to inform Aunt Court and JJ. Once that was done I felt really tired, in bad need of a nap. P and his sister experienced the same, just the body’s way of finally letting go after an extreme cluster f*** in the magical land of stress. We then proceeded to do nothing last weekend. SS watched Toy Story 3 twice, in English and Spanish. In two short years she should be able to add another language to her viewing pleasure.

In a desperate attempt to have SS moved to another classroom we attempted potty training during the weekend. Seriously, what were we thinking after what our child had gone through? We were rewarded with a well deserved dismal failure and resentment from our already hurting child. This week we armed ourselves with a jar full of M&Ms, one of SS’s passions. We are lowering our standards and she gets one for simply sitting on the potty. A deposit, liquid or solid will earn her three M&Ms. We are holding on until we unveil our secret, last measure, this better works weapon, Toy Story pull ups. You know what they say about desperate times.

SS is doing really well in preschool, enjoys her time there, but eagerly jumps in my arms as soon as I arrive. There is no lingering behind for our child, she puts in her four hours, and then it is out of sight, out of mind. We are concerned because although we have regressed SS due to bonding, she is regressing in some areas that are unacceptable We do not do baby talk, SS already missed 15 months of learning English, we can’t afford to talk to her in anything other than correct words. But since she is around a bunch of two year olds she is picking up baby talk. That is where we draw the line, since P is still focused on getting her into a Mandarin immersion program. We want her to start K in the fall of 2012 like any other child her age. She won’t be accepted into the program unless her language skills are above average, since she will only be instructed half a day in English. Then there is D, a little dynamo in SS’s class who is the most aggressive two year old I have seen. That says a lot given the child population I worked with for so long. That girl is plain scary and does not like SS. It is simple child jealousy, but her way of coping when the attention is focused on SS is unacceptable. The teachers are on top of things and grab her before she can get to SS, but man that is one whacked out child.

On Monday we had a great morning. Since SS wakes up leisurely I decided not to give her the option to lounge around. We have 45 minutes from the time she wakes up to the time she has to be in the van. That is crazy because we had never managed to get out of the house in less than ninety minutes since we arrived from China. But if I give her time to wake up in stages, we would never make it to school on time. I get things ready before hand, this insomnia thing is actually paying off. At 6:30 a.m. I play the Wonder Pets CD, to avoid SS’s glare to combust me on the spot. After hugs and kisses we move to our bed, where I dress SS and comb her hair while she watches Nick Jr. We then move to SS’s bathroom for teeth brushing and mirror time. SS likes to check in on her beauty as much as possible. From there we move downstairs for more Nick Jr. until it is time to hit the road. The idea is not to allow SS to linger in one spot for too long.

Like I said, Monday was good, SS moved through the routine like a pro, no hysterics asking me to turn off all lights, no covering herself with her blanket, no lying down and going limp. I was so excited when we met P and told him how well it went. We did a happy dance and that should tell you where this is going. When I picked up SS I was informed that she had a difficult time keeping her hands to herself. WTF? After such an easy breezy morning? The teachers were nice and told me it was the first time, and to be expected in that setting. Not to us, we have zero tolerance for violence, and I was pretty embarrassed and upset. Other than trying to charge the little girl who touched me in gym class, we have never seen SS attempt strike a child. SS received a lot of talk from both of us about how hands are for loving, caressing, applauding, playing instruments, playing, dancing, waving (etc. ad naseum), but never for hitting. We quickly had to amend the last part, because children are literal, so SS asked if punching was OK. SIGH, no SS, hands are never used for violence. P is convinced that D’s evil ways are responsible for our daughter’s bad behavior. I am aware that SS is no angel and I am sure she has spread her own less than stellar behavior around her classmates. Our points of view do not matter, P wants her out of that class ASAP, so we must step up the potty training torture.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were rough. SS has a cough that would not let up, not even with her medication. She ended up in our bed because we feared she would choke. By 3:00 a.m. P gave up on sleep and was out of the house in record time. That’s my husband, my partner, the dude who was into all that in sickness and health, in good times and bad times, all that nonsense. Dude hightailed it. Can’t say I blame him, I wish I could sometimes get away, but no such luxury for Mamas. His rationalization was that he would be home early and give a hand then. I knew he would be giving the couch a hand but pretended to go along. Not everyone can stand crying and coughing.

SS fell asleep at 5:00 and I felt like a shrew waking her up at 6:30. I dressed her and combed her hair while she was asleep. Weirdest thing I have ever done and I have done plenty weird. I have no idea how we got out in time, but after one month it just falls into place. Then as we arrived at school my sleep deprived brain kicked in and I wondered if I was making a colossal mistake. The thought of SS going on a hitting rampage crossed my mind. Shoot, the last thing we need now is to have our daughter expelled from preschool. We are all for precociousness and over achieving in the evil incarnate department, but even we have limits. I informed the teacher about her morning and asked to be called ASAP if SS’s behavior deteriorated. Of course SS had received a huge talk about what hands are used for and what they shall never be used for in stereo.

No phone call Wednesday morning, nope, although I kept checking my cell making sure it was working. When I arrived to pick up my newly minted bully I was informed that SS had a great day. She kept her hands to herself, shared with her friends (that’s a first) and used nice words. What, nice words? No one mentioned not using nice words on Monday. Great something else to worry about. So when SS has an amazingly easy morning she hits, and when she has a horrible morning and is sleep deprived she is an angel. SS has officially crossed that very thin line between quirky and plain weird.

We are enjoying our last 70+ degree days. This is an outfit I had forgotten in SS's closet, purchased about 4 years ago. Gotta love our November short wearing weather.

SS began to pose and direct my picture taking. Here she asked me to stand up. In the picture below she made me squat at eye level with her. So bossy, takes after her father.


No comments: