Sunday, September 21, 2014

The other table

The problem with the back-room tables at IHOP is that they're sort of connected, half-booth half-table, and there is absolutely no way to stay out of other people's space. This irks me. I value my space. And also I'm used to worrying about my kids in public spaces, because of their complete inability to speak softly or to get through a single restaurant meal without lying down on the seat or all over each other, and giggling.

It's a bit of an irony for an introvert like me to have two such extroverted kids. I'm constantly thinking "Stop drawing ATTENTION to yourself!" even though I know the vast majority of people find the kids charming.

So we were sitting there in our table/booth hybrid and a cluster of young folks sat next to us. Now I was worried about youthful eye-rolling and secret young-person pity for the old lady with the annoying kids. They got to talking -- and I couldn't have tuned this out if I'd wanted to -- and my heart just melted.

One of the boys was discussing his mom's ongoing fight to get alimony payments from his dad. Apparently Dad was claiming that his son didn't need the cash anymore, because he's all grown up and has a job and everything. The boy said no, Dad knows he has mental problems and doesn't have a job and is living with his grandmother. Dad, apparently, goes to great lengths to not hand over any cash. The boy's friends commiserated.

I felt so bad for the kid. His parents were fighting, his dad didn't want to help him, he didn't sound remotely ready to solve his own problems. He had no idea what to do next, and he couldn't have been older than 21.

If your parents aren't acting like grown-ups, how are you supposed to figure out how to do it?

The kids and I, meanwhile, having finished our discussion of the relative merits of various Muppet movies, got up to go. "Bye!" kiddette said to the kids next door. They all laughed, and the lone girl at the table, a pretty blonde, said, "Bye!" right back.

They seemed like nice young folks. I hope they turn out OK.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

179 to go

The first day of school, as far as I can tell, went well. I say that because this is how the conversation with the kids went:

Me: "Did you have a good day?"

Kids: "Yes!"

Me: "What did you do?"

Kids: "I don't know."

Me: "Who else is in your class?"

Kids: "I don't remember."

Hey thanks, kids, glad we had this talk.

DH reported that kiddette somehow managed to follow the first-graders right into their classroom, briefly fooling the teacher, and then needed to be brought back to her rightful kindergarten class. Which surprises me not at all. Wherever kiddette is, obviously that's where she should be, and of course everyone should be delighted to see her.

Today, she insisted on standing bus-lookout at the corner, and was the first one on. She said she couldn't wait for "a new adventure today" in kindergarten. That's my little Hermione. (This is actually a compliment.)

The smaller bus, per kiddo's brand-new IEP, seems to be working out fine. He runs right onto it. There are only a couple other kids on it, and an aide, so we shouldn't (I think) have any overstimulation/bad behavior issues. The only possible issue: There are a bunch of neighborhood kids at our bus stop, and kiddo is the only one who gets on this bus. I haven't explained why to the other moms yet. Usually I have no problem saying "Yes, my son has ADHD, I'm sure you can tell from all the running around," because if I'm going to acknowledge it, I'm going to crack a joke in the process. But I did that at a party over the weekend and DH wasn't thrilled; he thinks I'm setting kiddo up to be pre-judged. Maybe. So I decided that if the moms ask, I'll explain, and if not, I won't. Anyway no one seems bothered. His bus arrives first, so today the other moms helped me holler at him to quit goofing with his friends and get on. He yelped, came streaking down the sidewalk and jumped on the bus.

I haven't sent in the weighted vest yet, because 1. it's hot in that school and 2. the vest is actually in kind of sad shape. It's missing a snap and I'm not sure I can fix it. Sewing? Not one of my major skills. I fail the Martha Stewart School of Domestic Perfection.

I ran right from first-day dropoff to meeting with our new behavioral therapist. We had a good conversation; she seems nice so I'm hoping she can help. I did have to explain to her what "social communication disorder" is -- THAT'S how new the term is, if parents know more about it than the professionals.

And I've spent approximately the last week fighting with the pediatric psychiatrist's office about getting kiddo's records, so that we can bring them to the new practice. In the span of three phone calls, I heard "Sure, we can get those together for you," "Oh, you need to come in and fill out a form, and then the form needs to be approved by the head of the practice and by the other departments, and oh by the way it'll take two weeks," and "Oh, we charge 25 cents a page, do you still want all the records? He's been coming here a while. Oh, just the medication records? OK, you need to fix the form then." Thus perfectly illustrating why I went and found a new practice in the first place. Well, that and the fact that our regular psychiatrist has been MIA, no explanation given, for three-plus months and the head of the practice wasn't interested in having actual conversations with us despite the brand-new diagnosis, and recommendation on meds, we'd just gotten from the independent evaluation requested by the school. (He finally suggested we discuss a plan for the school year at our final meeting last week, apparently not cluing in that I meant it to be the final meeting. I politely explained that we'd be having that discussion with the next psychiatrist.)

I sincerely hope this round of doctors and therapists is more helpful than the last round. This just gets exhausting.

So we'll call things cautiously optimistic, and see how it goes.