Monday, December 8, 2014

Settling in.

Our first week in our new home... The transition has been nothing short of spectacular. For example, the Goofy One decided to show me exactly how much he appreciated all of the much needed changes with a little love note..

"I'm going to run away because you're mean to me."

I congratulated him on effort and specific letter formation and offered to call his dad to come get him but he said no, thanks, he'd rather live in the wild. After he took time to think about where he would find macaroni and cheese in the wild, he decided he might be better off apologizing for his behavior.
Alex finally stopped crying. That was a relief.

Walter went straight teenager on me. That sucked.

Then there were the schools. Alex's new school is wonderful. He's only attended one day, but the time leading up to that one day puts  me at ease. Everyone has been great. And, the best thing about living in a small town is that just about everyone is connected in some way. Alex's new 1:1 aide is a familiar person- friend of a friend of a friend kind of thing. She's a good woman. One I know I can trust from the gossip I've heard over time. He met her Friday and spent some time getting acquainted. I didn't even cry dropping him off this morning, and after being with me for 12 days straight with neither one of us getting a break, he was happy to be rid of me. Not an anxious look to be found anywhere on his face.

The Goofy Child is in the Primary School, which is grades K-2. The best thing I can say about this school so far is that he'll only be there for 5 more months. *please, God, don't let there be snow days* The Process Coordinator is his until 6th grade and I freaking love her. The Director of Special Education and her Assistant are very helpful and are absolutely willing to take time to listen and help.

The one that had the most impact, though, was at the high school. Every cloud has a silver lining, you know. It was a really crappy Friday, following a really crappy week. I had several stops to make before our 10:30 appointment to meet Alex's new staff and Walter had forgotten his medication and his house key. We signed in and waited for him in front of the office. We were talking to Alex, keeping him occupied with abusing his naked, finger-paint spattered baby when a woman came out, pulled up a seat and injected herself into our small group. "I don't mean to pry, but can you tell me what we're dealing with on a daily basis here? Is it autism?" She surprised me, but she was so confident in her question that I didn't think twice. We were talking, she was telling me that she sees a lot of parents of special needs in her work and they usually look worn out and haggard, but I don't- she liked that (*snicker* all she needed to do was wait a few hours and it would be a whole new level of haggard). I told her that Alex is pretty easy going and pointed at Walter as he walked up, telling her I couldn't do it without him. She looked at Walter and told him what a good guy he was and explained that her mother was disabled. She told him some of the feelings she had about taking care of her mother as a teenager- she didn't ask for this, it wasn't fair, why does she have to do it... hearing her acknowledging those feelings and voicing them out loud, I could see Walter visibly relax. He smiled and nodded. She had a positive message, but I don't remember what it was. What I remember is it was exactly what Walter needed and his entire demeanor changed from that conversation. He won't talk to many people about the difficulty of taking care of a brother with special needs, he won't admit that it's fucking hard, but I hope he talks to her when he needs to because she gets it.

Going into our second full week, we're all feeling a little better, a little more settled and secure... until about 6am when the house goes nuts. You know how well a mobile home is insulated? It's not. Our poor neighbors. They will never let their children play with my children. The Goofy Child is literally bouncing off of the walls... and the refrigerator... and the trampoline... and the washer... and gives me a freaking heart attack when he crashed down through a heater vent. I was sure he broke his leg. I'm freaking out, he's freaking out, Walter's freaking out, Alex slept through the whole thing. Luckily, his leg was not broken, but he did end up with a nasty bruise, and I'll be damned if he didn't start back with the non-effing-stop bouncing and hollering as soon as I emailed his staff that he was fragile today.

Remember the silver lining? One of our cats has been a pain in my ass lately. Pooping in floors and wetting beds and all around irritating the hell out of me. He took one look at the open vent and decided to make a run for it. He slithered through the vent to the underside of the trailer quick as he could go. I can't help but think of the Shawshank Redemption and *cough* into my arm so the Goofy Child won't think I'd dare laugh at a cat in "danger." I was hoping he wouldn't make me post missing flyers and that the cat would find someone else to torment when I remembered the damned thing is microchipped. Lord, help me.

Yes, I'm mean. We covered that in the first paragraph.

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