Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Blogging it out!! (Part 1)

While it would be so much easier to just block it out, that is just simply not an option here. So I am blogging it out instead.

I need to release this, …this, …this panic, stress, fear, pain, anger, desperation, and a bunch of other words I just can’t think of right now.

I haven’t posted in a while (3 weeks have past) because it’s just too exhausting to rehash everything.  I’d like to be able to at least alternate between the happy events and the difficult times on here but lately the difficult times just seem to over shadow the happy. But isn’t that just always the way it is, it’s the bad and the ugly that weigh heavily on our minds and the good that just floats on by. In an effort to take the weight off I am dumping it all, right  here, right now. ALL OF IT!!

Leon’s behavior just seems to get worse with each passing day. Every week it is something new. And I just can’t figure out what is going on. In a previous post; The Dreaded Phone Call I told the story of Leon “stabbing’ his OT in the hand with a pencil. That occurred on Monday 4/20/09,  and even though that was 3 weeks ago, story now continues from there.

Tue. 4/21– Bring Leon to the bus stop and have an anxiety attack triggered by the fact that Leon told his bus mates that he was grounded and when they asked what he did he started to say “I stabbed the teacher” before I pulled him away and reminded him NOT to tell people that, it was no one’s buisness but ours! (oh and anyone that reads this blog) I just didn’t want the kids at school thinking of him as that kid that stabbed the teacher with a pencil.   – I also decided to start up Leon’s daily progress journal again ( a notebook that goes back and forth between his teacher and I)

Wed. 4/22 –  Leon comes home with a 2 page entry in his journal, these are the highlights:

Leon did not want to work this morning

Leon cut up his papers so he couldn’t glue them back together

Leon rushed his coloring, scribbling all over with one color

Leon proceeded to make noises and fool around w/ his neighbors

Leon blew his second chance with the papers by doing the first page and crossing out the rest

Leon put glue stick all over the floor

The principle came to speak with Leon

Leon ate lunch in the principles office and completed his work there

Leon decided to push his desk to another spot during math.when told to move it back (to his spot), he moved it all the way to the back of the room. When Mrs. D looked at him he wisely said “Well you told me to move it back!”

Leon refused to sit when Mrs. D moved his seat to the correct spot, instead he decided to lean on it and dance

Leon tripped a girl (D) while packing up in the coat room, then he walked to the center of the room and threw his money. each time Mrs D tried to stop him he would walk away and throw something else.

Leon was very disruptive and defiant, unfortunately they were unable to complete their work as a class.

After reading all this when he got home from school I felt some major consequences were in order. We decided that he would lose his DS privileges for the rest of the month – I also took this opportunity to put my “earning DS time plan” into effect.

I am pretty proud of this plan. It entales earning tokens for certain tasks, the tasks include cleaning his room (reinforcing the “No DSifyourroomis a mess” rule ,  staying in his seat until his meal is complete (something we’ve been working on for a loooong time – he hops around and gets up at least a dozen times before a meal is through – arrrrgh), emptying his collection basket (a basket of all of the things that I find laying about the house instead of away where they belong), making his bed (which actually means clearing it of all the books that get dumped on there each morning when he wakes up before we do). For each completed task he gets a round magnetic token which equals 10 minutes of time for use on his DS or other computer game. Another rule is that in order to use his earned time he must have 30 or more minutes saved up AND his room must be clean (remember, “No DS if the Room is a Mess!”) …I have to say I looove this plan!! It has been working well and Leon actually enjoys it and seems to have a sense of pride over earning the tokens.

Okay, so in addition to his losing his DS and having to start ‘the plan’, I just could not see letting him go out and enjoying himself as if nothing had happened at a birthday party after such bad behavior so I would not let him go to Mac’s Bday party. (SORRY MAC!!! and Heath!!) He was devastated, I hated doing it because both Mac and her family are very important to me. But I just could not do it! Leon became very defiant and even tried to run out to the car so I could not leave without him ( I planned to go anyway as they are close friends) I had to physically pick him up and put him in his room. In defiance he refused to take his coat off swearing that he was not moving from this spot and when daddy got home he was going to get in the car and go with me! He stubbornly stood his ground and refused to move from his spot in his doorway. he stood in the same exact spot for a good 30 to 40 minutes while I waited for Ron to get home from work so I could leave Leon. Anytime I would look in on him he would be in the same spot and say”I’m still here, I’m not moving”. When Ron pulled into the driveway I went to reassure Leon of my love and planted a kiss on his forehead. That’s when I smelt it. I looked at him and asked “Did you poop your pants?”  …yup he pooped! So I told Ron to take care of it and I left. Not to long after that Ron put Leon to bed and got on the phone with a friend, during the call Leon interrupted several times, and Ron told him to stay in bed, after too many interruptions Ron went to speak to him only to find out he pooped his pants again……

Thur. 4/23– There was a pushing incident in gym but the rest of the day went well. ….it went well that is until he got home. I wasn’t home. Ron was. I had to work a consignment sale for a few days so Ron took that day off to help me. He got Leon off the bus and began the homework battle, something that I am secretly happy about this, maybe he appreciates what I go through on a daily basis with Leon now. That was followed by Karate. Ron as usual had no trouble getting him to go, but that did not mean it was trouble free. Leon managed to find a safety pin  in Ron’s car. He bent it into a ‘M’ shape to lace around his fingers and then took it into the class with him. Luckily the Sensai saw it and took it away but not before finding out that Leon’s plan was to lace it around his fingers, point sticking out palm side so he could high five someone with it. Okay I have to say it WTF!! What the hell am I going to do with this child?????????

Fri 4/24 – I did not deal with Leon at all this day, I was out working the consignment all day and night, I saw him briefly in he morning and kissed him at night as he slept – my angel. That’s not to say my day wasn’t anxiety ridden given the week we just had.

Mon 4/27 – and the 4 days that followed were relatively mild in comparison to the prevous week, even though the daily journal did report some refusal to work, disruptive behavior, calling out, tattling, and excessive energy (read; constantly on the go). At least there were no phone calls.

Sun5/3– Leon had an appointment with his Pediatrician to discuss his escalating behavioral issues and aggressiveness, along with some possible treatment options. The doctor and I discussed whether or not he was an anxious child, to which I would have to say yes. Leon is hyper-sensitive and often quite anxious about things, he gets apprehensive about certain movies (we are talking Disney movies) where if he is kept in suspense and suspects it might be scary he has to shut it off or leave the theatre, seemingly simple rides scare him yet others of equal level can be fine, certain noises worry him, he’s afraid of the dark, he gets very very anxious over the possibility of failing at something therefore refuses to try and that includes school work. So we discussed medication and trying him on a mood stabilizer. The question now was if he should stop the stimulant and just take the mood stabilizer or should he take both at the same time. Being that both Ron and I had been against meds to begin with, before we even came around to agreeing to him taking anything, I agreed with the doc that we should try just the mood stabilizer and reintroduce the stimulant if necessary.  Meanwhile being that I have no choice but to go to the doc appointments alone, I still had to discuss it all with Ron. So while I got a prescription, it was not actually filled till the next day.

Mon 5/4– Ron agreed to the medication plan and we had the script filled for use beginning on the next day. Meanwhile at school Leon’s day was full of energy, calling out , very talkative, and disruptive.  ….basically, the usual. When Leon got off the bus he seemed very excited about something. He ran right up to me yelling “I’m a girl, I’m a girl, Look at me I look like a girl” As he gets closer I realize he has something all over his face. It’s blue marker. Marker that he used as lipstick, eyeshadow, and a dot on each ear for earrings. He proudly holds out his hands to show me the pink marker nail polish on his fingers. I asked him what happened? He said “I colored my face and hands to look like a girl, don’t I look like a girl?” , “Why do you want to look like a girl?”,I ask. He says “Because I want to be a girl”. I ask, “Why do you want to be a girl?”, He answers “Because mommy, I don’t want to be me!”, “I don’t like being me, I am bad and I always get in trouble””So I want to be a girl”        …….did you hear that???? That was the sound of my heart breaking!!!! My poor poor little boy! We sat down together on the floor, him in my lap with my arms wrapped tightly around him, while I told him how sad I would be if he were anyone other than my child. That he was just perfect being not so perfect. That he was my superstar, and that he was just fine the way he is. I assured him of my love and squeezed him sooo tight, until he said “okay moooom, can you let me go now so I can go clean my room to earn minutes for my DS?”, “Go right ahead Leon, go clean your room if you want”  …{click, Whhhaaaa!} That was the sound of me locking myself in my room and crying my eyes out. I don’t think I ever fell asleep that night or the next few for that matter either. So much weighing on my mind! SO MUCH WEIGHING ON MY POOR LITTLE BOY’S MIND!!! Why Lord? Why? Why must my child go through this? Why at age six do things need to be this difficult on him? Why isn’t there a clear, cut and dry answer on how I can help him? How can I take this pain away? I bleed for him, I feel his pain, I felt his pain…. When I was a child (granted older than six at the time) but a child none the less I felt this pain, only it was my own. It was pain that I had carried with me through out my life …that is until I met Ron and found new hope. Ron allowed me to see myself through his eyes and the pain was lifted. It took 30 years for that to happen. Why can’t I lift this pain for the greatest love of my life, heart of my heart, my reason for being, my son? I don’t want him to have to go through this in his life, not even for a minute.

Tue 5/5– His first day on the mood stabilizer (without the stimulant). Wow what a stupid idea THAT was!!! The phone call from the gym teacher calling to let me know Leon had defaced the gym walls by drawing on them in pen was bad enough. But then Leon came home and his daily progress journal was filled with a 5 page note from his teacher. Granted I asked for the feedback on how the meds were working but I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me when I saw it. Here is the Cliff-notes version (oh and now you will see where my time line idea came from):

9:15am – off to a bad start, climbing up radiator

9:20 – put feet up on teacher’s desk to block children from passing

9:30 – sat in every seat but his own

9:35 – scribbled in assignment book, blacking out the days section, rendering it unusable.

9:40 – kept picking up his supply box and dropping it until it exploded all over. Instead of picking up his supplies when told to, he began rolling around the floor

9:45 – School social worker called in to work with him during math. He managed to stay on task

10:45 – continued to act out once she left, walking around the room, pulling things off the shelf, every time his teacher told him to put them away and continue working, he found something else to do

Snack time was uneventful as he watched a 10 minute movie clip

11:30 – Class began making Mother’s Day gifts as Leon took the pieces a part and put glue all over everything and then refused to finish it.

Then he took the stamper off the teachers desk and began stamping everything – teacher removed the stamp

Then he started banging on the stapler on her desk – she removed the stapler

Then he grabbed her scissors and started snipping at the air – she removed the scissors

Then he walked away from her desk pulling all the papers off and throwing them to the ground

He then climbed the radiator and walked across it and messed up the snapcubes. All the while the teacher was trying to assist the other 25 children who needed help but could not get it because she was too busy taken things away from Leon.

Then he walked around the room touching everyone’s project moving their pieces around.

12:25 – Rec time followed by lunch, in the halls he had to touch everything he passed

Then came gym where we already know he wrote on te walls in pen.

I the hallway he had to be removed from the line and was told to sit on the bench, as soon as the teacher turned around he was standing on the bench

He did well in computer class till it was time to shut down. He protested by running across the room and jumping on the radiators again

He was very argumentative throughout the day and would not stop moving.

To quote the teacher “I don’t think this new medication has any effect on Leon, he is the same as he was in the beginning of school before you started the meds if not worse”

……….That night in speaking with his therapist we learned that the mood stabilizer usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to start working!!!! Oh HAIL NO!! No way is my child going to have to endure this (let alone that poor teacher of his or the rest of the class)

Wed 5/6 – Back on the stimulant, together with the mood stabilizer! He was described as being seemingly calmer from the moment he walked through the door by his teacher. He had a good day working nicely.

Thur 5/7– SPECIAL PERSON”S DAY — Yay, I’m a special person! What a gooood day. Leon picked me, to be his special person of the day. I got to go and sit in his class with him. The children each got to read a special note to each of their persons and got to do an activity with them. It was very cute!!! Leon had a good day!  We all had a good day.

Fri 5/8 – Leon had a toy he wasn’t supposed to have taken away by the principle. Then Leon tried to pull it out of her hands (not a good idea!) But other than that a good day. I was invited back at the end of the day for Mother’s Day Tea in class along with all the other moms it was very nice. I am sad I forgot my camera – they sang some really cute songs!!! Fridays are special to Leon because he gets to have playdates. He and his friend had a blast.

See…. I can recall some good too

Sat 5/9 –  This past weekend was very chaotic, we had lots going on from basement floods to cars not working (both of them) to dealing with Leon acting out. On Sat. Leon and Ron went shopping for my Mother’s Day gift, while on line, Leon became very interested in the trading cards. He repeatedly asked Ron to buy them for him, and Ron repeatedly said no. They had just purchased to new books for him and that was enough. As Leon continued to beg for the cards, Ron advised him that if he asked again the consequence would be having to walk back to the bookstore to return his books. Leon asked again, not once but twice and Ron continued to say no. On the way to the store exit (mall entrance) Ron noticed that Leon had a bulge in his pocket that wasn’t there before. So without accusing him he mentioned it to Leon and explained how wrong it is to steal and if there was something in his pocket that did not belong to him he might want to put it back. Ron wanted to give him the opportunity to correct himself, and believe me he gave him plenty!! When it was clear Leon was not going to put it back, Ron told him that if they left the store and he checked his pockets and found stolen property he would have to punish him by taking away his DSfor a whole month and that if he wanted to, he could go into the next aisle and take care of it before walking out the doors. Ron was sure that would work. You know what they say, “..don’t make any threats you don’t plan on following through on”. What Leon hasn’t quite realized yet is that we are follow-throughers!!! If we say it we will do it, whether we like it or not! And in this case, it’s NOT! Ron instantly regretted saying it and I definitely am not happy he said it… “ALL HAIL THE DS, ALL HAIL THE DS!”. Wouldn’t you know it Leon walked out of the store with a pocketful of stolen trading cards. Ron walked back in and put them on the shelf (although I would have much rather preferred he made Leon return them, but he did what he thought was best), then headed back to the bookstore. The whole walk over Leon did not say one word, until he stepped foot into the store. Boy did he have a major tantrum!!!! Poor Ron said there where 5 people in line in front of him before he got to the counter.  Can you imagine be one of those people, listening to a poor little kid crying and pleading please don’t return my books, I neeeed my books, don’t do it, don’t do it, no, no, no…. thinking just give your kid the damn books already!! In the evening there was some fibbing going on. something that seems to be a growing concern. It was also when the basement got flooded again 9second time in a week) by supposedly fixed broken washing machine. Leon was supposed to be in bed while Ron and I where bailing out the basement. Leon managed to sneak out of bed and watch TV. I didn’t make a big deal out of it, after all I can’t tell you how many times I did that as a kid and really there just wasn’t anymore fight left in me. Then later on we noticed that there weren’t as many cookies left in the container as there were before we went into the basement.” Hmmmmm, I wonder if Leon snucksome cookies”, Ron says. So I go investigate. I lean over Leon’s bad to give him a kiss, and I get a wiff of Chips Ahoy. I said “Ooohsomeone smells like chocolate chips, did you you sneak some cookies?”, “ummmm, yes”, “how come?, “well, because sometimes I just get hungry in the night”, so now I say, “okay, hand them over”, “hand what over?”, “the cookies you are still hiding”, “there aren’t any”, “oh yes there are, hand ’em over”, …he then says,”oh yeah, I forgot” and lifts his pillow up and there they are. crumbs and all -Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhh!

Sun 5/10 – Mother’s Day. What a nice day. Leon crawled into bed with me for a cuddle and to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and gave me my gifts. I got two  books,  True Mom Confessionsfrom Ron, and a fill in the blank complete with drawings and coupons book from Leon. Both were very entertaining. Additionally I got to spend the day shopping (with Leon) while Ron cleaned the house  – BONUS!! Shopping with Leon went very nicely. Ron gave him a pep talk about it being MY day and to be on his very best behavior! It didn’t hurt that I bribed him. I told him he could earn back the books he had to return. It was very nice. In the evening Ron’s family and mine met for Hibachi dinner at a new place that just opened around the corner. I must say I really love Hibachi! Leon was very restless. He had gotten his books and was up to his usual shenanigans. First he grabbed a fistful of toothpicks from the front. When I took them from him he said “but I need them to trap mice”,  yeah well I really hope there aren’t any mice in the brand new 10 day old restaurant! Next, some how he managed to get a hold of at least half a dozen chopsticks (you would think I don’t watch my own child, but really I do …he’s just really quick). But once he had them I just let him keep himself entertained with them. Yes, I know bad mommy, but it was Mother’s Day and I just didn’t feel like being a drill sergeant for once, I was quite content to let one of the other 11 people handle it. At one point Ron catches him trying to carve his name into the wood railing with a chop stick. If you know where and what to look for you can just make out his name in the scratches on the wood. I just don’t understand what is going on with this kid!!

During the previous week we went to our local SEPTA meeting to see Dr. Yellin speak on ADHD. I liked him and his websitealot! It’s what started me thinking about getting an assesment outside of the school. What I don’t like so much is the price tag ($3650 eeeek). But something has to be done. Things are escalating with him and we don’t know why. I feel there are issues here beyond just ADHD. In addition to seeing Dr. Yellin speak, I have also been in contact with Dr. Petrosky, who was recommended by my MiL’s doctor. He was leading a parent workshop, and MiL offered to pay for one of us to go. I did not want her wasting her money ($150pp)  if it wasn’t going to cover the info we needed, so I made a call to get some more info. Boy am I glad I did. This man was so nice and personable, he took time out of his Saturday to speak with me for over an hour, he went over what he would be covering, he also talked with me about Leon and his situation, he also does psychological assessments as well, and offered to look at what tests Leon had already taken so as to help bring the cost of an assessment down. As far as the workshop he also was kind enough to allow me to bring Ron with me at no extra charge. I really like this guy!

Mon 5/11 – Just another regular ordinary day… if a regular ordinary day includes your son hiding under a seat on the school bus and refusing to get off? Yup just an ordinary day … I went to the bus stop to get Leon and heard a bunch of kids calling out that Leon was refusing to get off the bus and was hiding under his seat. What!!! He did eventually get off and when I asked why he didn’t want to get off the bus he said, “because I want to go on a playdate”. It’s his teacher, calling to let me know that Leon tried to sneak on to a bus other than his own. The teacher in the bus room realized that she did not recognize him and asked him where he was supposed to be. He very convincingly insisted that he was supposed to go home on the bus with his friend Rohit because they had a playdate. He was walked back to his teacher to find out the truth. She said, “absolutely not, he needs to be on his own bus”, so they sent him back he then tried to convince them that we had moved and I forgot to write a note, so he really did need to get on another bus. That’s my smart-ass kid for ya. I told the teacher I would handle it and we said goodnight. As for Leon, since Ron already took away his DS for the month, I was left with just a few options, I grounded him to his room and took away any remaining screen time (comp,TV, other handhelds).

Up to this point things were difficult to say the least. It was hard to see Leon go through all this crap, it was hard to deal with the lying, and to understand why he would steal even after given a chance to rectfy it. It was just one thing piling up on top of another. It was difficult to deal with for sure!!!

Then came Tuesday, the day I started writing this post (today is not Tuesday, it’s Saturday,it’s taken me 4 days to get it all out with all that’s happened). Tuesday was the day my panic attacks started having panic attacks. Tuesday was the day that anything could have happened to my poor child. Tuesday, the day that panic, anger, shock, fear, confusion, bewilderment, stress, and relief hit me all at once.

For my friends out there, who found out what had happened I am sorry that I just could not talk about it anymore. As shocking as it was, it’s not surprising that everyone wants to know what happened and that the response to it would be fierce. But there was no simple way to say it without it leading to more and more questions, and more and more conversation. And the more I talked about it and had to rehash the story the tighter my chest got, the shallower I could breath, the more rushed my words got the sooner I felt dizzy and faint, the more I thought about the what ifs the more intensely my head hurt. To the point that I just could not talk about it anymore. Over the course of the 2 days that followed the firestorm of calls and conversations about it was just too much for me and I finally broke down completely on Thursday. So that is why I am posting it here, fears and tears and all, so I don’t need to retell it over and over again. And it’s okay to comment and ask any questions you want, although it’s taken 4 days to get to the crux of my post, I have found that getting it all out in print is very cathartic. 

Continued on Blogging it out!! (Part 2) – The day the school lost my son



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2 thoughts on “Blogging it out!! (Part 1)

  1. Chrsitine on said:

    I just want you to know that you & Ron & Leon are in my prayers.
    Try to hang in there, I know you guys will get him the help he needs.
    Love & miss you all!

  2. Lynn on said:

    Oh Jill I just want to give you a big hug! It’s wonderful that you have so many friends and family to help you through such a tough time for everyone. I know we’re just “DIS” friends but please know I’m here if you need anything at all. I’ll gladly be your PR person – I can say “no comment” for you. 😉 Leon sounds like an incredibly smart child! Please don’t feel like you have to answer (you can email me or something if you’d like) but has he ever been tested as far as IQ? Maybe he’s more at third grade instead of first grade? I’m sure you’ve already thought of that since you’re such an awesome Mommy but it’s something I’d thought of.

    I also have to say I’m glad you got upset with the school. They were clearly in the wrong and I’m glad you didn’t take their excuses and solution to the problem. Good for you for helping Leon to have a voice and be treated more fairly.

    (((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))))) to you and your family

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