Pets, knees, dioramas and a better dance day

Mason, our charming dog took a run out the front door this evening while the kids were running in and out of the house while playing outside.  I have mentioned Mason before, but let me say he is not without his charms and his flaws.  He is a German Shepherd Dauchshund mix – which is an odd mix, to say the least.  He is terribly sweet, amazing with Mickey, Minnie’s favorite playmate, and super cuddly.  He is also virtually untrainable (we have done classes, hired experts, etc).  He doesn’t bark much or jump on people, he doesn’t bite or show any aggression – he just doesn’t listen.  He doesn’t come when called, unless he feels like it.  I have joked that he also has Mickey’s Oppositional Defiance Disorder.  That makes it more interesting on the rare occasion that the kids have let him get out.

10985541_10153132278085127_4013195025885951322_n This is the same look Mickey gives me when he is ignoring me

10375084_10152627963225127_5018587877346632527_nThis is the face we love

This was compounded by the fact that I spent the evening at an orthopedic urgent care last night.  A year and a half ago, I made a less than intelligent decision – at the dare of my dear Mickey – to jump in a foam pit.  I did rather extensive damage to my left knee and spent 6 weeks on crutches and six months in physical therapy. Since then, there have been periodic flare ups, but overall the knee has been fine.  On Monday I suffered a sharp pain and have spent the rest of the week suffering whatever that pain was.  My mother, not the most understated or subtle of people, not so gently persuaded me to go to the ortho clinic last night.  As suspected, there were problems – torn meniscus, several bone spurs, bone on bone and significant arthritis. I am back in a brace, still limping rather badly, starting PT again and got a cortisone shot last night.  We are hoping to avoid surgery, so chasing my adorable, but listening challenged dog down the street was pretty low on my list of things to do this evening.

This is Mickey’s diorama on the Creek Indians. He worked very hard on conceptualizing, preparing his oral presentation, designing the diorama, the houses, and dictating my construction.  He flat out told his teacher that for the most part I did as instructed.  I am not sure that is what the teacher had in mind, but I don’t know what else she expected.  At least he was honest.  I present his effort.  He didn’t care for several things, but I am not crafty, so after he dictated round houses after my perfectly lovely square houses were not to his satisfaction and he didn’t care for my thatched roofing not being at an angle, I gave up on trying to please and went for completion.

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Last Saturday, Mickey had a meltdown at the dance studio during Nutcracker.  Monday he showed remarkable maturity for him when he talked to the studio owners to see if they would still allow him to participate in Nutcracker.  Today we attended ballet class and he asked if they had made their decision.  He was prepared for them to say no.  They didn’t.  He went to class and did amazing and then had his best and most attentive Nutcracker rehearsal ever.  I am relieved.  He would have been so disappointed.

Mickey’s behavior at school this week has been tough – the understatement of the week.  So we celebrated his birthday last night with a low key party with just the grandparents, Minnie and I.  This was not the plan we had, but we had to adjust, because while every child should celebrate their birthday, his behavior has not warranted a party this week.  The party was still thrilling for him – he would rather be with his grandparents than anyone else.  He got a digital camera and legos.  My brother is taking him shopping for new Vans, since has has declared Uncle the authority on cool shoes (I only buy him Converse lol).

So, I am limping, Mickey is in a better place, Minnie is curled up with her dog after his narrow escape and crying and explaining to him why he made a bad choice.  I am always grateful for the chaos that is my life – though after the last couple of weeks, I could use a small break.  Two weeks to Disney – assuming that I can walk it.  I think it will be a good trip for us.  We are planning to do the 4 parks in 1 day challenge, so that should be interesting.

Birthday week and psychiatrists

Tomorrow wraps up birthday week, which wraps up birthday month in our immediate family.  Minnie turned 8 on Sunday, my dad’s birthday was Tuesday and Mickey turns 10 tomorrow.  This follows my brother and I’s birthdays earlier this month (also 5 days apart).  My poor mother has been dealing with this issue for 39 years, but it was compounded with the addition of Mickey and Minnie to our family.  But, we have survived the week.  Both kids got/are getting digital cameras in preparation for our upcoming Disney trip and Disney Cruise, since I am the meanest mom ever and won’t buy them cell phones :-).

Minnie got a Cloud Pet from her grandparents – I am not advertising, nor am I being compensated, but this may be one of my favorite gifts ever.  If you have a child that you love that lives far away (or even two miles, such as in my parent’s case), this gift is really cool. Adorable stuffed animal about $40.  An app on parent’s phone and in our case, the grandparent’s phone.  Grandparent’s record a message, send to parent’s phone, my phone notifies me and i can send the message via bluetooth to the cloud pet.  Child can record message back and grandparent’s receive it in her voice.  Minnie says “it is like giving Grandma and Grandpa a hug every night before bed”.  Her’s is named Rosetta Corn (it is a unicorn).  Aunts/Uncles/Friends can be invited to send Minnie messages too.  Messages can be directed by the parent to multiple people (Minnie likes to say “Good night Grandma and Grandpa. I love you”) and I can send message to both of their phones.

20150921_085510Meet Rosetta Corn

Mickey has had a tough week.  He has been okay at home, excellent at daycare, but school has been tough.  It started when he got frustrated with an assignment.  It ended with him kicking the resource officer at school on Tuesday.  Then he didn’t cooperate in “the Happy Room” at school on Wednesday and refused to get off the bus this morning.  I was asked not to come bring him his special birthday lunch and cupcakes, as was planned today.  He got it together and will be back in the regular classroom for his birthday tomorrow, but the special lunch and cupcakes are off the table.  This will be the first time we haven’t done it.  Here is what I know now – it is time for med change.  Now that he is past the “I am grown” thing he had going on, this absolutely is continued escalation of small things.  Even when using coping skills, he is struggling to control it.  That is the tricky part of his behaviors – determining how much is intentional – as there is no med for compliance – and how much is him starting as defiant or frustrated and escalating because he can’t keep his cool.

We start with a new therapist in two weeks and finally, after weeks of trying, I have finally located a psychiatrist. We have an evaluation with her on Tuesday.  I am hopeful that a med adjustment will help him control it better.  The triggers are the same, the behaviors are just more extreme and the coping skills aren’t diffusing as they normally do.  We have not modified his meds in over a year, so it is probably time.  Hopefully a mild increase in milligrams rather than a complete change will do the trick, but it is hard to tell.

The road trip, the meltdown and the crying

I have taken the loss of my Grandfather harder than anticipated and haven’t felt much like writing.  I realize that the fact he was in his 80s should have had me more prepared, but I wasn’t.  The delayed wake and funeral really compounded that for me. It was 5 days from the night he died before the wake.  Our family does 8 hours at the funeral home for the viewing on Thursday and the funeral was the following day.  Mickey, my dad, my brother and I drove up to Indiana very early Thursday morning. In our infinite wisdom, we made the questionable choice to take my mother’s car – that can’t be eaten or drank in on the trip.  I would not make that choice again – Mickey is at his calmest while snacking.  We have taken 7 road trips of a duration of about 7 hours each this year.  We have mastered the trip, but it involves a snack bag….

Minnie stayed home to take care of her Grandma, and she rocked that.  Mickey handled the viewing and funeral well – even the 21 gun salute (though he covered his ears, he didn’t scream or melt down).  I served as a pallbearer with the other grandchildren.  It was a lovely and heartbreaking service.  Mickey avoided the open casket, but all in all did well.

The trip home was less successful, as Grandpa was in a hurry to get home and opted to skip dinner.  So, Mickey was out of routine, functioning on about 5 hours less sleep than normal, couldn’t snack except at restroom stops and was forced to skip dinner.  This was a bad idea, but still Mickey did okay.

Saturday is when it fell apart.  After getting home at around midnight – a whopping 4+ hours past bedtime, Mickey was suffering from being down almost 10 hours of sleep, 14+ hours in the car and coming off of two emotionally charged days.   We went to our morning ballet class, and while a bit crankier than usual, nothing was out of control.  But, by Nutcracker rehearsal that afternoon, there were signs of problems.  I foolishly ignored those signs.

I dropped the kids at Nutcracker, but had to go back home for Minnie’s forgotten dance bag.  I was gone 14 minutes when the studio owner called to tell me that mickey had melted down.  I had no details, but I was only about 3 minutes away.  Mickey was running around the parking lot, heading for a highway and screaming at me.  There were people everywhere and I was a mess.  The owner has known Mickey for 4 years, but had never dealt with this before (he had seen it when Mickey was younger, but I was there to deal with it).  I had never left Mickey at the studio before, though I regularly drop Minnie.  This is why I don’t usually leave him.

I got him calm, but we had to sit in the car for another hour while Minnie finished rehearsal.  Let me just say, that I screwed up in multiple ways that day.  I sometimes forget that even when he is doing well, things have to be a certain way.  He can overcome a few changes, but not so much when everything is off.  I pushed him too far out of his zone and expected him to bounce back too quickly.  I also know I shouldn’t have left.  I can almost always diffuse the explosion, or at least remove him before it gets that bad.  But, live and learn – next time Minnie does without her ballet shoes or remembers her bag.

But, tonight we had to go back to the studio so that Minnie could attend her two classes.  Mickey asked the studio owner if he could talk to him for a minute.  He proceeded to apologize for his behavior and being disrespectful.  He then thanked him for trying to help him, even when Mickey wasn’t being very nice. Then he asked whether he thought it was a good idea for him to continue in the Nutcracker and told him he would respect whatever decision was made.  I have to say, I beamed with pride – I really hadn’t seen him take responsibility, initiate an apology and thank someone for trying to help before.  Mickey loves dance and loves Nutcracker and he really wants to keep doing it, but whatever the motivation, I was very impressed.

My grandfather

I was notified about 20 minutes ago that the man that has always seemed larger than life has passed away.  My grandfather was moved into hospice last night after suffering a fall over Labor Day weekend. My heart is breaking, but I jotted down some thoughts on this man last night while still hoping for the miracle that never came. I think he is incredible.  He has always been the rock for our family – supportive, kind, stable and loving. This is very hard for me, because I am extremely close to my grandpa.  I always have been.  We lost my grandmother last year in September, and I am still hurting from that loss. I want more than anything to be there with him now, but we were just with him 6 weeks ago and I got to spend a good amount of time with him, as did my kids.  I have been blessed with 39 years with him and the last 20 have been my favorite.  We have developed a very cool relationship as I became an adult.  I have been honored to get to know the man, not just the Grandpa that he is.

I was still hoping and praying for that miracle that gives me more time and more time for my kids to get to have those memories of the great-grandfather – the only great grandparent that remains. They adore their Great-grandpa and his death is going to hit them hard, but especially Mickey.  He doesn’t take these things well.  Where Minnie seems to accept that there is a natural end to life, and she cries, but she accepts.  Mickey doesn’t – he stresses, he frets and all death reminds him that all people will die, and his anxiety over losing his grandparents or me or his teacher or his friend, ramps up. He attended 3 funerals last year, and while he will have no part of an open casket, he did ok.  The aftermath was manageable, but this will be harder.  I was close to my grandmother, but by the time I got the kids, she was already very ill.  They knew her, they sat with her, they hugged her, but there weren’t a lot of conversations after the first visit, and they didn’t really get to know her or interact with her very much.  That is not true for my Grandfather.

He and Mickey singing Johnny Cash songs together will likely be my absolute favorite memory of my Grandpa.  Him asking Minnie to perform her ballet routine (over and over and over again) for him comes in a close second.  My favorite part of my relationships as an adult is that for some reason (possibly my brutal honesty combined with extreme tact) had earned his trust and respect.  When one of his children annoyed him, I would get a call to talk him off the figurative ledge. He would talk for 45 minutes and in the end decide his children all loved him and wanted what was best.  I love that he still worried about my long distance bill when I called, but I haven’t paid long distance in over a decade.  Most of all, his unyielding support for his 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 22 great granchildren, and 3 great-great granchildren, and his 67 year marriage to my grandmother.  He met her at a time when divorce was still not socially acceptable, he was a 20 year old soldier who fell in love with a woman seven years his senior and her two young children.  My dad was one of those kids, and for the next 67 years he would love those two as he did the three that were his.  He is the only father my dad has ever known and we love and respect him greatly.

When I told him of my plans to adopt Minnie and Mickey, he wasn’t just supportive, he was thrilled.  From the day of placement, I would get calls to learn about his newest grandchildren.  He spent time learning about Autism and how to deal with Mickey and anxiously awaiting the opportunity to meet them.  As soon as we finalized we made the plan and it was love at first sight for both kids and great-grandpa.  He was well over 6 foot tall, a loud booming man with a biting sense of humor and no filter, and I loved him very much. He was from Buffalo NY, and in many ways was the stereotypical brash New Yorker.

My prayers are with his children tonight – they have been with him for the last 36 hours, since we knew that the end was here.  He was surrounded by his kids and grandkids, he was loved until the very end.  And tonight, he is with his beautiful bride again.   It is almost exactly a year from when we lost my grandmother and I think he was ready to go be with her. I am crying as I type this – mourning the loss of the man that taught my dad how to be the man he is, who showed me every day what it means to love when you don’t have to and what hard work and dedication to your family can yield.  I am grateful that I had 39 years.  I wish my children had more than 4, but I am grateful they had that, so that they could know and love the man as I did.  Rest in peace, Grandpa.  I love you more than you will know.  Hug Grandma for me – until we meet again.

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Maybe not as grown as he thought

Mickey has decided maybe adulting isn’t for him. After the really tough long weekend, I was pretty sure this was going to be a very long week, and it was, but not because of Mickey. Our evenings have been relatively quiet, not a note from his teacher all week, and other than a thunderstorm induced mini panic attack yesterday at daycare, not a complaint out of them either.  Oddly, he isn’t his normal self though either, so I am only cautiously optimistic that we are moving past this little speed bump.

He is still somewhat overly emotional. He is back to his usual defiance, which feels a lot more like ignoring than it does oppositional.  He hasn’t screamed at me or thrown anything at me.  His arguments with Minnie are along the lines of normal, so who knows? But, we are getting ready to throw a wrench in the progress and normally, I know he would be ok….but, right now, coming off of the roughest 3 weeks this year? I am not so sure.

My grandfather fell over the holiday weekend and broke his hip. He has also been unconscious since the fall.  They did surgery on his hip on Wednesday and began a concerted effort to awaken him yesterday and today.  Those efforts have been unsuccessful and short of a miracle happening over the weekend, the decision is being made, in line with his advanced directives, to move him to hospice on Monday. My dad has to head home to be with his father and siblings.  The kids and I can’t go because my mom is recovering from knee surgery and was just released from the hospital on Tuesday so she can’t be left alone, nor can she travel.  So, the kids and I will go stay with her at their house and take care of her until my dad is able to come back.

This will absolutely disrupt Mickey’s routine and definitely test the theory that we are over the hump with regards to this particular bad spell of behavior.  As a child on the spectrum, routine is key as are familiar comfortable surroundings.  But, Mickey has learned to adapt fairly well and enjoys vacations, spending the night at my parent’s house and things like that. But, it becomes harder for him the longer we stay out of routine. By day 4, he starts falling apart at the seams and that is usually when we start heading home. But, we have no idea how long my dad will be gone, so we will just have to take it one day at a time. To add to the routine issue, my dad took my car (mine is a hybrid, his is a V8 Hemi truck).  This means that not only will we be staying somewhere unfamiliar, but we will be driving my mother’s car instead of ours.

He won’t have his dog to calm him, and there are lots of other little reasons why this is making him nervous. He is trying to figure out logistics – what happens if Grandpa isn’t home by Monday? How will I get to school? What happens if Grandma needs to go somewhere? How are you going to pick me up from daycare?  Will you come at normal time or earlier? Why are you working from home on your office day?  These are just a sampling of the questions he asked this morning.  He must know why. He must know how.  He will obsess on it all day, chew those answers up and hopefully be ok with it by the time he gets home.  This is how we have to do things with Mickey – he doesn’t do well when you spring things, but we can’t give him too much notice or he can’t function for the obsessing.  He will have a dozen more questions when I pick him up today and then we will stop by our house, let him pack his bag for overnight, let the dog out, feed the cat and head over to Grandma’s house.  We will got to dance in the morning and Nutcracker in the afternoon, which is his routine. He is stressed about Grandma being home alone for those activities.  We just have to manage anxiety and hope for the best.  The timing is not ideal, but when is it ever for something like this.

Mickey is winning….

My carefully (yeah right) crafted plan is falling apart.  Mainly because Mickey will not abide by the basic rules – be respectful, stay separate from his sister if he can’t be basically respectful, complete consequences to earn back his extra curricular activities, etc.

This weekend has been rough.  Now, in our world this hasn’t been a drop in the bucket, but it hasn’t been good or even okay.  A three day weekend at home wasn’t fun for any of us.  Mickey lost his cool several times – once pushing Minnie down a very tricky small staircase outside on concrete – she is fine but it was scary.  Minnie is asking for Mickey to move out.  She loves her brother, but he is really tough to like when he is acting like this.  He is angry about the lost activities and angry about being left out. But, he still isn’t making the connection between accepting that he is not grown and has to have consequences for his choices.  He knows this, but has fixated on being a grown up and no matter how many times we try to explain that grown ups have consequences too, he is completely being stubborn about it.

I emailed his Scout den leader tonight to let her know that Mickey won’t be joining the first den meeting tomorrow, which will throw him behind on his first badge.  I had so hoped that it wouldn’t be necessary and that he would come to the realization, but he didn’t.  If this keeps up I will have to turn in his notice on dance classes on Thursday.  I really don’t want to do that, but I can’t continue rewarding the behavior.  We have had to make tough choices in the past, but I HATE this part of parenting.  I love to do things for my kids and dance makes him so happy, but I can’t justify $100+ dollars a month for his classes when he is getting in trouble at school, constantly screaming at me and throwing things at me and lashing out at his sister.  It scares me and it breaks my heart.  ODD is no joke, and requires consistency.  It is complicated by the Autism because it is very hard to tell if he is making the connections needed between understanding choices/consequences – though we know he understands it intellectually, the part that makes him stop and think doesn’t seem to be kicking in.  His fixation on being a grown up is very much the Autism, but the ODD is there too.  I am at a loss.

I am shopping for a new psychiatrist, which is proving extremely challenging – his former one left with no notice to us, a week before his scheduled appointment.  We are low on meds and I think we need to discuss an increase in meds as well.  I don’t think this is medication related, but I am growing concerned about the anger.  I don’t relish doing that with a new psychiatrist who has never seen him before, but our essential oils and meds combo are clearly not doing the trick at this point.

The upside?  He did pack his own lunch for tomorrow. I hope you all enjoyed your labor day.  I am looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but mainly just to get a break from the showdown at the E family corral.

Day 3 & 4: Operation Grown Up, Frogs and Minnieisms

As suspected, the novelty is wearing off, but not without some hitches.  Mickey wants all the benefits, none of the responsibilities.  Today was not good.  Last night was ok, but today he just keeps trying to hang out and is determined to kiss up to me.  You know “wow, mommy you did great at that”, “show me again that awesome way you fold clothes” (really?), “can I help you do the laundry?” etc.

But when I reminded him of his end of the agreement, he yelled he kicked he stomped.  He snuck food upstairs, he argued. He really wants to go to Boy Scouts on Tuesday, so hopefully he will make the choices needed to earn back the privileges.

In the meantime Minnie provided these amusing tidbits:

Minnie: Mommy, when will I have a locker?

Me: Middle school, why?

Minnie: I really need a place to display all my crushes and it seems like a locker is where I am supposed to do that.

In reference to her new pet frog, she found him last week and  she loves him.  She kisses him morning and night, she catches live bugs to feed him and has named him Flippers.

Minnie: I know that your heart is huge

Me: Ok

Minnie: I just know that you will find a place in your huge heart to want to hug and kiss Flippers (I will not be kissing him)

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And my favorite was when she came downstairs about two hours after she went to bed and said “Mommy, I woke up and just missed you.  It is a Friday, so no school tomorrow, so i just wanted to see if I could have some extra snuggles”.

She fell asleep in my lap on the couch and I enjoyed those snuggles.  There will be a day in the not so distant future, where I will be missing those extra snuggles – when she is too grown up to want them from me.  I fear those days.  Both Mickey and Minnie are exceptionally loving and snuggly children.  Even angry, Mickey never leaves without a kiss, he holds my hand in public – not like your average almost 10 year old.  In my mind, that is one of my favorite parts of Autism…he has no filter and expresses his joy and love without being encumbered by the social stigma boys his age seem to have.  Minnie thinks her mommy is the most beautiful woman in the world (I am not), Mickey thinks his Grandmother is the most beautiful and he tells her so regularly (Grandma loves this).  Minnie is aware of the norms and will pull away sooner than he will, and I will struggle with that. So, for now, I will take all the extra snuggles I can get.

Day 2: Operation Grown Up

I think the novelty is wearing off for Mickey.  He did do his homework without prompting, but didn’t complete the social skills assignment.  He asked me to help him with it and give him a list of directions that he was to follow and then he was to rate how he did.  So, I gave him directions to do things we had already agreed were not negotiable – take a shower, brush your teeth and take your meds. After he procrastinated, argued and then did them, he came out of the shower and decided that he wasn’t going to fill out the sheet.  Why? I can’t answer.  I filled it out for him with a negative evaluation.  He did do part of the homework, but I doubt he gets any credit for it, but he did complete his math homework, so minor victory?

The biggest signs of the novelty wearing off were that he went to bed at 6pm.  Yes, boredom with no tv and electronics and nobody to play with were enough for him.  He was also not amused that I didn’t take him to dance last night.

The issue was this morning.  He woke up around 5am (and says he didn’t fall asleep until midnight and woke up at 1:00).  Neither of those is true because he was sound asleep when I checked on him at 7:30 when Minnie went to bed, and again at 10. He decided to wake us all up and then got the dog riled up too.  So, the day began in chaos.  He refused to get dressed for school, he pinched Minnie so hard that she bled and then he kicked me in the stomach, he wouldn’t stay on one of the other levels of the house, and then he kicked over a small toy box.  So, he lost the stuffed animal he had hoped to take to school.

As he was yelling at me, he informed me that this whole thing is stupid.  I didn’t understand what he wanted.  He just wanted to pack his own lunch, have no consequences and not have me show up to pick him up at school or daycare when he didn’t feel like leaving. Last night it was “I know you think I am going to give up on this, but I won’t”. This morning it was tears and “this isn’t what I wanted”.  Obviously, what he wanted isn’t going to happen – I don’t care if he packs his own lunch, but the other two are not going to happen. I think we are headed for a breakthrough over the long weekend.  I have been wrong before though.

So, Day 2 was another moderate success. Day 3 is feeling like a failure, but may ultimately prove to be a positive.  His teacher just emailed that he has been pretty good at school this morning, so he did get it together after having to nearly drag him onto the bus at 6:40 am this morning. But, he hasn’t earned enough “money” in his classroom currency account to buy Fun Friday, so this afternoon will probably suck. It doesn’t start until 1:00 though, so we shall see…

Day 1: Operation Grown Up

Day one of Mickey’s adulting was a moderate success.  I had him sign a contract and laid down some ground rules for his attempt at adulthood, because no matter how grown he thinks he is, he is still a 9 year old and can’t actually be an adult. The contract gave Mickey the responsibility for the following:

Mickey will have his own food and will be responsible for packing his breakfast and lunch for school.

Mickey will take responsibility for his own homework and hanging his backpack in the appropriate place – if he does, I will sign the agenda that he has to have signed to earn his school currency.  If not, I will not sign (I already advised his teacher)

Mickey will take responsibility for his own belongings and I will no longer be helping to find his shoes/pen/stuffed animal, etc.

Mickey will be responsibile for putting away his laundry and bringing it down to be washed (he asked that I add that he would like to also wash his own clothes, so I amended the contract).

The rules:

He must stay in the house – he may not leave without permission

He must stay upstairs or downstairs, but not on the main level of the house.  That is where Minnie and I will be doing family activities or watching tv, and since he wants to be left alone and not be encumbered by the respectful behavior expected of him, he will need to be alone.

He may eat dinner with us, assuming that he is respectful. If not, he will need to prepare his own meal and eat alone after we finish.

There will be no swimming or t.v., as I pay for those.  I also took back my ipod that the has been using.

He must shower, take his meds, brush his teeth and go to school.

I will no longer be driving him to Boy Scouts or Dance classes.

If he violates these rules, I will begin removing stuff from his room, because I paid for those items and since he doesn’t want help or things provided for him, they belong to me and are being used because I choose to let him.

When he is ready to rejoin family activities and extra curricular activities, he will need to finish the consequences given to him previously.

He signed and night one was a moderate success.  He did not do his homework, but he did hang up his backpack.  He was not amused that I had removed the cable boxes from the upstairs and basement t.v.s, thus thwarting his plan to sneak television. He doesn’t like to be alone, and kept trying to come back up and see what Minnie and I were doing.  That will be the downfall of his plan, I suspect.  But, we had the most peaceful night we have had in 11 days.  No yelling, no arguing.  I pointed to the contract every time he came up.  He took his meds and went to bed 30 minutes early. He got himself dressed for school this morning (in an outfit I would have never paired, but it was clean). He thinks this will be awesome.  Let’s see how it goes when he is behind on his first boy scout badge because he missed the first den meeting or misses his beloved hip hop class this afternoon.

In a lot of ways, adulting kind of sucks.  But, he will have to figure that out for himself.  Adults have consequences too, and the fact that he is 9 and has no source of income, no transportation and no money to pay for cable tv or books or fun treats and snacks, isn’t going to be fun.  His favorite thing in the world is going out to eat, and he can’t do that either.  Maybe he will gain some independence, maybe tonight will see the epic meltdown I expected yesterday, maybe he will make it through the holiday weekend before it gets to him.  Who knows? His therapist and teacher are on board, so I figure it can’t hurt to try.