January ended with a couple of high notes:
- Mickey won an award at school for good behavior….let that sink in. He had the most school bucks earned that month – his behavior was the best in the school for that month. He was beyond excited, and after I got over the shock, so was I. This is following a two week break and transitioning back after a fairly difficult holiday period. While behavior has historically always improved in January, we usually have a rough transition back to school. In this case, we did not. He hasn’t earned an Intensive Intervention at school since early December. This is seriously awesome.
- My parents have finally and officially moved. We finished their storage unit this weekend. That chapter of their lives is closed and they can focus on their new home that is close to their grandkids and so very perfect for them.
- My brother is hanging in there….at this point that is the best we can hope for. He did pass all his pre tests in order to move forward with the transplant coordinator, but he has been hospitalized twice in January. So, hanging in there, but not doing great.
- Minnie is being considered to move up to junior company for dance next year. She is on the cusp age wise, so this could go either way. She has been asked to work on a few things, but she wants to make the move.
And then February began. Let’s start with the IRS. I was awaiting a reasonably decent sized federal tax refund that was mistakenly offset for a student loan that was consolidated in early 2015. The old holder of the loan filed for the offset and shows the loan in default, but the new holder is accepting payments and applying them to the loan. Obviously, this will be fixed, but I was expecting my refund in my account Friday and was shocked to find this out today. Two hours on the phone unearthed the problem. To be clear, I have been steadily paying on my loans for years and just before the adoption, I paid off the biggest portion of them (45k). I had four relatively small loans remaining and I consolidated early last year (about 16k). These loans are not now, nor were they ever in default. The state of Georgia is taking forever to process theirs, so I have no idea if I will be fighting to get that one back too. Not the way you want to start a month.
Also, both my kids have been struggling with behavior at home lately. Mouthy, disrespectful, not listening, fighting with each other constantly, etc. Nothing extreme, but just general rudeness. This is somewhat typical for Mickey, but Minnie isn’t usually guilty of much other than the fighting with brother thing. I have grounded both kids. I had to buy a safe to stash the family cell phone (also known as Mickey’s phone, at least by Mickey) because he has taken to trying to take it to school and sneaking downstairs to take it and stay up all night on it. I don’t know what is going on with the two of them, but it came to head tonight with both of them.
Mickey had to miss his dance class because he decided to show off his karate moves in the car and karate chopped his sister in the arm, kicked the car window repeatedly and attempted to tear the headrest out of the passenger seat. This was on a five minute car ride. This was his attempt to prove to me that he could do karate without becoming fixated on it (FAIL). Backstory – he did karate briefly years ago, but wasn’t coordinated enough, nor emotionally stable enough to get through a class. He spent most of each class in a ball on the floor in frustration or anger. We tried for 3 months because he wanted to do it. But, since then he has grown increasingly fixated on proving how strong he is and we have had to eliminate all things ninja/karate/kung fu related (tv shows, books, etc) because he tries to attempt to “show people his awesome skills and strength” at school and on other people. Even when not done in anger, this is a problem. That has been relatively under control for the last several months, but reared its ugly head this evening.
Minnie got smart mouthed with me and argued over homework, which never happens (the homework – the smart mouth thing happens often enough). She then threw her self down on the floor in the most epic tantrum I have seen from her in a while. Her tantrums are hysterical crying – no hitting or anything. It was like watching a 52″ tall 8 year old toddler – complete with little fists hitting the ground. She screamed at me and told me she doesn’t want to live here anymore. She said she hates her brother. She says his autism caused her behavior and she is sick of it.
Now obviously it didn’t. I do know that when he gets nastier, she usually gets sweeter (because she likes to fix things and when he is mean to me, she likes to make it better) and then we see some tantrums as she mimics his behavior. Something is up with her – she is antagonizing him like crazy – even when she knows the outcome is that he is going to lose his cool. Almost as though that is her intention. She pushes him to the breaking point and then blames him when he snaps. She is a smart girl, so I can’t figure out what the thought process is on this behavior. But, he isn’t the only one getting consequences for his choices and she isn’t liking that very much at all.
So we begin February broker than anticipated, grounded and with two grumpy kids. We are supposed to be Disney bound in 12 days, but at this point, that is very much up to two misbehaving children waking up tomorrow with a much better attitude and maintaining it. I know Minnie resents Mickey. I try to minimize that whenever possible, but to be fair, she has been his punching bag (actual and emotional) her whole life. So much of what we do depends on what kind of day he is having. But, other than some mouthiness, he has been pretty okay recently unless she provokes it. So, this can’t just be about that. Maybe she is jealous over the award? Maybe she prefers it when he stays in trouble? I don’t know, but I need a solution quick. I am going batty over here. I am used to battling behavior with one, but when they both gang up on me it is just a bit too much. :-(. Wine sounds like a good idea now.