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Husband has been working so hard with Aaron and spelling, and it’s really starting to pay off.  (Well, I have been working a lot with him too, but somehow that feels like it should be a given.  Oh, the mother/father dichotomy…)

Anyway, for the sake of this post, let’s say Aaron calls my husband Dad.  They had been working on some three letter phonetic words, and Aaron was just not getting the word ‘fun’.  Husband got frustrated, ceded lesson time to me, and left the room.

We worked and he seemed to have successfully sounded it out.  I proudly sent him in to Husband to spell the word.

He walked in, and announced “Hey Dad, F-U!”



Actually, it’s a four-letter acronym.  ADHD.

First of all, let me repeat how weird and varied Aaron’s neurological symptoms are.  They seem to have affected him cognitively, socially, physically, and every -ly you can think of, but there’s no one diagnostic box he fits in.  And I finally saw his developmental eval from last year – they ruled out a lot.

On top of that, in the past six months, seven discrete entities have reported to his pediatrician on his behavior/symptoms, often times conflicting one another.

All I can say is Aaron’s behavior is NOT disrupting our home to a substantial degree.  He has his issues (clumsiness, repetitive questions, slow learning) but our household is not on edge because of them.  We have and will continue to handle his challenges no sweat.  His teacher also agrees that his behavior at school is NOT an issue.  And actually, his teacher, with 30+ years of experience, doesn’t even think he has ADHD.  I trust this teacher a lot too.

The ADHD initial consult was with his mom and dad.  If they reported to the doctor the kinds of behavior I’ve been hearing about from their household, there’s no doubt the doctor would prescribe something.  So now I get to find out if he’s going to stick with his diagnosis OR admit the initial problem might have been parenting and environment.

And if the doctor insists on prescribing something, I get to find out how much discretion foster parents get in refusing treatment.   Luckily, I think the caseworker leans more toward not medicating him unless necessary.

A little girl, a few days early, not named Veva, but a healthy baby and an easy delivery.

A little too easy, maybe.  She was born in the middle of the night, about 30 minutes after I woke up.  At home.

We’d been planning a home birth (our first one) but the midwife didn’t even make it that quickly.  She was born in the bathroom right across from Junior and Aaron’s room, caught by my husband.  I think the boys might’ve been woken up by all the hub bub.  Do you suppose the state will care that our 6-year old foster son possibly saw a live vaginal birth while in our home…

Anyway, everyone’s doing really well.  I have to remind myself to rest – it’s easy to forget with this many kids to take care of.  Did I mention it’s spring break too?  So EVERYONE is home.

Not too much has changed with Allie and Aaron’s case.  The next hearing might change the state’s aim to TPR, there are some out-of-state relatives that might take the kids, Aaron might start ADD meds – a lot of possibilities to be decided in the next few months.  I’ll try to blog more about all that later.

In the meanwhile, Husband and I have been redboxing some movies during the fun paternity leave time.  We just got “Dinner For Schmucks” the other night.   Hmm, is that supposed to be italicized, or is that only books?  It’s been a long time since I’ve written a bibliography.

So I’ll just say, if you’ve seen that movie, you’ve seen Aaron.  Within 5 minutes of Steve Carrell’s character being introduced, the only thing I could think of was Aaron.  His character was Aaron to a T.  A grown-up Aaron.  The exact same behaviors that Aaron exhibits.  Oh my gosh.  It was funny but also eerie and sort of sad, because laughing at the stupid things his character does is a big part of the movie.  And I’ve wondered about that a lot in the month since they’ve been here:  what will Aaron be like as a grown man?  Will he be able to maintain a job?  Will he have friends?  Will he know how different he is?  How much will he grow and change before he is on his own?

And what can we do right now to positively impact his future the most?


RIGHT before I started dinner

RIGHT before Daughter was dropped off from a playdate

THE SAME NIGHT Husband had to work late

Allie came running in screaming, followed by Junior with a panicked look – “Allie put a bead up her nose!”

Sheeet.  I’ve actually never had this happen before.  Is this a 911 worth thing?  Straight to the ER, or do I call the physician’s exchange, because it is 5:05, of course, so the offices are closed.  Even more, where is her doctor’s phone number?  (They’ve been lucky enough to stay with the same pediatrician for most of their lives, so we are keeping them there, rather than switching them to ours.)

Allie was still screaming like a banshee, so I mentally crossed off 911 because at least she was breathing.  I started scrambling through the mess of papers all over the desk, looking for the one that I know has her doc’s phone number on it.  And then Daughter pulls up, so I tried to get her in the house ASAP while still maintaining some realm of politeness:  “Yes, thanks for the playdate.  We’ll have to do it again some time” – Aaron opens the front door to reveal Allie’s screams of pain from in the house while he asks if he should get her a blanket.  I tried to explain the situation, but I bet that mom added me to her list of ‘iffy’ households to not let her daughter go to.

Rushed back in after they leave, decided to search the internet instead and I could not find the right website, even after several minutes of searching different combinations of clinic names and doctor’s names.  Oh my gosh.  It was like I could not function with Allie’s screaming right next to me.  So I decided instead to calm her down, which took some time, but she eventually just cried instead of screaming, with a few whimpers of “Mommy” (she calls me Mommy too sometimes, so I’m really not sure who she was wanting – probably real Mom.)

Eventually, I did find the number, got the nurse on the phone, and like I suspected she said to go to the ER.  Luckily, some wonderful neighbors of ours were very happy to watch our three (I took Aaron with me just to avoid chaos at their house, because they have their own five kids.)

By now, she’s not even crying anymore, so we calmly parked in the garage and meandered over to the ER right about 6:00.  The kids were excited because I told them we might have to eat dinner at the ER (which Aaron kept calling the RE) so they were jabbering about that.

(Funniest part of the night:  I was at the check-in desk and the kids were on the other side of the crowded waiting room.  Aaron yells over to me, “Did we bring the bead?” and without thinking, I called back “Yes, it’s in her nose.”  And that made everyone in the room laugh.  Like I said, Aaron can be a comic relief sometimes.)

We were sitting, waiting to be admitted, when Allie told me she could feel the bead.  I thought she meant way up in her sinus or something, because when I looked at home, I couldn’t see a thing.  She pointed to her nostril instead, and I peeked, and sure enough, I could see it.  I held down the other nostril, had her blow twice, and the bead came right out.  And then they called us to be admitted.

Evening disaster averted!  We strolled out of there at 6:28, went back to get the other kids, who had already even had dinner, and got home well before I expected.  It was almost even a normal bedtime.

And we all learned that important lesson – NOTHING goes in your nose.

I did find out later she put it there to keep it away from Junior.  Logical enough.

I am worried though that this will reflect poorly on me.  I reported the trip to the caseworker even before we left the house, and then let her know how it played out, and she didn’t say anything negative, but was I negligent in letting a 5-year old play with beads?  (To be fair, it was a necklace that Junior made that broke, so it’s not like I left piles of beads sitting around.  And this is a kit designed for ages 5 and up.)  I don’t think so, but the state certainly is more conservative about parenting when it comes to other people’s kids.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I get a comeuppance.

No really.  We figured this out on Sunday.

Most of what he says to us is just updates about the world around him that are completely obvious to everyone else too, like that Junior is walking ahead of us or he has his shoes on.  Apropos of nothing, he’ll let me know his thumb is better, because he happened to notice it.  He doesn’t reveal any secondary reason for telling us, like he’s excited his thumb is better or he wants to go outside so he put his shoes on.  He just SEES and then SAYS.  No context or motivation.  He noticed something, and he wants everyone else to know he noticed it too.

And that’s all Twitter is, right?

Wow, have I been a crabby mama the last few days.  Some sort of ‘chest cold morphed into a head cold has’ taken over my brain, and I don’t want anything to do with my kids.  Any of them.  All I want to do is sleep or lay in bed and read.  Little children don’t facilitate that at ALL.

And throw in a three day weekend in our district, which might have been nice because Husband was home to take care of them, but that just made him crabby from pulling double-parent duty AND me being too tired/sick to make it in the sack.

So it wasn’t the best weekend.

There was supposed to be a visit set up for Aaron and Allie this weekend, but none of the workers involved ever called me about it.  We haven’t given Mom and Dad our phone number (I plan to do that after I hear how court went this afternoon) so they couldn’t call, and between Husband and I, we barely had it together enough to keep the house from falling over.  Hence, we made no effort to find out about it either.

Aaron and Allie do miss their family.  Allie has asked Husband a few times when the caseworker is coming back to take her home, and they certainly talk a lot about their siblings.  It’s so easy to overlook those feelings though because they’ve integrated very well into our home otherwise.  They’re little troopers, for sure.

You might not guess their feelings from their parental phone calls either.  Allie does an okay job on the phone, but she tends not to say a whole bunch.  She clams up and acts shy while her mom or dad ask her questions.  Aaron will blabber on and on, but about the most pointless things and almost always asking multiple times to talk to his baby sister, even when his parents have told him she’s asleep.  So his phone manners aren’t that great.  But he does have some cognitive issues, and obviously, his parents know that.

So, why does his dad speak to Aaron with a tone of snide contempt?  Aaron has figured out the speaker phone button so I can hear both sides of the conversation, and sometimes, I really don’t like the way he speaks to Aaron.  It’s a mocking tone, but Aaron can’t pick up on that, so it just makes it really pathetic and sad to hear.  Most of the time, Dad’s fine, maybe a little paternalistic, but those few times I hear that meanness come through, I cringe.

In general, that’s how Mom and Dad come across on the phone.  They say they miss the kids, and tell them they love them, but it sounds more like they’re on a business trip and they’ll be home in a few days than potentially facing TPR.  I guess everyone expresses emotions differently, but it still strikes me as odd how la-di-da they seem.