Wake up at 6.30 am. Tired. Didn't wake up in time for crossfit. It'll be a squeeze, but I'll go tonight.
Rustle the middle son Mac. My genius son. Put a kitchen timer next to his head. 10 min to get up or consequence. This keeps me from badgering him. We would use an alarm clock, but even the blaring ones don't rouse him. He slept on living room floor. It works better than his bed he says. At least this week.
Attempt coffee. Get half of it down. Make oatmeal. Also half. Can't find clean pants so I put on a dress.
Skittle around my daughter Pancake, whose standing near the stove eating a bagel with peanut butter. She doesn't talk. I go for a side hug, she tenses. At 13, she's not interested in hugs. I don't care. I side hug. We confirm I'm picking her up from volley ball. She makes a joke and I'm so happy. She stopped joking a few months ago and it was tough. But today, a joke. Praise HIS NAME!! With two bites left she puts her dishes in the sink.
My 3 year old son River bellows from upstairs. OPPPPEEEENNN IIITTT!! It being a wee baby gate for his room. He rattles it with his foot, clutching matchbox cars and plastic Easter eggs. He doesn't want to put them down and open the gate. He has to pee. Desperation sets in. The volume rises.... OOOPPPEEEEN IIITTT!! I go open it. Give him a squeeze and he's off to potty. Still clutching the cars and eggs.
The timer goes off. My genius son is snoring hard. I get a squirt bottle and mist him. Loud snarls spiral up from the nest of blankets. Then he curls up like a caterpillar, trying to go back to sleep. I turn the nozzle from mist to stream. Three squeezes to the forehead and he's up. He stomps downstairs to get dressed. He has 9 min to get to the bus. He's too late for breakfast.
Then there is Ruth. Our wee puppy dog. Dogs are the frickin best!!
My daughter leaves like a ninja. But I see her. I run to the door, flip it open and holler 'BYE SWEETIE...LOVE YOU....HAVE FUN AT SCHOOL.' She barely turns her head but a slight smirk appears. She heard me.
I go and check on my genius son. He's laying on the bathroom floor. Fake sleeping. I tell him get up or no electronics for a week. I can see his light now. The coma has lifted. The bus carries him to school.
River announces there is no need for pants today. Underwear day he declares. I leave him with a bowl full of raisin bran and my husband who will get him dressed. Like putting pants on a bucking kangaroo. I head out. I forgot to brush my teeth and couldn't find a hair brush. Pancake hoards and hides them. I brush both when I get to work.
There are a number of tough cases at work. I prescribe mental health medications. I see dementia cases where I can't really help. I feel sad for and with them. I see relentless drug seekers who make me angry. I'm not a vending machine. You don't want to get better, you just want a fix. That's not going to happen in my office. I don't say these things. I say, No. And. We are done, get out of my office or I'll call security. Because now I'm mad and scared. Addicts can be dangerous. They leave. I'll have to answer to the patient advocate for that.
I see patients who are doing phenomenal. I count the blessings. Coworker lunch goes well. Lots of laughs and support. More patients then done.
Then the kid pick up mambo begins. I start with my daughter from volleyball. She's hunched over, walking forcefully to the car. I can tell she's crying and trying to hide it. She's introverted and sports requires a lot of effort socially. She's doing it though. I smile and give her my phone so she can dive into tumblr and pinterest.
Then our new foster girl Andrea. Her pick up is at an after school program across town. My name is not on the list for approved picker upper people. They only have Mr. Hall's name. Mr. Hall is across town picking up Mac. It's 5.30 pm and there is no way to contact a social worker to address this. The after school teacher says she'll call the birth mom. I sit down with Andrea whose all smiles and happy. She's truly a beautiful girl. I'm humbled and happy. We color and wait. I've got 15 min to pick up River but I'm at peace. There is no rushing this.
Mom calls back and gives the O.K.
We pick up River who leaps into Pancakes arms. We all do a quick group hug. Pancake doesn't fight it, at least at first.
There has been some back sliding with my genius son and his behaviors at school. He's a defiant kid at times. He doesn't like the rule of no running in the hall, so he'll run in the hall. Or argue with the teacher. Or make noises when others are presenting their projects. Or go outside for recess when he's on detention and not returning after the bell rings. This is no good.
We had been using two behavior techniques. One being 1-2-3 magic parenting. The other being "your defiant child". They worked well enough. It's a lot of heavy lifting though. Lifting my very, very VERY strong willed child can do himself. Which is were the love and logic comes in.
Love and Logic was a six part class Mr. Hall went to. It's well known in foster care circles because you want to love on the kids. Logically. It's not about punishment because you don't want to be punishing with traumatized kids (which foster kids are).
My son has a lot of behaviors that mirror the foster kids. Naughty behaviors. Only my son is not a traumatized kid. I nursed that kid for 8 months. He was a perfect love and still is. He's just a genius who wants to be in charge. Only he's EIGHT with college level smarts. Emotional wise he's about 6. All whirling in a tornado of ADHD.
And I'm tired. We're tired. We're tired of using behavior techniques that require a lot of us pushing him. Mac can start taking over some of this. It's time to shift the responsibility to him.
But, my husband went to the classes and I didn't. He needed the foster care continuing ed. I'm all caught up. So I'm basically flying blind with this. Trusting my husband as he guides us through is a new process. I'm usually the one in charge. I don't know this system.
Basically, love and logic is letting the child experience consequences. Like when I ask Mac to walk the dog and he ignores me, I'm not to argue or badger. Or yell. Shut up. I DON'T YELL.
When he ignores me I'm to say, "We'll take care of this later." And if he argues and says, "I don't want to walk the dog." I'm to say, all monotone, "I love you too much to argue, we'll take care of this later." And the later consequences includes deep stuff. Like stopping all electronics and throwing them away.
Only the dog doesn't get walked. Mac doesn't do his chore. I walk the dog then. How is this helpful? At least when I badger, cajole and bother...the dog GETS WALKED.
THIS WILL INCREASE OUR WORKLOAD.
I trust my husband. He's a logical engineer and he believes in this. I follow him.