Sunday, October 26, 2008

Too much socializing

Today, my girlfriend and her three kids joined us in church. Our five kids (all together) did pretty well during the service, and then went downstairs for Sunday School during the sermon. My daughter had a meltdown during the last 10 minutes because of fruit snacks. They served cake for the pastor's birthday and to celebrate his one year ordination. He is 78 years old, its pretty cool actually. We are new there, as our last congregation was cold and kept to themselves. Note to self, this was good, except for the meltdown, friends coming to church with us, as well as, going to church, is good. (My husband was on duty, and so wasn't able to go to church).

Then, home to let the dog out.

And, off to a play date at McDonald's - note to self, next time, skip the food and wait to eat at home. It was so gross. Grease on a bun. A little girl, Kate, befriended my daughter. She told us all about herself. She was from Indiana. I visited with my girlfriend (whom I brought to church) and other girlfriend, while our kids ran around like crazy. Thank the Lord for girlfriends!

Then, we were went home, let the dog out again, and dressed for a Halloween party. My daughter went as Fancy Nancy, I dressed as Fancy Nancy's mom, and my son went as a train engineer. So, the kids and I, went to the party and they ate, ran around and I made small talk with parents. During musical chairs, my daughter had another meltdown, because she didn't win. This, after winning to games in a row during BINGO. I was the bad parent who let her keep playing BINGO. Of course, afterwards all the other parents made a point of only allowing their little ones to win one prize. Plus, I hated that all these moms who took it upon themselves to try to reason with my daughter that she shouldn't be upset for losing musical chairs, because she had won at BINGO. Why the heck shouldn't she feel upset. She just doesn't know how to hide her feelings. I don't like that she screams and tantrums, I threatened that if she didn't pull it together, we'd go home (she pulled it together), but she is learning the rules, that you can't always win. Even I don't like that rule, do you?

To be fair about why the day stunk, I really hate Halloween. And, I hate that I am fat, and had to squeeze into my costume and feel like a sausage. I dressed up for my kids benefit, and took them to the party to have fun with their friends, but celebrating a holiday that glamorizes evil and horror, is not something that I enjoy. When the age of dressing in cute costumes is over, and my kids are old enough to understand what the holiday celebrates, we will be done with it. All my daughter and son understand at the moment is that I won't let them dress up as a witch or ghost.

We came home, and I let the dog out. I peeled myself out of the sausage casing and put on my "fat"pants. I can breathe again. I don't actually let the dog out, I put him on a lease and walk him around until he pees and poops- often in the rain, like today. He takes his own sweet time.

My daughter recognizes that her meltdowns aren't so great. She told me tonight, "Mom, it wasn't a very good day. The sky was cloudy, and it was really windy. It rained on us, and there were white balls that fell on us (hail stones), I cried at church and then at the party when I lost. My day wasn't a good day, was it." (Sigh) I don't want my kids miss the joys in life - sweating the small stuff. But, I haven't figured out how not to sweat the small stuff myself.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Special Education

I have been reading post after post on my Autism Island website. Lots of stuff about disagreements at IEP meetings, poor teaching practices, lack of services and promises of services that are not keep. An IEP is a signed contract, but its a lot of work to follow through (lawyers and crap), so in someways its just a formality. Sure, there are really good schools and classrooms. There are awesome teachers and well trained therapists, but I think they are in short supply now days.

I'm a special education teacher, I've worked both private and public sectors, and all I can say is, what a blessing to be able to homeschool my daughter! What a blessing to be essentially free of all this stuff! I will make mistakes, and I will ask for help sometimes, but its working really well right now, and I don't think we will ever go back.

Today, my daughter has Occupational Therapy and Speech/Language at the local elementary school. Its a good set up. I bring her weekly for an hour session, and have "homework" for the week, input on some specific areas of weakness. And, she is meeting her goals! I love being the classroom teacher.

I have enough in life to juggle right now. I am waiting to hear from a therapist about setting up a consultation for my depression/anxiety. I hate taking care of myself, but I am trying to make it a priority, for once. And, I am waiting to hear from a dog trainer. Our puppy Kindergarten wasn't terribly sucessful. Scotty pees when he sees John, and still puppy bites the kids and I. Plus, all the jumping. I'm glad that I don't have to deal with school staff too (the two I deal with are on my side). I think it would push me over the top.