11.09.2003

Happy Birthday Leelo!

Or, as Seymour just said, "Can you believe it's been three years since you squeezed that little guy out?"

Anyhow, a bit of backtracking:

Friday's GGRC evaluation was hell. Leelo hit the wall right after the last post. I couldn't reschedule because the evaluation had to take place before his 3rd birthday.

It was me and Leelo and a tiny conference room with two doctors and two social workers. Leelo cried and whined and mostly refused to participate, but amazingly was still able to demonstrate what a different boy he has become in the 9 months since they saw him last. Multiple delays compared to typical three-year-olds, but steadily improving. They seemed pleased that we are doing ABA, OT, DAN diets, etc., pumped me for details, and clucked a lot during what I am guessing were "correct" answers.

As the session wore on, the lead doctor stated that Leelo would continue to be eligible for services through them. Fine, expected. He then strangely offered me the choice of two diagnoses for Leelo: mentally retarded or autistic. I, uh, chose the latter--what the fuck was that about? No one has ever mentioned anything about mental retardation to me before except the semi-useless child psychologist from a year ago who said he definitely wasn't. These GGRC people deal with ten families like us every day, so I guess springing shit like that doesn't really faze them.

They made a final attempt on one of their tests, and got him to correctly and spontaneously verbally identify about 50 percent of their picture flash cards (between yells). At last, they then declared the evaluation over (probably because my stress-sweat had stenchified the entire room). There is an additional next-steps discussion that I need to have with the social workers, but Leelo doesn't have to be there so we rescheduled for next week.

The next 24 hours were an odd bubble in time as an amazing number of errands were run, further appointments rejected by Leelo, activity books were finished and submitted in time to avoid Kinko's, Iz was retrieved from altruistic Jo, the house became not only clean but party and guest-lodgers ready, relatives arrived and were chatted with put to bed woken up and breakfasted, every pot in the kitchen was used at least once--and somehow it all got done and then the festivities were upon us.

Leelo's birthday party was a whole mess of fun. For us, anyhow. And, despite sleeping through the first half and being grumpy for the next sixth, he really seemed to enjoy the last third. Tolerated us singing to him, had fun with the jumper and parachute. Didn't eat a friggin' bite of any of the food set out for him (and I whipped up all that theoretical food somehow, excepting the pakoras which we may have for dinner tomorrow, and the meatloaf which ended up being more of a meat pile).

All the kids seemed to have a good time. Some partygoing parents may not forgive me for allowing their children unlimited access to bodypainting crayons, but the kids loved it and the party was for them. I did warn everyone to dress in grubber wear. Iz and her cousin Danielle must have gone through at least 5 design iterations, finally settling on full black face Coal Miner since it went well with the party hard-hats.

Lovely moment: sweet Moomin (age 3) asked Leelo to please not be sad during his grumpy phase. I asked Moomin if Leelo's crying made him worried (M. is a sensitive boy), and he said no, he wasn't worried, he just wanted Leelo to be happy. Earnestly, seriously. That boy is going to have the swoony girls fawning all over him in high school.

Ep's poor boy had to go home early, as he was set upon by a fast-moving fever. True vegetarian Ep was probably grateful to get away from the smell of the meat pile.

I swear it wasn't Iz moment: My extra-shy niece Leigh, who had come up from El Lay especially for Leelo's birthday, decided that she was going to use this party for her first attempt at "making friends." So, she went up to one of the other girls and said "Hello, my name is Leigh." The other girl said "So?" Thankfully Leigh didn't even notice the slight; she was too pleased with herself for having completed her mission.

Perhaps I should clarify my stance on presents and goody bags, having gotten a few wounded reactions from my rant: Anything you put thought and effort into is fine by me, be it a goody bag, letter, or art installation. Obligatory, knee-jerk, pressurized presents and party paraphernalia are what I don't cotton to. And the children seemed to get a kick out of the Chinese fingercuffs, so there.

And that's about it. Woke up today with the equivalent of the post-finals flu. Probably psychosomatic excepting the nasty sinus blockage, but Seymour kindly watched the kids most of the day anyhow while I slept and ready trashy murder mysteries and got my bearings back. Nighty night.

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