Listing the Last Few Weeks
Each and every sentence below deserves its own thoughtful entry. However I am slapped for time and memorable memories are sliding out of the back of my brain and it's just going to have to be shorthand. Welcome to the perfunctory side of my personal journal.
Iz spent today sleeping and then barfing, so I didn't get to go to today's Special Ed PTA-district Special Ed director meeting with Ep, Sage, and co.
Leelo and Iz have started playing together for real, with Iz giving her brother "rides" on her back. It is very cute. Mali trucks around after them like the neglected puppy that she is.
What is not so great is that Iz has entered a phase of really wanting everyone's approval, and it is manifesting in troublesome ways such as thinking that we don't want her to defend herself from Leelo's occasional attacks. I told her that she is absolutely not to let him think that hitting and scratching and hair pulling are okay, but that she has to tell him so in a regular firm voice and with language that he understands. Before she was shrieking and yowling, a reaction that Leelo loved. I am worried that she's taking on characteristics of a typical special needs sibling who tries to be too nice, and too good.
But she's still Iz. Witness the magenta hair below, which was selected after hours of perusing the Amphigory website on SJ's recommendation. Magenta! At least four of her friends and one cousin are begging to follow suit.
She is an awesome, awesome kid. Right now she is reading The Hobbit and A Wrinkle in Time. Her teachers find her both exhilarating and exasperating. They said that she is one of the most interesting kids they've ever had, and that they're never bored. She begged me to make her shirts that say, "I didn't do nothing," and when I pointed out the bad grammar, shot back that it was intentionally so because it was actually copping to any acts it appeared to deny. She won first place in a poetry slam at her school, and that was out of kids through 5th grade. She still believes in Santa. She wants me to further explain the Republican conspiracy that robbed Jimmy Carter of a second term in office. She is alternately clingy and hateful. She wants a stupid fucking digi-makeover thing for Xmas. She is far more sheltered than I was at age seven.
Leelo is in an odd space, yet again. He is snuggly and so fun, we are having a great time singing with arm movements, chasing each other around the house, doing a lot of truly engaged physical and verbal play. But he can still snap and change at any time and beat the bejesus out of the nearest person. Every time he nears Mali she flinches or ducks. I am considering setting up a pool as to when he is going to accidentally break my nose. He loves kisses and massages and asks for back scratches, a lot.
I think his medication might be on the wane, in terms of effectiveness. He is having a really hard time latching himself into his car seat, which he was doing with alarcrity just a few weeks ago. He is having a hard time focusing enough to put on his shoes. He has had two pee accidents at school during the last two weeks, after several weeks with no accidents whatsoever. Perhaps it's just our usual shitty Leelo winter behavior that cycles through every year.
I am going to try to mediate just how fucking crazy he will be during Xmas by scheduling our week tightly, and rearranging the house so that Leelo has a space of his own to retreat to. Did I mention that my entire family (minus one brother) is coming to my house for Xmas? It would be fine if our house was larger. I am worried that Leelo will be overstimulated and miserable, and will act out.
I haven't done much Xmas shopping or communications, yet. I've done some organizing. I have almost 200 good friends and families to connect with, so I guess I'd best get cooking.
Anyhow. More good Leelo stuff. We had a family day two weeks ago where we went to the ever-so-excellent Fungus Fair at the Oakland Museum (a worthy place to visit, especially when their annual, incredible, Dia de los Muertos exhibit is on). We took BART (the subway/train) and Leelo just absolutely loved it. The picture below doesn't do his excitement justice at all:
Also we just got the school district approval to pay for both Supervisor M and Therapist L. Those of you who've done the IEP circuit don't need to rub your eyes or smack the side of your heads, you read that correctly. The school district is paying for all of Leelo's home program. He also has a full-time aide at school. We are very fortunate. I still find it hard to believe our sweet Leelo is such a challenging kid that he gets all these services without question. But services are good, the people who are giving them are good, we got to keep our own program, good good good. I still find it more than odd to have regular meetings with between three and thirteen people to talk about my six-year-old son.
Mali Mali Mali. Well, she started at Iron Gate two weeks ago, which means I started, too. I'd forgotten what a privilege it is to wipe shit off other peoples' kids' bottoms. She is having some separation anxiety, but is seems to decrease geometrically each school day.
Mali had a great birthday party on 11/26. She blew out her own candle and was so pleased with the roars and applause afterwards. The party itself got rained on which meant everyone and their kids were inside our small home which made for a bit of close-quarters insanity, but overall I think it was fun. None of our three kids' fall/winter birthdays have every been rained out before, so we were due. (FYI, people from elsewhere, California's climate is one of cold-weather rain. We get no rain during the summer.)
Leelo had his own spectacular birthday that I still haven't written about until now. We had it at a gym whose multi-story and totally enclosed play structure couldn't have been better designed for autistic children. (With twenty young partygoers, though, it was overwhelming for some of Leelo's eight friends on or near the spectrum.) The best parts for me were hearing Leelo's normally shy friends whooping and giggling like any other kid at a party, watching how excited Leelo got when everyone sang him happy birthday--twice, and Ep's Dust Bunny cupcakes that she made to go with my Totoro cake.
That's about it for now. My brain has been downloaded and now I can focus on positioning Iz's barf bowl correctly, and whether or not I should make mix CDs as holiday gifts this year. Regardless, I am going to be Frantic Girl for the remainder of the weekend.