Monday, September 14, 2009

Never Put Green M&Ms in Your Pocket on a Hot Day

BoldDealing with children's mental health issues can be challenging. Most recently, our 5 year old boydecided to push the limits of our parenting abilities by hittint us with a double whammy--cutting himself with a knife and running away on the same day. He chose to run away from the counselor's office so she was obliged to call the police.

Because I knew it was going to be a tough session with the counselor that day (the appointment was between the cutting and running), I picked up some "reward" candy from the dispenser. It was M&Ms. I put them in my pocket for incentive during the session. The culprit candy was still in my pocket when the escaped ensued.

The day was hot--80 plus degrees--in our beautiful, mountainous area. I was pursuing him and he was finally stopped. We sat on the curb with the fire fighters who helped corral him, waiting for the police to arrive. After a brief talk, we headed back to retrieve the other children from the counselor's office.

It was at that time I reached into my pocket to get a tissue and, instead, felt something sticky. It was the green M&M, now permanently attached to the inside of my shorts' pocket. Needless to say, the M&M was lost and B(5) ended up at the "behavioral" hospital for 2.5 weeks. The M&M lesson was, by far, the easiest of the two lessons that day.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daylight Stupid Time, Part Deux

Once again, the insanity and mayhem of "time change" comes into our home. This "spring ahead" concept is probably just an annoying wrinkle in most peoples' lives. However, when dealing with the various children's mental health issues that we have in our home, it is pure pandemonium. This will prove to be the worst week of the year, second only to the week following "fall back."

The minds in our home are so tied into the sun that the normal course of the sun through the seasons causes problems. This is not your run-of-the-mill sun up at bedtime in the summer. This is noting that the sun sets at 4 instead of 4:30 or that the bus is now coming when it is light instead of in the dark. "Why is the bus late?" is the question asked by T(12) even though it is still 5 minutes until bus time.

I challenge any proponent of changing clocks to duel--it would be fair. Just come in to our home for 5 days--no, you only have to do 4--after the clocks change. You will bear witness to chaos beyond imagination, attitudes that make you WANT to deal with gang members and temper flares that put solar flares to shame. You will intercept fists and spit wads heading towards faces, toys and other objects whizzing towards walls, and food shooting across the table. You will shout untold number of times and try to placate with video games and movies. In the end, you will retreat, exhausted, to write to your congressmen and insist on doing away with time changing.

So, as the rest of the week unwinds, think about those precious minds that are to significantly affected by the chronological conversion. Think about those parents who are tending to them. Be thankful if you are not part of the chaos. And, if you really want to help, write your congressmen!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank you, Keri

For those of you who are unfamiliar with children's mental health issues, psychosocial rehabilitation happens when a trained professional interacts with the affected person on a regular basis, thus promoting a more socially acceptable look on life. We, as a family, have been blessed to have a wonderful therapist with us since shortly after the trying trio arrived on our doorstep.

Keri started with us in the midst of the turmoil that is the first months of child placement, not to mention the death of my mom. She was skeptical at first, as were we. However, the little cocoons soon matured into beautiful butterflies and we both noticed that we were not so different. As we matured in our relationship, a strong bond was formed--not just with the kids, but with our families.

She saw us through the darkest, lowest time in our life as a family, refraining graciously from commenting on our immature attempts at dealing with things. She encouraged us to try new techniques to soothe savage beasts and calm fears. She tirelessly combed the internet for more information on reactive attachment disorder, children's mental health issues and other timely topics. She read the information and highlighted the key ideas to help me save time, but still understand the kids.

What can I say about someone who walked so willingly with us, scooping us up in time of need and rejoining in the little things? Thank you, a thousand times over, thank you. From all of us in this home with a slightly bedraggled family, but still together after 2 1/2 years, thank you. You will be missed.