Our day started out bright and early. Korban had his first appointment for play therapy at 9:00 this morning, and since we just have the van, we all got up early, rode into Corinth with Brad, he took us by his parents before work and took his mother's truck to work to leave us the van. Complicated, I know. So me and the kids visited with Brad's parents for a little while and then Korban and I headed out to his appointment while Selah stayed with her Mammaw and Grandpa, until he had go to work.
The play therapy room they have set up is very nice--lots of cool toys, a sand table, even some cool sensory stuff! This is mainly to help Korban with his sensory issues and anxiety, and today was our very first session. We love the therapist. She is very sweet and Korban told her that he loved her and that she was beautiful. Little charmer, isn't he? Unfortunately, in the hour we were there, he also scratched the blood out of her face, pulled her hair and broke her necklace. And this was in a very calm setting, one on one, where the only expectation for him was to PLAY! Does that give you any indication of how tough things were when he was in a regular classroom?
She was very kind and gracious about the whole thing though. Told me not to worry about it and said that we would keep working at it. We see her again next Tuesday.
After that, Korban and I went to the Summer Film Fest at Malco. Obviously, it wasn't any kind of reward for good behavior, it's just Tuesdays are the only day we can go to the movie and he looks forward to that every summer, so we already had it planned. While we were talking that morning, Selah decided she would rather stay and play with Mammaw than go to the movie, so it was just the two of us for this one. We watched Rio, which we had never seen before. It was really good. Korban liked all the pretty colors and the music. He did well but got overexcited towards the end and was laughing hysterically and sliding out of his seat. I was able to pull him over in my lap and calm him down enough for us to finish the movie but I had trouble hanging on to him. I've never really had too much trouble with him in the theater before, so I'm hoping this isn't the start of another struggle.
I talked to Brad on the phone after the movie. Good news--we finally found a vehicle! We were trying to make arrangements to sign the papers on the loan this afternoon so that it could be ours. Very exciting.
After this, we went to get Selah. We picked her up, thanked Mammaw for the help, and headed home. I fixed the kids a late lunch that they hardly touched, probably because they were so anxious to get outside and play.
It was a pretty day, so out we went. I decided (foolishly, perhaps, given our recent experiences) that I would try to make a few phone calls while we were out. First off, I called LeBonheur to check on the results of Korban's micro array that he had done while he was in the hospital. I had to leave a message for the doctor's nurse to call me back, which took longer than it seems like it should've--several transferred calls, being put on hold, etc. But the kids were playing well and no one was pooping anywhere, so after I finished that phone call I brazenly moved on to the next item on my list.
I called Korban's ABA guy, then the special education director, and then the ABA guy again. We are trying to iron out some details with Korban's summer schedule and just making sure everyone is on the same page. So while I talked, Korban pulled his shirt off, looks at me mischievously, and announces "I'm taking my shirt off!" In case I missed it, I guess. I don't think this was totally attention-getting, although that was surely part of it. I think this time my kids both realized that I was on the phone and they could possibly get away with doing things that they normally couldn't get away with.
Let me just add that we have one of those Little Tykes turtle sandboxes that the kids love. Selah is always so good about putting the lid back on it all by herself after they play, and I always check to make sure it's on there tight. Recently, though, we forgot and left the lid off and of course it rained that night. So Mr. Turtle was one big sandy, soupy mess.
Back to today--Captain Obvious announces that he has taken his shirt off, and since that fails to elicit a big reaction from me, he goes on and removes his shoes too. And then his socks. And his pants. And his underwear, too, just for good measure! So I'm on the phone with a behavioral consultant of all people, and my son is butt-naked in my front yard. It's like he's mocking me!
And then what does he do? You guessed it! Jumped straight in that sand turtle! And I just keep right on talking, because wet sand is gross but poop is worse. Trust me on this. Selah decides this looks like so much fun so she climbs right on in the sand turtle too. She kept her clothes on though, shoes and all. I really can't decide which was worse.
I hung up the phone with the ABA guy, snapped a pic of my kids and seriously thought about texting it to him. As I was considering that, I got a text from Brad saying that he could meet me after he got off work to sign the papers for the vehicle loan and asking if I could leave the kids with my mom and go ahead on up there and get started on the paperwork. So I called my mom--while my kids were still playing in the wet sand--and asked her if she could watch them. Pending a clean up, of course. She agreed to this and I started herding them toward the house.
Korban insisted on pulling his wagon behind him and taking the longest route possible. Because if you're going to be naked in the front yard, you might as well make the most of it. I tried to shield him with my body as much as possible and thankfully, no one drove by while we were trying to get inside. I think I've just come to the point of accepting that someone in my house is going to be getting their naked groove on a good part of the time, and today I was just thankful it wasn't me! (Let me add that after my experiences last week I got several large bath towels and a nice new robe from my aunt along with a note that said "for those unexpected shower interruptions." Made me laugh so hard, but I was seriously grateful for the towels and robe!)
I finally got the kids in and bathed. Took me a while to rinse all that sand off! Then I loaded them and their stuff up to take to my mom's. After that, I went on to the loan place and got all that finished up right as they were closing. Very big relief! For the first time in seven months we are officially a two-vehicle family again. Which means I don't have to be begging for rides anymore and we can do our own thing. I told Brad I liked him better now--ha!
Since there were two of us in Iuka with three vehicles, we left the new-to-us one (a Kia Sportage) to be gotten later. Brad took his mother's truck back to her in Corinth, I drove the van to my mom's to pick up her and the kids, and then we went back to Iuka so that I could get the Kia. She drove the van to her house with the kids and I took the Kia to go pick up Brad. Lots of running, but so, so worth it. Did I mention I'm excited about having another vehicle?
We are finally home and the kids are asleep. Korban has been fighting sleep in a bad way for the past couple of nights. I think this is what I get for telling the doctors last week that he has been sleeping really well. He literally "fights" sleep, as in he beat me and Brad both last night and it was terrible as it lasted for almost two hours. It's tough because he just keeps screaming that he wants to "play" but when given the opportunity to play he does nothing except for more screaming. When asked what he wants to play with he will only say "toys" and then when asked what toy he will just get mad and then madder over and over. Frustrating, right?
Tonight he started in again and was having a major tantrum first in the bathroom with refusing to brush his teeth. He started in again about wanting to play and not going to bed. Then once Brad got him to bed Korban continued putting up a pretty good fight as he thrashed around on the bed, continued scratching at Brad and even worked at trying to "squash the guts" out of Brad's arm by, as Brad tells it, putting Brad's arm in a leg lock of sorts. Very weird. Brad pulled up a YouTube video of Mario Kart, which made Korban very happy. It calmed him right down and he was eventually able to fall asleep. Yay for Mario Kart! Specifically, he wants to see the one with Chief Chilly, whatever that is. Brad says it's a monster of some sort and that the pool is very important. Korban discovered his love for Mario Kart when he was at Lebonheur. They had it on the TV in the rooms so that the kids could play. Korban wasn't actually able to work the controller, due to his fine motor issues, but he wanted Brad to play while he watched. Brad said "I'm playing video games for the sake of the child." What a sacrifice. Ha! Since we've been home, Brad discovered that the YouTube videos work really well to calm Korban and he watches them on his iPad. Served us well tonight. Brad says we may need to think about getting a game system. ;)
One more thing--Korban starts ESY (or YES if your name is Brad Essary) at 8:00 in the morning. I'm excited but also anxious. It's at Iuka Elementary school instead of Burnsville, so it will be a new school for him and a new teacher. His ABA lady will be there, and his teacher is coming to see him tomorrow, to make the transition easier. I think that's really awesome of her to do that during her free time. We appreciate it. Everybody has really tried to help with this transition. It's only for a few weeks, but it's a big deal. Korban does NOT handle change well.
Now that he's starting to get more verbal, I'm starting to realized just how much he worries about things. Which is sad, but I'm so glad he can finally talk about it a little, although it's not always very clear what he means. When we drove past his school last week he said "There's your old school." He gets pronouns confused (reversed.) He means "my old school." I was puzzled, and said "No baby, Kossuth was your old school. This is your school now." The more we talked the more I realized that he thought he was changing schools again. I don't know if the kindergarten graduation just felt really final to him or what. But every night as we start getting ready for bed, he starts obsessing about first grade. He has told me over and over that he is not going to first grade. He also said that he was afraid the bell would ring. He did not handle the bell ringing at school very well at all! Poor guy. We've tried and tried to reassure him that Burnsville is still his school and that he will have his same teacher, and that she will come to our house to help him work, and that Mommy will still go to school with him on the days he goes, but he is still obsessing over it. So I'm worried that starting ESY tomorrow is just going to send him over the moon, especially since the plan is for me to drop him off and leave him.
But after talking to everyone today, I feel comforted. The special education director reassured me that if he doesn't handle it well then we can just do his ESY at home, like we were homebound during most of the school year. It's good to know we have options. I want to try this and see how he does, but it's so good to have a back-up plan rather than pushing and pushing Korban and setting him back yet again. Please say a prayer for all of us if you would! Sweet Korban, all the staff members working with him, and his fellow students. And also my Selah-girl. She is feeling much better and Korban thankfully has not been as aggressive towards her but I know she senses our stress over things and I don't want her to worry or be fearful. Thanks and God bless you all! :)
Here's my kids in the sand turtle. I'm beginning to wonder if nudist colonies are mainly comprised of a certain subset of grown-up autistic kids who don't have to listen to their parents about the whole clothes wearing business anymore. Either that, or moms who got sick of doing laundry.
Brad took a picture of me the first time I drove it. Happy, happy, happy!