Though why I felt the need to make that sound like an ominous thing I have no idea. Clearly, I’ve been gone for a while – and for that I apologize. It’s been a simply insane 6 months. So, today I’ll play catch up, and I swear I’ll do my best to get back on track with the Monster reports!
Let’s see, where should we start?
Oh! I actually got married (those of you that know me are probably still pondering such a miraculous event, and those of you who were directly involved with the sanity *AKA Miss Lisa* are probably still sending thanks to the universe that it’s over)! Growing up I never figured myself for the marrying kind. I mean, let’s be honest here – I am a giant pain in the ass. I’m stubborn, have an issue keeping my thoughts to myself, I absolutely loathe dishes and laundry (the two things that just never seem to go away), oh and then there’s the whole ‘crazy as a loon’ thing I’ve got going on too. Somehow or another I managed to wind up with a man crazy and brave enough to want to marry me – and the fact that he still wanted to marry me in the midst of all of my fanatically insane wedding planning is a testament to either his own brand of lunacy, or the size of his you-know-whats! So, anyway, here we are, married. Eventually I’ll throw some pictures up for your viewing pleasure – after I finally pin the silly man down long enough to go through them.
So, now onto the more important things – the Monsters.
Let’s start with the main man, Kaleb.
Oh, Kaleb. My budding thief, word connoisseur, food snob *ahem, I mean critic*, scream king, master builder, tree house dreamer, beverage expert, and all around living breathing proof that insanity is hereditary. First things first – it was time for a medication change. After three years, we’d hit the limit with his current medication, and after his latest growth spurt (seriously, how freaking big is he going to get?!) it was no longer doing the job. Allow me to explain that statement. Kaleb went from a wily, crazy, creative, loud, messy monster to… well… the truth? A total nightmare. We couldn’t contain him. And I don’t mean to sound like we didn’t try – because oh good golly did we ever. But it so wasn’t happening. He was completely out of control. The violent mood swings and meltdowns increased 50 fold. The ability to stop and listen long enough for words to sink in – completely vanished. Grocery shopping turned into a marathon game of “get in, get out, quick quick quick before the screaming causes someone to kick us out”. Dresser drawers destroyed, toys dismantled, books shredded, ear drums pierced.
Basically, it was time for a change. Unfortunately, our family is more like the Musters than the Cleavers, and nothing ever goes right. For starters, the boys’ insurance plans got changed in May (can we say pain in the ass?). Which in turn, meant we changed pediatricians – something I’d been wanting to do for a while. However, I clearly didn’t think through the consequences of changing doctors in the middle of a state-wide game of musical chairs. Within days I had a call from Kaleb’s neurologist informing me that due to the new pediatrician, we needed an updated referral in order to go to our appointment the following week. So, I immediately call the new doc, requesting the very simple act of faxing over a referral so we can go to his neuro to discuss the medication change. And I was promptly informed that they wouldn’t do it without seeing him. Which, due to the previously referenced game, they couldn’t do until October. Ummmmm what?! No. Unacceptable. Danger Will Robinison. I cannot wait until October. He needs his meds changed, and he needs it now.
He needs time to adjust before school starts. We need time to decide the correct dosage, make sure there are no negative side effects (you know, like how he rabidly devoured anything with a hint of sugar within a five mile radius when he changed his ADHD meds last summer?), and you know – chill him the hell out! So, now I had to play a new game. Ring around the freaking rosy with the insurance company and every pediatrician’s office in the damn county. After a week of frustrating phone calls, I threw in the towel and requested to be sent back to pediatric hell (AKA his previous doctor’s office). Once done – quite quickly at that, I’m pretty sure the poor lady at the insurance company has started making signs to ward off evil every time she discovered it was me on the other end of her phone – I then had the delightful task of wrangling a referral out of the world’s worst doctor’s office. Now, don’t get me wrong – it was never the doctor I had an issue with. It was just everything else. The fact that I’d show up fifteen minutes early for every appointment, yet never actually see anyone until two hours past my appointment time. The fact that nobody ever calls you back – ever. The fact that the dragon lady receptionist wouldn’t give you a straight answer if her life depended on it.
Regardless, there I was, making a very simple request – please send an updated referral to my son’s neurologist. The very same one you have been sending once a year since he was 18 months old. Not so difficult. Or so one would think. A full month went by with me calling the neurologist every three days only to confirm that they had not yet received the referral, then calling the pediatrician to once again request that it be sent. Finally, the lady on the phone confirmed the doctor she was sending it to – who just so happened to be the sleep specialist Kaleb hasn’t seen in years - not the neurologist. The next day we finally got to reschedule Kaleb’s appointment, wham bam thank you ma’am! Of course, it was for three weeks away, pushing us ever closer to the start of school. Now, we’ve got him on new meds – but of course we’re on the lowest dose possible to start, and have to wait six weeks to go back to increase the dose if necessary (which, it most certainly is). In the meantime, Kaleb has been a busy boy – but more on that later!
Now, on to the Mini Monster…
Ah, Mason. Little devil. Seriously. Yes, he’s cute. He’s freaking adorable. He’s melt-in-your-mouth-sweet when he wants something from you. He’s inquisitive as all get-out, to an excessive degree. I mean, how many times can one person hear “what’s that?” in a fifteen minute time span without starting the slide to complete madness? He’s also stubborn, aggressive, picky, obsessed with cars (still) and deceptively manipulative. Oh, have I also mentioned that the kid has an arm reminiscent of a child-version of Cy Young? I’m not joking. If you had any idea how many times I’ve been pegged in the head by that dead-on aim you’d end up with sympathy headaches.
Not too much has changed in the world of Mase in the past few months. His vocab is better – strangers can almost understand him more often than not! His fine motor skills… well, we’re working on that. He still refuses to use utensils – not that he can’t, he’s just stubborn and lazy, and prefers the easy way (can you really blame him?). He’s still obsessed with vehicles of all mode and make. Trucks, cars, buses, emergency vehicles, trains, boats, planes, helicopters, you name it – if it has an engine and moves, we likely have a miniature version sitting somewhere in the house suspiciously positioned for maximum foot injury. I have to get him a new copy of his “Things That Go!” Tag book for his birthday because he reads it so often it’s hanging on by a wing and a prayer.
Mason started full-day Pre-K this year. Cue mom getting caught fist pumping and yelling “I’m Free!” in an elementary school parking lot.
All summer long we counted the days. 7 precious hours to actually accomplish something without having to drop everything every five seconds to prevent Monster 1 from strangling Monster 2. Or Monster 2 from throwing a giant dump truck at Monster 1’s head. Or the destruction of the house (massive fail on that one)… 7 chaos free hours, five days a week – imagine the possibilities! Just imagine! We certainly did. Dreams of solo grocery store trips and actually eating my own lunch floated through my head like relentless torture. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids to death, and I’d do anything for them. But holy crap. Between Kaleb’s constant meltdowns and the two of them constantly at each other’s throats, it was just about impossible to even leave the house with them, let alone actually go do something fun. Add in the cabin fever we were all experiencing by the end, and can you blame me? I’m just proud I didn’t spend the entire first day of school curled up on the couch in my snuggy watching the freakin’ Vampire Diaries.
Anyway, back to Mase. He’s officially a big kid now. No, that does not mean he’s potty trained. I swear the kid fluctuates between being convinced the toilet contains the devil, or determining the sole purpose of the device is to wash his favorite dinosaurs and matchbox cars. But he is going to school full time now. Now, originally, I was seriously skeptical. Like considering getting a variance and driving him to and fro every day for the next two years to keep him in the school he was in instead of the new one. Why, you ask? Because he was being transferred to the school Kaleb was at 2 years ago. The one that suspended him 17 times in a span of 3 months because the teacher quite simply (and this is a direct quote from her) “didn’t want to deal with him”.
Yeah, remember that? Fun times.
However, I’ve got a whole lot more confidence this time around. The reason? There are actually a couple. First, Mase isn’t Kaleb. Was I worried about his brother’s reputation preceding him and making the road a bit bumpy? Are you kidding? I was terrified. However, we finally got a lucky break. When I went to the IEP meeting to discuss this upcoming year, I couldn’t have been more thrilled – he was getting a teacher I actually knew (not well, but well enough to have faith that things were going in a good direction), and liked. I’d met her on multiple occasions while Kaleb attended the school, and I have a great deal of admiration for her – in much the same manner I do for Kaleb’s current teacher, who has turned into no less than a walking talking miracle for him. So, that right there was a great big chunk of balm on my nerves.
The icing on the cake? The administration has changed. I don’t know where the old principal went, and quite frankly, I don’t care. I don’t hate the woman, I’m sure she’s probably a generally nice lady who did her best. However, I don’t take well to my child being treated like nothing more than a pest that won’t stop circling your head. As much as I’d like to say she went out of her way to help him – it just isn’t true. The VP at the school he’s at now? I could, would, have, and will continue to say that he’s gone above and beyond. It’s an insane comfort to know the people in charge of my child’s school actually care about the children – because I’ve met plenty that don’t in my short lifetime. So, new administration, new teacher, new beginning.
So far Mase seems to be loving it – though I do feel bad – nobody sees the Mase-train coming until it’s steamrolled over them a couple dozen times.
So, there we have it. New school year, new meds, oh and we finally got a golf cart! We then promptly destroyed one of the batteries. Yep. We’re definitely more of the Munster type of family on this block.