The Outsider…

I need to extricate myself from this fish tank.  Immediately.

This obsession we have with the fish has gotten so out of control I’m attributing social classes and anxiety to them.

We have one fish that is just a regular zebra fish (not sure how that happened) – the rest are all neon.  The little zebra fish (let’s call him Zed for now) is a total outcast.  He just chills in the back of the tank staring at himself in the mirror.  It kind of reminds me of the little lunatic fish and her twin “Flo” in the tank on Finding Nemo.  Anyway.  He only leaves his corner (what Daddy is calling the death corner, because that’s where Twitch presided for his short reign) to eat, swim for a quick second, and he’s right back to his spot.

Daddy was expressing concern about this last night, when I found myself rambling on about how he’s just the social outcast.  All of the other fish are bright, neon colors – they swim around all day like “Look at me!  I glow!  Look how special I am!” while Zed just chills in his corner because he doesn’t glow.  He’s the kid in the back of the class nobody talks to – nobody quite knows why nobody talks to him, but that’s just the way it is.  Can fish be depressed?  Or rebellious? I just know he’s going to be the fish who tries to escape.

Do you see what I mean?  This has to stop.  This is nothing short of insane.  We should have gotten a frog, or a lizard, or a stupid hamster.  Do you know how freaking complicated fish are??  The water has to have this, this, and this, the Ph balance must be exactly this, clean it like this… I mean seriously.  I figured as long as you had a small tank all you had to do was throw the fish in the water, clean it every now and then, and not forget to feed them.

Anyway, speaking of complicated, Kaleb’s room is 99% done – finally!  We only have a few more things to do before we move on to focus on exactly how we want to do Mason’s room (do you hear Daddy groaning?  I’m pretty sure he’s pretty sure that I’m probably going to want to paint it).  He loves it.  Which makes all of the stress surrounding it totally worth every second.

Daddy finished painting the closet, so we moved the big green comfy chair from the living room into it, and put the futon in the living room (Kaleb’s closet is virtually a whole extra room – his room used to be our office).  So now he has a reading chair, and his closet is his safest spot in the house.  Whenever he is upset, for whatever reason, he can go into his safe spot and have all the time he needs to work it out and calm down.

If he is inside and the closet curtains are closed, nobody is allowed to bother him (unless he is hurting himself or causing some form or irreparable damage) until he says so.  Today he and I are cleaning all of the shelves in the closet so we can line up all of his books and puzzles.  We will only keep calm, soothing activities in the safe spot – so for right now it will just be his books and puzzles.  Once we’re done with the shelves today we will put the stuffed animals back in their home, finish repainting his bedroom door, and we’ll be good to go!  I’ll take pictures when it’s all finished.

I also made a list of bedroom rules, put them in a frame, and we’re going to hang them up today someplace where he can always see them.

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He seems really excited about this (based on the number of times he’s told us his new bedroom is AWESOME), and I am hoping with all my heart it helps him.  It’s seemed to have a bit of a calming effect already.  He’s been less prone to outbursts over the last couple days, and he’s been holding back when he is getting upset.

Of course Mason is jealous.  Insanely jealous.  He will not stay out of Kaleb’s room.  Unfortunately it’s going to be a while before we get to totally focus on his room.  His new bed will be here sometime next week (of course it’s after Daddy goes back to work and Mommy and Miss Lisa will have the pleasure of putting it together), we’re going to clear out some space in his closet (he hides in there all the time) for a bean bag chair like Kaleb’s so he can have a Safe Spot too.  We’re going to give him a little cabinet to keep stuff in, and redecorate his walls.  We’ll keep the paint for now – just touch it up – but change out the “twinkle twinkle” for the Hudson Hornet.  Of course, the biggest focal point will be the bed – so Mommy will spend the next eight weeks trying to figure out the best way to make his room calming and sensory friendly, while fun and exciting for him.

I am completely thrilled with Kaleb’s room though.  After hours of debating over paint swatches, going back and forth with the kid, freaking out about the furniture – it turned out perfect.  So major points to Daddy for spending hour upon hour painting over the last two weeks – because Daddy likes painting about as much as I like washing dishes.  And even bigger props to Kaleb for being able to accurately express what he wanted, and not completely flipping his lid when he got it.

So, now I have to go fix the family room because moving the furniture around last night took the Kids’ Corner and turned it into the Kid’s Chaos.

Oh, and the kid even made his bed this morning.

 

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