We dropped Daddy off at the airport so he could go back to work this morning before school.
We got back home with just enough time to pack up Kaleb’s lunch, fill out his folder, and meet the bus. While I’m making his sandwich, he sits down on the kitchen floor with Milo, and starts petting him oh so gently. I’m thinking this is weird, but maybe, just maybe Kaleb is finally starting to understand that he has to be nice with the dog. Then I hear him start talking to Milo, very quietly.
“It’s okay Milos. I know you miss daddy too. But he had to go on the airplane to go back to work. He has to go make us moneys so we can buy things. He’ll be home soon. It’s okay.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was so uncharacteristically sweet for Kaleb (when it comes to Milo, the kid is a wrecking ball). It was also another one of those moments that strike me so randomly – where I see my child trying to cope with emotion by transferring it on something else (it used to be the doll houses). Daddy’s had this job for as long as we’ve been together. It’s all the boys know. But this was the first time Kaleb really got it. And it was kind of heartbreaking. The whole time we were waiting for the bus we discussed how long Daddy would be gone, all the things we would do when Daddy gets home, and some of the things we will do before he gets home.
Kaleb has received his very first birthday invite from a classmate. This is kind of a big deal for me – especially because I know the little girl has been subject to some of his meltdowns in school before. We’ve got a baseball game to go to, a wedding expo to go to, possibly Scooby Doo live (um, can we say AWESOME???), as well as getting this poor house back in order.
The one thing I’m most focused on though, the one thing that’s happening before Daddy comes home that is going to give me a bit of a panic attack – Mason’s evaluation was finally scheduled. June 13th. I’m a bit freaked out. Okay, I’m a lot freaked out. With Kaleb, we knew, just like we do with Mason. But Kaleb is the kind of kid who shows all of his cards without question. Mason is… Mason. Yes, he’ll look you in the eye – but not because he wants to make any form of eye contact – he’s actually studying your eyes. Yes, he points – but 99% of the time it’s only to the things he’s trying to grab out of thin air. Yep, he can be social. Again, not because he actually wants to interact – he wants to understand. The kid is almost as obsessed with how people work as he is the 4 billion matchbox cars spread across this house like little land mines.
So, what happens when the eval falls on a good day? A day where he’s more interested in studying you than anything else and you take that as socialization? What happens then? Do we start from scratch. We’ve known – for a long time now, that Mason isn’t “typical”. He’s not as violent as his brother – well, not usually. But he shows all of the major signs, and he does things that sometimes make me feel like I’m watching a parallel world. Things he couldn’t have learned – as Kaleb had stopped doing those things before Mase was even born.
I forgot how nerve-wracking this can be. Actually, that’s not true. This is a different kind of nervousness. Totally different. And that’s even more stressful. Kaleb was a shoe-in so to speak. We knew it, they knew it, it was just a matter of formalizing it. The only real nervousness I felt with Kaleb was that he was going to break another chair. Plus, his eval was close enough to Mason’s due date that I was concerned about missing the eval. Which, incidentally, I did. Mason was born two weeks early – Kaleb’s eval was 30 hours later.
However, with Mason? It’s almost as if he’s a total unknown. The Developmental Pediatrician knows it – has remarked on it, recommended evaluation more than once. Same goes with the Pediatric Neurologist. Kaleb’s neuro has remarked on it, recommended evaluation on nearly every trip that Mason joins us. Before you ask, I don’t take Mase to either one of them because neither of them has room for new patients right now. And Kaleb’s DP took me 16 months to get in for an appointment.
But, like I said, Mason is different. A lot of his problems aren’t as loud and violent. A lot of them are quiet things, things that happen and are downright disturbing at times. I’d be afraid to spend a day inside that kid’s mind – he connects things in a way I’ve never seen before. Then you add in the sensory issues, the sensitivities to noise, certain textures and tastes. Throw in fine and gross motor delays. Add in the fact that he mostly talks Masonese, and you rarely get good, real, clear words out of him. Throw in the obsessions, and the weird thing he does when he “collects” things out of the air… I cannot really explain this. And I truthfully have no idea what he’s doing – I just guess, and hope that I’m right. When he sees something that interests him, he basically plucks it out of thin air, and places it in his other hand – which he holds like he’s holding a box. Occasionally he’ll put his imaginary things in a car if he’s carrying one. He walks around basically all the time with that hand clenched like he’s holding something. It’s odd, and I don’t know how else to explain it.
The toe-walking and W-sitting. The OCD and insistence that things be exactly just right and nobody else touch them. The refusal to sleep – and the need to smack his feet on the mattress over and over and over again in order to fall asleep. The fixation on balls and anything with wheels. The incredible, frightening ability he has to manipulate every one and every thing around him. The list goes on. But what if the person doing the evaluation doesn’t see it? What if that person only sees that sweet, happy, curious Mason that most people see when he puts on his “people face”?
Then what? I didn’t realize just how much this was going to rattle me until they gave me the date. We’ll get through it – we always do. I’ll make sure to be thorough on the paperwork, and Mason will just be Mason. Still.
On a more positive note, Kaleb’s room is finished – totally finished. And Mason’s Corvette Bed came in two days early – which was perfect. Daddy was heartbroken that he wasn’t going to be here when Mase saw it for the first time. I was heartbroken at the thought of having to put it together. So we spent all day yesterday scrambling to get everything done. And remarkably, we pretty much did. Mason is in LOVE with his new bed. Kaleb is absolutely overjoyed with his new room – it was just what he needed.
So turning Mason’s room from a nursery into a big boy room (one that is not overwhelming) is my new project. Guess we’ll need to take a trip to Michaels soon. Anyway, here are some pictures of the Monsters new stuff (and by some, I mean a ton)!
Now on to Kaleb’s new room! You’ll notice the walls are bare – we didn’t want to overwhelm the room, so we made a deal. If he sleeps in his bed every night, sometime in May we will go and get some wall decals.