Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like the Trunchbull from Matilda?
Only, it feels kind of like the roles keep getting reversed. They’re big and I’m little. They’re right and I’m wrong. And apparently, there really is nothing I can do about it.
As of right this moment there are so many different emotions waging war with me right now my head is on the verge of exploding. However, before I get into the main reason for this – allow me to tell you about Mason’s hearing test – just to set the tone for our afternoon.
At first he was okay. He wasn’t thrilled to be there, and kept waving his arm toward the door, yelling in Masonese “This way! This way!”
He did alright when she ran the test to check his middle ear for fluids etc. He was less happy when she left to go to her little booth and closed us in the little testing room. When she started the second test, talking through a speaker on each side of the room, he responded appropriately, looking to each speaker as she spoke through it. Then came the beginning of the end. The tones/noises.
Mason is sensitive to sound. We know it isn’t a hearing problem – but a sensory one. Some days he just can’t handle noise. Some days he’s fine, but more often than not if something strikes a nerve, you’ll find him sitting with his hands on his ears and his eyes squeezed shut. If it gets really bad he’ll tailspin into a meltdown, all while covering his ears. I was so concerned with him freaking out over the room, the stuffed animals banging on drums, and the all of the other little things that I remember sending Kaleb over the edge, I completely forgot about the tones.
Enter tailspin #1.
Not a meltdown, not yet. But he curled into himself. So deeply, and in such a way I had never seen before. Hands over the ears immediately. Chin tucked to his chest, body curled, eyes squeezed shut. He wouldn’t even give me the slightest response. I spent a few minutes trying to coax him back out, and as soon as he finally started to come back to me she played the tone again. Come on lady, really? You can’t give him a minute to regroup? Immediately he curls back into himself, pushing back against me as hard as he can. Okay, clearly this is not going to work.
So, she attempts to get the reading by placing something in his ear instead.
Enter tailspin #2.
Otherwise known as a complete meltdown. Screaming like he’s on fire, ripping the thing out of his ear, thrashing against me, crying hysterically… yep. We are done. I hope you got enough info lady cause I am not doing that to my kid again. She did, luckily. She said by all appearances his hearing was just fine – not counting the sensory issues. Poor kid was still sobbing when I got him to the car. So, I did what any overindulging mother would do when her child was just tortured by the nice lady in the audiology department…
I bought the kid a happy meal.
So, we came home, we ate, we played for a little while, and the Mini Monster went down for a nap.
The next thing I know, my phone starts ringing…
Da da da da da da da duh da….
Freakin’ Darth Vader. It’s the school.
Look at the clock. What the heck?? It’s 2 o’clock, he can’t possibly be suspended.
“…we need you to come pick him up…”
Of course. Heaven forbid this day improve.
Wake up Mason and run out the door. Get to the school and Kaleb is completely shut down. What the heck?? He won’t look at me. He won’t speak. He’s just sticking his tongue out, making throat noises, and breaking crayons. I haven’t seen him like this in quite a while. Certainly not this bad. The principal is there, along with the vice principal and the teacher. I’m already having a hard time not being angry, just looking at my kid. So, when the teacher walked me through what happened, I wasn’t seeing red, I was hearing red.
They were in line, walking. Kaleb wanted to hold the hand of one of the little girls in his class (he’s enamored with this kid, has been talking about her relentlessly for months). So he reached his hand behind him to hold her hand. Was told “No” because (for some reason or another) it’s against the rules. Well, Kaleb continues to hold her hand. And the teacher reaches over and physically removes his hand. Kaleb immediately reared around and hit the teacher in the chest.
I’m sorry, because I’m going to be unsensitive right now. But seriously?? What did you expect?? It is not a new fact – you do not initiate physical contact with Kaleb unless he is visually receptive – because he will react in a most undesireable manner. And by that what I mean is – he will physically lash out at unwanted physical contact. If you were literally just around the corner from your destination, why on earth would you risk a giganitc meltdown over something so small?
On top of that – the teacher knows Daddy left for work yesterday. This is the first rotation where Kaleb is really aware of what is happening, and it’s been hard on him. He’s got all of these emotions rolling around in him that he doesn’t even know how to define, let alone handle. I told her he would probably need a week or so to get back to normal. He had a difficult time with this transition before now. This time is different. It’s harder for him because he understands that Daddy is gone, but he isn’t able to grasp the concept of why on a level that makes sense to him. He’s just repeating what we tell him.
He’s going to be more volitile because he’s at war with himself. So, congratulations. You just unleashed the Kracken. Prepare to have your ship sunk.
They got him back to the room and he went into complete meltdown mode. Hitting, kicking, screaming, scratching, spitting. Completely out of control. They “restrain” him for the second time this week. Call me to come get him.
So, there we are. I’m furious. Not at Kaleb. Because Kaleb is not at a point where he can control his reactions when he hits that level. I’m baffled by this. I’m frustrated, and sad because I can look over at my child who is so shut down he didn’t even realize I was there at first. Even with Mason yelling for him.
We leave, the car ride is spent in silence. It doesn’t take a professional to see that my kid is not at all ready to talk. We come home, he gets his Blankie, goes to his room for a few minutes, comes out with his “yesterday cup” and asks politely for some milk. As much as I want to give him some, and let him go relax, I also really need to know what happened from his perspective while it’s still fresh in his mind. So, I tell him I will give him some milk when he is ready to talk to me about what happened at school. He tells me to read his referral. I tell him I don’t have his referral – the school does.
He gets upset at this, and tells me he needs to make a referral for me to read so I can read what happened. I stand in the middle of the kitchen stunned. And angry all over again. This is what my child is learning? Are you serious?!
He goes over to his art desk and writes up his referral. Would you like to know what he brought to me five minutes later?
Insert Mommy Meltdown #1.
There goes another little piece of my heart – broken for my child. He reads this to me, and just stands there expectantly. What do I do with that? Yes, those are bad things to do. But why did you do them? I want to know what happened in your world to cause that to happen.
I coax him about his day, leading up to this point. He tells me he wanted to hold ____’s hand, and Mrs. ____ told him no, but he wanted to hold her hand so he did and Mrs. ____ took his hand off her hand so he hit her. We talk about this for a few minutes. I asked him what he should have done when Mrs. _____ said No. He told me he shouldn’t have done it, but ____ is his friend. We continued along this train for a while, until it was clear the conversation was exhausted. I asked him what happened next.
I’ll tell you what happened next. My five year old child repeated verbatum the words that were spoken to me when I picked him up. They weren’t even his own words! I had him repeat it. I asked him questions. Not a single variation. By that time I was at such a loss I just waved him off to go play with Mase and Leah.
What do I even do with that? What can I do? School lets out in a month – what would be the point in exacerbating an already unpleasant situation when he’ll be in a new school next year?
I don’t know. What I do know is that all three of the kids have been determined to make me crazy. Mase is still so overwhelmed from his hearing test that he’s crying over Every. Single. Little. Thing. Hands over the ears, dramatic drop to the floor followed by what sounds like a dying fire engine. How is that not hurting your ears???? Kaleb and Leah are switching between perpetrator and soother – it’s making me want to cover up my ears.
Yeah this is one of those days where I keep flip-flopping from feeling like the Trunchbull, to feeling like the little girl with the pigtails who got tossed out of the school yard.
Anyway, now that I’ve written a novel, and have probably sounded both really pathetic and completely insane – I’m going to get the demons… ahem, children ready for bed. Thanks for actually reading all of this!