Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown…

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)!

The New Bed

The New Bed

Waiting for the gates to open so he can get to the car in his room!

Waiting for the gates to open so he can get to the car in his room!

Annnnd he's off!

Annnnd he’s off!

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Yes, the headlights actually turn on.

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Thank you Daddy!!!

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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.

Kaleb's closet pt. 1

Kaleb’s closet pt. 1

Kaleb's closet pt. 2

Kaleb’s closet pt. 2

Big Green Chair

Big Green Chair

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The Wheels on the Bus…

I do not understand this day.  And I’m not so sure I want to.

I knew I was getting sick on Wednesday.  I was surprisingly not sick Thursday.  Then came the sinus train on Friday.  Followed by the whole cold caboose yesterday.  By Friday night I couldn’t breathe laying down – so I opted to sleep propped up on the couch.  I then spent the majority of the day playing mommy from under the blankets.  My life-saving friend came by with dinner and spent some time watching scary movies with me (even though I downloaded the WRONG Hansel & Gretel and we ended up watching something so bad it was almost good), and back to sleep on the couch I went.

Yesterday was the first good day Kaleb had in what feels like forever.  He even built New York City out of blocks and matchbox cars!

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Mason and my niece spent most of the day chasing each other around the house like a couple of crazy monkeys, though their nap was cut short by Kaleb having a drum session in the hallway.

Once again I spent the night on the couch.  Only to open my eyes at 5am to find Kaleb playing with his blocks a mere foot from my head.  Mason didn’t do much better – by 6am he was wide awake shouting at me from the gate.  I dragged myself off the couch – pleased to discover that while tired, I felt better – save for the brick sitting on my chest.  Got Mason changed and let him feed the fish (his most favorite part of the morning).

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Got both of the kids their milk and something to eat and made my way to the coffee maker.  Which is not turned on.  Why isn’t it turned on?  Click the switch.  Again.  Again and again and again.  Frantically.  Unplug it.  Plug it back in.  Repeat.  Flick switch.  Repeat.  Forehead lands on kitchen counter with a heavy ‘thud’ as I silently curse the heavens and wonder why me?  Why does this always happen to me?  Resigned to having to call Keurig and pitch a fit, I pulled out the old coffee pot and fill it up.  Plug it in, turn it on.  Nothing.  What???

Move the coffee maker down counter, plug it in, nothing.  Move it to another counter, plug it in, success!  So, clearly something is wrong with two of the outlets in the kitchen.  But the coffee maker is not broken.  Coffee!!

Go to check out the new city Kaleb has built, just to walk into the middle of Monster War # 783.  Kaleb has used Mason’s matchbox cars in his new city.  ALL of Mason’s matchbox cars.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on the obsession the Mini-Monster has with cars.  And I do mean obsession.  While at any given time we can usually only find about 50 matchbox cars – there are at least 200 of them floating around.  He loves just about any form of transportation – cars, trucks, boats, planes, trains, etc – but his primary focus is on cars.  Odds are, when you see my youngest child, you will find him with at least two cars (more often, he’s got one in his mouth, three in the crook of one arm, and two in each hand) in is posession.

This started with a fixation on wheels – things that spin.  He’d sit with a chunky truck in his hand and just spin the wheel around and around for hours on end.  As he got older it evolved to a fixation with cars.  Favorites change day by day, week by week – but he’s got to have them.  Kaleb has to have his blankie.  Mason has to have his cars.  They have to be lined up just right.  If one is just slightly crooked in a line, the sky starts to fall.  If he accidentally drops one, the sky actually does fall.

Even in his sleep they have to be lined up!

Even in his sleep they have to be lined up!

So, Kaleb has used all of Mason’s matchbox cars (excluding the handful he slept with) and this has caused a serious issue.  Kaleb is trying to prevent Mason from going Godzilla on his city.  Mason wants his cars.  All of his cars.  Now.

So much for drinking my coffee while it’s still warm.

Kaleb is willing to concede some cars to Mason to keep his city intact.  Mase is temporarily pacified by this.

Note:  I did say temporarily.  That did not last long.  Kaleb decided he needed an odd number of cars for his city.  He had 16, he wanted 17.  And of course, leave it to Kaleb to take one of the cars Mason is in love with – the school bus.  Enter Monster War # 784.  Mediating, negotiating, holding them apart with what strength I have left – manage to trade Kaleb for a car Mase doesn’t care about.

Mason gets his cars, lines them all up, grabs his milk, and lays down next to his cars.  Only to bump one with his leg.  Insert meltdown here.  Meltdown leads to partial destruction of city.  Insert Kaleb’s meltdown here.  Meltdown leads to full destruction of car line.

Round and round and round it goes…

Finally it stops.  Finally.  Kaleb sits guarding his city.  Mason sits with his bucket full of cars.  I sit with my coffee.  I know why they’re yawning – Mason Bug didn’t fall asleep till midnight, and was up at dawn.  Kaleb fell asleep at his normal time – and woke up early.  Of course, it doesn’t help that he was all over the place last night.

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I get the distinct impression I’m not going to love this day.

Courtesy of a good friend :-)

Courtesy of a good friend 🙂