Just about the time I thought I'd get to be a "stay home" mom again, it turns out that I'm a "take everyone to the doctor" mom. January sounded pretty freaking far away when I was trying to get appointments with specialists for my kids back in November. Back then I was settling for any appointments I could get and didn't quite notice that my New Year's resolution should have been to win the lottery to cover January's co-pays. Ahem. To return to the part where I am so lovingly and attentively making sure my children's medical/therapeutic needs are being met (and completely ignoring the fact that I already missed one dental follow up - crap - and have had to reschedule that for March)...
This week Chaos finally got in with a counselor whom I adore. (I, being the very smart mom that I am, did NOT tell Chaos how wonderful I thought this therapist was until AFTER Chaos told me he was "okay".) It was a little weird to sit there with Dr. H asking me and Sweet Hubby all about Chaos while Chaos was right there - but that was part of the deal. We told the doctor what we thought Chaos thought and what we thought Chaos felt about this and that. Then Chaos got to meet with the counselor - probably to snicker over how off the mark we were. Chaos was in rare form after the session. He was in a good mood because we weren't making him go back to school. They all get one "mental health day" a semester and Chaos wanted to take his - on what better day than his first session with a mental health professional. It was also the last day before Bug had to go back to California so the two of them had big game playing plans all mapped out. I asked Chaos how he thought the session went - and he said that it was okay. "I mean, it could be worse. You all could make me do all sorts of stuff that would be way worse. I mean, like, I'm glad you're not all uppity-tight and make me go to bible school or something." Uppity-tight? Sweet Hubby and I cracked up. Later Chaos was telling us about a new author he has discovered (Harry Turtledove) who writes alternative historical fiction. Chaos was going on and on about soldiers and the Pot-o-matic. It made no sense. We got him to spell Pot-o-matic and it turns out he was talking about the Potomac. The very next sentence he came out with had the word "beige" in it - maybe describing uniforms? I don't remember exactly because it took us a bit to decipher what "bee juh" meant. We really need to show him how to use the Merriam Webster site that has pronunciation audio files! He was in a great mood all day though and laughed with us about it all.
Then yesterday I took Havoc for an hours long screening for ADD. I have been really reluctant to do this. More than one (or even two or three) teachers have suggested it in the past few years, but I haven't wanted to have my kid labeled and then written off with a Ritalin Rx. Havoc's father (Mr. Tapioca Head) has been even more reluctant. To the point that he told me that not only did he not want me to take Havoc for the screening, but that if Havoc was diagnosed as ADD that he would "forbid" any medication and "insist" on a second opinion with a doctor of his choosing. That totally pissed me off but didn't stop me. I have been about at wit's end with Havoc. We have organized and organized and organized the boy - but no matter how many times we clean out his locker and backpack, no matter how many check lists we make, no matter how much we look at his school planner - every system we come up with falls apart the minute I'm not checking every single step. I hate being a nag - and I particularly despair when I fulfill my role as nagging organizational overseer for months only to think that it's time for Havoc to have internalized some small bit of it and come to find out that once again, no, he's not internalized any of it. The doctor we saw was fantastic. He was so easy to talk to. Havoc did most of the talking - and together they looked at Havoc's hand and checked his eyesight. (We have appointments with specialists for both of those areas of concern next week) and they talked and talked and talked about Havoc's patterns at school and at home. I'd had to fill out this detailed packet that covered lots of ground - the thing started with my pregnancy and his birth! The teacher who has been the most concerned also filled out a packet and sent it in. We'd been there almost two hours and the doctor started telling me about vitamin supplements (zinc and essential fatty acids) that he thought could help out. Then he recommended a book about organizational strategies. I said, "Oh, so you don't think Havoc has ADD?" And the man about choked trying not to laugh at me. He glanced over at Havoc who was busy fiddling with his hands, tapping his feet, and shaking his leg from having to sit and do nothing but talk for so long in a small room. The doctor said, "Oh no. He is definitely ADD. But that's only a way to get a handle on his brain style." He then went on to tell Havoc that human brains are incredibly responsive to human experience. He said that it would probably take Havoc a LOT longer to instill a habit, but that when he did it would stick. He explained that Havoc had very bad paper handling habits and that was what we needed to work on most. He said the supplements would help make some things clearer and they could make it easier for Havoc to stick to the routines - but that Havoc still had to do all the work of finding a routine or system that he thought could work for him and then Havoc had to be the one to do it, consistently for a very long time. The doctor said I did need to help Havoc but he told both me and Havoc what the limits of that help should look like. It was a really great appointment. It just took most of the whole day.
And next week looks to be taken up too. Havoc has two specialist appointments and then on Thursday I'm back in court. I got a notice today that there is a certified letter at the post office for me. I know it's from Mr. Tapioca Head because he's the only one in my whole life who has sent me certified mail - and it's never good. My stomach hurts just thinking about it. I don't have a clue as to what it could actually be - but I'm sure it's about court crap. Bleck.
So my dear internets, my presence in the blogosphere may continue to be spotty through next week, but I'll be back here and at your blogs as soon as I can!! Peace.