Monday, November 21, 2016

News & Notes, Manic Monday Edition

Just another manic Monday, wish it were Sunday...well, actually, I wish it was Friday night.  Sundays are not my favorite these days.  Too much weekend crankiness from being off-schedule, and too much dread of Monday.  But anyway...

Today we got our first real dose of winter.  We'd had one minor dusting of snow in October, but between yesterday and today we got a legit few inches.  It also came with 30 mph winds, which haven't been pleasant, but the other side of Rochester got hammered with over a foot, so I guess we're lucky.  Lake effect is funny like that.  It reminded me of Buffalo during Snowvember, when part of the city got hammered under seven feet of snow, and the other part had barely a dusting.  This was a fraction of that, but it's weird to think that the other half of the county is nearly paralyzed and we're all good here.  No snow day for Jacob, though since tomorrow is his only other day of school this week, I think that's a good thing.

Speaking of Jacob, we're still in our bizarre holding pattern right now where some moments are fine and some are just disastrous.  There are times where he is totally calm, almost sweet.  Sometimes he will even try to engage Carter in a sport or game.  Lately he's even been getting into tickle fights with him.  And then it all usually goes horribly downhill after someone accidentally gets hurt, and then Jacob stomps around the house because Carter won't play with him.  He'll snap and act out his rage without actually following through on it.  It's exhausting. 

Lately my bigger concern has been with his schoolwork.  I've seen a decent number of subpar tests and worksheets.  That is a new thing for him.  Usually his work was fine, or maybe with one or two really small mistakes, but lately he's had a lot of incorrect answers, or even blank ones.  I can't quite figure out what's happening.  I don't know if he's not reading directions properly, or rushing through it, or simply doesn't understand what he's learning.  His teacher has expressed a lot of frustration with his attention and his ability to listen to directions, so I'm finally wondering if ADHD is officially starting to show itself as disrupting his learning experience.  We have a follow-up meeting with the doctor who could prescribe him medication in a couple weeks, and we could have some very tough decisions to make. 

It's not like him to be so down on himself and his ability to do the work.  He can barely stand having me carefully go over the issues with him.  I'm trying to be gentle and patient, but he just doesn't want to do it.  I know he's smart, so what's up?  Just the attention?  Is he having trouble seeing clearly?  Is he just down on himself because he doesn't have a teacher that can see his good side?  His parent-teacher conference is next week, so I'm sure that will be a tough one, but maybe we can work toward something better like we did last year.

In other news, he played his first indoor lacrosse game of the season this past weekend.  It was good to see him out there for the first time since last December, before his leg injury ever happened.  He missed most of last season and only got to play once the games were outside.  He missed the first game of the season while he was at his tournament (which reminds me--I was going to have Craig do a guest post...), but his first game back wasn't particularly great because they played a completely dominant team and got killed.  Maybe their next game will be a little better and he will get more in the groove.  

As for Carter, he is just as changeable as his big brother.  Sometimes he is completely delightful and sweet, and sometimes he is even more stubborn than Jacob.  When he gets mad he defaults to punches and kicks.  Whether it's his parents, his brother, his friends, or his teachers, the wrath comes out.  We're working on it.  In the meantime, it infuriates Jacob and frustrates everyone else.  Sometimes he loves playing with Jacob, and sometimes he wants nothing to do with it.  He can't keep himself away from him most of the time, and that gets downright dangerous as Jacob doesn't understand his limits.  It's hard to referee them, but we're trying to let the relationship develop when the good moments happen.

Carter says the cutest things sometimes, and he can be a snuggly, sweet kid.  But lately I just can't seem to figure him out.  If we let him nap at daycare, he's up late.  If we don't, sometimes it's hard to keep him awake until bedtime.  When he's tired he gets irrationally cranky.  If he's too awake he won't go to sleep and the next day is challenging.  Sometimes he sleeps in really late, sometimes he's up bright and early (usually on a Saturday).  Weekends throw him off completely, no matter how normal bedtimes stay.  For some reason I can't figure out how to keep him more even keeled.  On top of that, I'm having a heck of a time getting him to dress himself.  He refuses to do it.  He can, though usually it takes him forever and he gets distracted at every step.  I try to lay out his clothes to make it easier, but it is exhausting just trying to get him to do it.  One of his teachers mentioned that she noticed that some of his fine motor skills might be lacking, which I hadn't really noticed, but maybe she was right--that would explain why he doesn't want to do it.  And let's not even get into how he can't sit still in his chair at dinner these days.  I can't even.  I was going to try to get a cushion for Jacob that helps get the wiggles out, but now I'm thinking I need one for Carter too.  Ugh.

I'm already starting to stress out about Christmas.  I'm not sure what to give the kids, as they just don't need more toys, but they don't seem to appreciate experiences either, as they're too busy making each other nuts.  I've got the usual long list of other people to buy for, and I am sorely lacking for ideas.  I can barely wrap my brain around decorating this coming weekend, let alone four weeks of shopping and buying presents, making cookies, coordinating schedules, and staying up late to accomplish the endless to do list before Christmas Eve.  As much as I love Christmas, part of me is exhausted just thinking about it. 

I feel like there was more that I was going to talk about here, but as usual, my brain is too clogged up to remember.  Maybe another day...

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