Monday, October 31, 2005
On this Monday, I'd like to introduce you all to Sullen Bunny. She is brand new to the blogging world and has recently had her 6 y/o diagnosed with AS. She is in need of some major support. I know we're all tremendously capable of that. Please stop by and say hi. She's got some serious "Autism Sucks" going on and could use our "ears". In the meantime, have a great Halloween, Dia de los Muertos (is that correct?) or whatever you chose to celebrate. This evening I will be busy gobbling up - I mean checking my children's candy for safety.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Through all of these comments, I have found some new blogs that you all must really check out: Astryngia, Moi at Bloggg, Cheryl at Mad Baggage (and oh she's got a lot more than Aspies on her blog - be prepared to CRACK UP), and Mrs. Aginoth at Musings of a Juggling Mother.
To everyone who commented and to those who may still comment: You're all truly blessings. I'm glad we all have each other's shoulders, ears, support, even though it's via the computer. I know that I didn't get back to each of you individually, but know that I totally related to and appreciated every single word that you said. Oh, and yes, I will be informing stupid Ex that AS is passed down through the male genes! You are all so PHENOMENAL!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
He called last night and asked me about SmallBoy's behavioral therapy. I told him that it was going well, but we've only been twice, since insurance only allows so many visits/year, not to mention that in the second visit, the therapist is still doing background work with him. You see, SmallBoy has issues listening when he is at his dad's for the weekend. He just doesn't do it. Ex also has a new baby, about 3 1/2, 4 mos old. SmallBoy doesn't really know how to interact with the baby, nor does he really know how to express his frustrations that he really likes the baby, but can't play with him. SmallBoy also doesn't understand that he can't really get right in the baby's face or play rough with him like he does with his brother and sister. Not only that, but there is always that underlying issue of jealousy. The kids are with their dad only two weekends a month, so SmallBoy a) still hasn't adjusted to the new baby, even though he loves him to pieces (he told me that he thinks being a big brother is wonderful and that he loves having a little brother. In fact, he asked when PC and I will be having a baby - not gonna happen, but still....), and b) still wants his time with his dad - alone, without baby in tow. I told Ex that perhaps time alone with SmallBoy would be a good way to make him feel special. As a matter of fact, I suggested that Ex take SmallBoy to his Cub Scout meeting tonight.
Ex went on to express the fact that he and his wife are concerned that SmallBoy defies them and won't listen to either of them when he is at their house. He said that LargeBoy and Girl constantly have to yell at SmallBoy, that he flips out and has tantrums like a baby and makes up his own rules, not abiding by the house rules. He says he has mood swings. (Is anyone else thinking, "Hmmm, isn't that all about ASD?") I explained to Ex that SmallBoy is on the spectrum. I had to cut it to the quick for him and say to him that Asperger's is a form of autism. He replied to me with, "We've read that book on Awsperger's and we know all about it. He shouldn't act like this."
Wait. It get's worse. He then went on to say to me that, as much as it pains him to do this, that if SmallBoy's behavior doesn't change significantly in the next visit, that he will not be able to have him on the weekends because he fears for the baby's safety. I was FLOORED. My SmallBoy wouldn't hurt a flea. He needs assistance with social skills, with how to act in certain situations. He needs to learn how to find the language he needs to use to express himself properly. I told him that he needs to do a lot more research on ASperger's. I said that I communicate with other parents every day who discuss all of these same things. That SmallBoy is not just being a problem child. That he is not just defying his father. Hell, he listens to me. Yeah, we have our bad days and our good days, but that's the nature of Asperger's. I know what to do, how to work with my little man. Ex does not. I told him about blogs and Asperger's and autism sites.
I told Ex that I am doing everything that I can to assure that SmallBoy lives a very successfull life, but that takes MONEY - something I don't have. Ex refuses to contribute anymore than he is legally required, which makes getting SmallBoy help extremely difficult. And I told him that. I said that insurance only covers so much. I was just absolutely fuming. I know that I'm still missing elements of this conversation with him because I'm so infuriated.
After I hung up with him, I told PC what was going on and he just held me while I cried. How can he deny his own son simply because he is "difficult" (or because he doesn't know what to do because he's not fully educated in the ways of ASperger's). I likened this to people who would institutionalize family members because they were "weird" or "off" or "strange" or "difficult". And please forgive me if this sounds awful, but I have to say, that I'm extremely lucky that my child is "easy", as far as the spectrum goes. His receptive and expressive language is for the birds, his social skills suck, his mood swings are godawful, but he is such a wonderful boy. He is loving, caring, compassionate, sweet, friendly, for the most part - happy. But you know what? Even if he was "difficult" or more severe, as we say in the ASD community, I would still love him and do everything in my power to see that his life is as perfect as I can make it for him. He is my SON. God, I'm just SO livid.
We've all written about people who don't get it. Never once, however, have I seen a parent of an ASD child who doesn't get it. I understand that he is not with SmallBoy on a regular basis. I understand that it's a really hard thing to accept, that your child is "different" than other kids. So what should one do in this case? Research. Educate yourself and others. Make an effort to understand what causes this and what to expect from your child and, more importantly, how to teach your child, how to understand your child, how to work with your child, how to make sure your child knows that you love them UNCONDITIONALLY.
I could rant on long and loud, but my head is really starting to throb with anger right now. HELP.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I then asked him something along the lines of, "Was it ok that even though Linus believed that there really was a Great Pumpkin, that it was just pretend?" "Did anything in Linus' world change because there wasn't a Great Pumpkin?" Get this: He was totally fine with that! THANKS PM - and thanks for the call! Now, I'm still not quite ready to broach the subject, but at least the groundwork has been laid. Hopefully we'll have this figured out before Christmas.
I'm now faced with a dilemma. Potentially, the Sox could win the series tonight. This is an incredibly historic series since the Sox haven't been in forever, and this is Houston's first time. It's really quite cool. Obviously, we won't be in Houston to witness Game 4, so we will be watching from home with the rest of the nation - or at least Texas & Illinois. I would LOVE for SmallBoy to stay up and watch this game, especially if the Sox win it. Problem: Even if the game simply goes 9 innings, it will still be over after bedtime and we will all be either on an adrenaline high or a total bummer low. More than likely, he won't be able to sleep. Late bedtime plus high energy keeping him from sleeping could make for a REALLY nasty day tomorrow. The flipside is - this may not happen again in our lifetimes! BUT - by the same token, if the Sox lose tonight, and I let SmallBoy stay up, do I then let him stay up for every "they-could-win-it-tonight" game?
This would be so much easier if tonight was a Friday or if this were game 7 - although game 7 is supposed to be Sunday, right? My motherly instincts are telling me to put him to bed. My excitement and Wow-I-Really-want-him-to-see-this-It's-historic instincts are telling me, "What the hell, let him stay up. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
I can already hear what a few of you are saying, (PM, Meem) - and they conflict with each other! YIKES
I suppose I'll just wait and see what this evening brings. Either way, I will NOT let him stay up for a ridiculously long game tonight. Let's win or lose in 9 innings tonight! PLEASE!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
When I'm sick, I'm a very big baby. I need to be taken care of, snuggled until I fall asleep, catered to, and have PC stay up with me in the middle of the night when I'm totally miserable. He does, too. There seems to be a secret signal or trigger or something in my house, though, that goes off when I'm sick. I like to call it the Mom's-sick-and-trying-to-steal-some-much-needed-rest-so-WE-must-get-sick-or-injured signal. It never fails. I have never been sick or injured by myself. Right now we'll dwell on the sick part.
SmallBoy and I have been miserable for the last week. When SmallBoy gets sick, though, it's a BAD thing. He has cold-induced asthma, so I am at his side with his inhaler constantly when he's sick. Middle of the night or even bedtime itself is awful. It scares the crap out of me. I stay awake either with him, taking care of him, or listening for him. IF I'm lucky, I can get maybe an hour of sleep before I have to get up and try to drag myself to work - assuming I don't need to take a sick day for my child (which, in turn, does ME no good, because I'm still taking care of him...he'd rather lie on the sofa and watch movies and be catered to - like his mama - than to nap so that I can nap too).
If PC gets sick, I wake up and take care of him, too. Not because he asks me to or wants me to, but because I'm a mom. It's a maternal thing. I take care of people when they're sick. PC tells me to go back to sleep, I need my rest. Well, that mommy thing in me keeps me up, too.
Just once, ONE TIME is all I ask, JUST ONCE, I'd like to be sick by myself. Is that asking to much? I want to have time to rest and get over being sick without having to take care of anyone else. PC is wonderful and will step in and take care of whomever else is under the weather, but I can't fight the mommyguilt of staying in bed while someone else is miserable. I just can't. So, until I learn to conquer that, I WANNA BE SICK ALL BY MYSELF.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Chicken soup for my tummy and my head! I've been saved. Kids are gone to their dads, so I'm leaving work to go to a quiet house and do one thing and one thing only - NAP!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
>Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Wow. Read my comment below to Anne-Marie's posting.
I feel compelled to comment on the banned books AGAIN, as I commented on the list the first time. Why is it that people feel the need to tell us what we can and cannot read? What happened to freedom of expression? What good is freedom of expression if no one is allowed to see, hear, or smell the expression because a certain group of people are opposed to it.
I told him about Marti's cure-all: Chicken broth heated all day with cloves of garlic. Promise. It'll make you all better.
I'm hoping for some for dinner.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
MOMMY! I wanna go home! Can you come pick me up? It always worked when I was a kid at school. Why not now when I'm a grown up at work? My head is stuffy, my chest is congested, my eyes burn. I wanna go home!
Can't. Need to reserve the sick hours for when my kids are sick and I can't get coverage. Elaine was mentioning this dilemma in her post about when she was a working mom, and having to make that decision. Seriously, how often do working moms get to use their sick time for themselves? We will come into work on our deathbeds, be totally useless, and infect the office (yes, we're martyrs) before we call in sick. We NEED those sick hours for the kids. Vacation hours I will save for emergencies like...oh GOD! The kids are sick and I have no coverage AND I have no sick hours! Crap! Crap! Crap!
So, what'll I do today? Will I rest when I get home and get to bed early? Nope. SmallBoy has a scout meeting tonight. He's getting badges. We won't blow this off, he needs the social interaction. It's terribly important. Will I arrange a carpool so that I can stay home and rest? Nope. I'll be a martyr. He needs to have me there when he gets this badge, he's worked hard for it. Lord, though, it's loud and crazy and obnoxious when all of those boys are in one room together. When I get home, I'll be wanting to whine some more...only this time without the "h". I may have to settle for the OTC no-more-coughing-sniffling-stuffy-head-fever-aching-so-you-can-rest kind, though, cuz I don't believe there IS anymore wine in my house. OH WHINE WHINE WHINE!!!!
I have to take a really late lunch today because I have to pick SmallBoy up at school at 3. PC is working a ridiculously long double shift today, so he can't do it, and Girl, obviously can't pick him up because she's sick - which leaves him walking home from school alone. Although he is 9 now, I'm still not confident enough in his street smarts to let him do it himself. We live just under a mile from the school and he has to cross a busy street - yes, there is a stoplight, but still. The Asperger's impinges on common sense every once in a while and walking almost a mile by himself is not the time I want to test it. So, I'll grab him from school and bring him either home or back to work with me...whichever he wants. He'll be bored here, but at least I 'll get to spend a few hours with him before we have to go home to the daily evening running around. Geez, I'm exhausted already and it's not even 8:15 a.m. yet!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Dr. Gary Brown, Professor and Chair at the University of Tennessee at Martin asked me to publicize this study on my blog:
ABA4Autism.com and the Psychology Department at the University of Tennessee at Martin are conducting a second survey on the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This survey is for mothers of children with ASD as well as mothers of normally developing children who are ten years of age or younger. Mothers who participate in the survey will receive a free ABA program to teach their child to follow directions as well as free ABA mini programs for common problems like sharing. To take the survey please go to http://www.aba4autism.com.
Dr. Brown also has a blog ABA4Autism or other Neuropsychological Disorders which covers everything from IEPs to use of SSRIs.
Monday, October 17, 2005
The kids were with me this weekend, but had family things going on with their Dad. Both situations required that the kids be dressed up, as they were both involving attending church. Saturday's event went fine. It was an evening event followed by a dinner. Sunday, however, was a baptism followed by a party - on one of the last remaining beautiful days. The kids were dressed up for church, but had packed a change of clothes. SmallBoy, thinking ahead, had put on a t-shirt underneath his dress shirt so that all he had to do was take off his shirt and change his pants. Unfortunately, the shirt had was wearing under the dress shirt was not really appropriate. I asked him to change it and explained why it was necessary, but he wasn't processing it AT ALL. I could see that he was getting upset, so I tried, again, to explain to him why the shirt wasn't going to be appropriate for the party, but he was just at a loss. He was visibly upset, stressed, and almost out of sync. But then he turned to me and he said, "Mom, I just can't find the words."
I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear him say that! Yes, I hate that he can't find the words, but the fact that he was able to verbalize what he needed was SO huge. SmallBoy doesn't have any verbalization issues as far as speaking is concerned, but more in actually communicating when he's stressed. This was a giant breakthrough for him and I told him. I said to him, "SmallBoy! Wow! That's great that you were able to tell me that. I know why you're upset and you probably are trying to find out how to tell me that, right?" He nodded and we continued on with our conversation until finally he was so pleased and proud that he had communicated his frustration to me, that he had forgotten WHY he was frustrated in the first place.
I told PC and he was just as excited as I was. I talked to SmallBoy later to make sure he was able to recall that situation and exactly what he had done. I asked him in what other situations he might be able to use that skill of "I can't find the words." He went back to the biting issue whene he bit the girl on the playground because he couldn't find the words to express how truly upset he was with her to the teacher (who would have stopped the incident before it got to teeth baring proportions). I had to share with you my joy and my hope!
Friday, October 14, 2005
It was then that the lightbulb went on! DING! Wow! What a concept! I turned to D. and replied, "You know, I used to feel just awful and have so much guilt about missing things. I've always felt it to be such a key in our children's development to be there for them as much as possible and, supporting them at their events is definitely included in that. This year, though, I think I've lightened up a little on that theory. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's HUGE for our children to have us behind them and to support them, but that doesn't mean that we need to get to every single game, especially when they play 80 games, minimum, not counting playoffs and extra tournaments, in one season." Wow! Did that just come out of MY mouth? The Queen of MommyGuilt? Holy cow! I went on to explain to D. how horrible I would feel when I had to miss something, even if there was a legitimate reason, a conflict with an activity for another of my children. I told her how it just doesn't have that hold on me anymore.
This is when your therapist looks up from the notepad and says, "Mrs. MommyGuilt, I think we've had a breakthrough!"
Thursday, October 13, 2005
If only this prescription could actually be filled! Oh, the money that could be made! I'd own stock in whatever company manufactured this - and then I wouldn't have to worry about that stupid salary cap!!!! This would be a lovely way to end a rough day at work or with the kids (or both!): a nice warm bath, a glass of wine and this cute little blue & white friend. Ahhhh!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
10/4/2005 He Sees You When You're Sleeping
Jackson was telling my mom about how kids at school (he's in first grade) are saying there's no such thing as Santa Claus and that it's really the parents who put presents under the Christmas tree.
"Grandma, that can't be true because my mom and dad never stay up that late!"
Now, on the other hand, my sister will be turning 30 this weekend (I love you, Chica - sorry about blabbing your age, but I'm older, so I CAN!) I am older than my sister, which makes me feel REALLY incredibly old - especially when you look at the age gap between my sister and my son! Of course, my life wouldn't be the same without either of them, but LORD ALMIGHTY do they make me feel old. I suppose it could be worse, though, I could have had children later than I did and then I'd be older than I am now (upon each child's consecutive birthday), but, I was a mere toddler when I gave birth, so, I suppose that makes me only 17! HA! If only!
By the way - I still need apple pie recipes. See my post begging for them!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Don't forget I need apple pie recipes! See the post 2 below!
Monday, October 10, 2005
I have a lot more to write about, but for now I have to finish up here at work so I can go home. The kids are off school today for Columbus Day, but LargeBoy and Girl have things to do this afternoon, PC is working, so that means that I have to go home. Fortunately, I am working on Saturday and can make that time up, but I was SO looking forward to OT.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Two and a half years ago when I was going through my divorce with Ex, I realized that if I was going to get through that Hell, I needed to surrender and just let things run as they would...to sort of set things in God's hands and trust that all would be ok. No, that doesn't mean I gave up the fight, it means that I stopped fighting with ME. I do the same thing with SmallBoy. I need a little more something from somewhere to get through watching my sweet little boy go through all of these struggles, knowing that he is well aware of the difference between himself and the other kids. I hate this ASD as much as any other mother dealing with it, but to get myself through sometimes, I've just got to believe that there is a reason for everything.
Apparently I inadvertently offended and terribly upset another ASD mom, for which I apologize again. My comment to her, as she was having a particularly rough go of it, was that I believe - and truly I do - that there is a reason that we were chosen to be the mothers to our ASD kids. Sure, we may not see it now, nor care to see it now. We may fight it with everything we've got, but think about it. Just the thought that my SmallBoy could have been a child to some other parents who just wouldn't understand, who would think he's just "freakish" or weird, or stupid, and wouldn't think to get him the help he needs, well, that thought breaks my heart. I'm not saying this is an easy walk through life, it sure as hell isn't that. I am saying that I believe that there is a reason that SmallBoy and I were paired up as mother and son - call it God, call it Karma, call it Fate, call it timing...whatever you will, but he's my SmallBoy and no one else's for a reason.
I hate this stupid autistic spectrum and everything that goes along with it. I hate that SmallBoy cannot do well with change. I hate that when he goes to Ex's house, like he will this weekend, he totally misbehaves - because he can't adjust to the change, and then comes home and misbehaves until he readjusts again. I cannot stand that his father doesn't understand why this happens and just says he's acting up. I hate that it's oh so hard for him to do simple things - like throw and catch and run, and make friends. I hate that I have to take him to behavioral therapy to teach him how to cope when he's frustrated or sad. I hate that I have to work to pay for all of these things....I would much rather be home taking care of him and helping him learn all of these things that he needs. I hate that he's not like the rest of the kids. But I love him dearly and I wouldn't trade him for the world. He is MY SmallBoy and I'm his mom. I can't imagine my life without him.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I thought the girls were going to die! This was a combination study session/OTH session. Well! The White Sox/Red Sox game was on the same channel at the same time that OTH was supposed to be on. The girls couldn't handle the stress...so, would you believe, they studied? I actually quizzed them during the game. They did ok - Girl did well (we'll see how the test really went this afternoon). FINALLY the White Sox won and it was time for OTH.
No one BREATHED through the credits while they were waiting to see if Dan was included, and then there was this giggle, evil laugh, chuckle - whatever - when, indeed, he was there (like the writers would be stupid enough to kill off THE bad guy). When I first started "drama grazing" on the show, it took a while to know which characters were which. I remembered Peyton, because she had curly hair (like me). This season, she got a brand new "do". I want it! Its short (not short short, but shoulder length, which is shorter than mine - see pic on post below), and is has many fun layers and it's straight. I can do my hair straight when it's shorter. MUCH less maintenance than this curly ball of frizz. So, this morning, I hit all of the OTH websites and blogsites looking for pics of this new do. It took me all morning until I finally found a few that a) I could drag to my desktop and print and b)showed enough angles to give to a stylist.
Now, I don't normally follow the latest trends in hair cuts, but this one REALLY looks like it would work. PC told me to go for it and he is the one who least wants me to cut my hair. Of course, now his will definitely be longer than mine!!! I found the number of the place in LG that he recommended and I have an appt. for Friday night. We shall see. I AM excited, though. This will be something fun!
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
After a couple of rounds (of singing, that is), I sang one of the songs that I have sort of dedicated to Girl over the years, "Wild One" by Faith Hill, and had PC call her from my cell phone and let her listen...kind of a birthday dedication. PC and a couple waitress sang the Hokey Pokey - oh you should have seen it. PC & Coolah sang a couple of Dead tunes. It was nice to see Coolah up and singing and dancing and smiling. Cutie and I talked about their wedding plans and the ring and....well, it was just a FUN night.
We got home earlier than usual, but headed straight to bed, since we were both exhausted. Unlike every other night, I couldn't sleep. I was pooped, drop dead tired. I finally managed to get to sleep and then I started waking up every fifteen or twenty minutes. GRRRRRRRRR....talk about fun and games! Then this morning I wake up to Girl's alarm clock RINGGGGGGGGGGGGING from downstairs. Yeah, I LOVE having to work at the crack of dawn. Tonight it's early to bed. I need to play catch up big time....although, I could steal Girl's present from Milly and get started on watching the third season of one of our favorite shows - nah, I'll fall asleep two minutes in like I do with everything else I watch. Ok, ok, so a hot soak, a glass of wine (oh crap, Milly and I drank it all)...ok revise....so a hot soak, a cup of hot tea, or maybe a beer, and off to snoozeville. Sounds like a plan.
Oh LORD....how could I forget - my plans will be totally thrown off tonight! Girl's favorite teeny-bopper show has the season premiere tonight which is being thrown off by the WHITE SOX game!!!!!!!!!!! She is stressing terribly over this, but I think she'll survive. The OTH-a-thon starts tonight at our house, so Lord knows what plan B is, if the Sox game takes all night. Hmm...we'll just have to see, now, won't we?
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
absolutely evil-add-20-pounds-right-to-my-hips mashed potatoes (cheese, cream cheese, bacon, butter, more cheese)
corn on the cob, and
in lieu of cake, Girl wanted pie....French Silk.
Yep, guess what we had for an after dinner treat? Maalox! I swear by that stuff! Today it's salad for lunch and a workout - definitely a workout!
Monday, October 03, 2005
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET PEA!
Mom, PC, Boy, & SmallBoy
We LOVE YOU!!!
The boys arrived promptly at 7 and SmallBoy was elated. He took them all on a tour of his house - he had even partially cleaned his room for this. Then it was off to video game land. I figured I'd go a little easier on my time limit since this was his party and with that many boys, there needs to be something to occupy them while preparing food, drinks, etc...I think they started with one of the Mario games, or perhaps Super Monkey Ball 2 (none of which I am coordinated to play. My skills don't extend much past Pong...ok, definitely Pac Man, but nothing beyond that). The boys were very, um, what's the word...yes, enthusiastic. There were screams and shouts and "Oh MANs" every few minutes. As we cooked the hot dogs and the tater tots, we could hear them bouncing and jumping and just being boys.
Oh, funny side note: SmallBoy really wanted pizza for his party food, but one of the boys doesn't eat cheese, so we figured hot dogs would be great fun for them. However, PC, Girl, and I REALLY REALLY wanted pizza. Oh we were so bad! PC had a pizza delivered and, instead of trying to sneak it through the room in which the boys were playing, with the smell wafting through the air, he met the delivery guy outside and walked around to the back of the house with the pizza. Yes, we were bad. We went so far as to stash the pizza box and keep watch to make sure none of the kids were coming when we had pizza in our hands. What wonderful examples we were setting! Thank God we weren't busted.
Back to the boys....While we were consuming the contraband pizza, the boys took a break from the video games and ate their hot dogs, well, sort of. Of the four, I threw out two hot dogs that were only missing one or two bites each. The tots, well, no one touched those. It may be because they were in a hurry to get back to their games or, perhaps, because I made the most God-awful mistake of being out of ketchup. They were very open to using BBQ sauce instead, but that was for the hot dogs. I guess tater tots & BBQ sauce must not be "it". Back to the video games. This time I hear jumping, like before, but the sound was a little muffled. I went back into the living room to find one boy jumping on my sofa while playing the game. I said to him, "Listen, I know that your mother doesn't let you jump on the sofa at your house. The same rule goes at our house." This was met with a wonderful little response of "So. I don't care." I was floored. If MY child had said that at someone else's house, I would have given my permission to have taken him aside and have him chewed out. That's just wrong! You don't talk to adults like that. Needless to say, the video games went off and we opened presents.
After presents, we did the cake thing. Funny thing was, we didn't have any birthday candles. We thought we did, but we must have thrown them out after the dinner on SmallBoy's actual birthday. We punted. I thought about using a votive candle, but that would have left too big a hole in his cake. Instead we settled on a dinner candle. The kids thought it was hilarious and sang the "you live in a zoo" version of Happy Birthday....ok, I confess, I started it. All of the boys thought it was hilarious and then continued on with some other ending about cartoon characters on different television channels. It was fun. We fed them cake and had a momentary break from the screaming.
Finally, after more games, more of the same "so, I don't care," remarks from another one of the boys, and an attempt at a movie, 11:00 rolled around and I decided it was time for them to crash. The boys got ready for bed - they all actually brushed their teeth, I was shocked. We pulled out the sofa bed and made them all comfy. Getting them settled was a joke. They, of course, had the giggles and were cracking themselves up. Then there was the dog. She wanted so badly to play with them and to be a part of the party, that she curled up on one boy's sleeping bag when he got up. Of course that made them scream and giggle all over again. Finally, after sitting on the stairs for a half an hour and threatening no more sleepovers, they all calmed down enough that I felt comfortable going to bed.
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!" That's what I woke up to at 1:15 am. Yep, sure enough, the boys had snuck back out of bed and hit the video games. Having a Girl who frequently has sleepovers, I expected this. However, I forgot that these boys don't have a whole lot of sleepover experience yet, especially in the how-to-get-up-again-after-lights-out-and-wreak-havoc-without-waking-the-parents department. They were toast. Mean Mom banished the games and sent them all to bed. I think that was enough to scare them into submission for a few hours, or at least until 6:30 when we were woken up from our not-long-enough-slumber to the same screaming noises. I caved finally at about 8:00 and went downstairs.
PC headed out for donut holes for the kids and coffee for Girl, himself, and me....LargeBoy was conveniently out most of the night before and still sleeping throught this noise. As the wild beasts devoured the donut holes, I made bacon & eggs for the three of us. Well, after the feeding frenzy was over, the beasts picked up the scent of the bacon and descended on the kitchen. "We want bacon and eggs!" (OH, PM I can hear you now, trust me!) Because, and only because, I had mentioned bacon & eggs to them the night before, did I consent to feeding them another round of breakfast. This time, we were all over the food consumption though. Every few minutes, one of us would go in and make sure that they were eating. I wasn't wasting my buy one - get one free bacon on them if they weren't going to eat it. I could have made Fat Sandwiches with that (PB & Bacon on toast, hence the name). They finished the food and were finally sated. While their food settled, I had them pack up their bags and then sit down and play a board game - Simpsons Clue. As we neared the pick up time (THANK YOU, GOD - yes, I went to church yesterday and gave thanks), I sent them all outside. Well Hyper boy 1 and Hyper boy 2 took off around the block on SmallBoy's scooter while SmallBoy and Nice Calm Boy played and, eventually, set off to find them. Moms arrived and HB 1 & 2 saw them, and took off. We waited them out. They left. It was over.
Lesson learned: Next year, no sleepover party. Let him still have Nice Calm Boy over to play and even to stay over. They're really good friends and, I think, they both need each other's friendship. Next year, lay out the house rules, making sure to add in that Mom will not be taking anyone to the ER, so no one had best get hurt. All in all, though, I think it was a success and SmallBoy was happy. Despite the chaos, it was really a huge step in social interaction for SmallBoy. He did try to control a few things, but I think, as with most kids, it was his house, his games, and he wanted to make sure that everyone was clear on how to do things. He didn't make up new rules (which is HUGE), he didn't quit if he was losing, and he let the kids do as they pleased. He was happy, and that is really all that matters.