Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Now We're at "AWSBURGER's" - he dropped the G

Long story and I'm exhausted, but let me start here. We caved on the wallpaper. The walls that you see in this first picture, and the wall on the other side of this door, probably have the smallest wallpaper area. The progress shown here took PC and I TWO days. This stuff was just unbelievable. People had recommended this wallpaper stuff called "Diff". We scored the walls, followed the directions on the Diff and every once in a while we would get a piece to peel up. According to the directions, all that was necessary was spray, wait 15 - 20mins, and peel the paper off. HA! Not OUR wallpaper. So we got some OTHER stuff that was supposed to be better. That only required waiting 2 minutes. I'll tell you why, though...it peeled the paint. After 2 days, a lot of gouges on the wall and enough frustration that had there been a sledgehammer available, these walls would be non existent, we caved and called a professional.

M., our professional, arrived at approximately 10:30 on Friday morning armed with his gear. He tried the Diff, he tried water, he scraped, he pulled, he peeled. Finally, after 14 hours of fighting with the wallpaper from hell, he finished shortly after midnight. He said that this was the worst wallpaper job he'd ever had. Given the hold this paper had on the wall and the ever so slight coat of paint between the wall and the plaster, he figured that the paper had gone up original to the house....which meant it had been hanging since 1922. He surmised that the paste had been some hefty paste and that, when that had run out, the hangers had used some form of super glue to adhese the rest to the wall. The gouges in my wall are UNREAL. We sanded and spackled, sanded and spackled and yet, there are still very visible gouge marks. They are now our "textured" walls; our New York brick, if you will. Even the professional agreed that the wallpaper was evil. Seriously, if I end up in Hell, my punishment for my sins will be to remove this stupid wallpaper for all eternity.

The Stones...well, they were fricking amazing. Except for the moron behind us with the free radio station seats (still WAY the hell up in the nosebleeds)who wouldn't let us stand up and dance, we LOVED it! They opened with "Jumpin' Jack Flash," did "Honky Tonk Women" on the little extended stage that was VERY close to our seats, and ended with "Satisfaction". It was funny to think that these guys are all pushing 70. If I'm THAT skinny and still have that much energy when I'm closing in on 70, I will be SO happy. My favorite thing, though, was to hear "Tumblin' Dice" live. When I was a little girl, I, of course, would think words to songs were different than what they really were...of course, not being able to understand Mick contributed greatly to that. Regardless, the part of the song that goes, "Got to roll me," I always thought was, "Macaroni." To hear them sing "Macaroni" live was so much fun!

I would have gone hoarse, but I spent the whole first half of the concert being pissed off and muttering things under my breath, and a little out loud to the schmuck behind us. He picked the WRONG day to mess with me....since Ex called me earlier in the day and informed me that indeed, he would NOT be taking SmallBoy for the weekend. He told me that since I hadn't done anything about SmallBoy's behavior that he couldn't have him at his house any longer. I told him that SmallBoy's behavior is perfectly fine at home, that we are very well versed in Asperger's and know exactly what needs to be done. I told him that we have charts up in the bathroom and in the shower and have checklists, that we know how to deal with his outbursts and are working on controlling those with different technigues. Then screamed at me, and said, "Haven't you listened to a f*cking word I've said?" He said that SmallBoy lies to him, that it's not just that he doesn't wash his hands, that he's afraid SmallBoy's going to "F*cking Kill [his] son!" He told me that it was MY job to teach SmallBoy how to act around HIS baby. Um, first of all, I don't have a baby and that's not my concern, secondly, SmallBoy wouldn't hurt a flea, and thirdly, if he wants someone to teach SmallBoy how to treat a baby, perhaps HE should do it. He told me that until SmallBoy can behave and not harm "[his] f*cking son," that he was not allowed to come over anymore.

Ex argued with me about school and threatened to take me to arbitration (not mediation, can you tell he hasn't a clue) if I don't yank SmallBoy out of his school and put him in the public school where he thinks he'll get more services (NOT.....according to the school AND the district, he can receive the same services at BOTH schools AND, regardless of what school he attends, he will only be eligible for the services if he is in academic jeaopardy...which he is NOT). He also said that he wants SmallBoy put in an self-contained class because he talked to "some of the kids in the class" (3rd graders, mind you) about how SmallBoy acts in class and they told Ex that SmallBoy crawls under the teacher's desk and that's "not f*cking acceptable behavior". What really boggles me is that Ex was present at the parent-teacher conference in November when the teachers discussed this with us and told us that it is perfectly acceptable, that that's what SmallBoy needs to do for his downtime and to recover when he gets overloaded.

I spoke today with the assistant prinicpal, and have calls in to SmallBoy's teachers and the principal. We discussed the services with the district. She told me that to receive district services, SmallBoy must be in academic jeopardy. He is not. As a matter of fact, he is excelling. His comprehension wasn't spectacular, but not enough to be considered in jeopardy. I also talked to her about the going under the desk thing. She said that a) Ex going to SmallBoy's classmates to find out what he is doing was unacceptable and b) that it is a modification made for SmallBoy and that his classmates are very understanding about the AS and the need for modifications. She said he is perfectly fine in a mainstream classroom, that if placed in a self-contained classroom, it would do more harm than good. She said, as does everyone else who "gets it", that pulling him out of a classroom, let alone a school, where he is stable and comfortable is not in his best interest (and I love her because she actually said "it is not in SmallBoy's best interest").

She offered to carry on this conversation with Ex if necessary and, see, now I really love her, with an advocate on SmallBoy's behalf. It's wonderfull having all of these people on SmallBoy's side. I also need to mention how much I love my children. LargeBoy actually stood up to his father, on the phone, and told him that if SmallBoy wasn't allowed to come that he would not come either. Ex asked him if I put him up to this and LargeBoy said, "No, Dad. It's my decision and what you're doing is wrong." I didn't hear anymore of the conversation, and I didn't ask LargeBoy, because I respect what he did for his brother. It took a lot to stand up to his dad. Girl went, but only because it was her step-sister's birthday this weekend and they were having a party. It's harder for her because her step-sister is for her, a release from the boys - nice to have a sister once in a while. She did tell me, though, that if her father brought up SmallBoy, that she was going to tell him that was off -limits and that she didn't want to discuss it. We didn't really tell SmallBoy the truth, in case Ex changes his mind - besides, it's up to Ex to tell SmallBoy that he doesn't want him there. We did, however, tell SmallBoy that it was a boys weekend with Mom, and a girls weekend at Dad's. He thought that was just fine. Ex asked if he could take the boys out to dinner on Saturday to celebrate step-sister's birthday. At first I was angry about it and didn't want to let the boys go, but really, it was their decision. The boys went, we prepared SmallBoy in advance by having a "manners lunch" and discussed how to sit properly at a restaurant and the two "Ps" of eating out - politeness and patience. When Girl talked to PC about this yesterday, she said SmallBoy was spectacular at dinner. I'm not surprised! My children are amazing.

Oh yes, LargeBoy, being a goof and getting in front of my picture. The trim in our living room is probably going to be a brown that complements the wood floor, with the ceiling a cream. For now, though, it's white and fabulous, and NO MORE WALLPAPER. OH, Girl...basketball....they took 3rd place for the 2nd of her three leagues in a spectacular playoff game on Saturday afternoon. She, as usual, was fantastic.


Felicity said...

I am first in line to stab uyour Ex, tie his testicles in a knot and make him eat cat feces on a stick while wearing a staitjacket. I'm very calm & mature, aren't I? But it's so great that so many people in SmallBoy's circle get it and I like the new paint job.

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, doll, you're a peach...PM, I just KNOW you've got something to say on this!

Kristina Chew said...

Ex sure sounds like he just does not get what Asperger's is and why SmallBoy might have unusual responses or say unusual things. Good for his brother---and the teacher!--for saying what had to be said. --- Sounds like hanging up that wallpaper might have been a fitting task for him (i.e. Ex) too.

PM said...

Well, my Girlfriend, I have had to think, stew, and mull on the current situation. First, let me tackle the easy one....I am very proud of Largeboy so proud I have tears in my eyes. Having the "privledge" of knowing Ex, I know how difficult it was for Large Boy. Also, it may be time to educate Large Boy, and soon Girl, on their rights. They do not have to go to Papa any longer. Large Boy can choose to change his custody situation. I believe the magical age is 14. There's nothing that can be done to him, just Ex playing his twisted mind games.

I commend girl for stating the ground rules on her coming for the weekend. It was the best way for her to handle it. She exhibited more maturity than most 50 year olds I know.

With regard to Small Boy, it's time to go back to court. Ex may just hand over full custody. It's hard on you mentally, emotionally and financially, I know. I know you and I need breaks from our real life. But, small boy needs protection. The atmosphere at Ex's has the potential of such long term damage to all their psyches that it petrifies me.

I'm sorry, I'm so upset, I'm not coherent.

Now, with regard to the school, be careful how much you share about the personal aspect of your world. Remember, things can be twisted and hurt you when you least expect it. Keep things very general and bring butt head into it as little as possible. Keep your journal going regarding all school, dr., etc. conversations. You never know when you will need to pull an ace out of your sleeve.

I'll continue tomorrow. I have more to say but I have to get home to my miracles.

Love you. Hang in there.


mommyguilt said...

Thanks Girlfriend - I knew you'd have something to say! I have to finish dinner, get to Cub Scouts, move a foozball table and get to rehearsal - oh yes, and deal with bill collectors. I'll write more later, too!

Love you

Laura said...

First - THE STONES! How cool is that. And what kind of guy wouldn't want you dancing at a concert? Also, the walls - look fab. Our house was built in the 40s, and the wallpaper was put on directly over unpainted plaster with wheat paste. God it was awful. EVERY surface was wallpapered. I finally got the rest off this summer. It took a steamer to do it. (I finally broke down and purchased my own. Need to borrow one?)

Now the meaty part of the post: your ex. It sounds like you did a wonderful job of supporting the kids, and following through on all of his nasty comments. Your Large Boy sounds like a wonderful kid and fantastic big brother. Girl also sounds like she is being very supportive. And how wonderful is it that Small Boy has such a good team surrounding him and supporting him. You are a really great Mom. I have nothing nice to say about Ex, so I will second Felicity's suggestions.

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, Laura! I'm chuckling over here, cuz PC said the same thing when I read him Felicity's comment. And the schmuck at the Stones concert, oh he's just really lucky that I had kids at home who really wouldn't have benefitted from mommy spending a night in the county lock up, cuz I really wanted to deck him....but he was bigger than me. And I was MAD as hell. Didn't ruin my show, though.

kyra said...

jeez, i am FUMING over your ex's mind-numbing insensitivity to his own son's challenges. i'm really THIS close to coming over there and personally walking him to a new teacher-parent conference but since he was actually PRESENT at the first one during which smallboy's perfectly acceptable behavior was discussed by informed, educated, compassionate teachers, i'm afraid it wouldn't do much good. yes, your kids ARE fantastic! i'm proud of largeboy! and of course, always proud of smallboy and what he manages every day and so beautifully.

by the way, the wall looks GORGEOUS!! i LOVE that color!

mommyguilt said...

Thanks, Kyra! It makes me feel so much better to know that, even though I know I'm right in these things, to know that I have all of you behind me - because why? Because you all GET IT! Why? Because we care about our children and make it a point to KNOW everything about what affects them - especially the pronunciation.