Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Can I Take a Nap Now?

Despite having Monday off of work, I'm beat to no end. Today is my LONG day, too which bites...I work an extra 1/2hr at work on Wednesdays, then go home and pick SmallBoy up from Art Class (leaving the house about 15minutes after I walk in). Tonight.....tonight I pick up SmallBoy, then have cantor practice at church at 6:45 (I'd blow it off, but I missed the last one and this one's getting into all of the nitty gritty Lent music - woo hoo), THEN, the band is doing an open mic night at a place that's about a 20minute ride from our house. Registration starts at 7:30, so the rest of the band is getting out there ahead of us, PC is picking me up from church and we're booking out there in case we have to go on as one of the first bands. Oh, I failed to mention....since I don't have time to go home and change between cantor practice and the gig...I'm wearing my gig clothes to church....sheer shirt, big hair, CFM make-up, itty bitty jeans (because they're too tight), and heels....If I don't get hit by lightning, I'll be lucky.

AAARRGGGGHHH! Well, at least this way I can avoid all the phone calls from those out of state numbers trying to collect bills I can't pay them (which is why we need to get booked at this place we're at tonight). ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!! Update on the SmallBoy, the Ex & New Wife. J., our OT, called me at work yesterday. She asked initially if I had any further questions about the evaluation and the results that she did and had discussed with us all on Monday night. I told her I had no questions and everything made perfect sense. She said she got that feeling from us and that she also got the feeling that Ex and New Wife Just Didn't Get It. (heh heh heh - insert evil cackle here). She told me that she got the feeling that they will not continue to attend the sessions (especially since Ex made it a point to ask if it was necessary that they be at "all of these things,"), and that she would make it a point to try and have a phone conference with them at least once a month and to give them the same things, including strategies to implement at home, in writing at least once a month, if not more.

J. told me that she was amazed at WHY they have decided NOT to allow SmallBoy in their home anymore - simply because they can't determine if he's telling the truth or lying about washing his hands anymore and because he wants to touch all the baby's toys with potentially unwashed (and carrying fatal boogers) hands. She said that was absolutely unbelievable, but obviously, was trying to be professional and couldn't say that New Wife was absolutely being overly protective. She said that during the Q & A session after reviewing the results of SmallBoy's evaluation, the she had tried as best she could to steer the conversation towards New Wife and to make it as simple as she could, so that perhaps they would understand (which they didn't). She also said that she wants to see SmallBoy back visiting his father for the whole weekend as soon as possible, because by them not allowing him over, they are seriously hurting his self-image, especially since he is doing nothing wrong (these are the OT's words). She said to me that she understands and can clearly see why SmallBoy is so overloaded when he is at his father's...She asked me if he is stressed before he goes over. "Of COURSE," I answered. I told her that there is so much tension when he is at his father's that he feels it well before he gets there and during the entire course of his stay...and THAT ADDS to His OVERLOAD (causing him to meltdown and freak at his father's). J. is absolutely wonderful for SmallBoy. In only two sessions, he has become incredibly comfortable with her and has developed a level of trust also. SOOOOOO Important!

I was delighted to hear her tell me that she was so excited to see that PC and I already had so many strategies in place for SmallBoy without even having them recommended because, "Clearly he's fine at home and when he's having a rought time, [we] know how to help him." That helped to give me a HUGE boost of confidence. Truly, though, what does that say about EX and New Wife? It says they don't have a clue. J. saw that Ex & New Wife didn't get it and that New Wife was more focused on the issues of SmallBoy not always washing his hands, or lying to them (I almost pummeled her then), and trying to touch the baby's toys, and NOT on the real issues, the important issues...the ones that address HELPING SmallBoy.

J. ended the conversation by asking me if I had any other questions. I told her that, really, I had no questions, even at the meeting. I told her that the questions I asked, I had geared to be certain that Ex & New Wife understood - to clarify what J. had already explained. J said she picked up on that right away and that's why she made it a point to repeat the things that she had said time and time again. She said that's why she repeatedly stressed how important it is that they have empathy and place themselves in SmallBoy's shoes before jumping on him about doing something wrong, about how they need to try to think like he thinks in order to understand him better, to understand that even though he may lie about somethings it may be because a) he's 9 years old, b) he's afraid of getting in trouble, or c) he may just not be able to process the correct response at the time.

I'm exhausted ladies and gents. I talked to Ex last night about this weekend. Of course he isn't bringing SmallBoy over...silly me for asking. He said that he'll take SmallBoy for a couple of hours on Saturday and "talk to him" and explain to him WHY he can't come over and the conditions that he must meet in order for him to be allowed back. Like HELL HE WILL...not without me present! So, I decided that, if our appointment with his therapist holds for Friday night, I'm going to force the issue and make Ex tell him there - so that his supports will be in place and ready for the meltdown. So that his father can see the pain and get the feedback from the psychologist that he's a moron and totally doing this for the wrong reasons. Mama Bear is fightin' mad! OH OH OH...but in the same breath he asked me if there were plans for the kids the following weekend (my weekend anyway). He said to me, "Well, we talked about how we have to ease SmallBoy back into the house, right? (WRONG) Well, that's the night before my birthday and I'd like to have the kids spend the night and then take them to breakfast in the morning." I choked out, "ALL 3 Kids?" He said yes, but will be picking them up later in the evening on Sat and then returning them in time for Girl to be at church by 10:20 for choir the next morning. Can you believe the nerve? Why not take them ALL for 1 night every other weekend if he and New Wife can't handle it? Huh? I don't get it. They really just don't get it.

New Wife went as far as telling J. that she can't deal with SmallBoy and hands him off to his father who, also can't deal with him. She said that his father talks to him in an angry voice and that tends to send SmallBoy into a spiral. HELLLLOOOOOO....gee, is there a connection in that perhaps? I cannot believe that she's missing this! In the middle of all of this, Girl & LargeBoy are caught in this horrible web. They WERE totally on SmallBoy's side. They understood, they defended him, they were prepared to tell their father how wrong he was, they were ready to say, "Dad, if you ban SmallBoy from your house, then we're not coming either," LargeBoy wanted to give back the iPod that Ex bought him for Christmas (because he knows I can't afford it and wanted to show me up, but that's another post for another day). Now, they've spoken with their father who has, apparently brainswashed them. They treat SmallBoy differently now. Sometimes they're still lovey dovey with him, but other times, it's like he's a nuisance to them...just like to Ex & New Wife. They've seen me get upset after talking to their father, they've heard me talking to PC about how I will NOT let SmallBoy get hurt through this, that I KNOW he has done nothing, needless to say, I'm pooped.

If anyone is in the area tonight and wants to stop by, we will be at Ballydoyle's Irish Pub on Main Street in Downers Grove (IL). We'd love to have fans there to help boost the crowd response...that certainly would help to get us booked! I'll collapse when I get home. I think there's an open bottle of merlot with my name on it.


gretchen said...

I hope you're having a good night tonight. And I'm so sorry to hear about all the continued idiocy with Ex. Sometimes I really think divorce puts us through hell here on earth. (And I say that, as you know, as a person happily married to a divorced man.) But really, I just hate what it does to the kids and the finances... Oh, I'm just sad for you. Keep fighting the good fight!

kyra said...

oh my goodness, of COURSE you're exhausted! it's exhausting talking to that ex! it sounds like trying to blow out a light bulb. arrrgh. but you are a mama lion, advocating for smallboy so BEAUTIFULLY and i'm so glad that J obviously sees that and that smallboy has J in his life. i hope you had a great time playing at the pub tonight! wish i could have been there to tap beer mugs with you!

Laura said...

Hang in there kiddo. Hope the gig went well. Would have loved to have seen you in gig outfit at church. Hee.

Octoberbabies said...

Oh my god, what do the kids who DON'T have at least one willing, loving, understanding parent by their side do? :-(

I hope your gig went well.


mommyguilt said...

I really - still - cannot get over what a tremendous support you all are! You're so fantastic. Kyra, if it's alright with you, I'd like to borrow some of your "Am I missing something" post for our session with SmallBoy's therapist on Friday -

Gig went well...I think we'll be playing there again. The shirt at church was covered by a denim shirt, but I was MELTING...I'll post on that in a bit.

But, seriously, thanks to all of you for such tremendous support.

Gretchen - oh yes, the whole divorce thing really messes up more than just a marriage. Kids and finances are most definitely the two biggest things that get nailed by the consequences.

Felicity said...

the same way you don't get how stupid ex & NW are? is the same way they "don't get" SmallBoy. They (NW & ex) are clearly incredibly self-centered and stupid and since you're NOT that way, you'll never understand how anyone could be so stupid and cruel towards their own kid.
Ex at least OWES his child the effort of understanding him. What a piece of shit he is (ex).
your bigger kids? maybe they're just going thru some adolescent thing.
GOod luck at the gig!

Kristina Chew said...

You have a lot plus a lot on your plate---leaping from work to car to kids to car to church to car to The Band to car... And the real shame is that Ex and NW don't see how their antics hurt not only SmallBoy but his siblings. What does it take to wake people up?

Keep on singing!