Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Rain in Spain: Day Five

The first two days of Adam's business trip were okay. My in-laws took the older two for the weekend and the little boys and I were just hanging out, having fun. My mom arrived on day three (Monday) and, oh holy heck, thank goodness for Grams!

Mom arrived in time for dinner Monday night and we watched The Lightening Thief. She liked it but agreed that it is nothing like the book and is reason number three why Chris Columbus should not be near a children's book to movie adaption. (Reasons one and two? The Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets.) It was another late night for all of us.

On Tuesday, George was a grouch. This kid would have reduced Oscar the Grouch to tears. He would not cooperate at speech. He fought with kids at the pool because, "He splashed [friend]."

"[Friend] hasn't been to the pool in weeks!"


"George, how long do you plan to hold a grudge?" asked Grams.

"I hold grudge for twenty years!"

Okay then.

We thought George and Cole would crash and burn early that night. When we got home, Mom took the younger two up for a bath and the older two cleaned out the trash cans for me. I got dinner made. I swear, that was the fastest and easiest evening chores had EVER gotten done!

Mom took the older two kids to TKD and I tried to get the younger boys to bed. The word here is tried. For a four and five year old who had been up until ten for three nights, they sure didn't act tired. They flopped around. They whined. They complained. They used the potty three times in 45 minutes. Cole finally fell asleep at 8:30... and George began screaming.

When he was toddler, he was the worst child in the world to get to sleep*. We had to walk him in the stroller (screaming), drive him in the car (screaming)... you get the idea. Now, we can cuddle him in our bed and he sleeps until the morning. (We move him to his own bed.) But last night? Oh no. If you had walked by our house you would have thought we were beating him with a cattle prod, pulling out his teeth AND beheading his beloved stuffed peguin. We were doing nothing like that, of course; we were simply trying to get him to sleep. But no! He needed to pee, he needed a snack, he hated me, he hated Grams... and then he locked himself in the bathroom.

About that time, Mom took over and I went downstairs to eat the ice cream she brought home. It was either that or pull out my toenails with a butter knife. That would have been more pleasurable! Joseph and Camille weren't asleep either, due to the screaming, so I banished them to their rooms because whining, "He's too loud and I can't sleep!" were so, so helpful. Or not.

Around ten thirty (yes, 10:30 pm... and all this fun had been going on since 7:30!) everything was quiet. I went up to his room... and found Mom sitting on the floor, reading on her tablet and George at the foot of his bed, glaring at his door. Mom gave me a thumbs down and George grouched at me. By now, he was in love with me again and wanted to cuddle with me in my bed. I wanted to go to sleep (or drink) so I said yes.

He was asleep within fifteen minutes.

Mom and I weren't sure what got into this kid. His head was practically spinning and I was ready to break out the Holy Water. I vowed to get to Whole Foods and get some melatonin for him for the next night, come hell or high water or screaming five year olds.

Yet today he was oddly... pleasant. He behaved at Joe's appointment, ate a decent lunch at Panera, put up with a trip to Pottery Barn Kids and went to the splash pad... where he swam, by himself, without a life jacket or noodle!

Let's say this again: My kid, with anxiety and a motor planning disorder who would only enter the pool last year with a noodle and life jacket, SWAM BY HIMSELF!!!!! I MUST ABUSE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!

I've been working with him on and off this summer. He had just begun swimming a little on his own, without a flotation device. He would got a few feet and then panic and put his feet down. I told Adam that if he would stop freaking out and would put his chin down, he would be able to swim the short way of our pool.

At the splash pad, Cole was "alligator swimming" around the shallow end, lifting his arms to paddle a few feet before stopping. He was also jumping in alone! Not to be outdone, George took off his life jacket and tried to "alligator swim." Mom helped him kick properly and get his bottom up in the air. And he took off!

I mean, OFF!!!! We were there two hours and by the end of the afternoon, he had mastered the lilly pads (you walk across floating "pads" holding onto ropes above your head) and was swimming all over the pool. He would push off the bottom of the pool and paddle around. He had the biggest smile on his face and was so confident and happy!

Mom and I wondered if he needed to have a snit fit last night to have the huge developmental leap today. Being able to swim independently is a huge motor mild stone and one he has been working at all summer.It makes sense; babies often have trouble sleeping before a developmental leap. That said, we could have done without the three hours of screaming, thanks.

To celebrate (and because we wanted too!) we made s'more tonight. We scarfed half a bag of marshmallows and two bars of chocolate. Hey, there are six of us!

Thanks to that huge developmental leap, a big dinner, two hours swimming and four late nights (and, yeah, melatonin), George was asleep by eight-thirty. The older two went to bed at nine and Cole was out by eight. It's not even ten pm now and Mom and I are both in bed, reading or writing, and exhausted! Tomorrow brings another busy day and, hopefully, peace and quiet!

*Thank you, CAS. Everything I've read said that kids with CAS are hard to get to sleep and, basically, the tips to help them sleep amount to "good luck with that."

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