Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy Days Returning

Oh the joy! The relief! The excitement that flows through this place this morning is almost beyond description.

Maya goes back to school today! Hip, hip, hooray!

The Thanksgiving break -which includes the first two days of deer season here too (remember, I told you the other day that Deer Season is a major holiday in Pennsylvania) -ends TODAY! And not a minute too soon either.

I don't know who was more frustrated by the break this year -Maya, Mandy or me! But she has all this pent-up energy and no way to let it loose at home. Well, there are ways she could work it off at home but apparently, since they involve behaviors she isn't that keen on employing lately, Maya decided to become a one-child weapon of mass destruction. The DUBYA might be interested in checking her methods out and maybe they could some how show that similar things were done in Iraq and thus, showing that weapons of mass destruction had, indeed, been found.

The atmosphere here has steadily been deteriorating, starting last Tuesday evening after Maya's school day -the only day she had school last week, I might add -had ended. There were times when I'm not sure which one of us was going to head to the bar first to get some peace and quiet from the many meltdowns which took place over the past week. (No, neither Mandy or I did make our way up for a couple of brews but let me tell you, it was damned tempting!)

From the normal issues that are ongoing here on a daily basis with Maya -mainly involving the potty training thing, which is primarily focused on the "poop" issues, to her wanting, insisting really, on tormenting poor little Kurtis at every turn too, the nerves have been really on edge. And I do mean REALLY on edge, too!

By last night, the patience levels had completely been exhausted. Usually, Mandy does pretty good with both kids when they begin acting like little demons but by last night, Maya finally stepped on Mandy's last existing nerve. Mandy had gone to the basement to remove a load of clothes from the dryer and had opted to fold them, put them in the basket while down there. She was down in the basement a little over five minutes perhaps but when she returned upstairs, she was greeted by Maya who had taken all the craft stuff Mandy had purchased yesterday to use to make some Christmas decorations with her friends from an Autism Support Group in State College for the Easter Seal Society Tree and had managed to mess up well over half of the stuff Mandy had bought. To say Mandy was upset -well, that would definitely be an understatement!

The upshot from this event was Mandy disciplining Maya by ordering her into "Time-out" -on the sofa -which was not very well received and caused Maya then to go into a screaming, wailing, hissy-fit throwing meltdown of massive proportions -very, very high volume and I think my left ear drum may have received permanent damage from the noise level not just from Maya but also from Kurtis who, when Maya begins to have a tantrum/meltdown, screaming, shrieking and crying, it apparently bothers his hearing then and he launches into a similar performance.

Yeah, meltdowns in stereo. Just exactly what every home needs. NOT!

So, as Maya is getting ready now to leave for school shortly -"Mr. Fred" (the van driver) will be here in about 10-15 minutes to pick her up -I am totally looking forward to a peaceful, very quiet afternoon where I can go about doing whatever I want with little to no interruptions, no danger of anyone getting into my embroidery threads, my scissors, the refrigerator, the cupboards, the bookcase and pulling as many books off the shelves into a huge pile in the middle of the living room floor, no toys strewn on top of the books and all over whatever floor space is still bare either for me to trip over!

And, for the next three weeks, until the dreaded Christmas-New Year school break arrives, things should return to some semblance of order here. At least the most amount of order that ever exists in this place with these two hooligans!

On a positive note though, Kurtis has learned a few tricks of his own -along with a couple new words too. He likes to come to whoever is handy, grab your hand and then, pulls you up to walk with him either into the bathroom (usually because Mandy is in there taking a shower and would like a little private time) or to the stairs and wants whoever he has selected to take him upstairs, or to the kitchen which usually indicates he wants cereal or milk. He won't say or ask for milk but he will sometimes say "Cereal" now and as he grabs your hand to lead you into whatever direction, he says, "Honey" -probably his own private little ploy there guaranteed to tug at your heart strings cause it's just so sweet and nice to hear him say that!

The behavior therapist returned today -after a week break for the holiday -and was pleasantly surprised to see some of the things Kurtis does now -the going up to us and leading us by the hand in an attempt to communicate his wants/needs, the new words too -"Cereal" and "Honey." Little things to many parents (and grandparents) but to us, they are really great advancements as he is showing more and more signs of learning, picking up on the meanings of things we say to him too.

It may take a bit longer for him -and for us -to get there, but judging by the way he's progressing now, we're well on the way to success!


Boomer Chick said...

Hi Jen! Just wanted to let you know I stopped by. I looked for some coffee and donuts and didn't see any so I'm heading back home. Haha...nice to see you have some time for can be draining!

Anonymous said...

I hope w/Maya gone you've used this well deserved reprieve to wind down or pick up, whichever is better.

I know that if Kurtis ever asked for anything and said Honey, he'd be spoiled rotten:-)

Debo Blue

Dianne said...

I remember the dreaded school breaks ;)

hope you enjoy some quiet

Jocelyn said...

Isn't it amazing how we can love them bigger than anything--and be so glad to see them go...all at the same time?

Sweetie said...

I really enjoy your postings. I totally relate to hunting season in Pennsylvania. Kurtis sounds like a very special child. I understand what might seem like small things are major victories for Kurtis. The table runner that you made is beautiful.

SnoopMurph said...

Oh, the tantrums and meltdowns...I know exactly what you mean! Sigh!

I am so happy to read about Kurtis taking the initiative to grab a hand and lead someone to show them his needs-that is outstanding progress! We have to celebrate those little indicators of communication and all the hard work shows some reward. We felt the same way with Connor and gradually the baby steps have amounted to more than we could imagine. Kurtis-we are proud of you!!

Maggie May said...

I went through the day with you with these two children and their little tantrums. I think you need a large medal! You sound such a caring and patient Gran.
We are just beginning to get into a Christmassy mood here. Quite busy! I'm still spending too long on the computer!

Sandi McBride said...

So sorry to hear about Maya and her temper flare ups, but it's wonderful about Kurtis...that is very encouraging, Jeni...Very encouraging! Now, go grab a brew, you deserve it...

terri said...

Seems like school couldn't get back in session soon enough and it's just what everyone needs. I can imagine how frustrating it must be at times. But how amazing that Kurtis had picked up some new words!

Try not to think about Christmas break just yet! :-)

Travis said...

Never a dull moment eh?

Mary said...


Whoohoo!! and kudos to Kurtis. Good for him. Way to go little guy.

I sympathize with you having two meltdown at the same time. I know the decibels of those meltdowns and once, when I took Brandon for blood tests, I think I lost a good portion of my hearing for a week. He screamed right into my ear and it rocked my sensibilities. It took me a week to recover.

I'm glad Maya is back in school and you have a little quiet afternoon time for yourself. Children on the autism spectrum do have sensitive hearing and that is why Kurtis melts down when Maya does. They hear background noise first and little things can drive them crazy. Sometimes Brandon hears things that I don't until he draws my attention to them.

Have patienced dear friend. Kurtis is coming along fine from what you tell me and Maya will change as she grows older. It isn't easy. I'm keeping you all in my prayers.