Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Month of Gratitude - Day 15 (Matthew)

 There are some days, I'd swear this child is the incarnation of Shakespeare's Puck.

The one who tries his hardest but would lose his head if it wasn't attached.  I can put something in his hand as he walks in the door to school and he will misplace it by the time he reaches his classroom 20 feet later.   Here he's hunting for a work packet that has been missing for so long the teacher gave me a heads up.  He finally found it -- spread among four sections of his portfolio and two sections of backpack.  (We wound up photocopying it so he had reasonably neat forms to turn it.  Forget "The dog ate my homework," it looked more like "The dog threw up my homework."  Ay.)

But pull him out of the hullaballo, and interact with him one on one, and he's really quite funny.

When Celia was born, it took him about two weeks to want to be bothered with her.  We'd offer did he want to hold her, and he'd decline.  Politely, but he wasn't particularly interested in her.  Finally, one night he asked to hold her, and of course I parked him in a corner of the couch and slid her into his lap.  He looked at her from either direction and said, "Hmm.  I guess we can keep her," and handed her off.  I remember it like yesterday -- he was such a little old man stuck in a three-year-old's body.

Last week, he wrote a paper about the genes he inherited.  He said he hopes his kids get better ones from his wife. Oh, and dad talked to him, and he knows all about babies. Through the discussion of exactly what genes he hoped his kids didn't get, he was alternately horrified and resigned to the fact that he'd have to do..."you know....that" with his wife.  I hid my laughter as best I could and said, "Yeah, that's pretty much a requirement for being married," and his response was "Well, thank goodness I'm not getting married for a long time."  Thank goodness, indeed...because you're only twelve and your mom isn't quite ready to marry you off just yet.

I purposely made him an appointment for today with the psychiatrist.  He was due about now for a revisit, but we wanted to wait until his first report card and teacher conferences, to see how he was settling in before making any changes. Yesterday was conference day, and they all agreed that he is smarter in reality than he is on paper.  When you ask him a question, he knows everything about the topic.  Ask him to put that on paper and you're lucky to get a five word sentence.  We're going to work together to try to help him -- them, us, and his doctors. At today's appointment, he talked to the psychiatrist about what was going on with school and the problems he was having, and when the doc asked him "Well, why do you think that's happening?" his response was, "I don't know, I'm just a nervous kid.  I know I'm weird, so I just stay away so I don't get in trouble when the other kids point it out."  We're going to try to change his meds and help give him the tools to overcome some of this, and I'll give the teachers a heads up (I don't fault them - they are absolutely awesome, but he's been hiding all of this under the guise of "I can go to study hall and nobody will suspect anything." 

Three things I discovered about him today: 

1.  He likes singing along to pop songs.  I never hear him sing when others are in the car, so I was surprised.  (Of course, it could be he never gets a word in edgewise with the others around.) 

2.  His art teacher says he has a real talent for art - he has a good eye, but the hidden blessing of his ADHD is when he actually does focus, he's got tunnel vision and can really get into creating art because he shuts out the world.  His imagination also sees whimsy.  I saw a burger bun, with a crease when he pointed it out.  He turned it one way and said, "It looks like a smile...but if you turn it this way, it's butt cheeks."  Yeah, he's a 12-year-old boy!  He then took his finger, punched holes above the burger and said, "'s happy to meet me."

3.  He told me today was the "Best day ever."   He said that a few weeks ago when we spent the day in New York for his birthday.  I asked him why was today "better" than that, and his response was "Because even though we had Damien and an appointment for him, it was mostly just you and me."

Yeah, OW.

Today I'm grateful for my wonderful little changeling, but also for the reminder that I need to not forget him in the shuffle. 

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