I've Been a Busy Beaver, Patching the Dam

Remember a couple of weeks ago when All Hell Went and Broke Loose? Well, things are beginning to get patched up. Just in time, too. I was oh so very close to losing my mind, I think. Here are the changes that have taken place and the ones that are slowly beginning to get better:

1) My oldest is out of school for the summer. No more constantly getting on his back about homework and grades. No more constant grounding. No more talking to a brick wall. I just let everything go for a couple of weeks and we didn't say a word about school for a couple of weeks. Probably was the best thing I could have done. When his grade card arrived in the mail this week, we were both ready to have a frank discussion about things.

He got his second "F" in a row in Algebra. UGH! This was the one class where he knew how to do it all and hated doing the daily homework problems because it was repetitive and boring. His grade was a direct result of not turning in homework. Test and quiz grades were all "A's". Like 95% and higher... yeah, and he FAILED! This just killed his plans to do his senior year in high school at the community college, gaining college credit for FREE.

We talked it all over, though, in a very calm and understanding manner. I understand that my constant harping was making him shut down. And he understands that he's got to grab hold of all of this new responsibility over his own education and keep everything under control. He knows that he's in charge of his own future, but he can always ask for help when he feels he may have goofed-off enough to paint himself into a corner. When he asks for help, I still get to roll my eyes ans sigh, but no accusations - only help.

smart summer button '11

He's also agreed to participate in the Smart Summer Challenge with me. It's not just for little kids, you know! I'm working on finding a way to teach him some organization skills and get him caught up in science and history - the two classes he started daydreaming in. He has no clue what was taught the last few months of school!

2) Little Guy and I are still having our problems, but it's getting better. He's nearly 100% potty trained! The secret was just letting him run around in the buff at home (so glad it's summer!) so he would run to his potty whenever he felt the need for it. When we go out, we use some Huggies Little Swimmers diapers that a friend gave us when he was first born. I tossed them in a box, thinking I'd never use them. Well, they are perfect - they stay feeling wet, so he hates peeing in them.

LOVES his new nickname: 'Nature Boy'

So, what's potty training got to do with his little attitude? He's a BIG BOY now! Some of the advice I received (from Sara of Sara's Organized Chaos) was to give him his own jobs, make him feel in charge of something. Well, if going potty when you need to isn't the biggest job ever to a toddler, what is?! He's so proud of himself! I keep mentioning all of the things he can do now that he's a big boy, things that babies just can't do. He loves it and struts around like a peacock. He's been picking up his toys on his own, helping me do other chores, etc.

Yes, we still have occasional tantrums, but nothing like before! It happens more when we're out in public with lots of people around. I'm trying to figure out if it's him being overwhelmed or me not paying close enough attention to him until it's too late. Another reason is that, with his new-found autonomy, he thinks he can do lots of things that he cannot do - like walk across the street on his own. And, the other day, he got himself dressed and told me that he was going to the library - "Mama stay home. Only I go library." Gonna have to make sure all of the doors are locked from now on!

3) Hubby and I are working on it. I have 100% control over his meds. He's seeing a psychologist once a week, with the option to go more often if he needs it. He's hanging out nearly everyday with a friend of his who is a real church-going man. My beliefs are way different, but he needs to have religion in his life to remind him how to conduct himself in his actions and in his heart. As long as I'm not in the sights for conversion, I don't care what he believes - it's his own personal decision and none of my business!

It's been a few weeks on the new med schedule. I hand them out just as prescribed - no more, no less. We've gone over the list of drugs with his psychologist and primary physician (ugh - I can't stand that guy!), and have eliminated the scripts that are unnecessary or causing bad side effects. I'm so HAPPY the Lyrica is gone - that stuff is poison, I'm telling you! We have a semi-normal schedule now and we have been able to do some honest talking (and real listening, not just hearing) on some of the issues. If we can stay on this level, I don't think there will be many more problems. I'm not stupid enough to think there won't be the occasional relapse, but I don't see it being the everyday thing it was. And relapses can be fixed much more easily that complete loss of control!

4) I've had my past revisit me this past week. It one of the ghosts in my closet - the closet I never open, the one with all of the locks and bolts tightly holding it in. It finally got out and has been haunting me - until last night. I've been spending the last few days obsessing over every single decision I've made in my life. All of those really bad ones, especially. I've imagined taking other paths, going down other roads... And, last night, it hit me - had I made any decision differently, even a little, I wouldn't have the people in my life right now that make my life worth living. I wouldn't have the view on life that I have right now. I wouldn't see the world as I do - right now. And, though my physical circumstances may not all that I want or desire, I have just what I need. And I like who I am, inside, right now.

You gotta check out Bernie's blog if you get a sec

When I checked my emails this morning, I saw a post by Bernie at One Mixed Bag that tied it all up so neatly for me. It was based on a writing prompt asking her to write a letter to her 16-year-old self. In it, she didn't tell herself to avoid such-and-such a decision. She just let herself know that there were going to be some bad times ahead and to prepare herself for them. She let herself know that things would turn out OK in the end, even when they didn't look so good in the present. I loved it and it came at the perfect time for me. It just reaffirmed that the conclusion I came to for myself last night was the right one!

So, I think all is well - for now! Things are always going to be popping up, but for now I'm feeling pretty appreciative of the things I have and the path I have laid down for myself!

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