This morning we had a visitor, a crisis response worker from the local children's mental health place run by the government, I suppose. I just know that this is the free thing, the thing that we have been waiting forever for.
I'm not sure what her qualifications were, other than that she deals with kids and behaviours all the time. It was and it wasn't what I expected. I assume that she had some background from speaking with DH over the phone, but she didn't really ask me too many questions. Granted, I was busy at the time, going up and down the stairs to make sure things were cool with the daycare kids, and trying to entertain the youngest one at the same time.
L was happy in the morning, and didn't give me a hard time about anything like taking vitamins, brushing teeth or getting dressed. Of course, he knew he didn't have to go to school that morning, although he was told he would be going to school after. Perhaps he didn't really believe me, or maybe he was just hoping that I would change my mind and decide it was too much work to truck everybody to the school and back for the second time that morning.
Anyway, when the worker arrived, she sat with L on the couch and asked him various questions like, what does he like to do? Does he like school? Does he have friends? etc...She led the questions to asking about how he was at bedtime and stuff. She indicated some things that we could do to make life a little less stressful. Like, she mentioned friends. Now, L told her that he only has two friends. One boy, his BFF at school, and another boy that used to come to the daycare here and doesn't go to his school, but we still see because his younger brother comes to my daycare. It's not entirely true though, because he has other friends. One boy that we just went skiing with on the weekend. They don't play a lot outside of school, but I'd say at least once a month or so. He has another friend in another class that he's always liked, and once in awhile plays with him. He has playdates every week for sure with one kid or another, usually he's playing with a friend at least two school nights a week. So the crisis lady thinks he's a loner. But he's not, not really. It's L perception that he has no friends, but to me I see him with friends all the time. She said that we should arrange more "playdates" with more friends so that he has relationships outside of school. And yes, I can see her point, but it's not like he is always at home alone. We just never tend to have friends over on the weekend because we're busy, we like our family time, and I guess it's me too, I'm selfish. I like my peace and quiet and I have other peoples' kids here all week long. But for Logan's sake, I will make more of an effort to help him connect with friends more. One friend in particular, who I think he's grown apart from due to the fact that they don't play outside school anymore because his mother got a new job. I will have to contact his mother and arrange something.
She gave him some worksheets with exercises to help relieve stress, and one that has something to do with breathing, and one that has something to do with rating his stress. I don't really understand how rating his stress is going to help, but then, I'm not the professional, am I?
Literally as soon as she left and I said it's time to go to school, he had a fit. First, he broke his airplane that he had made and stuffed it into the garbage. I know he'll be upset with himself about that later. Next, he sat on the floor and refused to move. No matter what I said, he kept saying he didn't care, and that I didn't care about him, blah, blah, blah.
Now, I don't doubt that he was feeling anxious and stressed about returning to school after having almost a week off, but he was just plain acting like a two year old. And again, I'm now never sure if he's acting out to try to get away with it and because it is getting him attention, or if he's really unable to help this behaviour. Maybe his mind is freezing and he can't cope. I don't know.
But today, today I just didn't have as much patience. I NEEDED him to go to school. In the end, I barely restrained myself from shouting at him. Just barely. I told him very firmly that I was trying my best to be patient and caring, but he had better get his butt in gear and put his coat and boots on, because he WAS going to school! I also threatened him with not going skiing Friday and dropping him off at school instead while I took R with me. That was a mistake, I regret saying that, but sometimes I feel like I have no leverage. How many times can I say, "I'm taking your iPod away then"? It gets monotonous, and at some point, he's just going to say fine, take it.
I really shouldn't be threatening him with the thing he hates most, I'm probably really hurting things here by doing that. School is supposed to be a safe, happy place, not a threat. It's not jail.
And here's where I say that I'm the stupid idiot now. Why do I let my temper do the talking? I'm at least happy with myself that I didn't resort to shouting. I am glad for that. And believe me, that is an improvement I'm ashamed to say.
So he got dressed, faster than the rest of us and took off out the door. I had to shout (ok, yes, then I did shout, but mostly because he was some distance away, like a couple of houses plus his hearing right now is impaired a bit) for him to stop and wait. While he could walk to school alone, I A) don't trust him to go there and not stop on the way, B) am afraid he'll carry out his threat to run away and C) he has to be signed in at the office anyway.
He wasn't speaking to me (big effing surprise there) but I said goodbye to him anyway and told him to try and have a good day. We'll see how he is when he gets home......More later....