Monday, March 25, 2013

Hamslice Math Marathon and the DV Estate

Last weekend Hambone, Hamslice and I piled into the truck and headed for Michigan to help Dad close out his estate. We had a huge garage sale that included selling 4 boats and most of Dad's stuff that was left over from raising the kids, working on the house in Saugatuck and being married to my Mom.

The fringe benefit of the sale was that uncle C and I could comb through and nab little tidbits of our "old" family to keep for posterity. My favorite DV collectibles are the family photos. There were probably no greater nerds on earth than we were, and the pictures are in and of themselves, hilarious.
Mom made these outfits by hand. BY HAND! Think of the hours of meticulous work she put in on our behalves.

Hamslice did not find the weekend as hilarious and interesting as I did, however, so he spent the majority of the trip counting to one hundred (frontward and backward) and then counting by twos. He happily sing a song over and over in the back seat that went "one plus one is two, two plus two is four, four plus four is eight, eight plus eight is sixteen, sixteen plus sixteen is thirty two, thirty two plus thirty two is sixty four, sixty four plus sixty four is one hundred twenty eight, one hundred twenty eight plus one hundred twenty eight is two hundred fifty six, two hundred fifty six plus two hundred fifty six is five hundred twelve, five hundred twelve plus five hundred twelve is one thousand twenty four...."  Hambone had to help with most of the numbers after 32, but we got there.

Suddenly I the memory scheme of computers and bit speed of modems started making sense to me as I listened to the song. LOL

Hambone has no comment on the trip. Except to say that he gets to plan the next one.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hamslice Swimming Lessons

We've started sending Hamslice to swimming lessons because, well, it's a good idea to know how to swim. He loooooooooves his swim teacher, and he does more swimming with her than he's ever done with me or Hambone.

We're just glad he's learning. It should make trips to the pool and beach much more fun.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Really Challenging Days.

So I believe I'll keep this note as a draft until everything is resolved, but I need to put these thoughts somewhere, so let's go with a "Draft only" post.

I am so freaked out by the problems Hamslice is having at school. Here's what happened:

After we went off to counseling at the school's recommendation, things seemed to be getting better. There were only positive notes home, no more phone calls, and all seemed well. The counselor said that we were doing great and we were all done. I asked her to make a final phone call to the school and explain our progress and decision, and see if there was more to do. I didn't hear back, so I thought we were fine.

We went in for Hamslice's Show and Tell day (called Museum Day at his school) and the teacher asked when he was going back for another appointment. I smiled and said we were all done and that everyone was doing great.

The next day, (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT WAS THE NEXT DAY!!) I get  a phone call from the principal saying that Jake had been very bad for the past several weeks and that we need to come in for a special parent teacher meeting with the principal. I also got a call from Hamslice's therapist saying that the school had called her to let her know he had been acting up in school for the past several weeks and that he needs to come in for more counseling. The next day I get a call from his teacher. I was like "Let me guess, he's been acting up the past few weeks?" But by this time I was pretty mad. I told his teacher that I refused to believe an aggregate phone call like this, and that if we have to be in counseling, I need to know what is happening on the day it happens and what the behaviors are that need to stop. She said "I'm sorry you feel that way."

That was last Friday. I spent most of the weekend crying in frustration.

Monday we went in for our emergency counseling meeting, and the therapist was well-armed with "things the school need from Hamslice that are different than what he's doing right now."

But I had been talking with Hamslice as well, because he had been having vivid and terrifying nightmares for the past week and a half. He is so stressed out that he has a 'bad feeling' when he goes to the bathroom -- he feels like everyone can see him doing his business in the bathroom and he's super embarrassed all the time. He feels like the teachers don't listen to him and don't believe what he says. And he's so close to the end of his rope that any little thing sets him off.

It is an emergency.

So as luck would have it, Hamslice had a little cough this week and a little bit of laryngitis. I used that as an excuse to keep him home for the whole week. During this time I have seen him relax and stop having nightmares. The tantrums are slowing down and getting a little more rational. We have had many in-depth discussions about what people expect of us when we go out of our house, and what we can do with our anger instead of flipping out.

He feels better but this isn't over. I'm reluctant to send him back to school -- just today the teachers sent a video of his classmates all saying that they miss him. Hamslice asked that I only play half of the video because he was afraid the bad feeling would come back. And so now I'm crying again.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Hamslice Update

For all of you who have written in about my post regarding Hamslice's evaluation request from school, let me thank you for all of your support. It makes me grateful every day to have such good friends online and offline.

Here's an update: After a rigorous behavioral evaluation it turns out there is no syndrome and nothing really "wrong" with Hamslice. This means we've ruled out learning disabilities, Turret's, Aspergers' and whatnot. The next step is an intellectual evaluation to see if the real problem is boredom, as Hambone and I have suspected all along.

The results so far are very encouraging, and we're hoping this all wraps up fairly soon so we can talk with the school about next year and how we can make the experience more interesting for our [healthy,  normal] son.