All In Just One Week

I thought the next post I wrote would be about our amazing trip to Mexico. But sadly, the week since we have been back has been full of much too much chaos to not share.

Let’s see….

We arrived home Wednesday night around 1am from Mexico; exhausted, tan and somewhat exhilarated to be home and see everyone again.

My husband got up three hours later and flew to Texas on business, so the boys and I just hung out at home on Wednesday pretty much doing nothing. It was nice.

Thursday morning we all got back on routine, complete with visual schedules and the preparation of souvenirs for our teachers. Before the boys got on the bus, I reminded Gabriel that I would be picking him up early, around 12:20 for his appointment with Dr. King—the one I’ve waited nearly 4 months for at Children’s Autism Center. And off they went.

Around 10am I was making Matthew his second Peanut Butter sandwich (no crust, cut in quarters) of the day when I heard him fall off the couch. No biggie.

He cried a little bit and I picked him up, hugged him and placed him back on the chaise lounge so I could finish his sandwich.

But he kept on crying. Not a big exaggerated cry like some kids (*cough* Gabriel) but a true sad whimper. I checked his arm again, where he was holding his wrist but didn’t see anything to be sad about. He wouldn’t eat his sandwich and wanted me to just hold him—the entire time holding his arm. That is ODD behavior for him.

I decided to take him to the Walk In Clinic near our house in an effort to avoid the drive to our normal Pediatrician so that I could still make Gabriel’s appointment.

We got in the clinic quickly, and the doctor walked in. Immediately he told me Matthew’s arm was broken. My sweet boy had broken his arm by catching his fall off the couch. Lovely.

Does this mean I am going to miss my appointment with Dr. King? Not sure.

We have to do an X-ray.

To make this post shorter, insert 30 minutes of Matthew screaming and refusing, along with some lovely nurses announcing to me that they “had other patients” and we were excused to the ER of the local hospital for them to attempt it. Probably with sedation or “being held down”.

Before I could leave, the doctor came back and said, “He is 4 years old, there is no need to try and reason with him.” A true GEM of a man.

So I naturally call my husband in Texas and let him know how angry and frustrated I am. Only topped with the fact that he should come home NOW. Turns out they haven’t invented the technology to “beam” anyone anywhere, regardless of what you see on TV. So that doesn’t really help me.

I check Matthew into the ER with my eyes on my watch. It is approximately 11:15 and I have a sinking feeling that I am not going to make it to meet Gabriel’s Psychiatrist. Sucks.

Matt and I watch Dora on a small TV and then have our turn to get an X-ray.

No sedative, and without being held down, Matthew allows one, of a potential three, X-ray to be taken.

Confirms it is broken, doesn't need to be reset, and no surgery. Sigh of relief.

I make the call to Children’s Autism and regrettably cancel my appointment.

Then call Gabe’s school and cancel picking him up.

Bummer all around.

A nice PA wraps Matthew’s arm in a temporary cast (they have to wait for the swelling to go down for the real one) and I say, “What do I do when he takes this off?”

“You don’t take it off.”

“Understood, but he is 4 and sleeps alone.” I say.

“Just wrap it up as fast as you can.” He says with a smirk, as I stick all of his extra supplies in my purse.

I head home with Matthew after stopping for ice cream (hard to eat one handed) and Taco Bell (easy for me to eat with two hands). It is around 2pm.

Matt and I aren’t home but a few minutes when my husband calls to tell me he is taking an early flight home—and will be home by bed time. Thank god, I needed him.

The next phone call I was not so excited about.

By 3pm, I get a call from my son’s school counselor. Normally, I like hearing from her. This time, not good news.

“Gabriel got in a fight on the bus this morning,” she began, “and I am not sure exactly what happened, but apparently another student was calling him names and they exchanged punches.”

Now I’ll give you the actual story without trying to protect the identity of anyone else.

Remember the story I told about My Son’s Angel? The same kid that was teasing her that day, was teasing Gabriel on Thursday.

Unfortunately for all of us, she is a first grade girl.

Yes people, my son got in a fist fight with a girl on the bus. Could the day get any better??

The afternoon culminates with Matt taking off his cast for the first time.

Boys get home, Jeff gets home and I was asleep within minutes of the boys going to bed.

Friday Jeff leaves the house at 4:30am for work.

I spend the day going to Costco, with a child in a cast.

I didn’t have a choice, after being gone in Mexico we really had no food and I wanted to eat!

In Costco Matthew is getting a lot of sympathy. People are really kind to him, offer him extra “tastings” and overall give pitty looks to both of us.

We get to the juice box aisle and Matthew asks to get down. Sure, no problem.

I set him down and he runs. In Costco. Down the aisle, around to the next. With a freakin’ cast on.

I chase him yelling "Get back here! You have a broken arm!" Not the least bit fun.

When I finally catch him, I shove him back in the basket.

We finish quickly and check out.

As I am loading the groceries onto the conveyor belt, trying to act like I am not in a hurry while the cashier does a money count of some sort, I overhear the people at the next check out stand being ridiculously nice to each other:

“Oh, you only have one item, go in front of me.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“Oh, yes, please go in front.”

I glance behind me in my line to see there is man buying ONE thing behind me too. I opt not to extend the offer like the other guy did, and instead buy my crap and get out fast.

Bad choice. Karma comes back and kicks me in the ass.

As I am loading onto the conveyor, I reach back and see that Matthew is SPITTING in this man's face. OMG. Seriously.

Apparently the cast got Matt A LOT of sympathy because the man did not slap him. Which shocked me.

I apologized profusely and checked out.

I got outside to find the “drizzle” had turned to torrential downpour and was forced to cover Matt’s cast with a Costco-sized bag of romaine lettuce to get to the car.

Could things be any worse?

We get home, change our clothing, and unload the groceries. Sigh.

Matthew takes his cast off again, I re-cast it.

My hubby comes home fairly late, around 7pm and we have Costco pizza for dinner.

Saturday my husband leaves at 6:30am for school.

My parents come and watch Matt and Gabe while I take Nick to Basketball team photos and practice, which we are late to, but hey, we made it!

By the time my husband makes it home at 5:30pm I am DONE for the day.

At six o’clock the phone rings.

It’s for Gabriel. WOW.

I hear my husband call Gabriel downstairs and tell him that there is a kid named “Matthew” on the phone (note the irony).

Gabriel says he knows this kid from Coaching Club, a group of students that meet every morning for a little extra help and structure to their day. I am optimistic that means a potential friend.

I follow Gabriel, with the phone on his ear, into the living room where this child is talking to him. I am trying to listen to help guide him during this conversation.

Gabe says to me that he doesn’t know what the kid is saying. I tell him to ask him to repeat it.
He does. Twice.

The third time the kid is talking I virtually have my head pressed against Gabe’s face trying to listen. It is a muffled and unintelligible laughing sound with words intermingled. The kid is playing a joke.

And hangs up.

Gabe looks confused. I am feeling pissed.

Gabe walks away and I tell my husband I think it was a prank call.

I call the kid back. No answer.

Then he calls me. Jeff and I both answer.

“Why did you call me back?” he asks with a tone of sarcasm that would have him grounded at my house.

“Because you were talking with my son and I want to know what you said.”

He repeats it, equally muffled and unintelligible.

I ask to talk with his parents.

“Why?” He asks with the genuine surprise of a second grader.

“So I don’t have to call back later to speak with them.”

He puts his dad on the phone, who is not remotely interested in what I am saying and we end our three sentence conversation with him saying he would “have a talk” with his child.

I go upstairs, to the furthest corner of my bathroom and sob.

I pull it together, grab a glass of wine, and announce this is FAMILY FUN night and we are all watching a movie.

Gabe is oblivious. Which is good, yet bad in the sense that it causes problems for him.

When Gabe asked me what this child said I told him it was some kind of joke but it wasn’t funny. Gabe said, “OH, well maybe we can invite him over for a play date.” With a smile.

“I don’t think so, Gabe.” I say with a deep sadness.

I canceled my plans to go out with my girl friend (a big shout out to Judy who volunteered her hubby to help kick the dad’s ass should the need arise--what a true friend--you'll remeber her from the water incident last summer) and stayed home with the family to watch Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs which received the highest of honors: raucous laughter from all.

Matt took his cast off another two times Saturday.

Saturday night I go to bed right after the movie, with the help from the 3 glasses of wine I had, I was asleep in minutes.

Until about 1am when I awoke with the flu. The nasty on-the-toilet version. All night. ALL. NIGHT. And then all day.

That was my Sunday, in a nutshell. I thought it was over around dinner time and had some soup. Big mistake.

And that takes us to today, Monday.

Gabriel went to the Eye Doctor this morning, actually a Vision Therapist, with Jeff since I wasn’t feeling as if being away from my own bathroom for long was a good idea.

We have seen this wonderful Vision Therapist before, but not for almost 3 years.

The Vision Therapist gave us amazing insights about the way Gabriel’s eyes focus. She gave us hope that he can read better with, you guessed it, glasses.

Turns out that although he has 20/20 vision, his eyes focus separately which causes him to not be able to track words left to right on a paper. Ah ha!

I decide that before we go get Matthew’s permanent cast on, which I cannot wait for, we should get Gabe’s glasses ordered. Logically.

We pack up the crew, lucky me my hubby FINALLY is home for a day (who knew he’d have MLK day off?) and comes along.

We pick out some ridiculously adorable black and orange glasses that Gabriel appears to be excited to wear. He only needs them for reading—desk work—not recess or walking around or whatever. Hoping the “geek” factor doesn’t come across too badly for him. Not gonna lie, I am worried.

So we have a snack in the van, pre-packed on my new “no fast food” New Year’s resolution kick, and off we go to Matt’s appointment with the Orthopedic Doctor.

We arrive in style, three boys, my hubby and me.

When we go to see the doctor, they can’t load the FREAKIN’ X-ray into the computer (&*(%$#!@) so Matthew has to have another X-ray.

He immediately starts to freak out.

Jeff takes him away, with a number of large male doctors to get his arm “picture” taken.

Gabe, Nick and I stay behind. Me in panic, with tears flowing down, Gabriel with his arms around me and Nick crying while he recalls in grave detail the last time his dad had to hold him down for a shot. We’re a mess.

Matt comes out, a little pissy, but otherwise unphased.

We select a WATER PROOF cast for the minimal extra fee of $35 (I would've paid hundreds) in a gorgeous Thomas-The-Tank-Engine-Blue and Matthew is ready to head home. Yay!

We pack up and head home to reward him with the much anticipated viewing of the new show “Chuggington” on Disney (mind you we watched it twice this morning) and chocolate chip cookie.

The cookies are eaten, the show is on, and I sit down to write this as my hubby goes upstairs to start his work.

And then Gabe comes running in yelling “Emergency! Emergency! Matthew is taking off his cast!”

“What? He can’t take off his cast.” I say.

Turns out he can.

I go to find he has removed the inner lining from the cast, by pulling it out the top which is just above his elbow.

Jeff is on his way home from getting Matthew “recast” up to his arm pit to avoid him pulling out the stuffing.

That child never ceases to amaze me. Really. It would break my heart more if he hadn't been such an chaotic mess since he broke his arm. But, he doesn't complain. Not once. Shocking really.

Trust me, the cast is not slowing him down. Now, it is only 4 weeks until it gets taken off. Think I can make it?

As it stands, I have a 4 year old with a broken arm, an 8 year old boy who got in a fist fight with a first grade girl and now wears glasses, and Nick. Who insisted today that he was sick, but I think it is one of those “what can I think of to get attention” kinds of sicknesses that cured itself with Uno and a new Star Wars book.

I hope you are all having a better week than we are—I will share my Mexico vacation stories soon, or at least I hope to! Until then, if you haven’t already, check out my great conversation with Chynna Laird, author of Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With Sensory Processing Disorder here and don’t forget to enter to win a copy of the book!


Are there do-overs in real life?


Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus!!! You are amazing!! I love that I can totally HEAR you saying this stuff as if we are talking live. Hang in there!! Here's to 20 years of friendship...which means I KNOW you are probably REALLY tan from your trip!! :)

Love ya,

father of four said...

Oh dear. At least you can be sure that next week will be different.

Queenbuv3 said...


So sorry you had such a chaotic week! The whole month of January has started my new year off with a bang as well : (

My daughter broke her wrist around the same age. Unfortunately, they didn't have the "waterproof" kind as an option.

The few times that my son has needed x-rays, it has not gone well. Except for the dentist, which he actually does no problem. I hate having to hold my son down for medical procedures but when it comes to his health it's necessary.

My daughter had the puking while pooping thing, I think she had food poisoning, on Friday night. There have been reports from my daughter that a lot of kids at school have been throwing up the past couple of weeks.

I REALLY hope things calm down for you and you get a chance to catch your breath!

Hartley said...

Amber: 20 years? You are making me sound old. LOL Thanks for reading--give your girls some extra hugs from me!

Father of Four: You promise? LOL

Queen: Sounds like you can totaly relate to what I am going through! The water proof cast thing is awesome--we put him in the shower last night and he yelled "I don't want to get my blue cast wet!" But since he hadn't been washed in nearly a week, he got a good scrub down anyway. :)


Chynna said...

Holy, man. I'm a Mommy of four--two with high needs, one with not-so-bad needs and a toddler who never walks anywhere or sleeps--and your post exhausted ME!

Now I know why I haven't heard from you in awhile. LOL!

Hang in there, my friend. I totally hear ya. Here's a calming zen hug all the way from Canada:



Julie said...

Oh wow! What a crazy, challenging week!!!

Natalie said...

Oh, you poor thing. Here's to hoping things calm down significantly this week.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment to my blog.. I am impressed with all you have on your plate, and how well you manage it.. And a book too? Wow, that is big... I wish you much success... take care of yourself, as we SPD mom's can forget to do!

Caitlin Wray said...

While it sucks to know you had such an OVERWHELMING few days, it is also great to read about your experiences to which so many of us can completely relate! Yay! I am not the only one who retreats the farthest corner of the bathroom to sob! My heart just sank for Gabriel and his optimistic outlook for the playdate - it is the hardest part of mothering, to so desperately want to protect our kids and yet... know that it is impossible to do 100% of the time. He will find friends, he is a great kid with great people who've got his back. In time, everything will pay off.

In the meantime, remember:


Hartley said...

Julie & Natalie: Ah, yes, I am hoping things settle down too. Unfortunately, Gabe was in another fight yesterday on the bus (punched a boy this time. Seems nothing settles down in my life! LOL

Chynna: Yup, no time to type sistah!

Sensory Mom: I am glad you checked out my blog--and I just "act" like I manage it all well. It's all a facade. : )

Caitlin: I know Gabe will find friends too, just wish it wasn't peppered with problems. *sigh* We could start a "sob in the bathroom" club, intersted? ;_)


missouri flat travelers said...

this so sounds like one of my weeks...thank goodness this isnt every week!!!

Anonymous said...

HA! I realized after I wrote/posted "20 years" it's actually been 30....YIKES!!! :)Amber

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you need another vacation girl!