Chaotic Week

Summer is just chaos.  True chaos -- sometimes fun chaos, but chaos none the less.

Matthew was supposed to attend camp this week.  That was an epic FAIL.  Unfortunately, even with 3 adults to help him 'have fun at camp' he wouldn't stay, cry, ran, yelled, knocked down a fence, and didn't exactly see camp as fun.

I stayed for an hour and a half on Monday, until I had to leave to get Gabe from school, and then 1 hour on  Tuesday, which was about a billion times worse than Monday, and then I called it.  No more camp.

Matt just isn't ready for that structure without the security of a familiar enviornment. Add to that how distracting everything there is -- in a good way -- and he wasn't interested in being told what to do.  He was on his own agenda and as alway, would've prefered to do his own thing.  But that wasn't the plan.

I broke down in tears on Monday when he went with the counselor into the 'circle time' area.  I sat in the van and called Jeff and cried.  Knowing that your child struggles is such a different thing that seeing him struggle.  I know Matt has challenges, but in the safety of our home, Matt is just a beautiful and quirky child who loves Thomas the Tank Engine and laughs at his brothers.  Camp highlighted his challenges; that was hard to see.

Nick, on the other hand, did attend the camp.  I had signed him up as a 'typically developing sibling' for him to have some fun and not just drive around with me all afternoon.  Nick had a blast.  Nick loved it, loved the teenage volunteers and came home with glowing notes about his behavior.  I love that Nick.

To make the week just a tad bit more complicated, my dad arrived from California on Tuesday evening.  I sent the boys to school/camp on Tuesday, obviously not Matthew (he stayed with us) and took my dad to the beach here.  Matthew LOVED it.  He always loves the beach -- maybe I should've just planned five half days at the beach with him and saved my $100 camp fee plus the time it took to fill out the 15 pages of paperwork.  Just maybe.

When the boys were done on Wednesday, we headed home with my dad.  Gabriel was in the most bizarre crazy, out of control, negative-attention-seeking behavior I have ever seen.  IN ALL OF HISTORY.

Apparently he thought my dad should spend all of his time talking and paying attention to just Gabe.  Which is bizarre since this behavior has never surfaced before.  But then again, we don't have out of town guests stay with us all that often.

Gabe was yelling, crying, acting completely bizarre -- at one point I thought he might be hallucinating because he was using a voice that isn't his natural voice (like an 'acting' voice) and was just so over the top.  I thought maybe he didn't recognize me, but when I figured out that he was putting on a show, I called him on it.  And he openly admitted he was trying to get me in trouble with my dad -- so that my dad would spend more time with Gabe. That is really manipulative -- a new level in his manipulative abilities for sure. 

My poor dad was seriously confused.  Seriously.  He handled it like a champion, which was a surprise to me, but I felt like a major parenting loser.  I emailed Gabe's psychiatrist to document the new behavior.  It has subsided as quickly as it came when my dad left on Friday. Thank God.

In the midst of this nutcase behavior, my dad had promised to take them all fishing, much to my chagrin, so we went.  We decided on a Trout Farm so that the boys could quickly feel successful at fishing. Great idea.

We might have been there 20 minutes before Nick and Gabe had caught fish and we were on our way.  It was very chaotic at the fish farm, and Matt was NOT (no shock here) interested in fishing -- he was interested in poking the pole in the water and investigating the pipes and their water flow all the way onto private property, but that was about it.

The moment we were in the van, Gabe was flipping out again.  It was emotionally exhausting.

Thursday evening was better:  My husband was home (he had class Wednesday evening) and Gabe is always better for my hubby. But that didn't make things perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

Saying goodbye to my dad on Friday was hard.  But, I was so relieved to drop Gabe at school that morning and know we were headed back to a more manageable version of crazy.

Looking forward to having my routine and schedule back this week. 

Cross your fingers for us!

Photos:  The highlight of the week; I got my new iPhone!  So, all of the photos were taken with it. Not a bad sliver lining...


Texjoyce said...

Hi Hartley,

It is good to hear that your dad handled the situation well. I have family that just doesn't understand. I told my sister that my kids can be difficult and she said "All kids can be difficult". I talked to a doctor friend of ours and he thought it was pretty much all garbage that I was telling him. I guess it is a darn good thing that my kids were born to me and not to them! ;)

Tex Joyce

Tired Mom said...

You are a trooper! I purposely try not to do anything during the summer, just 'cause I know both my kids love their routine. The rest of the year is pretty crazy with school and activities. I'm glad that you at least had your dad around and he seemed to take everything in stride. Here's to a more peaceful week ahead for you!

father of four said...

Hang in there. You're doing great!

Heather B said...

Camps are so difficult. My boys just finished a soccer camp. My oldest didn't like it because he couldn't manipulate the situation to avoid things he didn't like. It was really hard for him but he stuck it out thankfully. Hopefully it goes better for Matt next summer - whatever activities you decide:)

Tiffani Lawton, OJTA said...

Great pics!! Love the fish! My boys last fishing adventure ended in a complete nightmare. Our son waded into the water when dad turned his back and would not come back...his sensory need for the water was greater than listening to Dad about staying safe. Dad had to go in and get him before he got to the drop off.


Wendy said...

Yeah for routines and getting back into them! (((hugs)))

I bet all the water play was great for your boys. My daughter is happiest in the water.

K- floortime lite mama said...

I loved your beautiful picture

How lovely your Dad is - to react so well

Routines are so good

DO remeber to be kind to yourself though - SID is tough

SensoryMommy said...

We had a similar experience last year,and I chickened out on camps this summer. Maybe I will try again next year. We have been hanging out on the beach all summer and it has been wonderfully relaxing for Crash. To hear the waves crashing and feeling the cool water, I think it is relaxing for me too. Way better than camp :)