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...