As you probably already know, we've had a rough go of it lately in the Boo family. Aside from the fact that I was at the end of my emotional rope, with no reserves left to help me cope with what was happening, as was Boo, I was totally flummoxed as to where it was all coming from. In the last few days I have learned a few things that have shed some light. You see, I already knew that dealing with the switch in routine from going to Mammo's house every day to staying home with Mommy every day was difficult. I also knew that at school they were practicing for the spring program, which was taxing for him as well. Not only was the program itself stressful, but adding the practice time to the already short school day meant that there was little time for play and that often the classwork had to stop before it was completed. Boo has always had an extremely hard time stopping something before it's finished. TV shows, games, craft projects, rambling run-on sentence filled soliloquies, whatever.
What I did not know, was that Boo was also being tested by the school psychologist from the early education center in preparation for his assessment for the spring IEP. A call from the psychologist Friday revealed that the type of testing done had required that the tester continue testing until Boo gave incorrect answers on a certain number of questions in a row. Boo. Hates. Being. Wrong! He really can't tolerate it. And the psychologist told me that it had been difficult on him, to the point that he was even trying to look at the notes that were being taken to see when a check mark or an x was written. Feeling like he has failed is one of the hardest things for Boo to tolerate. And it doesn't matter how much we encourage (and we do!), his perception is that he's done something terrible when he is wrong.
What I further did not know, was that there were some discipline issues going on at recess. There were a couple boys who had been incessantly playing chasing and tackling games. Boo finally revealed this to me on the way to school Friday morning. He told me that he really doesn't like it when they do that and it hurts him and makes him sad. I told him that he should tell the kids not to do that to him, and tell them that it makes him sad and angry. He told me "I can't!" I told him that he should go and tell the teacher when it happens and she will make them stop. He said he could not do that either. When I asked the teacher about it, she admitted that it has been an ongoing problem for some time and she's had little success getting it to stop. I told her of my conversation with Boo and she seemed puzzled. She said, "But he does those things. He tells me what happened, and when I tell him to tell the boys to stop, he does." So, what Boo meant by saying he couldn't tell the boys or the teacher wasn't that he couldn't physically do it. He meant that he was unsuccessful in doing so.
So here is this poor kid, trying to deal with a major change in his daily routine, being forced to continue questions and tasks that he knows he is failing at, having to stop his school work abruptly without finishing, receiving very little time to let loose and play, and what little playtime he does have is punctuated by being physically accosted by his friends and all his attempts to self-advocate are to no avail. No. Freaking. Wonder. he has had so many violent meltdowns lately. And not knowing what was happening, here I was giving him the hard line of "oh yes you will go to school today, that's not an option." He was unable to communicate to me that he didn't feel safe there!
Well, Friday he was able to spend the afternoon with Little Britches and The Boo Whisperer. I spent my day with my mom, did some shopping, and had lunch at a fabulous local sandwich shop complete with live jazz band. By the time I picked him up that night we were both emotionally recharged and ready to be together again. We came home and Boo baked cupcakes for his birthday party. Today, we had the most amazing party ever! So. Much. Fun! <pictures here> After Daddy gave him a bath, I was laying beside him in his bed, waiting for him to drift to dreamland, he rolled over, stuck his little finger at me and said "pinkie promise?" (A concept he just learned from the movie Despicable Me that he's been watching lately) I asked him "what are we promising?" His reply: "we love each other." I stuck out my finger and said "yes we do, buddy." He curled his tiny finger around mine. "Pinkie promise?" I answered emphatically, "Pinkie promise!"