Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blissfully ignorant

That is how I spent the majority of my day today. Blissfully ignorant of what was happening outside of my own little bubble. I put a smart ass comment on Facebook that said,  " Just in case you wanted to know...I am in the grocery store...ALONE!!!" I came home and put dinner in the crock pot, made a bunch of necessary phone calls regarding Axel's school placement, and just generally putzed around.

Then I remembered I needed to get new work-out shoes because I'm start working out again tomorrow. I was browsing through a store, and was *just* opening my twitter app because I wanted to post, "Shopping for NOTHING in Target...BECAUSE I CAN!" when my phone rang.

It was Axel's teacher. I had a hard time hearing her because of this screaming in the backround that sounded a lot like a child being murdered. "Leah...We need help!" she said. "Is that HIM I hear????" I asked. "Yes, that's him. All the other kids have been removed from the room to keep them safe."


"I'll be there in 5 minutes." I called the school office and told them they're going to see my fly in the door but I was NOT stopping to sign in. I got there, raced down the hall, passing Axel's class who was now sitting in another hallway trying to have a snack.

I quietly opened the classroom door, and there sat Axel at the table, having a snack, arm cocked to throw his cracker. He jumped when he heard, "WHAT are you DOING?" and immediately put his hands in his lap and got the guiltiest look ever on his face.

"What do you think you're doing? You do NOT behave like this in school. Now you will SIT!" I pulled his chair away from the table and turned him to face the wall. "You will NOT behave like this in school. This is NO!"

And he cried for the first time all day.

Apparently this behavior started before lunch, and it was now 2:45. He attacked kids, pulled hair, lunged at anyone who came into his space. Go read this post, and it will give you and idea of what they were dealing with. And I'm laughing at the fact the district didn't give him a 1:1 aid. The child cleared the classroom!!! And, staff couldn't do a CPI hold on him (like I did in the post I linked to) because of his neck.

So back to my arrival upon the scene....

I told his teacher it was now safe to bring the other kids back in. There would be no more problems as long as I was there. (Where's my super hero cape?) The staff sat the other kids down at the table with puzzles, and we made a HUGE deal out of these fun puzzles. Axel loves puzzles. I went over to him, "No puzzles for you. You are sitting."

And he got huge crocodile tears and his chin quivered.


After a few minutes I asked him, "Are you ready to try again?" and he signed, "Again". He came to the table, sat down, and nicely did puzzles for about 15 minutes. It was time to go home, and we decided he should ride the bus home so he doesn't think Mom will come pick him up when he behaves like this (though for him, the preferred thing is to ride the bus. Still, don't want to create habits.)  His teacher asked him, "Are you going to have a better day tomorrow?" and he got that huge guilty look on his face again.

I told his teacher I was going to have them take him to the bus as usual, and I would hang back. He must have thought I left because he started acting up just as he was stepping on the bus. I hollered, "Axel! Get on the bus!" and he got up those steps faster than I thought he was capable of.

Tomorrow there is a new plan in place. I will be going to school, but arriving after Axel gets there so he doesn't know I'm there. I'll be hanging out in the hallway so I can make a sudden appearance should the need arise. He's going to learn very quick that just because he's at school doesn't mean Mama and Papa don't  know what's going on.


abby said...

I'm sorry - I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. What a little stinker!

Aside from his clear testing limits behavior, another thing to consider may be that when he's at school is world is unsafe and too big again.

For us, anytime there is a major change in routine (even an event like spring break coming up) sets off GIANT behavior issues. Our daughter is still learning that changes in daily life don't necessarily mean she will be uprooted and have to start all over again.

Just something to think about.

Sheila said...

Lera has major behavior issues that disappear when Caelia is in school with her. I'm not certain if its because she thinks Caelia is the boss or because she feels secure when Caelia is there. She reverts to some of her "I'm meaner, tougher and rougher than you and you will do what I want behaviors" from the orphanage that disappeared at our house the moment she looked at Caelia and realized Caelia would take her down. We still see peaks of it when she gets nervous or feels alone.

Axel will figure out that he is never really alone or will never have to battle for position now that he has a mommy. Its early days yet. Lera and Masha are completely different children then when they arrived and the 4 to 9 month period was the rockiest. Let us know if you want to visit the girls.

Tilly Cat & Pip-Squeak said...

Oh. My. God. I'm sorry I'm sure the teachers wouldn't agree, but this post had me crying with laughter... Just imagining Axel hearing the Voice of the Almighty (that would be YOU!) out of nowhere as soon as he misbehaves! Every time I think about it I start laughing again. I'm sorry Leah, I know I shouldn't, but I am :P

Difference2This1 said...

Do you attribute these behaviors to DS or typical newbie home issues? Just curious.

It actually sounds pretty close to Tessa's first several weeks home. Hers involved hair pulling, kicking, rolling on the floor pitching a fit, etc.

Actually, seeings how last week she spit all over another child's desk and the week before she wiped her hand with a rash all over other children and said it was poison ivy, it sounds like her now. Oh..the progress we HAVEN'T made!!