Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year and Alex's haircut...

Here's to the next 365! The years do roll along at an alarming rate.

Read Sarah's blog about her 2006. She is a wise, wise, wise young woman! I admire her very much.

We went to Trish's wedding on Saturday. Trish is another of Joseph's tutors. I forgot the camera, so no pictures of the beautiful bride, or of her hugging Joseph or dancing with Joseph. All will have to be preserved in memory!

We had a fun evening. We sat with two other families who benefit from Trish's services. The other children stayed at home, so Joseph was the only one representing the the spectrum at the table, and he behaved very well. Made us proud and the other families jealous. Way to go Joe-bear. It was fun to trade stories, strategies, laughs, and sympathy with other families that face similar challenges every day.

Alex did not attend the wedding. He had a mild cold and I hired a babysitter at the last minute. Spent $75 I had not expected to spend that day. However, it was money well spent. Alex wasn't really sick, but I was still glad to have the day away from him. Some explaination is in order, I guess. I've spent the whole Christmas break with the kids. Alex in particular has been very clingy difficult to entertain. I went to bed Friday night knowing he was still awake, pretending to be asleep, and then running around the upstairs--I guess hoping I would notice and get up. I decided it just was not worth a fight, let him stay up, and went to sleep. Dave was watching TV and dozing downstairs.

The next morning, Alex got dressed and put on a ball cap before he let me see him... I asked him to take it off, and almost cried. Give me credit, I didn't yell at him... I almost took a picture so I could post it on the blog, but don't want to give him that much attention. Can you guess? He had cut his hair the night before. He has beautiful, think, curly hair. We keep it pretty short, so the curls are not as beautiful as they could be... He had three or four big bald patches on the front, top of his head. I was just sick. All I could think of was to buzz it all off. I took him outside and gave him the shortest haircut of his life, and the spots he had cut are still very obvious. I know, I know, all kids do this. But at eight?

I asked him why. He told me it was because I wasn't paying attention to him. I told him that I had gone to bed and I was asleep! He said he wanted me to yell at him to go to sleep. Ah, you just can't win sometimes. I'm sure I'll laugh about this some day. But I'm not quite there yet. I was SO angry, but I didn't want to reinforce the behavior by reacting in a big way to it. So I tried really hard to stay calm. Needless to say, when he announced that he was too sick to go to the wedding, rather than tell him he had to go, and point out that he only had a mild cold, I called our favorite babysiter and luckily caught her at home with no plans. We were gone all day--12 hours. We had never all been away from Alex for that long. He had a really fun day with the babysitter, but pouted big time when we got home and the next morning to let us know that he didn't like being left behind.

I told him over and over that if he needs one of us after we have gone to bed, he just needs to knock on the door and tell us. Or come in and wake us up. Having a non-verbal brother has not helped Alex develop his typical communication skills. Alex's issues are not spectrum issues, but he sometimes acts more autistic than Joseph! I hope the counselor we have started to see with Alex can help him develop some self-esteem and independence.

Ah, it is a great journey! Happy 2007 to everyone!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I would have wanted to pull my own hair out at this situation. I hope that the "hairy" days will soon become a little easier...isn't vacation great?!!