Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No More Monkeys Jumping On The...Couch!!

We had some excitement here last night, Grace and I made a trip to the ER. It was seven o'clock in the evening, the older kids were watching the new game show Spelling Bee. I had just got done impressing them with my knowledge of words to songs they had never heard before and then headed towards the bathroom to get Helen and Noah in the tub. Grace came screaming and crying(a cry that you know as a mom means she is hurt), down the hallway. I asked her what happened but she was in too much pain to answer. She was holding the back of her head so I put my hand back there to "rub away" the pain when I felt the hot and wet of blood. I scooted her into the bathroom for a better look and to clean it as best I could. It was obvious to me we were headed to the ER. Now the dilemma of who to call!! My first pick was my closest brother who is about 25 minutes away which was fine because I had put Helen and Noah in the bathtub and they needed to get washed. I also put Katie in there with them because she needed a bath also and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it when we got back from the hospital. Did I mention the kids had picture day today at school!!?! That's why the importance of baths! Well, my brother John couldn't do it so I called the next closest brother who is about 30 minutes away, I got their answering machine. Rick called me right back and said he needed to finish his dinner and then he would be right over. It had suddenly occurred to me, and I don't know why this didn't come to mind from the start, my father-in-law is 5 minutes away from me. I told Rick I was going to call Jimmy, and if he couldn't do it I would be calling him back for his services. I got a hold of Jimmy and he said he was on his way. I called Rick back to thank him anyway and he reminded me it was his wedding anniversary. I knew it was, and in fact had thought of them earlier in the day, but now too much had happened and I forgot. How nice of him to have planned on coming and helping me out on his special night, thank goodness all worked out. By this time Grace had calmed down enough to let me know what happened. She had been jumping on the couch and hit her head on the arm rest(it is made of wood). No one else was involved, which was my next question. I wanted to scream!! Do you know how many times I have told all of them not to jump on the couch?, I'm sure you can imagine. I used this injury as a perfect example of what can happen when you jump on the couch! Lucky me to have visual effects!! I was able to get the three kids in the tub washed and in their pj's by the time Papou(Grandpa) arrived. Grace and I left for the hospital and got there by eight o'clock. We were there for two hours!!! When we got back into a room the nurse put numbing jell on the wound and we waited. Grace fell asleep. It was about 45 minutes after they put the jell on, Grace received FIVE staples. She slept through most of it, waking up at the end and then falling right back to sleep. We got home at 10:10pm, Grace went right to bed. I thanked Jimmy for coming and looking after the kids for me, and then he was on his way. I then had to do everything I normally do in the evening, get all the clothes ironed and laid out for the kids, pack snack for Katie, run the dishwasher, and on this particular evening, fill out the paper work and write checks for the pictures. When all of that was done, I climbed into bed around midnight. This morning I had to give Grace a bath and wash her hair because of picture day. She didn't complain all that much, and still hasn't needed any Tylenol, what a little trouper!!

Noah and I were out running errands when I received a phone call from the school principal. They were having a hard time taking Katie's picture, she was teary-eyed and wouldn't look up at the camera. Can I just tell you right now how much I love parochial school, I don't think they would have called me if it were Helen who wouldn't smile.(Helen goes to public school). I went over to the school after Noah and I came home and unloaded the car. I took Katie up to the gym for her picture. Ted's class was lined up waiting their turn. From what I could see I think he took a good picture. We saw Robbie while we were there too, his classroom is directly across from the gym, Noah was in heaven. He really misses everyone during the day, he is always asking where they are. Katie was last in line, which worked out perfectly because there was nobody else around. She didn't smile, but she did look into the camera. I'll take anything I can get when it comes to her picture, you should see the one from last year, anything is better than that one! I have all of the kids 8x10's lined on one wall in my bedroom, a wall of smiles, all but one. Katie is pouting in her picture!

Helen is getting into trouble at school, she will not get off the playground when it is time to go back inside. I don't know what to do, I talk to her every morning before school, when she gets home from school, and at bedtime about the importance of listening to her teachers. I talk to her about getting off the playground when the teachers tell her to and why it's so important. Nothing has seemed to work, so if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to share. Click on the word comment at the bottom of my post and it will guide you from there.

Grace has just complained of her stitches hurting so I'm off to get Tylenol!

Until next time-
Take Care,

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Donna Jean said...

Hi Sue!

Sounds like your day yesterday was quite exciting! A trip to the ER and getting 6 little ones ready for school, and picture day to boot! I do hope you got some rest finally.

About Helen not wanting to leave the playground area. I am sure the teachers are trying everything they can, but, I wanted to make sure they are using the "positive re-inforcement" approach, as opposed to the "time-out" or other negative consequences, which didn't work at all with Laurie.

I don't need to tell you about how stubborn our children with DS can be, but I have found that just by giving Laurie one or two choices, and then just walking away and not giving her any attention, she will eventually come around and do whatever it is I need her to do. Such as getting ready to leave for an appointment. She will dawdle and dawdle until I am almost ready to pull my hair out!

My daughter Amanda, who is only 21 months older than Laurie, was a Director of a Day Program for adults with disabilities, and has been involved in special education since high school. She is now at home with her own little daughter, Emma, 10 months old!

She gives me lots of good advice as to how to deal with Laurie's stubborn behavior.

So, instead of yelling and getting myself all worked up, I just tell Laurie that I am leaving and if she wants to come she better get with the program, and then I walk away. Sometimes I have even gotten in the car and driven a bit down the street. ( she sure comes then!)

Of course Helen is much younger, and you wouldn't want to frighten her that you were leaving without her, but if she knows you mean business, and could leave her with a sitter or a friend, and she really wants to go with you, she will get the message and get moving.

This may help with the playground issue, or it may not. Its all trial and error at this point. But each time she cooperates and comes when called she should get a positive re-inforcement, it could be a sticker on a chart, or reading a special book, or anything that she really likes and wants to do. If she doesn't come or obey a certain command, then she gets ignored and no special treat.

This has helped me in the past, and I hope it works for you as well.

Of course, though, you may want to find out if there is a specific reason she doesn't want to leave the playground. Could someone be teasing her in class, or something else happening in class she is uncomfortable with? It may not be just wanting to keep playing when time is up. Just something to look in to.

Its so much fun being a Mom, isn't it!!!!!!!! (I am being a bit sacrastic, today!) I really do love being Laurie's mom!

I always enjoy reading your blogs, they are so heartwarming and real.

Hope your day is filled with lots of laughter and sunshine, and no more emergency room trips!

Love, Donna

Sue said...

Hi DonnaJean,

I know I sound like a broken record, but thank you for coming here and supporting us by reading our blogs. I think the positive reinforcement is an excellent idea. Every day she has a good day she is given a piece of candy. She is barely in the door and she is unzipping her backpack looking for it! Today she didn't get one because she didn't listen at recess, again. I explained to her why she didn't get one,I really don't think she cares. She grunted at me and then went on her merry way. Maybe if they give it to her right away at school when she comes inside when she's supposed to,it will help. I will definitely mention it to her teacher. Thanks for the suggestion.

I will see you "Rossland"!!!:o)