Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Long time

I have been away from my blog for almost a year.  Crazy, considering how theraputic I had once found it.
Guess this means that I was in a better place - Mom wise.

Still experiencing the trials and tribulations of raising sons, but the issues and concerns are no where near what I used to experience.

Guess I need to read my last post and then do a brief update from there.

Watch for it...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Big Update

Wow - I knew it had been a while since I had updated by blog, but I did not realize that over 2 months had passed!

A few things have been going on in our lives since March.

Mid-March was my last day at my old job.  It was sort of good day/bad day combination.  A good day because I received flowers from the Sales Rep, and a nice bag of goodies from my assistant - teas and such - and a bottle of wine from Boss.  Bad day because it was my last official day there.  I received a few phone calls from some clients wishing me all the best, so that was very nice.

We had a pretty quiet March Break - it was so nice to have that time off when the kids were home and no one had to be up and ready for any specific time.  I used my "off" time between jobs to clean, clean, clean.  I did major spring cleaning that I don't think I have ever done before!  Even the base boards were washed and sparkling.

During Easter weekend the A-man and I worked at the Pet Show.  It meant he got a day off school (on the Thursday) and then on the Sunday coming home with a pay that was more money than he has ever seen.  Made his birthday - that Sunday - pretty good dispite the whole "working" thing.  I was happy to have that little flush of money come my way, too, I will admit.

All in all, I was off for a grand total of 5 weeks before I got the call from the new job.  I was even starting to get a little panicked, I will admit.  Started to wonder if that "offer" had just been a wish and not a reality.  But, on April 19, I did report to my new position.

It's very strange going back to the 'starting' position with a job.  For years I have been the "go to" person - the one that would have all of the answers, and if I didn't, I would know who to get them from!  Then, suddenly, I am the new kid on the block that knows nothing and is constanting bugging someone for some details.  It probably took about three days for me to have my "ahhh haaa!" moment.  That wonderful moment when the task you are working on actually starts to make sense.  I was thrilled.
But, of course, that was the easiest part of the job!  I'm still making mistakes, but I don't think they are too major, and the "reminders" I received today didn't seem that major considering the amout of documents I have ploughed through.

My second and third weeks on the job involved working the afternoon shift.  It was half way through that second week that things started to come apart at the seams on the home front.  I had made arrangements for the boys to spend the two weeks I was on afternoons at my parent's house.  This would mean they boys wouldn't be home alone from after school until either Hubby or I got home after midnight, and it would also ensure they had proper meals, and the possibility of having a "living in town" life that they have never experienced before.

On Wednesday morning, I got a text from the A-man saying that S had taken money from my Dad's night stand, and now my parents didn't want them to stay there anymore.  This was not the first time that change had gone missing.  On the Tuesday morning my Dad had counted the change on his nighstand, and when he went to bed that night there was 8 loonies and 8 quarters missing.  Yup - a grand total of $10.  Of course both boys denied taking the money when they were asked.
So, my Dad felt that he had no option - he told them that if he couldn't trust them, they simply couldn't stay there.  It just so happened that I had been planning on going to my parent's house that day to work on my Dad's books, so I was able to pack up their stuff and bring it home with me.

I sent the A-man a text and told him that he and S were to take the bus home that evening.  I also told him that I would give them a call when I had a chance.  When I called home, the A-man informed me that S had admitted to taking the money and that he had put the money back on my Dad's night stand after my parents left for work.  Grand total that went back - $3.

What bothered me the most about this is that if S had indicated to my Mom or Dad that he wanted/needed money for lunch, they would have given it to him!  Neither of my parents have EVER denied my boys anything.  But stealing, and then lying about it?  That's a line you just don't cross with my parents.

When I spoke with the boys on Wednesday night, I also found out that report cards had come home.  The A-man's was a great report card.  81% average.  I was pretty pleased with all 4 classes grades.  When I talked to S, he told me his marks.  I wasn't quite a happy to hear his marks, but at least they were in the 60's and 70's.

Thursday morning I got up to get the kids off to school, and I asked to see their report cards.  Please note - I didn't get home from work until 12:30am and I had not gone to bed until close to 2.  This is now 7am.  Yeah - S had lied to me about his marks.  He got a 40 in Religion!  From what I understand, the only way a child can fail this class is to simply not do the work.  Needless to say, I wasn't happy.  When I asked him about why he lied (AGAIN) he said that he didn't want me to be mad at him.


I then explained - as calmly as I could - that yes, I would have been upset about the failing grade, but now I was upset with him for two reasons - because of the failing grade AND because he lied about it.  Add this into the fact that I was still reeling from the previous day's events, and I just was a very unhappy, sleep deprived Mommy.

Oh - and did I mention the fact that we were only a few days away from S's birthday?  His birthday was on Saturday - May 1.  That was to be the first day both Hubby and I would be able to sit and talk to S about the turn of events, and it was his birthday.  (Oh, and don't even get me started on the fact that my parents always GIVE HIM MONEY on his birthday!!)
He had asked that we go to the cottage to celebrate his birthday.  We did not go; we explained that if we couldn't trust him, and my parents couldn't trust him, we certainly we NOT going to take him to the cottage where we wouldn't be able to keep a close eye on him and we didn't know if he would take anything from any one else's house.

When Saturday morning rolled around, Hubby had prepared some information for S to read - a document he got off the Internet about what life is like when you have a criminal record.  He and S had quite a conversation about the week's events.  I felt it best to have Hubby lead that conversation - I was still too emotional about the entire thing.

There was, however, one thing that I could address.  The failing grade.  I called the school and left a message for both the Teacher and S's SERT.  I was furious about the fact that no one has even been in touch with me to let me know that he was failing.  He has an EA in that class for Pete's sake - someone should have been letting me know that he hadn't been doing that work.
When I called the school and left a message for the teacher, I discovered that he has gone on a religious retreat and the day before (the Wednesday) had been his last day.  Great.  So, I asked for the SERT to givve me a call.

Poor woman - I've never talked to her before.  When we finally had an opportunity to talk, I explained that I was very upset that no one had been in touch with me, etc., etc.  She admitted that this failing grade had been a bit of a slip up on her end.  Gee - ya think??  She had been in touch with both S's English and Math's teachers, but hadn't thought to ask his Religion teacher about S's status.  I expressed that I felt it was very unprofessional of both the teacher and the EA to allow things to get to this level and not to have been in contact.  She agreed - but with the teacher gone, what could we do?
I asked if S would be able to still hand in the missed assignments, etc. etc.  Needless to say, I made sure he worked each day in the resource room at the school to get the assignments done.

Then, on the second week of my night shift, my Father in Law ended up in the ICU at our local hospital.  Lovely.

It's been a bit of stress for the last couple of weeks, needless to say. 

As I was typing this, I found out that S has NOT completed any of his Religon.  He started to have a wee fit when I pulled rank and told him that I would be in touch with the teacher tomorrow.  At dinner he had told us that he was all done everything and just needed to hand it in.  This is what he told us yesterday.  When I asked him today why he hadn't turned it in, he said it was becuause the teacher was away.  Then after dinner when I questioned him, he said the teacher told them today...  "Wait a minute," I said, "I thought she was away."  The little brat has been lying again, and now has gotten himself caught up in them.

When Hubby heard him yelling at me he came up to see what was going on.  I have stayed calm, but when S explained that none of the Religion has been done, Hubby got upset.  S started to head for the door - time to take off and show us he is angry, I guess.  We suggested that he should rethink this action because he is lying again, and if he wishes to go out that door, it may not open again when he is ready to return.

I have had enough of this.  And he does not have the memory to be a good liar.  Apparently he hasn't done the work because he doesn't like doing homework.  Well, that is just too darn bad, Mister.  Life isn't all fun and games and doing what you want when you want to do it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Busy Weekend - Quieter Week

I left last Thursday for a weekend at a trade show.  My last offical trade show as an employee of the company, actually.

Thursday was a pretty good day.  Boss and I had to slug/lug quite a few boxes as a number of clients didn't feel the need to show up and actually do anything to their booths prior to the show.  Friday morning dawned early, and I found myself at the show quite early to make sure we had everything ready for the opening.

I called home that night around 8.  S informed me that he had been 'dumped' the night before and that he was okay that evening because he had cried it all out the night before.  We chatted for a little bit about various things and then he gave the phone to the A-man so that I could chat with him, too.

Sometime around midnight my cell phone rang.  It was the A-man asking me to talk to S.  Apparently S was very angry and doing some pretty silly things, including trying to take the trim off his bedroom door.  I will never understand what possesses him to do certain things.
I spoke with S for a few moments, and suggested that he just go to bed and that things would look much better in the morning.  I knew that Hubby would be home within the half hour, so I knew that if the tirade was still going on he would be able to deal with it then.

When I called home on Saturday, Hubby told me that both boys were in bed when he had arrived home and it had appeared that all was well.  I explained about the convervation the A-man and I had shared at midnight, and asked him to follow up on things.

I got home on Sunday around 6:30.  We had dinner and a hot tub, and I was in bed before 9pm.

Last night I had an opportunity to speak with S about the events of Friday night, and he told me that he really did not know why he became as upset as he had.  Actually, it appeared that he was getting his nights mixed up.  We talked about some coping techniques, and things to consider "the next time" but I'm not really putting much hope on his doing the right thing "next time."

This is my last week at this job.  I've been putting together a summary of the various tasks that I do, and I'm trying to include step by step instructions for many of them.  It's quite the novel right now.  I've forwarded it to K, and she and I and boss will be going over it in the next few days to make sure I have covered off most of it.

I still don't have a start date for my new position, but I am quite looking forward to having a couple of weeks off!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Not a stellar evening

Last night was not one I would like to repeat any time soon.

The A-man had a rugby practise after school, so I picked him up at my parents after work.  When we arrived home, nothing had been done with respect to the required kitchen clean up.  It was a mess, actually.  A few weeks back, during a family meeting about the chores not getting done, it was decided that I would not begin cooking dinner for the family until the kitchen was in a presentable state.

Well, I was hungry - and I had been really looking forward to the dinner I had planned for the night.  (Seafood medley on sticky rice...)  When the A-man finished changing out of his school uniform and came in to the kitchen to begin the work, I called down to S to remind him that he needed to come and help his brother with the clean up.

Up the stairs comes my little black rain cloud.  Fists tight, heavy breathing... "WHAT?," he demands.

I remind him that the kitchen needs to be cleaned up so that I can start dinner.  He becomes extremely frustrated because he "just wants to finish watching this ONE show."  (Let's not even get in to the fact that he's been home now for the better part of two hours and could have more than completed the task way before "this show" began.  The A-man offered a solution... he would be more than willing to do the entire kitchen clean up before dinner as long as S would agree to doing all of the clean up after the meal.  S said, "Fine" and started back downstairs. 
Before I would let him downstairs, however, I reminded him that this meant all of the table needed to be cleared, all of the dishes into the dishwasher, and all of the hand wash items needed to be washed, dried and put away in order for this task to be labelled 'done.' 

I received a very sarcastic "Yes, Mom.  I am aware of what will need to be done.  I am fine with that.  Now can I just go?!"

I had my doubts.  (Hindsight:  I should have not let these negoiations take place.)

The A-man did the kitchen clean up and I started dinner.  While dinner was cooking, S was on the telephone with two different friends.  (For the record, supper was very tasty.)

Once I finished eating, I reminded S that he was responsible for the entire post-dinner clean up.  I reminded him of what the various tasks were - again, I received an eye roll complete with a "Yes, Mom... I know this"

I went downstairs to tackle the evening.  Move forward to an hour and a half later.  I come up the stairs to check on the progress.  Let's just say there had not BEEN any progres.  Sure, the A-man's plate and S's plates were off the dinner table, but for some reason my plate remained on the table, along with the rice pot.  None of the dishes were done, none of the counters wiped off... nothing was done.  I went looking for S.  He was laying on his bed watching 'Grease' on his laptop.

And then it began.  Screaming, yelling... tears, even.  Apparently I only had children so that I would have built in slaves that are just around to do my bidding.  The front door was slammed...  Oh yeah - it was a GREAT night.

Sometimes I just hate that kid.

Not really hate him - but I really, really, REALLY hate the way that he behaves and reacts to things.  It took my threatening to not allow him on the school downhill skiing trip on Wednesday or the Ice Fishing Trip on Thursday for anything to get done.

The attitude stinks.  I am really grateful that I have the house to myself this evening.  It will be nice to have some quiet time.

I'm really at a loss of how to get through to this boy. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lies - they are getting to me

I’ve been getting little frustrated with S lately. I’ve started to see an increase him is inability to tell the truth about many subjects, and it is a trend that needs to be fixed. Now. Sooner than ‘now’, actually would be better.

I realize he comes clean when pressed, but it just drives me CRAZY that he tends to automatically go for an untruth when the truth really won’t even get him in to trouble! Sure, if he’s going to get in to trouble for something, I can the whole “natural self-preservation” route, but he will even tell an untruth about things that aren’t that big a deal.

Notice I’m not saying “He lies.”

The most frustrating thing, though, is when he does tell the truth and we naturally don’t believe him. Little boy that cried wolf comes to mind here. We are told untruths so often, both Hubby and I aren’t able to tell when it really IS the truth. Add in the fact that he can tell a bold face lie without even a glimmer of regret/remorse on his face… well, that makes it doubly frustrating.

I’ve been doing some reading in to this, and it would appear the “specialists” are a little mixed on this particular subject. Some websites I read say that a person with Aspergers will be brutally honest, and others say that they can tell lies, and will be good at it because of their ability to do so straight-faced. I think I am going to have to try and find a local group to get some ‘real life’ answers.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Family Day Weekend

Yesterday was the first ever Family Day I have been home since the new holiday began three years ago.  The last two years I have been in Mississippi at the Governor's Conference.  The Conference was moved to two weeks later... and I'm not going to it this year since I'm leaving the company.

Anyway - since it was Family Day, I told the boys that if they helped with the house tidy in the morning, we would be able to use the afternoon to have some fun.  Hubby and I thought Family Winter Olympics on the Wii would be suiting since the Olympics are here in Canada right now.

S was looking forward to playing his actual Olympics game.  After everyone was ready, we got started.  The boys both had a turn at the skiing event.  Next up was Hubby and I.  We asked the A-man about the proper way to hold the romotes for this particular game, and the next thing we knew, S was having a MAJOR melt down.  He actually stormed off upstairs to "calm down before (he) screams his head off." 
Yeah - we sort of lost the joy of the game at this point.

Hubby turned the game off, and we decided to find a movie to watch instead.  I'm still not sure what brought on that explosion, but I just felt it was best to carry on and not bring it up again.

We had a pretty good weekend, though.  Hubby and I helped Nee move over the weekend.  She actually asked a crew of people to help her, and by the time we left on Saturday night, she was moved in and set up other than a few pictures on the walls.
Sunday the A-man had asked R out on a bowling date.  Nothing like a date with your parents and little brother along for fun.  We had a good time that afternoon.  Sunday evening was a chilling by the fireplace kind of night.

And now another work week begins...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Last week was a big week of changes in our household.

Thursday was the start of a new semester for the boys. S took advantage of his IEP during exams and actually had a scribe for both his Geography and Science exams. He felt very good about the Science exam, but wasn't as confident with his Geography one, however. He did spend a fair bit of time studying, so I hope he gets a good mark. (Geography was never a strong subject for me, either, so I understand that struggle.)

This semester he has Math, English, Phys-ed and Religion. Again, a nice mix of tough and not-so-tough courses. I've not sent my "letter of introduction" to his teachers, but I think I will send that with him next week.

The A-man feels very confident that he will have 80's in all of his classes except English. He's not quite sure what to expect in that class. Apparently he did quite well on the essay prep he had to do prior to the exam, so I'm hoping that he is pleasantly surprised at the end of it.

I guess we will know for sure next week.

Thursday was also a big day for me as I less Boss know that I had accepted a new position. I am actually not even aware of a start date yet, but I know it won't be until the middle of March at the earliest. I'm sort of hoping that I will have a lag between leaving this job and starting the new one; the kids would be on March break that week, and it would be really nice to have a full week off to get some organizing done around the house. But, as I said, nothing has been set as of yet.

My leaving came as a very big shock to Boss. And an even bigger one to my assistant. I explained to her - privately - that I was very confident in her abilities and that knowing she was in place was actually a factor in my decision. Of course, there were quite a number of factors, but it's good to know you are not actually leaving the company in a lurch. Especially when the company works with such a small crew.

Boss took me to lunch on Monday to discuss things further. I guess he'd had the weekend to digest the information and he wanted to use the private conversation to feel me out for what type of job I would be doing, the pay difference, that sort of thing. When I told him the pay I would be receiving at the new job, he realized that he would not be able to match it. I knew this - and had he surprised me and tried to match the pay - I'm not even sure what I would have done to be honest!


On a different note, Hubby and I have some issues we have to work through with our darling S. Over the Christmas break S and I had a bit of a disagreement about the quality of time he had put into completing an assignment. After our discussion, I had gone to bed.

A short while later, Hubby came upstairs to find S standing near my purse, with a $20 bill in his hand. Hubby LOST it. He never yells - or very rarely - and he hollered so loud at S that he woke me up.

I was not privy to the discussion Hubby had with S - I thought the cooler head was dealing with the situation, so I left it alone. Of course, Hubby and I did discuss it later, but at the time I knew the right parent came across that situation. S and I did have a brief follow up discussion about the series of events that lead up to that, and he explained to me that he had never done such a thing before, and he wasn't really sure why he did it that night other than he was upset with me and that it was something he did on impulse.

My knowledge of ADHD does permit me to believe that this was an impulse, but it also doesn't allow me to not punish him and remind him that stealing is illegal.

On the week that Hubby and I were on holidays, and the boys stayed with my parents, my Dad noticed that three $2 coins went missing off his side table. When he mentioned it to Hubby and I, we both knew right away who to talk to. Of course my Dad did mention the missing change to both of the boys at the time and both claimed no knowledge of the event. Dad knew the money was gone, but he also had no knowledge of the event at Christmas, so he wasn't sure who wasn't telling the truth.

Hubby had a serious conversation with S to follow up on my Dad's situation, and then I dealt with it in a whole other way. When I gave the boys their bi-weekly allowance, I short changed S. When he asked me why he didn't get his normal amount, I told him the money he had taken from my Dad was an advance.

His head went down, his cheeks flushed, and I believe I made an impact.

I certainly hope so.


And, on a totally separate issue again - poor Nee was required to take very drastic measures with J. He was admitted to a youth centre for emergency treatment. He will be released at the end of this week, I believe, but when he was in for the past three weeks, he has been under 24 hour surveillance with no access to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. He has also been receiving therapy and testings that would normally take upward of a year to receive.

On the down side, Nee and her partner have separated and she will be moving into a new place this weekend. J and her partner had an altercation before the New Year, and now he doesn't want J in his house. Ever.

What is a mother to do? Well, naturally she had no choice - her decision was made when he wasn't willing to come to a compromise.

My heart is breaking for my friend, and I am hopeful that some answers will arrive when J is released.