"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Evan's Big Week

We're not better. But we're getting there. Our appointment is less than a week away and we no longer feel like we're in crisis mode. After my last post about Evan's struggles, things actually started getting worse. My not-eating, losing-weight kiddo started vomiting in the middle of the night. He'd wake up in the morning fine....not really hungry, but no longer sick to his stomach. Turns out, when you Google "random middle-of-the-night vomiting" some pretty scary results come back. Results like "leukemia" or "brain tumor." My Mommy Gut (or sanity-preservation instincts, maybe?) told me to bypass these search results and keep reading. So I read on until I found something that felt righter. Without throwing around what WebMD wants to diagnose him with--because I'll wait until after we talk to the doc and get some real diagnoses to do any of that--I think he may have some irregularities related to blood sugar. I think low blood sugar (whether it is chronic or a result of his not-eating) may even contribute to his meltdowns, sleeplessness, and anxiety.

I'll leave it to the doctor to figure out which are the root causes and which are the symptoms, though.

For now, we're managing. He's been on a probiotic for over a week now and the results have been dramatic. He's eating again. And there haven't been anymore midnight vomiting episodes. I had forgotten all about probiotics and what a life-saver they were when he was an infant and diagnosed with "colic." The colic turned out to be food allergies, but maybe the probiotics that were so helpful in settling his tummy then are just what he needs to keep him tummy settled now. I don't know how long we'll keep him on them, we'll figure that out at our next appointment, too. Certainly the next time he's prescribed an antibiotic, we'll start supplementing again.

In my Googling about low blood sugar, particularly when it presents with nighttime vomiting, I found the suggestion to carb-load. We've been careful to offer starchy sides with dinner, but this is a kid who often brings home an untouched lunch box. We needed to get this kid to eat at school. After discussing it with Evan's teacher, she suggested having him take a Pretzel Break at each class transition. Every time the class ends an activity, he pops on over to his cubby, has a pretzel or two, and rejoins his class. It's working, I think, with keeping the tummy filled...which, in turn, helps the tummy not feel so nervous. Which cuts down on the trips to the clinic and the calls to Mom to pick him up early from school. In fact, per our new plan, there would be no more trips to the clinic for tummyaches. Evan is learning to distinguish between the "nervous tummy" and the "sick tummy."

Until....

I got an email from Mrs. C on Monday afternoon. It was a head's up: Evan would be bringing home an apology note. He had been in Time Out for the first time. Apparently, as soon as Mrs. C dropped off the class in Music class, Evan went to the Music Teacher complaining about being sick. She, not-knowing of Evan's nervous tummy, sent him to the clinic. Mrs. C intercepted. She knew it was coming. Evan has a nervous tummy about Music because of the performance they're practicing for. They had discussed how, even though he doesn't like the thought of singing songs on stage with his friends, it's part of school and he can Do It. He doesn't have to like it, he just has to try. So Mrs. C and Evan discussed the two mistakes he made by going to the clinic. First, he was dishonest. He told Mrs. J he was sick when really he was just nervous. Second, by leaving the practice, he was sending the message to his classmates that he didn't want to be with them and that he didn't want to help them prepare for their performance. The consequence for these two mistakes would be to apologize to Mrs. J for his dishonesty and, because he had "wanted" time away from his classmates during music, he would have to write his explanation note away from them....in the classroom next door, aka: Time Out.

I love this response to his behavior for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it just shows, again, how much Mrs. C knows this kid. She holds him accountable for his actions and she knows when to be firm.

And, he did it. He apologized to his music teacher and he wrote a keep-forever kind of note to Sam and me. It includes the line: "My tumee hrt frum beeing nrvist not beeing sick." And: "I will go to moosick next time. I do not haf to like it." I mean, come on. Have you seen a cuter apology note?

Because Mrs. C had thoroughly handled the transgression during the school day, I wasn't going to follow up with more than a conversation in support of his teacher at home. But, it only took one glance at the dejected look on his face and his slumped shoulders to know that even that conversation could wait. This kid was torturing himself.

I ignored the note and the issue all afternoon, and we had a great day. At bedtime, as I laid next to him in his bed and tickled his back, I said, "Buddy, let's talk about today." His hands immediately flew to his eyes in the classic don'tcrydon'tcrydon'tcry gesture. "I'm not upset that you were sent to Time Out today. Everyone makes mistakes. And! It's almost the end of kindergarten! This was your first time to Time Out! What if you had finished kindergarten and had NEVER been to Time Out?! You always would have wondered what Time Out was like, wouldn't you?" By now he's just staring at me, wondering what my problem was. I went on, "And now, you know. You know that Time Out is boring and embarrassing and...well, you know what it feels like to disappoint your teacher and yourself by being dishonest. So, it was a mistake. Mistakes are for learning. So learn from this. Okay? Be honest. Be sweet. Try hard."

"Okay."

Smiles, hugs, kisses, one last potty joke to my rolled-eyes, and off to bed.

And that was that.

On Monday.

On Tuesday, he came home from school with something new. Nope, not another apology note.

A girlfriend.

O.M.G.

I did my best to underreact. I think the best way to handle Kindergarten Boyfriend/Girlfriend Nonsense is to ignore it....unless one of the parties is being overly annoying to the other. Then, by all means, intervene. And now, my kid is the one at risk of being overly annoying to this sweet little girl in his class. Oy.

So, after school he said, "I have a girlfriend."
"Oh? What does that mean?"
"You know....like dating."
"Oh."
[pause]
[pause]
[pause]
"So, what do you guys want for snack?"

Then, of course, I had to do my Mommy Recon to find out what REALLY happened on the playground. And, from the friend of the mommy of the girl, here's what I know: Evan approached E and said, "Do you want to go on a date?" And she said, "Well.....where?"

"To the swings."
I mean, come on. Have you heard of a cuter pick-up line?
[I mean, ahem. Not cute. Inappropriate. To be ignored until it shrivels up on it's own.]

So she went swinging with him, but refused, when he asked, to be his girlfriend. I think he tuned that part of the conversation out.

Girlfriend?
Seriously?
Gag.
I totally thought we had a few years before this.

How can he be so "nrvist tumee" little and so dating big at the same time?

Lesson Learned:
What a week.

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