Monday, October 22, 2007


It was gently suggested to me that I need to make Gus do more things for himself. I know that I should, but when I try to it usually ends up in frustration, annoyance and all-around negativity for both of us. So perhaps I'm a bad parent for taking the easy way out, but I'm trying to fix it. This is what it sounded like this morning as we were waiting for the school bus:

"Okay, now we have to put on socks and sneakers." I hand Gus his socks. "Put your socks on, please." He holds his socks and starts reading a book. I take the book and tell him he can have it when he's done getting ready.

"Put your socks on." He drops them on the stairs and goes for a sticker book.

"Put your socks on." He places a sticker in his sticker book. I take the sticker book and place it away from him on the table.

"Gus, please put your socks on, then you can have the book." He takes the sticker book back and ignores me.

I guide him back to the stairs and hand him the socks. "Put. Your. Socks. On." He picks up a sock and stares off into space. I greatly desire to slam my head into the wall several times.

This is a truncated version of what we went through for each article of clothing this morning. I can have him dressed and ready for school in 10 minutes. It took us about half an hour. I must have repeated myself at least fifty times.

I will try going back to the schedule posted, but with having him do more things on his own and having to break down each step, that will be a lot of little tags for he schedule board. The school aides readily admitted that it would take a lot of redirection (holy cow, what an understatement) but that he was capable of doing things for himself. I know he is and at six and a half, I should really be making him less dependent on me. The question is, am I capable of keeping my head from slamming through the wall every morning?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Good News and Bad News

The Good News:

We finally got to go on Gus's class trip to the apple orchard. We arrived at the school much too early - an hour and fifteen minutes before the bus was actually leaving - so I left Gus to his usual routine and drove around with MM. He wasn't pleased with that; apparently he cried when he realized I'd gone. But he toughed it out, we returned and then there was a bittersweet little moment. He decided he wanted to ride the bus with his classmates instead of coming in the car with us. What could I say? MM's silent tears in the back of the car until she fell asleep pretty much summed it up for the both of us.

The weather was kind of the most part, but even the few times that it rained, no one cared. The kids were all having a blast in the maze, on the hayride, picking apples and finding pumpkins. Then they spent a good hour playing in the playground after feeding the goats. It was quite a nice time.

We got some of the biggest apples I've ever seen and came home to make a delicious apple crisp, which the kids both helped with. So of course they got special desserts that night. Later today we'll carve up the pumpkins.

The Bad News:

Gus was in the bathroom washing his hands when I noticed he was taking an abnormally long time. So I asked what he was doing. I heard some mumbled response about a cavity and wanting to brush his teeth. I was doing MM's hair, so I sent my husband to check up on what Gus was getting into. It's never a good idea to leave him unattended in a bathroom for long; all of the dislodged towel bars and toilet paper holders can attest to that.

"Umm...I think Gus is getting a tooth," hubby says, completely perplexed.

"How can that be?" I asked, "he hasn't lost any yet." But then excitement won out and I rushed Gus into better lighting. "Oooh! Maybe you're losing a tooth!"

He showed me where a bottom incisor is in fact starting to erupt. But, the baby teeth are as firmly planted as ever. Knowing that this could not possibly be a good thing, I did what I always do: ran to the computer. Apparently, it is possible for the adult tooth to 'miss' the root of the baby tooth; and therefore it grows behind or next to the baby tooth instead of reabsorbing the tooth so the baby tooth can fall out. When this happens, the baby tooth may have to be pulled out to make space.

I want to scream, "why can't this kid ever catch a break???" but I won't because he's had many breaks. I hate to put him in situations where he's going to be in pain and freaked out. He's a brave kid, but how much is he supposed to endure? He already has trouble with simple tooth brushing and hates to have a doctor even peek in his mouth with a flashlight. This is why we've never made him go to the dentist. But there's no help for it now. He'll have to go and now (partly because of my own inability to challenge him) his first experience with the dentist may be a negative one. I'm hoping that I'm wrong and that the tooth will miraculously loosen on its own, but we'll have to see the dentist anyway. Given my most recent freakish encounter with the dentist (he thought I had an extra wisdom tooth, which turned out to be more of a third root on the normal wisdom tooth), I'm not feeling too optimistic.

Just a typical Sunday on the farm.