Yes, I took a break. It’s been that sort of week. In fact, it’s that sort of afternoon right this very minute. The new school year starts one week from today. My eldest and youngest daughters are equally excited, nervous, and disappointed. My middle daughter is caught up in the “getting ready” aspects of going back to school but the real “going back to school?” Not so much.
Oh, not so much at all. I suppose that’s the downside of having her attend summer session as part of her IEP every summer. Her summer gets cut so short that she doesn’t really have time to miss school or her friends. She was perfectly fine picking out books at the library this morning to finish up her summer reading, as long as I let her go on the library computer for a while to play PopTropica. I took that opportunity to get a couple of books for myself but my eldest and a librarian came to get me because Gracie was crying over the computer. The library apparently doesn’t update their browser software, so none of the kid websites work properly. Of course as a user you can’t update anything. And it was busy this morning so she couldn’t just switch computers. I cleared cookies and cache, though, and that worked. I don’t think they ever do that. Seriously, though, it was Drama At The Library because the library people don’t keep up the computer’s software.
We got that somewhat fixed with clearing cookies, so she played her standby game. Over and over and over. Of course I had to reset her password, which she reset to her old password because it had to be the same. Everything had to be the same as before. I could hear her as I perused the stacks saying, “I’m the girl! See? Mine is a girl! I’m going to the island! I’m jumping over that! I’m the girl! See? Mine is a girl!”
We got home and the mail had come, shockingly no bills today. Gracie’s teacher sent a “Can’t wait to meet you” letter. Gracie wasn’t interested. She grunted, frowned, and dropped it on the floor. I picked it up and said, “Gracie, maybe you don’t understand. This is from your new teacher! It says she’s excited to meet you! I would love for you to read the letter out loud.” I handed it to her and again she grunted, frowned, then sighed and dropped it on the floor. To make the point about how unimpressed she was, she walked away.
The day just keeps getting worse from there. I suppose I should be grateful that I found her chocolate peanut butter at the store on Sunday and she’s been eating it. She actually ate lunch today. But she’s been weepy and grumpy and overly sensitive since Sunday evening. She’s been complaining of her tummy and head hurting. Last night she actually snuggled up next to me for some extra sensory-diet stimulation before bed, and she still had a lot of trouble sleeping. She had a mild fever too. I can understand the grumpiness, of course, but I wish she would tell me when it’s because she’s not feeling well.
Today though? It seems to just be a rough day unless she’s overtired. She did get upset during the earthquake around 1:55 PM EST. She told my youngest daughter to stop moving the floor. Shortly after that, I shouted, “Anna! Stop moving the couch!” to which she cried, “Mommy why you blaming me?” Then I started getting phone calls a few minutes later from everyone asking if I’d felt the earthquake and then the news started having reports and FB went wild with earthquake statuses.
Actually… now thinking about it… that’s when her mood really tanked. Right before the earthquake. Hmmmm.
Shortly after the earthquake, she started pulling out Barbie dolls that my eldest daughter ruined eons ago, but she’s angry and upset as if it just happened.
And this is where it gets ugly. One problem we have with the Perseveration is that it’s not just things that are recent or immediate. It’s not just repeating words, phrases, behaviors, sounds, etc. Sometimes it’s memories. She gets stuck on a memory and something like finding a ruined Barbie doll will trigger a bad memory and that happened today. This particular Barbie was a favorite. It had dark hair and was a fashionista. But Junie drew on it with a black Sharpie all over the body, wrapped part of it in super-sticky tape, drew on the face, broke an arm, and cut the hair. Gracie not only remembers when she discovered the Barbie and how upset she was, and who ruined it, but she’s actually reliving it as if it’s happening all over again. For her it’s happening now. For Junie, it’s done and apologized for. She already knows never to do it again. But for Gracie… you’re on her shit list all over again. We’re talking meltdown magnitude. Tears, anger, crying, threats of bodily harm, insults, nearing rage, then complete shutdown.
I’m throwing the damned ruined and broken dolls out. As soon as I click “post.”
But it’ll be another issue with another toy or a book or an item of clothing the next time.