Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Update

As Spring Break was coming to a close, I had to stay over at my sister's house Saturday night. She had to attend an out-of-town event with her husband and her 17 year old son wanted to stay behind. He also wanted to have a few friends sleep over. I was to watch over the house and dog and make sure both were still standing when my sister and brother-in-law returned.

Colin ended up coming with me so he could visit with the dog. We haven't been to the house for a while and Colin may have ready for a change of scenery after a week of being mostly house-bound.

While we did not speak during the half-hour car ride and had minimal contact at the house, the trip was a success. When my son was finally ready for dinner, he asked me if I could pick up Wendy's for him. He also helped me with the t.v. in the family room as I did not know how to figure out all the steps to making it work.

At one point, one of my sister's friends came to visit and Colin sat with us in the living room and participated in our conversation. I was so impressed with how normal it all seemed. When my son was out of earshot, the  friend congratulated me on the progress.

Colin stayed camped-out in the living room with his laptop and blanket and spent the night bundled up on a soft chair. I slept in his old room. We hung out until 1:00 p.m. and headed back home. The house was still standing, none the worse for wear, the guests were well-behaved and the dog enjoyed the extra attention. Best of all is the lack of bad-behavior or disrespect from my son.

We may never get back to where we were before "Miso" reared it's ugly head but I am ecstatic at how far we have come.

As always, we are a work-in-progress.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Checkups and Checking-in

The boys are on Spring Break this week. This was the perfect time to schedule doctor and dentist visits. Yesterday morning, Eldest and Colin had their semi-annual dental checkups. (Middle-son is overseas on a school trip to Italy and Greece.) Later in the day, Colin had his annual exam at the pediatrician.

I am happy to say, both events went smoothly. No news is good news from the dentist. When it was close to the time for the pediatric appointment, Dad came to my work and switched cars with me so he could take Colin. Eldest had the other mini-van and we've been mindful not to use the Miata for transporting our sound-sensitive son as this noisy car used to be a huge stressor. Colin has not voiced any objections or shown any obvious signs of distress over former triggers but we are trying to be careful to avoid any potential irritants.

Hubs reported that Colin has grown 2 inches since his last visit 8 months ago. This is great news. We were concerned that he had not grown much the prior year and is small for his age. He is now 5' 2" at 14 years old, only 1 inch behind his brothers at that age. They are now around 5'10" at 16 & 18 years old, so Colin should hopefully catch up in a few years.

Colin was well-behaved for both appointments and seemed in a relatively good mood. When home at last, Dad was subjected to a few shushes which signaled it was time to leave our son alone.

Volunteer of the Year

The boys are required to volunteer a certain amount of hours as part of their High School education. Colin has been helping out at the local Irish Club, working events such as Fish Dinners. The work is relatively easy and the boys are sometimes rewarded with left-overs to take home. He had such a good time, he decided to put in extra hours to work ahead (unlike his brothers who waited until the last minute). Colin even worked on his birthday!

When picking our son up from a recent event, the volunteer coordinator came up to my husband. The supervisor wanted us to know that Colin is a hard worker and the best volunteer he has ever had.

Something to savor, along with the containers of food he brings home!

New Normal

As time goes on, we are achieving a new normal. We leave our son alone as much as possible. Colin spends quite a bit of time in his basement room and is able to have more cordial interactions with us. There are still the snippets of "bad behavior" ,which are fairly minor and becoming less frequent, such as quietly telling the dog "Kill" or "attack" or the occasional shushes and glares. It helps to give our son as much space and control as possible.

Colin continues to get good grades (3.9 avg.) and is consistently making Honor Roll. He also remains active at school in extra-curricular activities. He is now on the Ultimate Frisbee team with his eldest brother, and Engineering Team and NAQT (Quiz Team) with his middle-brother. He seems the happiest he has been in school. Middle-son tells me that Colin has friends and seems to be liked. This is such a relief. Our son is doing so much better than we had hoped for.

The biggest area of concern is the "unknown". Our son uses much of his free-time for online gaming and sits for hours in front of his laptop wearing his headset. He has set up a Skype account to communicate with his gaming buddies as they play. While this is considered a normal part of play, I am a little worried about his interacting  online with strangers. So far, there have been no "red flags" but I will continue to look for any.

The hard reality is that it is near impossible to protect our children from the world.

As always...... We are a work-in-progress!