This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Ever read the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" or "If you Give a Pig a Pancake"? That's me. The premise is that if you give the animal something, like a pancake, then he'll want something to go with it, like syrup, and while he's looking for whatever it is he wants, then he gets distracted by something else, and so on until the house is trashed with unfinished projects and the pig is hungry again... for pancakes. Aka "But First" Syndrome.

A few months ago, our front door knob broke and I found one on clearance (woo hoo!) that mostly fit, but the back brackets covered different areas so there were bare spots without paint.

It took me awhile, but I finally got the primer out and primed the front door... and some spots where the paint had chipped off the wooden door frame, and under the kitchen sink to cover the stain from a leak in the garbage disposal...

Meanwhile some of the paint on the inside of the door had bubbled and chipped off. The house is 17 years old.

So it took me awhile, but I bought a little can of front door paint in a pretty forest green, and bought a quart of paint that I thought might match the inside paint color for the door. While I was at the store, I found a little Oops touch up paint sample that looked white and glossy and I thought would be good for painting under the sink.

I let Bob paint the door, and it took several layers to cover the white primer, but I finally got the front door painted a dark green. Unfortunately she also dripped it all over the cream door frame too.

Then I discovered that the Oops paint was the EXACT color of the inside of the front door. *SCORE!* So I found a little piece of leftover sandpaper to smooth around the edges of the chips (and also used it to take off most of the splashes of green on the outside frame), and started wiping with a wet rag and some good cleaner... and then realized that ALL the doors(12), window frames(16), baseboards(7 rooms), pantry shelves(only did 4), and railings (only done the downstairs spindles so far) in the house were the exact same color AND really filthy.

So I scrubbed, wiped, and used my finger to apply touch up paint to the whole house... well downstairs anyway. I figured while I was there with the cleaning supplies... I might as well start cleaning walls and light switches...

The next day I bought some wood cleaner and started attacking wood surfaces like the stair rails. I'm making the kids crazy because I'm constantly looking at surfaces that I normally ignore. Hubby is confused and wondering who is coming to visit.

I decided to save the remaining Oops paint for future touch up needs, but still needed to paint under the kitchen sink (by this point, the cleaning supplies normally stored under the sink had been sitting on the floor in front of the sink for weeks!). So I used the quart of paint I'd bought that I had originally planned for the front door. Kitty had been begging to paint the front porch (she wants the money to pay for tickets to the Harry Potter movie), but I didn't feel she could be neat enough (Bob who I trusted, had made a mess).

We've been getting more pressure to let Kitty be more like a "normal teen" so I decided to let her paint after all. Just not the front porch. I decided to let her paint under the sink. She got one side wall of the cabinet done, and stopped because "her tummy hurt." *sigh*

Remind me to tell y'all how the new chore plan is working.

I let Ponito scrub the front porch clean (he had fun with the water). Since the paint can was open, I decided to paint the front porch today, using the quart of paint I'd bought for the inside of the door (the paint I'd actually bought for it was too dark).

So here's what I've accomplished today

  1. Spent too much time on Facebook

  2. Painted under the kitchen sink

  3. Argue repeatedly on the phone with Medicaid and the kids' psychiatrist staff about getting the kids approved for neuropsych testing

  4. Had a useless team meeting with Kitty's skills trainer and even more useless case manager. The skills trainer thinks Kitty's problems are because we let her sleep "too much" and don't treat her like a teen.

  5. Filled out a BASC form (never know how to fill these things out. Ex. In the last 90 days. "Does your child argue with others?" Not at all, Once or twice, Sometimes, Often, All the time. Seriously? How do I answer this? Who is others? People outside the family? How often is often? She NEVER argues with others. She argues with me if I allow it. Most of the time we have her life set up so there is as little conflict as we can arrange.

  6. Avoid filling out all the forms for Kitty's new pdoc.

  7. Take Ponito to flute lessons.

  8. Run to the grocery store while he's there to buy sunflower seeds for Hubby who worked from home so he could attend the team meeting.

  9. Enjoy 2 1/2 minutes of alone time with Hubby (Bear and a friend left the house at the crack of dawn to go to an Open House in Houston for a trade school he's not eligible to attend- although he doesn't know that. Grandma picked up the girls for the afternoon!) Of course Hubby was working. *sigh*

  10. Kiss Hubby goodbye as he leaves to go teach scuba diving.

  11. Paint the whole front porch!

  12. Throughout all of this I'm supervising half the neighborhood kids. Ponito is in and out with his friends all day. Kitty has a friend and her younger sisters come over for most of the evening, but they stay in the back yard most of the time.

  13. Make dinner at 8pm. Ooops! Hubby's home early. Yea!

  14. Bear gets home at 11pm and his friend is spending the night. Got them sent to bed (and Bob sent back to bed - she has a headache and can't sleep).

  15. E-mail, Facebook, blog... watch Who's Line Is It Anyway?

  16. Bed before midnight?


Tara - SanitySrchr said...

I'm exhausted just reading all of that! I feel the need to go take a nap!

beemommy said...

Tara took the words right out of my fingers! I just filled out and mailed two BASC forms to Alex's RTC. Oh, and sat and listened while they explained that we needed a new $6300 central air unit. Can you say window unit for the upstairs?

jwg said...

If you can find it, download a Flanders and Swan song called "The Gas Man Cometh". It fits your situation to a t.

mrssanta said...

#5 the dreaded BASC when I last filled out one (5days before last hospital stay) the person scoring/reading the results said I was overly negative while filling it out so my scores on it should be taken with that in mind! What the what? That was on a Monday the following Saturday it took 5 fireman to hold my son down so they could get him to the hospital. I do not feel like I answered it negative but honest. :(

marythemom said...

jwg - lol! You're right. Here it is for anyone who wants to hear it.

MrsSanta - I hear that a lot when it comes to how I fill out the BASC compared to others (even my husband). No one else sees the child I see.

I also hate not knowing how to answer these stupid forms based on their mood swings, and the questions don't always work for attachement disordered kids. For example, one question was something like, does the child argue with parents and teachers... ummmm yes to the parents, no to the teachers (for Kitty anyway).

The form we have to fill out every 3 months for the MHMR asks where has your child spent the last 90 days:
___biological parents
___foster parents
___non-family home
___other family home
___psychiatric hospitalization

Adoptive parents are not a choice! So irritating. I'd understand for most agencies, but this one works with Medicaid kids almost exclusively and this is their own form, not a BASC or something.