Sunday, July 7, 2013

Update on Matthew

Just over a week ago Matthew moved out and after spending a few days with his grandparents he's all moved in at his dad's. His first couple of days were a little rough for him, although he loves staying at Grandma's house it wasn't what he was expecting. He was prepared to move straight into dad's house, but there was a little hiccup up work schedules and everything worked out in the end. After his first couple days at Grandma's Matthew started to really miss us. He has never been away from us for more than 2 days at a time the whole time he stayed with us. Once moving in with his dad, it was easier for him to not dwell on us not being around. I was worried about him adjusting to being an only child after being "one of the boys" for so long, but recently found out that dad's girlfriend and her 6 year old son were also moving in the same weekend. He has fallen into somewhat of a routine with dad. He's continuing with his therapies and is strictly following the gluten free diet. I had hoped to see him on July 4th, but just couldn't meet up with them. From what I've heard through the grapevine he is testing boundaries and testing to see what he can get away with. He has tested the therapist also, to see if even though dad takes him there now that he still has to do the exercises. I think they have him back on track during therapy now and he's participating again. Both Matthew and his dad are figuring things out and seem to be adjusting really well.
  My boys are excited to have my undivided attention again. We've been working at getting things running smoothly around here and getting everyone on the same page about what is expected of them. There was a question of who gets their own room now, seems there is a bunk bed set up in both bedrooms. We have figured out a rotation of the rooms that works for all 3 of them. They were eager to reclaim their space and their stuff. We have been working on correcting some of the resentment sharing everything 24/7 for almost a year. They are doing great; attitudes are improving, their aggression has lessened towards each other, and routine is being restored. We have been spending a lot of family time together both working our way through our bucket list and just hanging out. There has been more cuddles and hugs getting passed around. They have surprised me at how quickly their behaviors started to change once it was just the four of us again. Things that would have sent them on the offensive have mostly been rolling off their backs. The high fiving, fist bumps and hugs between the boys has returned. I'm very proud of the changes in attitude and behavior of my boys; I know it will take some time but we'll all get back to where we were before. We still have a ways to go but we're getting there.
  Last weekend was very busy for us; between Joey's birthday, Matthew moving out the day after that, and marking off more of our bucket lists. Joey's birthday this year was a quiet event with the five of us and my parents. The boys went swimming (I wasn't getting into that pool, the water was freezing), Joey received some really cool stuff he had wanted along with MANY baseball cards (his newest collection), and a cute Lego cake I made for him. The cake was an adventure to make, from the cake falling apart, having to run back to the store for more cake mix,  to my natural food dyes not changing the color of the icing, to finally adding additive filled dyes. Knowing that it was the cake that Joey really wanted and totally loved, was worth the mishaps along the way.
  The day after his birthday, things had gotten off to a rough start. What was left of Joey's birthday cake was left on the back of the stove, and while I was in the shower Matthew helped himself to about half of it. Needless to say I wasn't too pleased. Trying to maintain a positive attitude and not let it ruin our day and trying to have Matthew's last day with us end on a happy note, we went bowling. Bowling is one of Matthew's favorite things (after Hot Wheel cars) also one of our bucket list items. We had a great time bowling and ran into some of Jacob's friends who bowled with us for a bit. Everyone was in great moods, ribbing each other about their great gutter balls, and how could they have gotten been beaten by a girl (mom) as we left. Walking outside into a mass of fish flies, the boys being boys started throwing them at each other and Jacob's friends. An improv fish fly fight; everyone running around laughing and fish flies were flying in every direction and the boys all loving it; then came the an ear piercing scream from Matthew. He had managed to get himself in the very center of all the boys and a fish fly landed on him. He screamed so loud and so long that people from the stores next to the bowling alley actually came out to see what was going on. He was wildly swinging his arms, dropped to the ground kicking, and striking out at anyone or anything near him. I tried to get close to him to attempt to calm him and reassure him, not knowing what else to do. I was in complete shock at his sudden tantrum and the severity of it. This was the first time Matthew had had a fit while staying with me. I had never been so embarrassed, and as quickly as he started he just stopped.  All happy positive feelings gone, replaced by embarrassed on my part, anger, resentment, and embarrassed on the boys part. Jacob's friends got scolded by their mom who came running out when Matthew started screaming, even after I tried to explain that they hadn't known the fish flies would set Matthew (none of us did). My boys were not happy that their game had come to an abrupt stop, that their friends got into trouble and that people from the bowling and other stores were all staring at them because of Matthew. Matthew was perfectly calm and clueless about how his fit affected everyone else, and picked up another fish fly to throw at Jordan. On the way home he talked nonstop about everyone throwing bugs and how fun and funny it was; having no idea that he was making the boys even more upset and reminding of us of how embarrassed we were. When we got home from bowling Grandma was there to take Matthew to her house for a couple days. Needless to say after the scene that had occurred only 10 minutes before, they boys were ready to see Matthew leave. So much for ending his last day with us on a happy note.