This is my last two week stretch of working on the behavioral crisis team in the ER at the hospital. I work all weekend for the last time, allegedly, which makes today my only day off. That comes out to a lot of spreading me out to be sure everyone gets some one on one time.
It started with sweet Barrett, who has come so far and grown up so much this winter. He hasn’t been in any trouble this week, and I wanted to be sure and recognize that! He got to go out to breakfast and play at the indoor playground!
Then I spent the morning with Alex, who cheated on his homework while at the grandparents yesterday, and is today covered in rashes after going out to eat with them at a place he is allergic to because they add pancake batter to everything, even the eggs! How sad is that? So frustrating.
I also hung out with Kirk, who also cheated on his homework at the grandparents yesterday, but also lied about it. It’s so unlike him, and he took it hard when he was caught. He felt terrible, and it was so sad because he couldn’t undo it. It was too late.
He completely melted down, which was actually a relief because he does that about twice a year and was overdue. We let him take a break from his homework and go cry in his room, except because he was finally releasing some feelings, all of it came out. He and Mary both do that, work too hard at being good, and then fall apart completely a couple times a year.
Mary has already had her six month meltdown recently, so her week was fine! She’s doing great in school, and pulling ahead of the boys in almost every subject. That’s partly because she is so bright, but also because she is consistent. When they cheat and have to repeat things, she just keeps moving forward. When something is hard for her, she struggles until she has mastered it. She isn’t a girl who gives up!
We used her gift card to go out to lunch:
She always wants Mexican food on her dates. Barrett had his breakfast date, the boys were out of commission, and Nathan had also given Anber consequences for her behavior with the grandparents, so it was just us. We had all kinds of lovely girl talk, and I can’t believe how quickly she is growing up!
By the time we got back, Alex was actually finished and back on track. I was proud of him for getting through it instead of making it an all day drama. He was able to rejoin activities with everyone else, while I finished up with Kirk who had calmed down and was finishing his homework. We came full circle with both boys, and let the natural consequences be enough.
That meant that by afternoon, everyone was finished with homework and chores and consequences, and we could “increase in love” and all have a fresh start together.
That’s what playgrounds are for!
What they most needed, all of them, was to run and play and be free for awhile. It’s so good for them! They need it developmentally, and being that active cleans them out of cortisol – the stress hormone they all have too much of from all they’ve been through. Fresh air and sunshine and playtime can be as healing as anything.
And this girl just naps anywhere she wants.
Because when it’s not a good day, you still don’t want to miss out.
Nothing makes everybody better faster!
Even this boy felt better after some solid playtime!
And this boy proved himself to be a good big brother, playing with Kyrie the whole time she was actually able to try and play.
They are growing up so much so fast!
By the end of the day, we made it to the nacho playdough party! With all six children able to participate. Whew!
After everyone was showered and in pajamas and prayers said and half of them tucked in, the babysitter arrived right on time – and with cookie dough to bake with the other three.
Because now it was my turn to hang out with Nathan. Finally, Nathan, and a real date thanks to gift cards and helpers at home and one resting day in this long two week stretch. We will take it.