Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

So Munch Progress July 14, 2016

One of Jay’s main issues has always been controlling his emotions.  When he gets upset, he gets REALLY upset.  It’s often hard for him to calm down following a meltdown.  He can hold on to grudges for a LONG time.  (Maybe that’s genetic … lol)  Seriously though, if he’s been “wronged” in some way, he has been known to stay mad for hours.  Some kid used his markers.  I (justifiably) yelled at him.  Shawnie pranked him.  Cartoon Network isn’t showing what he wants to watch at the moment.  Ace ate the last gummy bear.  He has been known to go to sleep seemingly happy and then wake up still mad about something that I thought had already been resolved.  He will not eat.  He will not talk.  He will not play.  He is a brooder.

Things are definitely better now than that used to be.  His meltdowns are way fewer and way less explosive and don’t last nearly as long.  We continue to help him come up with strategies to manage his day though.


The other day, he was on the laptop working in his current favourite website and he wrote the following and brought it to me so I could read it.




*Spelling fixed but nothing else*

Dear mom. I love you so much. When I said I hate you, do not say that. because that’s not nice. When you get upset, calm yourself down. You can take a deep breath, play something or anything. Me too. I have to listen to teacher, and counselor. if I need help, just tell a teacher or a grown up. 


This makes me so happy.  The progress is truly astounding.


Apparently Jay had a little rough patch at camp yesterday due to a pottery incident.  (I know because the counselor called).  I expected him to come home angry.  Complaining.  I was ready to hear all about the mug that he made and then decided that he wanted to make a vase instead.

When I saw him, he hugged me hello and went about his business.  He seemed happy and mentioned nothing about the mug, vase, fiasco.  He was more interested in when his grilled cheese sandwich would be ready.  When I couldn’t take it anymore, I asked him how camp was that day.  In his own words … “It was pretty good.  I went outside.”


Dude got mad, then went outside to get a breather and calm down.  Then came home happy.

Yup, truly astounding progress!



There’s Always Next Year July 17, 2013

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 5:53 pm
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It’s time I told you … Jay got kicked out of his summer camp.
Up until yesterday, I was still getting happy comments on my last post . The one about his teacher calling before taking them on a trip to the movies. The one where I was all set to run out and buy them cookies. The one that was written less than a week ago. 5 days to be exact. Yeah, that one.
Every time I read a new comment, I felt guilty for not updating you.

This past Monday, I got a call that Jay was having a rough day and they wanted to know if I had any tricks that they could use.
He was yelling at the counselors and being defiant.
He was wandering off.
He was getting upset at the simplest things – such as not being able to buckle his own shorts after going to the bathroom.
He was not joining in on any activities and not playing with any of the other kids.
I spoke to the same very nice teacher and gave her some tips.
I spent the rest of the day with a knot in my tummy and tears teasing behind my eye lids.
On Monday evening, Jay got off the bus, red in the face and in a sour mood. He wouldn’t even walk home. CC carried him inside.

On Tuesday, Jay didn’t want to go to school. He kept saying “No school” as he clung tightly to CC.
We put him in elastic waist shorts and sent him anyway.
Before it was lunch time, I got a call from his teacher asking if someone was available to come pick Jay up.
That was it.
They were done.
He was done.

I’m sad about this. I had really hoped he would have a happy summer there.
I’ve spent a lot of time since Monday wondering why it didn’t work out. I’ve wondered if he was just being bad/spoilt or if someone there was being mean to him and his screaming and wandering off was his way of communicating something to them/us. I’ve wondered what it is about my son that made him so difficult that a group of people who are supposedly trained to deal with special needs kids couldn’t handle him. Is he really THAT much of a handful? Was the staff just THAT sucky?

Either way, I’m glad we have the option of keeping him home all summer. I’m not going to fight with them or even try to educate them. I don’t want him with people who don’t want him around and I certainly don’t want him to feel like we force him into uncomfortable or worse, unsafe, situations even when he tries to let us know.

Once I stopped licking my heart wounds I was able to get to this point. The same place other moms have had to get to. I thank them for writing about their own personal evolutions. It helped me tremendously to accept this situation and to stay positive.

Just like Outrunning The Storm, I’m calling my attitude about all this a win.


Done Right July 12, 2013

So far, Jay has been very happy going to his summer camp. He happily gets up and gets dressed and puts on his ID bracelet and waits for the bus. He comes home and when asked if he had a good day will happily say “Yes!” This is good stuff. Way better than last summer where we actually took him out early because the staff was not … ahm … how do I say this gently? … They didn’t have the types of personalities that we think the people taking care of our son should have.

In the middle of the day yesterday, I got a phone call from Jay’s Summer Program teacher. Uh Oh!
As a parent, when your caller ID shows you that the incoming call is from your kids school or care-giver, you immediately wonder if everything is alright.
I rushed out of a meeting to take the call and breathlessly and nervously answered the phone.

Hi Mrs C. This is [Jay’s teacher]. As you know we are going on a field trip tomorrow to see Monsters University and I would like to know if there is anything I should be aware of when taking Jay to the movies.
Has he been before? Does he like it? Is the noise or the darkness too much for him? Will he sit for the entire thing?

Teachers and therapists and baby-sitters out there … This is how it’s done. This woman doesn’t know me. While, she has provided me with her personal cell phone #, I’ve actually never met her in person. She doesn’t know that I’m paranoid and a bit neurotic. But she’s doing it right anyway. She clearly understands that parents want to be in the know. She understands that all our kids are different and need different things. She wants to do the best job she can and she wants to make our children as comfortable as possible.

Thanks [Jay’s teacher]. I just may have a box of cookies or something ready for you when the summer is over.