Thursday, April 23, 2009


Akila has had a vivid imagination for years. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten an email or call from a teacher at school thinking I'm pregnant, I have cancer, we just adopted a fifth child, my sister was shot (don't have a sister), we were in a serious car accident and Akila's cousin was killed, etc. She is always making up crazy stories and they are usually full of tragedy or something big. I have told her teachers, that I will be sure to let them know right away of any large drama going on at our home. We have talked about this tendency to tell fantasies, or to lie, at her IEP meetings. Thankfully.

I say thankfully, as yesterday she told a whopper of a story at school that has some kids upset, and rightfully so. I won't give the details here, but it was not good. I know that false allegations are a common issue with kids who have FASD. It is scary stuff. It makes you think.

I tried to have a conversation with Akila tonight about the story she told. It did not go well. Imagine having a very serious conversation about something very mature, with a 4 1/2 year old (the age her emotional maturity is at). I was very calm. I told her I wasn't mad and that she wasn't in trouble, but she got pretty mad and emotional. We talked about the words she used, the serious meaning behind the words, and why it scared some other kids. She didn't get it. There was a real disconnect. She just wanted the conversation to be over.

It is really scary to think of what possibly lies ahead of us. She is 9. When I imagine her at 12 or 13, or even older, I get really nervous. I pray that I am wrong.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Verbal violence

Wow is Akila's verbal violence escalating. When she is angry, she goes right to name calling. This has been a challenge for over a year, and is getting rough. Last night we had to go to the dance studio for recital pictures, and I had to bring all four kids with.

For the last several months, I have not had to bring all the kids with. I have been making arrangements for the others to go to a neighbors, or an after school program, or Michael has been home in time. Well that didn't work out yesterday, and it was not pretty.

On the way home, Akila was focused on Imani. She often focuses on Imani and I think this is because she is jealous of her. Imani is a very sweet and easy going girl who gets along with everybody. Well she was yelling at Imani for any type of noise that Imani made, including just talking. She was calling her names, and saying that she wishes Imani were dead or never had been born. She even said once that she wishes that someone would break into our house and kill Imani.

She called me every name in the book. She said multiple times that I am not her "real" mom and that dad is the boss and the only one who she has to listen to. When dad is around, I am the only one she has to listen to, according to Akila. Once again, it really doesn't hurt my feelings or bother me when she is wishing I were dead because I am a "stupid frickin old lady", or when she says I am not her real mom. I know I am, and I know that God has a plan for her and I and that is why she is my real daughter.

By the time we got home, before we even got out of the van, Imani was helping Akila to draw something in her notebook and they were buds once again. I on the other hand, was completely annoyed and needed just a few minutes away from Akila. Kids are amazing. I did talk with the other three later, and try to process all the hate filled words they had witnessed in the van.

Then this morning, she changes out of her uniform pants and puts on a pair of jeans, which are against the uniform policy. She of course went into a rage when I told her that she needed to change and was swiping things off of tables and counters and calling names galore. She went to school in the jeans and I put uniform pants in her bag and left the teacher a message asking her to make sure Akila changed. Poor teacher (I don't say this because Akila won't listen to her, she will. I just feel bad that I need her help in this way).

At the bus stop, Akila got mad at me when I didn't put her ponytail in the "right" way and once again, I was a stupid mom and she wishes she still lived in Georgia with her foster mom, blah blah blah...... A minute later, the bus came, the other kids were hugging and kissing me, and Akila was yelling "love you mom, love you", like she hadn't been hurling verbal violence at me all morning. It is so amazing how disconnected she is to her behaviors, how she can't see how bizarre it is to call someone a horrible name, and less than a minute be loving toward them.

I have been praying for patience and for control of my tongue. It would be so easy in the heat of the moment to say "me too" when she says she wishes she lived somewhere else or something like that. I of course do not wish that, but in the heat of the moment, when she is being really nasty, it wouldn't be too hard to say the wrong thing. And I know I would regret it forever, because that would undoubtedly be the thing she remembered for the rest of her life. Not all the things she was saying leading up to my slip of the tongue.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New med

The new med that we were given to give Akila if she wakes in the middle of the night is great. I think it is called Clonadine. I'm too lazy to get up and go look at the bottle right now.

About 2:15 last night, I woke to the sound of a cabinet in our bedroom opening up and saw Akila trying to get the mini DVD player out. I got up, gave her the meds and some cheeze its (the easiest way to get her to take her meds without an all out brawl), and she went back to bed and actually fell asleep.

I think this is the 4th time I have used this med in the middle of the night and I am happy to report that it has worked each time, and that Akila is fine in the morning. The Dr. said she might be a bit tired or groggy in the morning, but she isn't at all. The key to this option is to just make sure that we hear her when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

We really are going to have to get some door alarms or something like that soon, especially for in the summer when her sleep patterns are more sporadic due to the non-structured element of summer. If anyone has any tips or ideas on door alarms, types, or any advise, I'd love to hear it!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Loving and hating spring

I love spring, but not everything about it. I love the obvious, the nice weather after a long winter of being cooped up. I don't like the issues it can cause at bed time. And I don't like the neighborhood kid conflict issues that it brings, especially with Akila.

I can tell it is going to be a rough spring and summer in the hood. Last night, Akila had a hard time winding down at bedtime, even with the melatonin that usually works wonders with her. I put her to bed and about 15 minutes later, Imani shouted over the stair railing that Akila was in her room. Akila wanted to sleep in Imani's room. Not an option.

I couldn't get her back in her room. Because her room is too dark, and it is too far from the bathroom. It is the same distance as Imani's room. But this is what she was stuck on. Her room is too far from the bathroom, dumbhead! I heard it over and over and I could not get her calmed down. It took forever.

Then tonight, she was outside playing with kids, and had a fit over coming in, even with extra time, and several warnings. It was not pretty. She threw several things, broke a really nice new water bottle and just about sent Michael through the roof.

I should give her some credit though, or myself maybe. We had ten kids here for the majority of the night. A family in our babysitting co-op who have six kids, ranging from 1 to 10 years of age, were here from 4:30-7. They were really well behaved kids, and Akila was pretty in control while they were here, which helped me to be in control.

I forgot what it is like to have a baby around. Had to mix some rice cereal up and could hardly remember how. It was fun, but I'm glad I don't have a little one anymore. On second hand, Akila was much easier when she was one.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I haven't blogged as I am still in recovery from spring break. It was a long ten days, but all in all, it went fairly well. I will blog about it later.

Akila, Imani, Zeke and I just got back from a bike ride to a park. Hezekiah and Michael are out running errands. So I thought I would get a little jog in while the kids bike. We went to a park right behind North Memorial Hospital. The three were playing really nicely for about 20 or 25 minutes, before Akila saw a wasp on a piece of equipment.

She went into hysterics. The wasp seemed sick, it didn't move hardly at all, even when the kids got close to it. Akila completely wigged out. She came over and was sitting on me, and I could not get her to calm down. I tried to get her to come and play on the other area of the playground, and she saw a spider and wigged out even more. She wanted to go to another playground and I tried to explain to her that the bugs would be at all playgrounds. She disagreed, of course.

I had her sit on my lap for awhile, hoping she would calm down, I tried rubbing her back, talking about other things, but after awhile, it was clear that she was not going to calm down, and she was truly scared. Unfortunately, we had to pack up and leave. Thankfully, Zeke and Imani didn't get upset at all.

Akila was in a huge hurry to get home and kept looking behind her and was paranoid that the wasps were everywhere. It was very odd. Almost schizophrenic.

When we were in last weekend, the first evening Akila was wigging out over these baby moths that were in my aunt and uncles house. She wouldn't sleep in the bedroom with me because she saw one in there. She went into hysterics every time she spotted one.

Then, the second day, she was chasing the bugs down and killing them with excitement. In the morning, my aunt Elaine was pouring some cereal for Akila and she made the mistake of putting Akila's spoon on the counter, and Akila wigged (wigged is my word of the day). I explained to my aunt that Akila can't stand to have her silverware touch the counter or table, we always have to put them in her bowl or on her plate. I told her that we have learned lots of little things like this, and once we figure them out, Akila usually changes them. I use to get in trouble for putting her silverware in the food.

I pointed this inconsistency out to my aunt and was telling her how it keeps me jumping. One day, she is freaking over the bugs, the next day she is hunting them down. Go figure.