Monday, May 4, 2009

Emotionally Extensive Weekend


Friday morning, I took the boys to school, got some coffee with my friend, and then drove in to Brookline for the funeral of Su Hochberger. It was incredibly sad. Our Rabbi did a nice job with the speech, and our Cantor was a wreck but sang beautifully. When the youngest son burst into tears and climbed into his dad's lap, everyone else just lost it. Sigh.

After the service, I walked over to the Butcherie with a few friends. Can't go to Brookline mid-week without stopping at the kosher butcher and the Israel bookstore. Costly, but can't get most of this stuff out by us.

As I started driving back home, I got a call from the preschool - my sitter had not yet shown up to collect Sofia. Called E, her class ran late. She apologized (and paid the fine at the school!).

Ran home with the groceries, then back out to get the boys. At school, DB and I spoke with the principal about offering to have the Hochberger boys come to MWJDS for the rest of the year; she was agreeable.

After the Shabbat program, I took my own boys (Sofia was still home with E) and the W boys home. First we had a stop at the Orthodontist. When I walked in with 4 boys in full "BOY" mode, I was the recipient of much pity from the other adults in the waiting room. Micah and E were is high-gear, practically rolling over each other to out-prank.

They continued in high gear on the way home, so much so that I had to pull over at one point and make Micah get out of the car. He, of course, took the opportunity to pee in the woods. While Micah and his friend were clowing around and throwing things (which was why I pulled over), Sam was freaking out, and his friend (who is generally as high-strung as Sam) kept saying "Calm down Sam. Take a deep breath. It'll be ok."

Finally got them all home, but I would not allow the 7 year olds to come in the house. "But it's raining out." (barely). "Tough. Find something to do."

So they played a bit in the backyard. Meanwhile, Sam and A went in to play on the Nintendo. Soon, however, it was time for Sam to go to the library with his tutor (our sitter) for his tutoring session. He had a complete fit, and I had to carry him out and stuff him into the car, while he screamed and cried.

This had a good side: Micah and his friend stared in terror as I stuffed Sam into the car, and then said, VERY politely, "May we go into the house now?"

The boys' mom picked them up, and I started making dinner. My friend N and her kids showed up around 5:30, and both husbands around 6:30.

I had a bit of a melt-down by dinner-time - all the kids were loud, David was in a mood, and my one glass of red wine really went to my head. It had been too long a day. (But it was nice to see N - she'd been in Michigan for her brother's funeral and shiva for most of April).

I did go to sleep early, but had to wake up early on Saturday. Sofia and I had to go to Weston, to the Learning Program pilot group. It was really interesting, especially since I have spent all this time learning how to teach phonics to Sam. Apparently, kids with Down syndrome don't NEED to learn phonics, they just learn by site! The program materials were simple and made sense - and I do know families who have used the materials - it works!

After the program ended, we met the guys at shul. Su's husband was there to say Kaddish, and DB and I spoke to him after about the day school offer. He was very appreciative (although I think the plan is to go back to Germany to finish the school year and pack up their stuff).

Came home, with an extra boy, and took my Shabbos nap while the kids played. After, I went outside with Sofia and the boys. A neighbor came from another street with his 2 year old daughter - it was nice to meet another little girl.

Fed the kids dinner, and then we took our kids to see "Damn Yankees" by the Sherborn community theater group. Sam loved the show. Micah enjoyed the music but didn't quite understand what was going on (apparently David had to explain some of the history and theology of The Devil...). Sofia got a bit freaked out when the lights went down and the loud music started. After the Overture, she applauded like a maniac and then said "Lights? Lights?". Then she passed out on my lap. She slept through almost the entire play, just waking up for the last song and the applause. By then, she was thrilled to hear the music, and when we walked out to see David's co-worker (who was in the show), she kept shouting "Music!". It was a late night, but fun.

Sunday I had to get up early again. It was Mitzvah Day, a joint project of the day school and one of the local temples. The boys had to be at the 9am program because the school choir was singing. Sofia was in a mood, and did NOT want to be there. She kept trying to leave. So after the opening program, I handed the boys off to a friend for the Project (they planted flowers outside the shul), and I brought Sofia home ot Daddy (who wasn't feeling well.).

Ran back to get the boys, and took them over to the day school's "new" property (we bought 10 acres of land a few years, and are in the process of building a permanent school location there.). The picnic was to be held on the gorgeous grounds. We were early, so Micah ended up helping the Development Director direct traffic. I let him stay (sent David over to the picnic).

Sam and I drove in to Newton for the shiva. He is friends with Su's older two sons, and he was really looking forward to seeing them. K brought her son, too. Sammy and I were there for over 2.5 hours! I'm glad we went. The boys all had fun (which the dad wanted), and I had a chance to talk to the dad and to his mother and other relatives. But it was a long long afternoon.

Drove back home, and got ready for the next event. Moms of Children with Down syndrome - dinner at a local restaurant. Our first event (tag line: "Why should the D.A.D.S. have all the fun?").

It was great (except that the restuarant never told the party in the private room that WE had reserved a private room, and when I asked them to be quieter, they (the other guests) started screaming at me. I had words with the manager, and we will not hold future meetings there.).

We had 12 women attend, all with younger children. Some of these women I have known for several years, some I've never met. But we sat for over 3 hours, talking about our children and our experiences. I have a list of things to email to the group today, resources and info. We are going to meet next month on June 7...somewhere...

Got home just before 11pm. WHEW!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog on Pinwheels and I am very excited to read it as I have not yet meet a Jewish Family with a child Hannah's age(she is 3)! We are in San Diego and she is doing great! I also have 3 kids, Jacob (11) ALice (8) and Hannah(3) So I am looking forward to reading your blog!