Back from Camp; Honeymoon is over!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We picked up difficult child at camp (a whole month! He was very homesick but just the break I needed).
    Long drive ... 8 hrs ea way, so husband and I stayed overnight at a B&B the night b4.
    We had a great discussion with-the teachers and counselors and learned a lot (they used copyrighted material specifically for ADHD kids, and the staff is mostly ADHD. I will post some of the non-copyrighted material here). They said difficult child's biggest improvement and biggest life potential is leadership. They created lists of things that work better with-difficult child's personality, which is very valuable.

    The honeymoon lasted 24 hrs. husband did not awaken difficult child to give him his Adderal this a.m., and difficult child seemed very tired, so I let him sleep until almost noon (I suspect he was up until about 4 a.m. because he snuck the DVD player into his bed). He was obnoxious from the get-go. "I'm hungry! I'm not getting out of bed. Bring me pancakes in bed!"
    (Certainly, your lord and majesty.)

    I did make pancakes but he wised up and showed up in the kitchen. :) Then he ran back up to his rm and played with-his action figures and watched the DVD and insisted he was not going to B&N as we had planned, to buy the summer reading that is due for school in 2 wks.
    I took the counselor's cue and advice, and told difficult child calmly that he didn't have to go, but that there would be consequences, which he could choose. (The counselor said most kids come up with-consequences harsher than the parents dole out. :) )
    difficult child changed his mind, as long as he could get a wrestling magazine. (I vaguely remember husband talking about it last night so I hope I made the right choice.)
    Once we got to B&N, I met with-a friend to edit.

    I had difficult child pick out his books from the reading list, and gave him the B&N discount card and my credit card, since I was only 6 ft away in the cafe', and they actually let him run it through and sign it himself. :surprise:
    That gave him the bright idea that he could buy himself a sandwich, which of course he couldn't because it had wheat. :mad:
    He yanked the cards from me and I've learned enough not to get physical with-him, so I walked over to the cashiers and told them not to let him buy any food with-my card because he was allergic to wheat. They were great about it. He kicked me in the ankle and I told him he was going to suffer consequences. He swore (Sh*t and F***) and drew a few looks.

    He then tried to take my car keys and refused to retn the credit card. I finally got him to give the keys back, but the cards he threw on the floor and refused to pick up. (My friend got a good dose of his defiance.)

    He disappeared, but showed up about 10 min. later in the cafe', sat on one of the tall bar stools, and read his assigned reading as though nothing had happened. :angel3:

    (My friend was kind enough to give me an "atta girl, he's going to be fine" in the ladies rm but it was so general ... I called her at home at dinnertime for more specifics. She said he was very defiant yet it was clear he knew what he was supposed to be doing but just couldn't "get there.")

    As we left B&N, his mood darkened and he wanted food (there's no doubt in my mind that he's hypoglycemic), so I tried Chic-father in law-et, which had a line all the way to Brazil, then drove to Taco Bell. I did not ask him what he wanted, just ordered 2 of everything, then parked and ate my portion in the car, knowing that the smell would entice him to eat eventually. He played with-the sauce packet and it squirted all over the crotch of his trousers and I burst out laughing. Of course, he had to pull out the rest of the sauce packets and play with-them like a 2-yr-old, but I kept my cool, thinking that he was going to spend a lot of time cleaning my car later on.

    We drove to husband's clinic, where we were both going to get adjustments, and difficult child refused to get out of the car. :sad-very:
    I stayed inside for 30 min, and came out to get him. He insisted he wanted to go home and stay in his rm and play, and I told him that I refused to be around him when he treated me poorly, and his consequence was to spend the rest of the day with-Dad at the ofc.

    difficult child finally went inside (in fact, he was so stiff from camp and driving that he could barely get out of the car and he really needed an adjustment) and then called me on my cell ph to come back, because he'd left his book in the car. I drove back and gave it to him and he smiled sweetly just as though nothing had happened. He even wanted to cuddle with-me on the couch in the reception area. :angry-very:

    Meanwhile, I'm wiped out and angry and useless for the rest of the day.

    husband took him to a friend's house (the 14-yr-old whose mom is in TX for a mo)--sheesh, great consequences, let's play all their video games--but at least he's not at home irritating me. They are eating dinner and I just called husband to remind him that difficult child may not play video games (that's a reward and he's supposed to have consequences) and it's a good thing I called, because husband said B. was playing videos and they were watching. Arrgh!

    The month difficult child was away at camp went way too fast and I feel like I'm right back where I started from. I don't know how I'm going to handle the next 10 yrs. :(
    The counselor talked to difficult child about "how do you eat an elephant," (tolerance, patience, fortitude, one piece at a time) so I think that's what I have to do... just take one day at a time and try not to think about the rest.

    I am so tired. And I only spent 3 hrs with-him today. :whiteflag:
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oops, wanted to add something interesting ... difficult child got very upset when we talked about ADHD and insisted he was only ADD. (I admit, he was the calmest of the bunch. But he was on Adderal, plus, we've spent 5 yrs in counseling, talking about, among other things, the foot tapping, pencil tapping, chair twirling, scab picking, hopping around, constant motion issues and how he can teach himself to control them.)
    Today in the fast-food drive-up, he continually hit the button to roll up and down the passenger window. Up, down. Up, down. Up, down. You all know the routine.
    I remained calm and said, "Just so you know, that repeated kind of behavior is the H in ADHD." He replied, with-a sneer, "No, it's not. It's an anger release mechanism. I am very angry right now."
    Whoooaah, Nellie! LOL.
    I said, "Okay, just so you're aware of it."

    OMG. Leadership, indeed!

    He had rips in his rubber flip-flops, so he tore them to shreds. Then he wanted to know how he was supposed to walk into his dad's clinic. I said, "On your feet," and I walked away.
    He was fine on his own two feet. :)
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hang in there! It very well could be just a temporary back-slide. Really- I know juvy isn't the same as camp, but difficult child did this after he came home and now seems to be great. (Please- don't let my posting this jinx it-LOL!)
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Terry! I'm sorry you're going through this! I gotta tell you, he sounds EXACTLY like what I was going through with difficult child 1 but a little more pronounsed. Could the adderall be causing/adding to the problems?

    We took difficult child 1 off Concerta all together, he's doing 2 mgs. 2x a day of abilify and he's an absolutely different child. Maybe the stims are a problem rather than the solution.

    Just a thought! I'm probably a rambling fool about this, but I'm just so thrilled that this trick worked for us, that I'd feel like a real toad if I didn't throw it out there!

    Either way, feel better kiddo!

  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I didn't get away from difficult child, but our first day back from vacation was much the same, with difficult child 1 in the mix, and antics just like the day he left a year ago. Another deep freeze full of thawed meat cause he was too drunk to close the door.

    Anyway, hugs. I suspect this is a form of PTSD. It all comes back SO fast...
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Beth (and all) thank you.
    I read the home page for Abilify and my son hasn't been diagnosis'd with-bipolar. Plus, the directions say they should be between the ages of 12-17, or, adults, depending upon the diagnosis. (Bipolar 1, for ex.)
    I think I should wait a cpl more yrs. Even if it's a major hassle in the meantime. I just don't think he's old enough. Especially since he's still catching up with-his Learning Disability (LD) and emotional issues. (I'm glad it worked for your difficult child though Beth! Cool.)
    Now that my son has eaten (a lot, all day, in fact) he seems to be feeling better.
    I think it's more a result of his return from camp (what do you call it when astronauts come back into the atmosphere? Decompressing?) and my expectations ... my daughter, o wise one, said, "Did you really think he'd change that much in just a month?"
    Yeah, yeah, yeah ...
  7. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Sounds like a crazy return...I too think he's adjusting being back into the swing of things and he's trying to see how many buttons he can push.

    I think letting him chose consequences is a good idea, however you need to set up the consequences prior to the actions so that he knows what to expect...he needs to know that if he back will happen...he can help you to decide the consequence but once established you should try to implement them....

    In regards to many of our kids take medications that are off child has not been diagnosed bipolar....however abilify has been the best medication for him...he's had fewer meltdowns and is less angry and agitated and has better self-control with it...stimulants...although calmed him done....made his behavior much worse....

    I am so glad you had the month to recoupe--I'm sure he's already signed up for next year. Was this a special camp for kids with adhd??? It sounds wonderful !!! I am sorry he is already acting up....
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so glad that you had a month to yourself...but YIKES...this return is no picnic!!!! :surprise:
    I think re-entry from vacation is always very hard. This goes for adults, teens, kids, get my drift. How much harder it must be for a difficult child? Perhaps double time, right? You mentioned counseling. Is he going to therapy on-going? Can he get an appointment soon? I think it is a gooood idea to instigate logical consequences for inapprporiate behavior (swearing, for example), but perhaps go a little easy on him during this re-entry period. Sometimes I think we have to do a sort of "balance thing" with our kids. But whenever's probably best to be consistent, etc.

    I would consider establishing a routine for the rest of this summer. As part of this routine, I would make sure there is a fun outing for difficult child. I would also plan for some relaxation time for you so that your head doesn't explode before fall. ;)

    When the dust settles, if you see that inroads have been made, I would sign him up for next year! LOL! (Hugs).
    Lasted edited by : Aug 4, 2008
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry that he had a rough first day. He sounds so similar to my difficult child in how he acted at B&N. I hope it is just a first day adjustment. Hugs.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Heck, I'm signing him up for LIFE!!!!

    Of course, he doesn't want to go to ANY camp right now. He even wants to stay home for Christmas. One day at a time ...

    We have an appointment. with-Dr. Riley in the a.m. I can hardly wait ...
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I suspect this is a form of PTSD. It all comes back SO fast...

    Shari, you mean, PTSD for me? I was wondering that ... back to counseling I go ...
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you are handling it great. What a splash into the deep end with him coming home. But from the things you've said I get a good sense that you're reacting with strength and detachment. Atta girl is right!

    It was a great trip and I think he learned a lot about himself. I'm glad you got the rest but I'm sorry for the bumpy landing on the reality re-entry. Hugs, ML
  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    So sorry :( It is amazing that even after all that homesickness, they revert so quickly back to the difficult child!

    My son was delightful on several recent psychiatric hospital off-ground visits. He called us at every phone time missing us terribly. The day he was officially discharged, he went back to his old demanding self. Not as volitile, so we are pleased with that, but the same feelings of entitlement!

    Good luck getting back to "normal", I hope the rest of the summer goes weel.

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Re-entry, that's it!

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We had out visit today. One of the main things we talked about was difficult child facing up to his gluten allergy. He does not want to cooperate at all.
    Yesterday he yelled at me, "It's my body and I can do what I want!"
    I replied, "Not on my watch."
    Dr. Riley suggested an allergist in NC who does shots specifically for T-cells, but difficult child immediately nixed that idea because he hates needles.

    The counselor at camp did an exercise where the kids would do something on their own and then report back to him, as a sign of responsibility. difficult child this a.m. came up with-the idea that I should drop him off at the mall with-my credit card and he would report back at a certain time. LOL. (Even the psychiatric had to hide a smile, although he was a bit alarmed at first.)
    We're trying to come up with-plans for difficult child that work, and that don't make him feel like a baby.
    I told him I'd love to give him more freedom, but he has to prove he can handle the little things first, and the dr agreed.

    I'm still wiped out. I just want to sleep for a wk. I've hardly had a moment to myself in the past wk., and that incl. easy child and husband. :whiteflag:

    I want to plan something fun with-difficult child, maybe Busch Gardens, but have to build up the emotional stamina.
  16. seekinghope

    seekinghope New Member

    Just a quickie response here to the Taco Bell.
    Does your son just not eat wheat or is it a gluten thing too?
    Because I do not eat gluten and my son also did not for 2 yrs. At 14.5 he gave up, as it was too hard with me working for him to stay on the diet.
    I know all too well that gluten has a lot of affect on moods and from what I always understood was that Taco Bell's tacos are not gluten free.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aiy yai yai! I thought they were corn tortillas! I'll drive over there by myself tomorrow and read the labels.
    Thanks for the heads-up.