I went to see difficult child 2 yesterday. I had a minute to talk with the night nurse about how he was doing. As much as I hate to say this, difficult child showed his rear yesterday, for which I was happy. That sounds so awful to say outloud, but you guys know where I'm coming from. They need to see him in action in order to understand what we're dealing with at home. He didn't have a meltdown, but he showed enough of himself that the staff was able to see how easily he could escalate into one. All over a spoon. A spoon, for crying out loud!! He had something for lunch that needed a spoon. He told the nurse to go get him one. She said no, he knew how to properly request things he needed. He demanded. She said no. He demanded again, fists clenched. Another staffer moved strategically behind him. The nurse reminded him that there are ways to ask for things, but he was demanding, which would not get him what he wanted. He finally "got it" and asked if he could "please" have a spoon. BINGO!! He did it! He got it without a meltdown, but the nurses said they could see his frustration building. The other staffer moving behind him apparently made him realize that he was "going there" (leading up to a meltdown) and was enough for him to get himself back under control. Of course, when the nurse took a minute too long praising him, without getting him the spoon, he asked "Well? Are you going to get me one?" Ugh. So, he didn't have a meltdown, but he was being demanding/defiant enough for them to see through the nice young man facade. Don't get me wrong. He's not being manipulative about it. He really isn't. He really is a nice young man most of the time. It's when the world doesn't fit his idea of what should be that he's difficult. Like with the spoon, he just doesn't "get it" that his behavior dictates how people respond to him. He doesn't understand the subtle differences between asking for something nicely and demanding. Then he doesn't understand why the result he gets isn't what he wants & depending on the situation, that can lead to meltdowns. However, in a "new" environment, he generally gets on beautifully for a time. That whole honeymoon thing. I was kind of hurt that he really didn't want to visit yesterday. He was in the activity room, engrossed in the TV. He wasn't in the mood to "visit." It's so hard to get him to switch gears, I just wasn't up to fighting him on it. We (difficult child 1 and I) sat with him and the other kids for a bit, but it was obvious he wasn't going to switch gears without serious proding, which would have made the whole visit unpleasant. I didn't want unpleasant. I want him to want to visit with us. If he doesn't, well, then we won't...much as it hurts. The way I see it, the visits are for him, not for us. It lets him know we're thinking of him, we love him, and we're supporting him. If he doesn't want to visit, then I won't push it. (Although it really did hurt my feelings that he doesn't "show" any signs of missing being at home. I know he does, but it would be nice to "see" it...even if that is just me being selfish.) Much as I hate to say it, I'm happy he's not honeymooning so much so that the staff doesn't see what he's there for. Although, difficult child 2 freely admits he has problems controling his anger. He told the staff he knows why he's there and knows he needs to be there. So, in that regard, he's not trying to snow anyone. But it does make it easier for them to help him if they can see what triggers him. If they can see where he's having difficulties. But you guys know all this. I don't know why I'm babbling on about stuff to folks I know have so been there. I guess it just helps me sort it all out in my head. On a positive note, difficult children 1 & 3 had a great day yesterday. They seem to be handling difficult child 2's hospitalization fine. Sad to say, this isn't anything "unusual" for them. They know the drill and just kind of go with it. This is life with difficult child 2. Scarey when you think about it, that they're "used" to having a brother on the psyche unit. But, we had a good day yesterday. I took them to Animaland at the mall. (It's the same thing as Build a Bear Workshop.) They each got to build an animal, and they worked together to build one for difficult child 2. At first, difficult child 1 thought the whole idea was too babyish. (Maybe so for a 14, going on 15 year old) But, once we got into the shop and started picking out animals and outfits and stuff, she really started having fun with it. She built a punk rock kitty for her boyfriend, and helped pick out an outfit for difficult child 2's tiger. It was nice to have a "normal" family outing for a change. I'm taking them horseback riding this afternoon before we go to see difficult child 2. With everything going on this past week or so, they haven't even been able to ride their new horses yet. We bought all new tack, just for difficult child 1 and 3, and the tags are still sitting on everything. In all honesty, I should be getting caught up on schoolwork (I have 4 assignments overdue, plus 3 more due on Tuesday) and client work. I should be getting that stuff taken care of, but at this point, I think the kids need me more. If you've made it this far through my mental rambling, congrats. I tend to be long-winded, for those of you who don't know me. I come here to think outloud alot. lol. That's what keeps me sane.