* Ups and Downs

Today was kind of a hard day for Rio. Blame it on Monday, especially after a prolonged weekend.

This morning we had a pretty rough start, and unfortunately that set the tone for the rest of the day. Usually, mornings are Rio's best times. If school started at 7 AM and let out at 1:00 Rio would be a lot better off, but you can't have it all. Anyway, it unraveled when I turned down his request for honey on his cereal. That's a weekend treat, and I know better than to send him to school with the even the slightest sugar buzz. But explaining that to Rio is difficult. Thereafter, he was defiant and resistant to my every request, finally plopping down in the middle of the kitchen, arms crossed, announcing that he most definitely was NOT going to school.

So I leveled with him. "Look, Rio, I don't want to go to work, either. No, sir, not one bit. I'd much rather stay home today. But I can't. I have to go to work and there's no getting out of it. I guess I could go to work and complain about how boring my job is and how it stinks sitting there at my desk all day, and how I'd rather be anywhere than work. OR I could make the best of it, and enjoy the fact that I don't have to work outside when it's cold, and I that I have a cool boss, and that my job isn't stressful. I'm thankful for that, and I'm going to remember that while I finish getting ready for work. I want you to do the same."

I left him sitting there and went into the bathroom to complete my preparations. When I emerged he was in his room looking for something for show and tell. Crisis narrowly averted.

This afternoon Rio had his second session with his counselor, a behavioral therapist. She's still getting to know him, and she's focusing on his anger management and self-calming skills for now. We played a board game called "Anger Solutions." I can't say I was terribly impressed with that bit of PC fluff, but I was a good sport nonetheless. So far Rio has been very receptive with his counselor. He's always happy there, and obviously feels comfortable and relaxed. The only trouble is that there's a lot I need to fill her in on, and I can't do it when Rio is there. I want to catch her up on my recent conferences with his teacher and principal, and talk to her about this book the school counselor gave me. It's called The Explosive Child and I have to admit it describes Rio's behavior with remarkable accuracy. She's hard to reach by phone, but I think I'll write to her. That will also help me sort out my thoughts.

I'm hoping to get her to back me up in the event that Rio's principal decides to ship him back to our district school. Of course, I'm really hoping that that won't be necessary because Rio will be making improvements in leaps and bounds. But I still have this cynical (I know) suspicion that she's stuck in her own agenda, and if I don't agree to have him assessed and promptly medicated, she will wash her hands of him. However, if I can get his counselor to push my agenda - Operation Establish Stability - then we can at least get her to let Rio finish out the school year where he's at. My argument is that this last year has been especially tumultuous for Rio, even more than it might be for any other kid, and he's never really had much stability since he's been born. We've been fairly nomadic, and I've only just this summer built my nest, a nest I can keep and call my own. For good. For Rio. Please, just let him stay at your school just a little longer? He doesn't need to start all over again somewhere new.

Meanwhile, I'm buying him all the time I can. I will play the good cooperative parent, to a point. Then, I will be polite and tactful, but firm. The rest is up to Divine Providence.

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