Thursday, March 13, 2014

His Empty Room

I have looked forward to Noah's first night away from home for several years. It is a right of passage after all.

I always thought it would be his first sleepover with a friend, or a night with grandma and papa. Maybe his first time at summer camp.

I always thought his first night away would have happened by now.

I have mourned the absence of invites from friends and grandparents.

I never imagined his first night away would be at a psychiatric hospital. Or that one night would turn into fourteen. Or that fourteen would turn into sixteen and then more.

At night as I get ready for bed I look down the hall at his empty room. He sleeps with his door closed, but for now I keep it open. I keep his night light on. I won't pretend he is here, even if I cry myself to sleep most nights because he isn't.

I know he's not sleeping well at night. Yesterday he asked us to bring him one of his blankets from home. (The blanket you made for him when he was a baby Aunt Robyn.)

This morning we were told he is having auditory hallucinations. The door is telling him if he sleeps he will die. When I talked to him about it he said it was a dream. That isn't what he told the psychiatrist though. 

Tonight he asked if I remembered his blanket. I didn't. Now I'm awake at 1:30 am worrying and hoping nothing is talking to him, even in his dreams.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Decisions: When the head knows, but the heart is saying "la la la...shut up bitch, I can't hear you."

We find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to make a very difficult decision regarding Noah. The most difficult decision we have faced yet.  It's not that we haven't made difficult decisions about his care in the past, and I know we will likely face even more difficult decisions in the future, but this one just sucks. It means we have taken that next step forward on the path of mental illness.

Noah has been spiraling downward for several months. We've watched it happen, but kept hoping with every doctor appointment, medication change, and relatively good day scattered amongst the difficult, that maybe it would get better.

It isn't though. It isn't getting better. He is getting worse. The line is getting thinner, and more and more often I see him leaning perilously close to the edge of reality.

There are times that I am not sure if he's walking in the same world that the rest of us are. 

He needs to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He needs his medications changed and we can't do that safely at home. He needs a set of eyes on him 24/7 that aren't mine or Rich's. 

My head and gut know what needs to be done. My heart though is fighting me and fighting me hard.

I'm scared. I'm scared to leave my little boy somewhere that I can only visit twice a day for an hour at a time. 

I'm scared because he has never been away from home without us.

I'm scared that he will be scared.

I'm scared he won't be able to take GG's blanket. Or worse, that he will and it will get lost.

I'm scared that he will hate me for doing this.

I'm scared that something bad will happen to him there.

I'm scared the other kids will teach him things, or behaviors, that he doesn't need to know.

I'm scared if we don't do it he will keep getting worse.

I'm scared if we do that they won't be able to help him. 

I'm scared that I'm going to feel relief when he isn't here.

I'm scared that if we have a few days of normalcy and peace in our house, days where we aren't constantly dealing with behaviors and meltdowns, that it is going to be even harder to go back to it when he comes home. And yes, I do want to throw up after writing that because I know it is awful. I also know it is true. I don't doubt my love for him, but I am so tired. What does that say about me? 

I expected the psychiatrist to tell me today that he needs to go. Instead he left it very much up to us. He didn't say it was the wrong thing, but he also didn't say "yes, you need to do this now." He did remind me though, that I'm the grown up and that I need to look at the bigger picture, because Noah can't.

The psychologist thinks we should, and he's spent more time with Noah than the psychiatrist.

His teacher is concerned, and said today that Noah isn't the same kid he was last fall.

I know what needs to be done.

I know.

I hate it, but I know.

I'm just not sure I'm ready yet to tell my heart to shut up and let my head lead the way.

I'm scared for what is and what is yet to come.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Sometimes I bend, but I will not break.

There are times when the weight of the responsibility of raising Noah to be a decent, independent adult that is able to function in society threatens to break me.
I don't think I'm supposed to admit that though. 
As the parent of a child with special needs I should be worthy of hearing "I don't know how you do it," "I couldn't do what you do," and "he is so lucky to have you."
When I complain, and admit to not being perfect, to struggling, to god forbid needing help, it makes people uncomfortable. I rather think they prefer when I write about vibrators over sharing with the world that my son has a mental illness and it really, really sucks.
You know what? I get it!
The truth is, I lose track of that line between sharing and complaining quite often. Too often.
Yesterday, I found out that Noah will not be able to attend the special needs summer day camp he has attended for the last three years. They changed the age range of their program and somehow we missed the letter telling us that. It wasn't until earlier this week when I started to think that I have usually sent in his camp application by now that I thought to question why we had yet to hear from them.

Just as I finished a conference call with my team at work, I received the email telling me he wouldn't be able to attend this summer. 

It is without exaggeration that I say I came close to breaking. I bent, and I bent far. I thought I was going to snap. Like the snow and ice laden trees behind our house did in the storm the night before.

What are we going to do? Where will he go this summer? I will have to quit my job. I can't do that. How will we survive? What will I dooooo???

I cried. I sobbed. I took to my bed and wallowed in my tears.

Oh, the drama!

We are in the midst of snow and ice-storm school closings. Yesterday, we spent part of the day without power. My children forgot how to play with REAL toys, because Oh the injustice, there was no TV or cable or internet or Xbox. And LIFE IS SO HARD YOU GUYS! This house sucks! You obviously don't love us because we are SOOOOO bored! It's not fairrrrr! You are the worst parents ever!

I looked at them through my puffy, tear filled eyes, and said YUP. And then I cried some more.

Because I too was feeling that LIFE IS SO HARD. And IT'S NOT FAIR!

I was tired. Tired of the fight. Fighting to have a family, fighting to bring Noah home, fighting my body to get pregnant with Kiel, fighting to find Noah the help he needs, fighting the school, the system, the insurance companies, fighting my own needs and my own health. Why can't something be easy for a change!

I yelled at my children to pick up their toys, and put the coats away, and stop leaving your shoes and boots all over. 

I can't stand it! I screamed, Why can't ANYONE MAKE MY LIFE A LITTLE EASIER!

Again with the drama!

I texted Noah's behavior specialist and said "I can't do this anymore."

It didn't matter that this was far from the worst thing we have had to deal with - I bent as far as I have ever bent before. The only reason you could not hear the cracking was because my sobs were too loud.

Today I received a message from one of Kiel's teachers. Thank you universe for my boys amazing teachers - especially this one!
My dearest Kristine. I am having snack with your son and he happens to share how sad you are that you got fired from your job. He doesn't know why "that man would do that". Now she is home taking care of Noah. He was so sweet and concerned when he was telling me the story. Not sure if it is true but if it is I'm sorry you lost your job. :) I'm enjoying teaching your sweet boy. Have a good day.

This child! I am so blessed to have this boy as my son!

Kiel saw me cry at the same time he knew I was working. Both boys wanted to know what was wrong and all I told them was I received bad news. Kiel put two and two together, and since he doesn't know how to add yet, he came up with "the man fired mommy" as the answer.

It reminds me that they see everything. They see me bend, and they see me stand back up.
I wish they didn't see my tears as often as they do. Or hear my screams.
I know that I will continue to stand back up because I have no choice.

Today I know we will figure this out. We always do. We have no choice.

I just hope that when my boys see me bend like I did yesterday, then stand back up as I did today, that they realize they too can stand tall and strong after a storm.

Even better if they can do it with less drama than their mama.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Too funny not to share!

An email from Noah's teacher last week.
 -------- Original message --------
From: awesome teacher
Date: 10/25/2013 1:31 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Noah's mom
Subject:! :)

So…I’m literally laughing out loud while typing this.  We talk about some things that Noah does that just are too funny to get mad about.  I have one for you. 

Noah just came in from recess and I thought perhaps he ate something poisonous because he is running around like he is on speed and talking so quickly that its hard to even make out what he is saying right now.  when I asked him if he felt ok he replied, “yes…I feel like I just had a whole roll of gum with red dye in it that I snuck in from home and snuck out to recess with and ate the whole thing”.  He said this as he went into his backpack and then threw the empty package of gum at me (threw in a fun way throw and catch way, not aggressive). 

Any suggestions or should I just let him run on a hamster wheel (or some sensory based activities) for a while?!

As I’m typing this he is dancing and singing…shaking his butt like nothing I’ve ever seen before!!!  I have to admit…he is hilarious right now!   

Obviously I need to check the labels on the Halloween candy better.

I should probably find a new hiding place too.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Stigma is an Asshole

Oh boy do I have some stories I need to tell. Soon. Hopefully, I will have time soon.

Tonight I want to talk about stigma. Last week was Mental Illness Awareness Week. I didn't know about it though until mid-way through the week. Probably because I've been so busy the last two weeks dealing with my sons mental illness.

Is it considered irony, or just coincidence, that tonight I write about stigma, when two weeks ago I was afraid to post what was happening to us on Facebook because of the stigma?

Last week in the midst of Noah's mania and my worry that I wasn't doing enough to get him help, I knew I needed to blog. I gave it quite a bit of thought however. I decided it was okay to blog about it, but I wouldn't post it on Facebook. That way only my regular readers would see it.

I mean, you aren't really supposed to post things that aren't flowers and rainbows and unicorns or links to idiotic conservative sound bites on Facebook, right? I've received crap from family (extended) a few times about what I have shared about Noah. Because I keep it real and I guess that makes them uncomfortable.

So yes, I wasn't going to talk about his mania on Facebook. Even though that's not how I typically share our life.

I like to keep our life real. I'm not comfortable hiding the truth. Life is a balance of good and bad, so why wouldn't I share both parts?

But last week was more truth than I was sure it was socially acceptable to share.

Sure, if you are taking your kid to the ER for a broken arm or stitches, you can share away, and you'll get all kinds of comments offering prayer and healing thoughts, and concern. I mean you can relate to that right? What parent hasn't had to take their child to the ER at least once.

People don't really know what to say when you say you are calling the mental health crisis line or taking your child to the crazy people ER emergency psychiatrist. Most people can't relate to that. (I'm glad that's the case actually, I wouldn't wish this on any child or adult.)

I think I've discussed this before, and I'm not saying it again out of the same bitterness I once spoke of it (I've worked hard to move past that part of my life.),

When a child has cancer, or is born with life threatening physical defect or illness, friends and family tend to rally round. Offers of help come from all directions. Maybe someone organizes a fund raiser, or sets up a schedule to deliver meals, or help with child care. They do this because it is all too easy to imagine the same horrible thing happening to your own child. It's a visceral reaction. You can't help but put yourself in the shoes of that parent. And you give thanks to who or what you believe in, that it isn't your child.

But when mental illness strikes a family, it's uncomfortable. No one really knows what to say. Or you receive the offers of prayer and kind thoughts initially, but the expectation is that you won't bring it up again. It's too uncomfortable. Too messy. If it isn't happening to your child you can't relate. It scares you because you don't understand it. You don't want your children around it, even though you know it isn't contagious.

If only people could understand that mental illness is a disease of the brain in the same way cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease are diseases of the body. The only difference is that in many cases those diseases of the body can be cured, the diseases of the brain can be treated, but you don't necessarily cure bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety. You hope you manage it.

Everything that is going on with Noah is in his brain. Not just the bipolar disorder.

So stigma.

Stigma isolates.
Stigma hides.
Stigma prevents some from getting care.
Stigma is an asshole.

So help remove the asshole.
Remove the stigma!

If your friend has a mental illness, be a shoulder for them. Give them a hug. Acknowledge their illness. Let them talk if they want to, don't belittle their illness. Offer them help in more concrete ways as well, help them catch up with laundry, or pick up their house, take them a meal. When you are fighting to control your own brain it doesn't leave much energy to do the normal day to day activities like house keeping. Take their kids for a couple hours so they can have some quiet time.

If you have a friend with a child with a mental illness do the same thing. But also consider how it is affecting their other children if they have them. Consider how exhausted that parent might be from fighting to get help for their child while parenting their child who very well could be quite difficult to raise. Take them a meal occasionally, or take the child out for a couple hours. (Noah would be thrilled to have someone take him out to shoot hoops or kick the soccer ball around. He holds it together better with other people, because he feels less safe to fall apart with them.) Or offer to babysit so the parents can go out. Too many marriages of parents with children of special needs fail. (Something like 85%. Rich and I aren't immune to the lousy stats either.)

When you have a child with an illness (physical or mental) it's a rough road. I don't need to tell anyone that. What makes it harder though is feeling like you have to hide one but not the other.

Stop the stigma. 


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

This was last week. It's not over.

Since the incident at soccer Noah has become increasingly fast. Not fast like "wow, watch that kid run" fast, but "wow, this kid is manic" fast. Or in other words, Noah's been riding the wackadoodle express, and frankly, it doesn't look like he's headed for a station any time soon.

Typically, Noah holds himself together at school fairly well. He's able to do that because of his awesome teacher and all of the supports he has in place. He has rough days here and there, but for the most part his behavior is acceptable.

This week he hasn't been able settle at school at all. He's all over the place, talking fast, racing through his work, not able to sit still, and very argumentative.

When Noah's teacher says he had a rough day I believe him. When he says Noah is wild or a mess. I get concerned. Especially when what I'm seeing at home is the same thing.

Monday we had an intake visit with a new therapist. In the past Noah has barely interacted with doctors and therapists. Monday he wouldn't stop talking. He also wouldn't stop moving. In this 8 x 8 office he was all over the place. The couch, me, under the therapists desk, hanging upside down over the couch, jumping on the couch. You name it, if he could do it in that little room he did. He was so happy though, and kind of silly in a fun way. It was exhausting, but I couldn't really get mad at him because it was so different from his typical melt downs.

Tuesday he was like that as well, but he was more irritable and argumentative. He refused to come inside after playing and kept running from the front door to the back door. It was a little like chasing a puppy, except that I don't chase. And pork chops don't work as bait.

Wednesday his teacher emailed me saying he was concerned and that Noah again hadn't settled all day. I knew we had to do something, but I wasn't sure what. I emailed his neurologist and was told to take him to the ER. If I had any concerns that they weren't going to be able to handle Noah's psych needs before, I know it now.

Unfortunately, we are in between psychiatrists right now. We were asked to leave the last one (that's a blog post just waiting to be written) and can't get in with the new one until November. In the meantime we have been seeing a neurologist. I thought we would be OK in this "in between" time, but obviously I was wrong.

I paced my office Wednesday trying to figure out what to do. Do we take him to the ER? Am I ready for him to be hospitalized? NO. I'm not. He's bad right now, but I don't think we are there yet.

So I called our counties child mental health hotline and spoke with a crisis worker. We discussed options. An hour later she was at our house. We sat on our back deck and she talked with Noah. He paced back and forth but he did have a conversation with her. In the end we decided to take him for an emergency psych evaluation the next morning.

That was yesterday. I wasn't sure what to expect. We were seeing a psychiatrist I knew nothing about. I never even Googled the guy.

The doc was great. He really picked up on all of what was going on with Noah. Of course Noah made it pretty easy for him. Again he was all over the office. He was more like a two year old than a ten year old.

We have adjusted his medications and are hopeful. He wasn't manic last night, which is the first time in five days I've seen him settled.

I wrote this last Friday. I didn't get a chance to finish writing it until tonight. A lot has happened since then.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Conversations with Kiel

It's time to lighten things up a bit I think, and I have a handful of funny stories from the last couple weeks that all deserve a blog post. Maybe I'll actually write them.

Snuggling in bed with Kiel the other night and he was telling me about one of the girls in his kindergarten class and how she likes his new hair cut. Apparently she is his girlfriend and he's going to marry her. I asked when he was going to ask her to marry him and he told me that "no, she has to ask me."

It was quiet for a few minutes and then Kiel said "It's good I'm not a girl." And this is the conversation that followed:

Mom: Why?

Kiel: Because I don't want to have to marry a boy.

Mom: Oh. Hmm...but Kiel, sometimes boys do marry boys.

Kiel:(In a high pitched I don't believe you kind of voice.) What?  No way.

Mom: Yes, they do. What's important is that they love each other, and sometimes boys love boys.

Kiel: And they get married? And like kiss?

Mom: Yup.

Kiel: Oh. That is so weird.

Mom: And you know what? Sometimes girls marry girls, and that's ok too.

Kiel: OK. Stop. You are FREAKING.ME.OUT.

(It was all I could do not to laugh at his reaction at this point.)

Mom: Well, mostly boys love girls, but sometimes boys love boys and girls love girls, and that's ok. I'm pretty sure you love girls, but if you don't that's ok.

Kiel: Oh, I know I love girls.

Mom: I just blew your mind didn't I.

Kiel: I don't know what that means, I'm only five.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Update to "And then this happened...(episode two: the asshat parent)"

So after I wrote this post, we received a group email from the faux coach.

Hi Parents, I would like to sincerely apologize to Noah's parents. I should've handled it privately with them. My emotions got the best of me and I feel awful the way I handled it.  

I am VERY sorry. 

I appreciate that he apologized, and I'm sure he does feel bad. I wish I could accept it with more grace than I am.

It's like we tell Noah, words hurt, and sometimes an apology doesn't fix it. No child should have another parent (or worse, a coach) screaming about how horrible he is to everyone around him. 

Today we heard from Noah's real coach. The faux coach was told his actions were unacceptable and that he is no longer needed on the team, effective immediately. Between you and me, I think the coach was relieved to have an excuse to get rid of him. 

More importantly though, Noah's coach also told us that because Noah was aggressive and apparently harmed another player, he was being suspended from the league for two weeks. His coach had to report it to the commissioner of the league and they take it seriously. Noah won't be allowed to practice or play with the team for two weeks. He will be reinstated for the last game of the season and for playoffs

I have very mixed feelings right now.

On one hand I absolutely agree with this decision, and so does Rich. Noah needs to know there are consequences for his actions. I think this consequence coming from someone other than us, will have more impact on Noah than anything we do. 

When I told Noah he was suspended he was upset. I was actually pleased to see him react this way. Sometimes he closes down and refuses to discuss or even react when he is held accountable for his actions. He is still insisting that he didn't punch anyone though. I'm hoping I'll get more information tomorrow when I actually speak to the coach (we were given this information via email today because we weren't home when he tried to call). The more details I have about the incident the better I can discuss it with Noah and try to get him to understand that just because he alters the story, the details of the actual event don't change.

I tried to explain to Noah that the team will suffer too, because of what Noah did. Noah is a good player, and not having him there to play puts more pressure on the rest of the kids.

So the other hand? I'm sad. Incredibly sad. 

This fall I've been the one taking Noah to practice and I've enjoyed it. I've been able to relax on the sidelines with the other moms that stay for practice. I've actually formed friendships with some of the moms and have looked forward to seeing them at practice during the week. I don't make friends easily, and I often find the moms in this area intimidating. It's been so nice finding moms that I feel comfortable with.

Because of Noah's suspension I won't see any of the parents for the next two weeks. Because of the faux coaches little performance Saturday, I imagine they will assume that Noah was kicked off the team. I know I shouldn't care what other parents think, but I do. Some of them will think Noah is a horrible kid, especially because of the faux coaches little tirade. If Noah plays with their kids again, which is very likely between soccer and basketball, their view of Noah is likely to be pretty negative if they think he was throwing punches at the other team.

And to continue the "all about me" pity party - I look forward to the games so much because soccer is the one "normal" thing in Noah's world. The one place he fits in with his peers. The one place where I hear other parents cheering for him and saying "great kick Noah," "way to go Noah." So I'm really sad that we aren't going to have this hour of awesome for the next two weeks. It's been really nice pretending for that hour that we are just normal parents.


And then this happened...(episode two: the asshat parent)

Soccer today. Noah's been playing great this season. Watching him play is always the highlight of my week. Today was no exception while he was on the field.

Off the field however...*sigh*  Turns out when he wasn't playing he was dumping out the other kids water bottles. It wasn't just Noah, but my guess is he started it.

We played a team from a neighboring township. They are undefeated and until today had never allowed another team to score. The game would have ended 2-2 except our team scored their second goal with an extra player on the field. Want to guess who that player was? Yup. It was Noah. Just hanging out on defense.

Two of the dad's from the other team jumped up out of their chairs screaming to the ref that our team had eight players on the field instead of seven. So the goal didn't count and we lost, but our team still played an awesome game!

After the game is when the fun really started. And by fun I mean horror.

The kids on both teams line up and high five each other after each game. Today Noah decided he'd power high five the other team. Fists may or may not have been involved. Kids on the other team say he did. Noah said he only gave really hard high fives. As I explained to Noah though, I tend to believe the other kids since Noah has such a hard time telling the truth in situations like this.

Bad choice on Noah's part!

The absolutely best part of all of this though, and by best I mean most horrifying, was that one of the dad's, who likes to play "assistant" coach  (and yes, I did mean to emphasize ass. He only wants to coach during games, not practices. We call him the faux coach) blew a nut and came running across the field screaming for "Noah's parents."

Looking back it's kind of funny. I remember watching him run and almost turning to Rich and saying "wow, the faux coach is running."

So back to our story - the faux coach runs across the field screaming for Noah's parents.

If I'd been thinking on my feet better I would have turned around pretending to look for them and then told him I think they left. But I wasn't. Instead I stood up and said "we are, what happened."

Still screaming, the faux coach told us (and all the parents on both teams) that Noah "punched the other team" and he wants him "kicked off the team for unsportsmanlike behavior."

Rich and I of course immediately went over to Noah to deal with him; both of us thinking from what he said that Noah was actually fighting kids on the other team. (Noah, to his credit was sitting on the ground away from the rest of the team, well aware he was in trouble.) I know the faux coach was still screaming but I guess I'll have to wait to hear from the other parents at practice this week what he was saying.

We talked with the real coach, and Noah knows he made some pretty poor choices today. The coach assured us Noah isn't going to be kicked off the team and he apologized for the faux coach. In the future Rich may hang out on the team side to make sure Noah is behaving. We made him clean up all the trash on the field since we were the last game. Then he came home and spent some time "thinking" in his room before he wrote an apology letter to his coach. He also lost electronic privileges for the day.

It's taken a few hours for the tight feeling in my chest to loosen up, which is much more about the faux coach making this a public spectacle than anything else. I'm half tempted to ask him if he was at McDonald's approximately seven years ago and yelled at a mom in sweat pants because her son pushed his son in the play area.

The good news is that like earlier in the week, I think Noah really does get why what he did is wrong. That's new for him. It gives me hope. Now we need to work on thinking before acting. I'm not as hopeful about that.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Well this happened...(episode one: the gracious parent)

I kind of, maybe, hope anyway, that we kind of might have had a bit of a breakthrough with Noah this week. Or maybe not. It's hard to say.

The not so short version is that Noah and the boys next door (the ones we share a driveway and backyard with) got into it the other night. Noah's version includes the other boys threatening to kill him with a plastic baseball bat. (Now, to his credit I did see them with the bat and they are very mouthy at times, and definitely provoke Noah.) Noah's response was to throw a rock at them, which hit one of them in the head and cut his scalp. Much screaming and crying ensued, along with some blood. The other boys is fine, it wasn't a big cut despite the blood. However, the mom came over and told me that her kids would no longer be allowed to play with my kids. And you know what? I totally get it, and agree.

We agreed that none of our kids are angels and that right now the best thing we can do is keep them apart since all they do is provoke each other. That is going to be interesting considering the shared driveway and yard. I guess it will be first come first served and if they are in front we will stay in back. Like I said, it will be interesting.

It sucks though. I think mostly this is just stupid boy stuff but because Noah is Noah he gets more of the blame. I think the other boys did threaten him and since his brain goes into fight or flight so quickly (do not pass Go, do not collect $200) he reacted. He said he thought the only way he could get away was by scaring them with the rock. However, in the end, he was the one that threw the rock that hit someone. The other kids didn't actually hit him with the bat.

Our neighbors are really being pretty awesome about it, considering. (Especially since they are the neighbors whose window Noah broke in the spring. Did I tell you that story yet?) I don't think everyone would have been so gracious about it.

Noah and I had a long talk about what happened and he was unusually attentive and involved in the discussion. I know he was upset that he hurt the boy and when he threw the rock he never considered it could actually hurt someone. Typical thinking for him. I was very honest with him about what could have happened and that we are lucky no one called the police. We talked about what would happen if the police did come, and that because of things he has done in the past there was a good chance he would be taken to the hospital to see a psychiatrist and probably would have had to spend the night without Rich or me. Scare tactics on my part? Maybe a little. Did it work? I think so. Will he remember in the future? Hard to say. Probably not in the moment.

After all that I totally lost it and sobbed for a good hour. At one part I was crying so bad I started to hyperventilate. I don't think I've ever done that before. I know my reaction was way over the top, but at the time I felt like our world was ending.

That was Thursday evening. Today we dealt with another parent. Stay tuned for episode 2: the asshat parent.