I think I've told you, but maybe not, the reason we kept Micah here instead of sending him over with Sadie, Dylan, and Ben:
I know Micah. Very well. And I know that he gets really angry, like, all the time. So angry that he will threaten people with sharp objects. He will throw things at people and make them bleed. It's an issue. And with Ben working and Dylan and Sadie being latchkey kids - adding Micah to the mix would be a really bad idea. Dyl and Sadie get along great, and they're pretty self-sufficient. They have a phone that they can use to call Ben if necessary after school. But Micah and Dylan don't get along, and Micah and Sadie don't get along. Micah is the common denominator. Always. Micah and Sadie sometimes play so well together. But mostly, they are toxic to each other. True frenemies. And Micah...well, he's extremely social. And he gets bored easily. His catch phrase, his theme, is "I'm bored." He says it like 100 times a day. When he gets bored, he torments people (and dogs). Pokes them. Throws things at them. Gets in their faces. After awhile, Sadie and/or Dylan will be like, "Enough!" and attempt to go to their room or into another room to get some space. And Micah will follow them to wherever they've retreated and continue to torment. And things escalate until someone is crying and has a bruise. Usually Dylan or Sadie.
Micah is just that scrappy. He's beating up his 11-year-old brother.
Obviously, I intervene - I feel that's how I used to spend my whole day. Playing referee. But sometimes the owies occurred while I was racing into the room to intervene.
It's not that I haven't tried to keep him occupied. Whenever I have a chance, I try to spend time with him; do something fun with him. But when we were all together as a family, I had three other kids to take care of. So I couldn't always entertain him. I often used a phrase from Shrek 2: "Find a way to entertain yourself." He needs to learn the art of self-entertainment. Every now and then he'll figure out something fun to do, but a lot of time, he just needs...direction. It's hard.
My dad chalks Micah's behavior up to the "Sad Sixes." He heard from someone that kids, at age 6, just cry a lot. They're sad a lot. I tell Dad that, if that's the case, Micah has been sad since the second he was born. He's just extremely intense. Always has been. I'd say he's mad or sad maybe 75% of the time.
My gut instinct is that he has something going on in his little brain. He has lots of family history with depression and other mental disorders; I really wouldn't be surprised if there was something going on with him. A couple of years ago, I got him tested through the school district, and their conclusion was that he had some kind of depression or anxiety disorder, but that there was no funding for help with emotional disorders. Just developmental delay, speech, etc. I don't know if that's true; I kind of don't trust my school district anymore.
And then last year, I revisited the subject with his school counselor. She said that his behavior had to affect his success in the classroom, as well as home and one other place. I remember when we had Dylan tested for ADHD. The conclusion was that it was affecting him at home, at school, and at church. And it really was. So he was able to get that testing done for free through the school district, and they sent their findings to our pediatrician, and we were able to get him some medication.
Anyways, last year, when I talked to his counselor (and it seems to also be the case this year), he had PERFECT BEHAVIOR in the classroom. He was saving it all for home, it seems. Same with at church. A little bit of social anxiety, but mainly, really good behavior. So we couldn't get that free testing. I could have taken him to a child psychologist for testing, but we couldn't afford the $400. (Our insurance didn't cover it, of course.)
I just...want to know what's going on with him. I'm following my mother's instinct. There is something going on in his brain. I feel it. I know it. I'm acquainted enough with mental illness to feel that that is the issue at hand with him. So if he can get counseling or whatever to help him cope with life, that's what I really want for him. I want to get him help.
Luckily, all four of my kids qualify for Medicaid in Oregon. As soon as we get Micah up there, we can get cheap or free help from professionals for him. Some testing to see what he's dealing with. Some help so that he's not so pissed off all the time.
The poor kid is stuck here with three adults and no siblings, and he's bored to tears, of course. We arrange playdates for him, but when he gets home from those, it's back to the, "I'm so bored! Who can I play with?" It's exhausting, frankly. My darling mom always comes up with ideas to help entertain him. She got him a birdhouse to paint:
His redeeming quality is the funny crap he says.
(On the first day of school.)
After my first chemo, Micah was coughing and fevering pretty badly. We took him to the Community Care place, and when the doctor was examining him, he said, very seriously, "I have nipples in my throat..." It turns out that he had strep throat. :)
The doc had Micah lie down so he could kind of push on Micah's tummy, and suddenly, he burst out with, "MY UNDIES ARE TOO TIGHT!!" I guess it had been bugging him for quite some time. While the doc went out to write a prescription for an antibiotic, Micah took off his undies and threw them in the garbage, electing to go commando in his pants all the way home.
When we were driving somewhere with Molly, my parent's dog, he said to her, "Molly, someday you'll be a woman."
Last week, Micah and I had to go to a meeting at the school (Micah qualifies for Title 1 for reading, and it was a meeting about that), and Micah looked all around at the mommies there. Then he looked at me in my hat. He said, "Why do you have to be bald all the time? It's very boring."
Translation: "Why don't you look like the other moms?"
So when we got home, I sat him down and said, "Okay, babe, why don't I have hair?"
"Because it fell out."
"Right. Why did it fall out?"
"I don't know."
"What disease do I have that makes hair fall out?" (I didn't want to get into the whole chemo thing. That's beyond his comprehension right now. For now, we're just saying that cancer makes hair fall out.)
"No, babe. I have cancer. Cancer. You went to a camp for a whole week where you talked about cancer. That's what I have. Did I choose to get cancer?"
"So it's not my fault that I don't look like the other moms. But what's cool is that my hair will start to grow back in a few months, babe. And before you know it, I'll look like the other moms."
So for now, we just keep...giving him the attention he needs. Not putting up with his crap. Trying to protect the poor dog from him. If the Oregon Medicaid will let us get Micah tested here, that would be really cool. I'll cross that bridge once we get his card number. They have taken ten million years to get it processed, of course.
And you need to know - Micah is really great in a lot of ways. He's extremely artistic. He's the best snuggler ever. He adores his cousin Ivy and is very gentle and kind with her. I know there's a happy kid inside there. We just need to find a way to break him out of this Angry Jail Cell that he's trapped inside.