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2006-02-09 - 9:30 p.m.

A reason I visited a cardiologist before starting medication for ADHD

http://www.fda.gov/oc/advisory/accalendar/2006/cder12535dd02091006.html

The good news is that the particular drug I am taking has really been used for years for OTHER things... not that studies related to the effects on the heart were ever done, but it makes it MORE likely.

I do notice positive benefits. I just need to buckle down and get cracking on actually studying then re-take that BAR exam .

A good reason to not get distracted by nonsense like this, a recent LAUGHABLE LETTER. NOTE THE incorrectly spelled word (OK I ADMIT I EDITED THAT. IS MIS-SPELLING HYPHENATED OR NOT? REAL IRONY AS I AM NOT SURE HOW TO SPELL MISSPELL and that was the word I FIRST CHOSE IN THE SENTENCE BEFORE THIS PARENTHETICAL!) ARE YOU BETTER THAN THE LIBRARIAN IN THE FOLLOWING LETTER AT YOUR COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE??? (OK I SHOULDN'T COMMENT... I am the misspelling queen.... but my grammer is outstanding ! ANd I misspell in my journals BUT PROOF PROFESSIONAL WORK METICULOUSLY!)

Here's the letter from the opposite of a stereotypical anarchist militant libarian! She's the new and improved military style pro- establishment, don't color outside the lines type which I think is interesting particularlly in light of an article that I recently read in my ALMA MARTA LAW SCHOOL entitled "THE miliartization of our society"

I SEE the effects (note that is not AFFECTS you librarians who need help with those homonyms, or is it synomyms... oh but don't ask a libarain, they WON'T KNOW! Just being sarcastic... I REALLY know which it is but am having a blast envisioning the wacko Libarian reading this! I am just imagining that scenario along with her persona of the militaristic dictator of a librarian: She sees it as in the interest of the NATIONAL SECURITY and her library being an intregal part in doing their part... that she has tracked my computer usage at her place of domain and now maybe she reads this site ! The article about the PATRIOT ACT was really A FRONT! Hey that would EXPLAIN why she thinks me a threatening nut! Maybe she did READ MY SITE and was upset by my stereotypical characterization of her LAST WEEK. Now I HATE stereotypes and wouldn't really ever UTTER them-- but sometimes its downright FUN to vent in anger at people who have been upsetting by using helpful descriptions! The only problem in this case is that I actually BELEIVED that there WAS TRUTH in the previous characteristic of her... and I HELD ON TO THAT HOPE IN FINDING SOME REDEEMING QUALITY IN HER SO AS TO NOT BE BITTER!! THAT STEREOTYPE GAVE ME GREAT COMFORT AS AT LEAST IT MEANT MAYBE I WOULD FIND SOME GREAT COUNTERCULTURE DOCUMENTARY which would have been a TERIFFIC way to feel like her harm had been REDEEMED! OH NO! NOW IS THERE ANY POSSIbILITY FOR THIS LIBRARIAN TO EVER SEEM AT ALL LIKABLE TO ME?? NOT LIKELY!)

Here's the letter she forwarded to the BOARD of TRUSTEES as well:


We met on January 31st to discuss the continuing concerns that we have with your family°«s behavior when you use the library and its impact on our patrons and staff. OUR Story Program Coordinator attempted to outline expectations for YOUR CHILDREN to follow during story time. We do not feel you were receptive to our suggestions.

It is our responsibility to insure that all programs attendees and general library users are able to anticipate a pleasant library experience free of upsetting disruptions. This has not been the case as staff and patrons alike have come to us with concerns and complaints about your family°«s behavior. As a result, we have concluded that our story program is not the right program for you and your family°«s needs.

Although we regret this necessary step we want to encourage you to use other services in the library with the understanding and acceptance of the points outlined in the °»Patron Code of Conduct°… enclosed here.

END OF EXCERPT FROM THE CLASSIC LETTER! WELL IT GETS BETTER THAN THAT!

I read it and thought "It is my conclusion that since WE BOUGHT A HOUSE BECAUSE of the proximity of the library" and "since I ASKED the librarian to MEET MY KIDS to HELP ME OUTLINE BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS"

and "YOU MISSED THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE THE AGENDA WHEN IT WAS OFFERED"

and in fact met with my 3 and 5 year old. THAT it would seem that MY EFFORT to have the kids meet JUST TO GO OVER EXPECTATIONS and MY COURTOUSY of Even ASKING The librarin HER OPINION about parenting (which is REALLY outside her job description) BUT MOST ESPECIALLY since IN TEN MONTHS WE HAVE NEVER SO DISRUPTED ANYONES USE AND ENJOYMENT OF THE LIBRARY... that I think I am going to follow the suggestion of the deputy town clerk, who was so ACCOMADATING AND WELCOMING OF THE CHILDREN AND I WHILE WE PERSUSED NY STATE law and read about a variety of legal issues....

and advised that were she in my place SHE would just IGNORE the nonsense letter and GO to story hour as the kids were expecting. (ESPECIALLY AFTER THEY HAD THEIR MEETING AND WERE TOLD THEY COULD ONLY GO IF THEY MET THE LIBRARIAN and THEY DID SO VERY RESPECTFULLY!!)

The fact the librarians later freaked out that I was IN FACT NOT EVEN PARTY to that meeting, but supervised my children THROUGH the door--- really isn't MY PROBLEM, but rather I think poses a real LEGAL PROBLEM for them as they can't claim that meeting was in any way related to anything other than a meeting with a 3 and 5 year old.

NOw just WHAT CAN a 3 and 5 year old do in a children's room during story hour, or in a meeting with TWO Librians that are going over story hour rules THAT WOULD BE SO THREATENING TO THE ORDER AND CONTROL OF THE FUNCTIONINC OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY SUCH THAT OTHERS CAN NOT ENJOY ITS USE OR LIBRARIANS CAN"T EFFECTIVELY DO THEIR JOBS??


I would think NOTHING... unless you have on your hands TOTALLY INCOMPETENT LIBRARIANS!

ISn't that whole thing rather hysterical?

The best part about it of all is that it was just so great to see the EXEC DIRECTOR Look like a TOTAL ASS as she was hardcore in entering the CHILDREN's libary story hour TO KICK US OUT OF IT ON WED!! It was REALLY CLASSIC !! I Mean she had NO IDEA of what an idiot she looked like saying "If you don't leave I am going to have to call the police" when I said "I will leave if my children are so disruptive that they are compromising the enjoyment of story hour" and she repeated it and I said "If you have to you of course can do that" The other mothers had all they could do not to laugh that this woman REALLY WOULD HAVE CALLED THE POLICE based on our MERE PRESENCE. But we were all saved of her GREAT EMBARASSMENT as Raitlin just THEN decided to do something she NEVER did before (Which is ironically VERY FUNNY) She sat down and started to scream "I WILL NOT FOLLOW THE RULES OF STORY HOUR" in VERY DRAMATIC PROTEST of the BIG DEAL being made! And she kept screaming "I WILL NOT FOLLOW THE RULES OF STORY HOUR!" So much for the parenting help of librarians! Maybe she REALLY IS A BRILLIANT THREE YEAR OLD who figured she better misbehave than get arrested AT AGE 3 like Curious George was, ! (I think we shall read that book tommorrow!) I was in fact ready to exercise civil disobedience! I thought HOW GREAT THAT STORY WOULD GO OVER IN THE LOCAL NEWS: LIBRARIAN HAS MOM ARRESTED FOR TAKING PRESCHOOLERS TO A PRESCHOOL STORY HOUR after being told that they were disruptive! I mean I WOULD HAVE BEEN DELIGHTED to have her go so over the top to have called the police! REALLY what would they do? Tell us that it REALLY DOES violate the law to ignore her letter? So I called them and they said YES WE WOULD HAVE IF SHE PREVIOUSLY SENT A LETTER STATING YOU CAN'T BE THERE. They said "YOU would have a legal case though" THAT'S RIGHT SHOULD SHE CALL THE POLICE WE HAVE CLEAR LEGAL STANDING... and the BOARD OF THE LIBRARY would JUST LOVE THE PUBLICITY THAT WOULD BRING THEIR PLACE! I MEAN THIS LADY IS SUCH AN IDIOT TO THINK THAT WOULD HELP HER JOB SECURITY! ITs not like my family is REALLY that unusual!

I expected her to kick us out of story hour yesterday... but wasn't going to quietly let her be manipulative in FEIGNING a BS MEETING over the BS TOPIC of story hour being a real big concern when I know that was just total crap as she had some issue with when I responded to her completely unprofessional attack on my parenting RATHER than her having just been PROFESSIONAL and addressing the screaming of my 16 month old in an APPROPRIATE MANNER a few weeks back. (that would have been "You have to leave now as this is too loud of a disruption" rather than "ARE YOU GOING TO JUST IGNORE YOUR BABY!!""

I don't even have a baby anymore! Thus the difficult age of "terrible twos" really was the onset of the library crisis! That is the emerging PSYCOLOGICAL development of terrible twos but WITHOUT accelerated language to go with it! Average language skills in an otherwise developmentally advanced 16 month old can result in extreme frustration and screaming best ignored while teaching APPROPRIATE ways to communicate that WILL Get a RESPONSE!! So that day the little one learned a new sign for LET's GO! and was delighted after she shut up enough that I would give her ATTENTION again and then taught it to her! Oh, yes that REALLY works (the ignoring a behavior you want to achieve extinction of! It works for ADULTS TOO!! AS when I achieved EXTINCTION of the whole family behavior of YELLING ACROSS THE HOUSR TO EACH OTHER which thankfully no one does MUCH anymore)

IN fact TONIGHT when Alexy started screeching during reading of bedtime storys as she WANTED TO SEE THE BOOK I then promptly shut it and sang a quick melody of how "Due to screaming, I am leavin...very quickly rather than reading... no use pleading... you need to take your blanky and get cozy and learn to listen and imagine the story. If you did that I would read some more to quiet girls. YOu need to learn to lay and imagine pictures....but if your a screecher , I'm out of here quicker!"

OK So maybe the screaming stopped as SHE WANTED ME TO STOP READING the adventures of Pippi, and Alexy loves when I make up silly rhymes for her.

My favorite thing to do when reading for bedtime is to get a book WITHOUT pictures as it is ALWAYS MUCH MORE RELAXING for the girls since none of them beg to see the pictures and no one whines that their sister got to see it longer than they did!

So we are REALLY enjoying the 2nd in the Pippi series. (I think Pippi Goes on Board)

I recommend THE FLEDGLING for this activity as well... but just WAIT until the youngest is OLDER than three for that! I didn't, and she periodically thinks she TOO should try to fly! (I have actually caught ALL THREE girls playing that game on the steps that they got the idea of from the book!)

Anyway... I came on line to look up the # for work to see if they need me tonight. I am relaxed now though after writing. I was stressed as I had an aggrevating but predictable conversation with my EX who said something like "don't take it personally but I have to re-open the child support issue as I can't afford this."
I asked "Oh- so you have an order and they are garnishing wages?"
and he said "YES"
and then I said "But isn't it arrears?"

And he said "Only $500, but after that is done..."

I said "OF course I wouldn't take it personally because after all its about THE KIDS and I just like any other parent have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to provide for them and would expect that as soon as the arrears is paid off that I would be sending you support."

He said something stupid like "Oh its just to try to stop my payments"

And I said something like "BUt of course you know they will institute payment from me, as they should":

He tried to act like HE DIDN't KNOW THAT

Which is what of course aggrevated me. I hate when people ACT STUPID I AM SURE HE IS NOT THAT MUCH OF AN IDIOT.

So even though this isn't unexpected, and in fact when preparing for taxes being paid Westely and I were in fact discussing how to handle MY CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION, and had AGREED that despite suddently getting these odd checks from VA CHILD SUPPORT ENFORECEMENT now that the kids are NOT with us, that we would continue to PLAN for 25 % of my income to go for child support and put it aside in an account for that purpose. It was on my list of things to do to find out WHAT THE HECK the ORDER IS THAT WAS ESTABLISHED.

But then what DID upset me was that my EX asked if I was getting checks, and I told him "YEs I got a total of $ 260 last year. $10 one week then $70 another, all different amounts" and he seemed surprised by the amount being so low. HIS PAYMENTS LIKELY ALSO COVER THE LEGAL EXPENSES OF THE CASE AS WELL AS THEM HAVING HAD TO FIND HIM AS HE WAS A MISSING PERSON FOR A WHILE... that would be the times his MOTHER LIED about knowing his wearabouts... the same time they were calling MY PARENTS IN FLORIDA LOOKING FOR HIM! Now NY STATE Child support and VA BOTH got a letter from me when I moved to NY giving them both addresses. I had called VA and they seemed to not know about any order but said they just got these mysterious checks. Silly me I THOUGHT he maybe REALLY HAD UNGERGONE A TRANSFORMATION AND TOOK ALL THAT AAA STUFF SERIOUSLY AND WAS WILLFULLY SENDING WHAT HE COULD UNDER THEIR PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHTING YOUR PAST WRONGS IF YOU CAN! OOPS... I GUESS I WAS MISTAKEN. HE TOLD ME HIS WAGES ARE GARNISHED.
But then when I said I got odd amounts he said "They take money out for the NY OFFICE, but then I get some of it back from VA. I get odd amounts back, and I'm not sure why"


SO NOW I AM WORRIED THAT NY IS GARNISHING, and THAT VA who GOT MY LETTER STATING THAT THE KIDS ARE IN HIS CARE, GETS THESE CHECKS AND HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO WITH THEM, AND I HAVE SOME VISION OF SOME ADMINASTRATIVE ERROR SENDING SOME OF HIS PAYMENTS INTENDED AS ARREARS BACK TO HIM AS HE IS NOW LISTED AS THE CUSTODIAL PARENT!

That's what has upset me! To think he is getting wages garnished and then some of that is going right BACK to him. Well NY will have record of HIM HAVING MADE ALL HIS ARREARS PAYMENTS!!

So even if I only got $260, they might THINK he met his obligation.

Not that this is enough money to ever really be worried about... but the confusion of it concerns me. So I sent an e-mail off to NY CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT and indicated that I AM WORKING AND WISH TO FULFILL MY OBLIGATION SO NEED TO KNOW WHAT ORDER FOR ARREARS WENT THROUGH SO I CAN DEDUCT THAT AMOUNT FROM ANY PAYMENTS I WOULD MAKE!

AHHH And its 10:30 now! Darn! I never did call work to see if they could use me tonight! TOO LATE... THE SHIFT STARTS NOW. I would have liked to pick it up as I think I will have to pick up a third night somewhat regularlly if I hope to pay back my attny and my bro as well as start child support payments which seem like they might be due soon enough if indeed the arrears AFTER 5 years of him paying $250 a year IS A TOTAL OF $500!! THAT's what MOST ANGERED ME!! I MEAN WHAT THE HELL IS THAT FIGURE ABOUT??? It seems like LYING on your income tax or indeed being a REAL deadbeat not working AT ALL. But considering all the ADS which my friends sent me everytime they saw them for gigs, I know he WAS working (thus the reason they clipped and mailed them!)

But it would have been too expensive for me to be a bitch about the whole matter. For the sake of us all, and the fact I couldn't afford to- I wasn't the aggressive type in the custody battle.
He'll get his justice in the end. Perhaps when he opens a case as if I HAVE to show up to respond then I will get to introduce other facts of the matter which haven't yet been considered. And there indeed is a FIVE YEAR statute of limitation on arrears matters... and I FILED my case within that time. I wasn't called in before as it was THE STATE OF NY VS MY EX the deadbeat DAD, turned farcical custodial DAD thinking he'd get out of the onus of paying support and have his mommy take care of the kids! (which he did !), so they never got to SEE some of the information WHICH I COULD INTRODUCE regarding his finances should he re-open a case! KUDOS to me! I think if he REALLY re-opens a case there is a good chance I will walk away with a LARGER arrears figure, to then deduct from my payments. But really it just doesn't matter as besides working to pay off legal debt, the OTHER reason I work is to have means to meet the older kids needs who I am not living with! So I am working such that I can take Katerina to the store and spend $50 on health and beauty supplies so she has the proper medicated dandruff shampoo for "Women of Color" which we found thanks to a friend with the SAME type of hair, along with hair relaxer (to use on special occssions) and things like NICE CLOTHES for the kids,like warm winter coats and boots that don't leak and a humidity stick so Katerina's beautiful violin doesn't crack in the winter! OOPS THAT IS ON MY TO DO LIST AND I FORGOT ABOUT IT... but writing reminded me.... AND BOOKS which is ALSO on my list for both kids! Their grandmother commented that Soren was very impressed by how when I see them I spent so much on them and he said it isn't like me. I told her "YES as WESTELY usually was the one to take the kids shopping and they all know how much I hate shopping"

I wondered what her comment was made for. I wondered why she said anything about that.

But then I thought I must be like the former stereotypical "DISNEY DAD" who gets idealized. EXcept I don't do DISNEY type things. Not one for CHUCKY CHEESE which was always their DAD's thing, or the latest movie (Although we took one it) which was also their DAD's thing. I'm the one to buy them the stuff they need, take them out to eat at restaraunts, show up with cake to eat at the park, have a bit of the fun and none of the responsibility... and then to boot spend all of $50 on the kids and they are so greateful and impressed at my generosity (having no clue of the MORE SUBSTANTIAL EXPENSES like UTILITIES AND FOOD ALL OF WHICH MUST HAVE GONE UP SIGNIFICANTLY FOR THEIR GRANDMOM!)

Grandmom of course is the one REALLY SUPPORTING THEM. WHICH IS WHY I THINK IT WOULD BE A BLAST IF I GET CALLED IN FOR A CASE ON SUPPORT I THINK I COULD EFFECTIVELY ESTABLISH THAT AN ORDER SHOULD BE IN EFFECT AND THAT I SHOULD PAY BUT THAT IT SHOULD GO TO HER !!

I think THAT WOULD BE POETIC JUSTICE!! LET HIM have to pay arrears, have some obligations of care to kids, but ALSO have it acknowledged that HIS MOTHER CARES FOR THEM NOT REALLY HIM AS SHE PROVIDES THEIR HOME and LET HER GET THE PAYMENTS. I bet I could work that out in an agreement with the child support enforcement folks in NY.


BECAUSE WHAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THIS IS THIS:

THE GUY CALLED ME TO ASK IF I WANT TO SEE THE KIDS THIS SAT. HE claims to have AN AAA FUNCTION HERE IN SYRACUSE THE SISTER CITY OF THE BUFFALO Chapter. Now the last time he came into town I handed the kids back to him AND THEN HE CAME CLOSER TO SAY SOMETHING TO ME and I SWEAR HE SMELLED LIKE ALCOHOL! AND I SWEAR HIS EYES HAD THAT FUNNY LOOK ABOUT THEM... and then he said to the kids "LEt's stop in to the coffee shop. I want to rest a bit, then have some coffee before we drive back"

Hmmm... SO I said nothing as I figured he was not driving RIGHT THEN and he didn't actually look intoxicated in any way and ACTED normal so I just prayed he was fine and I wasn't being a fool NOT WANTING TO SAY ANYTHING IN FRONT OF THE KIDS.

But this time when he made the same offer for THIS SAT night I called and left him a message DIRECTLY TELLING HIM I WAS VERY CONCERNED AS I THOUGHT I SMELLED ALCOHOL etc... and talked of safety of the kids etc and told him honestely my reservations about saying OK to a SAT evening visit with the kids here knowing he would be driving them back so late etc. And he called back and we talked about it. HE assured me he had been at his AA (WAIT AFTER ALL MY MOCKING OF THE LIBRARIANS I SWEAR I TYPED AAA MEETING ABOVE !! HA HA HA!!! FUNNY I THinK that's because Soren asked what AAA meant the last time I saw him. I think his DAD lucked out that was the question I got from him.... I am leaving it to his DAD to explain the actual meetings he goes to , even though the social worker in the custody eval seemed disturbed that was being obviscated to the kids and she thought HE SHOULD HAVE TOLD THEM. I don't think she would think I SHOULD tell them! But I think she worried they would not be able to recognize if THERE ARE PROBLEMS! And I think she thought it better IF THEY HAD SOME AWARENESS!)

Anyway... it was AFTER this discussion that he told me about the child support order he intends to see if he can STOP as he "can't afford it". (REAL MEANING... INTENTION TO ESTABLISH PAYMENT)

Now if he Can't afford a few hundred dollars A YEAR in restitution for arrears, how the hell can he afford the GAS to be driving to and fro SYRACUSE to go to some AA event???? I mean they have AA MEETINGS ALL OVER HIS CITY! YES ITS THE "SISTER CITY" and a nice IDEA to travel... but heck... if you can't afford to ... then you don't travel!

But as the kids will be coming to me SAT night, which IS A NICE OFFER OF HIS, I guess that is really PART of the reason he is going to this meeting here in the first place.

So I am looking forward to a visit with them.

And he told me that one of the guys he met at the meetings he goes to here happens to have a cigar shop nearby. Its a block from here actually! Anyway... he had attended this SYRACUSE meeting BEFORE we even moved here to be closer to the kids. ( I remembered that when we were looking for places to move to and Westely was job hunting. WE KNEW that he came here once in a while for a weekend event. The kids had told us.) So he remarked at how "This might sound crazy coming from me, as it won't sound like me-- but I can't help but think the hand of God is at work in all of this. I can't help but think it is not a coincidence that it's the meeting in Syracuse that I visit sometimes"... and then he told me about the cigar store guy.

And I took the opportunity to put my plug in for the things on my agenda of what's important for the kids. I told him I TOTALLY AGREE, and let him know THAT I NEVER EVEN GOT AHOLD OF KAterina's teacher, and that I had hoped to talk to her and ask what she thought about the Gifted MAth program as a possibility for KAterina to go for AS SHE WASN'T FAR OFF in meeting the criteria last year and with another year of math class maybe she'll fare better and might get in. (She did just get 100% on the standard achievement math test she took, and a 99% in math so meets the criteria of kids the program is expecting to screen) AND I TOLD HIM, I was too busy and let it go so then thought maybe its not meant to be, and if it is indeed God's will she would have been nominated by her teacher and I wouldn't have to push or suggest it... so I thought maybe it isn't meant to be, AND THEN KATERINA TOLD ME HER TEACHER HANDED HER THE INFORMATION PACKET AS SHE HAD NOMINATED HER!

So I told him I HAD NOT TALKED TO THE TEACHER AND SHE DID THAT OF HER OWN ACCORD BASED ON HER ASSESSMENT OF KATERINA! And he hadn't known that and ASSUMED the teacher's nomination was at my initiation. HE in fact at the time he heard of it seemed ANNOYED as he didn't seem keen on it. He told me he thought it would be hard as he and his mother couldn't help her with the homework at all if she had trouble and he worried it would be too much for her... I told him I thought about what he said and that I thought IT IS NEVER A PARENTS JOB TO HELP WITH CONTENT of school work, but rather to ENCOURAGE doing of homework by provising some routine and structure and an appropriate time and place and materials so it can be done, and SUPPORT so kids can seek help in clarifying instructions etc. I also said that they also ARE GIVEN content that of course a parent can help drilling for study, or go over with a kid to help study, but parents really don't need to have ANY FAMILIARITY with school work content! I told him I thought parents who were overinvolved sometimes did work with kids TOO MUCH and then the kids don't learn it themselves as well! I told him that short of drilling spelling words for memory, or math tables, I never helped with actual content and that I didn't think he needed to worry about that at all as if she got in that the teachers would be there for that.

I think he felt better about that program after hearing that! I think he was annoyed as he was mistaken in thinking I had something to do with the nomination when HE SAID he wasn't too keen on it!

HE actually said that he would support it if she wanted to do it, but that he prefers the Buffalo PRep program and believes she should be screened for Citi Honors ! YAH!! AND HE AGREED WITH ME THAT KATERINA DOES NEED TO BE PUSHED TO TRY FOR THESE PROGRAMS AND DISAGREED WITH HIS MOTHER WHO ACTS LIKE IT IS BEING TOO PUSHY TO MAKE HER TRY FOR SOMETHING SHE IS APPREHENSIVE ABOUT AND SAYS SHE DOESN'T WANT TO DO.

OH that's her new thing: she said she doesn't want to do Buffalo PRep or the gifted math program this summer. But when I probed it came out that SHE WANTS MORE TIME WITH HER DAD AND HER FRIENDS and it isn't that she doesn't want to do THE PROGRAMS but she mistakenly thought she was giving up time with him or friends FOR THEM. BUT HER DAD AND I BOTH MADE IT CLEAR that she would be in SOME SUMMER PROGRAM and would have NO MORE TIME With him or friends EVEN IF she were not in either of those programs as he HAS TO WORK a fixed amount of time, and has to sleep and both his work and his requirement for sleep (based on energy level) ARE IMMUTABLE at this point! AND HER friends LIVE FAR AWAY ! AND THEY WOULD ALSO BE IN SUMMER PROGRAMS! She also happens to sit at lunch with the only kid in her grade at her school who just happens to go to the UB gifted Math program! (NOt that it would occur to her to ASK her about it!) But she seemed to not realize that if she went there, she would be there WITH one of her best friends from school! SHe IS ACTING LIKE SUCH A TEENAGER ALREADY!!

I swear we have parents WHO ACT ENVIOUS THAT WE GOT ALL THE GOOD YEARS WITH THE OLDER TWO AND GOT TO SEND THEM OFF TO THEIR DAD JUST AS PARENTING REALLY GETS TOUGH! (HA HA!)

I actually do feel badly that I meant to call Katerina tonight as I think she said she has an in school Orchestra concert tommorrow! I THINK she told me the 10th a few weeks back! I hope to catch her in the AM before she leaves for school to wish her well at it (and ask if she tried the new hair products she said she was saving for this special occassion! It was nice to see her so excited about the concert and about playing her violin of late. She is thrilled she was the only one who could play some hard piece when it was first handed out. The other kids caught on, but that chance to distinguish herself really made her excited and enthusiastic about playing moreso than she has been as I think she has been rather bored with the lack of challenges for her on her violin!)

What annoys me about her Grandmother and education is this comment: "I watch her struggle and work SO HARD at math. It's not a pretty sight"

ANd I envision Katerina working and engaged SO HARD at math which she then IS GETTING AN A in and I think... "That sounds just fantastic! I am really proud of her!"

and I realize KATERINA takes such pride in accomplishment resulting from REAL EFFORT as opposed to those things that come so easily to her. (Why she is more excited to STUDY chemistry and math than LITERATURE which is like BREATHING to her.) And I think HOW WONDREFUL that she has such a fantastic work ethic and drive and that she really pushes herself... as THAT IS WHAT GIVES HER REAL PRIDE!

And I wonder WHY HER GRANDMOTHER DISCOURAGES HER FROM THOSE VERY OPPORTUNITIES THAT GIVE HER THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR BOTH GROWTH AND PRIDE. ITS BECAUSE THEY TAKE EFFORT AND WORK. But KAterina is not afraid of work ! She is afraid of not making the grade. She is afraid of not getting into a program after trying hard. She was anxious when in the LOUDOUN school they WANTED her to meet with the middle school orchestra director when she was in the 4th grade- old enough to start the school system's music progran, but accomplished enough that THEY PLACED her in with the 6th graders. She was AFRAID and a NERVOUS WRECK the same way she FELT when talking about the GIFTED MATH PROGRAM which is Natural as she tried last year and did not get in. She now has a much calmer attitude about it- of NOT CARING so much so she won't BE UPSET if she doesn't get in this year. I told her that is a HEALTHY ATTITUDE to be positive and open to it AND TO WORK FOR IT, but not to be so driven that she will be devastated if she DOESN'T GET IN. BUT I encouraged her to not be afraid TO ACTUALLY TRY TO DO HER BEST OUT OF FEAR OF FAILURE! I encouraged her that MOST KIDS WHO TEST DON't get in (only 25 % tested DO get in!) So she doesn't EXPECT to get in, but she doesn't seem NEGATIVE about it which was her initial reaction this year MAINLY because of FEAR of not being able to make the cut. But she was great about talking through this. And I could tell she was influenced to think negatively about it BY HER GRANDMOTHER. SO HER FATHER AND I BOTH HAD TO COMBAT HER GRANDMOTHER'S NEGATIVE INFLUENCE

I SWEAR IT IS SOME WEIRD COMPETETIVE THING WITH HER GRANDMOTHER THAT SHE HAD EVEN WHEN KATERINA WAS YOUNG!! She always had to seek attention HERSELF such as when it was KAterina's BD had to ALSO celebrate hers which was two days before in the most obnoxious manner of not letting the kid have too much attention... IT was always strange to see her exhibit competetive behavior with her granddaughter! But then it ALSO might be a subconsious way of trying to control and KEEP HER THERE with her grandmother... not away doing other things that could lead to taking her far away... like things that could lead to a scholarship to a place like (Where the hell does KAterina think the best Chemistry program is in CA? I forget now... Oh yeah... Stanford)

So I just reminded Katerina of things SHE TOLD ME SHE WANTED TO DO. I reminded her to think of her long term goals and ask herself if whether she had a little more time with her girl friends THIS SUMMER really would matter in the long run of her life. I told her its hard when you are a and just want to have fun.. but to think about how if she got into the UB math program THAT ITS THOUGHT TO BE IN THE TOP TEN GIFTED MATH PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY and WHAT THAT MEANS for when she applies to colleges later. I told her THAT COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the LONG RUN OF WHAT OPPORTUNITIES OPEN UP FOR HER LIFE. I encouraged her to NEVER CLOSE OFF OPTIONS OUT OF FEAR. I encouraged her TO ALWAYS GIVE YOUR BEST SHOT and think "MAybe I can't do this... but I most CERTAINLY CAN't if I don't try... and maybe I don't feel like I WANT TO... but if I change my mind later and haven't tried I won't be able to if I don't at least go through the initial process of the testing! And if I try and get in I STILL HAVE THE OPTION OF NOT GOING, but if I DON'T TRY and then CHANGE MY MIND AND WANT TO GO THAT WILL NO LONGER BE AN OPTION."

I told her I DIDN'T BELIEVE SHE DOESN"T WANT TO DO IT but that I THOUGHT SHE WAS JUST STRESSED AND AFRAID OF THE TESTING AND DIDN'T WANT TO DO THE TESTING. I told her to make the distinction between THE TESTING and THE PROGRAM and then try to not worry too much about the testing EXCEPT TO BE AWARE THAT SHE ALWAYS FREAKS OUT AND GETS FEARFUL AT THE JUNCTURE OF SOME NEW VENTURE THAT SHE NEVER DID BEFORE! I told her to RECOGNIZE that FEAR OF A NEW THING is something she FELT and OVERCAME IN THE PAST.
I reminded her of her FEAR before walking into the LOUDOUN MIDDLE SCHOOL ORCHESTRA MEETING the first week of school, then when the REALITY of her walking in was COMFORTABLE as she knew many of the players from THE LITTLE MOZART ACADEMY where she played with them on Sat mornings! She was friends with some already! And she had been SO AFRAID of going to that BIG SCHOOL with those BIGGER KIDS!

In the past the way I always managed FEAR of testing with her, and FEAR of change with her was that I NEVER TOLD HER THE MANY TIMES SHE WAS IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT. Maybe that was wise? MAybe not? Maybe it makes such situations worse now?

She played through an audition once when around 8 years old thinking it was a regular lesson with some folks who were just there (not really ever wondering why!) She was placed as the first chair of the second violins in that youth orchestra.

She went to play some "games" in PreK, and kindergarden and third grade also did some reading and math work, and again later on. She went with a group of kids to do some fun projects at school. NOT ONCE DID I EVER UTTER THE WORDS "TESTING" or "SCREENING" or "GIFTED AND TALENTED" to her. She HAD LITTLE IDEA of those concepts until she was told RECENTLY (Hmmm.... I guess when she was screened in Buffalo it was told to her. Then it was also told to SOREN and a big let down when he did not get in the same program! THUS ONE REASON I NEVER CALLED ATTENTION TO THOSE THINGS. HE was ALSO TESTED and never knew... and thus never before had such a hit to his self esteem!)

Anyway, it is important to learn to recognize when FEAR is a motivator. I encouraged KAterina to not make decisions based on FEAR and that GENEREALLY when that is allowed to be a controlling factor in decisions, they are bad ones! They are the decisions that hold people back from actualizing potential, furthering relationships, or furthering themselves and others SOMEHOW. I encouraged her to work through that fear! And I think in talking about it she actually did work though much of it! SHe seemed excited to tell me about her teacher's nomintation for the program she was acting so stressed about a few weeks ago!

Someone is up! Got to go see who is sliding down stairs... its likely Raitlin.. YES IT IS I SWEAR SHE SLEEP WALKS. SHE just plopped into a poofy chair on the other side of this room. I think she is STILL SLEEPING ! I have to go and get us both to bed!

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