Monday, February 20, 2012

39 weeks 4 days (with translations for Sam)

What was it I said right before Marika was born? It's been 20 years and I'm starting to lose confidence?

I know I have to have a baby eventually. But I've been timing contractions since LAST THURSDAY when I would have been willing to bet (a little) money that I would have a baby in the next 24 hours.

I would, clearly, have lost that bet. Because it is now Monday night and I am Still Here.

This means I'm going to have the World's Easiest Labor (TM), redux, right? Right???

Moving right along.

Had followup meeting with Iyyar's new OTs yesterday. It was good. It was informative. It inspired confidence, and I left feeling better about things, although I also left in a full-blown panic about the piece of information that the OTs had just shared with me: to wit, that the 2012 deadline for the vaadat hasama (educational placement board) meetings is MARCH FIRST. As in, NEXT WEEK.


Because Iyyar's ganenet (kindergarten teacher) has been all wait, wait, wait about that. She did not know about the deadline and I have been relying on her to know these things. I submitted the request last month but apparently she also has to submit something and she hasn't done it yet. I spent the entire morning today trying to get through to someone, anyone, at Misrad haChinuch (the ministry of education) with about as much success as I usually experience dealing with Hitpatchut HaYeled (the child development center where they specialize in making sure nobody ever, ever, ever gets help). I have no idea what's going on with that. I need someone to tell me if all his paperwork is in or if he needs anything else. He definitely doesn't have a date (Avtalyon does--more on that in a moment). And... ow. Contraction. Ow.

Avtalyon had his speech therapy eval today. In Hebrew. He did really well. The speech therapist thought he was really cute and very bright. This is both good and bad. It's good because, great! He speaks and understands Hebrew as well as a native Israeli kid a year older than he is! But... why does he not talk at gan in more than single words? Why does he have no clue what's going on, to the extent of not even knowing which is his cubby even though it is now February? And how do we get him into a gan safa (nursery school for kids with language issues), where he will get the attention and OT he needs, without a crappy speech eval?

It seems pretty likely that if Iyyar's issues are sensory, Avtalyon's are too. Avtalyon now is very like Iyyar at the same age, and he is starting to show signs of heading in the same path Iyyar did. He is less mellow. He is less happy-go-lucky. He is acting more frustrated, less cooperative, more whiny, less eager to get out the door in the morning. I can only guess that gan is overwhelming for him on a sensory level, in the same way it is for Iyyar.

One of the things that Iyyar's first OT (who we're not going back to, because she a) works in Ramot and b) is INSANELY expensive and c) I don't like her style) suggested was that we get him to blow his nose at least four times a day. I said, uh, okay, and promptly discovered that not only could Iyyar not blow his nose, but he really didn't want to do it. A dozen chocolate chips later, he had emptied his nose of about a bathtub's worth of slime. And he's had two really good days since (at home, although unfortunately not at gan). Coincidence? I dunno. Can't have hurt though. And I want it in my Artscroll biography that I sacrified my lone last bag of Trader Joe's chocolate chips on the altar of my kid's Eustachian tubes.

The OTs we're going with want to start Iyyar on a sensory diet, and our plan is to do whatever we do with Iyyar with Avtalyon as well. OTs think this is OK as long as we see that he is OK with it and it does not overstimulate him. First appointment with them is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, after Avtalyon's speech eval part the second, and well-child visits for both Marika and Avtalyon in the morning.

Unless, of course, I have a baby. Laughable though that idea might currently seem.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

39 weeks 2 days

Thursday night, I wrote a speech. By the time I was done I was timing contractions 8 minutes apart. I sent the speech at 3 am saying, "I think I'm going to go have a baby now" and went to bed fully expecting to wake up a few hours later, head to the hospital, and, you know, have a baby.

Instead, I woke up at 9 am to no contractions at all.

Now it's Saturday night and they're picking up a bit but still not doing anything definitive.

Dum dee dum.

In the meantime, we had OT eval number 2 with Iyyar on Thursday and it was good. I mean, it was good in that it was thorough, the OTs (there were two of them) inspired confidence, and they seemed to "get" Iyyar. They asked a lot of the kinds of questions where you get the feeling that they know more than you do--you know the kind, the questions that seem completely random to you but you answer "uh, actually, now that I think about it... yes."

Anyway, they confirmed that Iyyar has a lot of sensory issues, and they think that this is a big part of what's going on with him. Yes, they said, they could have been there but not causing much trouble until a few months into last year, for a few reasons. And they think that starting OT and a sensory diet will help. They also think he needs play therapy because OT alone is not going to deal with the anxiety. All of this is going to be out of pocket, but if it helps, it will be worth it. We (me and Mr. Bigfoot) have a full meeting scheduled with the OTs tomorrow night, and a first appointment for therapy on Tuesday at 2. The logistics of this are going to be really, really daunting, but these are the first people I've met whom I trust and that's the only time they have available so that's what we're going to do. Somehow.

In other news, I got a phone call from Barak's teacher today. Barak has not done homework in two weeks. I knew this, because I officially stopped taking responsibility for his homework two weeks ago. I told him I was sick of fighting with him over it and it was now his problem. He can do it himself now, and if he can't he always has the option of going up to the beit midrash and asking Abba or one of the bochrim for help. He doesn't; he'd rather play. This is understandable. He is a 7 year old boy. However, he's a 7 yo boy in a Torani school that goes till 3:45 and expects an hour of homework nightly. Whether or not this is reasonable, it's what he's stuck with till June. His teacher wanted to know what the story was before she cracked down on him; I said, feel free to crack down. So tomorrow, he's going to get a talking-to at school; when he comes home, he's going to get a snack and get dispatched to the beis medrash. If he shows up at school without any homework, he's going to get punished, although I have zero idea what that actually entails. No recess? Trip to principal? I hope we don't find out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

38 weeks 5 days

A crystal ball would be nice sometimes.

Just got off the phone with the head of education at the yishuv where we're planning on moving next year. The educational system there is generally considered excellent and I've definitely had better luck talking to human beings in charge, as opposed to people who take your form and never call you back.

However. It appears that there are two options for Iyyar next year: a full-on special ed environment, and a class of 30-35 kids with almost no support.

His ganenet wants him to have a shadow and a resource teacher. In Yishuv X at least there is no such thing; shadows are only for kids with physical problems. So far as a resource teacher, max one or two hours a week. The only other option is the "small class" which is for kids with attention/learning/emotional issues. Which yes, he does have. But he is functioning in gan and his ganenet, whom I trust, feels very strongly that he will have a harder time in a class with kids with emotional/behavioral problems than in a class with "regular" kids. Peer group is important, she says. Role modeling is important. If you put him in a kita katana with eight kids and two of them are hitting and two of them are bouncing off the walls, that's what he'll see as acceptable behavior. Which is probably true. Although he may just see it as acceptable behavior for that environment--he's pretty good at picking up what's OK to do where.

I don't know. I say that a lot lately, don't I?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

38 weeks 2 days

The strike is over! Yay! We have buses. We have gan. We have hospitals that are not on Shabbat schedule.

This is good.

We had a nice Shabbos. The weather was lovely and I took all the boys outside to drive their little red car around in the closed-for-Shabbos parking lot while Mr. Bigfoot and Marika napped. We have a schedule of nappage on Shabbos that is not exactly standard but works for us: see, shul in Israel ends WAY earlier than it does in the US. No kiddush, no speech, and an earlier start time, so Mr. Bigfoot is usually home at around 10:30. I can't deal with cholent at 10:30 AM and nobody is ready for lunch then anyway, so when he gets home, I go back to sleep while he makes kiddush and has a snack. Then he gets me up at around 12:30 and we eat Shabbos lunch like the buncha Americans we are. After lunch is naptime for Marika (getting shorter and shorter each week though alas) and Mr. Bigfoot.

Iyyar did get his star yesterday (for no handwaving/talking to himself) but needed many many many reminders to stop. This morning he was hard at it and almost lost his star before breakfast was over. I said, Iyyar, the star isn't for stopping when I tell you to stop and then starting again a minute later. It's for not doing it.

"It's hard, Imma."

"I know it's hard. That's why you have a star chart with only seven spaces and a big big prize. If it were easy, I wouldn't make a star chart. Or I'd make lots of boxes and only a little prize."

"It's really hard not to."

"Why is it hard?"

"Because I want to do it. I feel like I want to."

I got him one of those squishy stress balls to play with when he gets the handwaving/face-squinching urge. He used it so much it broke within a day. I have no idea where to get good-quality sensory balls here and don't have anyone coming from/going to the US anytime soon that I could ask; tried to find a place with international shipping and that way wouldn't get them here till almost Pesach.

This morning I slept late (worked really late last night) and left Mr. Bigfoot to get the gan boys moving on his own, with the result that I woke up a little after 9 and they were both still playing in their underwear, not having had breakfast, etc. (School starts at 8:45 and it's a 15-minute walk). I was not pleased and went in there like a drill sergeant; Iyyar instantly went into full Boneless Toddler mode, whining, lying in bed, not looking at me or paying attention. Imma is mad--> I can't deal--> hello this is the worst coping mechanism imaginable. I got him to look at me and we had a short but firm talk about it. He got dressed and didn't do a full Iyyar flipout, but the weird behavior took a noticeable upturn.

How do I make him stop? How how how? What else can I give him to do? Distracting him seems to work the best, but that can't be the nonstop solution. I need to figure out ways to help him a) recognize when he's doing it and b) distract himself. Tally card? I don't know. He's easier to talk to about the whole thing and does mostly want to stop, which helps, but... yeah.

Is it just me or is almost every post lately about Iyyar? Guess you can tell where my head is these days.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Things that quietly go right

I was looking back through some old posts and noticed that in November I was worried about Barak's Hebrew reading. Last week, he read all of Fantastic Mr. Fox, by himself, unprompted, in Hebrew. And understood it.

Also, Barak got his report card today. It was pretty great. Except for the fact that he almost never does his homework. Aleph for behavior across the board; almost good, good, or very good for everything except for gym. He's not that coordinated, it seems. (Nor are any of the rest of us.)

Iyyar's playdate went fine. Great, maybe? He had a great time. As I was trying to get him out the door, I started talking to his friend's mom and he and his friend ran back off to his room to play some more. A Very Good Sign. He keeps asking me when he can play with Yoeli again.

It's been a good week with Iyyar. Another star chart, this time with the very extravagant prize of Bone #8 (a full-priced NIS 76 graphic novel) at the end. Yes, he starts singing at the table or talking to himself or waving his arms a lot, especially at the end of the day when he's tired. But when I tell him to stop, he does. He talks to me. He makes sense, most of the time. No his thoughts are not that organized, yes he jumps around a lot, but it's not so far off normal. And we talk a lot about why he needs to stop with the talking to himself and the silly faces. Because the other kids don't realize that he's telling himself stories, and they think it's scary, and if they're scared they won't want to play with him. He gets this. He understands that he needs to stop. He's trying. It's really a step in the right direction.

I brought him to a private OT evaluation today. The OT was recommended by a number of people, although I wasn't terribly impressed personally--she seemed to be in a huge rush, she manhandled him in a way I would have hated (although he seemed OK with it), she talked to me about him as though he didn't understand (until I pulled her aside and said Don't Do That, and she stopped.) On the way out she handed me a copy of the Sensory Profile, in Hebrew. She said she didn't have it in English. I looked at it at home and realized there was no way I could do it in Hebrew, so called her and asked how to get it in English (since it was obviously a translation of a standardized English rating scale). She said, I'll fax it to you. Apparently she has only one copy, which she hadn't wanted to give me, and hadn't copied ahead of time even though... whatever. Like I said, not hugely impressed, and I have a second (also private) OT eval scheduled with an American OT who specializes in sensory issues, in two weeks. On my due date. This will... work out somehow.

38 weeks today. Avtalyon's fourth birthday is Shabbos. Oh, and his gan birthday party was yesterday. It was fun. He had fun, I had fun, I took some cute pictures. It was a monthly birthday party for all the kids with birthdays that month (him, Liel, and Ro'i, of course) and each mother brought a cake so each kid could have their own cake. My cake? Whole wheat with no dairy, soy, or trans fats. Ro'i's cake? Bakery evildom with Smurfs spray-painted on top. Guess which cake every single kid wnated? Guess which cake came home missing only two pieces? Oh well--we enjoyed the leftovers.

Further to Avtalyon: he drew a lion today that was so good I initially thought Barak had done it. Then maybe Iyyar. Then Avtalyon piped up, "It was me!" I remember exactly when Barak drew his first not-scribbled thing, and it was a sea wolf the summer we were in Israel (aged four and a quarter). Avtalyon is drawing really, really well for his age. Also, I noticed in a drawing he did the other day at gan that he wrote, not in order and with an inverted Z, the word "ZOOM." He did it at gan so wasn't copying. I'm pretty impressed. Also, after a couple of weeks of me consciously making time to sit with him, read with him, ask him questions and not let Iyyar or Barak answer them, his English has picked up noticeably. I'm really not worried about his English now, but am still going to do the English speech eval just to a) have the information and b) get the insights of the really amazing speech therapist I took Iyyar to last week.

Further to whom--I feel like she was the first person who's really had good insight on what's going on with him. She does think he has some ADD but doesn't think it's his primary issue. She thinks he might have some sensory stuff, but also doesn't think that's the bulk of the problem. Mostly, she thinks it's emotional, and I think she's right. I don't know exactly how it started, but there are lots of things we can do to help and we're doing a lot of them already. So... yeah. Progress.

OK. Speaking of progress, there are speeches to be written.

Stay tuned, as always, to this exciting channel. Also, if you're reading, comments are nice. I'm much more likely to post if I don't feel like I'm posting into the ether.

Monday, February 06, 2012

It had better go well, is all I'm saying.

Yesterday and today, Iyyar did great. Not just good, or ok, or basically fine. Really great. Like, normal happy kid.

I asked him why. He said, joyously, "A kid played with me!"


Michal has been saying that I need to find him playdates. And I agree with her, but the logistics... the logistics. We live at the bottom of a Huge Huge Hill. I have four kids who get home at 3 different times. I don't have a car. Everything is at least one and often two buses from here. If I am going to take a kid for a playdate, I have to bring multiple other children with me for dropoffs and pickups, and haul a stroller on the bus, and sometimes Iyyar flips out on the bus and that can range from not fun to downright dangerous. Oh, and have I mentioned that I'm due in about two weeks? Yes?

But Iyyar was SO happy that the other kid played with him. He was such a delight yesterday and today. The difference was so huge. And then when I asked him which kid it was, he said, "He's the kid who speaks English who has a brother in the other gan."


Because that means that he's the kid whose mother is the fluent English speaker who came to Israel aged 3. Who invited Iyyar to play a few weeks ago and I declined on the grounds of logistics.

So tonight, I told Mr. Bigfoot, "If anything ever happens to me, and you end up raising the kids, and one day Iyyar wonders how much Imma really loved him, you can tell him that when he was five, Imma took him and Avtalyon and Marika on three buses halfway across Jerusalem and up and down massive hills on both ends of the bus route while 38 weeks pregnant [okay, almost] so he could have a playdate because Imma thought it would help him grow up to be a happy well-adjusted human being."

Just, you know, telling it like it is.

So the date is set for tomorrow afternoon after gan. We're supposed to get there at around 3 and I need to leave at 5 to get home before the witching hour of child collapse. Barak is going to go hang out in the bais medrash with Abba. There is a Moshiko on the way. Also, Shaarei Tzedek is on the way, which could be handy if I go into labor while pushing the stroller back up The Hill.

Stay. Tuned.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


I am not truly deeply concerned about this (yet), but I am very aware that Avtalyon's speech is not where it should be, either in Hebrew or in English. After a year and a half in a Hebrew gan environment his Hebrew is still really poor; also concerning is that his English is also starting to lag. A lot of the time he just doesn't have the words to express himself: he substitutes with a lot of hand motions and facial gestures and general jumping up and down to communicate his point. I know that it's normal for kids in bilingual environments to lag slightly in both languages, but it's worrying me and especially since he seems to have some of the same attention issues that Iyyar does, I am not waiting around.

I talked to his ganenet who has agreed to recommend him for a gan safah; I'm paying privately to get him evaluated by a speech therapist now to get all the paperwork in before the placement boards meet next month. And I think I will also pay privately to get him evaluated in English, just to have a general idea of where he is in terms of where he should be. The speech therapist I took Iyyar to for his English eval was very nice and seemed very good; well worth the NIS 400, I think.

His ganenet says he's happy at school, which is very important, but says he seems really spacy, which I agree with. Better to get on it early, before he becomes unhappy. Major goal: prevent a rerun of whatever happened to Iyyar last year. They do seem to have some similar issues so far as attention, although developmentally they've run on completely different schedules. Iyyar was late doing everything while Avtalyon was early, and Avtalyon has done a number of things that have given both me and previous ganenot the impression that he was really bright. Which I think he is, which is why I want even more to figure out what's getting in the way of him and, say, knowing where his cubby at school is. Because it's January and he still doesn't know where he's supposed to put his projects.

The real question right now is what to aim for with Iyyar for next year. At the moment, he's supposed to be getting an hour a week of speech therapy, although we can't start that until his evaluation is written up and sent to us in a couple of weeks. He's also supposed to be getting OT, and the eval is scheduled for Thursday; the person I am bringing him to is supposed to be good with sensory issues so hopefully she can let us know what is going on there and how to help. Also, we now have Racheli, who is a really delightful Israeli 14 yo whom we've hired to come over a few afternoons a week for an hour or two to just sit with Iyyar and Avtalyon and read them books, talk to them, make them talk etc. She's from a big family so unfazed by chaos and they have really taken to her, which is great; also, when he does start with speech therapy and we're supposed to be working with him on his Hebrew at home, I'm hoping she'll be able to help out there.

Iyyar's been having his ups and downs behaviorally. I made him that star chart to get him to look at me and listen when I call his name; that made for a good week, but then the next week was awful (even with a second star chart). Lots and lots and LOTS of talking to himself, handwaving, just checking out generally. Wednesday was a disaster and ended with everyone, including me, screaming and in tears. The last two days have been better and tonight after Shabbos I made a star chart for everyone in the family. Abba and I have rows on it too. Ours are for Not Screaming. Not that we usually do, but I felt like it was good to make it clear that not only children are expected to work on themselves, and I did scream once last week which was upsetting for everyone. Iyyar looked pretty happy when he saw me put that on the star chart. "I'm going to try really really hard not to scream. And you're going to try really really hard to look at Imma when Imma says your name, with no silly faces or silly hands or voices. OK?" He was OK with that.

This time he asked for a comic book (Bone #8) for his prize. Fair enough. I told Mr. Bigfoot that if I get a whole week of stars, I want takeout for dinner.

Oh, and want to hear some good financial news for a change? Notice all the "I'm paying privately for X" mentions above? Yes this is annoying in that it's supposed to be getting paid for and isn't and if I had known I'd be paying privately I could have just done this last September. But I just got a bonus at work equivalent to a bit more than a regular paycheck, plus an extra week's pay that I didn't realize I was getting because I had more unused vacation last year than I could carry over. So that's where the private therapy, and the star chart rewards, are coming from.

At the moment, Iyyar's ganenet wants him in a regular first grade with speech, OT and play therapy. Her main objection to a kita katana is that even though there exists such a class for kids with attention and emotional issues, and Iyyar certainly qualifies on both counts, he is not exactly a problem behaviorally. Yes he acts strangely, but he doesn't bother anyone. He doesn't hit. He's very nice to the other kids. He tries to listen, even if he doesn't always manage it. And he's very very sensitive to other kids who aren't nice. So if we put him in a class of 8 boys with emotional and attention issues, and say 2 of them hit... that would not be any improvement over the stressors of a regular class. Probably worse. Sure, you can get 2 kids hitting in a class of 30, but that's not the same as 2 out of 8. I hadn't really thought of this that much but both his ganenet and a friend with a kid in the Israeli special-ed system pointed it out to me. Peer group matters a lot, and if I have a kid who's acting strangely we'd rather he model his behavior on kids who aren't.

But. But but. In a kita katana he'll be getting all the therapy I haven't been able to get for him, and a small class, and trained teachers, and a lot more attention. So I really don't know what to do. I'm supposed to talk to the head of education in the school that we're planning to enroll the boys in next fall, and am going to try to get a sense of what next year's kita katana for first grade looks like. The gan psychologist will be observing Iyyar again on Thursday, and is going to talk to me and to Michal after that about what seems like the best plan. For myself, I really just don't know right now what's best. I wish I did.

Friday, February 03, 2012


Before Marika was born, and before Avtalyon was born, I bought my kids some presents. New babies don't care about presents (their mothers enjoy them, but the babies couldn't care less). But their siblings? They are a different story. I think before Avtalyon was born I'd bought a ton of Beanie Babies for Barak and Iyyar, since they were really into those at the time. When Marika was born, there was a lot of Playmobil, since that was what kept everyone happy and quiet.

This time? Books. I bought a lot of books. Tzomet Sefarim had a sale that ended yesterday, with 4 books for NIS 100. Most of the books on the kids' sale table were hardcover and quite a few of them were hardcover comic books (Asterix, Tintin, Petie Pete) or creepy graphic novels (Bone). I made three trips to the store and I filled out our collections of all of the above. Then on Tuesday, when I had promised Iyyar lunch at the bus station, we did one last run.

Did I tell you about lunch? I don't think so. Iyyar had a star chart, see. It was a chart with a mere seven spots on it, where for each day that he stopped and looked at me when I called his name, without making faces, he got a star. He did great with it. He got a star every day. What did he want for his prize?


Oh go on, guess.

He wanted a Happy Meal.

Yes, that's right. We brought our children 8,000 miles to live in Jerusalem so they could have Happy Meals at McDonald's.

(Whatever works. Seriously.)

Anyway, after the English speech therapy eval on Tuesday (which was really fun, unlike speech eval #1, and which he aced and which left him feeling happy and with some cool stickers on his shirt), we went to the bus station. We had our lunch (Happy Meal for him, Burger's Bar for me, thank you very much) and trooped down to the bookstore to get some more books. I picked two, he picked two. His were comics. Mine were both books with more words and less pictures, designed for Racheli (new member of the DN3 cast of characters! More on her anon). One of them was Fantastic Mr. Fox, in Hebrew.

Which Barak discovered when he got home from school today. And read, in one evening, in Hebrew. And summarized for me, pretty accurately, in English. Conclusion: "And the three guys just sit in the rain with their guns outside the foxes' door forever while the animals are eating all their food!"


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Hot chocolate

It has been, as you may be aware, an unusually wet winter in Israel. This is a wonderful thing because we have been very short on rain for years now. January was the wettest month on record, ever, and today, February first, it rained, sometimes really hard, nearly the entire day.

All of this is great. It would be even better if I could convince a certain second-grader that it would be a really good idea for him to, you know, wear a coat.

Barak has decided that he is Too Cool for Coats. So today, when it was bucketing down rain and the wind was howling and it was maybe 50 out, he walked home from the bus stop with his water-resistant Thinsulate-lined LL Bean parka shoved IN HIS BACKPACK. And walked in the door soaked, dripping, and grinning the grin of the cool.

I should have yelled at him. I did chastise him, but mostly with a lot of eye-rolling. I made him take off his wet clothes and found him pajama pants and a brand-new sweatshirt that I brought back from the US in December but hadn't given him yet. It's a size 10, so I thought it would be way too big, but surprise--it's really not.

And I made him hot chocolate, for the first time since we moved here. Hot chocolate with milk and cocoa and sugar and real vanilla, in our one and only ceramic mug. He was pretty much in heaven. Soft cozy sweatshirt! Soft cozy pajamas! Hot chocolate!

The dishes have been piling up lately, mostly because I'm so busy with work that I haven't had a lot of time to do anything in the evenings, and I've got so much going on generally that the morning naps have been few and far between. Most mornings, I have running around to do. So as Barak rhapsodized over his hot chocolate, I did some damage control in the kitchen, and may have grumbled to myself just a little.

"Barak, when you grow up, you're going to tell your wife about this. You're going to say, 'When we moved to Israel, my Imma cooked for all of us for two whole years with just an electric hot plate and two toaster ovens!' And your wife won't believe you. She'll say, no she didn't. And you'll say, yes she did! And she'll say, how did she not lose her mind? How did she not yell and scream and throw things?"

At this, Barak looked up. Because it is possible that there may have been some yelling and screaming and dish-flinging a few days ago. On my part.

"...and you'll say, well, sometimes she did..."

Still here

37 weeks tomorrow. I am, to be honest, barely aware of this, because I am so busy with non-pregnancy-related things.

#1 on the list of Things that Are Taking All My Time and Attention is Iyyar. After months of slowly getting better, things with him lately have, well, tanked. It's not that he's behaving badly exactly. It's that he's behaving strangely and worryingly. He's talking to himself, he spends a lot of time in self-soothing behaviors (lots of waving his arms around as he conducts invisible fight scenes or writes letters in the air), and, predictably, this is not going over so well with the other kids, who do not want to play with him and by not wanting to play with him, stress him out more. And then he comes home from school and you can barely get through to him with anything. This doesn't happen every day, but it happens a lot, and today is February first. The "by Purim he'll be a different kid" we were hoping for when we started seeing so much improvement over the summer is not comng to pass.

After the psych eval of which you have already heard tell, we had a speech eval in Hebrew, which was a disaster, and a speech eval in English, which was great. "If anything he's above average." No language or processing issues evident at all. I'm trying to track down an OT to evaluate him for sensory issues: the one who was recommended to me lives in Ramot and that is just not practical for us. At this point the big question is where he's going to go next year, and it's looking like a kita mikademet, even though that brings its own host of issues with it. I got a call from someone today about the vaadat hasama (placement board) I requested last week. Today Iyyar is being observed by a gan psychologist and I guess we'll go from there.

In the meantime, Avtalyon has also been raising alarm bells and we've started the paperwork to get him into a gan safa. And Barak, who does not do well with not getting All The Attention All The Time, is feeling neglected. At least he's able to tell me this.

It's Wednesday, which is Mr. Bigfoot's David Yellin day, so I'm off to do the pickup rounds. Finally registered at the hospital last week, by the way. Oh, and does anyone have any experience with going to beit hachlama here? I'm thinking that would be a nice quiet place to make a million more phone calls for Iyyar.