What a grumpy bucket

The fight to make Lance practice the piano may not be worth it, but to hear him get excited about the fact that he got 2 (yes, two) Twizzler sticks after piano lessons yesterday was totally worth the little extra stress the past few days. No he was not spectacular at piano lessons, but the fact that he looked like he practice actually showed – maybe. The hope is that next week he will look a little better.

The truth is that due to illness, lesson scheduling conflicts, and his pure desire to NOT practice the piano, it took him over 18 months to finish his first round of piano books. That is actually unusual for my kids. I was surprised when I walked into The Music Rack and had them look up the last music book purchase for me (because I could not remember which ones I bought for Lance) and they told me the date. I was floored. Part of that is the fact that having lessons on Friday simply did not work for us. Having Lance get sick repeatedly did not help either. My fault falls in that I simply did not fight my kids to practice. I would tell them to go in and practice and if they did it, great. If not, great. I would usually get a half-assed five minutes at the very least.

The truth is, kids have to find their own motivation. The problem comes when the child is not finding their own motivation. Unfortunately, this is Lance. I know that people will say “just let him fail, it is only 4th grade,” but that is not how I see it as a parent. If I let him fail now, I am letting him know that I am giving up on him. I will never give up on him and if I am willing to give up on him over something so petty as his grades, how will I hold out for the bigger and ultimately more important things?

The same holds true for the piano practice. If giving him “this tool” will help down the road be a little better, then shouldn’t I give him that? Honestly, right now Lance needs everything I can give him. He has the odds stacked against him with his constant internal and physical battle with the pain. He needs someone in the cheering section giving him something that is not quite so hard to do that gives him a little edge. Besides, playing the piano can be fun and it can be an emotional and physical release one day. It can be that physical distraction that he may need one day to release that pain that physically he will not be able to escape. Do I hope that we can control the headaches and release him from that daily torment? Yes, that is my prayer but as for right now it is not reality. Right now we need to figure out how to give him all the tools that will help make up the difference where he might “fall short” because of what he has been handed in life.

This morning he was in a bad mood. I had to remind him that going to school was not a punishment anymore. As of Tuesday, it was not a punishment. As of this week, me dropping him off a few minutes early was a “blessing” for him because it would give him a few more minutes to work on those things that he did not finish in class. I hope that he understands that today. From this point forward, he has a clean slate – the grades he made last 9 weeks grading period are what they are and we will work beyond those. He starts over this 9 weeks and we will work to improve what we can.

He sees the neurologist on Friday and hopefully we will be able to get some more answers and further relief from the headaches for him, but I am not so sure that will be the case. According to his nurse log at school, his trips to the nurse’s office have been almost daily the past 2-3 months (at least) and some days it is twice a day to get pain medicine for his headaches. That is a lot for a boy to deal with at 9-10 years old. I would like to say that this is not what we deal with, but this is Lance’s reality. If we do not get further progress after Friday’s appointment, I will follow through on my thoughts to switch him to another neurologist. It has been almost a year with this neurologist and the headaches have not stopped. Has there been improvement? Marginally so. I would expect far more improvement at this point.

To get him in with a neurologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, however, we need a doctor’s referral. Our insurance does not require it but Texas Children’s requires it. I know that Dr. Corkran (who he sees on Monday afternoon) will write a referral in a heartbeat, but I had hope that it would not come to this. I do not want to take him to a specialized headache clinic that comes with an hour drive, paid parking, and heavy traffic. I do not want to take him to a specialized neurologist that comes with a heftier price tag than what we are already paying and more of the hassle and headache for me…inconvenience, more time out of school for appointments, etc. I know that good neurologists are hard to come by (I am on my 4th neurologist), but child neurologists are an even rarer breed and they come with a much heftier price tag.

This morning, however, I had to remind him that I loved him. I had to remind him that he is loved no matter what. This morning I had to remind him that he needs to focus in class and get his work done and use the time before school (as I was dropping him off a few minutes early) to get the things he did not finish yesterday done. Most importantly, I loved him.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.