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Topic: Chaos and Chronology

Messages: (10) 1


Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:12/23/2008

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# 6270

Chaos and Chronology

It feels like everything has changed in the last month. It's thrown me off balance and I don't expect a return to normalcy until January.

The first big change is that Richie came to live with us much earlier than he was supposed to. Richie is Shannon's son, Lauren's half-brother, and he's 2 1/2 years older than she is. For most of his life he's been living with Shannon's mom, first here in CT, and for the last two years in North Carolina.

Richie

He's an extremely bright lad, but he's had very little discipline and, conversely, is afraid of nearly everything. He wakes up every night screaming and crying, and often sleepwalks while crying. An example of the fear: Dad and I took him (and Lauren) sledding on Sunday. Dad sat him in the sled and pulled him up the hill... but he wailed in terror the entire time… going UP the hill. (Going down it was no better, so that was the extent of our sledding.) The lack of discipline manifests itself as him tending to do whatever he wants, even when we're standing right there asking/telling him not to (hit the kitties, throw the ball at the window, jump on the couch, etc., etc., etc.)

We are making progress with him, and I'm very fond of him. His situation is just so different from Lauren's, and we weren't prepared for it. Literally — he wasn't supposed to move in until after we moved to RI. Shannon's grandmother died in November, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, so Shannon's mom (Brenda) had to come up here anyway... it just made sense for us to take Richie then instead of forcing them to make another trip in late December or early January.

Shortly after Richie came to live here, the week before Thanksgiving, my parents moved out of our house in Connecticut to a house in Missouri. My Dad has a new job out there working for a friend (starting in January), so he's giving up his business here (which had fallen on very hard times anyway). Dad flew back again the following Monday so he can finish up his last few contracts, and will be flying back to Missouri on January 2nd.

Of course, while he was gone we gave my parents' room to Richie so he wouldn't have to sleep on the floor in his Mom's room. So when Dad came back he had to pump up his king sized air mattress… to sleep in my office.

Back in January, while I was driving to Norwalk to pick up Shannon and bring her home, our laandlords told us we have to move. They didn't push it, which is good because the house we're moving into is still occupied by Ellyn and Gary (Ellyn is my Dad's sister), Katie and Tom (two of their three kids) and my grandparents (who officially moved in with them at the end of October). They're all moving to a new house in Bradford just a few miles from where they live now, but it took 6 months longer to finish the new house than was expected. Originally they were going to move in June or July, but I just helped them pack the first moving truck yesterday!

Now that they're moving, so are we. We'll be living in Westerly, RI, this weekend.

Of course I still have lots of work to do in the midst of all this chaos, and my poor, little, pea-sized brain does everything it can to find escape routes from all the chaos.

But wait, there's one more big change coming. A week after my Dad leaves, Mike — Shannon's husband, Lauren's sire — comes home. January 9th.

Please forgive me if you've expected something from me but I'm late with it. Or if I stood you up for coffee, like I did to Joe Cascio *twice* in one week.

Life is total chaos right now, but it should start to settle down in a couple of weeks.

Chaos.

[Top]


Author: Steve Davis - Office

Date:12/23/2008

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# 6271

Re: Chaos and Chronology

Hang in there, Seth. I'm pulling for you...

Steve
----- Original Message -----
From: "Seth Dillingham" <seth@macrobyte.net>
To: "TruerWords" <TruerWords-site@free-conversant.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:52 PM
Subject: [tw] Chaos and Chronology [Msg#6270]


<http://www.truerwords.net/6270>
--------------------------------

It feels like everything has changed in the last month. It's thrown me off
balance and I don't expect a return to normalcy until January.

The first big change is that Richie came to live with us much earlier than
he
was supposed to. Richie is Shannon's son, Lauren's half-brother, and he's 2
1/2 years older than she is. For most of his life he's been living with
Shannon's mom, first here in CT, and for the last two years in North
Carolina.

<http://www.flickr.com/photos/sethdill/3018266834/>

He's an extremely bright lad, but he's had very little discipline and,
conversely, is afraid of nearly everything. He wakes up every night
screaming
and crying, and often sleepwalks while crying. An example of the fear: Dad
and
I took him (and Lauren) sledding on Sunday. Dad sat him in the sled and
pulled
him up the hill... but he wailed in terror the entire time… going UP the
hill. (Going down it was no better, so that was the extent of our sledding.)
The lack of discipline manifests itself as him tending to do whatever he
wants, even when we're standing right there asking/telling him not to (hit
the
kitties, throw the ball at the window, jump on the couch, etc., etc., etc.)

We are making progress with him, and I'm very fond of him. His situation is
just so different from Lauren's, and we weren't prepared for it. Literally
— he wasn't supposed to move in until after we moved to RI. Shannon's
grandmother died in November, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, so
Shannon's
mom (Brenda) had to come up here anyway... it just made sense for us to take
Richie then instead of forcing them to make another trip in late December or
early January.

Shortly after Richie came to live here, the week before Thanksgiving, my
parents moved out of our house in Connecticut to a house in Missouri. My Dad
has a new job out there working for a friend (starting in January), so he's
giving up his business here (which had fallen on very hard times anyway).
Dad
flew back again the following Monday so he can finish up his last few
contracts, and will be flying back to Missouri on January 2nd.

Of course, while he was gone we gave my parents' room to Richie so he
wouldn't
have to sleep on the floor in his Mom's room. So when Dad came back he had
to
pump up his king sized air mattress… to sleep in my office.

Back in January, while I was driving to Norwalk to pick up Shannon and bring
her home, our laandlords told us we have to move
<http://www.truerwords.net/6135>. They didn't push it, which is good because
the house we're moving into is still occupied by Ellyn and Gary (Ellyn is my
Dad's sister), Katie and Tom (two of their three kids) and my grandparents
(who officially moved in with them at the end of October
<http://www.truerwords.net/6258>). They're all moving to a new house in
Bradford just a few miles from where they live now, but it took 6 months
longer to finish the new house than was expected. Originally they were going
to move in June or July, but I just helped them pack the first moving truck
yesterday!

Now that they're moving, so are we. We'll be living in Westerly, RI, this
weekend.

Of course I still have lots of work to do in the midst of all this chaos,
and
my poor, little, pea-sized brain does everything it can to find escape
routes
from all the chaos.

But wait, there's one more big change coming. A week after my Dad leaves,
Mike
— Shannon's husband, Lauren's sire — comes home. January 9th.

Please forgive me if you've expected something from me but I'm late with it.
Or if I stood you up for coffee, like I did to Joe Cascio *twice* in one
week.

Life is total chaos right now, but it should start to settle down in a
couple
of weeks.

Chaos.

--------------------------------
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Author: Mr Morgan

Date:12/23/2008

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# 6275

RE: Chaos and Chronology

Hey Seth, I know it is ABSOLUTELY RUDE, IMMATURE AND UNDISCIPLINED of an adult your AGE to write about a "kid" like Richie like you did. This is a bright little chap that EVEN you admit to be in your own very words "an extremely bright lad", so how on earth do you then stoop so low as to slay his personality and character as a person and by extension his family??? I think you are sufficiently lacking in self esteem, discipline and respect for the young boy by virtue of your narratives and you need to GROW UP. You need to apologize to the kid and his family or else if he sees your story at an older age, then you'll need to watch your back! 

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Author: Brenda Vanase

Date:12/24/2008

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# 6276

RE: Chaos and Chronology

Do all comments to a blog need to be in favor of the writer?  Why would an insulted writer's comments be removed?  Why would an insulted writers email be disabled from this blog?  Are you only suppose to write encouraging and supportive words to the author, always making the author's view the only view.  There are always 2 sides to any story.  It's not enough to be kind enough to accept another child into your home so a family can start living as one.  It takes time, patience, understanding, compassion, and much more discipline for the adult and not the 4 year old.  Both children in a family need to become one (kind of like 2 step families becoming one).  If one child reacts in a way in which they find they are successful in getting what they want, is it not common for the other child to pick up on that and behave the same?  Maybe this child is not getting equal attention as the younger child.  Do you not think the older child will not act out in order to gain some attention.  Read books, go to group counseling (or is the author so knowledgeable it's not needed),  Has the author ever raised a child of a young age?  I don't believe so.  About this sledding incident...some children need to watch, observe, analyze before taking a step.  Were negative words dished out to make the child feel they just had to do it?  Let the child grow with what he is accustomed to.  Give him a chance. 

[Top]


Author: Seth Dillingham

Date:12/27/2008

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# 6281

RE: Chaos and Chronology

Brenda,

That posting wasn't about you. It wasn't even really about Richie. It was about my life, and the chaos and difficulties I'm trying to deal with right now.

Kids are kids. None of them are perfect. Not Lauren, not Richie, not any other kids either.

I wrote what I wrote about Richie because has greatly contributed to the chaos in *my* life right now. Not because I don't like him, because I do. It's just that we weren't ready for him, and he's having a very difficult time adjusting to his new life here.

I hope that some part of the anger and meanness you've shown in the last few days comes simply from missing him. Whatever mistreatment, dislike, or neglect you think he's facing here, though, is totally imagined on your part. He has had a very difficult time adjusting to his new life, though, and that has not just added to, but really multiplied the chaos in our house.

My comment about his lack of discipline was not intended to reflect directly on you. I'm sorry that I said it that way. He's certainly acting very (very!) undisciplined, but that's at least partially a result of the adjustment.

As for the stuff you said about Lauren... well, you're totally, completely out of line. Lauren is amazingly well behaved. Everyone who takes care of her (and there are lots of people besides us who have helped out) all tell us what a delight she is nearly all of the time. Shannon has told me that I spoil her, so perhaps that's where you've heard it, but when I asked her to explain what she means she tells me that I when Lauren cries I "go running to find out what's wrong." In what world is that spoiling a child? I discipline her when it's needed, I dote on her most of the rest of the time, and we've produced a very happy, friendly, well behaved little girl.

Does she call me Daddy? No, she calls me "dada". I have no idea why. We never taught her that word, and asked all of our friends to never even use the word around her so she wouldn't pick it up. I'm Opa.

On the other hand, what you're really worrying about is appearances. So far, I'm the only father Lauren has ever known. Mike's coming home in a couple weeks and we'll have another huge adjustment to deal with. He won't be a total stranger because I've taken Lauren to see him DOZENS AND DOZENS of times in the last 21 months, but it'll be a long time before she can really think of him as her father. They'll both have a lot of adjusting to do.

I don't think anybody is ever "above reproach." Still, I do think we've been awfully nice to that little family, really making them part of our family. We have a crazy, mixed up, chaotic family, but I love every one of them even at the worst of times. So even if we're not above reproach, it would be nice if you'd give me the benefit of the doubt... especially as it's your daughter and grandchildren to whom we've given so much of our time, money, and hearts.

This is *my* site, and I've always spoken honestly about my feelings and my life. Maintain a civil tone here, or you are not welcome, and I *will* block and ban you. If you want to play the game of signing up with another email address, well, I have other ways of blocking you, too. For now I will leave things as they are, and you're welcome to continue commenting... but only if you can be civil and respectful. Give me at least a little benefit of the doubt, ok?

Seth

[Top]


Author: Brian Carnell

Date:12/24/2008

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# 6277

Re: Chaos and Chronology

Thanks for the update Seth. Glad to see you're still hanging in there. My daughter is a lot like that only in different ways, and the frustration and toll it takes on you is very difficult to comprehend for people not in that sort of situation.

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Author: Mr Morgan

Date:12/25/2008

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# 6278

Re: Re: Chaos and Chronology

Brian, i totally disagree with you and you are obviously on Seth's side with your posting. A kid is a kid no matter what and going online like this is tantamount to some level of dislike, possibly hate and of course, character deformation of the young lad.

[Top]


Author: Brenda Vanase

Date:12/26/2008

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# 6279

RE: Chaos and Chronology

Mr Morgan, although I do not know you, you apparently have a great ability to read between the lines so to speak. Thank you for the support against such malicious blogging.

[Top]


Author: Mark Morgan

Date:12/26/2008

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# 6280

Re: RE: Chaos and Chronology

Sounds like you have your days cut out for you, amigo. (Mostly just posting to let everyone know that "Mr Morgan" is not me!)

[Top]


Author: Brenda Vanase

Date:12/28/2008

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# 6282

RE: Chaos and Chronology

My reaction to your chaos, is not based on my missing Richard. I felt you were 'attacking' his behaviors as being non disciplined. I could also tell you many others who would say Richard is an awesome, well mannered and disciplined child. As far as Lauren and the dada/daddy thing? I understand that happens, (Bryan called everyone dada even women),and I know Mike and Shannon have many hurdles ahead. I saw first hand how Lauren 'plays' you. At the hospital when she fell. Remember we laughed when Richie told her to "brush it off". You were holding her, comforting her, she looked up at me, no tears, no crying, turned her head back into your shoulder and 'cried again'. I don't think I said spoiled, just 'played'. Running to find out what is wrong, is right. I have always expressed my gratitude toward you guys for helping this young family. Fortunely for you, you do not know, nor had to experience "Tough Love". You may also notice that as Shannon has been growing, her family (other relatives) aside from me, are now more willing to help her. You have housed her, fed her, tended to her children, transported her, brought religion back into her life (somewhat), and so many other things that I may not even be aware of, and for that, you know how grateful I am. I do understand the chaos in your life, many people in and out of your home, Mike coming, Richie coming, moving to RI, and what ever else. I don't understant how you can say you weren't ready for him. 1st he was going to come in May, then late summer, then October, the end of November, then middle of December, then in January. Its kind of like deciding when to buy a house or have a baby, there is no right time, you just do it. With all that 'chaos', Richie is trying to figure out who runs the show, so yes, he will be acting out. You need to understand what Richie is working with: 2 daycare providers, 3 adults in a home dishing out rules (soon to be 4), a little sister who does have a different routine. This is the first time I heard back from you and not Corinne. I couldn't figure out why. The blog that I felt 'attacked' me, put me over the edge. It still has, to the point of a meltdown. You may not understand that, but I'm sure Corinne does. Imagine your wife reading a blog like that about her son and the reaction she would have. She and I are usually on the same page. There have always been times that I haven't agreed with you, but to keep the peace and for the sake of the Deane family, I keep my mouth shut. Maybe the timing was just all wrong on both ends. I am not one to write with emotion, however, this is the 1st time in many years that I immediately had a reaction and not think about what I write. Am I hurt? ABSOLUTELY I never said you didn't like Richie, I've only said you don't have a bond with him like I do and I don't have a bond with Lauren like you do. I to have alot of time, money, and heart invested. Let me just correct one word, time invested in my daughter and grandchild. Richie goes to daycare, Lauren should to. Before I left CT, we made sure we had those arrangements made to relieve you from the 'daycare' burden. We also felt it was important for Richie to stay for 2 reasons: 1. The whole month of November he was at your house, he was already starting the adjustment process. 2. His attorney suggested it was okay, and I figured it would look good to be able to say to the judge that he is well into the process. If you are trying to help this young family get back on track, you need to let them be a family. Let me ask you this..when Richie is not listening, what do you do? What does Corinne do? What does Shannon do? Lets use the tail pulling for that example. Right now I am trying to figure out how to come to CT for the trial and be supportive of the arrangements. Do you even want temp guardianship of Richie? I will ask my sister in Lisbon to do so. I would keep it, but as the judge pointed out, it doesn't make sense being so far away. We will need to stay on common ground for the sake of the Deane family. I will understand if you do not want me to come by the new house to help Shannon & family set up house, I can respect that. I apologize for my quick judgement and reaction to your blog. I use to enjoy reading and getting updates. Sorry Seth

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