I Love Change but I Don’t

Okay, now on to the other big thing going on in our house. We are going to remodel! We love our place, but it is just too small. Officially, we live in a one bedroom, one bath apartment over our garage. We fell into the “build the guest space/in-law suite and live there while we build the main house” trap. Now, about 8 years and two quirky kids later, we’ve run out of room.

By nature, I’m an impatient person; probably one of my bigger flaws. I hate waiting!

Sidebar: I’m cracking up as I type thinking of one of C’s favorite book by Mo Willems, Waiting Is Not Easy! If you’ve got little ones, Mo Willems is a great children’s author. My kids love all his stuff!

So, here I sit, waiting and hating it. We knew that we would, one day, reach this point. We knew we would outgrow this house. But, we love it here. We have privacy. It feels secluded, yet we’re just minutes from our small town. The house itself, sturdy and well-built by my late father-in-law, is so nice. It’s just too small. So, we have kicked around the idea of what to do for quite some time. Do we move or add on? build a main home or remodel? So many options. I love change so, right from the start, I’m all in. I scour the real estate listings. I do research. Could we rent out our house for enough to cover a second mortgage? On and on it goes. Change doesn’t come as easy to the hubs and, understandably, he wants to stay here, in the last home his dad built. It’s a special place, yes, but what about our family’s current needs? I actually found a place that I loved but, on digging deeper, I didn’t like its location. It didn’t feel like it was the right location for our family and it wasn’t private. The more I looked, the more I found that everything paled to where we are now. If only we had more room! Finally, I agree that it’s best and probably less expensive to remodel our current home.

So, we start working on plans and things begin to fall into place amazingly quickly. We have funds lined up, plans we are happy with and we start interviewing contractors. It should be exciting and “happy happy” here, and I am… but I’m not. I’m also nervous and anxious over how stressful it is going to be for the kiddos and, by extension, me.

E has growing anxiety issues lately. One new thing that has come about is a fear of strangers in the house. I never even thought about that but, he’s worried and stressed about people he doesn’t know coming into our home. It doesn’t make a difference that Mom and Dad are okay with this person or that person. He is excited about the changes but, the fear and anxiety are stronger. In trying to fix one problem, we may have unintentionally added another. This poor kid. What are we going to do?

Meanwhile, Mr. C has been getting increased attention from us because of his issues, making E jealous and needy. E is acting out more, has a shorter temper and C loves to “poke the bear!” Flash forward a few weeks and C is flat out refusing to go to school any more. He is insisting on doing school at home too. We have been fighting him with this issue since he started at the public school and it’s reached its breaking point. I can no longer do this fight each morning. This is a battle I choose to lose. My life is a constant series of battles and I concede defeat on this one.

So the papers have been signed and the change has happened. Now I live in a house that is about to be remodeled with two home-schooled quirky kids, and I have no idea what to do. Homeschooling one was hard. To add a second with different special needs is insane but, honestly, it has been so much easier than I expected. I get to stay in bed just a few minutes longer and actually drink my coffee sitting down rather than while running here and there in the mad dash to force this child or that one out the door on time.

The hardest part is when C is having his “off” days which, sadly, are happening more and more. He gets frustrated that he can’t get his words out and then he refuses to keep working. If he makes one tiny mistake, it’s all over. He has to get 100% or he’s failed. He is taking more and more of my attention both in regular home life and as a student.

We have had one session with our therapist and C. The therapist’s initial reaction is that the issue is some type of Executive Functioning issue, but which one? We don’t know. What we know is that the toe walking, the sensory issues, the emotional sensitivity, the nightly fight over what he will actually eat for dinner, and the frustration he has at not getting his thoughts out are pointing at something. We just have to follow the clues.

Time to pull out the detective hat and, as Sherlock Holmes put it: “Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”

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