Ok – so here we go. This is my ongoing catharsis, if you will, my never-ending, stream of consciousness journey of parenting a beautiful, smart, sassy, brave, loving, twirling, defiant, strong-willed, unmotivatable, mini version of myself, along with my sons, who are 2 and 1, and trying to pull off being a wife to my amazing husband. I’m just going to jump right on in, and bring you up to speed.
Owee, as we call her, is, well, a problem. She was diagnosed with severe ADHD when she was 5 – this was after many visits to many Dr.s, being sent home daily from daycare, she was throwing tables, chairs, hitting, stealing, etc..fast forward the longest 3.5 years you can imagine of behavior issues, medicines, teachers, principals, babysitters, nannies, daycare, all of it. We have tried everything we know to try – calendars, rewards, punishments, treats, candy, promises of trips to the park, zoo, the moon, mars, earning privileges, losing privileges, spanking, screaming, time out, wall sits, push ups, believe me when I say, ALL of it.
I have been ready to drop her off at the fire station, sell her to the highest bidder, put her in a box with kittens and set her on the curb – I have had days where I have gotten 3 calls (IN THE SAME DAY, THIS WEEK AS A MATTER OF FACT) from her school. I have been her advocate, I have had conference calls with the superintendent of the district, I have had parent teacher conferences, principal conferences, counselor conferences, outside counseling, psychologists, and psychiatrists, we have tried medicine, non medicine, diet adjustments, NOTHING WORKS.
So, this led to me doubting myself, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m a bad mom, maybe wires got crossed, and I got the wrong kid. See, I say “kid”, I used to be horribly offended when people called their child a “kid” – then Olivia turned 4, and then I got it.
So now she’s 8. She is creative, funny, loving, etc…but she also has these other things, defiance, manipulation, cruelty to her brothers, jealousy, stealing, lying, physical aggression, the “I can’t’s”, the passive aggressive (which drives me to the end of my sanity) If she is not in our presence, she is on a mission to do whatever she wants (and most of the time it is stuff she’s not allowed to do).
In the last 6 months she’s become obsessed with food – down to the books she checks out from the school library – I literally had to call the school and tell them to help her choose other books. The food obsession has to stop. She’s gained 40 lbs since school let out last year, partially due to the fact that we took her off of her stimulant meds, but partially because she is ‘hungry’ all the time! She will steal food from her brothers’ plates when no one is looking, she will sneak food at night. So we try to do positive things, because if we address the fact that she’s in a size 16 in kids (the biggest size that there is) and still can’t keep her shorts up, because how do you put shorts on a perfectly round object…we’d be shaming her and that would create a whole other issue, that may later on include an eating disorder!
So here we are. That’s where I’m at. I’m tired, I feel like it’s Groundhog Day every day, and every time the phone rings, I stop breathing, because I just know it’s the school calling to tell me something horrible that she’s done. Like steal another kid’s breakfast, stomp around the classroom yelling “I can’t do it” or “I don’t want to”, hiding her work in ISS into another student’s desk, stealing m&m’s from her teacher’s desk, throw a fit and run smack into another kid, knocking him down, be mad and repeatedly kick the cabinet in front of her “cool off” desk, punch a kindergartener, try to physically make other students go places that she wants them to go. These have all happened, mostly this year. It’s only October 14, people. The first report card hasn’t even come out yet.
She’s the awkward kid. She doesn’t have a lot of friends. No one likes her because, well, at any given moment, if mom and dad aren’t in the room, she turns into a gremlin that got water or food after midnight. No one likes what happens next.
So, after many tears, prayer marathons, time periods of purely ignoring her so I won’t scream at her, it’s come down to this. There has to be an answer. There has to be a method that works. I can’t be the only parent that has gone through or is going through this. Example, my mom. I was the SAME EXACT, BLUEPRINT KID, except I was terrified of my mom. Olivia isn’t scared of shit when it comes to me or punishments or anything else, well, except for bugs, but I digress. My mom and I didn’t really like each other for DECADES! Love each other yes, like each other? NO. It literally took until I was grown, and had Olivia, and her behavior issues started, to understand and appreciate what my mom must’ve gone through. The guilt alone at some of the thoughts that I know I’ve had are sincerely gut wrenching. Wait, not crazy, violent thoughts, let’s be clear. But I’ve seriously considered dropping her off at the Texas Baptist Children’s Home. Real place, no lie, legitimately checked it out. I don’t want that for Olivia. I want us to have a loving, functional relationship. Honestly, 85% of the time right now, I can’t stand her. Not because of who she is, but what she does. She will NOT do what she knows she is supposed to do. Every day, every task is a battle. I am tired. Exhausted. I look it. That makes me even more sad, she takes time and energy that I need to give to her brothers and my husband. That makes me resent her. She takes more than her fair share. That makes me angry – see where I’m going with this. It sucks. It really fucking sucks. Donkey balls. I don’t want to be “Angry Mom”, I’m not an angry person. But with Olivia, I go from “everything’s fine” mode, to “PACK YOUR SHIT AND GET OUT OF MY HOUSE” mode in about, hmmm .3 seconds.
So this is my story, an ongoing story of how we’re going to figure it out. This is how I’m going to deal with my portion of it, maybe it will help another parent someday, maybe not, but it will sure as hell make me feel better to get it out. I’m not going to sugar coat it. For my friends and family who know me, they’ll tell you I don’t really too much sugar coat anything, so if I say I’m not going to, you’re about to get the real deal.
Things you should know –
- I cuss. A lot. I’m going to cuss in this blog – probably a lot. If you’re offended, well, then I’m sorry in advance, and I understand if you don’t read it. Know that it is going to happen. Often.
- I’m sarcastic. No, really. Very very very sarcastic. Deadpan sarcastic. You may not know when I’m being sarcastic, just roll with it. I’m also silly. So don’t take everything that I say literally. Here’s a good rule of thumb, if you think, “surely she must be joking” I’m probably not, but if you don’t think I am, then I probably am. Glad to clear that up for you.
- I love my family more than anything. We are a real family. We fight, we fuss, we laugh, we have pillow fights, and tickle wars, and I let my kids jump on my bed. I tackle my husband, he tackles me (like form tackles, but we land on the bed or couch, no one gets injured, well, most of the time) We are an old school couple, in this weird, new school world that neither one of us likes very well. We would love to have couple friends, but everyone’s weird. We’ve tried. So it’s just us, and we like it that way.
- I will not give up. Ever. EVER.
So, here we are. Since reading a book is a hilarious concept at this point in my life, being that our family consists of me, my hubs, Bitty (Marlon), who is 1 ½ , Doodah (Marley), who is 2 ¾ , and Owee (Olivia), who is 8, I’ve downloaded an app that will read the books to me! I have an hour commute each way to work, so I’m thinking that this will quickly knock out some books that might be helpful.
Starting with, well, I’m not sure if I can say, I’ll find out before the next installment, copyrights etc, not sure if I can reference it without permission. Let’s just say it’s a book about parents that live with kids who are not the easiest.
So there we are. It’s 1:40pm on Friday afternoon, and I haven’t gotten a call from the school today. This is a victory in my life – because today is early release day at Owee’s school, so if it hasn’t happened yet, we’re good!! Winning!! It’s also standing Friday night date night with the hubs, which means I don’t have to go home after work, and by the time we get home, the kids will be asleep. Another victory!
Welcome to my life, it’s a wild ride, hold on tight.