Monthly Archives: October 2016

Let the counseling adventure begin!

This is a smidge late – I wrote it last week after our appointment 🙂

So, we met the new counselor yesterday afternoon. She’s nice, incredibly young, and reallly realllllly sweet. Wierdly, overly, Stepford Wives sweet. But hey, she’s not my counselor, she’s for O, so whatever works, O seemed to like her and open up right away.

We went in and, in O’s defense, before we get started, this lady has all things playful in her office for the kids. Dress up outfits, sand boxes, paints, easels, crayons, play doh, a myriad of things to do. Let me just be blunt for a moment – O acted like a donkey’s ass. She touched everything, didn’t sit down, interrupted the adults talking, walked repeatedly between where we were sitting and the counselor, basically she did any and everything she wanted because, well, she’s a smart kid, and knows that I couldn’t jack her up and make her stop like I would any other time. So, I gave her the “sit the hell down and shut it” Mom eye the whole time. It didn’t work. Not because she didn’t see the infamous “Mom eye”, because she did. I’m pretty sure I burnt holes in the walls with my looks. I even raised an eyebrow. That’s serious, folks. She knew she was in MAJOR trouble, but I think she figured “Hey, I’m already in trouble, why stop now?” So she didn’t. DID NOT. At all. The WHOLE FRIGGING TIME. Longest 60 minutes of my life. I’ve never wanted to whoop her so bad in my entire existence. At one point, I realized I was sitting with my legs crossed and shaking my foot so fast and hard that when I looked over at the hubs, it looked like he was shivering. He wasn’t. My rage manifested itself in my foot. Funny now, but at the moment, not.so.much.

We talked about the issues at school, her behavior at home, her relationship with each of us, and her brothers. She asked us weird questions like did she have her own room, does she have a bed…No, we keep her in the pantry, next to the potatoes, on a dog bed… what do you think, lady? If we did keep her in a pantry, on a dog bed, next to the potatoes, do you think we’d go to the trouble of bringing her to a counselor because we’re concerned about her behavior, and mental well-being? Just Sayin’.

We’ll see how it goes, the plan so far is that we’ll meet once a week, and once a month we’ll have a family session, sans the baby brothers. Can I just say one more time, that it drives me nuts that O acted the way she did? I mean, we’re here because we need help, O, you didn’t need to show her how ridiculous you can be, she knows. Because we’re here. In a counselor’s office…getting counseling… for an 8 year old, you didn’t have to show her 100% of your crazy on the first day. Ugh.

But what we WILL do is, Keep Hope Alive!

Teachers – Why I love and hate them

I love teachers. I have friends that are teachers. I have friends that are so patient and kind and goodhearted that they should be teachers. I remember several of the good teachers I had in school. Mostly older ladies, that didn’t take any shit, and were nice sweet gummy bears on the inside, as long as you did what you were told (which was rarely me).

That is not the kind of teachers that are in any of the schools that my O has attended. Here’s the thing. I’m not a teacher. I don’t want to be. I’m not very patient, and the bottom line is, I have a hard enough time wrangling our 3 littles. There is NO WAY I could make it through a day with 22 kids of any age, nor do I want to. As our 2 year old Marley says when there’s anything he doesn’t want, feels like he can’t do, or wants no part of, ” I can’t want it.”

That being said…I own that. So, guess what I didn’t do? Yep, you guessed it, I didn’t become a teacher!

My first issue with these “new school teachers” is that they’re all 12. As in 12 years old. They have no children, or they’re pregnant with their first, and they’re literally fresh out of college with no real world experience. I would almost venture to say, that the majority of these teachers don’t even have nieces or nephews. How is it, that you plan on teaching anyone anything? They don’t even let fresh out of college kids be professors, and that’s teaching other adults!! Do you know why?? (Pick me, Pick me!! I know!!) BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW SHIT YET.

Also, I understand that the new thing now is to play games with your kids instead of doing homework. That doesn’t work for our family structure. No one has time to come home and play math games. I have time to come home and check answers on homework. Seriously. I think that teachers somehow forget that the majority of the time the child you have in class is not the only child in the family, we do not leave work at 3:30 pm, we do not have a conference period, and we hardly have time to feed and bathe children when we get home.

Rant over – but I’m sure I’ll revisit it again. My frustration with the current system is rising. Thank you for reading/listening!!

As always, Keep Hope Alive!

An Alien Kidnapped O Last Night

This morning, I get up, Bitty (the littlest little) was up pretty much every hour all night. It was not fun. The hubs and I are exhausted. It’s all good, this is part of life, right? We have so much to be thankful for, everyone is healthy, we have a home to wake up in, jobs to go to, I am thankful.

So we are getting ready, and I realize, I haven’t had to yell at O one time. Not once! She is ready, fully dressed, (with shoes, AND socks on) asking for toothpaste (becuase if we let her have her own toothpaste, she’ll squeeze it all down the sink because it looks cool) she is fully dressed, and then…wait for it…she brings me her backpack to sign her planner (granted, this is supposed to happen at night, but this is amazing!) Then, she goes into the playroom, and for the first time in her entire existence, begins (again, wait for it) CLEANING IT UP! I KNOW!! WHAT?!?!?!? Who is this child in our house?? What have you done with Olivia? Where is she? Give her back!! Well, right after this imposter finishes cleaning to it’s heart’s content…Invasion of the body-snatchers has happened in my home. An alien has taken my O and swapped her for a compliant, schedule following, non talkie-backie, no pout face, getting to school on time with no breakdowns, child, that at least appears human.

There has got to be a catch. I haven’t figured it out yet, but for the moment, as long as I’m allowed, I’m going to BASK in the essence of this version of O. I’m going to have some coffee, get some work done, and stare at the caller id on my phone, daring the school to call.

Happy morning!! Yay!

Keep Hope Alive 🙂

After School Pick-up Shenanigans

Brief, ridiculous, funny (probably only to me) story of the day. I call O’s school to tell them that the nanny will be picking her up early today. The same person, mind you, that has been picking up our child from school every day for the last, oh, 2 months or so.

School secretary asks me the nanny’s name, I give it, she says,”Oh, I don’t see her name on the list.” Me (this is the same school that LOST my daughter for 45 minutes last year) “BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Interesting. Who, then, might I ask, have you been letting her leave with every day for the last TWO MONTHS?” Crickets. “I’m going to have the principal call you back. What is a good number?” “She has all of my numbers, tell her it’s Olivia’s mom, I’m sure I’m on speed dial. In the mean time, at 3, when a person who you haven’t bothered to identify so far, shows up to take Olivia, let her go, her mom said so.”

The level of ridiculousness is simply amazing.

 

Report Card Day, and Lunch

So, yesterday was report card day. Gasp! This is how bad it was…first I got a call from O’s teacher. She told me that their new hourly behavior chart seems to be working well (it’s day 2) and that she hit her goal of 30 points in one day! Yayy!! Then she said she would wait to discuss O’s report card with me until tomorrow (today) so that I could have time to discuss with O first. Then the hubs calls. He won’t tell me what her grades are because I’m at work, and he doesn’t want to upset me. Shit. Shit-shit-shitty-shitterton.

I get home. She failed everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.NG. I guess that’s not exactly true, she didn’t fail PE, and she didn’t fail Art, or Music. Every academic class though, fail. Which translates in my mind as “You’re her mom, she failed, you suck. You suck at mothering, you suck at parenting in general, and because being a good mom is so important to you, it’s the biggest failure ever, welcome to it.” Well thank you, 3rd grade report card. I hate you too, go jump off a bridge in your stupid manila envelope.

So, what are we going to do? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. But we will do something. We have done everything I can think of, but there has to be more. We will do it.

Oh, bonus kick in the teeth, O asked several weeks ago if she could start taking her lunch instead of getting school lunch. This may not seem like a big deal to most, but it’s one more thing that we have to do at night, but we did it! Every day, for 2 weeks, she took her lunch. The deal was, if you take your lunch, you don’t get school lunch, it’s one or the other. (because of her recent obsession with food and eating, I had to spell that out for her) See how I did that?? Spelled it out, that was the deal, clearly indicated that it was NOT ok to eat 2 lunches. Yeah, about that…I asked her teacher about the lunch thing. In my possibly too hopeful mind, I thought the teacher was going to tell me that no, she has just been eating her lunch from home. Yeah right. The little buggar has been eating her home lunch and school lunch since the day we started sending it. Boom. Kick in the teeth. Blatant disobedience. So, home lunches are out. The end.

 

report_card

This Morning, and Laundry

One of Olivia’s jobs is to take her dirty clothes from her clothes hamper, 50 feet to the laundry room. When the laundry is done, she has to fold up and put away her own clothes. This is not to be mean, this is because if we don’t do this, then every piece of Olivia’s clothing, whether clean or dirty, it will be in the laundry every week. She doesn’t discriminate – all seasons of clothes, every piece of clothing she owns…it can be July and 100 degrees, you will find a winter coat and sweatshirts in the dirty clothes. So, the only way we found to prevent this is to make her put her own clothes away, because she hates it, and  we’ve  discovered it will get her to NOT put everything she owns in the dirty clothes to be washed.  Before I wash her clothes Friday evening, I ask her if this is EVERYTHING. “Olivia? Is this EVERYTHING?” “Yes.” “All of your socks, undies, pajamas, shirts, shorts, EVUH – REE –  THIIIIING????” “Yes.” (She walks away and I know she’s rolling her eyes, I choose not to smack her into next week for it, it is Friday, after all, we survived the week) Then I launder her clothes. This was Friday. Now we’re at Sunday evening, and there is a pile of Oliva clothes that has magically appeared by the washer. Clearly, my definition and hers of EVERYTHING are very different. I digress, I asked her if she had folded up the clothes I washed Friday. She says no, I tell her to go do it. She comes back 3 minutes and 7 seconds later, and says it’s done. I tell her that she better be sure, because I’m going to check. She sulks away, back to her room. We do this 3 times, each time she comes back faster than the last, announcing “I’m dooooooooooooone!!!!” Each time it’s a blasted lie and I know it as I hear her skipping down the hall to my room!!! Not gonna freak out (this is my mantra on many days). The excuses are as follows when I ask if she’s done – once she needs hangers, the next time she wasn’t using her cardboard foldy thingy that I made to help her fold, the next time she didn’t match up her socks. When it’s all said and done and she swears all clothes are put away, it is bedtime. I don’t go check. My mistake. I get up this morning and guess what?? There are clothes all over her bed. I almost lose my shit, ALL OF IT. I don’t though- I think to myself, “No, self, I will not lose my shit at 6 am – I will wait 12 hours and lose my shit when I get home, that way it won’t ruin my day”. I take a ridiculously deep “cleansing” (right) breath, and I go in her bathroom to fix her hair. I ask her if she brushed her teeth (pause: I’m looking at a DRY piece of kleenex in the sink, indicating with my super mom investigative powers, that she has not run any water in the sink this morning) she says she did. In my mind, not out loud (thank you very much) JESUS CHRIST!! IM LOOKING AT A DRY SINK!!!!!!!!!DOESN’T SHE KNOW I KNOOOOOOOW SHE’S LYING???!!! If she didn’t brush her teeth, which we know she didn’t, then she also didn’t wash her face….(anger mounting beyond my ability to control it, she’s been up for 45 minutes…what has she been doing?? By the way, she also doesn’t have a training bra on, she’s supposed to wear one) So I ask her about washing her face, she says yup she did it. “Really? You did? So how is this dry piece of tissue in the sink? The sink isn’t wet. You didn’t do it, and you just lied about it.” I leave the room. Then scream back that she knows she needs to put a bra on too – also, hurry up, I’m leaving in 3 minutes, and you’re coming with me, whether you have a dirty face, and smelly breath or not. So then, I did – and the world didn’t end.

 

First things First – meet us

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.