Friday, December 10, 2010

Run and Hide

I know all Moms are some degree of tired.  And I don't for one minute think that my single status makes my mother-job any harder than it is for anyone else.  It's just different.  But I am exhausted.  And confused.  I feel so ill-prepared to do what I need to do.  No, scratch that.  I feel clueless about knowing what I need to do. 

I am worn down and drained.  I am stressed and frustrated.  I am, illogical as it is, resentful of my daughter for not making this parenting thing easier.  I am sick and tired of not knowing how any day will start or end....what kind of mood, what level of frustration?  I am on eggshells until I see where Bianca is at any given moment.  Did she have a good day? Bad?  Is she tired?  Is she weepy? Whiney? Shut down?  Hyper? Anxious?  And what will my patience level be for her today?  How many different ways can I say the same exact thing 35 times?  And keep it positive?  And not pull my toenails out with pliers just for fun?

I had a meeting Weds morning with her teacher and the school psychologist.  Let me back up to say that I've never met with the psychologist before so imagine my horror when I walked in her office and realized she was the same woman I told off in the parking lot last year and have given the evil eye to every time since.  Crap.  I hope she has forgotten or, at the very least, is forgiving.  More likely, she's probably noting Bianca's files with things like "Childs behavioral issues suddenly all make sense.....Mom is a psycho."

Anyhoo...the meeting has been a while coming.  I've had a few conferences with the teacher and we've exchanged a host of emails.  I suspect Bianca has ADD.  I'm not saying it's for sure or the only possibility but it seems likely at this point.  The plan was to have the psychologist observe Bianca and then we'd all get together and talk.  So I went in bright and early with my little notebook, ready to gather the information they surely had for me after four observations and a couple one-on-one meetings.  So why was I the one giving all the information?  And why are we backing up to try sticker charts and reward systems AGAIN?  They didn't work the first time.  But apparently the school phsychologist needed to see the not-working in action. ?? 

They wanted me to give them ideas.  People, I am the parent which means, YES, I do know alot about my child.  But it's stuff I've already shared with you.  And, this is my one and only child who I ride the waves with and screw up learn as I go.  YOU are the "experts" see 25-50-300 kids every school year and have seen a hell of a lot more child development than I could ever aspire to.  Why are you asking me for ideas on what will work?  You are supposed to be telling me.  I appreciate your two new plans but they will not work.  They are different versions of the same things you've already tried.  Not wanting to seem like the pessimist (which I am NOT), I nodded and said "Sure, we'll give that a try.  Great idea.  You let me know how it works out." 

Nothing works consistently with Bianca and that is part of the ADD or whatever-it-is that is going on with her brain. The same trick that worked like a charm yesterday and caused flowery rainbows of glee to shoot from her eyesockets will, today, send her into a furious death roll of epic proportions. I've beaten myself up in the past about not staying consistent with her and then I finally realized....hey, I've just been trying to stay afloat. It's to the point now where something happens and I am completely dumbfounded with 40 different books, ideas, suggestions, tips, tricks and remedies all whirling through my head like a tornado. And the tumbleweeds of what used to be my ample brain cells just can't withstand the commotion. All I want to do is RUN.and.HIDE.

My heart aches for my child who is so unhappy in school.  And I feel like the crappiest mom ever that I don't have more patience for her.  Especially if her lack of focus is something outside of her control.  Still it is downright MADDENING.  Remember the part in the movie SAW when the dude had to hack off his own foot to escape?  Trying to do homework the other night was possibly slightly less fun than that.  And then comes the meltdown that she doesn't have enough time to do anything else because it took her an hour to alphabetize 12 groups of words.  An hour that sounded like this: "Stay focused.  Okay, next word.  Okay, back to work.  Keep your eyes on the paper.  No you can't use marker.  Stop writing on the table. Sit still. Eyes on your work.  Are you sure R comes before C?  Say the alphabet.  Stop writing on the table.  Are you sure V comes before I?  Say the alphabet. STOP writing on the table.  Are you sure T comes before G?  Say the alphabet.  No, you still can't use marker.  Focus.  No you can't watch TV.  Focus.  Is singing the Polar Express song helping you work?  No, we can't watch it tonight.  No, you can't draw a hat on the snowman right now, just read me the words......etc etc etc." (Cocking finger gun at temple & pulling thumb-trigger)

I know she is overtired which became abundantly more clear when I put her to bed and sadly (and stupidly, as far as timing is concerned) informed her it was time for the halloween pumpkin to go in the garbage because it's getting squooshie on the bottom.  I reminded her it was a vegetable and, therefore, has a finite life span before it turns into slimy black muck.  In a whine so shrill that I fully expected a pack of wild dogs to show up on my doorstep, she wails "But you can't throw that away because it's my favorite tiny vegetable!" followed by massive weeping and attempts to grab the softening pumpkin from my hands.  I have this sinking feeling I'm raising a future hoarder but that's another post.  At least for tonight, one slightly squishy bottomed tiny vegetable is sitting in the middle of her christmas lighted garland.  I just give up.


  1. I get what you're feeling TOTALLY. I feel like some thing work for a short period of time and then they could care less. I have no patience left with my kids and am completely exhausted. Most of the time I give in to just keep going even though I know it won't help. I won't offer lame advice since you have all the, um, helpful books and all, but just know you're not alone!

  2. You are soo not alone : ) New follower here...