Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Say it with me now ... preventable !


My son has distinct issues with listening. He cannot retain things for long periods of time if they are instructions. Or most things for that matter. He can remember things to do with TV shows or movies or books. He can remember things that have to do with him growing up, etc. However - day to day instructions just seem to baffle him. Hence our story for today.

I preface this by either illuminating or reminding our readers that Thomas' latest adventure included lighting a match in the boy's bathroom at school. This ties in to our word for tonight - preventable.

Michael and I are sitting on the couch TV surfing. Loads of mindless for the masses reality TV that quite frankly makes me ill. Who gives a flying crap about Kim Kardashian anyway ? She looks like a brainless idiot who cannot fathom that the world does not owe her squat. Or Dina Lohan who is the world's worst mother next to Mommy Dearest. But I digress ....

As we start to head for bed it's now after 10pm and this little voice calls down the stairs - Mommmmmmm. Quite rudely I say "What ?!". Please bear in mind I've had a long day. The little voice says - "You're going to be mad aren't you ?" At this point I'm already annoyed so I say "yes." I then discover that my son has taken his lovely putty which has been given to him by the occupational therapist and has somehow got it in his hair.

I preface this by saying I have repeatedly asked Thomas not to keep the putty in his room. I have repeatedly removed the putty and put it downstairs. And I have repeatedly found it back in his room. Now we go back to the whole instruction thing which we've already covered.

So I see his rather large clump of silver shiny goo firmly ensconced in my child's georgous auburn hair and I say, "idiot". No pretty language. No feel better language. Just "idiot". I swear. Idiot, idiot, idiot. So we head to the bathroom and under brighter lights I see that Wile E. Coyote has got this stuff matted in his hair and at this point it's not coming out quietly. So I decide to go to town on the hair. We comb and comb and comb. Putty is coming out but so is hair. Not a lot but enough that the eyes start to water and the boy starts to beg for Daddy's brilliant suggestion of shaving his head. To this I say no. To this I start to sing a little song which goes to the tune of It's a Small World. Sing it with me won't you ??

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears
It's a world of hope and a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we aware
To leave the putty downstairs

Then we go to the chorus. Quite original I think:

Leave the putty downstairs
Leave the putty downstairs
Leave the putty downstairs
Or it will get in your hair.

My son at this point is not finding this amusing. His head hurts. He is tired. And his mother is making unholy fun of him for getting putty in his hair. At this point I take further pleasure in using this moment to define Preventable. Our word for the day. I say to my son, "how many times have I told you to leave the putty downstairs ?" He replies through tears and snuffles - "About five thousand". "Close" I say. "This, my son, is a perfect example of preventable". I go on to illustrate that he and I both could have done without this moment in our lives and I ask him again what Preventable means. He forgets. I illustrate again how the fire at school was Preventable. I ask him again what Preventable means. He remembers. As we go to bed, "What is our word for tonight Thomas ?" "PREVENTABLE Mom - I get it !"

Sometimes my son has to learn things the hard way. I did too. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be super sweet and smothering when he pulls a bone headed move because he won't remember the lesson in all of it. Sometimes it pays to sing a little song about the word of the day: Preventable. Sing it with me won't you ? I'm just hoping my next song won't have the word Contraception in it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why Am I Such An Idiot ?


I'm sure we've all had those less than stellar moments in our parenting careers where we wonder why the CAS doesn't wake up and pay a visit. I've had several. Not for hitting my kids. Not for depriving them of anything. Not for anything "illegal" going on in the house. Just one of those bone headed, really stupid, I shouldn't have done that moments where you wonder why you didn't make the husband wear a condom just that one time so you wouldn't have to be having this moment at all.

My son is remarkably immature for his age. He is 10 going on 7 on a good day. Other days he surprises me and shows he is getting closer to his age. Those days are few. This frightens me, frustrates me, makes me a little nutty. After all it is all about me anyway. Today was a 7 year old day but more for me than him.

He was working on the computer. He has taken to using the old education programs I got a couple of years ago which are quite young for him but there you have it. Probably a grade 2 level or so. He likes that he gets a gold star which his mother was not going to earn with her contribution to this story.

So he is minding his own business playing this game. He gets frustrated, starts pounding the bench he is sitting on and saying "I can't do this !!". Now any sane mother would have said, "There, there.... there, there. Let me make it better". Thomas' mother chose to get angry, yell at him and belittle him. Stellar moment. I see that he is rushing, I see that he is not paying attention, I see that he is struggling - and I choose to be an ass. Of epic proportions. No "there, there". No "let's work together". I'm all about the yelling about how he should slow down, pay attention and not be an idiot. Stellar. Totally stellar. As soon as it pops out, he has tears, I've frightened him and we are getting no where. I am the biggest jerk to ever walk the planet at this point. But do I stop yelling ? Oh no. I keep going. SLOW DOWN THOMAS. WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING THOMAS. WHY AREN'T YOU READING IT PROPERLY ???? More stellar moments. More self-esteem building from mom. NOT.

Finally I pull my head out of my ginormous butt and sit down. I try to placate him by telling him how I am frustrated because I know he is not an idiot and if he'd slow down, he'd be able to do this. What good is that going to do ? Is he going to remember in the long run that I don't think he's an idiot after I've calmed down ? No. He is going to remember his big moron of a mother who is supposed to love him and build him up, yelling like a crazy woman and calling him an idiot. I have now confirmed that he is an idiot and repeated the same destructive history my parents created with me. Yes, I am going to go there and pull out the "it's my parents fault" card. Sort of.

I accept what I did. I realize that I am an unholy moron for having done it. But that is what I grew up with. Instead of patient encouragement, I got yelled at. Instead of compliments on what I could do, I was picked on for what I didn't do. Instead of Great Job ! I got why can't you finish anything ? I have tried my best to fix and change most of what I don't agree with in how my parents raised me. I spend more time with my kids. We do interesting things together. I am silly with them. I explain more. I say I am sorry more. However - the big one I am having trouble with is the yelling and name calling. Not horrible names. Not swear word names. But names none the less - goof, turkey, twit, noodle, nooge, weirdo, etc. All specifically designed to demean and inflict damage. And hear I go again.

It has taken me years to learn to believe in myself. It has taken me years to discover that some of the things I do are special. That not everyone can read like I read. Not everyone can bake or cake decorate or garden or cook or create whatever like I can. I always thought I was average. That nothing I did was extraordinary. My parents never thought so. I thought I would be a better parent that way. I am not as encouraging as I'd hoped I'd be. I'm not as patient as I'd hoped I'd be. I'm inflicting more damage than I thought I would and am very disappointed by that.

I called my son an idiot today. I struck him where it would hurt the most. Right in his heart. What kind of a mother does that ? What kind of a mother attacks her child in such a low and cutting manner ? I'm sure mother's do worse but I always thought I'd be better than that. This is one area where I'd hoped I'd be above average. Turns out it isn't my son who is the idiot. It's his mother.