October 11, 2012 by Marj Hatzell
I was reduced to tears on Monday.
This doesn’t happen often. And it wasn’t the good, cathartic, “better-out-than-in” kind of cry. It was the, “I am so frustrated I could scream and I wanna throw and break things” kind of cry.
Two guesses which child was involved? If you said, “Bugaboo!” that’s ten points to Gryffindor.
I love my kids. With every ounce of my being. I want to do what is best for them, even if I don’t like it. I want them to succeed. I want others to love them as much as I do because they are amazing little beings. But days like Monday are a real zap to the ego, you know? They make me feel like I’m an utter failure as a parent. As though I just started yesterday and was thrown in with these two kids.
I know other parents have those moments. Other “typical” parents. I’ve heard them talk about it. But somehow I don’t think they were talking about a kid bouncing off the walls like a superball, who peed in just about every room of the house (on every bed, too. SURPRISE!) and sprinkled corn flakes, rice krispies, cheerios, rice crackers, quinoa pasta, cookies, bread, bagels and cheese curls on all three floors. I don’t think they meant the pants-optional-full-frontal pressed up against their glass windows and doors for all the world to see (upside down, he was doing headstands. We live on a corner. MORE VISIBILITY!). I don’t think they were referring to their couch being ripped to shreds or their beds being splintered and broken from the sheer, freakish strength of their child. I’m certain it wasn’t the shrieking and self-injurious biting.
Bugaboo was off Monday. Three-day weekend. You can imagine the fun! And that was with three hours of errands, a dozen showers, several walks around the block, trampoline bounces, iPad games, his daily “jobs” and his favorite videos. And puzzles and cuddles.
The problem? My kid cannot turn his body off. Not for one second. Not for one minute of one day. And it makes me want to cry. We recently took him off of the stimulant he was taking because we thought perhaps it was causing more self-injurious behaviors. He was certainly plucking out his own eyebrows and wasn’t sleeping well AT ALL (stimulants can do that). We were desperate so we took it away and he seemed better for about two weeks and every day since then he has spiraled further and further away from us. We get NOTHING out of him. He cannot sit long enough to eat anything. He can’t put food in his mouth without stimming. He cannot sit and listen to a story, he can’t attend to the flipping tv, for crying out loud. I made a huge, huge, BIG mistake. We never should have stopped the medication. Yes, it’s bad when you know the chronic sleep deprivation was better than what we’re dealing with right now.
The whole reason we began stimulant medication five years ago now comes to mind. VIVIDLY. The escaping. The constant movement. And I mean constant. Ever watch a tennis match? Like this:
That’s what Bug Boy had to endure to complete his homework last night. We weren’t exactly successful.
This is what he is like for twelve hours. Or more. Depending on how long it takes to get him to bed. And before bed there is the screaming, shrieking, biting, hitting, tantrums, stomping.
Yep. I remember now why we liked that med so much.
We need to come up with a new plan. Because two sleep-and-eat-weekends a year and all the swimming in the world won’t help this, yo.
Not one iota. And I’m still recovering several days later.
This is absosmurfly the worst it has been. But hey, it can only get better from here, right? RIGHT?