Saturday, October 24, 2009

I'm off--in more ways than one

This morning I leave for five days, going to a colloquium attached to graduate school. For nearly a week, I will be immersed in research: qualitative, quantitative, statistics, means, t-tests, blah blah blah.

What I am finding is that I am horribly humbled by trying to do this online, from home. I schedule time for each of the kids so they can talk, but when I sit down to research, they fight or, their latest thing, scuffle and wrestle. Since they know it gets on my nerves, they do it secretly, not saying a word, which is even more irritating and distracting. Plus, there is no real separation of work and home anymore, one down side to this telecommuting a few days a week.

I feel overwhelmed, trying to get it all done and trying to get it all in my head to stay. Hopefully, five days of focusing only on this stuff will help considerably. If not, I may have to go spend hours at the library. Or get a brain transplant.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have a truly ugly confession.

I don't like my child.

Rocky came to us at two, and he is like the black hole of kid-dom, sucking every ounce of energy I have.

He has attention deficit disorder. I swear, if I hear, "Oh, I forgot" ONE MORE TIME, I will lose my mind and run screaming through WalMart's parking lot. Most likely having forgotten my clothes. A small vacation with basketry might be just what I need.

He "forgets" to untie and tie his shoes. He forgets to wring out his washcloth and then forgets to hang it up. When I remind him, he hangs it directly over the toilet paper where it drips, of course. He forgets that laundry baskets are not permitted in his room and has five in there at any given time. He forgets and dons the same Ohio State hoodie three days in a row, each morning having it pried off his body by his mom; he forgets to put it in the dirty laundry and forgets that for two days prior he and I have had an unpleasant discussion about same hoodie. He forgets that the spoon moves when one eats, bobbing his head up and down like some manic chicken. He forgets that he had sugar cereal, albeit organic, for two days already and will forget that he had it today and forget that he needs to eat plain cereal every other day. He forgets his homework, his planner, his lunchbag, his coat, his books, his permission slips. He forgets to latch the dog crate, and Nash gets out and runs rampant through the house, trying to rid it of the pesky cat invasion we appear to have this year. He forgets Nash does that.

He forgets that it is winter and puts on a tank top when getting dressed for school. He forgets to put the seat up in the bathroom and forgets to clean up after himself. He forgets to flush. He forgets to wash in the shower, or he forgets to use soap. He forgets that hole-filled shirts shouldn't be worn for school. He forgets which is his play jacket and which is his church jacket. He forgets a belt. He sees me pull in the driveway and jumps off his scooter, leaving it in the middle of my my path but saving himself.

He forgets to sweep both halves of the room, and then he forgets to sweep up the dirt and throw it away. He forgets to scrape and rinse the dishes and then forgets that he had the pork chop that evening so he denies that is his food in the bottom of the machine, and he forgets to wipe the table after eating. He forgets to put his clean clothes away and then forgets which are clean, so he shoves everything under the bed and forgets he has them. He forgets to return things he borrows at school and forgets to give me the note asking to have them returned. He forgets to put the cereal away, and * when he rescues it back from the dog, he forgets what the problem was and puts it right back where the dog got it in the first place. He repeats from * until one or both parents shriek at him, and then he grabs the box so strongly that raisin bran flies all around the room.

When he does his homework, he reads the question, then looks at the cat or the dog or out the window for a deer sighting or at the wall, and then he forgets what he read. He will guess what the question was, write part of the answer, look around, stare into space, and then guess what the rest of his answer was. So, for the question, "What is special about Europe's physical environment?" he will write, "Europe is a country are things which are use for producting other things like food."

However, he remembers what is important to him. His hair is a priority, so he will remember to lotion and pick it each morning, but forget to put on deodorant or brush his teeth or change his underwear. He remembers when his favorite TV show is on, but he will forget to listen during church. He remembers the exact longitude and latitude of every piece of chocolate hidden in this house, but he can't remember where he left his clarinet. He remembers what page he is reading in his latest fiction book, but he can't remember what was covered in social studies class that afternoon.

It all sounds small, but given the fact that it is a relentless day-long thing, and I have two other kids with attentional issues, I get Fed Up. And if one more person says to me, "Oh, that's just being a kid" or "Well, God doesn't give you more than you can handle", I am going to view that as in invitation for Rocky to visit them for a week. They can take over the attempt to jump start the thought processes, the reminding, the tooth grinding, and the tight stomach.

And maybe, just maybe, I will forget to pick him up for an extra day or so.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I have been shut down for three weeks, in survival mode if you will. I started to feel better, to step away from my grief, and I found that my family wasn't used to this mom.

Rocky has been on full lockdown lately. He has started the "if my mouth is moving I am lying" mode again. I stripped his room--Kiki said it looks "monastic," and that we should get him a little brown robe with a rope belt and shave his head. Now Rocky has pulled out the passive-aggressive behavior and has to stay close to mom and dad because he is not complying. Next stop, full blackout.

Kiki has been dramatic, shrieking at everything. The other night she was screaming at Amber the Elusive Cat for shredding a Jonas Brothers poster. (Let me add here that I find no fault with Amber's attitude.) Amber sat very upright and stared coldly at Kiki, not blinking or moving. EG said, "Is her middle claw extended or am I seeing things?" I tend to agree with Amber's attitude.

As for Nita, she is the biggest challenge. Backtalking, obstinate, and hard to manage. In other words, herself, only more so. Like to the Nth degree--distilled Nita. At least once a day she tells me she doesn't want to see my face anymore.

I have refrained from showing her any other parts of my anatomy, despite the overwhelming temptation to do so.

I realize that this is a period of adjustment. These kids have been holding it together for six years, and not only are they adjusting to a new way of living, free of that sadness, but also a new mom who is fully there for them and even happy at times. It must be like getting a stepmom and liking her a lot but feeling guilty about not liking that previous mom so well. I try to understand it, but I am ready to move on.