I got one thing right today

I walked out of Monkey’s appointment this morning so furious and frustrated that it took me the better part of the day to recover. I feel like I’m a fairly reasonable and educated person; I am used to being treated as such. Nothing gets my hackles up more than someone who I feel is doing my child a disservice… except, perhaps, a person who treat me like a hysterical mommy WHILE doing my child a disservice.

I am not a hysterical mommy. I am many things, and Lord knows I am too emotional about many of them. But I know my kids, and to tell me otherwise is to draw my immediate suspicion.

And here I’d thought it was going to be a good day, too, because we were finally going to get some help, maybe, and because my last post hadn’t even drawn that much assvice! But then we didn’t get much help and the comments I knew would come popped up and then I had to make a big pot of mashed potatoes and stick my face in it.

[I don't know why it was potatoes, today. Ice cream is usually my drug of choice. But today I roasted an entire head of garlic and then mashed it into some potatoes with about half a stick of butter and some half-n-half. What a stinky, delicious way to clog your arteries. The resultant carb stupor soothed my frustration for a little while.]

Anyway. Maybe I’ll tell you more about what happened, another time. I don’t have it in me to rehash it again right now. Suffice it to say that I felt—once again—as if I’d been cast into the role of Chicken Little. I am tired of trying to get everyone to believe the sky is falling or, in this case, that something is going on with my son that needs attention. I’ll keep at it, of course, as long as it takes. But I’m beginning to understand what Monkey feels like when he completely loses his shit.

During a soccer practice when the grass was slick, Monkey wiped out during a goal kick. He stood up, incensed, and levelled an accusatory finger at the goalie. “YOU MADE MY FEET WET!” he bellowed. The goalie was (understandably) confused. Attempts were made to explain to Monkey that wet grass, in fact, was responsible for his slippery shoes, but he would hear none of it. He was FURIOUS with the goalie, and insisted that he was the culprit. It made no sense. And yet it was the summation of all the disappointment he was feeling.

This is fast becoming my favorite battle cry of frustration. When relaying the tale of this morning to a sympathetic friend, I went round and round with the many ways in which it hadn’t gone right… and finally threw my hands in the air. “You made my feet wet,” I concluded. She knew exactly what I meant.

Part of what I hate the most about having kids with “issues” is that there is often the tacit assumption that anything wrong with them could be corrected with proper parenting. Even though I know this isn’t true, it’s a hard message to be pelted with at every turn. I think I do a pretty good job with these demanding little humans in my house, most of the time, but there is that insecure part of my brain that whispers that maybe if I hadn’t said this or done that, things would be different.

So tonight I want to do something completely out of character. I don’t want to sit here and fixate on all the ways in which I’m probably doing my children irrevocable damage with each stray word or glance. I want to celebrate the right choices. I want to take the credit for the good stuff rather than just prostrating myself at the altar of guilt over what I got wrong. Because I am SO QUICK to do the latter—especially when it comes to my kids—and so unlikely to indulge in the former.

This morning, Chickadee was still brushing her shower-damp hair when I called her down for breakfast. She grumped at me for interrupting her, and huffed her way to the table. I pointed out that if she ate quickly, she’d still have time to finish up. I finished packing lunches and headed upstairs for my shower.

When I got out, Chickadee was lounging around by my bathroom sink, her hair pulled back into a ponytail. “Did you do that yourself?” I asked, even as I knew that, DUH, if I didn’t do it, it must’ve been her. She nodded. Her hair is at that length where it requires some dexterity to get it all into a band, so usually she asks me to do her hair up. “Turn around so I can see,” I said. She twirled and I could plainly see that she had, indeed, captured all of her hair.

I could also see that there was a messy section she’d missed smoothing with her brush. It stuck up in jagged little loops amongst a sea of carefully flattened locks, right along the back where she couldn’t see and probably could barely reach. I opened my mouth to offer to fix it for her.

She turned back to face me, eyes searching for my assessment. I closed my mouth. I smiled at my daughter.

“Wow! You did a beautiful job, sweetie. Better than I could’ve done.” She ducked her head with pleasure, but not before I saw her face split with a huge grin. She skipped out of the bathroom and I finished getting ready.

The sky may be falling, but sometimes I figure out how to tack up little pieces of it.

49 Responses to “I got one thing right today”

  1. 1
    MommyHam September 19, 2006 at 12:15 am #

    (((hugs))) Mir….

    I don’t “know” you that well, but man alive, can I relate to this post! I too have an older girl with a younger boy who may have “issues.” It doesn’t help that every little temper fit gives me the ammunition to start “prostrating myself at the altar of guilt over what I got wrong,” but on top of that, lessons of yore from my Child Exceptionality and Psychopathology class loom over my head, and the postulations of all the disorders imaginable that could explain this behavior begin.

    You’re on top of it.

    Keep tacking that falling sky back up – it will do you and your kids wonders, despite the Herculean backache.

  2. 2
    carrien September 19, 2006 at 12:58 am #

    I think your concerns about bloodsugar are valid, that was my problem but no one diagnosed it until I was an adult. Not saying that’s his problem, but really drinking a thick orange drink and drawing some blood has got to be better than wondering, right?

    I have nothing else to offer. You know your child, don’t let the alopathic profession assume to know more about who he is than you do. They are afterall not as well informed as they think they are.

  3. 3
    Melissa September 19, 2006 at 1:04 am #

    I’m thinking you should lead off your next appointment with “YOU MADE MY FEET WET!” and see where that gets you.

    Being reasonable isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in these situations, anyway.

  4. 4
    mamaspeak September 19, 2006 at 3:05 am #

    MIR, you’re a “good mama” (my toddler’s words). Try to remember that with all the drudgery that comes with it.

    The part of this post that caught my attention was the story about Chickadee doing her own hair. The other stuff is important, but that fact that she did it herself and you told her she did a great job will do more for her then months of therapy.

  5. 5
    sophie September 19, 2006 at 3:39 am #

    Hi Mir,

    I’ve only ever lurked, but I thought I’d respond as your post reminded me very strongly of the experience we had last spring taking ds, 5 yo, to a psychiatrist. He wasn’t happy at school, and wasn’t fitting it (like he’s really going to fit into a classroom of 30+ children all speaking a different language in a different country, several of whom attacked him regularly and with impunity). Anyway, the problem was, according to the school, his, and not the school’s. We sought “professional” help. The psychiatrist’s helper wasted an hour of my life telling me that all our school problems were my fault, that it was normal for children to hit each other at recess (what? your kid isn’t allowed to hit back? well, of course, he mustn’t hit back, and if the recess parents won’t do anything about it, well, he’s out of luck. but it’s still his fault), that it was appropriate for my daughter to be bulled (she’s new to the group, you see, so bullying is just part of making her fit it), and the fact that ds is gifted is just a figment of my imagination (well, if you want to go the “gifted” route, then you’d better not be seeing a mental health professional because we know nothing about giftedness and don’t even believe in it). Okay, time to stop fuming now. Let’s just say my kids learned a LOT of new words in the car on the way back home (arrogant pompous b*tch among the most repeatable). BUT we have survived, found resources that accepted that it was not ds’s problem but the school’s and (more or less) recovered from the indignity. Of course, it’s now six months later, and my blood pressure still skyrockets when I think about it, but we’ll eventually get over it.

  6. 6
    Kendra September 19, 2006 at 6:07 am #

    I feel for Monkey…I, as a 30 year old, still have moments like this–it’s part of my control-freak personality (some may say it borders on “road rage”, but I like to say that it’s all the jerky drivers on the road). I have no diagnostic help for you–maybe it is his blood sugar…but it must be entirely exhausting and frustrating to not be able to rule out a physical cause for his less-than-savory reactions to situations in which he thought he had control, but realizes he doesn’t. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with, especially with children who are “spirited” (I have a love/hate relationship with that term–I like to call it a relation-shit (kudos to Dane Cook on defining the terminology for me)) that he/she can’t always control the way “things” turn out sometimes.
    You’re in my thoughts–keep doing what you know in your heart is the right thing, as frustrating as it can be…

  7. 7
    paige September 19, 2006 at 7:02 am #

    I’m so sorry, Mir. You are doing a good job…you are a good parent. All of us parents have prolonged periods of self-doubt and wonder why in the world the hospital ever let us out the doors with these kids, when we are so clearly inept.

    But we’re not. We’re….ept. It’s just that parenting is a learn on the job experience, and the parameters are constantly in flux.

    The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to try your best. And you are so clearly going way beyond just trying…hang in there. I wish I had more words of encouragement. My kids are now 14, 12 and 6. I can tell you that it does get easier, the older the kids are…the crises are farther apart, you know each other better and it just seems to fall a little more into the “we can handle this” catagory instead of the “oh my gosh, what the hell is going on?” catagory.

  8. 8
    D September 19, 2006 at 7:45 am #

    Mir: I have been a long time reader, and if there is one thing I can say about you is that you are a great mother. You listen to your children and have fun with them and do everything that you are supposed to be doing. I was a child that was in therapy by the age of seven, and I understand how frustrating this can be… I remember the discouraged looks on my mom’s face as things didn’t change. But she kept at it, as I know you will, and things DID get better. Hang in there, there are a lot of people out there that are rooting for you!

  9. 9
    Carolie September 19, 2006 at 7:47 am #

    I think you are a GREAT mom. You remind me of my own mother…and though I am obviously biased, I think she’s a fantastic mother. She raised one gifted child with serious guilt issues, one jock-type who seems to be missing a conscience entirely, and one child with borderline Asberger’s Syndrome–brilliant but with insane social issues and unbelievable rages.

    We weren’t those things because she was our mother…we learned to DEAL with what we were because she was our parent. She fought for meds when necessary, for gifted classes, for two skipped grades–yet when some meds had worse side effects than the problems they cured, she taught us how to channel/control/deal with some of our issues where possible. She was both our strongest advocate and our toughest coach. We might not always have LIKED her, but we were always, always secure in the fact that she loved us deeply and irrevocably. I bet Monkey and Chickadee are the same.

    We’re all successful, college-educated, home-owning adults, and all very close to each other and to her (though you might’ve thought we’d kill each other as children!)

    So…to end a long babble (sorry), I think you are an intelligent, caring, thoughtful, courageous and strong mother (much like mine) and your kids will pull through whatever they have to because of you and your influence.

    Keep the faith–in yourself. And good for you for having the strength to let Chickadee have her success…I can only hope for such insight and strength!

  10. 10
    blairzoo September 19, 2006 at 8:05 am #

    Two of my kids have strange, hard to understand personalities. Both have needed to be evaluated at various times in their childhood. I came away from every single meeting with their teachers feeling like the hyper, overly neurotic mom, as apparantly the kids actually behaved better at school than they did at home. Nothing is as weird as somehow trying to relay how challenging your kid is without sounding lke I think my kid is a wreck, when the teacher will admit there is an issue, it’s not nearly as bad as I think it is. Huh? I’ll never forget my fury as the teacher suggested I just needed to have a sticker chart to get my child to cooperate. This being a child who would later be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. No sticker chart in the world will make her cooperate….Heck, not even throwing cash and prizes at her would have made her cooperate.

    Anyway, I feel for you. It’s SO painful to know something is wrong and not know what it is or how to get the help you need. Feel free to email me if you want more support.

  11. 11
    Catherine September 19, 2006 at 8:17 am #

    That makes me so angry for you! I hope you’re able to find a better doctor in your HMO who can give you some help.

    And never mind the comments you knew would come…they don’t know you or your kids.

  12. 12
    Lilymane September 19, 2006 at 8:22 am #

    Mir – you are one of the most together moms I can imagine. Keep celebrating! You know your kids better than any ‘system’ ever could. Don’t let the turkeys get you down! (And thank you for sharing your experience – it helps some of us more than you’ll ever know.)
    Peace, peace, peace.

  13. 13
    Bob September 19, 2006 at 8:52 am #

    I can tell you for the nth time what a wonderful person you are, but I can’t make you believe it. I don’t know why I care so much for you and your family, but I do and it hurts me to see you hurt. I don’t try to offer assvice because I am not there, I don’t know your children or the particulars of what is happening to them – or you – so all I can do is to offer the nth + 1 statement of support from afar. Raising children is an awesome responsiblity, and no one said it was going to be easy. Believe it or not, you are more capable than most. Your children are safe and loved and could not have a better parent than you. For what it’s worth I believe in you and I know you will find a solution to this problem.

  14. 14
    tori September 19, 2006 at 9:00 am #

    I know you didn’t write this so we would all chime in with “you are a good parent”, but in this case it is absolutely true. There is no way anyone could read what you write about your kids and not see that. I hope they figure out the problem soon and are able to fix it easily. I feel for both you and your son because it must be awfully confusing to him to not know what is going on. My own poor son is so used to feeling sick now that he rarely even tells us when he has his throwing up nights. That isn’t right, and I am working really hard to fidn a doctor that can “fix” him or at least tell us why this happens. Good luck! I’ll be thinking of you.

  15. 15
    marlaroo September 19, 2006 at 9:07 am #

    As the mother of three boys, one of whom has a diagnosis (and I still worry about the other two), let me share with you the thought that keeps me going: “There is no way to be a perfect parent, but a million ways to be a good one.”

    You’re finding many of those million ways. Keep at it.

  16. 16
    chris September 19, 2006 at 9:22 am #

    (((hugs)))

    This was such a great post. The very last line made me well up with tears.

    YOU MADE MY EYES WET!

  17. 17
    Susan September 19, 2006 at 9:28 am #

    We have wet feet at our house quite a lot, too. And I’m always the goalie, who doesn’t have any idea what the hell just happened.

    But sometimes pretty hair can make all the difference.

    (PS: You are an INCREDIBLE parent. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Plus, you’re pretty. So there.)

  18. 18
    Lesley September 19, 2006 at 9:37 am #

    Dang, wanna trade daughters? I’m still thinking of shaving mine’s head because I have to squeeze her between my knees in order to brush her hair. It is a rare, rare family without some kid with “issues.” You did not cause Monkey’s, but you will find the best way to teach him to deal with them.

  19. 19
    Randi September 19, 2006 at 9:38 am #

    Okay, just chiming in with my assvice like everyone else! First of all let me say that you sound like a great parent. You’re doing your best for your children, and I’m sure when they grow up they’ll look back and say “my mom loved me”…they won’t remember their outbursts or anything like that, but they will remember the times you play with them and just have fun being a family.

    That being said, I have to comment on how I’m sick of the entire medical community. Not only because they don’t believe parents half the time, but because they come up with these cockamamie diagnoses…your child sneezes frequently? OMG, quick, here’s some meds, he’s got Nasal Explusion Disorder. How is it that we preach and preach about not giving labels or putting anyone in specific slots, but when something about our child is a bit different, we’re the first ones to label them. “my child is really smart, hence, he’s GIFTED”…yeah, your child may be a friggin genius, but that doesn’t make the many better or worse then the child who’s sitting in the corner concentrating as hard as he can on learning to do something.

    The point I’m trying to make, is, I feel you shouldn’t necessarily look for any specific type of diagnoses. Talk to the teacher, talk to the school, try to find what works for Monkey…what makes him comfortable and what makes you happy, before you try giving him pills or looking for a specific label, because he already has a label..he’s Monkey!

  20. 20
    Beth Reid September 19, 2006 at 10:00 am #

    I was a difficult child myself, and my parents took me to professionals, and the consensus that there wasn’t anything wrong with me *exactly* – I was just odd. I didn’t mesh with school, and my parents had a tough job keeping all the wheels aligned just so so that I could make it through. And yet, here I am, a married employed fully functional member of society. Still a little difficult and strange, true, but functional. Which isn’t to say that professionals can’t help, and I think you should keep at them to treat your concerns seriously (and find different professionals if they won’t) but even if they won’t all is not lost.

    Because I was so hard myself, I know that there’s nothing my parents could have done to solve the problem once and for all, and it certainly wasn’t any stray glance that made me the way I am. What they could do, and what they did do, was keep me afloat and enrolled and more-or-less pointed in the right direction for long enough for me to grow into myself. It sounds like you are making every effort to do that for Monkey, and that makes you a *terrific* mother.

  21. 21
    Mom Nancy September 19, 2006 at 10:06 am #

    My assvice is that you should blast them with, “I AM THE EXPERT ON MY CHILD.”

  22. 22
    Christina September 19, 2006 at 10:11 am #

    Aww, Mir, you are the kind of mom that other moms *wish they could be (I know, I’m one of them,lol!). Keep on tacking up those little pieces of sky :)

  23. 23
    Aimee September 19, 2006 at 10:39 am #

    If the way you write about your kids and go to battle for them is any indication, you are a terrific mom. And as someone above said, you are the expert on your kids. Keep fighting, and when your feet get wet, just remember that they will dry eventually. And that you are SO pretty!

  24. 24
    Elleana September 19, 2006 at 11:39 am #

    Hang in there – (((hugs)))

  25. 25
    Jenn2 September 19, 2006 at 11:49 am #

    Okay, no assvice this time. You are doing a great job, and I KNOW how hard it is to swallow that “Let me fix it.” Drama Queen left for school today wearing a peach chiffon skirt, blue I Hate Mondays t shirt and black boots. Did I mention the striped tights? No, it wasn’t a school spirit day. She’s decided to be an Individual. And I smiled and hugged her and told her I was proud of her spirit. And cried about her fashion choices AFTER she left the house.

  26. 26
    Sheryl September 19, 2006 at 11:54 am #

    Man, this must be so frustrating! Is there a doctor out there who will actually listen to the mom, who might know a thing or two about her kid?! Yes, but he’s not taking new patients.

  27. 27
    MMM September 19, 2006 at 11:59 am #

    You rock, Mir. And THAT is all I have to say about that!

  28. 28
    Kris September 19, 2006 at 12:29 pm #

    Mir, I have no advice to offer except do what’s in your heart, what’s best for your kids. We’re in much teh same boat with Em’s sensory issues. While not wanting her labeled, we do want to help her. Medication is always the last straw, but damn, it’s hard. It doesn’t help that a lot of other issues mimic ADHD and that her daddy has ADHD. Even the docs automatically assume it at times. People on the street (even my own sister) said she was ADHD. No, she’s not. She’s got sensory issues. She is distractable because of them. (Ever try wearing itchy clothes or something that just doesn’t “feel right” and concentrate? Ain’t gonna happen!)

    Hang in there sweetie. And if there’s an answer out there, you’ll find it. I know you will. You’re something splendiferous whether you know it or not.

  29. 29
    Velma September 19, 2006 at 1:12 pm #

    I like the “million ways to be a good parent” way of thinking. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with a child’s immediate and specific problems and lose sight of the long view. I know – I do it ALL the time. Whatever is going on with Monkey is problematic, yes, but from what little you’ve shared, you have yourself some good kids underneath it all. And they have a mama who loves them and will fight for them, lucky kids.

  30. 30
    Ei September 19, 2006 at 1:20 pm #

    Hugs Mir. I’ve had the looks, snide remarks all of it. It isn’t an easy road, but whoever said that you are the expert on your child is right. Asking for help is honorable, and someone needs to smack the crap out of people who enjoy making concerned parents feel bad.

    I’m trying to reinforce the efforts too. I love that you let Chickadee go with hair as is. What a great reinforcement.

    And mashed ‘taters is my drug of choice. You are a woman after my own heart.

  31. 31
    Allanna September 19, 2006 at 1:24 pm #

    I second going into the doctor and yelling passionately “You made my feet wet!!” Then not letting her get a word in edgewise for about 45 seconds.

    Then, sweetly, ask her if maybe something might be amiss in a person that did that.

    If that isn’t in the cards, I hear that voodoo dolls are cheap and easy to make. :P

    From all that I’ve read, you’re a GREAT mother. I send my best wishes that things will go a whole lot smoothly. (and that Monkey’s doctor has a child that exhibits the same symptoms … and she can eat her own words and attitude. Or that a pirate comes along, shanghais her and makes her swab the deck and repair shivered timbers and whatnot.)

  32. 32
    Snow September 19, 2006 at 1:43 pm #

    OK, you know how much I just love to get idiotic advice, so I’m definitely not going to offer anything but sympathy, Mir. The parenting gig is a very difficult one, and the single parenting gig is ten times harder.

  33. 33
    Cynthia Samuels September 19, 2006 at 4:36 pm #

    My dear new friend, there is a reason why Freud said that shrinks have to learn “what every nursemaid knows.” Moms know. They have to trust their instincts – their gut. Listen to the experts for a second opinion and assimilate what works but we know our kids best and we have to trust that. We went through so much with our older one – dyslexic, angry, shy… and there were many battles with “the authorities.” It’s part of the deal.

    Having done it with a partner, I can only imagine how much harder it is to do alone, without someone to bounce things off of and offer balance.. Instead of being painful it must be painful AND lonely.

    So use us. You’re so much that’s good. Let us remind you and where your kids are concerned, listen, absorb and stick to your guns!

  34. 34
    The Other Leanne September 19, 2006 at 5:01 pm #

    When I was way young I worked on the delivery ward of a military hospital. Yep, labor, babies, all that. I will never forget this about-to-be-mom scrrreaming that “the baby is coming! the baby is coming!” and the doc saying, “yes, yes, well, it might feel like that but you have awhile yet.”

    “You should listen to me, the baby is coming!” she shouted. And sure as spit, that baby popped out right then and there.

    “Always listen to the mother,” the woman told Dr. Know-It-All.
    Indeed.

  35. 35
    carolyn September 19, 2006 at 5:37 pm #

    Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. And just when you think you’ve got the hang of it and things are working right, it changes and NOTHING works right and you feel incompetent all over again. I guess you just gotta love your kids and try to do what’s right and best for them, and forget about everyone else.

    Just my two cents. Keep your chin up Mir. You seem to be doing everything right, so I know it will turn around soon….

  36. 36
    Lisa C. September 19, 2006 at 5:39 pm #

    Oh pretty Mir. You’re a great mom and you’ve got great kids.

    I had sensory issues as a child. While I didn’t throw chairs, I did not cooperate in the classroom at all, and drove almost all my teachers straight up the wall. My mother spent many sleepless nights worrying about me, I guarantee it.

    I am now a married adult with a child. I’m a college graduate, and I’ve had the same job for four years. Best of all? Now my mother doesn’t worry about me! (Well, too much anyway.)

  37. 37
    Shash September 19, 2006 at 7:10 pm #

    Mir, don’t let them get you down. By speaking up and demanding that they take a look you are doing right by your kids. I can SO relate to this, and just know that you are doing what needs to be done to get results for Monkey. That’s what matters.

    If you need to bounce things off someone who’s walked this path, I’m here for you.

    Shash

  38. 38
    Ingrid September 19, 2006 at 7:37 pm #

    When my brother was small and fiesty, my mom was pulling her hair out. She went to seek the help of our physician. She went alone into his office, leaving my brother in the waiting room (supervised by office staff) and cried her heart out, asking if she could get something for herself to help her deal with this child. This was probably back in the mommy’s little helper days, when doctors prescribed valium by the vat load. The doctor said, “Lady, it cannot be that bad. He is just a growing boy. I’m suuuuure you are over-exaggerating this whole event.” As he walked my mom out to the waiting room, she felt let down by the medical community. This doctor wouldn’t listen to a word she was saying about how hard this boy was to deal with. When they got to the waiting room, my brother was standing on the coffee table, pants down, peeing on the magazines. The doctor took one look at my mom and said, “How much and what do you want?”

    So, if all else fails, maybe a little urination on the doctor’s desk would work?

    I’m not making light of your situation in any way. I hope you laughed. But it is a true story, and better if it’s told, rather than written. By the way, I think you are a fabulous mother! Please remember, kids are kids are kids and are not a reflection of who we are as people. They are their own reflection.

  39. 39
    Daisy September 19, 2006 at 7:56 pm #

    From a mom with a Special Needs Child (Yes, those were Capital Letters) If the doctor won’t take you seriously, get a new one. You know your child. You know that a “label” isn’t what he needs; he needs a diagnosis that will help determine treatment. Good luck! Keep plugging away; it took us three years to get El Grande’s eval and by that time we knew what it was.

  40. 40
    lena September 19, 2006 at 8:20 pm #

    I applaud the fact that you’re taking the time to step back and give yourself accolades where they’re deserved. And the bumpy ponytail? Totally happened to me last week. Amazing how something so seemingly small could have been a missed opportunity to do some good ego stroking.

  41. 41
    rachel September 19, 2006 at 9:14 pm #

    take care of yourself, and your kids. You sure sound like a great mom to me.

    I hope you can find good resources for Monkey.

    We had an evaluator tell me my parenting was the source of BG’s issues. yeah, that was helpful. jerk. I hope your meeting went better than that.

  42. 42
    InterstellarLass September 19, 2006 at 11:29 pm #

    I figured that millions of people had been parents before me, and I tend to think of myself as smarter than the average bear. I didn’t make all the right choices, but I think mine are turning out pretty well. I know I’ve done my best. That’s MY best. Not Martha Stewart’s best.

  43. 43
    Heather September 20, 2006 at 4:09 am #

    You’re a good mommy.

  44. 44
    Cele September 21, 2006 at 12:34 am #

    way to go mom, you made her day :)

  45. 45
    Studying for a Naturopathy Degree September 21, 2006 at 3:14 am #

    First I want to say that you are a great mommy, and your children are beautiful, happy, and healthy kids. Never let anyone tell you any different.

    Please don’t be in a hurry to get Monkey labeled for life with a disorder.

    Try the food allergy route first. The most common causes for “ADHD” are food allergies that take form as psychological and mental issues. My entire family is allergic to blue#1, red #40, processed sugar (mildly), chocolate (very mildly, thank goodness), and all those nasty chemicals they put in hod dogs, balogna and those other overprocessed meats. We have all also been diagnosed with extreme ADHD. Amazingly, once we modified our diets and started making more things at home instead of making them fromk a box, things got a lot better and most people can’t tell that “we have something wrong with us”. *smile*

    When I was teaching the kids how to handle their swings and rages, I used Melissa Supreme for children by Gaias Herbs. It’s a liquid formulation of several different herbs that helps with concentration without any harsh drugs or stimulants. I used it in tandem with a lot of positive reinforcement (“I see how well you controlled yourself when you were angry today. That made me proud”) and the teaching that taking the drops did not fix the problem, it just made it easier for you to control it. Eventually we went off of the drops, but we still have some around for if the girls MUST have cake, ice cream, candy with the wrong colors in it or something else they are allergic to that will send them bouncing off the walls, throwing chairs, hitting, screaming, and slamming doors.

    While, yes, parenting is a big part of controlling ADHD type behaviors, none of those methods were taught when we were growing up, so we have to learn them from scratch. Since every child is different, it is quite the journey to learn how to deal with it and best help them to work within the confines of their own brains. It’s not that anyone who has kids is a bad parent, it’s that they haven’t learned what works best for their individual kids yet.

    I would suggest a web search for books about “ADHD diet”, “spirited”, “indigo”, and “ADHD” children and child rearing practices, then rent the books that sound the best to you from the local library.

    No matter what you do there will be mistakes, second guessing, and regrets. But like Miller says up there at the top; “Maybe all we can hope to do is end up with the right regrets” It’ll all work out fine. You love them, and that’s the most important thing any parent could ever do.

    Nobody deserves to be treated like that by anyone, much less by a trusted professional. You are not “one of those mothers”, you are concerned and want whatever is best for your children. There is a HUGE difference, and that difference is what makes you such a good parent.

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    Judy September 21, 2006 at 9:42 am #

    Awwww, Mir, you’re a wonderful mama, not to mention a tremendously pretty one. I think going around yelling, “YOU MADE MY FEET WET!” when people are frustrating you would be a great thing to do. Try it.

    I hope you get some answers for Monkey. And the last line of your story made me tear up too. Must have been something in my eyes ;).

  47. 47
    Karen Rani September 21, 2006 at 9:45 am #

    I feel I know you pretty well. And from what I know, and what I read, you are indeed, an amazing mother.

    A-FREAKING-MAZING.

    You’re attentive, light-hearted, and intelligent in raising your kids. You have a huge heart and it is SO very glaringly obvious how much you love these two wonderful children.

    The sky may indeed feel like it’s falling, but darling, you are the sun and the moon in that sky and those little sweethearts are the stars in your sky. You’re doing an EXCELLENT job of keeping your sky intact and together.

    Now pat yourself on the back, already, or I’ll kick your ass. :P

    Also? Put your left hand on your right shoulder and your right hand on your left shoulder. Are you doing it? DO IT. Gosh, you’re so defiant. DO IT NOW.

    Now squeeze. Quit rolling your eyes. That’s a big mushy hug from me to you. Keep up the great work, Mom.

    Karen
    xo

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    Belinda September 22, 2006 at 3:02 am #

    You perfectly nailed two of the exact situations in which it is tough for me to keep my “mommy’s mouth” shut. Why is it so hard to keep from “correcting?”

    Here’s good thoughts and prayers for getting someone to get their head out of their butt and help Monkey out. Or you might just have to make THEIR feet wet.

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    owlhaven September 23, 2006 at 12:41 pm #

    Great post. Count your victories where you can! If we as moms would dwell more on those tiny victories, we would probably reinforce that success in our own minds, and encourage ourselves to do more of the same.

    Mary, mom to many

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