A night out

Otto and I are going on a real live genuine date tonight, in just a little bit. I am drinking a large cup of coffee by way of preparation, because the sad truth is that my idea of a perfect evening, lately, is sitting on the couch watching TV for a while before going to bed at about 9:30.

I’m not sick. I shouldn’t be tired. But I am exhausted, mentally, and that’s bleeding over into everything else. I’ve taken to shutting off my alarm in the morning and going back to sleep; on the rare occasions when I used to do this, before, I would just get up 15 minutes later when Otto’s alarm went off. Now I often lay there until the last possible minute, and one day this week when Otto offered to pack lunches and shuffle children I just let him and stayed in bed.

It didn’t help. So tonight I’m doing my best to slough off my now-comfortable shroud of “I am just so TIRED and OVERWHELMED” and instead I’m going out with my very patient husband, and I may even put on mascara.

I’ve always said that my children are very good at honoring the unofficial family rule that only one child can have a crisis at a time. Right after SHARING comes TAKING TURNS in the Lexicon Of Polite Interaction, and most children seem to understand this on instinct. My own kids have abided by it for years.

But not lately.

And no one’s dying. Everyone’s fine. Except nobody is fine. And this week I hit the wall and emails from Hippie School were ending with things like “You’re such a good mom!” because I am probably radiating waves of parental despair, which I’m gathering might be alarming. I have nice people rushing to reassure me that I’m so awesome, when I know the truth: I totally suck at this.

That’s the emotional truth, of course. The intellectual truth is… see above. No one is dying, everyone is fine, more or less. The intellectual truth is that autism is challenging and teenagers are maddening and children don’t come with a manual, but if they’re fed and clothed and not on drugs and somewhat redeeming members of society, thumbs up.

The emotional truth is that I wonder, sometimes, if I will ever come to terms with Monkey’s challenges, like, PERMANENTLY. Because right now it feels like being covered with a thousand paper cuts, each of which gapes open anew with every single incident. I scoff at those who don’t understand what his diagnosis means, how just because on a good day he can “pass” for “normal” (whatever that is) it sets up expectations that he can handle things which he cannot, and how unfair it is. But then I—in all my wisdom and acceptance and understanding—get the next email about “what happened today” and sit there and cry and cry because IT’S NOT FAIR that everything, EVERYTHING, is always so hard for him.

As he grows and things get worse instead of better, cognitive dissonance becomes my constant companion. If you were to ask me to describe Monkey to you in just a few words, “gentle” and/or “loving” would be at the top of my list. And yet… he’s violent. Sometimes. I cannot wrap my head around that being HIM because I don’t think it is. It’s the anxiety, the rigidity, the impulsivity. Not him. But it IS him. And that leaves me in that place where Who He Is and What He Does don’t mesh. At their jagged intersection is where fear blooms and grows unchecked.

And while I grapple with that, he wonders what’s wrong with him. We use all of the “right” language and try to frame it all in positive ways and tell him nothing is wrong, some things are just hard. But part of what’s fueling the anger, I think, is that he’s beginning to see that we’re playing semantics.

This would be enough to keep me buried under the covers, smacking at my alarm clock, but then there is also full-on teenagertude happening here. And that brings so very much drama, almost all of it completely unnecessary. Also, teenagers are impervious to logic, I’ve discovered. It’s both fascinating and utterly crazy-making.

Example 1: Teenager commits Actions A, B, and C in a single week—all of which violate clearly defined house rules. The consequence is that she’s not allowed to go somewhere she wanted to go (not school related), AND bear in mind that we didn’t even previously tell her she could go, only that we would think about it. But when the final edict is given, THERE IS GREAT SHOCK AND WOE.

It is explained, again, that Actions A, B and C all violated the rules, and we cannot in good conscience allow those actions to go without consequence. BUT I REALLY WANT TO GO. Right, and we really want you to follow the rules. BUT IT’S NOT FAIR. How is it not fair? Please explain. YOU WON’T LISTEN. But I will. If you can explain to me how it’s not fair, maybe I’ll change my mind. But this was a clearly defined set of expectations which you failed to meet. I’m curious as to how you think it’s not fair. YOU DON’T WANT TO DRIVE ME BUT MAYBE I CAN GET A RIDE. CAN I GO IF I GET A RIDE? No, you can’t go because that’s a privilege you didn’t earn this week. BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR. How is it not fair? THERE’S NO POINT IN TALKING TO YOU BECAUSE YOU’LL NEVER LISTEN. I just said I would. NO YOU WON’T. I’m listening. IT’S NOT FAIR! You keep saying that. Please explain. GOD! JUST FORGET IT!

Example 2: Teenager has decided that she’s really going to SHOW US by basically “forgetting” to take her medication or eat on a regular basis. Both of these things make her crabby (and sometimes itchy) and after several minor skirmishes I got in her face and said, “HERE IS THE DEAL. YOU ARE PLAYING FAST AND LOOSE WITH YOUR HEALTH AND I WILL NOT HAVE IT. MEDICATION IS NOT OPTIONAL. FOOD IS NOT OPTIONAL. SEE THAT YOU HAVE BOTH ON A REGULAR BASIS. EVERY DAY YOU FAIL TO DO SO YOU WILL RECEIVE NO RIDES.” As we are currently useless to her except as a glorified and free taxi service, I figured I was poking her where it mattered, and she did that rapid-blinking “Geez, Mom” thing where it’s clear that I’m completely overreacting and she will be texting all her friends in very short order about what a bitch her mother is.

This morning I asked her three times to take her medication and she argued with me all three times, then later I discovered that she’d never taken it. Then she screamed at me about it because clearly that was MY fault. So then we had our seven hundredth discussion of why she is not allowed to speak to me that way and what the consequences will continue to be for that behavior, and as per usual she was all oppositional and nasty and rude right up until she began to bawl that she just never FEELS GOOD, at which point I may have yelled THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR MEDICINE AND REMEMBER TO EAT, DUMBASS. (I didn’t call her that. But I really wanted to.)

I love that kid to the ends of the earth, but if I thought I could sell her to pay for the new deck and get away with it, I’m just saying I would have some serious thinking to do.

So. Tonight I am going out with my husband. There will be music. Possibly even dancing (unlikely). Instead of crawling into bed and succumbing to the weight of my many mothering failures, I will put on a happy face for the man who is putting up with all of this and still acting like he likes me. I feel like all I do lately is apologize to him.

“I chose this,” I say to him. “You didn’t choose this. You shouldn’t have to do all of this.”

“But I did choose it,” he says. “I chose you. I chose them. We’ll get through it.”

And that is why I’m going to go put on mascara and go out and try to have a nice date with my husband. Because he may just be the most awesome and patient man on earth.

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55 Responses to “A night out”

  1. 1
    Renee October 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Bless Otto!

  2. 2
    ani October 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Hugs. Have a good time tonight. The rest can be dealt with tomorrow.

  3. 3
    RuthWells October 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    I wish I had wise words. It won’t always be this hard, but I know it’s hard to believe that. Date night is a good idea. Living with unrelenting stress is Not Good For You.

    Michael and I played hooky today and spent the day together. I laughed at something over lunch, and he commented on how little he’s heard me laugh, lately. I’m about 4 weeks into detoxing from the job from hell, and it’s taking this long. So, be patient with yourself.

    Wine is also a good choice to make.

    Hugs.

  4. 4
    paige October 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    1. Otto rocks.

    2. Parenting really sucks sometimes. Sometimes it sucks more than it is fun. Sometimes it sucks ALL the fucking time.

    3. I hear you with the meds stuff. My 20 yr old needs his meds at the same time, every single day of the rest of his life. Even when he wants to sleep late. Even if he wants to go out with friends. And we are STILL reminding him to take his meds. Bipolar sucks ass.

    4. I can’t do or say much except that time passes. Things shift, then shift again, then again. Balance will be found, lost, found. The times of balance will eventually be more numerous than the times you feel as if you are drowning.

    5. I’m sorry. I wish we were real life, close-by neighbors. I would take you out for a drink, bring dinner to your house, do your laundry and take your kids for overnights. Because that’s what my friends have done for me and by God it kept me sane.I would also force you to come to my house on Saturday mornings for breakfast, followed by champagne in the hot tub, which is what keeps me from killing people the rest of the week.

  5. 5
    Karen R. October 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Have a wonderful time — you deserve it. My theory is that teenagers are not compatible with other life forms. The good news is that they do grow up, and things get better.

  6. 6
    TC October 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    He’s right. He DID choose this. YOU didn’t.

    You’re both equally awesome. Some problems don’t get fixed easily. If there WAS an easy fix, don’t you think you’d have a) found and b) implemented it by now? Of course you would have. So stop that.

    Oh, and tell Chickie i said to cut the crap. (Yeah, doesn’t work when I say it to MY teenager; thought maybe it’d have a better chance with yours.) Well, then, tell her I said to hold onto the crap for a couple of weeks, until Monkey is ready to cut the crap. (Yeah, I know. That didn’t work either, did it? Dang.)

  7. 7
    sonia October 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    My own kids (although younger) have hit a “2 month into school” wall, if you will. I swear they are excited and energetic and positive and put their best foot forward for a good 6 weeks and then everything comes to a halt because they are really exhausted and tired of all of the expectations and really just want to do what they want to do for awhile. My five year old was laying on the floor crying this morning (for no known reason) and I had to give him a Kindergarten pep talk so he could suck it up for one more day this week. I know it will get better as the year goes on, but it sure is hard to keep making them go when all you want to do is snuggle on the couch with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn! No one can email you for snacking with your kids! Hang in there. As my grandma used to tell me, “They will grow up in spite of you!” How true!

  8. 8
    Leandra October 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    I think it’s those good days that lull you (and here I mean the universal you — or actually, I mean me) into thinking it’s the new normal and thinking, hey maybe we’ve got this figured out and then whammo! something happens and you’re reminded that there is no normal, no usual, no regular and things are not fixed and you’re reminded more than ever that no, you don’t have this figured out.

    Not that I know anything about that or anything. Ahem.

    I keep telling myself those days WILL come. As someone said to me the other night — everything turns out okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

    {{hugs}}

  9. 9
    Tammy October 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    What Paige said. Except #3..mine is a 12 YO with ADHD.

  10. 10
    Leslie October 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    I know. I KNOW. I hope you and Otto have a wonderful time. You deserve it!

  11. 11
    Lauren October 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    God, I used to do the EXACT SAME THING to my mother about medication. I wish I could give you the “Now that I’m an adult, I realize I was doing that because…” perspective but, yeah, I have NO idea what my problem was….but perhaps it’s some comfort to know that I grew into a productive member of society who loves her mother?

  12. 12
    Em October 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Isn’t this where you would like to jump 20 years into the future just for a peek? My opinion about parenting is everyone thinks they suck at it (except the rare few who do suck at it, they think they are aces). I don’t know any parent doing things just the way they wish they were all the time or at the very least, getting the results they expected from what they do. The good news is we all suck so good luck to our kids searching out better parents. The good news is also that we all don’t suck and we’re the best parents for our kids so they better just get used to us. The best news is you have Otto to take you away from it all for a few hours.

  13. 13
    Katie K. October 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Our daughters are kindred spirits. Mine was sent to bed at 7:30 tonight because I love her dearly and needed to be away from her. May God give both of us infinate patience.

  14. 14
    Tonya October 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I hear you on the teenager attitude, except mine isn’t even a teenager yet! There are so many days that I feel like I’m failing because I can’t get through to her. I yell and we fight and I don’t know what to do to fix it. I wish I had a good answer for you and for me!

  15. 15
    Theresa g October 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    maybe you can win mean mom of the year award. That’s what my mom always responded with when we hated on her. One year we gave her a wooden plaque that was a mean mom of the year award. It’s the first hing she hangs everywhere she’s lived since she got it.

  16. 16
    mamaspeak October 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    (((hugs)))

    screw the glass of wine, have a whole bottle. I hear a pan of (gluten-free) brownies goes well w/that. If I lived by you it would be sitting on your stoop when you got home. (Pretty sure, chocolate Halloween candy can be a substitute in a pinch.)

  17. 17
    Megan October 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I love Otto stories.

    And… I think it’s important to say… I don’t subscribe to the cult of St Otto – ’cause I don’t think there is such a creature and I don’t think Otto would be comfortable being the earthly version thereof.

    So my love of Otto stories is really love of these glimpses of one flawed human loving another flawed human who – for that snapshot – knew just what to say to pull the tension back that oh-so-important little notch.

    Come to think of it, what I really mean to say is that I love Mir-Otto-Chickie-Monkey stories, in any combination.

    I guess I just love families (of any variety) who love each other, no matter how hard it is.

  18. 18
    Reb October 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    I hope you had a great night and really enjoyed yourselves. You certainly deserve to. I always admire both of your patience with Monkey – and with teenagerism.

    That said … I read this and wondered if maybe your meds could use a tweak. Just a thought.

  19. 19
    Lucinda October 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Chronic illness sucks at 40. At 13 with raging hormones, I can only imagine how crazy-making it must be for her and you.

    Your love for your kids pours through your writing. All we can do is our best, even if it doesn’t feel like it is enough. That’s what it appears you are doing every damn day. You’ve been given a hell of a load so stop apologizing for not being superhuman.

    I wish I had something more I could give you to make it better. But you have my prayers and good thoughts and Internet hugs.

  20. 20
    Lara October 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Hugs Mir! I hope your night out was enjoyable and that that combined with the above (needed!) rant helps make tomorrow easier to handle :) I hope it gets better soon. In the meantime, keep making time for yourself! I read once that teenage brains are very similar to a toddlers …

  21. 21
    Zudie October 29, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Dear Mir, I’m having comparable challenges with my 3 (step) kids. Not the same issues, but a lot of despair as well. Reading about your situation makes me feel less alone. Hang in there! You have good kids!
    And I understand how you feel when everyone tells you what a great job you are doing. I get the same. It doesn’t help much though and actually I wish there would be more I could do, but apparently some kids just have a hard time going through life.
    Hope you have a great night out. Even though you are tired, it is important to take some time off (says she who just finished working at midnight).

  22. 22
    Headless Mom October 29, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    Oy. Those things are a lot to handle. You are a good mom though. These are the years that it just doesn’t feel like it. Give it a few and you’ll see.

    xoxo

  23. 23
    shadymama October 29, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    you, mir, are So.Fucking.Far from a parenting fail, it shouldn’t even have to be addressed.
    chicadee will grow up.
    monkey will keep journeying.
    otto will always love you.
    and you. you will continue mama-ing honestly, bravely and fulla love, even when you don’t.
    much much love.

  24. 24
    KarenP October 29, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Hope you made it past 9:30 and had a nice time. We went out to dinner last night for our 38th wedding anniversary and we were also going to go to a movie. Except I had a margarita and felt sick so we came home at 6:45. So much for celebrating. Spending the weekend at Lake Quinault. My husband is going fishing all day(birthday present fom me) while I get to just hang out.

    Teenage girls :(. Only my daughter told me she hated me…never my boys. She was 5 years old and we were at a baseball practice for her oldest brother. She is 28 now and we survived. My daughter is my clone. Sometimes it is hard to get along with someone so much like yourself. She lives in another state but calls me almost every day.

  25. 25
    Ingrid October 29, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    I hope you had a nice night out. And a glass of wine. Or two.

  26. 26
    Laura October 29, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    There were times when I was a teen that I acted so horribly to my parents that I would have understood if they had drowned me in the nearest body of water. Like you, they stood their ground, gave me clear consequences and never lost faith in me. They even took out a second mortgage on their house when i was finally admitted to a psychiatric hospital for my myriad issues. I HATED them because of all the rules and for the fact that they didn’t let me run amok like some of my friend’s parents. Now, as an adult, I would step in front of a bullet for them.

    Monkey and Chickadee WILL do the same for you one day. You’ll get through this and things will get better. Chickadee’s hormones will chill out and she’ll realize medicine+food=happy. Monkey will find his niche and his group and a world he can tailor to his rules and expectations while still living in the larger community. It may be a world different than the ones some of us live in but it is one that soothes that savage beast that is Autism. I’m friends with lots of people like Monkey and they do okay once they find their people.

    Years from now, as you and Otto are sitting on the deck that is currently being rebuilt you’ll look back on this time as awful and horrible and yet, so amazing. You two loved and helped and weathered the storms to create two amazing adults who call you parents. Then, you’ll drink a bit more to forget the harder times and the gray hair. Ha!

    Hang in there!

  27. 27
    Jennifer the Iowa Expat October 29, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Your stories illustrate the love/fear/frustration of parenting so beautifully. Please take this as a compliment: Reading them has helped me make the move to pursue counseling in hopes of getting a grip on my life. I am not as transparent as you on my blog, but was in the same frame of mind when I posted this yesterday: http://hawkeyejlp.blogspot.com/2011/10/friday-inspiration.html

  28. 28
    Damsel October 29, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I hope you had a wonderful time last night. {{{{HUGS}}}

  29. 29
    Stacy October 29, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Lately I have found myself yelling at my almost 3 year old to “quit acting like a baby.” Um, she is a baby. (I may have also told her Jesus had to die because she wouldn’t obey: okay, I also told her I didn’t obey my mom either.) So, you’re not the worst mom ever. You’re just a mom who has a lot going on right now. Sending big hugs and lots of love.

  30. 30
    Sheila October 29, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I think you DO deserve Mother of the Year award, earned for your great restraint in NOT calling your daughter a “dumbass.” I probably would have let that one slip right out. (Lord knows I’ve thought about it.) So, kudos to you.

  31. 31
    Cindy October 29, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I hope that you had a lovely night out! Parenting a teen is one of the most challenging things ever. I cannot imagine adding the complications you have to that. Praying that God gives you what you need to get through each day as it comes.

    I know it is not particularly helpful to offer up suggestions on the health of someone you do not know except for what is written here. But I keep reading about candida and overgrowth in the system, which can frequently manifest as skin issues. I think about your Chickie and wonder if she has ever went gluten free, as you do. With candida overgrowth, it is not just gluten but a whole host of other foods that need to be limited or avoided. (like sugar) I am considering trying this myself because I have SO many of the symptoms. I can’t seem to convince myself, mainly because I love my sweets. (and cheese and bread)

  32. 32
    Stimey October 29, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I have so much to say, so I’m going to number my responses.

    1. Otto is awesome.

    2. Tired. Yes. All of the actual work you do combined with the mental stress is going to knock you down and knock you down hard. I, for example, went to bed last night at 8 p.m. BEFORE MY KIDS. Mental stress, right there. It’s okay to give in to it sometimes. Let me know if you find a solution, because I could use it.

    3. YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER. You are. You really are. Parenting is hard. You are doing a good job at it.

    4. Teenagers. I am sorry for laughing so hard, but don’t worry, my insensitivity to your plight of wrangling a teen will eventually come back in the fact that I will have my own teens.

    5. Monkey. Those “what happened today” emails are so brutal. I consider them tiny grenades that get lobbed at me on a regular basis, but somehow when I least expect it. I see violent reactions as a reaction. Words have failed or are not available. Smaller actions have failed. The child can only figure out one way to communicate that will get attention: violence. That doesn’t mean that he is violent. That means that maybe somebody isn’t picking up on the precursors to that violence. I mean, obviously I don’t know the whole story, but that is how things tend to go around here.

    6. Mir is awesome.

  33. 33
    Daisy October 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Hugs to you and Otto. And keep those emails from Hippie School. Some day you’ll pick them up to remind you of your strength in the face of adversity.
    Really. I mean it.

  34. 34
    meredith October 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I MADE myself go on a date night with my husband last night when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed with a book at 9pm. Even though it took me awhile to thaw out, we did end up dancing and we had a nice time. I hope you guys do too.

  35. 35
    Another Dawn October 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    And this? THIS? is why they start ‘em out so cute so we’ll get all attached to them. Otherwise we’d set them all adrift on an ice floe when puberty sets in.

    Except we couldn’t because our parents would have done the same to us… and they couldn’t because… you get the idea.

    Puberty. What a stupid idea.

    Hang in there, Mir. They are listening and one day, when they’re in their 20s and acting all mature and revealing that they really were listening you’ll look at them and think, “Damn! I didn’t do such a bad job after all!”

  36. 36
    Jeanie October 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Otto sounds like a dream come true. I hope you had a wonderful evening. And for what it’s worth, I, too, think you’re an awesome mom. You have a lot to deal with, obviously, and it can’t be easy. I remember the teenage years with my kids. O gawd, do I!

  37. 37
    Laura October 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I accidentally called my own precious teenaged boy a dumbass once. I don’t recommend it – it felt horrible afterward, and I still feel guilty about saying it. But, he was totally being a dumbass.

  38. 38
    Jane October 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I hope you have a wonderful, spectacular, dance-filled, twirling through the night kind of date! Enjoy. And, one piece of advice my older sister gave me (when her kids were almost adults and mine were in pre-k) “It’s all only temporary, it changes before you can even adjust, sometimes.”

  39. 39
    Samantha October 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I have nothing useful to say, but perhaps it will cheer you to know that I too required a large cup of coffee to go out with my husband last night. And I am in my twenties. Also, we were home and asleep by midnight.

    I would like to back Otto up though. From another perspective one could say that he chose this more than you; you gave birth to unknown entities, but he joined your family with at least some knowledge of each member. Not that this detracts from his awesomeness, as clearly it adds to it.

  40. 40
    Kathleen October 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    *blink* *blink* How is it that another human being I have never met can be going through such similar life events? Stress results in 8:00pm bedtime many a Friday evening for me. If I start dreaming of the challenges, that won’t even be an escape. I hope your date was fun and relaxing!

  41. 41
    Kate in Michigan October 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    You’re SO PRETTY!

  42. 42
    Heather October 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Sending much love to you and yours. <3

  43. 43
    Beth in IA October 29, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Mir –

    I hope you and Otto had a lovely evening!!!

    I don’t have the Monkey wrench you do, I realize, but my hope is that this might offer you some comfort for the Chickie situation. I have two daughters at home, ages 16 and 14. Two years ago I was sick about my relationship with the older one. We had many, many conversations like the ones you shared in this post and it was awful. I felt less sure about my choices than I did when she was a toddler.

    So I did my best to hold my ground, I gave in on some things that made her very happy (double-pierced ears before any of her friends), I cried in the shower sometimes, and mostly I just tried to hold on.

    Now, she is . . . just lovely. We still have moments but there is much love and respect, and it goes both ways. This is particularly wonderful because her younger sister is embarking on the same teenager/mom tension-filled journey.

    Take care of yourself. My thoughts are with you and prayers for you all will continue!

  44. 44
    Cele October 30, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Mascara, a large margarita, and dancing on the tables – girl friend that is what you need.

  45. 45
    Kelly October 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    I hope you had a great night out! A little break, even just an evening, might just help.

    So could you put her med in pb & trick her like with a puppy? :)

  46. 46
    Kathy October 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    1.) Your husband is a DREAM! I know, mine is, too! Mine went all over God’s green acre this week looking for a yellow angry bird t-shirt in my daughter’s size, because that is what her friends are going to be for Halloween and she was designated as the yellow bird. WELL … guess what doesn’t exist!! No, I lie! It does exist and he found the only one in existance … and it’s a youth size that she’ll just have to live with! What a guy!!

    2.) I would love to tell you that the Monkey thing will get better … but it may not … BUT … it will probably get different! At 18, different seems better to us! It’s not always good, LET ME TELL YOU! But with different comes a shift of some of the responsibility! Better is better!

    3.) You ARE a great parent … and even to Chickadee! She will thank you … MUCH LATER!!! :) I love those days when I can have a pleasant conversation with my own and say: remember when I did that? Remember how mad you were? See how right I was? And she AGREES!! I don’t rub her sweet little nose in it too often … just enough to remind us both that this tug-of-war is so worth it in the end!

    I hope you had a great date and it keeps you going for the next week ahead!

    xoxo,
    kathy

  47. 47
    Hope October 31, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    Heartfelt and articulate post. Thanks for sharing your pain.

  48. 48
    el-e-e October 31, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I really hope you guys had a good weekend. Thinking of you today.

  49. 49
    Rebecca October 31, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    I feel ya on the teenager stuff. I’ve got a 15 yr old boy with inattentive-type ADD and there are days when I just want to sell him on ebay. I love him beyond breath, but sometimes… *sigh* The forgetting, the attitude, the I-know-so-much-more-than-yous. Teenagers are pod people. I hear they come out of it eventually, but in the throes of it it’s so hard to believe.

    Hang in there. It will get better. I’m *sure* it will get better.

  50. 50
    Heather October 31, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    I am having those same, “I don’t know if I can do this” moments lately. It’s hard to watch your child want something so badly and not be able to do it. My son can not control his actions sometimes and this leads to blurting out in class or being a little “over enthusiastic” at times. After a “bad” day I get to hear him say how dumb he is and why can’t he just not do those things! I wish I had answers for him, I wish I could help him and I wish he could be “normal” for just one day. I wish he didn’t have to work so hard to fit in with his friends and fit in his classrooms. He is not dumb, he is very smart. He started junior high this year and it is better, it is better because I get to hear teachers say, “yes, he does something blurt out or has a hard time sitting still, but he is so smart and so polite and such a pleasure to have in my class.” I hold on to this when I see him asking himself why he is so dumb, I remind him of how wonderful and smart he is. Unfortunately, he is also getting to the preteen stage, so I don’t know anything. I am also unfair and dumb, so yeah, I just need to breathe through it. Breathe through it Mir! Sometimes questioning what kind of mother you are makes you a wonderful mother. I hope to find an Otto someday, I could use the company and the sounding board. I am glad you have him to keep you sane!

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    Julie October 31, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Once, in the throes of a heated argument with teenaged Lil Daughter, I was absolutely furious and trying desparately NOT to call her a dumbass. The “D” part came out and I ended up calling her a DILDO. She looked kinda shocked for a minute then she cracked up. And last week I heard her telling a friend the story of the night her lovely-never-ever-say-a-cuss-word mommy called her a dildo.

    She’s almost 25 now and a mommy herself. And she’s pretty good at it!

    Hugs…

  52. 52
    Therese October 31, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    If you look in Webster’s Dictionary, one of the definitions of teenager is DUMBASS!! Totally true, check it out for yourself.
    You are doing great–just hang in there. I HAVE called each one of my children a dumbass at one time or another. They think it’s actually a term of endearment.

  53. 53
    Andrea October 31, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Oh, you are speaking to me. It really IS like being covered in paper cuts, and you never know when something will bump against them and hurt like hell. Superman & I had to sit on the curb outside the costume shop this weekend while everyone else went in, because he started melting down about the one damn balloon he saw in there.
    And I burst into tears a couple of weeks ago during a perfectly lovely conversation with his teacher, when she threw in a nice little, “You’re SUCH a good mom!” LAWD, but this is so hard. Hang in there, everyone keeps telling me it will be fine. They’re right, right?

  54. 54
    Tracy B October 31, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    And this is why God gave you Otto! Hang in there, boo! It will get better…eventually. Promise. Kids have no sense until they are 30 and then it’s still questionable. ;o) I’m so glad I’m pass the teenage years. Thank you Jesus!!

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