Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Joys of Children

My head is going to explode.


The Girl's therapist*, Sanity Support (SS), met us at home after school today. After school was starting out WAY better than before school. There was no fighting, no name calling, no antagonizing. I knew it was too good to be true.

SS was in The Girl's room with her. I'm not entirely sure what they were doing, but it was quiet and I was happy. It allowed time for The Boy and me to do some research on a charter school he is interested in attending next year. I don't really know what happened, but the next thing I know, The Girl is flailing across my bed screaming about a broken necklace. SS was as confused as I.

The tantrum escalated, and The Girl had somehow locked us out of the house and was throwing flashlights and picture frames at The Boy. SS and I stood at the window watching helplessly. The Boy, knowing that putting his hands on his sister (or any other girl, for that matter) is strictly forbidden, is skillfully dodging the figurative bullets. While The Girl was distracted with her target, I snuck around the side of the house and removed the sliding screen door to gain access to my home. Success!!! I grabbed The Girl and The Boy ran to the front door and let SS in!

After an hour of screaming and crying about a broken necklace, not being able to walk to school, not being allowed to cross the major road near our home when The Boy is allowed to (he went for a bike ride to calm down from his near death experience), not being able to find Softy (an old shirt that belonged to my late husband and she uses as a security blanket), and having a headache (all that screaming and crying will do that), one of her friends comes to the door. The Girl is miraculously cured of all her woes! "Mom! Can I go play!?!?"

Before giving permission, I quicky run through safety rules of playing outside. Her active mind is frequently clouded by the impulsivity and lack of concern for consequences that plagues most ODD children. After the obligatory eye rolls and "I know, Mom! Gosh!"'s, The Girl is out the door. Honestly, I know that I should know better, but I was truly upset when not more than 5 minutes later I find her crossing the street in the direction of her friend's house without having asked permission to go. (Safety Rule #3 - Children are not permitted to go to or into a friend's house without permission.) SS wishes me luck and a better evening and leaves.

While this is only a taste of my exciting evening, (yes, it got worse before it got better, but that's a whole other Oprah) I have a hard time sitting here remaining ticked off. Yes, I'm pretty sure my head is going to explode. Yes, I'd absolutely love a pitcher or two of margaritas, or maybe even a couple bottles of wine. But like I always tell myself, there is always someone out there that has it worse.

So we missed church choir practice tonight. So what. God forgives us. The Girl would have been more disruptive than participative anyway. Choir Director would be grateful for my choice not to go.

Homework is done, to the best of my knowledge. The Girl is in her room enjoying some alone time with Enya and The Three Amigos. The Boy is downstairs with the latest Spiderwick book and Chowder. Mom is having some "Mom Time" and all is quiet on the home front.

Life is good.

* The Girl was diagnosed in 2006 with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). We have struggled for years searching for medications that help her impulse control and behavior and have yet to find one that helps without side effects. She has had multiple in-patient hospital stays, as well as therapy in an out-patient setting and in-home. We are currently exploring homeopathic and natural alternatives to treating her symptoms. I refuse to allow a diagnosis to define my daughter, and will be by her side fighting this battle for as long as necessary.


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