Sunday, January 29, 2012

White flag

I was going to sit down and write this evening about other things.  I vaguely remember them, and maybe I'll write about those things later.  Right now I feel like I need to write about defeat.  Because that's what I'm feeling.

I have this child... He has always been more everything than other kids.  I've always felt like I have to struggle to stay one step ahead of his needs, and he's fought me every step of the way.  He looks to everyone else like a normal 10 year old boy, and others often just shake their heads and say, "Oh, he's just being a boy, Mom."

Bullshit.  I knew by the time he was four that he wasn't just being a boy.  I'd been around other little boys.

At first, he seems like an outgoing sweet kid.  He's funny, too, even if he does try just a little too hard.  But if you spend a significant amount of time with him, you find yourself thinking he's maybe more of pain in the ass than you thought.  Then you spend a little more time with him, and you start thinking, Okay, what's wrong with this kid?

He's bipolar.  He has ADHD.  He has Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  He's ten, going on 15, which is bad enough in itself.  He can't handle sugar; it makes him throw up.  He can't handle wheat; it affects his health and his behavior, and, recently, it was probably the culprit in an otherwise unexplainable bout of eczema.

We have spent thousands of dollars on therapists, doctors, prescription medication, supplements, and a modified diet to give this child the best possible chance at success.  But you know what?  We're just tilting at windmills.  Because what do you get when you have a child with a laundry list of diagnoses, very poor impulse control, and food sensitivities?  An impossible situation, that's what.  He wants to eat what he wants to eat.  The end.

You might be able to monitor what goes in their mouths at 2 or 3 years old.  But at 10?  The kid has to be on board.  You can't monitor everything that goes into a 10-year-old's mouth.  You can buy special food, make healthy lunches, teach him good choices... But you can't stop him from buying another lunch in the cafeteria.  You can't be in the kitchen every second that he is.  He has to be on your, he has to be on his own goddamned side.

But what if he's not?

What if you offer him everything you can, every chance to be healthy and happy, and he just continues to throw it back in your face?  He's 10, not 20.  It's still your job to parent him, no matter how hard he makes it, right??

We can't have a typical family movie night with pizza and movie, because we can't have pizza.  No, he can't have pizza, so we all comply to make him feel less different.  Every now and then, I make homemade pizza, and it's a special treat, because my pizzas are good.  They're awesome.  And I buy $12 gluten free crust so that he can have awesome homemade pizza.  The rest of us usually eat GF, too, but this time we had regular crust.  So, we all sat down earlier tonight to eat pizza and watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

A lovely family evening went to shit when I started cleaning up and realized that there was less leftover pizza than there should have been.  The boy had eaten the glutenous pizza.

The effort to have a special GF pizza treat?  Out the window.  Could've called Domino's and saved time and effort.  I wanted to smash things.  I started slamming dishes and cabinets.  Then, suddenly I was sobbing.  This hopeless sense of futility and defeat took me over, and I lost it.

This was by no means the first time.  There have been many instances, and each time I think he's learned a lesson and then wham!  He hasn't.

After I was done sobbing out my frustration and snot all over my husband, I went and told my beloved son, my first born, the child that I carried for nine months and then nursed for three years, that I was done.  That I was feeling defeat and sadness and that I didn't know how to be his mother anymore because obviously I wasn't doing it right.

Did I mean it?  In the moment, I absolutely did.  But... no matter how hard this child makes it on us, I'm sure I don't really have it in me to wave the white flag for good.  The hell of it is, I will keep trying, even if it's just tilting at windmills. Because I don't know how else to do it, this Mom Thing.

It's just pizza, right?  But it's not just pizza, it's just pizza now.  What's it going to be when he's 12, 15, 18?  That's what really scares the hell out of me...


  1. You're a kickass mom in a tough spot. It's amazing to me all the things you have researched, learned, implemented for the well being of your kids and your family. You've got more stick-with-it-ness than most people I know (myself included)! Love you.

  2. You do a wonderful job with a tough situation. I know you love him and will continue to do your best. It is said that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but sometimes that is questionable. He is a handful, but also very loving and smart kiddo. You keep on doing a wonderful job, tell him you love him and hopefully, one day, it will all sink in. Love you!