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Category Archives: Parenting

What Could I Say? Been There, Done That!

Yesterday, I was sitting on the front porch, enjoying the peace.  For once, no one was in my face whining that they wanted a drink, or food, or crying because they had a bruise from rough play.  The kids were actually getting along. Their brother had just gotten a new bed, and they were breaking it in. Their laughter was ringing through the open front door like an old favorite song.  Suddenly, I heard my husband yell, “Stop jumping on the bed!”  Their was fun interrupted, the giggles stopped, and silence rang through the house.

He walked onto the porch, looking offended, and asked me, “Do you know what they were doing?”  I couldn’t help it; I started to laugh the kind of laugh that starts deep down in your belly, the kind of laugh that tickles your chest and makes your body shake and tears fall from your eyes.  He stood looking at me, confusion plain in his face.  When I finally thought I had it under control, I tried to say, “What do you expect? Lucas just got a new bed,” but somehow, I just couldn’t get it out.  I started to laugh again.

What could I really say?  Jumping on your bed is like the ultimate childhood past-time.  Of course, these days, we have trampolines and Wii’s, and all kinds of virtual games, but then?  We had our beds.  I remember having the best kind of bed for jumping on.  The box spring was super stiff, with a firm mattress.  Man, did I ever get air on that bed!  Sometimes, I’d come close to hitting my head on the ceiling, and my stomach would get that wobbly ticklish feeling you get from a good laugh. My mom used to yell at me: “Tricia, stop jumping on the bed!”  So I’d stop for a few minutes, and then start all over again, especially if I heard her go outside for a few minutes.

It was even better jumping with a friend. One time, my cousin Lesia and I jumped on my bed for hours while my mom wasn’t home.  There was the double bounce, where we’d jump at the same time, and the uneven bounce, where we’d offset our jumps.  Really, I’m surprised we didn’t end up breaking the damn bed.  God, we laughed and laughed.  Suddenly, there was my mom in the doorway.  “What are you doing?!”  We immediately sat on our butts, looking sorry. “We were making the bed softer, Mom.  See, it’s already more comfortable,” I told her.  She shook her head, and said,  “Pretty soon, you’ll be sleeping on the floor!”  She stormed out of the room and we burst into giggles.  Is there any better feeling?

What was I supposed to say to my kids when I knew full well that they were jumping on the bed?  Was I supposed to yell at them and tell them not to?  Was I supposed to pretend to be angry that they were enjoying a wonderful past time, and making memories together?  Perhaps I should have been a good parent and encouraged them to go jump on the trampoline out in the yard, but somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.  I couldn’t bring myself to be a hypocrite, when in my heart, I was on that bed, flying up into the air with them.

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Parenting

 

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Missing

Last night, I experienced every parent’s worst nightmare: a missing child.  My five-year-old son walked out of the house around 10:30 p.m. while everyone was in bed.  Our bedrooms are literally back-to-back, and we had just spoken with him about turning the TV off.  When we checked on him five minutes later, his light was on and his room was empty…

We raced through the house calling for him.  My husband noticed the garage door unlocked, and partially closed.  My mind shut off, while I raced around the yard in a t-shirt and bare feet, calling his name.  Chuck jumped in the truck, and drove down the driveway to the neighbors where Whalen’s little friend lives.  He was no where to be found.  We live in a rural area, literally in the middle of the woods, where bears and other wildlife make their homes.  I was strangely calm while I searched the backyard and surrounding woods, looking in the tent, the hot tub, even checking the chest freezer in the garage.  He was nowhere to be found.

Chuck called his sister and his parents while he was driving around the immediate area.  My sister-in-law and her kids, my father-in-law, and my niece all showed up at the house, ready to search for him.  As I was getting ready to call the police, my telephone rang.  My mother-in-law, who lives a mile and half away, said he walked in the front door about twenty seconds after my father-in-law left.  He said, “Hi, Nanny!  I walked here in the dark-time!”  When I heard those words, “I’ve got Whalen,”  I broke into little tiny pieces.  I couldn’t breathe.  Extreme thoughts raced through my mind, more so when I saw him come through our front door in shorts, a t-shirt, and bare feet.  I still have no idea how he made it over there so fast with his little legs, no shoes, and no flashlight.

My five-year-old was missing for fifteen minutes that felt like five years.  As I think about it rationally, now that he’s safe and sound, I can’t help but be angry.  Yes, angry.  See, Whalen’s not your typical child.  He’s got problems.  The doctors claim it’s ADHD, which seems like a catch-all category these days.  Maybe it is ADHD, but guess what kids, there’s something else going on here!  However, God forbid you should give your opinion as a parent to the caregiver… The answer I get: “Here’s (insert stimulant name here).  Let’s give this drug a try.  I’ll see you in a month.”

Excuse me, did I hear you correctly?  I’m in your office crying about the behavior, the sleepless nights, the shit smeared on my walls and his hands daily, and the fears that he will hurt himself or someone else, but all you can offer me is an experiment?  Here’s a pill, let’s go a month and see if it works?  And it’s not just one doctor.  This child has seen a multitude of specialists, all of whom, even the God of Neurodevelopment who interned at the Mayo Clinic, have released him from care, stating, “I can’t help you anymore.”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

What does it take to get someone to care?  Does my child have to kill someone, or injure himself so severely that he needs hospitalization before we’ll step up?  I am doing my job as a parent.  Six out of seven nights a week, I’m sleeping on our lumpy couch during his four a.m. forays into the kitchen.  My steak knives are put up and away.  I won’t allow a gun in my house.  I clean his shit up off of my walls and floors everyday without complaint, although there have been tears.  Why can’t the professionals step up and do their job?  Why must I beat my head against a brick wall?

I don’t have the answers.  I apologize for the rant, but I am completely open to comments, or suggestions!  One more thing:  My son was missing for fifteen minutes, and I felt like the world would end.  I cannot imagine what parents go through when their child is missing and there is no happy ending.  My heart goes out to those parents and children.

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Parenting

 

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