Sunday, August 26, 2007

Getting It

Even with the entire last post where I talk about my two youngest children being freaked right out about my going away for a weekend in late September, even with that apparent understanding of how they felt...

I didn't clue in how bad it was until it was time to tuck Monkey into bed and I saw that she had licked all the skin around her mouth into an angry looking red, raw, chapped state.
It had been fine this morning.

See, I went away last year at this time, for the same reason, with my running buddies to another town to run in an event, and this year I thought, I assumed (ass out of u and me) that this time it would be no big deal.

They can't control their raging fear and they hide it as best as they can but it comes out because it is overwhelming.

I promised that we would talk more about it all tomorrow and I reminded them that I would bring them back the same kinds of souvenirs as I did last year (tshirts with cows on them) and now I am in the process of negotiating with my older children to allow the younger ones to sleep in the same rooms while I am gone.

Bunny, 13, automatically said: how much and you don't mean in the same bed right?
Sunny, 16, scoffed at the idea of taking money for it but then began to worry away at how it would work out and what if Buddy was all bouncy and annoying?

There are other things going on and lots to do but right now I am just rocked to my core, again, by how tough my little ones have it and how we will get through it because that is what we do.


Currently, if my youngest son even looks at me sideways I want to yell at him and unfortunately that is exactly what I end up doing.

I am not proud of it, nor do I imagine even remotely it is all his fault but for the love of pete whatever is going on with him and or me, I hope it ends soon.

It is really stupid stuff that is setting me off.

Really stupid, but also repetitive.

I wish I could figure out if it really is him or it really is me.
It could be me.

There could be some hot button hidden under the layers of time and trauma that he keeps unintentionally or intentionally tripping.
Or maybe I am doing the same to him.

Or maybe, the dim light slowly grows in my brain, he is in reaction to me going away in a few weeks and this is how he is expressing it.

Gimme a capital D.
Gimme a capital U.
Gimme a capital H.

Argh. I make myself crazy being so slow on the uptake with this stuff.

Heck his sister already gave me the technocolour heads up that this was a problem and yet did it occur to me before I go off into my own personal display of fireworks that this might be the root of his ~unbelieveably~ irritating, slack jawed, blank eyed, responsibility dodging responses to everything I say to him?


He also has black circles under his eyes, which probably means he hasn't been sleeping properly - not something he will tell me until I grill him about it.

The hardest, single, damn thing I have found about parenting is just not being able to figure out what is going on - especially when they won't or can't tell me.

The funny thing, is that I am hiding up in my room, writing this instead of eating my lunch because I couldn't trust myself in his presence for even another second - he is too good at pushing my buttons.

You want to make me crazy when I am your Mom?
Faster than anything else on earth?
Wilfully deny that you are hungry and refuse to eat the food I have just made an effort to put on the table.
That shows me!

No, really it does.

I have some minor issues about food and it works every single time to get a rise out of me.

Where is that stupid book?

What book?

Oh the one I spent a half an hour reviewing in my bath this morning, nodding and making mental notes on how to handle issues with my kids,
How to talk to kids so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk, that's it.

Oh well.
At least I did some of it right.
All "I feel..." sentances and no belittling of the child.

Well, not much.

Now, must forgive myself my failings, hold my head up and go make things as right as possible and um, eat, oh yeah, that too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The semi Usual

A couple of nights ago, I got a phone call from a woman who was in her very first month of placement with a 10 year old boy who will hopefully become her son.

She was going BONKERS.

That is truly the best description I can think of.
I swear I could hear her vibrating through the phone.

Over fifteen years it has been just her and her husband and now, suddenly they are living with a kid with ADHD and a raft of other stuff that can come from being in the system.

We talked for nearly three hours and one of the things I came away with was a reminder of just how exhausting and overwhelming things were around here in the early months of placement.

I had honestly forgotten a lot of it, until I heard her describing the behaviours her kids was doing.

Still it isn't all gone either.
Yesterday I reminded the family at the dinner table that in about three weeks I was going away with friends and spending two nights away from home.

Monkey looked like I had slapped her, but only for a moment and then the blanked eyed mask dropped in place.

Are you okay with that? I asked her.

Mmmmhm. She nodded and concentrated on her food.

Then she was clingy all evening, distant at bedtime and came into my room and woke me up no fewer then four time in the night because she had bad dreams about some lady not being nice to her.

Yeah. Sure she is okay with it.

That combined with a few other things means that I am REALLY tired today and boy do I suck at this parenting thing when I am tired.

I'm embarrassed to admit this but I get mad.
The two of them have been here over a year and I expect them to change more in the way they handle stress and fear.

(Yes they have come a HELL of a long way but this isn't that kind of post, this post is about whining and complaining and feeling hard done by and wanting a nap and to lie in a tub full of warm, scented water, eating cream puffs and then sleeping through the night.)
* * * * * * * *
One thing that stands out in my mind from the phone conversation with the other struggling Mom, is that she asked me what we did for punishment in our home.

I was stumped because we don't punish.

Now don't get me wrong, I do yell, carry on, stomp, thump things and in general behave like as ass on what seems to be a semi-regular basis but we don't have a system where by if you do this and you are not supposed to, then you will have your favourite toy taken away.

On days when I am not tired I can go into, very eloquently, why punishment doesn't work.
Days like to day, I can tell you that I think it has to do with my incredibly short attention span and the fact that my kids' are even shorter.

And yes, on days like today, I prefer spending time with my older kids more than with my younger kids.
I'm so tired - of the constant high levels of neediness, of paying for mistakes that I didn't make.

And I am scared that I will be getting back into that awful cycle where I won't ever get enough sleep and I will never be good enough.

Of course, today, neither of my older kids happen to be in the throws of hysteria of any sort, hormonal or otherwise, if they were,
I think I might have to run away from home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The eyes have it.

My youngest daughter's eyes are really striking.

Hard as it is to believe, that isn't just parental pride speaking.

She has dark brown hair and golden skin with these large, light eyes framed by huge eyelashes.

They take my breath away and they irritate me all at the same time - they are so beautiful that they attract almost too much attention, which frankly isn't good for her on so many levels...

When Birth Grandma came for a visit last week, she brought an unexpected gift - recent pictures of Birth Mom, from only a week before.

Birth Mom needed someone to take care of her for a few days and Birth Grandma ended up being the one to do it.

Looking into the face of Birth Mom was, stunning, because she stares up at me from the photos with my youngest daughter's eyes.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Family Picture

When your kids are really as beautiful as mine is very difficult to not want to show them off to as much of the world as possible.

So, that being said.

If you want to see mine (and other pictures I have taken from time to time), please email me and introduce yourself (or re-introduce as the case may be) and I will invite you to my picture blog.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go and upload some pictures from the adoption celebration now too.

Unless, Captain Cabana Boy sees me and drafts me into his own personal crusade to mouse proof our house - AGAIN.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Up Persicope

Three days ago we had our adoption party for family.
It was very special.
Our reservation was for a restaurant that actually rotates slowly on the top of a very tall building downtown on the edge of a river valley.
We arrived at 6:30pm, the six of us and Birth Grandma (Monkey and Buddy's maternal birth grandmother), then former foster parents with foster sister and then Aunt H and Uncle K (Cabana Boy's brother and his wife) and finally Uncle M and Aunt S with their two year old - fifteen people in total!

The staff were wonderful, they went to an extra effort to make a table that we could all sit at, which was a big deal - and our waitress was marvelous, warm and attentive.
The food was delicious, the view of the city, slowing changing as the restaurant turned, clear weather, day slowly melting into sunset....
it sounds a little soppy but it was truly just right.

The kids all did great, none of them, including the two year old, seemed to get overwhelmed or out of hand in anyway and we were there for almost 3 hours.

Cabana Boy and I had stopped at a boutique chocolatier to get tiny individual boxes of chocolates for each of our guests and slightly bigger ones for Sunny, Bunny, Buddy and Monkey. We handed those out early and then presented each of the four of them with these beautiful wooden keepsake boxes that one of my friends and her husband had made especially for this occasion.

(Very much like this one.)

It is hard to describe how beautiful they are. Each is made from a different wood, cherry, pecan, butternut and mahogany, handmade and polished, about the size of a large jewelry box.
I was a little worried that the kids might think they were a weird present or something but each of the really seemed to love their box, so we were so pleased.

Uncle K and Aunt H presented us with a gift certificate for a tree! And they will come and help us plant it in our yard! The kids are thrilled and we are thinking of an apple tree for in front of the house this fall, after the landscaping is done - we have to take out a nearly dead birch, so this is perfect.

(and yes, for those of you who remember, this is the same couple who gave us a rather poor reference for our adoption paperwork and were not that supportive at first - I am so glad that I chose not to confront them about it then or ever)

I don't know if I can capture just how much joy there was that night.
Everyone thought it was a magical time and everyone talked about how wonderful it was.
Just what we wanted for our four kids, something lovely and special that they will always think of as fantastic.

I am so damn lucky that it takes my breath away.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just Called Granny

A few minutes ago I got off of the phone with Granny.

Ann to me, because that is how I got to know her by through comments on a parenting site that we both frequented two years ago and by the time I got to her blog, that is how I thought of her.

She has been a voice of support to me and many others on this here internets, one that I have appreciated time and again, and a person I have counted and will continue to count as being one of my friends.

Some tough stuff is going in her life and family and she needs to know that she is not alone and that those of us who get how tough things sometimes are, understand where she is right now.

Ann, it was lovely to talk to you -
American accent and all :),
hope you could understand my funny Canajun voice...

thinking of you and your girls and all of your family and will be keeping in touch...
take care and just remember to breathe in and then breathe out....


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Not Complaining

It is getting hot here again, I'm tired, my left eyelid is twitchy, one and a half kids are sick, my husband thinks that by working all day then leaving on a business trip and coming home after midnight the next day and going to work the next morning is only going away for one day -

I'm not complaining.


Right now things are pretty good.
My four beautiful children are just that, beautiful children, so beautiful in so many ways that I would be willing to and am hoping to "have" more in a few (three or four) years.


Got lucky this time and don't have a clue what we could be in for?

It ain't necessarily easy but it is right?
Yeah, I think that is it.

Just thinking about it, it may never happen -
but it could be pretty nice (some of the time and crazy making a lot of the other time).

The funny thing is, I know people who are better parents than I am. Who do and would do a better job than I do.

It is very doubtful that I would be the one picked to be the embodiment of motherhood...
but what the hell.

Hey, I'm having a craving for potato chips with rich goat milk mozzarella melted on them.

Not that I have ever actually had that before....

Mmmm, salt....grease...

hormones anyone?