Tag Archives: MommyFails

Therapy Thursday: Expect the Unexpected

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Wow… today was a bit of a doozy. For starters we had a field trip to the pumpkin patch where Molly decided that she was terrified of picnic tables and had me hold her for the next twenty minutes. So, after being exhausted from tending to her all morning I decided for a nice quiet time activity. I’m tired and think I’ve hit the jack pot with a pumpkin painting activity so naturally there were tears (mine) and screaming (hers) and a time out (mine).

Anyone else have their 4 year old send them to a “calm down spot”? No? Oh, well, mine does. Honestly, I don’t mind the couple of minutes of quiet where no one bothers you.

I was super psyched that our social worker was coming today. I was having the internal struggle of meeting Molly’s needs and wants and feeling like I was failing big time at everything. Should I have carried her at the pumpkin patch? Did she really need fresh paints when hers mixed? Should I just have ended craft time before losing my temper??? I needed our counselor to talk me through it and keep me out of the wine. She listened then she questioned “what if this isn’t what a 4 year old should be doing?”.

Crickets chirp.

Oh. Even though I was having some concerns with some behavioral shifts, especially toileting and becoming more and more helpless, and the fact that her teacher had made more than one report home about some difficulty I was still telling myself that Molly was 4 years old. I also knew that in a lot of cases she is on par with Charlie emotionally, but it’s something else when it is put out in the universe. That looming question that I don’t have an answer for because I tend to dance around it on a daily basis. Honestly, I still don’t have an answer for it but I do know that what I have always suspected is right on. So I got over my punch in the stomach (which I asked for) and said “what do we do?”. For now we were given 3 options: do nothing and ride out this school year; have her retested through Child Find; or see the psychiatrist through our youth services bureau. I picked option 4: have our counselor talk with the teacher and observe Molly in class so we could make a more informed decision. Mostly because I don’t want to go through Child Find again and have her not qualify. The testing is long and exhausting for everyone and I can’t put us through that again and have the same outcome. It’s ridiculous.

So, that’s where we stand. Waiting. Waiting for an answer of where to go next. I have a feeling we will often be in this limbo with Molly so I should get used to it.

We Don’t Say Those Words

One of my many fails as a mom was my inability to control my potty mouth when Molly was a baby. She had been verbal for way too long as swear words were still flying from my mouth as easily as saying “how was your day?”. In my defense, I did share a rocking chair with my blue mouthed Grammy until I was 6. Some things were bound to wear off on me. Then it happened. My 2 year old said “Jesus Crazus” which was her interpretation of “Jesus Christ”. The bad part was is that I found it somewhat amusing. Not because of what she was saying but how she was saying it. There was a string of exasperation that went along with it, “Oh my! Oh my goodness! Oh my gosh! Oh my Jesus Crazus!”. Plus, she had a look on her face that she knew she was saying something taboo. However,  we couldn’t have her blurting this out at Christian Preschool, so we did what all good parents do when their toddlers say things they shouldn’t, we ignored the behavior.

Only the behavior only got worse.

At first she banged her head into the door and said “shit” as she walked away. I couldn’t hide from that one, she was imitating me. But it didn’t end there. I was explaining to her about God, she asked “like God Dammit?”. I said “well, yes, but he doesn’t use his last name”. This one could’ve been either Stampy or myself, but it was probably me. Still, we were trying to ignore the words as they came out. I mean, if you don’t react to the behavior should stop, right??

Nope. It gets worse.

My sweet little girl said it. She said the F bomb. She used it correctly. Then she said it again. And Again. And Again. In fact, last year on our vacation trip she shut herself in the bathroom and preceded to scream it at the top of her lungs multiple times. We tried ignoring it, she said it more. We tried explaining it wasn’t nice. She continued to say it. The problem when your child is smart is that they know from day 1 that it isn’t ok, and that’s why they do it. And when we ignored it she would keep saying it until we would address it. We were trapped. We were trapped in a F’in horrible situation. We didn’t know what to do. I think they only thing that really worked was divine Jesus Crazus intervention and she eventually moved on to something else to get our attention. Like strangling her brother.

We had our sweet mouth girl back.

Then she turned 4. And the words have become worse.

Shut Up and Stupid.

Now, I might have a potty mouth but I don’t have a mean mouth. We have limits in this house and those 2 words are definitely on the not-under-my-roof-you-don’t type list. I even skip over those words in the Berenstein Bear books. We have had several talks and time outs for using “mean words” and I think it’s working. Last night Molly said “Mom, I’m not going to say shut up. I’m going to tell you that S-H makes the ‘sh’ sound and that’s the sound that begins shut up” and continued with her dinner. Yup. She gets it. And she gets how she can get away with saying the black listed words without getting into trouble. She’s 4. I have a long road ahead of me.

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What words on your “black list”?

My Kids Eat Jelly Sandwiches

Dear Parents Magazine,

While I appreciate your monthly reading material that comes to my house, I’m having difficulty following you on Pinterest. I guess I usually just flip through your magazine, reading an article here and there and just looking at pretty pictures along the way. You always have the cutest babies and toddlers.  However, on your Pinterest page I’m forced to read your captions on Pinterest and then I realize that I’ve been missing a lot of shenanigans while flipping through your magazine. For example, this jewel of a pin you had last week:

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Now, I’m not saying that this isn’t a cute idea. I mean, probably to get my kids to do this would suck about a good hour of our day which I’m always looking for activities that occupy little hands for more than 10 minutes but I think you are overlooking a big problem in our house. My kids eat sandwiches, yes, but fancy ones? No. Charlie would’ve thrown all the Cheerios on the floor and proceeded to tap dance on them to create a nice sandy floor to roll on. Molly would end up screaming and in tears over the fact that her masterpiece wasn’t good enough and demanding that I sprinkle her Cheerios for her. Oh, and I also wouldn’t do it up to her standards so there would be more tears. This time from both of us. I’m sure at this point Charlie would be bored of his Cheerio dust and decide to mess up what Molly has been working on for 20 minutes to get “just right”. This leads to more tears, usually followed by “mean actions” and a time out. Did I mention my kids don’t eat vegetables? Charlie’s would be on the floor with his Cheerios and Molly would be telling me 800 times “I don’t like that” and insisting it be removed, then crying because her flower doesn’t have a stalk or leaves. Skip ahead through a few more arguments and time outs and we are now way past lunch time, nobody has eaten and I’m half a bottle of wine in and it’s only noon.  So, while I like your idea of fancy food, I have to admit that my kids aren’t fancy and if it’s all the same we’ll stick to our plain old grape jelly sandwiches.

Sincerely,
Jamie, mom to Sensational Kids.

Parent Fail: Miniature Golf Style

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Doesn’t this look like a fun family outing? Everyone is enjoying a round of miniature golf, the Wild Card is even wearing a collared shirt, but in reality it was a disaster. A parenting fail at its worst. The Mollinator is a perfectionist at the age of 4 and thanks to her Sensory Processing Disorder she also has motor delays, primarily in motor planning. It’s hard enough for a 4 year old to grasp the hand-eye coordination to successfully putt the ball through obstacles and into a hole, now imagine one that can’t sequence all of her movements correctly or figure out how hard or soft she needs to hit the ball to get it to the hole and on top of that have her be a perfectionist so when she doesn’t get a hole-in-one she thinks she failed. Did you get all that? I can tell you that it’s a recipe for disaster and tears next to a #8 flag. She actually sat down on hole 8 to exclaim she was a bad golfer. She’s 4 and the thought that she couldn’t hit the ball into a hole in one shot was just too much for her to bear. Luckily it was a rainy day so the course was pretty empty but those that were there saw parenting at its worst best.

As parents we want our kids to have fun so we tried everything in our power to turn that frown upside down but nothing worked. Her frustrations got bigger and our patience got smaller. I tried to avoid it but I walked to the car with a screaming kid in tow. I did my best not to yell, I just handed her putter to Stampy and walked away, but honestly I wanted to scream. Not at Molly, this isn’t her fault. I wanted to scream at the universe for making this our reality. Our reality that we will most likely leave places early and in tears. Only to come home and have whiney temper tantrums and cling with all her might to me. It’s the reality that some days make me want to peel my skin off and it’s the reality that ends in alcohol or exercise.

So I take a lot of pictures in hopes that when I look back at them I will remember the few moments where we smiled and laughed. So I remember fun outings with the kids. And so when Molly accuses me of never taking her anywhere, I can show her that we did. Maybe I’ll also show her this post to explain why our outings were so few and far between.

The Wild Card was there too. I assumed he would run like a crazed monkey all over the course so naturally he tried to play golf and stayed right by me. He also got carried to the car screaming, but that was because he was having fun and didn’t want to leave.

The Summer I didn’t Shower

My mom has blessed us with taking care of our children while Stampy and I work. We know how lucky we are to not have a day care bill. Believe me, we know this. However, with this blessing comes comments like this:

Noni: Did you give the kids a bath yesterday?
Me: No
Noni: Jamie! They had sunscreen on, they went to the pool yesterday!
Me: eehhh

These conversations happen a lot. Weekly in some cases with new reasons why I should have given the kids a bath. So, with that being said, let me tell you about the summer I didn’t shower.

I was 17 and in between my junior and senior years of high school. My days went something like this:

  • 5:00am: wake up
  • 5:30am: drive to pool #1
  • 6:00-8:00am: swim practice
  • 8:00am: wash hair at pool shower. (note, did not take off bathing suits to wash my hair) After washing hair, change into different bathing suit.
  • 8:30am: drive from pool #1 to pool #2 for swim lessons, swim team #2, and lifeguarding. (note: drove ONLY wearing bathing suits. Apparently this is also the summer I didn’t wear clothes)
  • 9:00am-10:00pm: complete various jobs of teaching swim lessons, coaching, lifeguarding and cleaning pool. In the hot humid Maryland summer.
  • Go to bed, repeat.

Also learned this summer is hair brushing is optional. I’m pretty sure I didn’t own a brush this year. Thankfully I had lots of scrunchies.

So there you have it, the same woman who worries that her grandkids do not get bathed did not worry that her daughter did not shower for an entire summer. (and based on my history, it’s probably not surprising that I don’t bathe my kids too often)

Breakfast!

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Molly rarely tells us she’s hungry, she just waits until we decide to feed her to eat. She can’t regulate her hunger sensation. This guy, however, can. Luckily he has learned not to bother Mommy before she’s finished her coffee and helps himself to breakfast. This is only a problem when we venture out and he finds it acceptable to help himself to random food he finds at other people’s homes.