Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm still a sucker - part 1001

So, after The Great PEEDINI was exposed I decided that he hadn't earned sleeping in his room. Honestly, I needed to keep the door shut from the smell which has mutated:
Dirty litter box in a hot
dirty litter box in a cold room (thanks to open windows during a snow storm)
musty damp carpet mixed with air
crunchy carpet from too many cleanings and overwhelming clean linen smell from too many
the smell of defeat.
It will never be clean.
Anyway, I moved him to the basement. Basically to live there. I give him clothes when he needs them and he's allowed to go upstairs and use the shower each night...but he is NOT ALLOWED IN THAT ROOM. Otherwise known to him as the TOILET. Not even one step. Now that the door is open I've actually put an orange cone in the doorway - nothing like a visual reminder that you peed all over my home...and your clothes...and you laughed when I touched your urine soaked clothes. And, for the record that may be kept for eternity...
I now smell PEE EVERYWHERE I TURN. It's like a disease that soaked into my skin. I've showered like 400 times in 4 days.

So, the basement dweller is cared for. I'm not starving him and there is a toilet in the basement - which it seems is closer than the one upstairs because he's using it (or the smell from not using it is not strong yet since the basement is a much larger space). He's been sleeping well - which is not always true for him. I actually sat on the couch last night with DH and cried tears of relief, thinking that this could actually be an answer.

Maybe he's just been too tired to make good decisions.
Maybe the cool of the basement agrees with his perpetually hot body.
Maybe he is going to miraculously change from sleeping on a couch in the freakin' basement.
Or maybe I'm a sucker. Yep...that last one is the right one.

He's been staying up all night watching tv and playing video games. THAT is why he's been sleeping until 10am. I realized this at 2:45 am when I was up sick for the 40th time this season (can anyone say stress can cause numerous health issues...I'm stressed people) and it dawned on me. He will absolutely do the wrong thing at any point when not being watched. I've yet to be proven wrong there. So, I walked to the basement door and sure enough - tv was on at 2:45 am. I did not go down there. I like living outside prison walls and honestly knew that I could not speak logically without killing him.

This morning however he got a nice fun wake-up call at you know that exhausted kids tell the truth on accident. I picked up the remote and said "what fun shows did you watch last night?" - he starting listing them and then POOF...realized what was happening and changed tunes. Back to liar, liar, pants on fire. Oh, he should have wished for pants on fire. In the ensuing time of becoming my worker bee for the day (that is the kindest thing I could think to do) he blabbed some stupid stuff. No, truly stupid stuff. Let's see:

I didn't do it to get in trouble. But, I got caught, and I knew that I would get in trouble if I got caught. I always get caught. (DUH)

I'll decide how bad I'll be today after I see how much you P&SS me off.

And the best one - in a free minute while I decided what needed to be done next...
"Hey mom, can I watch TV?"

Is this a joke?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

toilets are hard to get my house

Warning: Both pee and poop are discussed below. What can I say??? Life with RAD...

Wow. We've gone over 4 years with little to no toileting issues. You would think with my kids being almost 11 and almost 12 we'd be out of the woods on that one. But, that's a negative. It's all exploded lately. I often say that when one RADish is on the down swing, the other is on the up...not this time...or this issue. They are both in the crapper (yes, that's supposed to be a joke).

We've had smelly issues for a couple of months surrounding DS2. He's had a different odor since coming home and sweats badly for a younger kid. We talk about taking care of your body, soaping good, we've bought special anti-persperants and reminded him gently to wear it every day. However...lately it's been more pungent. I had checked his room - assuming the worst and it was like a game of hot and cold. Needless to say as I did laundry last night I found all his clothes wet and smelling of urine. Then we checked his room more thoroughly...he's been peeing in his trash can, his laundry hamper and saving the best for last - all over his carpet. I mean all over. Leaving his door shut is not an answer anymore -the smell has permeated our house and I'm sick. New carpet is in fast order and we have not budgeted for that in any way. But, the bigger issue is WHY?

As you probably know if you are raising a RADish or even a challenged child in any way - that question - WHY - is pointless. My kid can't put thoughts together to answer that - or honestly, he doesn't know why. But, it blurted out and his answer was "it's too hard to get to the toilet sometimes". Really? The bathroom is directly to the left of his door. I mean maybe 10 steps from the furthest reaches of his room to the toilet. That's hard? Maybe a porta potty should be installed beside his bed - it couldn't smell much worse in his room. Yes, think of that grossest potty you've ever been in and that's about the smell we are dealing with.

DD has the same excuse for not using the toilet for #2. She just doesn't have 'time' to get to the toilet. It takes too long. She has literally made herself sick becasue she won't go. For weeks at a time. So, I'm now pumping her full of laxative (per her doc) and monitoring when she goes. That's fun. I'm really pleased with the announcements of poop. I feel like I did when DS1 was first learning to potty...maybe a potty dance is in order.

That's life around here for now...a condemned bedroom upstairs and trips to watch my daughter use the toilet. The fun never, if we could only find a toilet that is trained to walk right behind you. Maybe then my kids would not have such a hard time getting to it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

not so close encounters of the 2nd kind

I think I'm a 'second kind' of parent. When you think mom - you see a woman doling out kisses for skinned knees, making cupcakes for class parties...basically June Cleaver. Even in today's world, I think that is closer to what outsiders hope is happening in every family. Ahhh...but honestly...that is only happening in a tiny fraction of households. It just so happens that I feel like I live in the epicenter of June Cleaver land. And really, I seem more like Sharon Osbourne.

My parenting role is best fulfilled when I'm organizing things or putting plans into action. My kids are always on time - dressed correctly for whatever activity it might be. I've planned things down to playing games on a night where we are all home...and I like to do that. Heck, we have a set 'cuddle time' - which has basically become simply a time when each child has to sit with us for 15 minutes with no siblings. There are nights I realize it's the first time I've really seen them for more than 15 seconds.

Last night was a toughie (I say that a lot don't I?). The boys this time. They got into a physical altercation and it devolved to name calling and general disgust. I doled out consequences - sent the accused off to bed early and went straight back to putting library books on hold, looking up hotels for a trip this summer and going through missing assignments at school for DS1. My morning was pretty robotic. I don't want to discuss last night anymore - it was discussed. So, I didn't have a lot to say to DS2...thankfully I don't have to see DS1 in the mornings.

As I rattled off the itenarary of the day during breakfast I thought "would most mom's be different right now?"...would most moms have shoved off what happened last night as "boys will be boys"? Does parenting a 'different' child make us all this way? Do we just go into 'what has to be done' mode and realize that a skinned knee heals?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The heir apparent

I was a dramatic youth...sadly, I was usually on the bully side of most equations. Of course, when you run with the bullies, you do, eventually, get bullied yourself - mercilessly. So, I've lived that as well.
In my adult life, I've become brilliant. I know all the answers and let me assure you that DS1 does not want to hear any of them. I thought my parents were idiots as turnabout and all that jazz.

My son is mess today...and he's handling it all wrong...and there is nothing I can apparently do about it. I'm sure I screwed up majorly already by making him talk when he didn't want to...but I worry. He said some things that concern me and now I'm trying to figure out the next steps. Can you legally put them in a barrel until age 18? Now, it's to protect him. Kids are mean and it hurts all the more when those mean kids were supposed to be your friend. I just don't want him (or any of my kids) to be the weak link.

Why can't kids see that if they don't let it bother goes away? You are the only one who can choose how gossip and false crap affects you. If you go to their level, you lose too. Yes, all of that is what I tried to tell him...and none of it is what he wanted to hear. I tried to point out that finding just a few real friends would be so much better than a group of 'non-friends'...which he immediately took to mean that I didn't think he had any friends. Somehow, it all ended up being my fault.

I think this is what the next 8 years look like for us, right? I'm sad for him and worried...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RAD intervention?

This was a tough weekend with DS2. Really tough. I'm finding it hard to find love for him...really hard. He's come to a point of simply trying his darndest to ruin things. Mostly my house and my soul. He said "I didn't want a family". That was just a plain statement for him. When I answered "well, you have one and we are not going to let you hide from us"...he just stared at me blankly.
He wants me to leave him alone...not just in a typical tween way...but in totality. He wants the good stuff - vacations, birthday parties, day trips - but he's unwilling to live with what he considers the bad stuff - expectations, rules, boundaries. He told me that I should NOT care if he learns anything in school. Really, I have stopped's not something I can control. That does not stop it from making me sad for him. I know I'm not supposed to live in the 'what about the future?' part of life - but I find it hard not to.
What is his future? Being chronically disorganized (a term placed on him by his teacher and dead on in my mind) seems like a hard thing to live with. I look at small things like paying an electric bill...forget the fact that I wonder where the money will come from...but the actual physical task of getting the mail, opening it, getting a checkbook and writing a check - then remembering to mail it off in time. OK, we can hope for online bill pay...but there is the whole concept of setting that up as well. Of course, there are millions of adults that aren't OCD crazy like me...billions even. They survive...
But, the ones that don't. What is that thing that made them not make it? I have seen a show called Intervention. It's about drug/alcohol dependency and the complete chaos it presents, not just for the addict, but for the family. I firmly believe that mental illness can function the same way. An unattached person creates a world of chaos for all around him/her. It seeps into every moment of every day. When things are going good, I'm bracing for when they go bad again.
I have hopes for him. I wish he had hopes for himself.

Friday, March 5, 2010

four days away

We went away for four days. Just DH and I - and, well, 360 or so of his closest work associates. But, the point here is that we went sans children. So, I spent four days without having to say:
*Maybe you can try again with the truth this time.
*Who tracked dog poo on the carpet?
*Yes, when I asked you to help I actually meant it.
*No, this look does not mean I'm happy with your decision.
But, I also didn't get to say:
*Give me a big hug.
*I'm really proud of you for that.
*How was your day at school?
*I do love you, even when you don't want me to.

So, the trade offs were there. I needed the break - and I enjoyed it. I also found that adoption permeates my conversation a lot. These people all know us - at least by name or reputation (the good kind...) and stories pass through companies like small towns. Most folks there know we adopted since we were with the company then as well. Even if they don't know, it's a big time of telling stories about your kids and I often find myself thinking that I need to TELL if I'm bragging about my daughter tumbling skills...I joke about not giving her the talent, just the drive. Some of my funny kid stories may not sound funny if you don't know our story - I guess, to some, RAD isn't funny! Once the topic comes up - there are a few questions that tend to be asked:
*Not to be personal, but...can you tell me more about xxx... - I have NO problem with these questions. I'm not a real 'personal' person. I'll answer almost anything...that sometimes leads to...
*But, of course, you'd do it all again even knowing what you know, right? - this one is tough. Would I? Honestly, no. If I really knew then what I know now...I would have been too scared of my weaknesses, too unsure of my ability to continue to parent and love in the face of adversity. I would have been worried to death about the health and welfare of the three people in my family, no - I probably wouldn't have done it. When I tell them that, it comes to...
*So, I know these friends/neighbors/siblings who want to adopt. Would you tell them not to do it? - hmmmmm...I had people tell me not to do it and I didn't no, I would not tell these prospective adoptive families to not adopt. I would ask them to hear my story (especially if they are adopting older children), I would ask them to read with the mind-set of 'this can happen' and I would ask them to really look at what they are doing this for...

I was happy to get home, although I brought the flu home with me. I've been blessed to sit or lay in basically one spot for 48 hours. Thankfully, it was still school days...thinking I can enter the weekend with a little more energy (maybe a whole hour sitting up!). It was great to see the kids and hear about the fun they had while we were gone. And, it was nice to see that while I was gone...things here were just in a holding pattern. Within minutes of getting up our first day home, the wheels feel off the bus. Since this driver is sick, I just let it careen down the must have righted itself. There, that's the lesson I've really learned.