Tuesday, 19 July 2011

This Morning, I Was THAT Mom

It started out to be a good morning, except that I was tired (as usual) because both my monkeys woke up with nightmares last night and I was up at three o'clock and four o'clock. But aside from that (or maybe I should have seen that as a sign) things were going well. I got my son up for his summer camp (which is a special day camp, through his school, that he is going to this summer), and he was in a good mood. He was eager to go, and I was eager to get him out of the house so I could get some house work done (as much as I can do anyways, with my four year old daughter at home). And then I made a fatal mistake, when the girls came to pick him up (yes, I am super lucky, they pick him up) I told them about a book that he's been reading at the school that isn't age appropriate (it's super violent and he's only six). I let them know I didn't want him to read it anymore, and he lost it. He threw the biggest tantrum and refused to go to camp. The girls were waiting on the front steps for me to rein my son in and get him to calm down so he could go, and he wouldn't. Instead he was hitting me and saying horrible things, and causing a huge scene. I tried to keep my cool, but it's hard. I told him that he doesn't want to miss camp, he doesn't want to miss out on seeing his friends and all of the fun they were going to have today, but he wasn't having any of it. Instead he just refused and proceeded to be difficult. I finally had to send him to his room and say that, fine he wouldn't go but if he stayed home he'd have the most boring day ever with no TV, no computer, no anything.

He stomped up to his room and I told the girls I couldn't make him go. I was so embarrassed and frustrated that I started to cry (there it is). The girls were great and super understanding and they even said if he changed his mind and wanted to go, that they would come back for him (which is pretty amazing). I thanked them and of course apologized profusely. After I closed the door I sat on the stairs and really let the flood gates open, I started to bawl. Not only did these ladies see me lose it (cry), and see my son's big tantrum, but they probably also saw my messy house while they were waiting at the door. I hate being THAT mom, the one with the child that doesn't behave, the one with the child that talks back to adults and throws tantrums in public. What a crappy way to start the day. Of course not even two minutes later my son came crying down the stairs and said "I do want to go, I change my mind." But they had already left, so I had to call the school to get them to come back. And they did, they came and got him and I was thankful, but also still totally embarrassed.

I know I shouldn't be embarrassed, the people at my son's school see this kind of thing all of the time. You see, my son goes to a special school for kids with behavior issues, and my son has a few. He's just recently been diagnosed with ADHD, and he also has Sensory Integration Disorder which can affect his behavior, and he also has Stereotypic Movement Disorder, which most people have never even heard of. I don't talk about this stuff very often. When you look at my son, you wouldn't know that he has these issues. He's a good looking kid, who's bright, personable, outgoing and very chatty. But if he gets upset, look out, he just can't control his emotions yet. It's something we are working on, we his parents, and his school. There has been much improvement over the past year, which is encouraging, but these things take time. I am hoping that when he's older, life won't be so difficult, I'm hoping he will have mellowed and matured to a level where he can deal with life's problems better.

For now I take things one day at a time. For now I sometimes have to be THAT mom, the one who can't control her kid and gets emotional from the level of stress that accompanies these kinds of situations. For now I just have to try and suck it up and deal, and also try to remember that there are sometimes better, more strategic ways of getting things done (like I could have phoned the school about that particular book and they would have just made it go away, without my son even knowing that I told them he can't read it. Then that outburst would not have even happened and I would not be writing this post right now).

So there is my rant about my difficult morning. As I was writing this I was reminded of a post I read awhile back, by Shell at Things I Can't Say. She was talking about her morning of being THAT mom (a different kind of THAT, but still THAT nonetheless). I remember chuckling and thinking that I have been there too. There are so many ways to be embarrassed as a mom. It's as if becoming a parent is an immediate enrollment into the embarrassing moments club, to teach us about humility and make us more humble. I know I am a member, how about you?