another meltdown

Over socks… Again…

They’re furry! Look!

Umm… You mean where they’re all pulled because you don’t listen to me and you run around outside in your socks??? 

Breathe… I’m not actually sure which of us I’m telling to breathe :/ I see red after 20 minutes of hysterics, and she just keeps getting more worked up… 

They’re socks! There’s three dozen pairs to choose from. Find two damned socks and cope! 

Okay… I might have only thought that last part… Muttered it under my breath from another room… Because if I had snapped and actually said it, we’d still be sitting on the floor sobbing… 

Breathe…

Breathe

Breathe!

Okay… Let’s do your hair… 

*insert blood curdling screams here* 

The brush touched her neck… And then I checked her earrings… And let’s not forget the socks!

Her brother picked that moment to enter the bathroom. A door slammed INTO his face. 

Cracked patience shattering…

Hysterical sobs…

Threats of dire, Unknown consequences… (I dread the day they ever call me on these moments… You know… Mama, WHAT exactly will you ACTUALLY do…)…

Hiccuping sobs all the way to school… Tears… Red eyes and cheeks…

Oh… I can’t wait until she’s a hormonal teen… 

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this morning’s meltdown…

Because she just doesn’t think she feels like going to school today….

She has no socks to wear because her big sister steals them all. 

Honey, there’s at least 3 dozen pairs of white socks in this house, surely you can find one pair… I washed absolutely everything on Sunday (yay for the bottom of the laundry basket!!)… I doubt your sister wore every pair yesterday…

Miss 17 steps in, as only a firstborn can, and preaches her thoughts…

Sigh…

Master 8 is under the doona playing the iPad… Why aren’t you dressed yet?!?

OMG…

I leave… I breathe… I return…


Oh good… You’ve found the socks…. Um… Why is everything now on the floor?

Because NONE of these socks are the right ones! 

Because????…..

They’re not elastic enough at the top!!!

Of course they’re not. They’ve been washed a couple of times. This child only likes socks for the first week or two of their life…

On the plus side… Only 10 minutes late to school! 

I used to be a good parent. I used to care about all those things that don’t really matter. I’d worry about what food they ate, sport they did, homework, friends, music, art, socialising, leadership, chores, downtime, and the list goes on….

I was never really a good parent though. People told me. I didn’t discipline enough… or I disciplined wrong. I gave them junk sometimes. They only had organised activities 6 days a week. I let them wear pink, red and green on the same day. I didn’t jump to intervene when they couldn’t get it to work. I’d walk away and ignore them when they’d throw a tantrum. I didn’t make them wear shoes everywhere. Or jackets. Sometimes there’d be a stain on their shirt.

I like at the eldest – almost 17. She’s amazing. Everyone loves her. She’ll go places. Success! But… she loves junk food… Where did that come from? I only let her have sultanas and yoghurt for a treat… She has no idea how to entertain herself except with TV. Again, wtf? She didn’t even watch The Wiggles until she was 3 and at daycare! She needs to have activities constantly – to be doing something or going somewhere… but her downtime is to watch TV… and she hates to work! Seriously hates it. Hmmmm….

The next child challenged me. He had the same rules. Initially. But they didn’t seem to work for him. We’d go out… he’d misbehave. A while ago, he admitted he’d do it so we’d go home… Most of the time now, he doesn’t talk to me. He has chosen a different path to the one I was guiding him towards. I struggle to accept it, and as he tells me… just because he tells me he loves me, doesn’t mean he actually does….

Then I look at the next two. They’re busy dragging themselves up. And I have to say, they’re doing a much better job at it than I was doing. So… I figure I’ll let them keep going. The youngest had cereal for dinner tonight… again… because as he tells me, he LIKES it. They bicker and gang up on me and drive me batty some days… They don’t do homework. They eat way too much junk. They only do activities that suit them and they’re happy to just sit at home and do nothing quite often. They think chores are optional, as are showers and cleaning your teeth… we do argue over those last two…. But… they seem to be getting it so much better than I ever did… So I think I’ll leave them to it, sit back, observe and learn…

Late night doubts…

Midnight…. and he’s just wet the bed for the first time in years… Saturated it in fact…

And the logical part of my brain is telling me it’s just a glitch… a moment in time… that it doesn’t mean anything…

And the other part of my brain tells me that something is bothering him… he’s angry.. he’s hurting… and I don’t know how to fix this either…

Because that is the problem. As a parent. I just don’t know how to fix anything anymore.

And I don’t know what the right answers are. And I don’t see the point in any of it.

In the middle of chastising or explaining, there’s a part of my brain saying – you’re an idiot… no one cares… in the scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter…

And that voice is right. It doesn’t matter. Truly.

Which is why I can’t help the mantra that just goes round and round and round… I shouldn’t have been a parent…

I still feel like I’ve stolen a life meant for someone else. Not that this isn’t my life – because it is… but I feel like I stole one meant for someone else… and that’s why none of it seems to work… not really…

And I look at these children and I know… just know… that the parents they were meant to have would have been so much better at it…

I shouldn’t snoop….

But…

  
This is from yesterday it seems. He’s with his dad for the weekend. 

His dad is not the only reasons he cuts. I’m a big factor too. And other reasons I’m sure…

And I don’t know what these were done with, but they don’t look like they’ve broken the skin this time, which is a relief… I think… But I wonder if the reason why they don’t lies in the conversation he wrote around this pic…

He was sitting on the lounge. His dad came up and asked to see his arms. They’ve been swimming a lot – I think the step sisters have commented. And, we’ve all heard over and over that the girls and their mother cannot be bothered by his own children… Anyway… He showed his dad his arms. His dad punched him in the chest twice – apparently not hard (because when you punch a 13 year old in the chest twice, you tell them it didn’t hurt. You’ve told them this all their life. Man up. You sook. That wasn’t even hard…)… But the punches aren’t the kicker… Then he told his son – the son who is completely messed up – cutting is the ultimate sulk, if you’re gonna do it, if you really mean it, why not cut deeper….

Yes. This is what a father tells his son when he sees the cuts and scabs… Because this is how he has always seem mental illness – the ultimate sulk… Easy to judge when you self medicate with drugs and alcohol I suppose…

So I wonder if he hadn’t broken the skin this time because he’s scared? Scared of his dad? Scared to have his question finally answered- he also wrote, sometimes I think my dad just really hates me… Scared that maybe he should be cutting deeper? 

Yes… I’m guessing… Trying to make sense of it… Trying to calm myself before he gets back here… Because I don’t want him to know I have access to his messages… I’ve always told them their privacy is paramount, unless I’m worried about their safety… 

The mental health team will hopefully call tomorrow with their plan. A long road ahead. But a road finally! And I will gather everything and give them what I can. The truth. The real truth. The truth absolutely no one wants to hear. I’m tired of lying, hiding and protecting. And besides, something tells me that’s not working so well….

Bandaid solutions…

I did it again… tried to ‘fix’ it… That’s what I do. Fix things. Those bandaid solutions…

His father has decided he wants to see the kids this weekend. Always love the lack of notice… They had him on loud speaker and I heard the sign off “I’ll see you little ones tomorrow, but C, you’re not wanted here. You can stay there with your mother”.

WTF?!?!?!

So I reacted. How dare he? I instantly sent a text. How dare you? You do not get to pick and choose which kids you like and want this week. How dare you do this to him?!!

And then my battered teen reacted…. at me! He yelled at me! “I don’t want to get caught in your fights all the time!!!”

How is this my fault? Why am I the bad person all the time?

But then I stopped. Breathed. Realised…

And apologised…

I’m fixing it again aren’t I? Please understand that I see you hurt, and I just want to make it better. Even though I get it wrong. Because it just starts another fight. I’m sorry 😦

And yes, that is what I do… I try to fix it… have always tried to fix it… but it never works… it’s that bandaid that falls off a few days later…But I’m getting there! I can se it finally…and I’m sorry…

Daydreams…

Today is one of those days…. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s one of those weeks… One of those ones when I know I would have been a better aunt. One of those weeks when I just don’t have the patience…

Or perhaps, what I really need is an Alice. Someone to cook the dinner that they inevitably refuse to eat… or to take them to gymnastics or soccer… or to just get them in the damned car. Someone to convince them to clean their teeth and to go to bed and to just stay in bed. Someone to deal with the squabbling about who knows what this time – and really, who actually cares…

But I’d have made such an awesome aunt. It was always the plan… I’m still not sure how I came to have 4! Yes, yes… I know how it actually happened… and I even wanted more! But I had always planned to just be the really awesome aunt. The one who traipsed around the world, and would zip in every other month, take the kids on grand excursions and sleepovers and bring them incredible presents…. and then I’d traipse off again… That was the path I meant to take….

I want a week… or a moth? a year?…. but let’s start with a week… A week of not having to get out of bed if I don’t want to, not having to cook a single meal or clean up, no lunches to make, no pick ups or drop offs, no sport or play dates, no bedtimes, no teeth brushing, no getting dressed, no homework, no squabbles and no getting in that damned car…