the things we don’t write about
August 17, 2006
My son is difficult. At least that is what the doctor says. I know different. I know that on that magical 7th birthday he too will have letters strung out behind his name and fastpass at the pharmacy.
My son is difficult. Unless you have one, you can not fully grasp what this means. If you are feeling judgmental, step back and consider yourself lucky because you don’t know. When people tell me how wrong it is to medicate a child and how I am stifling the natural boy energy and I should just do whatever it is that they think I should do… I smile and nod and wish I could join them up there on that high horse. Really, a sticker chart for him is all I need to do?
Holy crap, don’t let the pharmeceutical companies find out. This could ruin them. Hey, I have an idea maybe we could do sticker charts for diabetics, asthmatics, and those with PPD too.
My son is difficult. I have heard that if I only had one child people would say, “You don’t know what children are really like. If you had more children you would realize that this was normal. You are too focused on him”
Because I have more children, I hear, “Well, of course he is acting out. You can’t possibly be giving him enough attention.”
Only people with two children are allowed to have difficult children through no fault of their own.
My son is difficult. He emerged from my body pissed off at the world and it hasn’t stopped. It’s the colic that just won’t end. I don’t feel like I am the cause of my pathologically happy-go-lucky 7 year old, but yet I mentally castigate myself for this child.
My son is difficult. There are times that I lose my patience with the other children. The innocent bystanders who suddenly become casualties in this battle. A request from one of them in a tone of voice that I would usually shrug off, can suddenly be met with my anger. I find myself apologizing more that I wish I had to.
My son is difficult. Often he has a huge meltdown and then recovers. The rest of us left behind in the wake. Unsettled, our energy spent. And he looks at us confused, unable to grasp that his actions have caused this.
My son is difficult. Many times I have greast plans to go somewhere, but in the time from when he wakes up in the morning until breakfast is served, I realize that I don’t have the mental fortitude for it. And so we don’t go do the “fun” thing, because I realize that it would not be fun. We will stay home. It’s easier to walk on eggshells in a controlled environment.
My son is difficult. This morning he asked for new batteries for his CD player. I don’t have any AA batteries on hand, but told him we could buy some when we go to the store. He can not accept that answer. He screams and yells and carries on. He can not let it go. For hours I have to hear about the batteries. He goes through drawers, he gets out a screw driver and tries to take the batteries out of his brother’s toothbrush. I ask him to put his brother’s toothbrush down and he refuses. When I get up to take it away, he throws it at me.
A few minutes later he has moved on to something else. But I still feel tense.
My son is difficult. I tell him to go to time out and calm down. He refuses to go. He crosses his arms and stomps his feet. He looks at me with such defiance. Rob and I joke that he would be the model prisoner of war. You could never break him. You could never force him to do anything he didn’t want to do. I want to break him. I want to make him obey. I hate that about myself. I never wanted to be a dictator.
My son is difficult. He embarasses me because I feel like I am not a good parent. People wonder why I don’t get him under control. I wonder why I can not get him under control. There are times when I yell too harshly or grab him too roughly and I have to remind myself that he can’t help his behavior. But what is my excuse?
My son is difficult. I have an older son who used to be just as difficult. He no longer is. That is what keeps me going on the worst days. I know that there is help for him eventually. I know with maturity things will improve. I know with medication, things will improve. I am willing to stand up and accept the stigma of being one of those parents who embraces medication. Because there is a stigma. And other parents feel smugly superior for their parenting skills.
My son is difficult.
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