Human Nature

Aitch is enthralled with the movie UP. I think it might be because Carl Fredrickson reminds her of Grampa. The other day we travelled a couple hours in the car and one of the movies we played in the DVD player was UP. Before I go further, let me first tell you that Aitch is very astute when it comes to human nature. It’s fascinating to watch her learn from watching others.

For example, we were at a fast food restaurant. Inside was one of the locals who is well-known for having a mental disorder, most likely tourette’s. We were seated a few booths away from him and he would have occasional loud outbursts. Aitch would watch him intently. In another booth, the same distance away, an elderly couple was seated. Both the single gentleman and the couple made eye-contact with Aitch; both said, “Hi!”

Soon I announced it was time to go. Aitch jumped down from seat and headed in the direction of the elderly couple, which lead to one of the exits. However, we came in through the exit closer to the man. When I said, “This way!” she looked at the man and whimpered and clung and tried to convince me to go, “this way!”, the opposite direction. She knew within the short time we were there that something wasn’t right with him.

Back to the movie. When Aitch was watching it in the car, she start to cry and whimper, visibly shaking. Her hands were in her mouth, so I first assumed the wipe I had used to clean off her face just a few minutes prior may be burning her skin. She began to shriek, and after repeatedly asking what was wrong, she pointed to the movie, just as this scene played (if you don’t want to follow the link, it’s where Carl hits the construction worker over the head with his walker and almost knocks him out). Once the scene closed, she was fine again.

It wasn’t a fluke, either. We were watching it just a while ago, and as we got closer and closer to that same scene, Aitch became clingier and clingier to the point she was up in my lap with her head buried into my shoulder; the whimpering intensifying. She’s just two, but she just knew that something wasn’t right about what was happening. It’s the only scene of the movie she gets visibly upset.

I don’t know if it’s normal, but I do know based on how my son reacted in similar situations that it’s definitely different.

Pinpoint

For two years I’ve kept my head shoved in the sand when it comes to my son’s ADHD. The energy it takes to keep up with his moods and attitude is so astronomical that everything else suffers, so sometimes it’s just easier to accept a status quo when it comes to getting us all through the day without major meltdowns and outbursts.

We all know that a blog only gives the tiniest of pinholes to look through at any one’s personal lives. Notable events and interesting observations happen every day but I only have so much energy to give at any one time. Right now, that level is incredibly low, but it’s time to move in a new direction and reach out to other parents who are raising children with ADHD and in the same vein, hope that I can provide some kind of insight to others.

To do that, I feel I should backtrack just a bit. Doodicus hadn’t always been high maintenance. He truly was an easy baby…god, I miss those days. As he moved from toddler-stage to preschool, there was a constant battle of wills, especially between him and his dad. In Sparring Partner’s defense, I dealt with my fair share of outbursts. Within only a few weeks of Aitch being born, he entered first grade. His kindergarten teacher had noted that he seemed  overly emotional; teary at the drop of a hat; fidgety and unable to keep his hands to himself.

These are fairly common in boys of five or six, according to what I had been told and what I could find to read. But when he started to lash out physically at the teacher and other children? And that’s not all. What I haven’t told you is that he was still wetting himself. Daily. That lead to even more fights at home as we were utterly frustrated with his immaturity. He didn’t act six going on seven. He acted three going on three.

The rest you pretty much know. We sought counseling, figuring it was having a new baby in the house. It wasn’t Aitch. There’s some “stuff” between Sparring Partner and Doodicus, but it was one of those circular issues: Doodicus wetting his pants which led to Dad (or Mom) yelling at him which led to him wetting his pants which let to us yelling some more. If we shut off the TV while he was watching, the meltdown was enough to rival Chernobyl. Breakfast was the worst: the toast was too dark/light; the eggs too runny/firm; too much/not enough salt; the milk levels were too low/high…seriously. It was awful.

After six months filled with counseling, and the school district’s psychologist meetings and observations, and the pediatric appointments, it was suggested that we should try medication for ADHD.

A year later, he was in second grade with a teacher as patient as death (I mean that as a compliment). He had adjusted to the meds, and while he was still wetting his pants, it wasn’t as frequent. He lost weight and I had lost my job, the sole source of medical insurance for our family. Parts of our life were better, and yet others were not. I still don’t have a job and we still don’t have health insurance. My marriage is “blurry” (more on that another time) (but no, we are not splitting up), and I’m really worried about my son’s future.

The pinpoint of my life you had been seeing is about to get ripped into a shredded and gaping wound, but I think it’s going to hurt me much more than it’s going to hurt you.

Drifting, Lacking, Wanting

I hadn’t mentioned it earlier because to be honest, it’s really just kind of humiliating…I’m starting another temp job (about six weeks) with part-time hours. I’ll be traveling within the area to different schools and taking pictures. Quite honestly, I would have preferred to just to have stayed at home and collect my first unemployment check, but Sparring Partner wasn’t going for that.

It’s gutting me. Unemployment. I got an email from one employer that said, “We regret that you are no longer considered for XYZ position because you did not meet our minimum requirements.” What exactly were the minimum requirements I didn’t meet? I don’t know. I didn’t go back and pull up the description, but I have to believe that is just their rejection form letter (which doesn’t allow for replies) and that my experience and education aren’t really lacking considering the rather entry-level position.

One of the positions I was overlooked where I was temping for a year and a half was filled by a woman who got a position I had applied for back in January with another company. I heard that she then quit to accept another position I applied for elsewhere. She then quit to take the job where I was temping. In eight months, she had three jobs. All of them I had applied for. This was the same woman who on her first week of employment called in sick three of the five days.

If I was you reading me, I would have long ago wondered what the fuck was wrong with me that I can’t get a job. I think my husband has started to wonder, too. I feel like my spirit is being crushed slowly especially tonight when after Doodicus’s Teacher Meet-Up we had to tell him we couldn’t go to Pizza Hut as a kind of last hurrah before school starts on Wednesday “because we have to cut back until I can find a job”; or when we had to limit the cost of his new school shoes to $40 or less; or when I reused colored pencils and crayons from the past few years instead of buying new; or when I went through the “gently used” school uniforms to see if there were any good finds.

We are not on welfare or anything like that, but knowing that I had to agree with Sparring Partner that we couldn’t enjoy a meal out…? Even I have accepted that a job really isn’t going to be around the corner any time soon.

FIVE

This coming week marks my 5th Anniversary in blogging. Yes, there’s actually over four years of this shit at another blog site for those you who are new here (which I seriously doubt). I started with BlogSpot, moved to TypePad, and then finally WordPress. I’ve changed my blog’s name *counting on fingers* FOUR times! In hind site, that’s kinda stupid. Think long and hard when creating a blog, you newbies out there. No one buys into that “Now with a New Look!” bullshit.

In that time, I’ve made a lot of friends via the internet. But I’ve also pissed off a decent share. I know that. I’m not proud of it, either. Really. My problem? It really all comes down to something very simple and basic: Jealousy. I am envious of just about every blogger I read. It doesn’t really matter about what, because I’m that cow on the other side of the fence eyeballing your yard when mine really is just fine, all things considering.

I intentionally shut out those that are uber-popular because I figure they’ll never notice I’m gone. And even if your blog isn’t what you think of as uber-popular, I’m jealous of how well you write; how funny your stories are; how happy you are in your marriage; how smart and attentive your children are; and how you seem to have time to relax with your family, take gorgeous pictures and post them to your blog because even your web access seems to surpass mine.

But I don’t want to feel like that anymore. It’s made me lose touch with some really great people, and with that I’ve lost out on some wonderful stories. I use to click over to a blog when someone gushed about it. Now? I just do the equivalent of stomping off in the other direction and pretend I don’t care. Again, who am I really hurting here, but me.

So in honor of my 5th Anniversary of blogging, I’m going to try to recover those feelings I had when I first started blogging and there was a world in front of me to explore. When I read a post that I find interesting and I click over from my feed and see 75 other comments, I will still leave my own, even if it’s a repeat of 74 of the other comments. I will try to be a better friend, both IRL and on-line. I’m tired of feeling resentful. If I’ve hurt your feelings and you’re still here, I’m sorry. Really. And if you wonder if I’m referring to YOU…I probably am.

Happy Travels

Wally World was a good choice for us as a first time get away with the four of us in that it was relatively inexpensive and not a thousand miles away. The packing part was utterly ridiculous though. For whatever reason, we have a half-dozen coolers that will hold a six-pack and then one cooler that will hold the entire contents of our freezer. Nothing in between? What the hell??

Four People - Three Nights

We watched three movies in an hour. Obviously not one entire movie, but I didn’t mind switching out one DVD for the next as long as Miss Bossy Pants was content. I would have given Aitch a package of steak knives to open if it meant keeping her busy. She wanted nothing to do with her “Dolly Pockets” (her words, not mine) (and I would like to kick whoever invented Polly Pockets in the nuts, because it had to be a guy) or her magna-doodle. I was thrilled when she fell asleep, which was the last thing that had gone according to plan.

I had booked a suite at Wally World’s sponsored lodging. It was right off the pool area. Great idea if you’re two or eight. Not such a good idea when this Mama wants some blessed sleep since the pool hours are from 8:30 to 10:30. 10:30 p.m.! Shouldn’t your kids be in bed?! I was so tired that the thumping of the Black Eyed Peas on a loop from the swim up bar didn’t even phase me.

Indoor Hotel Pool

The next morning a fire was lit under Sparring Partner’s ass who had us bustling to the trolley that takes hotel guests to the amusement park. Three of us were prepared for the water park, either packing a swim suit or wearing it. Sparring Partner, after being strongly urged to wear one – wouldn’t. After bickering and waiting in line, we finally were inside the park…AND THEN he says, “Should I have my swim trunks?”

He knew in public he was safe.

So. We attempted to amuse ourselves for about 30 minutes while he trollied back to the hotel, grabbed his suit, and then trollied back. Neither of us had brought our cell phones so I couldn’t go far without the risk of missing him walking by. I was pissed.

I’m not an amusement park-ride kind of girl. I get whoozy sitting in the back seat of a car. Flights are dramamine packed. I was happy to be the one pushing Aitch’s stroller around as she hit the kiddy rides while the boys rode on the more extreme attractions. Halfway through the park, I spied a ride that seemed like one all four of us could partake in. It just went around and around. Pfft! I thought. I can do that!

It ruined the next hour for me. Suddenly it was too hot, too humid, I was too hungry, too thirsty, and I didn’t need Aitch to see me vomit in the grassy courtyards. I needed to get to the water park, post-haste, to cool off.

Me, looking down at my feet, trying not to hurl.
Rather boring looking, no? *blargh!*

Once in the water park, I told Aitch to “walk!” a million times. I only had to pick her up off the hard pavement she had slipped on four times. Half way through the day, I told Sparring Partner that we were heading back to the hotel to eat a lunch and catch a nap. Sure I used Aitch as the excuse to do both, but it was really all for me. She napped for three hours! It was wonderful! *sigh*

The second day was a repeat of the first (without the nausea), but it was hotter than Hades both days! Even sitting in the shade, sweat would drip down my face. It tired the kids very nicely. Aitch slept easily for the most part, except the second night she woke up at 4:00 a.m. with the excuse she had pooped (she hadn’t) and I was forced to lay with her on one of the beds for 90 minutes stroking her back or hair to try to get her back to sleep. I ran the idea of taking her for a drive in the van past Sparring Partner, but because each night there were severe thunderstorms and torrential rain, we would get soaked.

It was nice, all in all. Our first vacation as a family of four. Not perfect, but I don’t know if that’s even possible even with just two adults. On our first full day back, the kids went to daycare. Mom and dad are still on vacation. I need to find a job. Sparring Partner is trying to fix my mom’s lawnmower. The kids need to keep a certain routine, even though once school starts, Aitch will be home with me until I find work. God…just thinking about that is just a fucking downer. So! No more thinking of it, right?!

It's All Good