The Almost Teen Girl And Her Issues

fiji

(Photo is of a Cabana I wish I was in, right now, in Fiji with my cabana boy Matthew sipping Pina-Colada’s)

I don’t know why I have such a hard time with my girl. Maybe I am just supposed to be having a hard time with my girl. She is after all, about to turn 13. I’ve heard this is when it is supposed to start. But is it? Is it just now starting?

I feel like Brooklyn and I have been at odds since she was born, like LITERALLY. I have been blessed with overly large breasts and my whole life I said, “Well, at least I’m made for breast feeding!” Out came Brooklyn and guess what… she wouldn’t, couldn’t, didn’t breast feed. Finally after fighting with her and my breasts for a long torturesome 8 weeks with Lord KNOWS how many “lactation specialists,” I said I give up and gave the girl a bottle. She won battle #1. She has won every battle since. At a certain point I just can’t fight with her anymore. 

She doesn’t do it on purpose. Truly, I know this. My heaven’s though…. sometimes I truly feel like she’s out to kill me. I can laugh about this since this girl is also the girl who wants her mom by her side as much as possible. 

So here we are… on the brink of her teen years. She is a smart girl, but she has challenges. We now know she has ADHD and more truthfully, ADHD with Anxiety Disorder. She worries… about EVERYTHING. No matter what you say, she has 4 reasons why that won’t work already lined up and 8 more are coming right behind it, yes, even if NONE of them are even a tiny bit logical. That is frustrating as all get out. 

For example, if you say, “Brooklyn, talk to your teacher about not understanding that math problem.” She will say “She won’t talk to me, she’ll be to busy with every one else’s problems, then Johnny will step in front of me, then it will be time to go to the next class and then Mr Broo will be mad because I was late.” – Um WOW.. you know all that now at 6:30am and you have not even been to school yet? “Yes, MOM, jeez, you jut don’t know.” That’s usually when I start rapping “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand” by Will Smith, she huffs, puffs, rolls her eyes at me and slams the door. I start laughing. Apparently though, its not a laughing matter because then I hear “IT’S NOT FUNNY, MOM!” To which her autistic brother looks at me and says, “Its kinda funny, mom!”

Other times, outta the blue I will say things like, “Brooklyn, you know it has been found that people with ADHD do better in neat and highly organized space. So why don’t we fix your room so you can be in a better space to help you.” Sometimes, she yips YEE HAW cuz she knows that means we get to go shopping for new buckets and bookshelves and what not. However most of the time, it is ok fine, we do it and within a day or so its all a chaotic mess again. 

Mind you, I am not the neatest person in the world. I’m messy. I always have been. For me, its a matter of being lazy. I do it… but when I have to (like if someone calls and says hey we’re stopping by in 10 minutes!). However, for Brooklyn, it is much much more. She has executive functioning issues that keep her from being able to see past this very minute. I try and help her, “Hey Brooklyn, lets set up a daily to do list to help you stay on track so you don’t forget about that Science experiment that’s due in a month.” We spend the time together setting it all up but then in a week I ask, “how is that working” and find out – she never used it. Maddening. 

I have tried, and tried and tried. I am out of options. I do not know what to do. I want to give up. Like, all the time, I want to give up and just walk away. Parenting a child with special needs is hard, real hard. Parenting TWO kids with special needs is damned near impossible. Doing it alone with no help from your ex-husband (which is pretty much one of the reasons – biggest reasons- he IS your ex-husband) is damned near impossible. 

I want to give up. 

Brooklyn and Steve are at their dad’s this weekend. I had a moment, was on my computer and realized I had not looked into the grade portal in a while. Knowing Brooklyn was out sick this entire week from school, which in middle school is a death sentence anyway, I knew it wouldn’t be pretty, but I was not prepared for what I saw. WOW, those grades are TERRIBLE…. like SO TERRIBLE that she could get put on academic probation and not be able to perform in the show choir competitions, kinda terrible. Which if you know ANYTHING about Brooklyn…. telling her she can’t sing… you may as well stick a knife in her heart. How the HELL did that just happen. I swear I JUST looked at this portal a couple weeks ago. 

So now, here I am, beating myself up again. 

You know, mom, that EVERY kid you know at this age (which is a lot) is working harder than she is. You know, you’ve given in and let her be on her phone, watch youtube too much. You know, you’ve “suggested” she study more but have not pushed her. You know, you’ve given up… why are you so surprised she’s here? Yeah the whip is pretty long this time. 

I want to give up even more. I want to hop on a plane to Fiji, lie on the sand with a pina-colada and a cabana boy named Matthew. I want out. 

Oh wait, I can’t hop on a plane to Fiji. I can’t sit on the beach drinking Pina-Colada’s and I really can’t have my cabana boy named Matthew. 

WAKE UP WOMAN…. you’re a mom!

So, I have a decision to make. Am I going to blame the girl and her issues or am I gonna wake up, pull my head outta my ass and help her? Clearly, she can’t do it alone. Nor at 12 should she have to. I guess her biggest issue… well… IS ME. 

I don’t know how. NO, I mean I REALLY don’t know HOW to pull it together. How I can be that amazing SpEd Mom to BOTH of them at the same time, especially without Hermoine’s magical time turner thingy jiggy (man I could really use some magical powers about now, JK ROWLING if you are reading this).

BUT I HAVE TO…. for if I don’t… who will?

Time to print some more “To-Do Lists” and “Reward Charts” and try again. 

~Me

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Rediculously Rediculous 

I get that everyone has a different parenting style. 

I get that most people, admittedly, or not, judge other people’s parenting style. 

What I do NOT get is how someone can tell someone else how to parent, without walking in the other persons shoes. 

Let’s take a parent sponsored FIFTH  grade dance party for example. All parents are invited to participate in the planning and throwing of a congratulatory celebration for the class. A donated space has been offered to the class for the event. Every child who wanted to attend was asked to donate $10 to the “cause” to get a DJ, photo booth, food and decorations. The parents who are donating their time and energy to put on this thing are doing it for the kids. It’s been a tradition for years, some would like to see it continue. 

But then, there are the parents who want to tell the “committee” how to do it. These parents write several long winded emails outlining all of their expectations for the event. Expectations that range from questions about serving alcohol to 10 and 11 year olds to expecting a dancing style that would not embarrass their grandmothers (yes, those words were used). 

When these “concerned” parents with all the opinions are offered a position to chaperone the event to ensure them a position of caring for their own child’s behavior and that of others since CLEARLY we committe members and chaperones have raised nothing but VILE children, they say no. However, they have no issue in writing MORE e-mails expressing specific duties for each chaperone to agree to. 

So, let me get this straight, you are not offering any extra donation money, none of your time hunting down the best deals on decorations, food, or entertainment. You have not offered to help with set up, take down or creating signs or goodie bags. However, you want to tell the committee how to run the event item number by item number and still not even chaperone yourself. 

I have 3 words for you…. GO SCREW YOURSELF! 

Honestly, just go screw yourself. There are several of you that I have known for MANY years now that I will NEVER be able to respect again. It has really been an eye opening experience. How dare you feel that you have to tell me what my job is while chaperoning. How dare you, oh darling person who personally knows every person on the committee, tell us we don’t know how to parent, protect, and preserve the well being of the children. 

Let me guess, you are going to tell me how to to throw my next birthday party now too. 

I mean I always knew there were “these” people out there……But WOW. Just amazed, saddened, and so very disappointed.

~me

Space To Grow

Today was a rough day for Brooklyn. I was asked by her not to tell anyone what happened, so I won’t.  I cannot and will not break that bond of trust. 

What I can say is this, as they grow up, you must give them space to grow. 

Now having said that, I can say this: Holy Crap, that is hard! 

I can’t fix it. 

I can’t change it.

I can’t even really comfort it. 

I can try. I did try. I tried as best I could. It just has to be. I have to sit back, wait,  and be there when she needs me. It is hard!

She did allow me to say to her, and I think she heard me…. “You will be ok.”

And to think…. She’s only 11. I have a lifetime yet to go. To watch her challenge herself, to succeed and to fail. To have her heart broken and to break some hearts. To have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. To choose wisely and to make some mistakes. This is going to be hard, I got a glimpse of that today. 

But you know what, that tough cookie of mine…. She is going to be ok! 

~me

It is just a TOOTH

A rough outline of the conversation with Brooklyn tonight. 

 

My dear dear Brooklyn. Your tears tonight are killing me. Why are you crying in sheer terror just because I want to check your loose tooth? Every time I come toward your mouth you let out a cry for the ages. It’s just a tooth for crying out loud! 

 

It took me a while to get the fact that you were not crying over the several loose teeth in your mouth. You were crying over what the soon to be missing teeth would symbolize. You were crying in anguish of what’s about to come…. The pre-teen “ugly” years. 

 

The fear of that missing tooth might mean the cute boy might not like you anymore. The fear that you will be made fun of because you have a hole where a tooth once lived. The fear that everything is about to change. Everything. 

 

You have NO IDEA how beautiful you are. That your beauty resides not on your skin, in your clothes or the style of your hair. YOUR beauty, Brooklyn, resides inside your heart. Your beauty resides in your compassion, your kindness, your work ethic, your infectious joy, your singing, and your friendship. Your beauty is so much more than what is happening in your mouth. 

 

Yesterday, you asked me, “What does overcoming obstacles mean?” This baby girl, this, is an obstacle you will have to overcome. I will tell you this though…. No one will do it with nearly as much thoughtfulness as you.  

 

I am sorry I never made sure your questions and concerns were heard before your Dad and I just moved ahead with plans for your teeth. I will try to do better next time. I do feel the decisions are the best for you and they were made with love and concern. 

 

Here is the other thing I’ll tell Ya, if this boy stops liking you because your baby tooth came out and there isn’t one there to replace it right now, then he isn’t worth your time. But from what I’ve seen, I don’t think an earthquake can rattle this boys attention away from you. 

 

It’s time for bed now sweet darling. Are you feeling better? Yes, Mama thank you. You are welcome my love. You are welcome. 

 
 

Image is of Brooklyn this morning wearing her favorite shirt when she was in a much happier mood and we were NOT discussing missing teeth and jacked up smiles.