Day 2: The Flip-out


I was such a grown-up today.

After a particularly frustrating moment with my children I walked into the bathroom, shut the door rather firmly (ahem), and screamed at the top of my lungs for as long as I could expel breath.

And it’s only January 2nd.

I’m sure someone is thinking, “Good heavens, woman — show some restraint!”

I can assure you that I showed amazing restraint. First, in walking away and letting my children continue to breathe. Secondly, for not shattering the door and frame by repeatedly slamming it (which is what I really wanted to do).

Okay….not so much restraint shown in screaming. But every mom has her breaking point — and I’d hit mine. Probably an hour earlier.

My SPD/ODD child could not say a kind word today. There were no polite requests for breakfast, something to drink or help getting dressed — today, it was all rudely-toned demands. Every single time she opened her mouth. And indignation if I didn’t respond in a nanosecond.

She couldn’t let her older sister play quietly by herself — she had to “watch”. Which translates to “grabbing stuff and running away to provoke a fight”. Even when I separated them and made sure she had other activities, she would hurl verbal insults at her sister — who was minding her own business; it only stopped when she realized the attitude was about to cost her a beloved toy.

A simple writing assignment took forever because of interruptions every two minutes. By lunchtime, I was going to go mad if I heard “mama” from either of their lips one more time. And of course, I’ve heard it a million more times as the day progressed.

Nearly every conversation was an argument. And ODD or not, I no longer felt like giving her the illusion of control by letting her think she had a choice on every single request.

Even my oldest had to fill in the gaps with arguing and whining when she didn’t get her way. Sigh.

Do it, child. Now! Without argument or complaint.

By noon, that’s what I was thinking. And that I wanted to run out the door and find the nearest deserted island. That had a library.

But it’s bedtime (thank God!), and we are all still alive. My children are clean, fed and jammied. Even a little Sponge-Bob’d, because I needed fifteen minutes alone in my head and he even made me laugh tonight — a rare occurrence.

I already see all the flaws in the Perfect Plan I jotted down to move toward my dreams this year. When you have a special needs child, and a sibling who needs to do more than just survive her, any plans you have are, realistically, at the bottom of the list.

And on the 2nd of January, looking at the whole year laid out ahead — let’s be Real. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

So at 8:00 pm, I’m also eyeing bed. I had planned to do some writing tonight. But my brain is too tied up in knots to be creative. My heart is bruised. My thirst for adventure just went into Witness Protection because every second with my youngest offspring is an X Games performance.

And tomorrow, I get to do it all over again — yay, me! Regardless of how I can assume I’ll feel at the end of the day.

Because there isn’t anyone else that’s going to love her enough not to walk away eventually. Or research what will make her better, so she can overcome what seems so difficult right now. Because no matter how much of a pain her disorder makes her, she’s mine. And I love her! Even with all her faults.

So she’ll just have to put up with mine, as well.

Like screaming in the bathroom….


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