Monthly Archives: July 2013

Incident Reports

I get incident reports from daycare once every three months or so. Usually it is the fault of one of my own children, for throwing something (that found flesh), hitting out, or doing something really inappropriate-like removing their bathing suit in a playroom instead of a bathroom. 

Today I began the incident report for the psychologist to use in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitivation and Reprocessing) therapy. It’s going to be a list of incidents, that she uses in stories, while guiding the eye movements of my boys. This takes the traumatic memories and moves them from the frontal lobe to the storage area of the brain, which cuts down on triggering and flashbacks, and hopefully softens the memories to a point where the children won’t rely on them as examples in their behavior. It’s like magic, the way she describes it.

Hardest homework ever. The guilt is crippling me. I am their mother. Everything that has happened to them has been my responsibility. I can only blame myself for it. 

The victim advocates told me that the guilt will mess up my parenting tactics, that I will end up spoiling my kids when I should be teaching them. Sometimes I think they’re right, and sometimes I just want to see the kids be happy. I try to play with them more, so that I don’t slip up and let them out of time out early, or let something slide. So I can see them laughing instead of trying to hit me.

It took me a month to write down an incident. I really didn’t want to go back there.

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Sleep patterns

Last night my son had all the classic signs of being ill. My oldest son’s eye’s have been droopy since Monday. I skipped their T-Ball today. I took them home and not even out to play. I let one play overlong on the computer and the other went to play “sleeping Kendama”. Sleeping Kendama is a game he thought up, which requires one to sleep for a while, then get up and play with one’s Kendama, and then sleep again, etc. He did get up for a minute, but I think he must have forgotten how to play, because instead of going for his Kendama, he instead migrated to another bed. Chances are he will never actually play the game as he described it to me.

Right now all children are asleep, only one of which is in his usual bed. Musical beds. Every night.

I have slept through the night exactly once in the last six years. That was when I had two children, and they were both sick, and exhausted from two days of projectile vomiting. They slept right through their breaking fevers and I woke up in shock. Once, last summer, I slept six hours straight one night. Just by chance. That was really weird. I felt so good the entire following day. 

My youngest boy no longer wakes up screaming every night, twice a night, which he did for the first three and half years of his life. So I get more sleep, but still not the entire night. I wake up at every single whimper. Every night someone, or three someones, climbs into bed with me. Every night someone, or two someones, gets up to pee. Sometimes twice.

The psychologist reassured me that, contrary to what people tell me about how I have to lay down the law and deny them the pleasure of my sleeping company,  my kids need to feel safe. That since they have their own beds, and they know they can sleep in them, that this is really all I can do. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my own sleep, let them in if they want. The alternative is to reject them when they need reassurance, recovery, healing, safety, and security. I really can’t tell if it interferes with my sleep, because I never sleep a long enough time at a stretch, anyway.

I have permanent bags under my eyes, I think. I am afraid to look, mostly. When the baby asks me to lift her to the mirror to see the effect of some hair accessory, it’s alarming to see a stranger holding her. Because I don’t know who I am, by my reflection. But she does, so I am always reassured by her pleased reaction- that the image she is hamming it up for is really me. Would I recognize myself even if I were rested? I honestly do not know.

At least two of them are sleeping with each other. I can probably bow out, tonight, and as long as I am not woken by the execution of phase two of the Sleeping Kendama game, I think I might be able to sleep alone on the couch.

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First Playdate

My son was asked on his first playdate today. We still know very few people here. It’s a small town. We came last fall, but most got here more than two generations ago. I had to ask the local authority on families, and thankfully, she gave me a thumbs up. So now both boys have been asked somewhere. We are beyond lucky. A year ago we could never have been able to do a birthday party, a playdate, or a trip to the beach. This month, we do all three.

I appreciate the efforts of everyone who helped us get here.

I am so proud of my son. He has come so far, that now he has friends.

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Today I had strapped my two year old into the infant swing at the kiddie park, and there is wakeboarding happening across the street on the water. “Look at that, Mommy. People falling in the water!” She points. I tell her “They are wakeboarding, honey. Do you want to go wakeboarding?”

She has those curls, you know. The ones that frame a little girl’s face and bounce around with her. The ones that go with cheeks so well. She says “Oh, no, Mommy. I am too busy to go wakeboarding.” The curls move back and forth with her, decisively. Her mouth firmly closes over perfect teeth. She knows she doesn’t want to go. But she gets diplomatic about it. She didn’t get that from me.

This is my third child. This is the third time I have had that ‘aha’ moment. Where I realize my kid is going to be outsmarting me. At everything. She is twenty-seven months old, tomorrow.

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A million VHS tapes

It took 9 months for one of the boys to break the VCR. I have to find a replacement, and quick! Or all these VHS tapes are going to irritate me. I think I have a hundred!

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Change happens slowly

Today my middle child told me at least four times “Today is the best day, ever.”  It made all the hard work worth it. To see him so happy and learning empathy so well. Listening and taking pride in being a good listener. Taking care of his baby sister. Not hitting anyone. In the heat of one of his tantrums I often forget how far he has come, but a year has given us enough time to make him and his siblings into far happier children. I can’t wait to see what his EMDR treatment will do.

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Picking Strawberries

My two-year old did not want to pick the strawberries and put them into anything. Where’s the fun in that? She picked them and threw them. Picked them and threw them. Ripe, unripe, all were thrown. If they had to go into the bucket, they had to be tested. One bite. If they were good, into the bucket they went. If sour, they got smooshed under her shoe. There is no future in farming for this child. I am just grateful her hands were too small to crush them, or she might have spent the entire morning making strawberry pulp.

Now I am making shortcakes. Not that fluffy sugary cake from the store that gets marketed as what strawberries should be paired with. That stuff ruins strawberries.  Real peasant shortcakes are what I am baking. The kind you smother in barely sweetened cream and berries. The kids have not had it in over a year. They will be so excited.

Since we got our own place to live, their stomach issues have vanished. Mommy’s cooking works best for their developing systems. I can’t tell you how happy I get, watching them clean their plates. No more tantrums at dinner. No more eating what someone else makes. Now we have choices and can eat what we like best and make it from scratch.

Let me get these out of the oven and cooled off before they wake up. Berry picking, or berry throwing, rather, wore all of them out. Easy naptime today!



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Today the daycare called as I was leaving

Today the daycare called as I was leaving work later than usual. “Your daughter says there is a rock in her nose.” The acting director tells me. “I looked, and it is up there pretty good, so we are having her keep her finger out of there and thought we had better tell you right away.”

I can’t keep her finger out of there. Why does she listen to daycare staff, and not I?

So I get there and I block one nostril and then blow hard into her mouth to get it to pop out. Once, twice, thrice. Nothing. Pack up the boys and get everyone in the car to drive to the ER. Where the nurse has me block one nostril and blow a short, hard blast into her mouth. The rock pops out. I have no idea how she got such a big jagged rock up there without hurting herself. But she is fine. The hospital says they won’t charge me, because I was the acting doctor. 

The boys call me Doctor Mommy all the way home. 

I can’t decide how I feel about the incident, but I am keeping the damn rock.

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July 2, 2013 · 1:35 am

There are lots …

There are lots of people here that we don’t know. That’s good. No one will know my brother and I are spies.

So says my five-year-old before walking off to the playground.

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July 1, 2013 · 1:14 am