Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Day to Remember

Someday, long from now, when I'm well rested, and these days are far behind me, I may laugh at days like today. But, today, there is no laughing. It was a terrible, terrible, very bad day. A Top Ten 'I-Must-Be-The-Worst-Mother-In-The-World' Day. An "oh dear God how are we ever going to get through this?" day. A "someday maybe we'll laugh at this, but right now it is hard not to cry" day. The boys were in rare form. They are wild (always), they are rambunctious (always), they are challenging (always), they are the most 'energetic' kids around (always), they are full-of-it (always), but they usually are not bad. They are good boys with insane amounts of energy. But they aren't (usually) bad boys. Today they were bad boys. Excuse me (I'll try to rephrase that...), they had bad behavior. Very bad behavior. It started from the moment they woke up. They were all over each other, throwing tantrums left and right, fidgety and agitated. Nothing went right. I'll skip over all the gory details and just get straight to the horrible climax.

Our plan was to meet up with our good friends the Kulps for a playdate at Jungle Fun. From the second they saw Joy Lin the boys were crazed. Competing for her attention and affection; off-the-wall-wild; disobedient and --it seemed-- determined to see how far they could push us (us = their parents). They hadn't seen Joy in a while, so it is understandable that they were excited, but they could not contain their excitement... which was a problem. And then it got bad. Owen got a Time Out (sitting on the bench at Jungle Fun) for pulling a girl's hair. I was mortified that he'd do that (pull her ponytail to the point that she cried), made him apologize to her, the whole nine yards. We should have left right then. Because it got worse. The manager of Jungle Fun came up to me to tell me that Kyle had bit -- yes, BIT -- a girl. We found her, crying with her mother, with an ice pack on her back. The bite was not bad, and admittedly, the girl was milking it for all it was worth, but still... it was a bite. A BITE from my 4 1/2 year old son. A bite from my child who hasn't bitten anyone (other than his brother) since he was about 18 months old. I was horrified. Beyond horrified. Kyle cried hysterically as he said sorry to the girl and her family. He sobbed, "I need to kiss the owie for her to feel better" but the girl (understandably) turned down his offer. I apologized up and down to the mother -- who let it be known that she was (understandably) not pleased. And then I gathered the boys up faster than I ever have, apologized to the Kulps for having to leave early, and I marched the five of us out of there about as quickly as humanly possible (with Kyle crying hysterically the entire way). It was a scene. And the thing is, our family -- just being the unusual combo that we are -- is always a scene (which just makes the whole thing feel somehow worse...)... but this, this was a different and completely embarrassing (humiliating!!!) scene.

The boys were told, on the ride home, that we would NEVER, ever, for the rest of their lives take them to Jungle Fun ever again. And we mean it. And they know we mean it.

Just as peace was starting to set in back at home, I did a very stupid thing. I let Meera hold a peanut (like, in the shell). She somehow bit off a tiny piece, which got lodged in her throat, and she began to choke. Braydon had to perform choking-infant-back-thrusts to try to dislodge it. She was o.k., but it took her almost an entire hour to recover. During that hour she was crying, lethargic, and just generally pathetic. Once she was really o.k. (I got Owen to play around with her to get her to laugh... which he did... and she 'came to' and was back to her happy normal self), I cried hard. Sitting at the dinner table, looking at my three precious ones, with tears springing out of my eyes, all I could think was "OH MY GOD, THEY DRIVE ME CRAZY, BUT WHAT WOULD I EVER DO IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ANY ONE OF THEM?" Braydon hugged me and told me that my baby is fine and that my boys are going to be o.k. I have to have faith that he is right. And I have to believe that someday I'll be laughing. But today was a (bad) day to remember.

30 comments:

Christina said...

Hugs to you, Heather! One day you'll look back on all of this and...well, you probably won't laugh. But it'll be in the rearview mirror all the same, and that's a good thing.

Cathy in Vermont said...

Hang in there, Heather. We all have days like this.

I can tell you about my very bad day next time we see you. I haven't gotten over it sufficiently to blog about it here, even in the comments!

Anonymous said...

You're going to make it! Someday you'll be driving past Jungle Fun and you'll think "Wait, now WHY can't we go to Jungle Fun?" and you'll remember, and then you will laugh.
Take it easy on yourself!
Ann-Elise

Anonymous said...

I work with kids. I've been reading your blog regularly and while it is true that visitors to your blog get but a narrow slice of your lives it does seem as you describe your boys that it might now be a good time to involve a behavior specialist from Lehigh's education department or a child psychologist. This is the type of behavior that only accelerates with time. Pulling hair and biting strangers is not a good sign. I hate to say this but you could end up getting sued if the bite had broken the skin or if this happens again. I'm sorry. I know how hard this day was for you.

T & T Livesay said...

I SO understand your feelings. I am SO SO glad about two things ...
1. Meera is okay (and i give my babies things like that)
2. That tomorrow is a new day.

lori shepler - said...

with 6 kids of our own, i know exactly how you feel [been there & done that...many times!] - just know you're a good mommy that loves them more than anything & they're good kids...really good kids - like you said, one of these days you can look back, but now it's still raw emotions & they're not all that good - know i'm praying & will keep reading about your family!!

lori

taylorchloejake said...

I had a day like that recently too (I have 2 yearold twins and a 18 month old). My son choked on some nuts and it was so bad he stopped breathing for a bit. It was the scariest thing I ever had to deal with. It was like slow motion and I kept screaming "somebody help me, somebody help me!" It took a good 30 seconds of holding him upside down and smacking his back to get the nuts loose. And I think I cried for the rest of the day. It's scary and horrible, but alot of parents go through. You're a great mom, just a bad day! Hang in there!

JJJ said...

Hi Heather ... there is no doubt that you had a very hard day. As I read your blog entry my heart sank and I wondered whose kids were with you? I kept thinking of them at the drumming event not that long ago where they stole the show with their dancing and shinanigans. I know its human nature to dwell on the rotten things the munchins may do, but know that they too have crappy days. The sun will come up tomorrow. My turn will come when our son arrives home from Haiti .... and it can't come soon enough for us. Hang in there Mama Heather.

Jeanette
Canada

The Jabber said...

You poor kids. :( You might be laughing someday about the Jungle Fun, but I don't know about that peanut thing...

Kathrin said...

I hear you. Not laughing knowing that everyone of us has at least one of those days.

Roxann said...

You are a GREAT mother!!! Never doubt that...and u know I would not lie to u. Motherhood is a trip sometimes. This too shall pass.

Tracy R said...

Heather, once I had to call poison control twice in one day because of things my twins ingested. It happens to all of us. And we all feel horrible and lacking and idiotic when it does.
I wouldn't worry about the Jungle Fun behavior too much as it was clearly just a crazy day for your boys. And you handled it. My girls have days like that too, but now that they are six they are few and far between (but they still happen now and then!)Part of it is the twin synergy that just lets them get each other all riled up and part of it is just being 4 and trying to test boundaries and learn self control.
Tracy

Rachel said...

Momma said there'd be days like this...

Hang in there! We all have bad days.

MorMor said...

Remember this was ONE day. Normally you're thinking just the opposite - today was the BEST day ever! Put it behind you and live today to it's fullest like you always do.
xo

Pihl Pastures said...

Hi Heather,
This is the first time I have actually commented on your blog, but I felt it necessary because of Anon-10:01. I am the same way you are about 20 good comments vs. 1 bad one and that comment way not only WAY outta line, it was total BS. I have 4 kids, 2 natural born sons (ages 7 and 4) and 2 adopted from Haiti who came home this September (ages 9 and 4). My bio boys were so outta their minds excited for their new brothers to come home, but once they did, there were a few months of issues. My bio 4 year old and our Haitian 9 year old were always at each other and the 4 year old was constantly (and I mean several times a day) biting ( like nearly breaking the skin) the 9 year old. I'm not saying he didn't deserve it because of the tormenting he was doing, but it was still starting to concern me nonetheless. A month later, the biting stopped and they have been best friends ever since. The point is - biting and hair pulling and things of that nature are not always behavioral issues that will only get worse and turn them into serial killers or something else ridiculous. It's just the normal ups and downs, the normal progression of childhood. It happens. Often out of the blue and for no real reason other than overload. It's okay and you are a good mom! So forget about Anon-10:01 (and I know that's easier said than done). I LOVE your blog and love seeing how K&O grow and change. It was actually very helpful to me to watch you and your boys while I was having to wait so long for my own to come home (2.5 years in process).

Heather P.

Dada said...

Your boys act like my nephew. He's over the top fun. He hates hurting others just like your Kyle but when he does he cries more than the one that's hurt. They're boys and they sound wonderful and I love your blog.

ShannonC said...

Oh... any if I had a nickel for everytime my father had to hold my sister upside down by the ankles shaking her with something lodged in her throat... I'd be much better off today. (ok give him a break.. it was long before the had First Aid instructions on these things)

And to anonymous at 10pm... do you know who your talking to here??? You may need to print a retraction!

Amy said...

I really enjoy your blog and feel privileged to read about the slice of your life you choose to share. I think it's tremendous that you chose to post what you did about this bad day and I appreciate your honesty. I think a lot of people are able to learn from you and realize that everyone has these days on occasion. Please don't let the anonymous negative bloggers get you down!

me said...

Sounds like calling it a tough day is an understatement. Hope things are feeling a bit brighter today. I appreciate this post because it shows that no one is perfect, that parenting is hard hard work, and that we all second guess ourselves sometimes. One of the reasons I like reading your blog is because of its honesty and candidness. I'm sorry not everyone is showing respect for your openness.

cavish said...

My older sister’s 1st grade picture shows a lovely full bite mark on her forehead from me. Seriously, I am not sure how I did it – it must have taken some talent. It slightly broke the skin and left a mark for almost a week (just in time for school photos – my mother was mortified). I think I was 5 at the time. I‘m 38 years old now and I can assure you, I’m not a serial killer – I’m a productive member of society who volunteers and pays taxes. I was just a bratty little sister who was mad at her older sister teasing her.

Jess said...

Oh Heather! I'm so sorry you had such a tough day! We've all had those days! I know that doesn't make you feel any better, but it is true! You are a fabulous mom! With Fabulous kids! One Crapastic day doesn't change that!

Glady said...

Oh no why do I feel the need to apologize for Anonymous? of all the blogs that I read, you are of of the few that I think is doing a wonderful job as a mother, wife and everything in between. DOnt let what others say put a damper on your mood. As a mother I understand that words does cut deep but trust me there is NOTHING wrong with your boys that will require them to see a psychologist.

Mark and Sarah said...

I'm so sorry for your truly horrible day. Hang in there. Today HAS to be better!

BSC said...

I wasn't going to say anything, because I don't believe you need affirmation from "strangers", but I just have to chime in...

My son was the complete opposite of your boys during his toddlerhood. But right before his 5th birthday and throughout that whole year, he was a different child. He did and said things that I just would have never thought possible. Not all the time, but enough to just throw me for a loop. And in time, with consistency and loving parenting, he came through that phase. And that's all it was... a phase. He's now 20 and I'm so proud of the young man that he's become.

I'm sure you know, that this was just one of those days. Continue to enjoy your sons and daughter. And please continue to share their joy and zest of life. It really brightens my day.

Blessings,
Beth

john said...

btdt
kids will be kids. Sorry you had a tough day. hope today is better.

Holli said...

Dear ANN. 10:01,
You might work with kids but being a mom is so much DIFFERENT!(and if you are a mom HOW DARE YOU WRITE THIS TO ANYONE!!!) MOMS have BAD days and kids have HORRIBLE days and they just act plain NAUGHTY!
I WAS A BITTER (from birth till 8) sister, brother, friends - pretty much anyone that made me mad would get s lovely teeth mark tattoo!
My biting did not escalate but stopped- my parents were happy to say the least!;) Kids are kids - each act out differently - they can not express all they are feeling with words and sometimes act out. You should know this - you do work with kids.
As adults we also "bite". Sometimes we do this by cutting people off in traffic, being RUDE or leaving inappropriate anonymous comments to a lovely family who are SO real and help so many by being REAL!
HEATHER I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! You are so AUTHENTIC and are helping people/mothers/adopters/adoptees/ around the world don't let 10:01's stop you!
And 10:01 please keep your comments to yourself on ALL BLOGS including mine unless you have a Blog we can "bite" you back on!

Malia'sMama said...

Oh Heather I cried when I read what happened to Meera /c on Mal's first b-day, as eh played on the floor near my feet and I was all caught up in cooking for 10 people, she choked on a rice cake. I will NEVER forget that fear, that intense fear...
I am glad your little lady is okay.
As for the boys' beahviour. Thank you for your honesty. Not all days are diamonds, and parents, some just startign out, need to know that it will be okay!

Ann-Elise said...

Hi Heather!
Just testing if my gmail account works. I've never posted a comment non-anonymously before...if that's a word.
Ann-Elise

Karen Vitek said...

Believe it or not we have all had days like this. But reading about Meera's peanut reminded me of the time my Stina got a styrofoam peanut up her nose or so she thought at age 4 so it was a trip to the ER. When she was Meera's age they used to make these french carrots that were like little round balls (I know I should have seen trouble all over them) but I cooked them for her and you guessed it one got lodged in her throat. I did the baby choking thing too and fortunately it came shooting out! Then there is the time when she was about 10 and she had pierced ears (which I had sort of caved into) and she went to Girl Scout camp and somehow we forgot to pack extras. She was afraid of losing them so each day before she went into the pool she pushed the backs in farther so as not to lose them. You guessed it when she got home and asked me to take them out they were embedded in her earlobe - another trip to the ER to have them surgically removed. And I won't even mention the number of times David has embarrassed me in public. They do survive and you will too! You are a great mom!

laurafingerson said...

Can I just say how much better this makes me feel about my parenting and my kids? Most of the time, we only ever hear or read the wonderful holiday-letter-worthy events in kids' lives. Which makes us feel like when our own kids have a Bad Day, that we are the only ones. I always thought there should be a sociological journal of non-findings, so we could publish our hard work that resulted in *nothing* (both to help other researchers and to make ourselves feel better). Same goes for Bad Days. We all have them! Thanks for sharing, Heather, and the rest of you who also shared stories.