Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: The True Story of a Mother's Desperation

Correction: make that blood, vomit, and tears. That sums up my day today.

It all started like this...I was getting ready to return back to work after 2 days at home with my son who was suffering from conjunctivitis (pink eye to the layman). He felt fine, his attitude could attest to that, it was just he had contagious, goopy eyes that required 24 hours on medication before going back to preschool. So, there I am, back to my morning routine, getting myself and my toddler ready for the day, as well as letting the dogs out, then back in, giving them food, and finally securing the house as I head out the door. Whew! That's a lot, and all before 7am!

I should have known something was amiss when David was uncontrollably screaming and running back and forth around my bed for no apparent reason. He is a bonafide "wild child", but this was a bit much. I had a fleeting sense of sympathy for his teacher as I herded him out the door and into the car. My 2 days with him had been trying to say the least. Actually, the past few weeks had been a test of my patience and both of our wills. I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

Well, it was not even 9am when the day began to unravel. David had only been at school for less than 2 hours. I had only been at school for an hour and a half, and only seen my students for about 10 minutes! They had music class shortly after school began and so I was enjoying a quiet beginning to my day with a planning period I desperately needed after 2 days away. Andrew called my classroom to inform me he was on his way to get David from school because he had been sent home for scratching a girl and drawing blood. Apparently, in the brief period he was at school, he was having a rough time. That is code for David was acting crazy and out of control.

Andrew was alone at his shop for the day and was not able to stay home with David. I told him I would get out of school as soon as I could. In the meantime, Andrew arranged for David to be taken to his cousins' house until noon. A dear friend had also been called in as reinforcement. She was on her way to get David from his cousins' and take him. However, I was lucky enough to get a sub in my room so I could be at home with David. Reinforcements, called off. Mom to the rescue.

I get David and I decide we need some outside time so we head to the park. After a half an hour, we take the party to the bookstore. I was feeling the need for some parenting advice via doctors, therapists, and general know-it-alls who have written best-sellers that will tell me everything I need to know about how to help my child. And myself. Four books on raising boys and children with ADHD, one cranky toddler, and numerous board books thrown about the shelves of Barnes & Noble later, we were out.

Lunch time brought the vomit. And the tears. The silver lining in my grey cloud this day was the delicious leftovers I was planning to eat for lunch. I get David and his meal all set-up, then go to heat up my leftovers. Not. My. Leftovers. Little mix-up at the restaurant leads to big disappointment for me. Then it happened. David: "Uh-oh", pointing at the vomit on his shirt and pants. Mommy: a tremendous sigh of frustration and exasperation. And I cried. It was more than this mama could take. My son was 86'ed from preschool, he was out of control and I had no idea what to do about it, I was missing my third consecutive day of work, my lunch was, well, not mine, and this day was quickly becoming an epic failure. Destination arrival: rock-bottom.

There it was. A day with endless potential in ruins right there in my kitchen. Blood drawn, vomit spewed, tears shed. The light at the end of the tunnel, the only bright side in this situation was a brief interlude of quiet, calm, and renewal of the mommy's spirit: nap time. It would only last 2 hours (if I was lucky), but it was my nirvana. And, by the emotional roller coaster my child was riding on, it was clear, nap time was close. So, with a dish towel in hand (don't ask) and Elmo in the dvd player, we were on our way. It wasn't but a few moments later that the "morning from hell" was over, David was asleep in his crib, I was lying in my bed, wishing time would stand still.

Less than 2 hours later, cries from David's crib brought me back to reality. Now, onto the afternoon. Just 6 hours until bedtime, but who knew what the rest of the day would bring? All I could think was, This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. How does one rejoice in a day such as today? How does someone see the blessing in the midst of this chaos? Boy, was I trying.

This day will soon be over and in my past. Eventually, I will look back on it and laugh at my adventures, or misadventures, in raising David. But, in the meantime, and with all wit and sarcasm aside, I am still left with my unanswered question: What am I going to do with this little boy?

I know God hears this mother's desperation.

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