Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Day, Another Dollar

So...the butter in the tub of butter went flying one way, and the plastic tub went another. I threw the tub. Across the kitchen and when I was done, I had to pick up the clump of Earth Mother buttery spread with my hand, grabbing up dust and one strand of white hair off my head. Plopped it all back into the tub.

A good role model, me. Throwing buttery spread as I screamed, "Don't you talk to me that way! You learn to control your anger, you...you...!!" Something, something vile came out my mouth at the close of those commandments that probably shouldn't be repeated. Ironic, hypocritical...such a good parent...me. I now see that my eldest, freshly-teen child has managed to crawl into that part of my brain that is cabable of collapse, a place only occupied by my mother, my brother, and my husband. Now J.

I've got a migraine. I'm at the computer, a Diet Coke at my side, M using a wet paper towel to wipe down my desk (water/wood, not a good combo, but whatever). D's watching "the Closer," J's skateboarding outside, A's nursing a bike-riding-wound ("I was riding on the grass and Sassy was biting my tire and I fell and look, something pinched me right here! See? Owwwww..."). I'm tired.

Got my hair trimmed today, got a little color to soften the blow of my intensely grey hair. Watched my shadowed, weary face in the mirror as my hairdresser chattered on about her life, about the parallels of our lives.

"You said that to J?"

"Yeah. After the butter thing."

"Oh honey, that's nothing. Two days ago I told mine to SHUT THE **** UP! DON'T THROW YOUR ****ING BULL**** AT ME YOU UNGRATEFUL ****!"

I laughed, cringed, "Ouch."

"How is it they drag you into the dirt?"

"So low, so deep into the mud, I don't think there's a way out."

She chuckled, "We've all been there. Ain't proud of it, but they have their ways of bringing it out."

They have a way alright. M got her hair cut, too. Trimmed the ends into a nice straight line. For months now she's been like a circus girl, the left side of her head, long hair, the right side, just below her shoulder. Don't know how it happened - I suspect she got creative with scissors. Either that or I got over-enthusiastic when I had to cut a chunk of hair that got caught up into some light-up, twirly toy. She's even now. Ready for school. Ready for all that hair to grow out again. A got his hair cut, too. J still sports his Glam-rock hair.

Afterwards I rushed home, straightened hair whipping in the open window's breeze, swept up the boys and headed out to Pasadena to meet with their doctor. A's doing well, J's obviously a little stressed. From there, we flew across town to the neurologist for the tics. They've decreased with the Keppra but we're still seeing spurts of real loudness. So...Zoloft's on our list now. Address the anxiety. Let's see if we can soften the blow of external stressors so he won't tic as often. Makes sense. He was nervous for the doctor and you could hear him outside the office.

"You might consider home-schooling until we get this sorted out," the doctor suggested.

"We thought so too."

"You mean, I don't have to get up in the morning? Whooo!"

The drive home was slow, traffic heavy, but the boys seemed strangly elated. Happy even. J had a good talk with the neurologist. The doctor answered lots of his questions. Told him lots of stuff about other Tourette's patients of his. Assured J that he's not the worst he's seen.

Oh, oh...D's up. Saying J damaged the plastic pool with his skateboard, but I intervene, "No, no, I saw it was broken last night. I think Sassy got to it."

Battle averted. Apology.

Bed for all. I've started prepping for school. Finished each syllabus for the three classes. Polishing up on the opening lectures. Tweaking the approach. Adjusting the tempo.

I'm ready for a change.


Dana said...

Adriana, don't feel bad for even one minute. I think that we all get to that point eventually with our kids. Some kids like to push our buttons more than others. I have been battling it out with my 12 yr old pre teen as of late and it's not been pretty either. I think you're doing a great job! Don't you wish you would've known what a challenge kids were....before you had them? They should come with some sort of warning label. As for your greying hair....you know where you got it right? I myself have lots of vibrant white hairs popping up everywhere! UGH....BOYS! Take care and keep sane.

Dale said...

I know, I know how crummy it feels. But you know, they're groping for where the borders are, and they'll keep going till they hit them. Most kids, anyway. And all of us have borders. You cross them, we go berserk. Throwing butter and saying one vile thing -- well, I wish I could say I'd never done worse.

I don't think it would really be good for them, actually, to never find a border that evoked our rage. And it's very good for them to see us recover from it, fixing what we've damaged, repairing the relationships, making sure the offender knows exactly what went over the line. *Those* are valuable life skills. Our kids need to see them.

Lori said...

Ugh...sorry. I feel your pain.

Tamar said...

Wow, Adriana. What a time! What a post! No wonder the migraine and the diet pepsi. My son is 33 now but I remember the very moment when he was sixteen that I looked across the room at something he was saying and I was thinking to myself, "Where has my darling child gone?"

By the way ... this too shall pass!

Love and hugs for the new semester

(I envy you - my syllabi are not prepared yet!!!!!)

Adriana Bliss said...

Thanks, Dana - why did I have a feeling you'd understand? LOL And you with another on the way! :)

Dale, what a sage comment. Isn't that so true about letting them see your weak moment in the flesh, and then the gathering of the self.

Thank you, Lori, my kindred spirit.

Tamar! Much love to you. I wanted to post a picture of J when he was 4, when he was a little Jerry Maquire, with his glasses and angelic face. How fast they change and begin to come into their own. How is it we can pull our hair out and yet sit in admiration of their individuality?

Maxine: don't know you, don't think you know me very well either, but whatever, "peace" to you, too.

Fromage de Merde said...

Ah, I see you got some “objective” thoughts from a one-time-pass through. Nice.

Though for hair goo I usually use some really hardcore stuff called DiFi – not tub margarine – as margarine tends to melt to fast in the sun, especially in LA, especially like in the summer.

Now pass me some Zoloft momma.

kazumi said...

Urgh, I love your posts so much.

The phrenetic pace of family life with kids, careers and who can forget the dog/s?!

But most of all, I love that within all of the craziness and occassional confusion there's so much warmth and love, not dependent on things always going the way you hoped or expected.

And Maxine, you do not mean peace with comments like that!