Things They Should Tell You Before You’re On Your Own
Today has been a perfect storm of the kids acting out. This has happened before – it’s not abnormal that the kids have behaviors related to abuse and neglect that we try to work through as they come up. Normally, we make sure the child is safe from harm, call the caseworker, write up an incident report and then address it at home and in therapy. For two years, this is how it goes.
But after finalization, there are no caseworker calls, no incident reports, no one person who can say on the phone “this is not unexpected and here’s how we work through it with the other kids who do this.” It’s a support system that one day just disappears.
Thank God that the kids are still in therapy. My therapy seems to be this two cigarette a day habit I’ve picked up. Shaun called the kids’ treatment center and they gave him some pointers on what to do for today and we’re going to try and get a family therapy appt for tomorrow.
So, here’s what happened. This morning I wake up to the smell of smoke and Ethan is hiding something in his bed. As soon as I make sure nothing is on fire, I ask him what he’s doing. “I’m about to get back in bed and go to sleep.” Um, no you weren’t. I’m not stupid, bucko.
The kids know my routine – nothing is going to happen until I’m halfway into my first cup of coffee. So, I get it and sit down, and I hear the girlchild saying “let me lay on top of you and tell you a secret.” The oldest boy is going “no, I only wanted to tickle your feet!” She says “But I have to lay on top of you and give you kisses and tell you secrets!” This alone makes me want to cry.
We discussed good touch/bad touch for the zillionth time and talked about the kinds of girls who laid on top of people to give kisses and if it was appropriate for a 5 year old girl to be that kind of girl. Hoochie Mamas and Stupid Girls get talked about quite a bit in our house too.
Then I separate them into their rooms and then I start to smell smoke again. Match smoke. I walk out and the oldest is in the kitchen pretending to play with the magnets on the fridge. My nose traces the matches to an end table in the sunroom. I hold them up and ask who lit the matches. The oldest tells me the youngest did it, but the youngest has been in bed since I caught him stealing and lying to me. I play along: so where did E put the matches that burned? In the trashcan. I look, and sure as shit, there are about 15 burned matches in there.
So, I go ask E. Did you light matches? Yes… he mumbles and makes square face. How many? Just one, then one with the red tip wouldn’t work so I put them back. Ok, this fits with the story I’ve alreayd figured out in my head.
Before I woke up this morning E and L snuck out to the sunroom with a box of kitchen matches and tried to light one up. It quickly went out because with the AC and the ceiling fan in there, you couldn’t light a zippo if you were standing in a puddle of gasoline. They tried another and it didn’t light at all, then they heard me so they disposed of the evidence and ran back to their stations.
Then, after A was in trouble and E was still in his room, L snuck back out in the sunroom and started try trying again. My bloodhound nose perked up and I caught him disposing of the evidence.
Add all this to the encopresis that has been flaring up again, and mommy needs another cigarette. L is back in diapers full time again because he keeps pooping his pants. Night, day, busy times, not busy times. Is it a physical problem or does it have to do with the Oppositional Defiant Disorder or the ADHD?
Looking on the internet, all of these problems are fairly common but what’s getting to me is that my support system (that actually knows what they’re talking about) is gone. The moral support system sees the kids as “damaged goods.” I hope the therapists have something to tell us that will help.
I’m not Catholic, but St. Jude, Patron Saint of Lost Causes – here’s a prayer coming your way.