Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have You Ever Been Kicked Out Of A Swim Lesson? I'm Asking For A Friend - PYHO

You must know that my life is currently under attack.  My very being is under fire.  I'm not sure how things are going to work when all of this ends, assuming that it does end. 

Here it is...Cole is trying to kill me. 

No, he hasn't found firearms or how to discreetly give someone rat poison, that I'm aware of at least, but he is slowly but surely chipping away at every fiber of my sanity and my sense of self.  He is crushing me. 

Let's not tiptoe around it and say he's going through a rough phase or he's tired, let's just put it simply...he has some very serious issues that I am failing at figuring out.  If I don't get our shit together I'm going to be saying things like, "Cole, did you remember to call your parole officer back?"  or "Since Cole's license was suspended" or "Cole's an artist." 

I am scared...mostly for him, but also for me.
Yes, there is a small, tiny chance that all of this has absolutely nothing to do with me and I am simply his Mom and therefore at the receiving end of his challenges and it's my role and alleged joy to be the one to help him through this.

Or he's trying to kill me. 

This morning was very similar to most days around here, yogurt requests and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and some profound whining about having to go to swim lessons.  Cole doesn't like swim lessons, but for the most part he goes and does it once we are there.  I think he even likes it once he's in the water.  Today though he was having no part of it. 

After kicking and screaming for 10 minutes he was finally asked to leave for the day.  Every time an instructor tried to talk to him he screamed louder, in their faces.  He also kicked aggressively, at their bodies.  There was zero swimming and all sorts of staring.

This was unpleasant all around.

(Yes Mom, I know Kyle and I never did anything like this.)

Doesn't he look sweet?

He is sweet, but lately it's buried under a pile of challenge and obnoxious that you have to routinely talk yourself out of punching in the face. 

Cole is difficult.  Recently he has been moody, excessively grumpy, verbalizing hatred for everything from his family to his pencils and screaming, a lot...about everything.  He almost always pulls it together for other people, almost.  He doesn't get in trouble at school and he cooperates at friends' houses according to the other Moms, but they could just be scared of him and lying to me so he won't lash out at them again, there's really no way of knowing. 

Around me he's a mess. 

A mean mess.

Today shouldn't have really surprised me, but it did.  I still can't really believe my child did that.  I have a difficult time wrapping my head around all our challenges with him lately. He is sweet and silly and cuddly...and then seemingly over night has become sullen and impossible to work with on even the most basic of tasks, like putting on shoes. 

I fear I will soon find him smoking behind the garage, covered in obscene tattoos  that say things like, "My Parents Blow."  Is there anywhere a four year old can get a tattoo?  Surely he'll need me to sign off on any permanent ink slander, right?

He hasn't been an easy child at any point, but the level of disrespect and defiance is so elevated recently that I actually feel frightened.  How am I going to help him and save the rest of us from the toxicity of a child acting like this in our home? 

The other night, after a particularly challenging exchange turned tantrum with Cole, I snapped at a simple question Aiden asked me.  I was so flustered from trying to deal with Cole that I couldn't handle being kind for a moment to my other children. 

This is where the fun compounding of Cole's issues displays itself. 

I now felt wrecked with guilt on top of my exasperation. 

Where the hell is that Nanny Jo lady to give us a Naughty Mat charged with magical powers that can solve all the ailments of the world?

The best/worst part is that shortly after Aiden retreated to his room due to my obvious frustration, he brought me this note.

Can you read his kindergarten writing? I'll translate.

Beer Mom, I know that you are having a hard time with Cole. Love Aiden.  To Mom.

I assume he intended to write Dear Mom, but I prefer Beer Mom. 

I love and appreciate that Aiden understood that I wasn't' angry with him, just frustrated with the situation with Cole, but it breaks my heart too. Cole unsettles the house. 

I unsettle the house when I am wrapped in the chaos and draining nature of Cole. 

We're doing charts and rewards and consequences out the wazoo and none of it appears to be making a dent.  I am currently looking in to radical diet transformations and professional counseling and possibly even chiropractory, only because I keep hearing about all these random problems solved by someone cracking your back or casting a spell or whatever it is a chiropractor does. 

Surely something will give, right? 

In the mean time I guess I'll find peace rather than guilt that Aiden sort of gets how difficult things are and Stella is blissfully unaware.  I'll keep doing charts and doling out the consequences and bracing myself for the cruelty of the unsympathizing and judging stranger as I wheel a restrained and screaming Cole through the grocery store....again. 

I'll keep clutching him to me in parking lots and while crossing the street, obviously driven by some primal love that I currently can't even feel through all my frustration and anger toward him, and I'll pray that's still there when all of this ends because right now I mostly just don't to deal with him at all.


Linking up to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.  Go check it out!


Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I'm sorry- these times are HARD. If he is in preschool, see if they can help, they can often do assessments there before you go to another dr.
You are great parents!

Emily said...

Oh Mama... First time visiting your blog. I am very sorry to hear about the troubles with your little man. I truly hope that things turn a positive corner for you all soon. I am the mother of two little boys (2 and 7 mos) and I have a feeling I may have some challenges with my older son. Hang in there.. and remember, there's nothing wrong with a nice hard drink to settle your nerves after bedtime! Visiting from Shell's... :)

alanna rose said...

I also have a ridiculously difficult 4 year old son...I feel for you. If I had a magic feather I would share it with you.

yippiemom said...

If it makes you feel any better, Cosmo's teacher suggested at his last parent/teacher conference that I hire a parenting coach.

Evie said...

Well I don't have any encouraging words, but I can say that I find your honesty so refreshing!! I have a three yr. old that has been challenging ever since I started pushing her out the birth canal, and most days I feel like I'm going a bit whack...and then feel completely judged for being real with others about how hard it is to deal with. I love it when someone else is honest enough to tell it like it really is. Thank you!! :)

Jessica said...

I was nodding my head through this whole post. I so get it. My three year old is so difficult, and we are actually looking into dietary changes with him.

Im with Emily--a good drink helps me every now and then! And I also prefer Beer Mom. I think that letter was precious!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

You are not alone. I think many of us are dealing with this.

Mel said...

Girl, hangin there. My three year old daughter has been so difficult lately. Even though I realized it, it wasn't until we had a wonderful evening just like in the old days that I realized just how stressful things had become. I HAVE found that completely ignoring the situation can be helpful but it takes LOTS and LOTS of self control on my part to ignore it. And not punch it in the face.


momnextdoor said...

Ugh! I'm sorry Leslie! I have absolutely nothing to say but we love you and I'm sending hugs your way! I hope the solution comes fast!

Kmama said...

Oh man. i've been there...a few times. The first time was when Buddy turned five. All of a sudden he became a completely defiant, aggressive, angry child. After much searching (and crying and tantrumming...on my part), I thought it might be the Singulair we had just started him on. Once we stopped it, he went back to his normal self...which was still moody and whiny, but to a much lesser extent. I would suggest you call your pediatrician and ask for some help.

We are dealing with some other issues right now, and I put out a plea for help a few weeks ago. It's never easy. Hang in there.

Shell said...

Oh, I have been there!

And this line: "He is sweet, but lately it's buried under a pile of challenge and obnoxious that you have to routinely talk yourself out of punching in the face." is why I heart you so much.

Hang in there. xo

Ashley - My Front Porch Swing said...

I am so sorry for the challenges you are facing. The patience you have to exercise is nothing short of super hero strength! So many hugs.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

My oldest has been a difficult kid since birth. Thankfully he seems to be outgrowing some of it now that he is 8...but he also seemed to have passed a little bit of it down to my middle son. I guess maybe #2 saw that #1 was getting easier and thinks he should make up for it!?!

Adrienne said...

I absolutely love your writing! Love isn't even a strong enough word. It's perfect!

I can relate to so much of this post. It's so hard when one child sucks so much from the whole family.

Hang in there, Mama! I hope something gives soon and you find some answers on how to make Cole more comfortable.

Kristen said...

Oh man. I so feel for you. My oldest are 3 - so we aren't there yet. But... sometimes ours is out of control too. I actually like it when my kids get a new toy - because ... then I have something new to take away. I do have a timer. and I ignore the screaming and just keep resetting the timer until he stops screaming. Maybe a change in diet will help. Big hugs to you.

Sara said...

Just wish I could figure out the formula for the sweet, cuddly, calmly inquisitive, compliant days and banish the defiant, tearful, miserably draining, sign-me-up-for a tubal-ligation-this-evening days. I hate that it seems to be out of my control.

Mommies In Orbit said...

Been there, am there, times two, eleven year old boy and girl twins, yikes.

January Dawn said...

Oh Leslie...sending mucho cyberhugs your way. Brutal. KIDS CAN BE BRUTAL. My 4 yr old son is also a massive pain in the arse many times throughout the day. He's always been 'my spirited child'. And now my always sweet 2 year old is showing his 'terribles'. You're not alone...thank you for making everyone reading your blog know that they too are not alone. It's why I love to read your blog!

WhisperingWriter said...

I know exactly how it goes. I have a five year old whose moods can change in a second.

And a ten year old boy with ADHD who is..well...very hyper and can say some pretty offensive things.

Crystal said...

"Have a New Kid by Friday" by Kevin Leman (His book on the husband is AWESOME too!)

April said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and read the entries about Cole (he piqued my curiosity). I'm wondering if you've ever heard of The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene?

I have had issues with my now teenager, and I swear if a child came with an instruction book, this was it for mine.

By NO MEANS, do I mean to come across as knowing exactly what you are going through, or having any answers to your problems, I don't know you, and am just a random internet stranger, but I'm throwing this out there to you to use however you please.