Merry blinking Christmas...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    So, obviously, today is not Christmas. However, it was for us.

    We only have easy child 2 for a few hours on Christmas afternoon, and we try to make the main point of our Christmas celebration to be together as a family. Two Brooms won't back off having Christmas at her house on Christmas day, and she plans it for smack in the middle of the time we have easy child 2, so we either open gifts here and run, or fight to keep wee difficult child awake to open gifts here after.

    So I said to heck with it, I want to ENJOY Christmas this year, so we planned to celebrate today (wee difficult child did not know this).

    Wee difficult child's school called me at 1pm to pick him up. He was off his rocker again, and has been every day the past 2 weeks except one. I've upped the Risperdal in an attempt to counter it, but its not working.

    So I pick him up and bring him home. We received a box in the mail from difficult child 1 with a gift in it for wee difficult child. Once we got home and he saw that, it was all over (still unaware we are opening gifts tonight). He became obsessed over that gift and he!! came thru the floor. All attempts to redirect were laughable. In the course of 45 minutes, I was hit with a flying shoe, several tinker toys, x-box remote, a tweed pillow, kicked 4 times, and hit with a fist 6 times. Mostly while attempting to lock him in his room. When the worst of that wore off and he came out, instantly, it started again. He would fluctuate between hitting me and then immediately hugging and apologizing. He knew he shouldn't, but couldn't stop himself. Occassionally he would pull back to strike and stop himself and then say "I want to hit you so bad".

    Poor kid.

    Poor mom. (If I'm allowed).

    Three hours of this ensued. I didn't want to knock him down with the PRN because of Christmas, but I was getting close to beyond desperate. I finally unhooked the diesel and took him for a cruise (something about that truck sometimes calms him, but its a bear to start in the winter and it was hooked to a it wasn't handy by any stretch). I told him we were looking for a pine tree for decorations (there are few pines around here). We drove for an hour and a half and added an additional 1.5mg of Risperdal before he was stable.

    We came home 30 minutes before gifts. He still was not aware we were doing it, which was russian roulette, but it wasn't a big to-do, it was just the immediate family coming. Still had the prn option.

    easy child 2 got here and we opened gifts, and I guess all in all it turned out ok, but I'm beyond beat and very defeated. He's playing now; I should be happy. Instead, all I seem able to do is pray that tomorrow is better.

    His Christmas concert for school is Sunday, and even tho he wants to go, I am seriously considering skipping it. Don't need to chance all those parents seeing this display...

    I visited with the other teacher at his school that really tries with him today. She sent him on an errand to talk with me without him hearing, and turns out she had a brother much like him. It took them years to get him directed, but she says he is absolutely brilliant, and beleives wee difficult child is, as well; his mind is just on overload. A bright spot in the day, for sure.

    To add annoyance icing to the carp cake, tho, easy child 2, who is grounded from tv for forging signatures on failed work and lying about homework, showed up tonight proclaiming she could watch tv. We called her mom. This is probably the 15th time she's forged a signature and G*d only knows how many times she's lied about homework, but this is the first time there's really been some inkling of a punishment - except that "grounded from tv", according to her mom, means she can't chose the program or watch tv in her room by herself. But she can sit in the living room or family room and watch whatever is being watched in there.

    And last night was the last day they'd have Iron Giant so they let her watch it so they could send it back to Netflix.

    Tuesday, they were out of school due to snow, and since she couldn't watch tv, grandma took her shopping.

    Gee, guys, I'd hate for her to actually do without something because she's grounded.

    I'm really close to ceasing all extra efforts to help that child. With "support" like that, I can't see how we'll ever get anywhere. So sad, because I really believe all she needs is a little extra attention.

    On a brighter note, tho, wee difficult child has been playing appropriately for a record hour and a half now. Its past bed time and I am not even about to approach that battle. Not today.

    Update 10 minutes after post - I didn't allow him to start a science experiment he received as a gift. So much for the calm - tis over and I've been hit again.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Poor mom. (If I'm allowed).


    I am so sorry. I feel your exhaustion. I would worry about the concert, too.

    So sorry about easy child 2's forging notes. Arrrgh!

    That is really neat about the other teacher and the info she gave you. A bright spot, indeed!

    I hope you all get some sleep and that tomorrow is better. :)

    It's the Christmas season ... :sick:
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I love Christmas. I truly do. Honest, really and truly. That being said, I hate what Christmas does to kids, even the really good ones. I spent more than one Christmas season crying because my little one couldn't/wouldn't control herself and presents would be opened early, there would be rages, people would wonder what is wrong with that child and so on and so forth.

    Here are some things that helped at least a little. I got some small gifts and we opened one every evening for the week before Christmas. These were opened immediately after dinner so there would be time to play with them and, hopefully, break them before bedtime so that a rage wouldn't ensue. All other gifts were at a friend's house. Otherwise, she'd opened them regardless of whose gifts they were.

    We followed a "Christmas routine." Bedtime was moved up 30 minutes once school was out. However, we got ready for bed 15 minutes after dinner and open mini present (usually from the dollar store). Then it was snuggle time with a Christmas program or play with new gift (her choice). Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights -- a different direction every night -- for no more than 45 minutes. Home and bedtime.

    For special events like your son's concert, I would honestly just wait until the day of the event and then see how she was acting and how she felt about going. If she wanted to go, I didn't worry about how she was going to act, she got to go and I'd suffer through the other parents' looks. Her being happy was more important and she rarely was anxious when she was little.

    I will admit it is so much nicer now that she's grown up. Heck, even at 16, Christmas was a challenge. She would still have hissy fits if she didn't get her way. Really don't know why because she really did know that fits got her nowhere. At least they're pleasant now.

    I think I'd be telling easy child 2 that no tv may mean something different at her mom's house but in mine it meant no tv. Period. It really does bite when others so undermine our kids. I wish they would realize just how harmful their "adult" behavior is. I think this is one of the main reasons I appreciated the fact that my ex really did not want anything to do with raising my daughter. I could vent to him but he never tried to make any suggestions since he felt it was my child.

    Good luck and hope Christmas improves a little for you.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Shari, after a few years of angst over gift obsession like this, I decided that the surprise factor wasn't worth it. Our lives were much easier after that.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The holiday season can definately affect the severity of our kid's gfgness!!

    As far as the concert goes, I would just play it by ear. If it appears to be a good day, go ahead. If not, stay home with no mention. It is difficult because on the one hand, you want your difficult child to experience the "typical" side of childhood, the sports, the outings, the concerts and plays. But on the other hand, there are just some things you know will set them off......

    Keep the structure in his schedule even with school ending - that worked pretty well when my difficult child was younger. At 13, he no longer gets the "Christmas Bug" and wanted to know if he could stay up to midnight last night!!

    Hang in there girl - oh, and you are allowed!

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Shari,
    Yes you are allowed to say poor mom. This sounds so much like my difficult child when he was younger and not only at the holiday season. I'm sorry for your bad day and hope today is much better.

    As for the concert do what you think is best. We decided to keep difficult child out of wrestling the other night because he seemed on a collision course. We actually ended up having an o.k. night because we skipped it.

    Hugs to you-I know you must be exhausted. Have you called the psychiatrist about the violence? I got to the point where I started calling every time he was violent and they appreciated the calls. Maybe they can suggest a medication tweak?
  7. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Oh, geez! Wow, difficult child sure did get himself in a stew. You are most certainly allowed to say poor mom. Good idea slapping him in the truck for some stability.

    I would have pulled out my own prn to deal with that. (xanax or wine) Hugs to you.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    ((((((((((((Shari)))))))))))))) Talk about the warrior mom queen! You are amazing.

    Manster has always done this too, not so agressive but more a passive obsession: beg, whing, plead, cry, make promises, threaten, etc.

    The Christmas experience is rather odd when you think about it. Manster taught us all an interesting lesson about it when he was about 3.5. On Christmas morning we were giving him his presents which he loved. Just as he was interested in one present he had just opened we were shoving another one at him. After about 3 or 4 time he cried out "STOP, I just want to play with the one I opened". We hastily hid the rest of the presents and took a 12 days after Christmas approach and took one out of the closet each day until they were done. He just loved that.

    It taught me about the excess and the extremes. I know this is a bit off your topic but sometimes we really just need to create our own traditions even if it means opening gifts when they arrive in the mail (or never let difficult children around the postal people when they arrive; maybe alert them ahead of time to call first with a special code lol).

    Feeling your pain and in awe of your spirit.


  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Shari, my heart goes out to you. Feeling defeat is much worse than anger. It's loss of hope for that day. Hopefully today is better.

    I got a lot of "he's brilliant". Great news if he isn't under a bridge or jail due to unacceptable behavior. Brilliance is lost if there is no productivity to accompany it. Your wee difficult child is very young and no way am I projecting my difficult child's situation on yours but I got so tired of "he's so brilliant". If he was so brilliant you would think he could care of his potty needs appropriately. I hope your wee difficult child is a brilliant young man and adult as his nervous system matures. Maybe he can find a cure for behavior problems. : )

    I would give wee difficult child a lot of down time through the day. Walks outside, running around after chickens or ducks. Drives in the car with quiet music or a children's book on tape. Quiet activities and a good night's sleep. Break up activity with those quiet islands of low stimulation.

    Have other family members give you a break from wee every so often through the day during this busy week. It's how I survived and I know you will survive too.
  10. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Just wondering if this might be an idea for you - instead of keeping the present away, give him a small item (dollar store one?) to open. Keep a stash of small items so when he gets into this "mode" you have something to occupy him for a little bit.

    One thing I hate to do is keep difficult child from doing something she's looking foward to. One day I grounded her and she wasn't allowed to go to her cousin's birthday party. To this day I feel so guilty for doing that. It was more of a family get together. Just don't want you to feel that way later if you choose not to go to the concert.

    Hope the rest of the holidays are happy for you both!
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm so sorry to hear this happened and for so long like that till you finally got him in the car.

    Why wouldnt' you be able to be "poor Mom", you give so much. You soo deserve that.

    I have learned as well surprises dont always work so well. I'm sorry you had such high hopes for the day and it turned out this way.

    I hope your night is better and calmer.

  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry that Two Brooms is so selfish and that she is being enabled by the rest of the family. If it was my Two Brooms I would be able to tell her to go ahead and have her party but we would not be there. She would get a chance to complain to everyone how no one wants to be with her and what an awful person I was for putting my kids' needs above hers because who knows, she probably will not be around next year. My Two Brooms loved any chance she could get to find a pity party for herself and in the interest of my kids and forcing her to respect me by not treating me like she treated her kids, I gave her plenty. She even wrote a published article about how her family will not take care of her if she ever went into a nursing home. Selfish old bag she was.

    I am so sorry Christmas is proving so overwhelming for wee difficult child. I am sending him a great big hug. This season is so confusing for his emotions. Some kids (and adults too) just can not handle the suspense of waiting to see what is in a package. It may help if you number the gifts under the tree so that he does not know which are his until opening time. Draw the numbered tag from a bowl and whose ever gift it is gets to find and open it.

    Hugs and strength to you also. I wish you didn't have these challenges to deal with.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thank you all for the support. We survived.

    Saturday was actually a decent day. Better than it appears today is going to be. Today is the Chirstmas concert, too, but we are playing by ear.

    Funny - today difficult child was playing with his fav gifts - a pair of holsters and a microscope, He packed the microscope into his pack, put on his holsters and cowboy hat, and told me he was riding to the great north west. He had a ball of string to trap mountain lions on the way (which happened to be a little dog named Jack). lol I microscope-packing out.

    I digress...

    I guess I had my hopes too high this year. A gave up my "hope" of Christmas day to make it a better difficult child day. We dont' put a single present under the tree until moments before we open them, becuase it becomes an obsession point. Santa Claus shopped this year with the intent of giving difficult child plenty of things to do to make it thru Christmas Day, instead of giving things difficult child has asked for. And despite all the planning, difficult child-ness still came shining thru. You would think I'd be used to it. Oh well.
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Shari i'm glad to hear that it went a bit better. It is difficult especially around holiday time when we try so hard and set our hopes so high and than we feel like it all comes crumbling down around us.

    You try so hard always and keep such calm, your a good Mom. Don't lose hope i'm sure your good moment will come......just be patient.

    by the way i do same thing with the gifts. good idea!!

  15. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    I totally understand. I was just having this exact conversation with my best friend last night. I talked to Mom and Sis yesterday, they'd gotten the tree and were decorating. Sis chopped it down herself, and when I called, was wrapped up in an entire string of lights and laughing. She chattered happily to me for about 20min on the phone. She's at home, in therapy, and seems to be doing better than usual....right now.

    I was telling the best friend about the "little ball of tension" that lives in my stomach every holiday. Everything's going well, and everything usually goes OK....until the holiday itself, when all heck breaks loose, and then the screaming, the throwing, the hitting, the anger shows up. But every year, you DO get your hopes up----and you think, "Oh! Maybe this year will be different, and I can get that warm fuzzy feeling I used to get on holidays, pre-difficult child. That amazing, all-is-right-with-the-world feeling."

    And then, every year, it doesn't quite work out like that. You never do get used to it. You're absolutely right.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yup, keep the expectations at a minimum and be ready for anything and everything. It is a hard time for us warrior moms!
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, beleive me, expectations have flown out the window.
    Wee difficult child used to flip out about putting the tree up. So, now, AS SOON as the tree farm guys put up their sign, before difficult child even sees it, we go get the tree and put it up. He obsessed over gifts under the tree, so we don't put any under the tree until a few minutes before we open them. He flips out when he hears Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, because it mentions "naughty and nice", so we go to great lengths to re-record Christmas cd's that DON'T include that song, switch radio stations when it comes on the air, etc. When random strangers ask if he's been a good boy so Santa will visit, we all jump in front of him and field the question. And we've learned that he needs plenty to do on Christmas day to keep the focus off of "what comes next", so Santa brings make and do things instead of what he asks for. We used to open up one gift on Christmas Eve, but now we can't even acknowledge that it IS Christmas eve, or the fretting begins.
    The "yearly" issues we were down to this year were Christmas at my mom's, and Two Brooms' Christmas in the middle of our easy child time, which either meant we opened gifts and pulled him away from his new things, or kept his grumpy behind awake (or tried) to open gifts afterwards. So my big plan was to have our gift opening on this other random day. And while that idea worked to solve that particular problem, in true difficult child form, he threw 3 more curve balls at me that day and we spent no less than 5 hours in total meltdown mode.
    Lessons learned here are to get the mail when difficult child is not with me and never think I've got it covered.
    So now, for this year, we're down to the challenge of Christmas at my mom's. We go to her house and stay for a few days every year, and I refuse to give that up. Last year, he was stuck on the gifts, but this year's tirade at home was 10 times worse, so...the planning committee is meeting - what can we do to alleviate this one. I'm considering sending gifts to my mom's to have under her tree when we get there. One for each of the younger children that will be there, then we can open them as soon as he arrives, and hopefully, he'd think that was it, it was over. And be sure to put a note on the door that explaining what we're doing. Not sure it will work, tho - still planning/brainstorming. Also might take the horses...
    Knowing difficult child's family history is often a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I know there is more to it than poor parenting - he is a cookie cutter of his dad - so I know its not just me or something I did wrong; there is a genetic component at play here, and having that link helps get the attention of some in the medical community. On the other hand, tho, my ex-mother in law is a wonderful woman and a womderful mother. She was a school counselor and teacher for years and SO MANY members of our community contribute portions of their success to her. Two of her children aren't just successful members of the community, they are people one would consider pillars of the community. And then there's DEX, her oldest son. Who lives in the barn behind her house, who can't hold a job, and would be in prison facing 20 years right now if they hadn't sprung for his $50k lawyer. And I think "if she couldn't "fix" him, what hope do I have?" On the one hand, knowledge is power; on the other, with the mental health field so "new", well, it often appears the deck is stacked against us. Its a blessing and a curse and a controversy my brain struggles with every day.
    I'm rambling. I'll shut up now.