Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mom school

There are some lessons I think should be taught in a special school for moms. Because, quite frankly, some of this on-the-job-training sucks.

Monday was supposed to be a special day for Sam and Steve. Father-son bonding time. They had the whole day planned and had been talking about it for weeks (mostly to help alleviate the fear of the pediatrician Sam would be seeing at 4:30 Monday afternoon). Steve was going to pick Sam up before naptime. Sam had specific instructions not to eat lunch, because Steve would take him out to McDonalds. Just the two of them. Then they would hang out during the early part of the afternoon and head to the pediatrician in time for Sam's appointment (where he was going to get ONE shot).

Then Isaac got sick and decisions were made and plans had to change.

Instead of the day that he was looking forward to, Sam had to spend the morning saying goodbye to the dog, the early afternoon listening to a crying mommy, lunchtime eating lunch with both somewhat shell-shocked parents, the middle of the afternoon listening to his father cuss as he installed the flooring transition strip between the living room and what will some day be the dining room, the later afternoon at the pediatrician getting THREE shots, dinnertime visiting the McDonalds playland with the incessant buzzing from the lights that drove us all mad and, I believe, eventually pushed us over the edge so that we all went home with surly attitudes.

So I, being the completely enlightened mommy with more than my share of experience seeing Sam's childhood reactions to shock and mourning, expected some grief behaviors. But this is more than even I can take.

Monday afternoon, during the transition strip install, Sam took a potty break during which he started bawling hysterically about a balloon he had lost THE DAY BEFORE during our trip to the metroparks for grandma's birthday. He was seriously inconsolable.

Tuesday at daycare he apparently refused to let go of his stuffed anteater (which has, ironically enough, the same coloring and fluffy texture as Isaac's fur).

Last night, while looking at some old photos on the computer screen saver, he starts crying and shouting that he doesn't want to be five anymore...he wants to be three...because being five is STUPID! He said he missed his race car bike helmet from when he was three (that he has outgrown and can no longer safely wear). Steve suspects he saw Isaac in the photos too.

During last night's freakout, I just held onto him and snuggled him and told him how sorry I was that he has had to say goodbye to so many important things during his short I knew it was so unfair and that I wished I could make it all better.

I didn't sleep much last night thinking about how I'm supposed to handle all this. And the best I can come up with is that there should be some sort of mommy school that should teach this stuff. No wonder kids end up screwed up. How the hell am I supposed to figure this all out on my own? Practicing law is a hell of a lot less complicated and I had to go to school for three YEARS in order to do it. I'm not equipped for this!

I'm off to search for a race car bike helmet for my five-year-old. The least I can do is try to fix the things I actually CAN fix. Right?


Julie said...

You're doing an awesome job at being a mom. I've had some days with a complete meltdown where I wish I was three again, too! You know it won't take him too long and he'll back to his usual chipper self. The boy is pretty resilient (or tough, I can't spell today). I'm sorry for the loss of your beautiful dog, and that poor Sam is dealing with so many emotions right now (all of you, perhaps...). But THREE shots? How dare you. I have to draw the line somewhere, Catherine. LOL
Love to you all.

Shinny said...

There is no school anywhere that can teach the stuff you have had to deal with. You are doing an excellent job all on your own with this and always know that you have us in the computer to turn to for assvice, if nothing else. ;)
Take care of yourself and just letting Sam know how much he is loved will mean more to him then anything else you could ever buy him.

Penultimatina said...

Kate, Sam's outbursts sound really similar to Gabi's. I know she hasn't had as many stressful things going on, but it may just be a very histrionic age.

Our neighbor across the street moved last weekend. Gabi never really played with their school-age daughter, but she's in a total funk obsessing about the girl, drawing pictures of her, asking us to build her a car so she can drive over there, moping, etc. It's bizarre.

She's also freaking out about things from years ago, or she wants to be a dog, she wants to be a bird, boo hoo, boo hoo.

Hang in there--you are a wonderful mom, Kate!

PS--I also think that I should've gotten some banked parenting credit for many years of college (eleven *gulp*)

DD said...

My Mom is still in Mom School. Has been for 55 years now. She's still learning.

You can't really "fix" his grief, and ironically you know this all too well. I hope you find a helmet, but he will always know you will keep his heart as safe as possible with your love.

Sarah said...

That made me cry. Poor boy! How can you explain something to a kid that doesn't make sense to adults?

You are great mom. And just think, whatever we screw up, a therapist can fix later on- right? Big hug!

ms. G said...

How stressful for you, to hear his heartbreak. yes, find the helmet for him, and remember, giving him a safe place for his feelings makes you a super mom.

Aurelia said...

I'm crying for both of you right now. This all sounds so familiar and so sad.

I hate writing I'm sorry anymore, so just, "Dammit".

Rosepetal said...

I'm sorry Catherine, for all three of you.

Angel Mom said...

I often think one of the very hardest parts about losing our daughter S was how unfair and heartbreaking it was for our older daughter K. No child should ever have to go thru such losses, especially at such a young age.

I'm sorry.