Tag Archives: mommyhood

Open Letter to My Son

You know I love you dearly, right? Even at midnight, when I have just dropped off to sleep and you wake me up with those three special little words “Ima, I puked”. I don’t know what it is with you. You were taken out (not by me) to a lovely restaurant (ok kosher fast food) for dinner with your brothers. You ate a schnitzel baguette with oily fries at the one kosher restaurant in town that I will not take you to. I get sick every single time I eat there. The indigestion and toilet runs are not worth it. You and your brothers love that place. Everything they cook there is fried in grease and then refried in more oily stuff. Euw.

Seems this happens often to you that you eat out and then get sick around midnight – all over the floor. How hard is it to get yourself to the bathroom? I know that as soon as I feel the first signs of nausea I am worshipping at the porcelain throne. You have thrown up before, you know what it feels like before it happens. Get up and run.

Seriously, kid, I know that part of my job is to clean up the floor after you and your brothers have emptied your discomfited stomachs. It wasn’t in the parenting agreement that I signed…oh right, yeah, that was a fantasy document.  No one had told me that I would show my love for my sons by mopping up their vomit. That I would smile and hug a kid, neverminding that we were both covered in vomit. That stepping into a pile of sick is all in a day’s work.

I remember a time, my son, that the idea of someone else heaving near me was enough to make me run and hurl myself. How the times have changed. You asked me this morning how come it didn’t gross me out to clean up after you. It did a little. I think there were two occasions during clean up that I indeed threw up a little in my mouth. I didn’t tell you that though. I pulled you into a bear hug and told you that when you love someone you do things that may be gross sometimes, because you love them. But, Ima, you said, why weren’t you mad that I vomited in the hallway not the toilet? (why do you have to analyze the times I am not mad, can you not be happy that I wasn’t mad and take it at face value?) I told you I understood it wasn’t something you did on purpose – but it would have been easier if you had made it to the bathroom.

Dear child, I got you cleaned up and back into bed. You laid your head down on your pillow and within seconds you were asleep, looking angelic. It took me a while to clean up and then I headed to shower, and back to bed. By that time I was wide awake. I laid in bed, listening for sounds of you needing to throw up again. I had to check on you eleventeen hundred times.

You woke up this morning, full of energy – as if last night had not happened. You felt fine. Well rested. Your tummy didn’t hurt. I was the zombie, nursing my coffee as if it held the secret to eternal life.

I am glad you feel better. I am thrilled for you that there are no lasting ill effects from your nocturnal up chucking. Just please, next time, throw up in the toilet bowl. We would both be much happier.

With love

Ima

PS how about eating healthier food when you eat out, like a salad or something? Sigh……

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Parenting Stream of Consciousness

One of my boys is AD(H)D. Thankfully he is not hyperactive. He was diagnosed relatively early, at the age of 6, and later on was also diagnosed with some learning disabilities. By the time of his diagnosis I was frustrated with his inability to keep track of his things. I used to joke that things needed to be stapled to him in order for him not to lose them. It was eventually explained to me, that it isn’t because he doesn’t care about his stuff. He does. He has the thought to put the sweater in his school bag, or to put the lunchbox back in the locker, just on his way there he had 143 other thoughts that totally sidetracked him from the task at hand and he lost focus. Having AD(H)D and learning issues severely impacts his self esteem and it’s a tough job to keep him focused and feeling good about himself.

He is different from my other kids, in that he needs a different part of me, but then again they all do. When you start raising your kids you have this idea of the type of parent you will be. You don’t think that each child will need something different from you, that each child has to be parented as a separate entity. That what works with one son, will not necessarily work with a younger sibling. I now believe parenting needs to be tailored to the child not the parent.

If one of my non-ADHD kids loses something, or messes up in school, I feel differently. For them, sometimes, it’s sheer carelessness, or laziness or just plain obnoxiousness. To them I am sure it seems that their ADHD brother gets away with a lot. It’s tough to explain to them, in a way that they will understand, that his brain processes things differently. That if I lose my temper with him and tell him I am angry at what he did, that he will take that as if EVERYTHING he does is wrong, that I think he is stupid and useless and worthless. I have to be extra mindful of the way I talk to him, so that even if he did lose his house key, for example, he needs to know he was wrong, but it doesn’t have to be this huge deal where everyone over-reacts. I have to balance the lesson and the consequence with love and acceptance of who he is. But then again, isn’t that what we need to do with every child?

I was thinking about this the other day. I was so convinced (especially also having been told by others that I let him walk all over me) that I parent him with kid gloves, and am more tough with the others, so I decided to try to observe my own parenting based on each child.

My findings: I am more gentle with him, but I don’t let him have a free pass. He does get disciplined and doesn’t get away with things. His consequences might, however, be different than if another brother had committed the same “crime”. If I ask the others to complete a list of tasks, I am more apt to nag at them to get finished. If I assign the same tasks to him I know I have to remind him step by step what he needs to be doing, so I am more patient. The others have no problem with remaining focused on the task at hand. He gets sidetracked so easily, even when medicated (which is a story in and of itself).

No one warns you when you are pregnant that parenting is a tough gig. That you will doubt yourself at so many points along the way. That if your child has special needs that you will blame yourself and want to give that child the essence of your own soul to make up for his challenges. No one explains what the feeling is like to watch your babies grow up and become real and good people because of the care you have nurtured in them. No one adequately explains the emotional roller coaster that parenting is.

This parenthood thing – it’s so awe inspiring and scary and just plain wonderful. I am so blessed to be mommy to these 4 boys and to see their individual characters develop and grow. I hope and pray that God continues to help me to give them all that they need, and to be the best Ima I could hope to be.

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