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Just The Way You Are

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I started writing this post yesterday while I waited for Connor at his social skills playgroup.  My intention was to finish it that evening.  But things went very, very wrong, and I.  Lost.  My.  Shit.

It started with theft.  Hubs picked up Connor from school, and he had a mini skateboard toy that wasn’t his.  His behavior did not earn him any prizes, so he snatched someone else’s.  Nice.  We’ll be doing the walk of shame in the morning as I have him confess to the teacher and return it.

After work, I took him to his playgroup.  At the end of playgroup, the kids all come out to the waiting area.  Connor made a beeline for the ottoman where toys are stored for kids that are waiting.  He threw it open and started digging.  I said, “hey kiddo, we’ve got to get going so we can have dinner.”

Nothing.  Completely ignored.  I moved next to him and tried again.  “Connor, we don’t have time to play, we’ve got to go.”

He continues rummaging through the toys. 

So now I take hold of his arm, firmly but gently, to guide him away from the ottoman, per ABA.  He starts flailing and pulls his arm away, then runs down the hallway.  Why are these parents just staring at me?  Assholes.

I stand where he can see me, and I point to the ottoman (so he can put the toys away and close it).  He comes back, pissed, and puts the toys in there and slams the lid down.  Out we go to the car.

As I’m buckling up, he pulls something from the back of his pants and says, “look at this.”  It’s a small toy car. 

“Where did that come from?”  He points toward the office.  Fuck!

Back in we go so he can return it, and the behavior therapist reminds him that the toys stay there.  Fine.  Great.  Back to the car.  My nerves are wearing thin at this point.

On the way home I need to stop at Walgreens.  I tell Connor this, and ask if he can have good behavior in the store while I get only one thing.  He assures me that he can.  And I believed him.  My bad.

I manage to get the item and navigate to the register.  He’s doing just fine.  As I begin using the pin pad, I see his hand up on the counter grabbing hold of the scanner doo-hickey.  It has those cool, red laser lights, so I don’t blame him.  I calmly tell him, “no, we can’t touch those things, we can get in trouble.” 

I repeat it again.  He pulls his hand back.  As I resume my transaction, his hand shoots in front of me and starts pushing buttons on the pin pad.  So I take hold of his hand, and continue my transaction with my left hand.

He proceeds to pull and flail and freak out.  I hold on tightly.  Fuck, now the Walgreens people are staring at me.  Kill me.

I march him out to the car, open the door, and get him inside.  As I get in the driver’s seat, I’m abruptly hit twice from the back.  Per ABA, I am not supposed to give any attention for this.

But people, this is when it happens.  I.  Lose.  My.  Shit.


As I buckle up and start the car, I begin bawling my fool head off.  For the life of me, I don’t know how I drove home, because my crying was hysterical.  Capone was silent in the backseat.  And all I could think in my head is nothing is working, the therapies, the playgroup, nothing.  Nothing we do is making things better.  And now he’s stealing.  He’s going to end up in jail when he’s older if this is how things are at five.

I tell you, I was in a bad place.  Home and into the house.  All my poor hubby sees is me crying and babbling like a lunatic.  I go directly to my room, into the walk-in closet, and collapse in a heap on the floor. 

Hubby fed the boy, got him in the shower, and ready for bed…with no story.  Take that!!  Of course, Connor kept saying he was sorry, and he would never hit me again.  Uh huh, heard that before.

But I’m better today.  Really, I swear.  Still stressed and worried, but back in the fight.  There’s really no choice, although a three-day “rest” at the asylum sounds strangely relaxing…a nice Thorazine buzz, a little nappy-nap, some mashed potatoes and jello for dinner.

Whoa, I was daydreaming again.  Sorry.

And then there’s this.  This, that I started writing while he was still in the playgroup.  This, that happened on the way to the playgroup.

Connor’s favorite song currently is Just the Way You Are, by Bruno Mars.  When it comes on the radio in the car, he sings his heart out.  The irony of it is not lost on me.

I have that song on my Ipod and Droid.  Even though I’m sick to death of  it, I listen to it often.  When I’m feeling down, when progress feels painfully slow, or worse, non-existent, I listen.

Today he threw his pants away in the bathroom at school.  Since stopping the stimulant, he is having a lot of accidents.  Husband was perturbed about the pants because, let’s face it, money doesn’t grow on trees.    But I knew why he did it, despite the fact he said he did it by accident and “forgot.”  He was embarrassed.

I didn’t make a big deal, just asked him to try to fold them up and stuff them in his backpack next time.

Bruno fucking Mars was no help to me in that closet.  Strangely, it was a different song that cheered me the next day.  Driving home from work, the song “Ride Wit Me”, by Nelly came on, and my ten-year-old Saturn was bumpin’.  What a gi-normous dork I am.

I’m not much of a rap fan (Pink is more my speed), but this song picks me up.  Go ahead, listen to it the next time you’re having a bad day.  And when you’re “smokin an L in the back of the benzie”, you might see me there too.  (it’s just a metaphor, people)

Yes, yes Nelly I DO want to come and take a ride wit you.


About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

5 responses »

  1. Aw, hon you had a shitty horrible day. I so wish we could phone each other at times like these or at least live close enough to get a cup of coffee after we get all cleaned up. (((Hugs)))

    I’ve had days like that and you just can’t handle it any more. Those are the days where I beg for night to fall so I (screw the kids) can go to bed and forget the day even happened.

    The songs they choose are ironic, arn’t they?

    Hugs to you and I hope today is a little better and he keeps those little stickey fingers to himself. 😉

  2. God, I’ve been there with that kind of day! (A lot) It sucks. I know the fingers on the pin pad so well and the fits that occur if you take them off. My son had a meltdown last night started out trying to be understanding… moved to silence so I wouldn’t lose my shit… then I lost my shit. We all go thru it. You are not alone! I wish our nerves did not have to get so frayed. And trust me to remember that we are all giving those people who stare at you when it happens – a virtual kick in the ass from us! (Hope you’ve got my back on that one too)! ((Hugs))

  3. I love that song!! So easy going and nice. Hell yeah, I’ll ride!! **lol**

    I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time… But I think you did really well on keeping it together and going into your closet and stuff. At least you didn’t scream or shout or really lose your cool in a bad way. And I’m sure you are getting through to him. Even if it’s ever so slowly, ever so imperceptibly, soon you’ll suddenly realized you turned a corner. I’m sure of it. Hang in there!!

  4. I know there is really nothing I can say to make you feel better. I can sympathize, though I cannot completely understand. Even though I so wish these kind days didn’t exist for you. If it means anything, I think you are doing a great job! YOU. ARE. A. GOOD. PARENT. ❤

    So, on a lighter note…

    Thank friggin' God for walk-in-closets!!! Can you imagine if you had a tiny little closet with no floor space? Then what?! Perhaps you could invest in a little mini fridge and small table lamp to put in there. I think walk-in-closets are the perfect place to hide out and take a moment away.

    Hope today was better. Love you!

  5. That song came on as I was *almost* late to work this week. Turned my attitude right around! Heck yeah, first class, sittin’ next to Vanna White!


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