Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Make your Kids Stay in Bed

So, as you know, my kids are horrrrrrrrrible about staying in their beds at night.  "Mom, I'm hungry."  "Mom, I'm thirsty."  "Mom, there's a bug in my room."  "Mom, I'm scared."  Onandonandon.  I made some bedtime charts for them a couple of months ago.  If they stay in their room from bedtime on and don't come out and bug me, they get a smiley face.  Once they get 30 smiley faces, they can get a toy.  Micah reached his 30 smileys last week and Sadie reached her 30 smileys this week.  Don't think that means they're doing well.  This is out of, like, 60 nights.  I doubt Dylan will ever reach his 30 smileys.  For reals. 

Anywho, yesterday was a really, really awful day, especially with Micah.  I swear some it okay to love your child, but not like him very much sometimes?  I hope so. Because that's how I feel about him sometimes.  He is angry and sad and screaming and crying and yelling and hitting people ALL DAY LONG.  I realized last week that he is maybe happy only five minutes out of every 24 hours.  I'm not exaggerating.

So yeah, yesterday was rough.  My nerves were shot and it was taking every ounce of self control I had not to punch Micah in the face.  Adding to my stress was the fact that Ben had been in Xian for a week and I had only talked to him once during that whole time.  I find that I do better if I can talk to Ben every night.  If I don't get that time with him, I really struggle.  I just need his emotional strength.  He was unable to connect to the internet in Xian, so...I just didn't hear from him.

I tried texting him a couple of times and got nada back.  And then I started to freak out.  I was like, "He got abducted.  He was kidnapped by North Koreans and forced to teach English in North Korea like my friend's friend's brother."  (That's actually a true story.)  And then I was like, "Maybe some little Chinese woman seduced him."  I know.  Really dumb and very unlikely scenarios.  I trust Ben implicitly.  I was just in a really bad place yesterday.

So finally, I got a skype call from Ben last night. The kids were still up and around and screaming and hitting each other and slamming the crap out of the printer cover flappy thingey (Gage's specialty), and I was trying to talk to him about how hard of a day I was having and how I truly don't think I can do this clear until November.  And he was doing the typical Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus thing and trying to fix it.  "Well, how can we solve this?  I could come home early.  But then I'd probably lose my job.  You don't want me to lose my job, do you?"  And the things he was saying really weren't doing it for me.  I needed validation, not fixing.  I know there isn't a dadblamed thing we can do about this situation.  It is what it is.  I just needed him to say, "Dang, that sucks, Kar. I'm so sorry."

Isn't that really all we need, ladies?

So anyways, our conversation wasn't the happiest.  We didn't hang up on the greatest of notes.  It's hard to have a long-distance relationship.  Skyping is a great improvement over what couples have had to deal with in the past, but still.  Nothing beats working through things face to face.  And hugging each other.  And being there for each other.  Like, in the same room.  It's hard to work through difficult emotions when all I can see of him are a fuzzy peach ball for his face and a fuzzy grey square for his shirt.  And we usually only get to talk while he's at work and other guys are in the office with him.  Not the best time for working through deep emotional issues, you know?

So we hung up, I got the kids into bed, and then I sat at my computer and just sobbed.  Hard.  For like an hour.  My stomach muscles were actually hurting.  (But maybe that's actually from my Insanity workouts.  I'm on month two, and seriously, the human body isn't meant to do these things.  Especially when a certain human body I know of has had four kids, is 30 pounds overweight, and is 35 years old...)

Of course, Sadie came out to ask for some water or food or whatever the hell else, and she saw me and stopped right in her tracks.  Her eyes widened, and she tiptoed back out of the room, backwards.  Same scenario happened with Dylan, and then Micah.

My kids don't see me cry that often.  It's a side effect of my anti-depressants.  You do still experience emotions, but you just don't cry as often.  I remember when my Grandma died, and at her funeral, I didn't even shed one tear.  My dad said, "Wow, Kar, you're a rock." "No," I said, "It's just the anti-depressants."  And sometimes I miss crying a little more often, because it provides such a big release of pent-up frustration.  But I think that not crying enough is better than crying every five seconds, which is what I do when I'm not on my pills, soooooo.....

After each of the three oldest saw me in my Pit of Despair, none of them came out EVER AGAIN.  For the rest of the night!  It was a miracle.

So I cried for a good hour, and then my adorable friend skyped me and completely cheered me up, and then my adorable Ben re-skyped me, and by then, I was doing much better.  And Ben and I talked through our feelings and both felt much better about it.  Laaaa.

For reals, though, maybe I should bone up on my acting skills and get my cry on at bedtime more often.  It was so luxurious not to have to deal with my psycho children clear until they (and I) collapse with exhaustion at midnight.  Or maybe I can do that trick I used to have to do in high school drama, where you put Vicks Vapo Rub under your tear ducts and just let the tears flow, and screw up your face as if you're crying.

Oh, and P.S.  I called a child psychologist today and got Micah an appointment to get tested for anxiety and depression.  I truly think there is something deeper happening with him than the usual four-year-old stuff.  When a kid is never, ever, ever happy.... I don't know.  Anxiety and depression run in my family, so I just need to see if this is what we're dealing with here.  He goes in next week.  I'm interested and hopeful to see what they find out.  If there is something we can do to help him be happier, I'm all for it.  Something's got to give.  Sometimes it feels as if he's single-handedly destroying our family.  So, I'll let you know how that goes.

Oh, and P.P.S.  Micah barfed in his bed not once, but twice in the middle of the night last night.  Try not to be jealous of me.


Kyle and Shelly said...

Dude, Kar, that was a royally crappy day. Hey at least you didn't throw a vacuum at Ben when he tried to "fix" things. Ask Kyle, true story, had to go buy a new vacuum the next day. Hugs!

Aprillium said...

Holy crappola, yes, Hard!!!

You had a right to get it out and cry. I'm glad you were able to.

Glad you got an appt for Micah too... I really really really hope it helps!

Lyndsay said...

Can I just say, "Amen!" to your validation comment! Sometimes I have to start a conversation with my husband saying - Don't try to fix this, just listen! Thankfully I have a friend that I can call and complain to and she gets it, just listens and agrees with me! If you ever need to vent, you can call me!!

Lyndsay said...

Okay, now for the rest of your post - hang in there, Kar! You can do it! I'm so sorry you are having to deal with everything by yourself right now, including a puking kid on top of everything else! And, I'm gald you listened to your gut and scheduled Micah an appointment, even if everything comes out "normal" at least you'll know you're doing all you can for your kids. You're awesome!

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