As he uttered those 5 words, chills ran down my spine...
This is "E speak" for I want to spend my allowance, to which I am not entitled until I get the money from the After School Matters program to pay for the TV I broke on February 2 which my Mom paid to replace even though she really didn't want to, until she had the money in hand. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will understand this. If you are not, you can catch up by reading this blog post.
My adopted son has called me "Mummy" since he could talk due to the fact that my husband is a native Brit. At age 14 1/2, my son still calls me that and I really like it. But, since my husband, Martin, is virtually computer illiterate...I am not kidding, here...any purchases that involve computer use is my domain.
We adopted our son at 2 days old, but he has demonstrated all the signs of trauma his entire life; lying, stealing, hoarding, aggression, and what we describe as "filling the void that can never be filled" which is the loss of his birthmother. He tries to fill that void with stuff; food ... which we have to hide, otherwise he would eat it all. After food comes the useless stuff. Stuff that he looses interest in within 48 hours. My house is packed with this stuff and he wouldn't let us throw any of it away. We still have books, toys, games and tchatchkes that he started acquiring when he was 3 years old. We once found a cigarette butt in his pocket. The only good thing that came out of the "Flood of 2014" where our basement flooded was that many of his "treasures," which were stored in the basement and which we schlepped from one apartment to another before we finally bought a house, got wet...as in dripping wet... and had to be tossed away. Woo hoo!
Anybody remember Zhu Zhu Pets? I went to Target during an ice storm one winter's evening to buy my son one of these because he was freaking out that he had to have another one. We still have them!!!
Not all adopted kiddos respond that way but many do. My son acts like a kid who has been in several different foster homes; never sure where his next meal is coming from or if he will be abandoned by us. It's often hard to explain to people who don't get it. Hell, we didn't get it for a long time. According to many adoption experts, any child who is adopted suffers with trauma...the loss of his birthmother. This is a REALLY BIG DEAL for a lot of adoptees.
So, when I hear "Mummy, can I buy this?" you can bet that he is feeling the need to "fill that void." I have to remember this whenever I overreact, as I did yesterday. Because, we have been dealing with this for over a decade. And the thing that he thought he "needed" was a movie that he just saw for free last week and which he can watch for free on Netflix, but yesterday, apparently, he just "NEEDED" to buy this movie for $9.99. He wanted to spend his money on an unnecessary expense, not to mention putting me through the rigamaroll of putting my credit card number in my Paypal account which involves locating my "Password Book" which I hide from him. Oh, yeah. We have to hide A LOT of things from him. Then, we can't remember where the fuck we put it...stress does a number on your short time memory...not to mention the fact that I will be 61 in a few months. Now, what was I saying? Ba dum dum...try the veal, I'll be here to Thursday.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart and parenting a newborn at age 46...I'll let you fill in the blank...Gotta keep one's sense of humor...and a bottle of Scotch, some weed, whatever gets you through the night. Amirite or amirite?
Anywho, it got kinda ugly when I refused to buy aforementioned "void filler" for my son. He was not happy with my response which was to tell him that I didn't want to buy him this movie. He got angry and went into his room and slammed the door. As you can imagine, watching a 14 year old who is 5' 7" and a big kid having a tantrum is not a good time and is quite depressing since he tells me over and over again that "this tantrum will be his last. Ever. No, really." He really believes that and I REALLY want to believe that. I NEED to hold onto that thought because otherwise, I would lose all hope.
I had always felt so powerless when my son had tantrums. But, I just recently realized the way to handle this type of situation. I leave the house. Because, more than anything, my son wants to be with me, physically, and if I make it clear to him, that if he can't respect me, then I won't be available...well, it has quite a very salutary effect.
So, yay for me. It has only taken me 13 years to get to this point. Better late than never...eh?
I would love to hear from other adoptive parents about your kiddos. Does this sound familiar? How do you handle your child's challenges?
If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read this one about our trip to see a periodontist
The paltry choice of Medicaid providers has not improved with Obamacare
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