Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Yay me!"

 To avoid “The Great Blog Jinx” of spilling the “good news beans” and then it all turn to a Crapola-Casserole, I have waited to share the “Yay Me” poohba.

The newest tool in Chatters tool box. My husband aka “Counselor Bob” whom is a therapist …has in fact been using this little gem he picked up from me for a couple of months now with clients, and guess what? It is working . He is getting feedback from other parents.
That.Makes.Me Smile…and want some founders fees…or at least a night out with the girls.
Hey I am all about equal opportunity over here.

So are you ready? Cause it is short…you might miss it…

Chatter goes on “anger hunts”….she constantly is actively looking for reasons to be mad. Almost like she needs to constantly justify how CRAPPY she feels all of the time on something, anything to be hands down pissed off about.

In one day:
  • She could be MAD that I woke someone else up first.
  •  She could be MAD that I asked her to eat before getting dressed.
  • She could be MAD that her bowl was green and not pink.
  • She could be MAD that her sister ‘might’ have gotten more milk in her cereal.
  • She could be MAD that her favorite dress is in the wash and she has to wear something else.

That was the first 20 minutes of everyday, and second by second, minute  by every-lovin’ minute this girl WAS MAD.

There were days I would want to roll my eyes…”You have GOT to be kidding me KID, freak-n-A…get OVER yourself friend!"

Then I realized, she had no idea, HOW to look for good. The kid has NO skills in the Gratitude and Happiness department. Nada.

So one day when we were in a giant pitty party over chicken nuggets…I joked , “well at least they aren’t POOP NUGGETS, cause then you would be all “YAY ME, I don’t have the biggest POOP NUGGETS TO EAT, Scooby does.”
Note: she is eight....poop is hilarious.
She cracked a smile,and I took that as lee-way for more…so I had her yell:
“YAY ME , I didn’t eat POOP NUGGETS.”

Then we started to break down the MAD moments…and finding real, or silly “yay me” moments.
MAD: Peanut-butter is having a play date…and I am NOT.
YAY ME: “I can ask Mom to play a puzzle with me and we will still have fun, YAY ME.”
MAD: I wanted to have the chocolate Doughnut, dude got first.
YAY ME:  I still get to have a doughnut and they are yummy, YAY ME.”

I could give you thousands of daily “yay me” moments…but what is the fun in that… chica go find your own.

We all cognitively need to learn better ways to process our thought patterns, our kiddo’s from rough places never learned how, they just know how to react.

We first started with verbally doing “yay me’s” .
We would then clap for ourselves…
Like I literally say “give yourself a clap”, and they do.
Then we kiss our brains…smooching our hands and planting em on our noggins…try kissing your own brain, it’s fantastic.

Now I can suggest a “brain” or “Quiet yay me”…and she will smile and say “I did it.”
This simple cognitive model has helped her so very much in the processing of constant negativity, into finding good things in small moments.

I am so very, very proud of her.
“Yay me.”

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bullying: a different perspective

Last Thursday my 8 year old son was bullied. In fact he was physically and emotionally assaulted. He is a type 1 diabetic, and as far as I can gather, he was going to the bathroom when a child thought what he saw peeking out of Scooby’s pocket was a game-boy, or a cell phone….
Really it was his Insulin pump that is physically attached to his body via tubing and a small rubber like needle that distributes his Insulin.
The kid asked “whats that”
Being embarrassed my son answered “Nothing.”

And then the child proceeded to grab the pump, rip it off my sons body and run into a stall and lock it. Where he began pushing buttons and ripping the tubing.
Scoobs knowing that his pump saves his life, and took us 3 very long years to afford was panic stricken, begging the child to give it back, pounding on the door.
The child then threw the pump up and it smashed into the ceiling, Scoobs luckily caught it on the other side.
Wanting to get away, and get help, he went to run, as he did the child grabbed Scoobs hoodie from behind pulling it back hard, and choking him in the process.

When I got the phone call, as any Mother bear would be, I was out raged. My eyes saw red. I wanted to swoop in and defend my baby. I wanted punishments and consequences as harsh as possible…and then the first half hour passed, and I began to process the situation. Knowing Scoobs would have HUGE FEELINGS over such a violation, I had to be prepared for how he would feel, how he may act out, and just move time to be there, listen, validate and hold him.

He hadn’t been able to identify his assailant because with Sensory Processing Disorder, he isn’t good with faces, all he could remember was that the kid had a gray sweatshirt on…it took the principle reviewing hallway video tape to figure it out.

He came home, Dad had picked him up, and he had held it together in the car the whole way home, once he got home, the moment he saw me, he collapsed in my arms sobbing, he hiccupped the whole story as best as he could. He had been terrified. He is always afraid of being choked so that part of it had deeply impacted. Most of all he was worried about not having a pump anymore and having to go back to shots. He sobbed and I rocked him The next day we planned swimming lessons and outside time.

He has been angry, he has been weepy, he has been overly sensitive, We have spent hours rocking in my chair. Throwing eggs. Tromping around in the snow….

and I am sure what your next question is….WELL? WHAT happened to the Bully?
Well ……….
Here’s the thing……
As ANGRY, and OUT RAGED, SICK, and so very SAD that this had happened to my vulnerable little boy, I had questions…who is this kid?
Have his parents taught him better?
Did some entitled, overly indulged brat hurt my son?...
has this child, the one that hurt my son so deeply, scared him so very much, could this child be hurting and scared too?

……so many dear friends offered advice, called with expertise, so much GOOD and HELPFUL stuff. There were so many ways for this to go, so many battles and wars I could have begun, filing police reports, calling the district….but  I took a breath and decided to gather more, listen more, figure out more…put the torch and pitch fork down and make some lists of what I wanted to see, what I needed to know, and most of all what would help my son heal….
I didn’t want to engage a battle when my energy needed to be here listening and rocking and being present for Scooby

The principle being an adoptive mother herself and VERY good about understanding special needs, asked what I needed, most of all what my son needed….I wanted her to take both boys in her office and get the whole, true story.
Then call me.
After Scoobs story was validated, I wanted the other Mother to know, and help come up with consequences and retribution. I crossed my fingers she was the type to own up to her childs behavior instead of rationalize it away.

The principle called and told me, “you are going to love this Mom, she wants as many consequences as possible, she wants her son to learn a strong enough lesson, to not do this again. As well as she informed me this little guy was also in fact and older adopted child…..gasp.

The child that hurt and bullied my son was an older adopted child.

Keeping your self in check Linds?
Talk about a swift slap –o- reality, right in the kisser.

Today I sat in the Principles office, next to another Mother doing her best to parent a sibling group adopted out of Foster care. We laughed, we spoke honestly, we shared hurts and concerns, tools and recourses. We agreed on consequences. …We had first had her son come in. I first spoke to him. His sad, beautifully eyelashed eyes looked deep and dark and sad…but most of all afraid.  He was so afraid I was going to be mad…he told his Mom he was afraid I might punch him in the face for hurting my son.
As I gently spoke to him, about Scoobs needing to feel safe, how Scoobs might have felt..I began to see the disconnect , I so often see in my own childs eyes when things get too heavy….and my heart lurched and I just wanted to make things O.K. for him….

Next Scoobs was called in. He was apologized to, they decided that after the destroyed medical stuff was worked off, that this little guy would also find ways to do service for my son. The plan is the next snow, this child will come to my home and shovel the white stuff, which is primarily Scoobs chore.
After some effort and chance to work off his debt, Scooby will join him and help complete the jobs

 Today I saw the world again through a different perspective. If I hadn’t been parenting little bruised hearts and broken brains for so long, I may have missed the opportunity for healing and just wanted self-righteous vengeance for my son…that’s the thing, Bulling, is NEVER O.K. but it is not as black and white as that. Never is. We are all flawed, we all have deep dark hurts, but children from the darkest places, the biggest hurts…they give what they got, and though they need to learn how to make better choices, they also need mercy and love.

I am so sad my son was once again hurt. I am so grateful he sought my arms in comfort.
I am so very sad the boy who hurt my son was hurt so deeply, that his behavior spoke so completely of his pain. I am so grateful I had the life experience to pause, listen and be apart of a whole healing learning experience.
I Hate Bullying….but I love the Bully.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Embracing the Season & Gift Ideas

So “It’s that time of year when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say”….

HOLY CRAP BATMAN….It’s a season of rages, insecurities, loss, and anxiety…..


NO that’s not the song the  Carpenters originally wrote, but they should have.
With all of the shopping and baking, we so desperately want to enjoy it, finding that peace this season used to mean to us, before the Drama of Trauma .
It’s O.K. that we miss Pre-Crazy lives, those traditions , and how the holidays worked then. Facebook does this nifty/annoying thing where it posts pictures of albums in the past…this one came up yesterday, and so many people “liked it” and commented on it…and I responded with “Though that was only three years ago, it feels like a lifetime ago.” …..and it does.

This year we hiked the mountains with eight children, and found our tree. It was fun, I had to do soooo very much more planning to pull it off. I had to be prepared for triggers and whining and people being mad that others were walking faster, or being closer to Mom, or what color the sky, and snow and their boots were, whatever. I had to have “special jobs” for everyone. I had to have pockets full of treats to remind them to “be sweet”…but we did it, and it.was.awesome.


I believe. I believe the holidays can be awesome. They also are VERY hard, and we need to take the long way. There are things I have to give up along the road,yet, those things I have had to sacrifice for my children and family, have been replaced by really important things..that I wouldn’t change.

*Parties are Out/ Reading a New Christmas Book and Creating something together is IN.
*Putting out Breakable Family Heirlooms OUT/ Handmaking Ornaments and Decorations is IN.
* Traveling to Family members houses OUT/ Snuggling in and making it our own, IN
* Shopping together as a Family OUT/Randomly Shoveling peoples driveways all sneaky like,IN
*Visting Santa at the Mall, OUT, Drawing names and doing secret elves for each other, IN.

There is very little I feel we have lost.
There is so much of the heart of the season we have regained by making our worlds smaller and concentrating on what is Important.

Next come the gifts.
There is nothing left from the gifts/toys that my children received last year. NOTHING…everything was broken, destroyed, buried in the backyard, or thrown away.
I have now taken inventory and realize what does last in my home, what my children do value, and semi take care of…what not only will they LOVE, but what will help them HEAL.

So here goes my idea list for Christmas 2011:

Bean Bags, $17, from Walmart. They come in a variety of different colors…infact I ordered 10 sight to store and shipping was free. My kids are like the mighty morphine power rangers…they each have their own assigned color, for plates, bowls, toothbrushes…. AND NOW BEANBAGS…
This is what Santa will be bringing them, with a book of choice, and a matching snuggly blanky.
Sensory wise, these are a no brainer…Bean Bags simulate being in the Womb, they are soothing.

 If I hadn’t made these for my kids birthdays, I would be including them in their Christmas wish list, so I thought I would share, Weighted Pillow Pets.
My kids LOVE theirs….like LOVE, and sleep with them every night. Dude stems when he can’t sleep. Every night before he goes to bed after kisses and tuck-ins, he asks “You put Numb-Nums on me?”…(Numb-Nums is the name of his dinosaur Pillow-Pet)
We have found even in the middle of the night when I can hear him rocking back and forth, simply laying him back down, tucking him in, and laying “Numb-numbs” on him, he goes right back to sleep.

Here is how you make these not-so-little guys.
Buy a Pillow pet, or a stuffed animal that can lay flat across a lap, or on a sleeping chest.
I am cheap and bought most of mine at T.J. Maxx, or Ross for $7.99-$12.99
Here they are:

 Next I find a seam, on the side or Bottom and I seam rip it open about six inches long.

 Then I take STRONG Gallon Baggies and fill them with rice,noodles or beans…I get the rice or beans at the $1 store, or somewhere cheap since they won’t be being consumed.  I fill two bags to the same weight, each containing half the weight for the intended pet.
Depending on the child, recommended appropriate weights are: Suggested weight is 10% of their body weight plus 1 pound.
Example Dude weighs 25 pounds. So we made Numb-numbs 3.4 pounds.

After filling I get all of the air out before sealing them…then I double bag them.
Slowly pushing the Bags one by one into the body of the stuffed animal guiding them into place. Then with double thread sewing the seam back up…really, really well.
Now you can’t toss theses in the Washing Machine. So if they get Dirty, or let’s be honest peed on (MY KIDS HAVE HAD THESE FOR MONTHS AND NEVE HAVE)
I Soak or Spot clean them with a Vinegar Baking Soda, warm water, Lavender oil solution and leave them on a Warm Air vent to dry.
                                                            Love at First hug.....

Another idea: Mini Trampolines, again Wally World or Sears have GREAT inexpensive options in there fitness departments, generally running around $25.00. We own three, and they are used everyday in the winter.
I use them to get energy, angry bugs, and anxiety out. …LOVE THEM.

Make them Hula Hoops…really. My friend “Lisa the Amazing”…wrote this incredible post about why Hula-Hoops are so healing…and just like in the Chipmunks song …your children would truly benefit form this simple, FUN toy! Here is a link in how to make them.

Some other items on my shopping list are:
Blocks, Blocks and more BLOCKS….my children LOVE blocks and I have them out all of the time, Legos, Stacking blocks…the worlds they create while building dexterity and fine motor skills is vital for their brains.
Here and here are the ones we are looking at.

Also Melissa and Doug have AWESOME things for children’s brains:
These are all items I have bought for my kids this year for Christmas, or items we already have and have lasted, because my kids LOVE them.

Melissa and Doug are NOT paying me for my blatant brand representation…though; I would so be cool if they would. ;) This single puzzle is one of my kids ALL time favorite thing to play with ....we have bought two now, just because they play with it so much.

Anywho. I guess what I am saying in all of this, is…Instead of fighting this season. One that I sappily LOVE with all of my heart. I am morphing into learning to love it in new different very special ways. I am slowing down, enjoying the moments and not letting the hustle, the commercialism be part of our Season.Though there will be mini, or massive blow outs…there also will be priceless, healing moments of simple joy and love.  Letting be what is, embracing the real,just being us, being in the moment, letting my beautiful children be exactly who they my Christmas card picture? We are what we are..and what we are is CRAZY BEAUTIFUL!
 "It's that time of year when the World Falls in LOVE."

Cause the Carpenters said so.


I believe. I believe. I believe.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My kiddo's first Christmas Present:...

....O.K. it's mine too...

Dear Educator,
Thank you so much for teaching my child. I am so grateful for all of your work. The leniency and understanding you have shown while working with my special needs child.
You are such an intricate part in their healing and helping form the person they will be. For that I and my husband are exceedingly grateful.
We continue to being devoted to you and your classroom, and when we have opportunity love to help, enhance and support you and your class whenever we can. Please continue to ask, and we will continue to do what we can, when we can.

As the holidays have arrived so has more anxiety, more difficulty concentrating, more loss and anger and feelings of shame. Imagine how a child of shame feels every time an adult asks “have you been good this year, is Santa bringing you anything”. Many children wiggle under such a question. My son/daughter stays awake at night stewing, worrying, raging, and stressing over these simple things. It is something they can not turn off.

As images of “families” and special times of warm feelings and goodness to all touch all of us so deeply via media and community activities, this season reminds my child, what they lack. Much like looking in a window, watching things from the outside, we are still working and teaching him/her how to get to the other side.

During this season, we are giving our child, no our family a gift. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, we do not do Homework in our home. Call it religious if needs be, we truly want the extra time and energy used for family time, and service. They will be learning, they will be reading, I might even have reports for the to hand in…but, they will not be completing any sent home work, unless they want to.

Thank you for being part of my child’s healing,
Happy Holidays,
The Crapo Family

Monday, November 21, 2011

Screaming into the Wind…..

Sometimes things suck rocks. Most the time things SUCK ROCKS…
I hear it all the time….”How do you do it, or “I don’t know HOW you do it”…these comments are referring to my family, my life, my children…often by people that don’t know the HALF of it. And then there are the people that DO KNOW the half of it…and they ask that too, but secretly they know the answer….”I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA HOW I DO THIS….I JUST DO.”  

and there you have it.

Christine every Monday has been doing a beautiful job using her Mondays talking/writing  about the 12 things Happy people have in common. Even though I LOVE to bust her chops…cause I love her so dern much…I also LOVE that she is doing this….
I have a deep everlasting BELIEF that though we sometimes have very little say in our circumstances , we have a very REAL choice in how we react, and what our attitudes can be in that process.

  Some-days I choose to be happy my jaw aches from the clenching and bearing, some days the weight and the fear,the pure exhaustion of the daily mountain of shame, grief and sorrow, kick my tush into the back of my walk-in- closet for a good cry. Then I CHOOSE to walk out of that closet, wipe my nose, and take that mountain step by every loving step.

Today was therapy day today. It is a day where I am sure my kids therapist feels like some BIG things were accomplished, and after her hour of time and energy is put in…my kids are released back to me. Big Feelings in tow and raw nerve endings hanging right out in the open….I can’t tell you how many-a-melt down we have had right in the parking lot at that darn/blessed office.

Today my little Scoobs had a moment. He has type 1 diabetes, and he had been given candy by the secretary at the office, whom forgets every blinking time, he is diabetic. I prompted him to check his blood sugar, he lied and said he did…and then took off like a bottle rocket, chugging down the candy as fast as he could, out the office door. FABULOUS…
I chased after him, and he buckled into a tight ball refusing to relinquish the candy. On the side walk. In public. Screeching like a banshee/abused child. I LOVE my life, sigh.
I just sat down by him, right down on the side walk and started singing the fist song that came to my mind…”The Candy man song” from Willy Wonka…and I sing poorly.

I was belting that bad boy, while my son/incredible slinky gagged down his pez as fast as he could, while whole families, mothers with children, passed by us on their way into the office…I smiled and just waved them by….
Laughing to myself thinking….I am sure they were thinking “well at least we are not THAT messed up.”….See, I do spread JOY wherever I go.

After the candy was fully consumed, we went through his pockets and found some extra cool tidbits…he sobbed, I hugged….we got in the car….and a block before we got home..I asked who wanted to race?...the boys got out and raced my stop, start vehicle. All the way home.
We got home, got kids down for naps, and revved up for more drama, and anger.
I needed self care, so I proscribed pouting and anger in my rocking chair in my bedroom…so I could rest my achy head cold ridden body on my glorious bed.
He was allowed to tell me how much he hated me, glare, pout and be mad, as LONG as he needed to in that chair.
Twenty minutes into it, I peeked at my little miserable Tiger, and asked if he needed to snuggle. He nodded. For the first time, ever. My Son took a nap with me, inside my arms. I wept , and snuggled and dozed….my heart thumping happily right next to his sweet smelling head. It took us eight very LONG years to get here. For us BOTH to want this.
This joy would not be so sweet, if the hard hadn’t been so DAMN HARD.

I was thinking about what keeps the positive, positive when everything is so CRAP filled.
My answer is God. If you are not religious, it might simply need to be HOPE, since for me, GOD and HOPE are synonymous.
I have to find HOPE every single day. I HAVE to seek it out…chase it, or let it come to me.
Much like the wind on your face, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.
Much like the wind, you can SCREAM into it…and it stays there, still gently blowing and letting you know it is still there, sometimes it is not so gently reminding you it is STILL there…even if you YELL, SCREAM…or just simply stand there and wait for the reminder, it will come.

Sometimes I scream into the wind, because I so desperately need to feel it on my face.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Miracles found in the Moments of HEALING…

A couple of days ago, I posted this little tidbit on my Facebook page:

“Sweet Moment with Cookie today....
I have a habit, whenever I see someone standing outside with a sign as I go into a grocery store...I always buy an extra bag of bread and jar of peanut butter....That way on my drive out of the parking lot, I can slow down and give this person, whomever they may, that may last a day, or two...many will say, giving homeless or needy people cash, "they will just buy drugs or alcohol", maybe, but they are also HUNGRY, soo many of our nations homeless people in this country are suffering from being mentally ill, and there are no today when I slowed down and handed the food out my window...the van got very quiet.
Cookie had a tear trickling down his cheek....I asked him "what he was feeling", and he(this sweet little boy who knows what true hunger is) said...."Mama, he was cold and hungry, and you gave him something to eat and even if his coat is dirty we still can be friends, and if we all do that for everybody's, than not everybody's gonna be hungry and sad no more."
Amen Baby Boy.”

You see that was only part of the story. As many people were kind and commented on my parenting, my heart, I was not fishing for those compliments. This is just something I do and have ALAWAYS done, as it was taught to me as a small child. FEED Hungry people, I guess I just took it for something that I did…my reason for posting it was my complete JOY, and how very VERY touched I was by Cookies reaction.
You see, Cookie has MASSIVE food issues. He always has. He was known in his Orphnage for wailing for hours until they fed him. Feelings and Food go hand in hand with my little guy. When he first came home Early Spring of 2010, we didn’t go out much. Food would magically appear in the house after he went to bed (thank GOODNESS Walwart was open 24 hours that first year).

The second or third time he had gone to the great Mecca of food (the grocery)….I had bought bread and peanut butter like I always do. And much like I always do, I handed the food out of my car window to a lonely girl holding up a sign, with a little dog, they both looked worse for ware. As she said “God Bless”, I replied “Right back to you Sweetheart”…when a slow steady wail began out of my backseat. I drove a little ways and pulled over, thinking Cookies was hurt, nope, he was dead panicked that I had given food away. POTENTIALLY HIS FOOD..and that was NOT O.K….


This was Cookie, at Two Years old, eating in his crib, in Haiti. How OFTEN I FORGET, WHERE and HOW, and what survival lengths, emotionally and physically my children had to take to make it home to me....

It has been almost 21 months since the kids came home. For months I would have to have identical bags ….so he could hold onto one bag with the P.B. and Bread while I handed one off. Secure in him knowing his bag was still his…After months and months probably 60 shopping trips…as we drove into the parking lot that day, my Sweet little man noticed the man holding the sign and said, “Boy he looks Hungry Mama, we should remember the Peanut butter and Bread.”
So. We. Did.

As I loaded the cart, I waited for him to remind me to get him his bag too…but he didn’t…he was too excited for the hand off. Too excited to fill someone else’s need beside his own. My little boy began in Hungry, Lonely, and very Needy place, survival the only thing that mattered. His hair was orange, I never thought we would be able to get the brown stains of malnutrition and fever from his teeth, nor the constant anxiety and fear about food that were like stones around his heart…
That sweet moment captured so very many things for me.

The foundation we have slowly, painfully, patiently been building. I so often forget and lose hope that anything is getting through and reaching my children from tough places.
....and then they so very generously, reach out and touch and teach and remind me…what love, basic, human love and kindness…can do.

...."Mama, he was cold and hungry, and you gave him something to eat and even if his coat is dirty we still can be friends, and if we all do that for everybody's, than not everybody's gonna be hungry and sad no more."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things that make you go Hmmmm…

..and then want to pull your own hair out
strand by strand,
while driving through Death Valley
and listening to the Chipmunks,
and Justin Beiber, wait,
now that’s just redundant.

I am talking about our kids faulty thinking…
Crazy talk.
Crazy Lying.
Crazy Behavior.
Crazy Belief System….

Frickity, Fracity…C-ARA-ZZZZZZZYYYYY

I should know, I live in this land. The simple sentence “Seriously?...SERIOUSLY?” is now my favorite “say it in my head” saying.

Insert today. We were all buggin’ from a sibling’s birthday. Sabotage was on the Loose….
Church not being an option, croupy coughs rampant, we decided to dance anyway.

We got the kiddo’s dressed and since snow has showed it’s pretty little (unwelcomed) face, we busted out the coat box.

Everyone was suited up and headed towards the van,and Cookie decided to play the “I can’t find it game”
….you know the one where he really knows exactly what he should be doing but wants to control the situation…

“Yeah Buddy”
Deep heart felt sigh, “I can’t find my coat you gave me (three minutes ago) I guess I am going to have to wear my Buzz and Woody Sweatshirt.”

Sing Songy I sung “ Try again”….
And he did , he came out in his two year old brothers coat…..

And I smiled, and sung “Try again”….

And he came out in his Sisters pink with heart shapes all over it Fleece pullover…

NOTE: If it wasn’t sooooo DANG cold I may have just rolled with that, but it was REALLY cold outside.

At this point, Hubbie, called from the Garage “what is taking so dang long, everyone is in the car.”…
and Cookies smile widened.

I marched into the Laundry room, exactly next too his cubby, but thrown on the floor in pure sight was the coat.

I picked it up, Danced and sang and Said, “COOKIE LOOK ! I found it!!! YE-HAW, lets go!”

His face fell, he mumbled under his breath about his Buzz and Woody Jacket…but he put it on and we left…

Four Hours later, we have driven around, looked at mountains, snow, possible new cars, we drove and drove and watched movies in the car.

Kids got hungry and needed to stretch their legs, so we decided to eat at a restaurant.
So we asked to sit far away from other people (Since our kids were sick) and went in.
Ordered, ate, without very little drama…Hubs sat with the boys in a booth, I had the girls in the next one.
Afterward, Hubs took kiddies out to van, while I waited to pay the check.
Diva ran in, remembering she forgot her jacket…Tragedy averted.

We drove the 1 ½ home, everyone’s in good spirits, very little bickering…close enough to bedtime, to land home, jammie-up the shorties, brush some teeth and catapult them into dreamland.

Five minutes into “Operation Bedtime” ….Cookie comes to me with a hand covering his mouth in a enormous smile.
“Um Mommmm…”

“Yep Bud”

“Ummm, welllll, I kinda left my new Coat ($50 Costco coat) at the restaurant…on accident, so I guess (Hand now totally covering an eating crap kinda grin)…I will have to wear my Buzz and Woody Sweatshirt.”
A confident little boy puts both hands on his hips as he shrugs his shoulders in an Innocent “Oh well” gesture…

This is where the “Seriously, SERIOUSLY”…gets screamed in my head.

I had to sit in silence for a minute , grid my teeth, and try NOT to lose it…and also NOT play into the game, and also NOT let him think the B.S. he just pulled and the fact that he left a perfectly GOOD, WARM coat in a freaking Chili’s 1 ½ hours away….didn’t bother me.

I was not successful.
Like Epic Failure.
I yelled, and put my hands up in the air…and was MAD.

Then I sent him to bed…..

Later (like 10 minutes, I pulled my own stuff together) realizing a Coat, wasn’t as important as he is…and went to do some repairs. The natural thing is, he doesn’t have a coat anymore. The Buzz and Woody Sweatshirt, will not last him long in this weather.
He most likely will need to earn the money to buy a new Coat,what a bummer.

My calm question, was answered
(my favorite it thing to ask my kids in retrospect, so they have the power and control to analyze their behavior, and the outcome of their choices made.”

”Did this work for you.”

“No Mom, it didn’t…now I don’t have a warm coat.”

Did you think Mommy was being mean to you by having you wear the warm coat?”

“Yes, I left and lost my new one, because I was mad at you for not letting me wear Buzz and Woody.”

"Did it work for you?”


Still, we don’t have a coat, and still I want to pull my hair out….

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Forgive yourself everyday….

Every hour, every minute, every second if needs be.
Because what you are doing, is SUPER HUMAN…

Heck Super Hero’s wouldn’t put up with the Crap we, do….they would be all…
“I am so over this Green Lantern…that kid ate through Spidy’s web…and check it out Captain America…that cape is soaked in Urine.”….men, sheesh…. Such wannies.

Seriously. There are nights (like this) I lay awake and break down my day, regret, ways I could have done things better, moments I pray I didn’t regress there trauma…and there are days “I so totally rocked it dude.” I wish I had more days like that.

Please. Please, please PLEASE….know what rock stars you are.

That even if you don’t believe in a God or heaven…there are angels, Spirits…the Universe is cheering on the kind of healing you are doing…because what you do while you neglect your home, your friendships, the PTA, the CEO…or whomever you used to try to impress, you are changing the world. You are changing the fate of generations to come….You are stopping a cycle. At least we are trying to. Right?

We might lose some along the way. It will hurt and feel like failure, but it isn’t.
Know that deep down in your hearts Mama’s that many of us know this pain…we can’t save some of our children. We still have to breath in and out, we still have to get out of bed every morning and know we are warriors. Do Dr.’s save every patient? No. But they keep on healing, and helping and using their strength and knowledge to help those that they can.

They also wonder, what they could have done better, or if another Dr. may have been the answer.
Your child was sent to you, you are the best kind of medicine. No one will do better, help them or heal them more than you. Yet just like a cancer, any kind of Medicine may not be enough. Soul Cancer is so very hard to know the out come, because no one knows how deep it goes in each child.

But we keep on trying, keep on fighting this enormous battle. There are no medals. The wounds and scars we endure, and are invisible. We make enormous mistakes…but we get up the next day and begin again. In that battle Mama’s, forgive. Forgive yourselves completely, Forgive that wounded child that hurts and rejects you so deeply.

Forgive the pain, the disgust , the physical repulsion you have at times toward your child. It. Is. O.K. that we don’t like them. Get sick of the Drama. Want to run away. Scream. Reject, push away, wish they were normal, resent, and miss our old lives…am I missing anything?

It is O.K.

Forgive yourself. You are doing what most would not. Could not. You are doing the best you can. Reach out when your legs, heart and head can’t carry you…that takes strength and bravery too. My dear friend “M” did that today. She phoned a friend and was talked off of a cliff. WE ALL KNOW THOSE CLIFFS AND MOMENTS…and we need to forgive ourselves for them.

Tonight as I run through the day. My kids have been CRAAAAZY.
The havoc and chaos we have faced the last two days leaves my house in shambles, me unshowered, the laundry room looking like a science experiment, yet…I cooked with my kids today. I hooped to M.J. (their favorite) and pulled two kids out of major rages.
No one can see those accomplishments from the outside…no one can understand my inner ache and sleeplessness while I cheerfully walk around Wal-Mart singing and dancing to prevent entitlement arguments with the children shopping with me…

You. Are . Amazing.

Please right now, let go of that inner dull ache that is eating up your heart.

Do it right now.

You are doing the best you can. You are a Wonder Woman. Forgive yourself daily…It’s like putting on a fresh pair of Big Girl Panties..and going out to fight the World.

Fresh, Secure, and Rocking it every step of the way.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Building foundations...

 Sometimes I literally put words in my kids mouths….

It is not out of forse.
It is not out of Control…

It is out of their sheer NEED, of being able to understand, no not just understand , but COMPREHEND life’s interactions, that so many of us take for granted…

You see my children appear to be 2,3,6,6,6,8,8,10 & 18….but they are not.
Nope. On good days my non Nero-Typical kiddo’s act about half their age…the rest of the time, I am raising 6 emotionally unstable two year olds….and I LOVE two year olds, when they are chronologically two. When they are little, the bi-polar irrational selfish, narcissistic behavior is adorable and charming…two year old behavior in a screaming drooling eight year old,

That is what people don’t get. My sweet lost babies, act, fake and desperately try to be normal…with NO foundation, no tools, no true understanding what NORMAL is.

That is what early childhood Trauma takes from theses kids it takes, or never really supplies a FOUNDATION.

A Foundation for TRUST.
A Foundation for EMPATHY.
A Foundation for HONESTY.
A Foundation for SORROW.
A Foundation for RELATIONSHIPS.
A Foundation for RESPECT.
A Foundation for SELF WORTH.
A Foundation for LOVE to give and receive it.

How do you form a healthy human soul without a foundation?
It’s like building a house on a stretch of sand. Without somehow figuring out how to get a sturdy foundation under these children, they will be washed away with the tide.

 Question: How do you go about building a foundation under an already built house, whose walls are caving in?

Answer: Very carefully, with lots of Structural Support.
It feels impossible at times….

I can’t name or number the amount of times daily, we have inappropriate reactions, interactions, conversations between family members in out home. It becomes part of the norm. Weird stuff, Misunderstandings that turn into WORLD WAR III.

A month ago we were all playing and goofing off in the Family room carpet, I think we were playing animal Charades. (I do a fabulous Elephant Impression, BTW)
Anywho, Hubs was being a Lion, or Panther “something in the Big Cat Family” he stinks at Charades, he was a little confusing.
In Scoobs excitement and haste, he jumped from our fire place mantel right on top of Hubbies unsuspecting arched back. Hubs was down for the count. It really, and I mean REALLY hurt him.

So Scooby got ANGRY, He was sooo MAD.  He went into the other room and started baming on the piano, throwing  pillows off and then dissecting the couch. Knocking chairs down, stomping and screaming…

After making sure Hubs was really O.K. I quietly walked into the Living Room and sat.
Didn’t say ANYTHING, just sat and watched him get it out.
He was breathing so hard, his poor little heart must have been beating 1000 times a minute. Finally I asked him if he wanted to sit by me.

He did.

Chest heaving up and down, hands trembling, my little 8 year old was in Fight mode.

After we did some “Breaths”.
Scoobs we discovered since he was little needed to be closed in on. We put pressure on both his back and chest with open palms and simulate calm, deep breaths.
Little did we know, 4 years later he would be diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.

I asked him what he was feeling?

“O.K. , Buddy do you know, Daddy and I both know it was an Accident?”

“Yeah, but I’m STILL MAD”

“Could maybe that MAD, be embarrassed and Sorry?”

“I don’t know, it just feels like MAD.”

“I understand it feels like a BIG, YUCKY, HUGE MONSTER FEELING, but maybe that is how “Sorry”, can feel to, maybe?”

I said” I want to go check on Daddy and see if he is doing O.K., want to go with me?”

“He might be MAD at me.”

“Honey, I think he was surprised and hurt, but knows it was an accident……..would you like to tell him that it was an accident and that you are sorry?”


“Could, maybe I help you talk to Dad, and give you some words?”


And that brave ANGRY kid, sat down in front of his Dad, and started scratching ferociously….”I ITCH”…

“I know sweetie, sometimes saying sorry, feels uncomfortable.”


This is where Sensory Processing and lack of Emotional Processing meet.

I sat down on the floor and pulled his back against my chest and there we sat.
I held his hands and tapped his palms to calm him as he looked at his Dad.

“Repeat after me Buddy.”

“Dad, I am sorry you got hurt.”

He said it and started screaming “I ITCH!”

“Keep with me Sweetie.”

“Dad, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was excited about the game and wanted your attention. I thought I was being silly and fun, but I hurt you, and that made me feel BAD, and SAD, and ANGRY with myself.”

Big Crocodile Tears sprung out of my boys beautiful gray eyes. A huge sob racked his little body as he went to find solace in his Fathers arms.

“I am sorry Dad, so sorry.” He said over and over again.

Sometimes we need to put words in their mouths they can not, and will not find on their own….much like teaching a two year old “Hot”, or “Owie” or even saying “I love you” over and over again. These basic principles of  TRUST,OBJECT PERMANENCE,EMPATHY,HONESTY,APPROPRIATENESS, SORROW,RELATIONSHIPS,RESPECT,SELF WORTH, and most of all LOVE.

These principles must be modeled and displayed…and sometimes mimicked and supported.
Sometimes I have to put words in my children’s mouths, so that I can slowly add a foundation to their hearts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The gifts Trauma has given me....

These thin lines…

I used to think things were black and white, the gray was where you did not want to get caught up in…so stay on the white and everything will be Alright….that was what living in Anglo Saxon America had taught me. What I understood was expected of me… what would keep me good and safe.

I still believe in doing what’s right, in choosing what is kind and good…But sometimes the lines get crossed , the gray is where you find truth and in reality good intentions can have devastating results…because sometimes “doing what’s right” comes from a moral opinion, but not TRUTH.

Sometimes us do gooders, those of us that are about saving the world, try to save things and people that don’t want to be saved…

I have learned so much in the last two years.
What is important, what is not, redeeming pieces of myself I had to leave along the way, I am finding my way back to me out of the Trauma that has sucked so much of who I am out . Trauma will take everything, if you let it.
I have lost people, relationships, traditions, expectations, definitions and a lot of “itions” that don’t add up to the importance of what we are doing in our home.

Trauma has also given me these incredible gifts. Gifts of understanding more deeply, Loving more than hoarding, listening more than speaking.  I have been praying more than asking. Receiving, more than expecting ,growing more than receding, forgiving more than judging.

After reading, learning, attending, and delving into the depths of Trauma, brain workings, and attachment…I can forgive, understand, release and let go of much of the times people, family, parents have hurt me, or each other. I can see inner workings of loss, attachment, and trauma and the multitude of lifes hard knocks that resulted in the most damaging kind of relationships, between parent and child, sister and brother.

We all are neighborhoods, cities, states, and whole countries of these faulted people.

Trauma makes me want to love harder, let more go, forgive completely and concentrate my love, my power for good things on healing, forgiving and not continuing a cycle.

I still believe in good, I still see evidence of evil…but I also see so very much we can all do in pure forgiveness, love and understanding.

I used to think I knew and understood so very much…
Now with each new passing day, I am amazed at how little I understood before, and how much more I have yet to learn, forgive and take in…

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hot Cocoa anyone? Taking the heat out of it…

The weather has gotten colder, and as the Fall sets in, I turn back to my comfort staples of Herbal tea and occasional Hot Chocolate. It is rare from October through April not to find my tea kettle a-boiling on my stove top.

Hot Chocolate took a whole new meaning for me around October of last year.
The word “Cocoa” became a battlefield that my teen loved to set up with landmines.

You see, Cocoa in English means, Hot steamy chocolate. Possibly enhanced with marshmallow’s or flavors. To wealthy people it is perhaps a perfume, clothing brand, or Courtney Cox’s daughters name….

In Kreyole,”Cocoa” is the equivalent to calling a woman the “C” word.
(like the body part)
Yep, I know.
Oddly weird, depressing, and quite possibly I have now ruined the word “Cocoa” for you,F.O.R.E.V.E.R,sorry about that.

Well. Just. You. Wait.

One day when we were establishing new language, and sharing slang language in English and Kreyole, this little gem was uncovered, backlogged to be used as fodder for a later date…

And a later date arrived. At church when I went to pick her up out of her Sunday School class, and asked “Are you ready little darlin’?”
She answered “Yes my little Cocoa”.
Pure awesomeness.

We were speaking in code. I knew what she was doing and saying, and yet she knew I would not call her on it in public.

The gauntlet was tossed, and if you know me, I don’t do well with passive aggressive ANYTHING.

The rest of the week in public, she used my sweet new little nickname as often as possible…shocked and dismayed at the ineffectiveness it was having.

I was hoping she would get bord and drop it.

This is much like waiting for a Steaming cup of Hot Chocolate to cool, by itself, leaving it on the counter top and checking in on it… but this Mama, isn’t the wait-and-see-and maybe-it-will-cool-off kinda girl. (Patience is NOT a strong suit...hey I'm working on it.)

Did she drop it?

Daily with out fail the anty was upped and I was officially” the Cocoa.”

One sleepless night a plan popped into my head “Eureka”. The next day I was preparing to teach my sweet darlin’ daughter and the Young Woman in her church youth group how to decorate Cupcakes in my home…

The next night as I had expected, in walks my sweetie, and five of her friends. I get a side hug and a “Hey Cocoa” how’s it going?”

I replied “Great.’

As we finished decorating and licking frosting off our fingers , I was asked, “Mom, do we get to eat some of these, or are we having another snack?”

As I smiled graciously I relplied,”Sure are sweetie,and we are having some…………….. Hot Cocoa.”

“Would you girls like your Cocoa hot, or would you like it cold?
I could blend your Cocoa with ice. I have syrups , so you can have flavored Hot Cocoa if you would like, or you could just have some plain old Cocoa,…it’s really up to you”.
“I mean , who doesn’t LOVE Hot steaming Cocoa, right Papillion?”

I probably said the word Cocoa over 75 times that night.
I killed the word Cocoa…I didn’t wait for it to cool off, I doused that bad boy with cold milk, and then tossed some ice cubes in for good measure….

I stole the Cocoa’s power.

Sometimes there are battles, gauntlets thrown and we need to have patience and let it just cool down on the counter top…there are also times we can and should desensitize and water down the power and control our special needs kids toss out at us.

That night not only did I lose my fabulous nickname, but I also saw some love and RESPECT in my daughters eyes as she recognized, this whole time, I wasn’t taking her crap. I wasn’t loosening her boundaries, I was playfully “bringing it” with a round of her own medicine…and with the gleam of “Touché” in her eyes, the girls left, we cleaned up the kitchen side by side, and rinsed out our mugs….

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Old Highway Less Taken

Very close to this time 11 years ago I was in a horrible car accident, right outside the local high school.
Newly married, a broke newlywed of 5 months, I totaled our only car. It was a new dodge stratus, dark green, a very stupid purchase.
My husband was working, doing accounting at a local essential oil company, and working on his bachelor’s degree in Social work.
I was a Nanny for the owners of the company he worked for.
We were young, shiny and hopeful.

 I was T-boned out on the old highway; I hadn’t even seen the Old man in the Cadillac coming.
I remember the sound of smashing glass, everything going dark, coming to and not feeling my body, not being able to open my eyes, hearing the medics frantically try to break more glass to get to me, asking “Is she breathing”, “I think her arm is broken.”
 I remember screaming in my head “I am HERE”, “I can hear you”….but I couldn’t even open my own eyes.
I was afraid this was what death was.

What felt like a lifetime later, strapped to a board and loaded into a wailing ambulance, pain started to awake the rest of my senses. I had broken the drivers side window with my left arm and head, trapping my body in the wreckage.

By some manner of ultimate blessing, no bones were in fact broken. I was one HUGE green, blue and purple bruise. I had stitches everywhere, a very, very deep concussion, but after a night held for observation, released to go home.

I went to bed in our dank little apartment, Trev being ordered to wake me every few hours, to ensure I would wake up. What a long day into night that was. The next early morning I woke to huge sharp shooting pains across my abdomen. Painful debilitating back pain….something was not right. I could barley get the words out, as another painful spasm shook my body and I screamed.

Trev loaded me into the car, I kept the window down as I threw up over and over again, swearing I was dying, and they must have missed something….they had. I was pregnant, and beginning to miscarry as we drove to the hospital. They gave me shots of painkiller that left monster bruises, but more than anything was the pain of losing the life inside me, I had not yet learned to love…but very much mourned with every contraction.
After the external bruises had faded and the stitches were all removed, I remember driving that road , and the pure ache washing over me as I feared, “maybe that baby was my only chance at Motherhood.” Those days and months were wrought with insomnia, fear of driving, depression and hopelessness.

Eleven years later tonight, we were on that road again. I had dealt all day long with the hell that only a Borderline daughter with feet held to the fire of consequence can bring, she had called me 37 times today. 37 times. By the time Trev got home I was exhausted. We packed a picnic dinner and decided to go for a drive and enjoy the fall colors. In truth we were dancing, picking the kids feet up off the ground, being spontaneous, and trying to outrun the crazy.

As we drove on that Old Highway tonight, I remembered that trial and smiled and blew it a kiss. I told my 21 year old self ‘Darlin’ you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” and put into perspective…as much as this hurts. As WRONG as this feels to let her go, to relinquish the Death hold I have had on her NOT-TO-LET-HER-DIE…as painful as it is to not know what comes next. I have been here before, on this Highway, T-boned and bruised…and I survived. I learned from it, and grew stronger, and more wise.

I thought so many years before, that right then, that moment, had defined my life, but it hadn’t. It was just one of many of the hard knocks, the heartbreaks I was yet to endure.

As horrific these next days and months are going to be. Acknowledging that I don’t and won’t know if my baby will be O.K.
Losing that previous pregnancy was nothing compared to how losing/letting go of Papillion is.

But maybe, just maybe, in 11 more years, a wiser, even stronger Lindsay will be driving down this Old Highway, remembering the hurt and pain that she did not let define her life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Loss and Casualties of Trauma, the effect it has on the whole family.

Trauma is no destination vacation as we all know. We spend hours, weeks, months, years and lifetimes devoted to healing, attaching, letting love become a mutual thing.

And it is beautiful, rewarding…and really, REALLY shitty. I don’t swear a whole lot, but there is no other word that profoundly dictates how I feel about Healing Trauma, then SHITTY.

I had three very separate conversations with three of my children today. All three broke my heart in a thousand different ways. All three I swear to love forever. All three are lost, scared, and feel very alone, I am betting on a solid 10 out of 11 people in my family feel this way.

This morning Papillion called my husband and me, in a very demanding voice oozing with manipulation she requested a “conference call”, so we sat in the hallway, while the littles were occupied with Sesame Street and had our little conversation.

Her request was to “give me my freedom and let me call my 47 year old boyfriend”, the one she met at the State Hospital. There has been a therapeutic hold on his specific phone number, for very good reasons…in hope of her healing, and not choosing to over sexualize herself…..yet….

She is being kicked out of her 10th hospital. Yes, I did say tenth. In the last four months we have been admitted to 1, 2,34,5,6,7,8,9,10, separate hospitals. I have spared this blog, and you the gory details.
This last hospital was the Mecca, of all trauma hospitals, with a specific PTSD Woman’s wing. The price $2,000 per day. TWO GRAND a day. Specific  incredible Therapy daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m…..and she wouldn’t apply herself, refused to go, got violent, defiant and literally through temper tantrums, faked seizures and has exhausted every resource, every person, every financial option she has had available to her, in four months. No one will admit and work with someone that refuses treatment. She can’t come home untreated. She is 18 and reminds us she can do whatever she wants to. Good Luck with that Baby Girl.

To say I am heart broken would be implying there is anything left of the tattered, beat up bruised piece of hamburger in my chest that refuses to stop beating. It hurts somedays to much to swallow.

We can’t do anything more, but love her.

Today, I had to tell her just that, and I cried and she said how sorry she was, (but she isn’t) and how she wished she would have tried, if only we had let her talk to “Billy” the love of her life, (but she would’t have)…and how if we just buy her an apartment and give her money she will be fine (but she won’t be)…so she might be moving to Florida and living with a Birth Father she has never met before, she may be moving in with Billy, she may get deported….she refuses help, destroys any treatment, she has no sense of right and wrong, she has attempted suicide over 20 times in the last year and a half.

If it was just me, I would bunker down and wait and watch and hold her hand while this soul cancer destroys her, but I can’t sacrifice my other children. Once one child in a family is successful at Suicide, there is a 50% better chance of losing another child to the same fate. I can’t let her disease infect the delicate Emotional Immune systems of my other children. I. am. Terrified. at what this means, but I am more terrified of what she is capable of doing to my other children.

Her vulnerable Manipulation, her shame, her survival tools, may keep her alive for a while, but the demons are still there, waiting and ready…and pretty pissed off while we tried to unseat them…it is only a matter of time until we are back where we started.  She will most likely be successful, and there is nothing I can, or anyone else can do about it anymore.

“I love you Papillion, I always will, I wish you would have let us help you.”

“I am here, I love you and always will.”

“Please let us know how you are doing”.


 then you give it back to God, and pray he has it from here…..
and then you go dry heave in the shower.

Knowing that something was “up”, Chatter’s hyper vigilance was on full force. The kid should be a Power Ranger, or a Jedi, she can sniff drama out, and recreate it x 100000.

So after initiating a gazillion (and no I am NOT exaggerating) arguments, control battles, bullying, and generally making everyone in a half mile vicinity miserable…and no regular “therapeutic tools” working for longer than a nano-second…I shouted “RESET”…and everyone got jammies back on and got back into bed.  Many mornings if they snap out of it quicker, and the hope of a “Second Breakfast” will do’er, (food at my house is the ultimate motivator).

Well sheesh apparently one child heard “RAGE LIKE A CRAZY PERSON ON METH”…instead of “RESET”….I really should talk clearer.

Two hours later, a bite mark and I am pretty sure I will have a black eye to brag about, the storm had found her calm. And then we chatted.

“Chatter, what’s hurting so bad today?”

“I’m MAD!,…NOT SAD…and NO ONE will DO what I SAY”.

“That’s hard, can MAD sometimes be SAD?”

“Yeah, but not today”.

“O.K.” What are we “Mad” about”?

“I want everyone to listen to me, to give me what I want, for you and Dad to see only me”.
(No she did not say this, but this was the jist of what she was trying to say)

….and we went through it, we broke down each of the mornings shenanigans and asked her what she was trying to say or ask for with each of them.

One of the doozies is her forced affection. She forces herself on me, my husband, the other children, demanding love, patting us, hugging and kissing until the offended literally wants to shove her away. It makes the boys BATTY. She knows it.

Sooo She got “loved” back, in a wack,
talking smack…
with all her wickity wack…..

Sorry, couldn’t help it.

And that is what we talked about.

“Hugs” and what they “mean”.

“Chatter what does it mean to you when you give someone a “hug”?”

“It makes them see me and be by me and I am doing to them what I want”.

“So help me understand precious, a hug is controlling someone?”


“Do you think that it makes someone feel good when you do that?”

“I don’t know, but it makes them feel I am the boss of them, and I want that.”

“When Mommy hugs you am I trying to be the boss of you?”

“No, your hugs mean “Chatter I love you.”

“Your so right sweet pea, hugs can mean a lot of things, “I love you, I am sorry, I want you to feel better, I miss you, It’s going to be O.K., what do you think these hugs are meant to do?”

“To make me feel better.”

“Way to go Chatter, can I ask you something?”

“What do you think your “make you see me and I’m the boss of you” hugs, make people feel?”

“That I am trying to make them mad.”

“You’re such a smart girl; do you want people, and your family to want to get hugged by you?”

tears….and a head drops in shame.

A very quiet “yes.”

“Then lets work on, what your hugs mean and I will help you O.K.?”

“O.K. Mom, and Mom “…

“Yes sweetie”…

“I don’t know how to make hugs nice.”

“ I know, but you will…because I will give you all the love hugs until you are so filled up with them, you will know exactly how and when to give them, but  until then, why don’t we make the rule for you, that you don’t hug, unless you ask the person, even Mom and Dad, O.K.”….


and I want to scream, it isn’t O.K. it isn’t O.K. that she doesn’t know how to give a “love hug, which “Hugs” simple, physical affection is only another tool for survival. Gag.

During the “Battles of El Morning” the biggest target everyone had was Peanut butter. My pre-Haitian Invasion kiddo’s generally are. They get ganged up on and targeted by the other children with better survival skills. Today I had Chatter, Diva, Cookie, Dude, P.B. and baby Faith home…and I spend most the day hovering, protecting, but also backing off enough for observation….
Everyone LOVES and I mean LOVES baby Faith….so target #1 today was Peanut butter….Object: to conquer and destroy.

P.B. had been teased, goaded, mocked and had things taken from him all morning, then he would blow out and smack someone and have to suffer his consequence.  I hate it.
There are times I have to make exceptions, times I have to hug and comfort him after a time out, knowing this isn’t him….it’s what their trauma is doing to HIM…he has lost the simple, silly childhood this life had afforded him, prior to us adopting and bringing his siblings into his home, his family….it is a sacrifice we expected him to make…and I’m not sure how fair that was to him.

I remember 5 months after the kids had come home, four out of five were supped up in Rages, broken things lay all around the house…and he stood quivering chin at the top of my stairs fingers clenched in fists shouting “I PRAYED FOR THIS?” “I PRAYED FOR THIS?”….indeed for the past 3 ½ years at every meal and bedtime he did, we all did.

At lunchtime today, I sat six children down, had their coordinating IKEA colored plates and cups ready, left over spaghetti warmed and ready to be slurped up, when P.B. was asked to give the mealtime prayer. …and 4 little people decided to copy him in high teasing voices, I asked them to stop, and they did, for two seconds…
and then started again, P.B. asked nicely as well, and then screamed “STOP IT, in tears….. EUREEKA! They had landed the Jack Pot, frustrating both P.B. and Mom in the process….and tears…that’s GOLD!

I. Had. HAD. IT.

You could have see the steam out of my ears…I wanted to swoop up his hurting little heart and tell him how very sorry I am, how sorry I am that I ruined his life….and then I thought…give him his words…and so I did.

I took everyone’s plate, promising that they would eat soon, but they needed to listen to something P.B. has to say….and I said it, and he repeated me. Eyes shining, feeling validated.

“Guys, I love you, and I want you to be nice to me.
And sometimes you are, but most the time you are trying to make me mad, and I don’t like that. I hurts me, and my feelings.
This was my house, and my Mommy and Daddy first, and I am sharing them with you, because you needed a house and a Mom and Dad. I am happy you are here, but also sad and mad, when you are mean to me and our family.

It makes me so so sad when I hit you, that is not the boy I know I am.” (He cried really hard during this one)

I paused…..
Then he added this on his own words:

“I really want to love you everyday and every minute, but you make it hard for me. I am a nice, boy, I love you guys, please let me share my Mom and Dad with you…..Thank you for listening to my words and not copying me.”

They all were somber and quiet.

Chatter first said “I am sorry P.B. I know you are sharing Mommy and Daddy with us, and the animals.”

Diva was really quiet just said “I love you P.B. I will try harder”.

Cookie said “I know I am mean to you, but I really am glad you are my brother”.

Dude said “Can we eat now”.

And they did….and my tears salted their spaghetti……