Posted by: amica | April 8, 2009

My New “Normal”

What a fun 24 hours I have had…First I learned that M has been not only bullying the kids at daycare with his mouth but also physically pushing and throwing items at them.  Most disturbing was that he targets a non-verbal handicapped child.  I knew he was/is controlling and he has been spoken to and punished several times for his bossiness but no where in my mind or heart would I have fathomed my child could intentionally try to harm someone that is defenseless. I was in shock to say the least.

Got home, prepared dinner, and we all sat down.  H was giddy and talking non-stop. M wouldn’t talk AT ALL. I thought, I’ll take back the control – so I told H when she asked why her brother wouldn’t speak, M has placed a self-imposed no talking restriction on himself, he can not say a word for 20 min. HA!  He didn’t speak for 20 minutes….or 30….or an hour.  He was huffing and puffing and looking royally pissed at having to help with the laundry though.  I left to put the baby’s clothes away when I heard H say, aren’t you even going to hang those up?  I caught a glimpse of M rounding the corner to his room with an armload of clothes.  I continued doing what I had been and soon he came and asked if he could go in the backyard for awhile.  I said I needed to know what was wrong with him.  After a bit, he finally said his girlfriend had broken up with him. Of course I instantly felt bad for him (dummy!) and said he could go to the backyard, take a breather and feed the dog. So he went outside and I went to his room. I looked and looked and couldn’t find his clothes, the clean clothes I had just washed. Then I looked under the bed – should have been the first place, right? – wow. wow. wow. There were all the clothes in a nice big ball.  Along with a set of “dirty” sheets, DVD’s and a whole lotta food. Thing was, this was food I had never bought. Some of the DVDs weren’t ours. So I got everything out from under the bed. He walked by going to the bathroom. I took a few deep breaths and went and knocked on the door. No response.  “You need to get the stuff cleaned up in your room.”  “Ok.” I walked back to the kitchen and there was the dog lying in the livingroom.  I turned around and went back to the bathroom.  “Did you feed the dog?”  No.  “Did you hear me ask you to?”  Yes.  “Well, you will do that now.” He stomped by and did it while I watched.  Then I called Lisa from the back porch!  Poor thing, that was my 2nd call to her yesterday!  She was calming me down and giving me pointers and really making me feel better.  Then I heard a click, I told Lisa to hold on and I opened the back door and there was my child standing in the kitchen listening on the other line.  I told him to wait for me in his room.  Talked to Lisa a bit more and she explained that this is all normal for RAD – welcome to my new normal. I went back in to his room and there he was, chilling on the bed in the disaster of a room.  “Didn’t I tell you to clean this up?”  Yes, didn’t feel like it. I sent him to bed, an hour before his normal bedtime.

Then here comes H, whining about how I had hurt her feelings for telling her she couldn’t have a drink.  I didn’t even know she had wanted a drink.  I remember telling her to stop and listen to me while I was talking to her and not to continue running past me.  She started to argue and I said, mommy needs a time out, you go to bed too. Here went the waterworks from Niagara. I gave her a kiss and tucked her in and closed the door. 

Went back out to the porch to call the babysitter to discuss the new plan. Here H comes crying that she once again broke the wood headboard with her skull.  She does this when she wants my sympathy.  I sent her back to bed after checking for blood. Then my mom calls and here H comes again crying that she is Bleeding!!  Checked her again and sent her to bed. I wrote about 5 pages of things I wanted to organize in my head about 10PM.  I still haven’t figured out why M wanted to go in the backyard. I have to take all the items that don’t belong to us to the baby sitter’s and the school. I bought the door alarms today. I have gotten a call from the school nurse already this morning that H is not feeling well.

I need a hug!



  1. BIG GIANT HUG!!!!

    You are starting to address all of their “stuff” so they will most definitely escalate. It is going to freak them out, terrify them and make them go careening into their fight or flight mode. Get yourself prepared for it, and you won’t be quite as surprised. For the first time you are figuring out just how manipulative they are being. So, they will try to take it up a notch and/or try to appear more helpless/aggressive/mean/fill-in-the-blank to try to scare YOU into going back to the old way of doing things. It has worked for them before, and they truly believe they can wear you down.

    Be ready. We still go through this regularly, every time we see-through a manipulation. You have to balance sympathy for their fear and terror, with loving and firm boundaries and consequences. YOU CAN DO THIS!

    When my kids refuse to do things, they “get to” pay a sibling to do their work. Or, they can pay me. We use allowance. When allowance runs out, they start paying in toys (or we have a small “toy garage sale” to add some more funds to the pot). Our neighborhood has come to LOVE us. 🙂

    That door alarm has been so freeing for me. Wish I had done that a loooooong time ago.

    Have I mentioned YOU CAN DO THIS?!?

    *one more hug*

    • I love the Toy Garage Sale idea! I am still in the process of downsizing their rooms and I know many things they wouldn’t mind selling! I don’t have to tell them yet that the funds won’t always be helpful to them! Thanks so much for the hugs!

  2. BIG TEXAS-SIZED {{{HUGS}}} coming your way!
    You are doing great. Remember that you are now seeing with new eyes and peeling away at all the layers. They are trying to figure out how to regain control in this new way of doing things. I used the “need to rest” and “take a nap” often with my kids and still do it at times. Sometimes they even get to pay me back for something with extra bedtime on Saturday mornings. It gives me a needed break or time with only one of them at a time (I have 4 so it is critical to get that time). YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU ARE DOING THIS. Keep it up.

    Hugs again,

  3. Yep, I second and third what has been said. A negative or unwanted behavior will always get worse before it gets better when you start applying consequences. If I remember right, it is called an extinction burst. As the behavior changes they will periodically spike the old stuff just to check. Thats where the consistency comes in. In the books anyway!
    Keep on- you’re doing good!

  4. I’m here for ya! You’re doing great! I agree with all the stellar moms above. Hang on. It’s going to get really bumpy but you’re more stubborn than they are. hee hee….

    Here’s a Texas size hug for you:

  5. Huge hugs to you! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help–I know I’m long distance, but if you need help doing internet research or anything like that?? Love you!!!

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