BIRTHDAZE,BULLIES AND BUMBLE BEE.

Aside

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Tahi turned 8. And I , the ever optimistic mother of an ADHD riddled young man thought it would be a fabulous idea to let him have 2 friends over for a sleep over. I reiterate the word ‘Optimistic’,  being that  I decided some time ago that playdates were a no-no. Tahi would go bananas and often his friends would ask to  go home after 2 hours of being completely overwhelmed by my delightfully excitable and controlling little Labrador Pup. I have even on occasion asked friends over to help by watching my younger boys so I had the space to try to help Tahi and his friend through the ordeal that common folk call  a ‘Playdate’. Nevertheless, today is a new day , so why not let the lad have a sleepover to celebrate his eighth year of general carnage .EGAD!!!!!

I began my day by partaking in a somewhat irrelevant frenzy of insisting that my house was clean from top to bottom. Why, is beyond me. How many 8-year-old boys do you know , notice  if you’ve dusted or cleaned your pantry?  Every time I told Tahi that I was FAR too busy doing things like cleaning the skirting boards to help him put on his zombie make up  ( Seriously.what’s the point of being a gut ripping brain lusting zombie if you have dusty skirting boards??!!) he would assure me that his friends didn’t care what the house was like and could I just tell him how many more minutes until his party. Eventually the cake was made., dinner was prepared and the sleeping arrangements were organised. I braced.Tahi invited 2 friends. One is also called Tahi. So they call mine Tahi M and the other is Tahi P. These guys are like peas and carrots.  They could both talk the leg off a table and together, are harmless mischief. Tahi P is an articulate wee chap and is very good with my Tahi. He sets boundaries well and shows a lot of patience with him. I am very grateful for his friendship with my beautiful boy.  Chopper from the miniball team was also invited. A nice little kid. Little is the operative word. A little fella with a rat’s tail and thick little glasses that cover half of his gorgeous little face. A quieter kid who I suspect, much like my boy, is on the social outskirts. Is tolerated by many and liked by few.

The boys settled in together well. They would try to establish who was the alpha male by seeing who could make the funniest joke about bum cracks or do the loudest fart noise. Whenever my Tahi  thought he was loosing his grip on complete domination he would play the “It’s MY birthday party and you’ll do what I say” card. Usually resulting in one of the other lads coming out to tell on him. Mostly I would tell them to use their words and sort it out themselves. However, when he started getting tooo domineering,I would go into the room and say something thought-provoking and inspiring like ” Tahi it sounds like you’re being a bit of an egg.Nobody wants to be the pork chop at a jewish wedding,mate.” This would  just bite me on the ass by resulting in 3 boys asking me why the pork chop went to the jewish wedding and what did it wear and why didn’t it want to be the pork chop  and why didn’t Jews eat pork and what was a Jew and who was God and why didn’t I believe in him cos their parents did so who was right and who was wrong and what was the meaning of life and why does Kryptonite make Superman weak and can we have birthday cake now???

The inevitable exclusion of the younger brothers also occurred frequently. Rua and Toru camped outside their older brothers bedroom  screaming and banging on the door whilst the older boys giggled and taunted them from the other side. Upon each attempt at removing the younger boys from their protest camp I would be beaten by a flurry of angry fists, feet and squeals. Clearly the  temptation of  sweet sweet  rejection by the older boys proved to be too  irresistible to turn their  desperate little backs on. In time I gave in and provided them with snacks,protest banners, a megaphone and a potty so they could settle in at the 2% protest camp for the night.

Eventually it was time for PJ’s and DVD time. The boys chose ‘Transformers 3’. We settled onto our couches with blankets and lollies and proceeded to watch the film. Now I have never really watched a movie with a whole lot of 8 yr old boys. Apparently I still haven’t. Cos they just TALKED the WHOLE.WAY.THROUGH. My Tahi is the guy that asks what is happening every 3 minutes. Chopper is the kid that talks about how  his older brother has seen that movie 17 times and Tahi P is the kid that has seen it 18 times. They all argued over who was who. “I’m Bumble Bee!”  “I’m Optimus Prime” “I’m Mega Stomper!!” ” No I am !!” I would contribute by yelling things like ” I’m Buzz Light Year!!” They would look at me like I was  stupidest human on earth and  patiently inform me that I had the wrong movie and I was not allowed to be him. So, much to Tahi’s embarrassment, I chose to be some guys eyebrow instead. They were happy to settle for that. After what seemed like a lifetime of Giant machines with completely inappropriate voices( seriously…what were they thinking? Why didn’t they go the whole hog and cast Woody Allen, Michael Jackson and Melanie Griffith as the  voices of the main Transformers) the movie finally finished. So at 10pm my group of little boys crawled into bed. My first ever sleepover done and dusted. Pffft. Whatever. It was just getting started.

The boys predictably  giggled and banged and argued and giggled until stupid’o’clock. After going in several times to tell them to settle down or I was gonna bring out a can of Whoopass which would be followed by a barrage of questions as to what exactly was a can of whoopass and does it hurt and  can they see it and where can they get one from and why can’t Batman fly cos he is a superhero who is like a Bat and Bats can fly, I eventually moved my Tahi into the spare room. He went to sleep instantly. The other 2 however did not. Chopper was terrified of the dark and needed to rearrange the sleeping the quarters so he could be closer to  Tahi P. Tahi P was happy to oblige and decided then would be a good time to reorganise his things into a neat and orderly fashion next to his bed. Once I got the boys settled into their sleeping bags and lights out , I took myself off to bed. 10 minutes later Tahi P was at my bedside telling me his bottom teeth were a bit sore and slightly wobbly and he was worried because they were his adult teeth and should he ring his Dad to make sure his teeth were OK? I assured him that his teeth were fine and they were probably sore cos they were tired , had eaten too much sugar and had just endured 17 hours of inappropriate voice casting by mainstream Hollywood. Once he was satisfied I might be on to something he stood by my bed relentlessly telling me what I can only assume were band camp stories or some such yolk. I was too tired to even comprehend what this delightful child was babbling at me whilst the rest of the house slept.At one point I was seeing double , hearing Charlie Browns teacher and having LSD flashbacks due to his endless talking. I’m not sure how I found the strength, but I managed to get my wits about me and get him off to bed. He too was soon faaast asleep.

Peace at last.

Now reading back over what I have written , it sounds like the sleepover went smoothly. Well let me assure you it did not. There were tears, tantrums, punch ups, threats, Diva behaviour,exclusions, break downs, squealing, yelling, banging ,crashing,bullying, throwing, kicking, stealing,teasing, and much much more. And let it be known…it wasn’t just ME behaving this way. Tahi M was TWICE as bad!!!

After the boys left this morning Tahi and I sat down quietly and reflected on the events of the past few hours. I asked him if  he thought his behaviour had been Ok. He agreed that he had misbehaved terribly and had  been  mean to his friends. I asked him if he could understand how I might be hesitant to let him   have another sleepover in the near future. He said he could understand . To which we sat quietly and ate our pieces of leftover birthday cake together in the morning sun. After some time he piped up and said optimistically ” Mama….maybe ….if we start the medication for my ADHD ….we could try again then?!”

“Yeah buddy, That’s a good idea…maybe we could try again then. Maybe indeed”

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ADHD

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Yesterday Tahi was diagnosed with ADHD. Yep. Gotta say…..no surprises there. No sir-ee. My little guy is a FIRECRACKER!!!! When he was in utero I had a midwife tell me I was gonna need “a big backyard for this one”. SHE WAS NOT KIDDING.! He was born 10 weeks early.  Again….no surprises there. He was such a busy little baby. His plunket nurse to this day says that in all her 30 odd years of dealing with babies , she has never seen a baby that moved as much as Tahi. The only time he is EVER still, is when he is asleep. He talks a mile a minute if you let him. And even when you don’t. He gets distracted by his own shadow. He wanders around the lounge  constantly whilst watching a movie. He is always fidgeting and making noise. He is loud. Has huge emotional outbursts and seems to have no real control of himself.  It’s like living with an excitable Labrador puppy who’s got a bad cocaine habit. He is completely at the mercy of his impulses. Sometimes it can be very entertaining. Sometimes it can be dangerous. Especially for his little brothers. And sometimes it is just plain heartbreaking to watch your  sensitive and loving child  be so often misunderstood and so unable to interact with ease in the big bad world. To watch the best part of your genetics struggling to focus their genius at school. Before I met my son, I had no real clue as to what ADHD was like.  It is E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.  R.E.L.E.N.T.L.E.S.S.  O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.I.N.G  and very very very TRYING. And not just for him or me. His brothers too, have to live with it. Learn to manage him. And also learn to understand that the way their big brother behaves is NOT  always how they should behave. How do you explain to a 4-year-old that his older brother is hardwired differently ? That what is good for the Goose, is not always good for the Gander.It is a constant juggle of time,management and energy.

 I live in a town that believes the worlds problems can be fixed if we  all just hugged one another, dreaded each others hair , danced around a Totara tree and then bathed in sea of Kawakawa and Patchouli. To be honest I would agree that we would have more chance at achieving world peace by doing this than shooting eachother….That is a whole other blog though.An I’m fairly confident that Rosehip and hugs won’t fix this. My point is…in this town……medicating your child for ADHD is a  disgrace and a crime worse than eating McDonalds. Your child doesn’t need medication!! Your child needs more attention!!!! Well tell that to his brothers who are already fighting over the scraps of their solo mothers exhausted love and time that Tahi has not yet already consumed in his frenzy of just being.

I have heard  horror stories about medication. “They were like a Zombie” ” It just wasn’t him any  more. He was gone” ” You can’t medicate him for just being him! Why don’t you medicate yourself? See how YOU like it?!!” ” He just needs more time with YOU!!”   I am finding it really hard to glean some good information about it all. The pro websites are really pro. The Con websites are really anti. Both parties have great arguments. It’s confusing. I so want the best for my boy. I want for him to make good friendships instead of being the kid that gets avoided unless the other cool kids aren’t at school that day. To not get growled at by his peers for always disrupting the class. To not be a thorn in the side of his teachers.To have a fighting chance at doing well in school and seeing it through.He is SUPER intelligent. Both me and his Father  could be doing a lot better in life than we are, if we had made different choices. God if I’d only listened to the adults that used to tell me to “Say no to drugs and STAY IN SCHOOL!

Over the years I have heard a lot of strong opinions on this controversial topic. They all seem to be people who know someone who knows someone. I don’t want to hear from them. I don’t want opinions from people who have no REAL  day-to-day experience with ADHD.I want to hear from people who have been diagnosed with it. Or people who have had to make choices for someone in their care with it. I want first hand experiences. I  want the to hear the wisdom of hindsight. I want to do the right thing for my boy. So do tell me…….. How was it for YOU.? Please share this with people who may give me some insight. I need to have as much real information as I can so I can make an informed decision for one of the greatest loves in my life.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR 4 YR OLD IS A CHAUVINIST

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Yesterday I was playing the insult game with Rua.

RUA: “You’re an Eye Elbow!”

ME:” You’re a Nose Ear”

RUA:” Well, you’re an Earwax”

ME:” SO!. You’re a Toe Jam”

RUA:” You’re a Bum Crack!”

ME:” Well…you’re a Snot Face”

RUA:” No I’m not! You’re a Farty Bottom”

ME:” EWWW. Nah. You’re a Butthead”

RUA:” Hahaha. Well Mama, You’re a Poo Bum”

ME:” You  Poo HEAD!!!”

RUA:” You’re a Farty Bottom Bum Crack Poo”

ME:” Am not! Ya Fart Snot!”

RUA:” Mama……YOU”RE A WOMAN!!!!!!”

MARK ZUCKERWHO?!

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Over the week I have had many people putting their hands on my shoulder…looking at me with deep concern and asking how I’m doing without my precious Facebook. I return their concerned look and say “I’m doing fine. How are YOU doing without me?”

This week not much has really changed for me except I watch more TV when the kids are in bed and I’ve talked on the phone till my battery is flat and then ……………TV.

I have not sat at the table with boys and eaten my breakfast with them. I realised I don’t do that because when they are eating their breakfasts I am putting sandwiches, boiled eggs, fresh fruit,carrot sticks, home baking, salami and cheese into their lunch boxes. That is how they know I love them in the mornings. I sit down to my coffee, muesli and computer when they are finishing up and getting dressed for their day. And I reiterate…Facebook or no facebook….that breakfast table would drive anyone to an early grave…..( not always mine either)
I have not really thought about it. Only occasionally….and mostly only when other people bring it up.
There has been one thing that keeps coming up tho and I must clear it up. I HAVE NOT BEEN ON FACEBOOK. Tho…….being that Skype and Facebook are interlinked…when I am online with Skype…it seems, it shows up that I am online on FB. And my phone is linked too. And I will keep it that way because your profile pictures of all your ugly little mugs come up when you message me. And I like it  that way.

I am confident I will have other things to blog about from here on in.Quite frankly if I don’t……I really am a sad sad little person( I use the term ‘Little’ loosely, you understand) Life is full of goodness these days with Magnolia trees blooming, spring lambs leaping and a whole new world of crappy evening television to bond with. So await for my next blog titled….” I LOVE ‘NEW ZEALAND HAS X FACTOR VOICE IDOL HIGHWAY PATROL CSI’, . IT”S THE BEST PROGRAMME EVA!!!!”

 

100 DAYS WITHOUT FACEBOOK

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” Mama….why don’t you sit with  us at breakfast time? Why do you sit at the other table and play on Facebook?”
A question Tahi asked today that really got me thinking. Why DO I do this?   I always thought it was a way of easing myself into the day.  A way of breaking onto my day in a quiet fashion.I know it is an avoidance of the boys. A way to wake up without being bombarded with Sugar Spoons and talks of farts and poos.  Seriously….our breakfast table makes feeding time at the zoo look like high tea with the Queen. I do it every night for dinner..and that’s enough for me.
I am often asked if I have seen this show or that show. Usually my answer is no. I don’t really watch TV. I have never been much of a TV watcher. Most programmes are shit these days. So I spend my evenings chatting on the Facebook and cruising around on You Tube spending endless hours watching Joshua Homme drunkenly abuse the world. Personally I don’t think there is any issue with that. I’d rather do that than watch TV. However my boys question really got me thinking. Am I missing out by not having breakfast with them at the table?  What was life like before FB? Would I be a different kind of Mother  without it?  Or is FB what I have always suspected it to be for me. A substitute for terrible television. Am I more in touch with my friends  or less in touch with them? Do I really care what people had for dinner last night? Or that their child is 17 mths 2 days and 3 minutes old.( I actually already know the answer to the last 2  questions)

I am going to do an experiment. I am going to attempt  to do 100 days without logging on to Facebook. I will attempt to sit at the breakfast table with my boys for each of the mornings that they are with me. I will attempt to not let TV replace the time I would normally spend on FB. I will observe how in or out of touch I feel with my friends and family. To be open to hearing  about how in or out of touch they feel with me. Will I eat more/less? Will I use my phone more/less? Will I read to my children more or find they are driving me even crazier and  finally book a one way ticket for one to Jamaica? I really have no idea what to expect.. It is simply an experiment. A way to try to answer a very simple question asked  by my eldest son.
So as of August 31st until December 9th…I wil be Facebook free…..and probably blogging my tits off.

 

COACH TOOTS

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So yesterday I took my 7 yr old Tahi to his 1st game of Miniball for the season. For those of you that don’t know…Miniball is like Basketball for wee ones. For those of you that don’t know Tahi….saying that Tahi is controlling,  over dramatic and inflexible in play, would be an understatement at the very least.

I loaded the boys into the car and headed off for the Primary school . The whole way Tahi told me he was feeling scared. He asked that if he didn’t like Miniball , could he quit the team. He was terrified the others might tackle him or that he might drop the ball and get laughed at. I too was feeling a little nervous. This is the 1st of my boys to do the whole ‘School Sport’ thing. My dear  Tahi has the co-ordination of a drunken Chicken at the best of times. I soo wanted Tahi to feel proud of himself today and know him well enough to know that his challenges often leave him feeling like a failure. All the Miniball Mums would be there, talking about their children’s latest achievements. Swapping recipes and telling lovely wee anecdotes of how their husband and children did that cute  funny thing together whilst they were all out frolicking through a paddock of fresh spring lambs on their families ‘Sunday FUNday’ this week. Yep…I was dreading it.  Visions of Tahi having a melt down on the court cos he didn’t catch the ball while Toru had one of his epic 3 yr old tantrums. Rua would  try to get his 4 yr old self onto the court so he could play with his big brother and disrupt the entire game. The Miniball Mums would look at me with pity and dissapproval..They would smell my fear in a heart beat and pounce. I was sure of it. Saying things like ..” Wow…I don’t know how you do it? I only have 2 boys and I find it exhausting…AND I have a husband to help!” , “But you’re dong such a GREAT  job” * patronising smile to boot*.  ” If you ever need a break….”      Bah humbug!!!!!

As we arrived at the lions den, I was delighted to see that my dear friend , Rose, the English Rose was there too. She too has 3 children . Her daughter had signed up for miniball as well. Her 4 yr old boy ‘ Mitch’ is having a Bromance with Rua and was happy to see us arrive. Sweet!! That would be Rua entertained for the duration of the game . We sat down and prepared to watch. As it turns out ,when the school asked for volunteer coaches for the season… I had promptly pretended I didn’t get the memo and ignored the request but  Babydaddy had volunteered.However..Babydaddy works at sea. Week on. Week off. This week he was away…and whilst the ‘The Breakers’ had their Miniball Mum coach sitting on her teams bench all  “I’m so supportive and   coachy like”, my wee fellas team ‘The Red Bulls’ had an empty bench. The teacher in charge stood on the court and said “Would someone please volunteer to coach The Red Bulls for this game?. They  really need someone”. She was looking directly at me. Of ALL the keen perfect Miniball Mums she had could have stabbed with her eyes of lasery emotional guilt trips…she laser beamed ME.!!! There was no avoiding eye contact and slinking away out of this one. Dammit! “Sure Ms  Laser Eyes, I’d LOVE to do it” * does best impersonation of happy to help cos I’m and enthusiastic Miniball Mum smile*

I made my way to the bench. Making sure I asked what exactly it was I was supposed to be doing. ” Only ever 5 on the court at a time.Just make sure they all get a turn on the court” said Ms Laser Eyes. . Sweet. I could do that. So I sat on the bench and did the best I could to appear to look like I knew how the game was played.. To have them think that perhaps …in a past life I had played in the NBA.There  was 5 on the court already. I sat next to 3 boys. 2 of them had shaved head and rats tails. Brothers. Bob was the eldest. Chopper was his younger brother and stood at about 3ft  high. Also there was Mike. A tall solid lad that, I suspect, may have something up with his hand, as it curled over a bit like a hook if it was resting. Instantly  Bob  was at me. “Can I go on the court? I wanna get out there!! Oh come on. When’s it gonna be MY turn. It’s not fair!!”  Ohhh goooodddd!! I was in for 20 minutes of this!!  Mike just sat quietly. The game started and I proceeded to  internally  curse Babydaddy and his stupid volunteering to coach and his stupid job making him not be there and his stupid making me pick up HIS slack. This carry on was partly why I left him. I was STILL having to do it. Dumb  feckin’ Babydaddy!!!

The game started. I held my breath anticipating Tahi might  trip over his own feet in any second. My subs started yelling out encouraging tips to The Red Bulls. Things like “WASTE THEM YO!!” : “JUST FOOT TRIP THEM, YOU EGGS!”  “KICK THEIR BUTTS!!” Within a minute into the game it happened. The ball was passed to Tahi. For a fleeting second I could read the fear and self-doubt pulsing through his little body. All eyes were on him.  I held my breath.He bounced the ball and moved with it. He stopped. He passed it. Tahi, my unco little chicken,was grinning from ear to ear. He had done it. YUSSS!!. At that moment,Chopper the delightful 3ft blonde rats tail kid looked up at me with his wee eyes and said..” I just wanna get out there and SMASH the other team”.  ” Then SMASH them you will , Daniel son”. I started subbing the kids on and off. Little chopper went like a firecracker. I’m not sure he ever got to touch the ball, but he was having a blast running from goal to goal. Mike was a machine. A big strong lad that could move the ball from one end to the other. No one could stand in his way. A  8 yr old  miniball version of  Jonah Lomu if you will. These kids were alright. I found myself calling out things like.. . “Pass it” “Just take a shot” ” Good effort Chopper” . I was even clapping and shit!!  Half time came and it was time for  a wee team talk. I started..” It’s not how you play the game…It’s whether you win or lose. Oh. I mean…ummm….at the end of the day …it’s a game of 2 halves….hit the showers! Oh shit. umm hang on..it’s only half time…ummmmm”  Fortunately  Rose, the English Rose  was a netball player and had come over to sit with me on the bench. She had some tips for the team that seemed pretty sound.  ” Yep. Do what she said” I barked.

The rest of the game was much like the start.. Tahi occasionally got the ball and managed to pass it on and even get a few shots at the goal. Young Chopper darted around the court with maximum enthusiasm and minimal direction. The kids subbed on and off with little fuss  and I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself.Cooper got a Goal for the Red Bulls and the team roared with excitement. As did I.

By the end of it all I had had a blast. The kids enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. I was all over this Coaching yolk. Perhaps I would be more than happy to be Babydaddy’s fill in when he works. Babydaddy would rather drink a cup of cold sick than have to work with me in any way shape or form. But feck him. Drink away  Babydaddy cos I’m getting me a Bumper sticker that says ” Honk if you’re a miniball mum and lovin’ it ”
BEEEEEEPPPPP!!!!!!

BRUSSEL SPROUT REBEL

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When I was a kid… I HATED Brussel sprouts. That’s what made me a kid. To me , they tasted like the smell of a dental surgery. Like any other kid, many an hour was spent by my Mum MAKING me gag them down. No amount of salt or gravy could take away the fact that I was being forced to eat something I HATED. When I was a kid  I promised my future children a good few things. I swore I would NEVER lick a hanky and wipe my child’s face with it. FAIL. I swore that I would always give them a good reason for saying “no” and never say ” Because I’m your Mum and I said so!!”. FAIL.  I swore I would never say ” I hope your children grow up to be just like you” . FAIL.  I swore I would ALWAYS give them McDonalds when they asked for it. FAIL!  I swore I would NEVER EVER EVER make them eat Brussel Sprouts. WINNING!!!

These days I don’t actually mind them. If they are served to me at someones house I will happily eat them. I don’t find them at all offensive. However I still refuse to buy them. They don’t even get a second glance as I wheel my trolley through the Fresh produce section of the local Supermarket. Like avoiding all knowledge of that embarrassing one night stand you had the other weekend. “Brussel Sprouts? What Brussel Sprouts? oh…uhhh.. I dunno what you’re on about, eh.  Yeah ….Nah… I just slept on the couch ,eh.”  This has been the ONE promise to my future children I have managed to keep.
Recently Tahi started asking about Brussel Sprouts. ” Ma, why don’t you buy Brussel Sprouts?” .
” Hmmmm, cos I hated them as kid. So I won’t buy them. No kids like Brussel Sprouts ,Tahi. “.
“Well, what if me and Rua and Toru wanna try theeemmm? Will you buy them theeeennn?”
” Hmmmm. HELL NO!! There is no way I will make you kids eat them. They really do taste like bottoms. I’m not gonna waste my money on them. Suck it up kid. I’m doing you a favour.”
Being that he is potentially on the Autism spectrum(  we are currently in the process of going through the motions of a diagnosis), Tahi can obsess a bit. He has been frequently asking me to relive my childhood nightmare of being forced to eat the little green balls of nastiness. Making me tell him again and again what I think they taste like. Explain time and time again why I wont buy them.  You’d think being that I am a grown up , I would perhaps be the bigger person and just buy the kid a bloody sprout, cook it for him and then say “Haha, told you so! In your face kid!!” as he spits the half chewed morsel out. But NO. I just won’t do it. This way I can say I kept at least one promise to my future children.
As it turns out, he had dinner at Oma’s and Granpa’s last night. And by his request…they had Brussel sprouts. MY SON…….. requesting  Brussel fecking sprouts! TRAITOR!! The ultimate rebellion by my 7-year-old.
Guess what.
He didn’t like them.
Suct in!

That’ll learn him.