This week somehow really got away from me. I blinked and I missed a week somehow. These kids have kept me on my toes; running from here to there, with doctor’s appointments, school obligations, family and social events, exercising with my sister-in-law, to grocery stores and Target and lots and lots of Amazon Prime deliveries in between.
Even this morning, with an alarm set for 4:45am, I somehow lost 5 hours. I didn’t eat breakfast until after 10am and that’s not good for me as a breastfeeding mother. I have to keep my uptake up to keep my flow up for Ivy. I haven’t even pumped today as I’ve been that busy. But I’ve nursed her half a dozen times already at least.
So, my son Maverick, lost his right to the privacy of having his own bedroom and it’s been a long time coming. He lost his door around New Years. He refused to keep it clean and he began stealing items and hiding them in his room. We tried grounding him, taking away beloved electronics and toys and the message still wasn’t clear to him. Then a few days ago, he decided to steal from my mother while she was here visiting, helping me with the baby and the household because I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with how thin I’ve been stretched lately. He didn’t admit to it at first, until I (of course) brought up in the conversation that this was a “norm” for him and that it wasn’t okay to steal. Which he then confessed and pulled out what he stole–candy. After “helping” him clean his room, his father found yet another box of candy that he stole and as a reminder for why he was being punished, Derrick tacked the empty boxes to his wall by his light switch.
His apology lasted less than 48 hours. As many other families across the world right now, we’re currently celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. The first three days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) worked out fine (images of gifts are on my IG page) with Monday being a sweet Thank You Card from each child to their teacher. Tuesday being a Healthy Treat (which I made for them: an energizing protein Trail Mix in a mason jar and tied two packets of tea bags to). Wednesday was Bring a Flower for the teacher and since I’m not a big fan of buying 6 sets of fresh flowers; I instead raided the $1-$10 bins at Target for “flower themed” gifts (Petal-scented Oil Diffusers, Organic Lavender Chocolate bars and Rose-petal Facial sheet masks). Now Thursday was SUPPOSED to be Bring Your Teacher a Sweet Treat day and since on Tuesday I was already at Walmart; I bought 20 small 100-calorie candy bars (Snickers, Milky Ways, Twix and Dove bars) of which 6 would go to the various teachers and the reminders would be my sweet treats when I felt I
deserved earned a treat.
Wednesday night I was invited/joined a MeetUp Group to go to the local Geeks WHO Drink Pub Trivia Night and I left the kids in the care of my eldest daughter. My son decided to sneak into my room when Evelyn was feeding the baby and he ate nearly all 20 of the candy bars and then stashed the wrappers inside his shoes and slippers (of which I didn’t find out about until 10 minutes before they were to leave to school on Thursday). I’ll admit it, I instantly became enraged and lost my shit because my gut instinct told me Maverick had stole, again, I was furious. I admit called for Derrick from my bed-side, where I had the bars stashed in my night-stand and told him they were all missing. I even ripped out my drawer to look underneath to make sure they hadn’t fallen below–but they had not–and only 4 remained inside my draw. I asked Derrick to retrieve MJ’s backpack and when he did, we were both surprised that his backpack had a lock, a LOCK on it. I was so upset I demanded Derrick to either break the zipper or rip the backpack open–but damn, we purchased a hella good backpack–stubborn material that refused to rip. Derrick demanded the keys from Maverick, which were locked to his belt.
Inside the backpack were so many wrappers of food taken from the pantry without permission, along with many wrappers to gum, candy and other things that I know we didn’t purchase for him and it’d been months since he’s earned allowance, so now we’re worried he’s stealing from the local drug store on his way home from school, while his older sister is distracted. Like really, where did he even get a lock from?! Still, my gut feeling told me he’d done it, but they were late to leave and I rushed them out the door; MJ leaving behind his backpack (which he had to explain his missing schoolwork to his teacher–because he lost his right to privacy via bag form as well) and I began to look through his room; drawers, under the mattress, his toy bin and storage boxes. It wasn’t until I accidentally kicked over a shoe and a wrapper fell out. I quickly grabbed at his shoes and slippers and found all the wrappers stuffed far into the toes.
Now, mind you, my child is NOT deprived in any form–our house is stocked with food–we literally have two refrigerators and they are FULL of food. But this child, sigh, he steals sweets and anything sugary; special yogurts, ice cream treats, candy, bags of baking chips and candy melts for holidays and even tubs of frosting (when I used to buy them–I haven’t in a few years because, honestly, home-made is cheaper and better tasting) and I have no idea how to respond to this. My natural reaction is anger.
But. And this is a big one. I have mental illness. I live with Schizoaffective Disorder (which is a fancy shortened term used to condense Bipolar Disorder Type 1 & Schizophrenia). I also struggle with anxiety, depression, OCD and PTSD–thanks to a traumatic childhood. So, I understand that his issue could be multi-layered and complex. I understand that it could be anxiety and sweets soothe him. I understand that it could be an eating disorder. Hell, I’ve even done some research and found multiple medical journals that refer to the Autism Spectrum. He needs therapy. And as much as I press that I don’t want my children medicated (bad experience watching my little brother battle an eating disorder after being prescribed Ritalin), I am more open to talking to doctors and specialists about our options to help him before this grows into something much more serious as he grows; like hiding binge-drinking alcohol or a sex-addiction with porn.
So I bit the bullet so-to-speak and I phoned the doctor and made an appointment to get a referral to see a therapist. And hopefully we’ll see some progress soon, because even though it makes me angry with the stealing and lying, I am deeply worried about him and just want to help him.
As for the rest of my world within the realm; the castle is still standing, though it may be crumbling. We haven’t won the battle (with the landlord, yet) but we’ve won the battle (Code Enforcement & Housing Authority are both involved with the condition of our rental that the landlord has left to shamble–he took our money and ran–but that’s for another post another time).
The house is winding down, it’s almost 8pm here in Southern California. The kiddos are getting ready for bed after having a delicious sundae cup (Fudge. From Schwan’s) which they earned for eating ALL their dinner. I made a delicious baked Mushroom Marsala Chicken over pasta with loads of fresh mushrooms and broccoli on the side. Under 400 calories and low-sodium too! (There’s a photo of the meal at @childrencryinncoffee on Instagram if you’re interested–as I’ll be starting my recipe page on here tonight!) (And don’t get any feelings of intimidation–I am not a professional cook/chef, nor am I a food photographer–but I am a foodie–of which I have no shame!) (Who doesn’t love to eat, especially PRETTY & HEALTHY & DELICIOUS meals?!?!)
And now that my home office is complete, I now have a pretty good space to designate more time to this blog and I promise (mostly to myself) that I will not go another week without a post–lord knows I need this (public) journal more than anyone.
Thank for reading!
(Left Image: The Energizing Protein Trail Mix I made for the kids’ teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week)
(Right Image: The Ingredients in the Energizing Protein Trail Mix)