Call Me A Chicken, But

I decided to cancel the psych appointment Damien and I had for this afternoon. I have come to the conclusion (over the last couple of weeks) that any “issues” we have are purely discipline related- and we’re just going to have to work on that. The psych we were to see is really nice- she said I can call anytime if I change my mind, or if I just want to talk.
Honestly- I don’t know if I ever want to go back to a psych of any kind when it comes to Damien. We have been to psychologists and psychiatrists before, for him and for me- I got the help I needed at the time, but Damien got nothing out of his visits. And because he was upset about having to see yet another doctor, he gave the guy completely the wrong impression of himself (back then) and this guy thought Damien was pessimistic, despressed, sullen… basically everything Damien isn’t. And he is already on meds for his ADHD and I am terrified he wll be diagnosed with some other disorder and given more medication. Thats the last thing either of us needs now.
I’ll let you know if change my mind…

Step Two

Okay (said in a bright cheery voice with a slightly higher pitch than normal)! Wasn’t too bad- Damien could have been a little more cheerful though. But he’s so tired of going to doctors and specialists by now. The psych we went to see has referred us to someone else- who is on holiday but will get back to me upon her return. He says he does not have the experience or knowledge to deal with problems that are most likely linked to his ADHD diagnosis. He was really nice and says he likes and trusts this other psych. She specialises in treating kids with ADHD and although she doesn’t usually take on new patients over the age of twelve, she’s willing to see us.

Its Not My Fault

If you really want to annoy me- then tell me my son’s ADHD is a result of me being a single mom. Apparently there are doctors telling their patients and their patient’s parents that single parenthood and divorce is a major cause of ADHD and ADD. Bollocks! Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks! It’s a medical bloody disorder and needs to be treated as such, with medication and/or therapy. If it were true that single parenthood or divorce is to blame then you could also start blaming your boss if you suffer from depression because he stresses you out at work! If it were true then you may as well tell parents of children with other types of disorders that that’s their fault too! How lame is that! This is exactly the type of bull-dust story that gives Ritalin and Adders such a bad reputation. Aaaaargh, IDIOTS!

The Weekend Report

It was quite busy actually* Friday was payday, so we got KFC coz I’d been dreaming about twistas for a week! Then we went home, watched “Shrek”, and played computer games well into the night. Saturday morning we were up early (despite an anticipated sleep-in) to go to the bank & ship ourselves off to Damien’s doctor (the one who treats his ADHD). It’s a monthly appointment and if he wasn’t the only doctor to have made a difference in Damien’s performance (ever) I would long ago have looked for another doctor. It’s a two to three hour round trip (including the appointment, depending on traffic and the doctor’s delays) and he’s a crotchety, obnoxious old man. And thanx to me being such a sweet, accepting person (NOT) we argue plenty. Anyhoo, when we got home my darling baby sister dropped off her washing machine for me while she was moving back into my folks place- LOVING THE WASHING MACHINE PEOPLE! It even call’s me when it’s finished! Greebo loves it too, he sits on it all the time- he loves me again coz he thinks I got it especially for him (he even slept with me last night). My machine’s been broken for weeks and I’ve been using everyone else’s as and when thy can fit a load in for me (thanx mom and B). Love you C, thank you. Saturday evening was our fourth ladies movie night. We saw “hitch” and all agreed that all men should see it, and then see it again and take notes! A lekker evening overall. Damien stayed with my brother since my sister-in-law was with us so he had fun too, since he all but worships my brother! Saturday morning we were up early again, my brother surprised Damien with an invitation to go fishing on Sunday morning so Damien begged me if he could please miss Sunday school for a change “coz we aren’t really doing anything” he said. I went to church with my mom and Damien came home round lunch time. I was doing washing (no surprise there- I reckon it should take me a week to catch up if I do a load a day!) Damien spent most of the day in his cage playing LEGO and I worked a little and blogged a little and read a little and snoozed a little* and then last night I baked cookies!
Not bad, but I wish I could have gone shopping- just once* I really miss being able to shop!

In Praise Of Single Parenting

I just had to put this in, I saw this picture of my son again this morning and it made me think of this article. I have found other stuff of hers on the web that makes for interesting reading, but this one in particular is very close to my heart.

Pity the poor single mom! Not only does she bring home the bacon, she also has to cook it. Not for her the comfort of a partner to pick up the slack, a Daddy to do homework duty, a husband to haul out the trash. But the perks of single momming aren’t to be sniffed at: most Single mothers get every second weekend off, it’s usually agreed Dad will have the children for a Saturday and Sunday every fortnight. Which other parent can have four child-free days a month? I adore my children to within an inch of their miraculous lives, but sometimes, when I drop them off on a Friday evening, I drive off singing. No dinners to cook. No bedtime battles. No 6am “Ma, can we watch K-TV?” to negotiate. And, for those who’ve been brave enough to embark on another relationship, no hiding under the duvet. Yahoo! Chandeliers, here we come. The children are more independent. Any kid who’s had to help his mom unblock a noisome kitchen sink, or let himself into the house every afternoon throughout high school, is going to develop an innate independence. I’m amazed by the initiative shown by my children – they sew on their own buttons, change their own light bulbs, and clean their own teeth (admittedly, only after 13 years of reminders). Single mothers can be as childish as they like. There’s something about having a partner watching that keeps you in line. You may want to put a lampshade on your head and dance the hokey-pokey at a dinner party, but a warning look across the table will smartly curb the urge. Your sudden feeling to swap your customary pale cords and linen for orange flares and purple velveteen, will quickly fade in the face of your partner’s flared nostrils. Children are, however, eccentric. They love swimming straight after they’ve eaten; they love running inexplicably around the garden, shouting war cries; they love dressing up and putting on musicals. And they’re really appreciative of anyone who joins in. Single mothers can release their child within – without paying thousands to a therapist. Single mothers can make decisions alone “Can I come home at midnight?” asks the 15-year-old. “No,” says the father. “When I was your age, I had to be home by 8.” “But darling,” says the mother, “when I was 15, I was going
on holidays with my friends alone. I was…” “I have spoken,” thunders the father, and the subject is closed. Sure, single mothers don’t have the “go ask your father” option (as in when your child asks, “Mom, what’s oral sex?”), but decision-making is a simple process: what Mom
says, goes. Although, of course, it’s ideal to reach consensus through discussion, being a single parent does mean you can say, “Because I’m your mother and I said so.” It’s heady stuff. Meal times aren’t set in stone Family therapists tell us that quality time is important, and that, in these days of TV addiction, eating a meal together around a table is paramount. I find it much more fun to watch a video in bed with my kids at 6pm as we stuff ourselves with popcorn, and much more intimate. We can always throw together some pasta later. We’ve breakfasted on Smarties at 5.30am, lunched on chips and Coke at 11am and then, starved for “real” food, gone out to a nearby farm to pick cherries until we all got sick. Now, that’s what I call togetherness.
Single mom’s friends are interesting. Because they’re distrusted by wives and lusted after by husbands, single moms are usually pariahs. So they make up their own circle of friends. I’m proud to say that the adults who influence my children in wonderful ways include a gay artist,
a deeply thoughtful author, a genius plumber, an autistic masseur, a lapsed (but not for sexual reasons) priest, an alternative healer and a terrifyingly energetic photographer. None is married, and every last one of them is wildly interesting. Vive la difference! By Tracey Hawthorne