We are all standing on our heads

Most of my mornings start with my son popping his head up from my covers and reporting what early hour of the morning it is. Unless he sneaks out to watch tv before 6 am which is against the rules. I usually moan and roll over then tell him to go back to sleep. Flash forward to anytime after 6 am and the awakening now involves a pounce. A definite pounce of any nature usually on me followed be “Wake up”, “I’m hungry!” or “I spilled something”. “Leave me alone,” I will say. Or, “go away!” Then I will lie and ponder what he has eaten, what he is doing, and whether I am ready to face him.  Because I know that as soon as I get up, I will only be spared the moments it takes to pee and weigh myself before he starts bouncing and yelling around me. Before I can even get my coffee made and meds taken there will be questions, body slams, or controversy. Everyday I pull myself out of bed anyways.

This particular morning had several confounding factors. It was the first day back to school and work, after Christmas Break and a series of snow days. I was sick with a nasty cold and still in a bit of a daze. I skipped the gym and we left later than usual. But the morning had been a relative success. He ate his oatmeal. Don’t ask me how he managed to knock it off the coffee table in such a way that it landed completely upside down. But it was cleaned up and his time out had been taken. I briefly reviewed whether he had gotten dressed or not. “You’re wearing pajamas to school?” I asked while noting that he had on Batman bottoms and a Spiderman top. But both were freshly cleaned, so this was not the battle for me to pick. I was sick after all. We left the house in our usual whirlwind fashion: him grabbing, at the last minute, whatever toy he needed for the day and me heading away from the front door and into the bathroom to pee one last time. He said “What about Jui Jitsu? It’s my make-up day!” Oh crap today was Tuesday. Jui Jitsu was Monday and we had not gone. Darnit! “Oh yeah!” I say “I will have Mark and Wendy take you and I will meet you there.” And then, after I peed, is when the most influential moment of the day occurred. I didn’t want to be late. I didn’t want to dig his crumpled, dirty gee out of the laundry, (Still undone due to the snow). So, I diverted responsibility to my ADHD 7 year old. “Do you want to wear your ghee at make-up class today? It’s dirty and in the laundry. Or can you go without it?” He decided he didn’t need it and when quizzed later would not even attest to remembering that he asked to go to make-up class. This moment is what led to my horror and embarrassment this evening, as halfway through Jui-Jitsu class I turned my head to check on my son and found him still in the corner. But not only was he in the corner and in his pajamas, he was also standing on his head. I cringed in horror and reviewed all the choices we had made that led to this point. How I had asked his sitter to drop him at the studio for me. How I had told him to be good and listen to his couches while he waited for me to arrive. How he had been very shy the other time he came to Tuesday class and hadn’t participated. How I had found him crunched in the corner, hovered over his tablet as the other boys stood ready in their ghees. How I stood with pleading eyes as the couch said he shouldn’t come to class without his ghee and he joined anyways. I didn’t mind if his pajama shirt got ripped, I had assured the couch. Each choice had seemed so easy, so frivolous. Yet clearly they had all been wrong. How had I not known in those moments that makeup classes were not the choice for my son, who thrives in routine and struggles with change? Why was I the parent whose kid came in pajamas and no ghee and got put in the corner? Why was my kid the one standing in the corner on his head? Then I remembered: I am trying not to care so much what others think. I am trying to accept and embrace my life, my choices, and my self. This includes the part where I am an ADD single mom raising an ADHD kid. That means I forget to wash the ghee. He forgets he cares. And we always come into a room like an explosion of energy and chaos. That is my life. So who cares what all the other parents think? I got my son to his class today. I am Superwoman!


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