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Have I scarred him for life?

I  have many fears when it comes to my children. One of my biggest fears is scarring them for life through careless words or actions.  I know I’m the tougher disciplinarian, and can be “strict” when it comes to their behavior.  But I hope, oh how I hope, that I’m sensitive to their feelings. I apologize when I know I’ve messed up. I don’t mimic them, don’t make fun of them, try to teach them to laugh at themselves, and that it’s okay to laugh at mom when mom does something ridiculous.  As I’ve said before though, I’m not perfect. 

While Gracie may look the most like me, Ryley is most like me in personality.  He is the most uptight, fearful of doing something “out of the box”, needs things to be a certain way or in a certain order, doesn’t deal well with change. The first time he complained about his food “touching”, I had to laugh to myself (I still use separate plates/bowls and utensils, and don’t like my food to “touch”).  Maybe this is why Ryley and I have butted heads pretty much from the day he was born.  He frustrates me…I’d save him from the stress I put myself through growing up, and the stress I still put myself through.  But I remind myself that I can’t change who he is.

We had a battle this morning.  I actually stomped my foot at one point.  I’m laughing at myself over that particular mother-of-the-year moment.  I was just so frustrated after an already-long morning of battling with them to get through the morning routine and out the door on time. As usually is the case, the battle was over something ridiculous.  I’d brought home stuff to prep an art project for his class.  I needed him to take it all back to his teacher this morning.  I had put it all in a big, paper shopping bag as that was the only thing it would fit in.  I didn’t think about what was on the bag when I put all the stuff in there.  I figured as long as it wasn’t a Victoria’s Secret bag or something like that, we were good.  But he balked…..it was  a Baby Gap bag, with a little teddy bear on the side of it. This he freaks over right as we’re supposed to be walking out the door to head to school.  This is where the foot-stomping came in. But I caved, figuring if he thought other kids would laugh over it at him, I’d save him the embarrassment.  Kids will tease other kids for the most ridiculous things.  Okay, new bag…this one white with a big red star on the side. No rubber duckies, no teddy bears, no princesses or anything else….just a red star.  We pull up in front of the school, a long line of cars behind us waiting to drop kids off, and he refuses to take the bag. Another argument ensued. he told me he hates me.  I got upset. He grabbed the bag and got out of the car, then stood there, tears forming in his eyes.  I felt awful, but I was angry at the same time. It’s just a bag of construction paper after all, an art project for *his* class!  I rolled up the window and pulled away.  I could cry now just thinking about it and picturing the look on his face.  I have no idea why he was so mortified over taking a bag of construction paper with him into school. I do know that like me, if he gets something in his head, he will get completely worked up over it and there’s no arguing with him at that point. He will get a panicked look on his face, he will cry, he will get to the point of hysterical. I remember that feeling all too well.  I still have it happen to me occasionally, and it just makes me feel sick when it does. And when it happened to me when I was a kid, I hated it. I hated what caused it, I hated myself for getting so upset, hated the person who caused it, and then felt completely drained when it was done.  I felt scarred for life.  And now I’ve done that to my child. 

We’ve had a rough few weeks with Ryley.   I don’t know what the cause is and it’s stressing me out.  I need to know what it is…..if he needs a medication adjustment, or if it’s just a phase. I have no idea what’s going on with him, but even his teacher has noted he’s been off his game and very teary the past few weeks. He’s been lying again, some of his ADHD tics have resurfaced and he ‘s added a couple, he’s fighting taking his medication, his homework is halfway done, he’s getting very frustrated and melting down at every turn, and he seems very tired, quiet, and moody.  The tears are constantly at the surface and something as simple as not being able to find a pencil right away will result in a crying fit. I wish I knew what is going on with him.  I’m trying to be compassionate and patient, but I feel like I’m failing miserably.  I just wish I had an answer instead of sitting here debating with myself every day.  Do we call the doctor and possibly look like *that* paranoid mom? Or do we just ride it out for now? 

I think we all have memories from our childhood that haunt us….things someone has said or done to us, issues we had to deal with…..It freaks me out that something I’ve asked him to do thinking it was just a simple thing could be one of those memories for Ryley. I’ve spent the past four hours re-running the morning through my head, imagining that bag sitting on the walk outside of school, worried about how his day is going, knowing my morning has not gone well.  I even emailed his teacher to make sure the bag reached her. I haven’t heard back yet.  That’s stressing me out too. I knew being a parent would not be easy, but no one tells you just how hard some things are going to be along the way. I thought it would get easier as they get older.  Now I’m afraid there’s just more I’ll mess up.

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