January 30, 2007

Kids by the Dozen

Kids by the Dozen is a new set of specials on the TLC channel. There's the Heppner family with their sixteen children, the Jeub family with their nest of thirteen, and the Arndt family with their fourteen children. I can't attest to whether or not I have that all correct, but do forgive, I can't even keep my own four children straight lately, and that's the solemn truth.

I suppose these shows are inspired by the ever so sporadic, but oddly interesting
Duggar family specials, which my kids love to watch. I do believe they're trying to coax me into having another child. LiL' J of course wants a baby brother, although he says that our Boston Terrier is like a baby brother, even if he does poop on the floor. I told him that's about close to what a baby brother would do anyways. He seemed fairly convinced. Although he's postive he'd made a great big brother and he's having six kids of his own. He would make a great big brother and I wish I could handle more, but I'm not the bionic woman.

I'm a little jealous of these large families and how they manage to be so cute and put together with their matching wardrobes and group violin lessons. I watch in strange amusement. I don't know how they do it. Somedays I'm at the breaking point with just four. I'm an only child so four children feels like a really large family, which I did want. (I know I'll get a slew of emails asking why I had four kids, which isn't the point)

I didn't have a good role model for mothering while growing up. We lived like gypsies a lot of the time. From the time I was born until I was about eight I was surrounded by psychedelic music, men who made their living cross dressing on stage, pot smokers and a whole lot of incense. And all that was the least of my very colorful upbringing. There was everything but the compound and cult-like religious practices. I managed to grow to be a fully function with very little insanity. But, I haven't been the most patient dealing with the behavioral issues of children with ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. All but the youngest, he seems to have been spared, I have no idea what I did right there.

I can handle noise. I can handle interruptions. I can handle busyness. I can handle chaos. But, lately I can't seem to deal with the arguing and bickering and having to constantly micro manage everything. I suppose I need to wake up to the fact that I have teenagers now. Even at my young age of thirty-three. Let me say that outloud. Again. I have three teenagers? When the heck did that happen? Their hormones are all over the place and their brains aren't working anymore.

They are good kids and they've brought us so much joy. They're not into gross immorality, sniffing paint, or hanging out with the wrong crowd. They just are so very immature and act like total baffoons lately. And they fight constantly. Like all kids, they test the limits I suppose. It's amazing to me though, how they always seem to forget how they're suppose to act in the house. The "Crap" as The Husband calls it has reached a climax.

Take for instance my
experience last weekend.

I feel over taken lately and it's easy to feel that way around these kids. I'd be deluding myself though if I didn't admit that I have some mild depression going on. I get like this every other winter. The doctors calls it S.A.D. I got it I'm Going Crazy-Where's The Off Button. I've been bummed out and way too annoyed. I hate that I'm so frustrated with them lately and so many days rarely enjoy being around them. I don't like myself when I'm like this. And feeling easily annoyed with your children makes it a little complicated seeing as though I'm home schooling them. We never get a break from each other. The only way I can imagine that having more then twelve children could possibly even work is if the kids listened and even more important, actually acted like they liked each other. And didn't hoard all the toilet paper.

Yeah, that's saying a lot, isn't it?

When it comes to these behemoth families, I have no idea what denomination most of these families belong to, but I do believe most are Christian with a quiverful outlook. I don't agree that that all Christians should be "quiverful" because some of us would go insane. I love kids. I wanted to have a family and be home with the children. So why do I feel so unhappy and frazzled all the time? I have to change something soon, because I seriously can't count how many times I've wanted to tell my own children to "shut up". One-hundred and thirty-eight. Since you asked.

I hate those words. I hate the fact that I'm yelling at my children. I adore them. I carried them in my loins for eighty months and I nursed them for eight hundred. I'm smart enough to know it doesn't do anyone any good and that person is not me. I'm turning into a very impatient biotch.

The Children have a wide range of crazy. Just when I think I can't be shocked by anything anymore I discover that one of them broke the washing machine's spin censor because they wanted to see what what it looked like inside while the clothes were spinning and the only way to keep it spinning while the lid is up is to wreck the wiring. Now I have to clip the wires together and keep checking it in case it switch isn't tripped while in a cycle. I don't ask why. That's the cardinal rule when you have children with ADHD. There is no why. You'll only keep some response like- Because I like to. Because I wanted to. Because Jessie the Chipmunk said it was fun.

With three teens and ADHD in the mix, the house goes from 0 to crazyville in 2.3 seconds. It honestly wasn't this bad before I started home schooling. Probably because they weren't HERE all day. Even so, they've stepped up the madness. I don't think home schooling is going to work for us, today I saw a school bus and wondered if I'd get arrested if I ran and out there and pushed them all onto to it.

What's even more sad is the fact that LiL' J asked me yesterday, "Can we adopt them out? I come home and they are always so loud and rude. I'd miss them though." A six year old said that!

As a new home schooler, this being my second year, I can't figure out for the life of me how those four families home school. Yes, they even HOME SCHOOL. Can you imagine? Someone please tell them, for the love of God, how they do that. I'll be darned if I can get THREE children, whom are only in two different grades, to do their lessons, bookwork, or even sit through a fun educational show without acting like monkeys on crack. Animal Control. Animal Control anyone?

Now, I'm not naive, I imagine that most of the kids on those shows were behaving exceptionally nice. I know how fast little angels grow fangs. But I really want to know how that works. Yesterday it took my sixteen year old five hours to do one simple vocabulary assignment.

Five hours! Nevermind math, science, literature, electives, history, he can take five hours to do any one of those. He's going to be on the five year graduation plan and that's if he seriously gets a clue soon and smartens up enough to start working hard and setting goals.

They act like loons all day, interrupt me, talk over me, bother the dog, bother each other, eat everything in sight, do God knows what with the toilet paper, (I'm hiding a roll in my closet for safe keeping else I might have to use a sock) insult each other, giggle over retarded things, scream and argue about everything, attack each other like their in the WWF, slop through assignments, you name it, they do it. I think we're ALL going stir crazy.

I feel like I dine on a soup bowl full of explosives many days. My children could probably take out the terrorists of the world. If they ever got enough motivation. I feel like most days, they are happy to learn nothing new at all, they're happy with mediocre efforts, they're happy with the thought of future lives of burger flipping and working as elementary school janitors. I'm tempted to have them begin memorizing, "Would you like fries with that?"

I'll admit, I'm getting a little downtrodden lately a little? yesterday I hit myself in the head with my cellphone and a tad pessimistic about the future. As a Christian, I do trust God. I know their in His in care, which is a very good thing, because with the looks of things, I'm getting a C-.

Nothing seems to motivate them. You'd think that promises of Driver's Education and cellphones would inspire a little effort. Nope. You'd think rewards of movies, dinners out, sleepovers, phone priveledges, oh I don't know, AIR, would do the trick.


Most of the day I feel like hardly anything is getting done and certainly not enough to feel like there's continuity in their studying. One minute they act like they abhor each other and the next minute they are so overly silly and obnoxious with each other, it's scary. It's manic around here.

Here's a sample of what I hear all day, every day, of every day of the week:

Why do I have to know this?
I don't want to
I'm hungry
I can't remember
I don't know
Do I have to?
Can't I just take the test? I know this stuff. What's the point of studying
I'm hungry
I did study (for two minutes)
Where's my pencil?
Can I have something to eat? I'm hungry
Tell him/her to give me back my pencil!!!
I'm hungry
She took my...
Tell him to give me back my folder
Why can't I check my email?
Do I have to sit next to her?
She's touching me with her nasty feet
Ew, his ogre feet are on me
Who stinks?
Tell her to stop singing
Where's my book?
I'm hungry
Did you see my book?
Why do I have to do that?
I don't care about this
She's touching the dog
He threw something at me
I'm hungry

Blah, Blah, Blah

Remember- these children are all over four. And in case you're wondering who keeps saying they're hungry, that's Snoo. Snoo is ALWAYS hungry. She must have a tapeworm. We've nicknamed him Little Fred. The doctor suggested we have her thyroid checked or take her to a shrink. "It sounds like it's an obsession. She does have a history with being obsessive. Take her to see someone."

We've done all that. The kid likes to eat. She always has. At seven seven months old she ate a whole pack of Ritz crackers all at once.

I truly hit a low last friday after they were talking over me, interrupting, bickering, and being plain loud and obnoxious during a Bible study. I locked myself in the bathroom and proceded to listen to Jesus Help Me to Stand by Alison Krauss about twenty-five times while I brushed my hair and put on make-up. Maybe they weren't going to get any work done, maybe they were going to give me a splitting headache, but I was going to look hot before I went down.

They called The Husband to tell him something was wrong with me. Which he already knows.

"She locked herself in the bathroom and she's singing really loud. To herself. It's scaring us." Richard called on my cellphone and asked, "Honey, are you OK? Have you totally lost it now? What are you doing and do I need to come home?"

"Don't you love me?"

"What kind of question is that. You know I do."

"Then why do you keep leaving me alone with them all day.

Just another day in the life of a mother of children with neurological imbalances. Nevermind Calgon, send the national guards to take me away. First, though, can they watch my kids so I can take a shower? If I go upstairs they might try and take the oven apart.