With Halloween right around the corner and all the talk of costumes in my house my memory recalled one of my first embarrassingly awful mommy moments…
My first-born son graced me with his precious self when I was 21. I was young, had no clue what I was doing, was in the middle of a divorce, and was gifted with the kind of kid that makes you think long and hard about having any more kids. He was challenging from day one. The first year of his life was spent overcoming food allergies, colic, sleeping very little and throwing more tantrums than I can recall… probably due to the fact that I was a walking zombie. I had a lot of family support and help… but he was just a tough little cookie. I put him in daycare at two… which did NOT go well. The tantrums continued and the angry outbursts were beginning to be a problem with the staff. At three I thought maybe he just needed more stimulation so we moved to a preschool facility with afterhours care. It wasn’t long before we were kindly asked to find another option. The tantrums had escalated to borderline abuse. Throwing chairs, yelling phrases like “shut up” and “I hate you” were a regular occurrence. So we started seeing a child psychologist. Meanwhile I had managed to find an opening at a small church with a preschool program right around the corner from my salon. I explained our dilemma with his behavior and they were more than willing to step up to the challenge of managing my little monster… and they were GREAT!
A few months into our time there I received a call at work. This was rare. In most cases I would be called into the administrators office upon picking him up if something had gone wrong. So with a red face and pounding heart I stepped away from my client. I picked up the line on hold and I will never forget the conversation that followed…
Me: “Hello, this is Kara.”
Administrator: “Hi Kara, this is Amber, I’m calling because we’ve had a bit of a situation with your son and we are needing you to come pick him up.”
Me: “Really? What happened? I’m in the middle of a color on a client… is he ok?”
A: “Yes he’s fine, he’s not hurt in any way but I really need to speak with you in person.”
Me: “Ok… well… I’ll see if someone can wash my client for me but are you sure you can’t tell me what happened?”
A: “Well we were out on the playground, we are still trying to figure out exactly what happened, there wasn’t an adult right next to him to see the whole situation but it appears that he urinated on one of his friends.”
(insert 10-15 second pause)
Me: “I’m sorry…. WHAT?!”
A: “We are still trying to get the whole story and he’s not wanting to talk to any of us so we really need you to come help us deal with this.”
Me: “I’m sorry… I don’t think I heard you right… He PEED on someone?!?!”
A: “Yes it appears so.”
Me: “Ok… um… wow... ok… I’m coming… ummm… I just may need a minute… for his safety….”
(here is where I can now begin to laugh… however that day I was feeling like strangling him… I was beyond embarassed)
After taking a quick Mommy Time Out, praying “Sweet Jesus give me the strength to not sell this boy on a garage sale” and marching over to the school… I find him sitting quietly in a chair swinging his little legs back and forth as if he is perfectly content. We had a collective conversation with the staff and little by little the rest of the story was reluctantly told. Turns out it was around Halloween time and it was the designated costume day for his class.
Earlier that week (probably the night before if I know myself well enough and I’m being honest) we had gone to the store in search of a very specific Spiderman costume. Of course, they were completely sold out at the store I had chosen and I was not in the mood for, nor did I have the time, to go driving from store to store to find one. With a few tears and a threat that he would get nothing if he couldn’t choose from the multitude of other options… he chose Superman. Imagine his rage when he gets to school and finds that one of his friends managed to acquire the very costume he had been coveting. So my intelligent, strong-willed, creative child devised a plan. He waited until recess… found said friend… cornered him on the jungle gym… pushed him down… sat on his midsection… and peed on him. PEED ON HIM!! So many thoughts went through my mind… Who thinks of that? What must he have been exposed to and who let him watch it? What do these teachers now think of him? Of me? Is my child a psychopath? He went on to explain that he peed on him knowing that when you have an accident you have to change your clothes. He couldn’t make the boy pee himself so the next best option was to do it for him. If he couldn’t wear the Spiderman costume no one could!
My pee bully is now 14. We have been through countless other challenges, difficult situations, decisions that had me questioning some type of brain damage… but we have turned corners too. I have seen his intelligence help him to achieve academic success and sort through tough situations with grace and maturity. I have seen his strong-will help him to overcome challenges and experiences that would have once crippled him. I have seen his creativity blossom and have him labeled as an out-of-the-box thinker and enable him to find solutions to problems when others couldn’t. He is becoming a beautiful young man inside and out… and as his mom… it’s important for me to remind him of his progress… to tell him how proud I am of him… and also to help him find humor in his set backs. Maybe this year I’ll come home with that Spiderman costume!