There is time to explain now the powerhouse that is my son. Again, we must name him for the interest of storytelling and though I do so love his name, we’ll call him Freddy. My Freddy is an enigma wrapped in a mystery shrouded in controversy...yah not really but he is a handful. When he was 3 ½ and his sister was 1½, I left their dad. He worshiped his dad but couldn't understand what was wrong with him either. He wasn’t the attentive Daddy he’d always been and was often hateful and angry. He had descended into a very real, very frightening meth addiction. There has been much talk swirling in the family about "whose fault it was" and blah blah blah but let me just come clean right now. The first time he ever did that shit, I was with him. Some friends of ours we’d gone to dinner with had stopped and picked some up when we'd gone out one night and he asked me had I ever, and I told him I had. He asked, “Is it ok?”
I said, “I guess so if you want to party.” We did it together. We did it every other weekend then every weekend then the weekends began to stretch over Thursday to Monday and I chose to pull myself out of that headlong descent into fucking madness. He did not. I realized it was too much and my children needed me. So after a year of trying to get him to quit and trying to give him help he didn’t want, I left him. It made my little man upset that Daddy wasn't there anymore and he blamed me.
My mother-in-law blamed me for the addiction, my son blamed me for leaving his dad and the ex blamed me for everything.
So...now you have a little boy who's mad at a neurotic mother who feels the need to over explain everything to him so that he's "well-adjusted". What I ended up with is a small child who felt he was owed an explanation for every goddamned thing under the sun. It made him hard to dismiss and it grew him up too fast.
When the kids were in daycare, people would tell me what an absolute joy he was; that other teachers came out to say hello to him because he was such a treasure. When he started kindergarten though, I was told we needed to go see a doctor that he was having trouble focusing. I was thinking there is no way they are going to medicate my kid because he's rambunctious...that's just ridiculous.
I never really believed in ADD or ADHD and thought it was poor parenting and that medication was a lazy solution.
My boy was rowdy to say the least. He was excitable, he never met a stranger and he was OCD. I had noticed that early on and thought to myself, "So what? He's neat and orderly and just because he flips the fuck out if you move one of his Hot Wheels cars out of place, that's nothing to be concerned about."
I went to the Dr. because I had been asked to by the school staff to address the situation and I was hyper-sensitive to being a “bad mom” after everything we’d gone through. I thought, you know what could it hurt?
They said he had severe ADHD and needed Ritalin. I was literally trembling there in the doctor’s office. I said there is no way my baby needs Ritalin, he's not that bad. I refused to believe that he was one of those kids. I took the script and didn’t fill it for about 4 days. Once I had, I gave him the first dose and I waited. I still remember my normally loquacious, boisterous little man lying in the backseat telling me he was so tired and that his head felt buzzy as I rushed to the doctor’s office. I was terrified because it seemed to me that my kid had disappeared.
They told me it was “perfectly normal”, that he’d get used to the medication and it wouldn’t have such a strong effect on him. I could not do it. I could not watch the life be sucked out of him by that medication and so I refused to medicate him after that. It led to a difficult, loud, distractible, ordered, yet unordered life with him. His sister learned to go with the flow, bless her and my little angel/devil took center stage, he demanded it. He was all at once my pride and joy; my beautiful blonde haired, blue-eyed boy and the bane of my existence. I had figured out however how to strike a balance with him and how to help him learn and get through his days. So when we added Tucker to the mix, I ended up with a handful in each hand and the balance was thrown out of whack.
Plus, Tucker may have seen me coming a mile away but Freddy? Freddy had Tucker’s number.