I am a mom. I do other things, too. But this website is about being a mom. Because I have no idea what I’m doing. Because I was raised in a house that did it wrong. The only thing I know is I want to avoid the wrongness of that. Yes, there were Good things, and there were some Loving things, but the amount of Wrong was too great and it haunts me. I do not want my kids to be haunted too.
My boy, Leveret (b. fall 2008), I call Levi or Lev, suffers from something. I don’t know what, as of 2016. As a baby he was said to have deficiency of motor planning, or apraxia. He still drools because of it. When he was 5 he went on Flonase and seemed to lose his fucking mind. It took me months to realize something was seriously wrong, that it wasn’t just a periodic upswing in temper tantrums. He was telling us he wanted to die. He was biting me when I swung him around in circles, because he was so happy and excited. He couldn’t hear the word “no” without flinging his 45 lb. body on the floor and breaking everything within reach. Within a week of taking him off he turned to me after I had gingerly told him he couldn’t do something and he said “that’s okay mommy, maybe next time.” I started weeping, it was the first time I’d heard it from him in 6 months. Even so, he is wonderful.
My girl, Phalene (b. winter 2010), I call Leni (like Leeeni, not Lenny, if it matters to you), is smaller for her age and we would wind up in the ER mornings after she skipped dinner, when she was a toddler. She seems to have outgrown it. We were told it was ketotic hypoglycemia. But I know nothing. I only mention it because I could never find information on the web about why my kid threw up in the morning and it was just water, with a little white or yellow bile, and then would go catatonic. Like, not move. I’m trying to think of search terms here. (Why does my kid throw up in the morning, why is my baby not moving, why does my toddler seem unresponsive, what is this yellow stuff in throw up, why is my daughter always thirsty, why does my son vomit water. Did I miss any?) It seems to happen to a lot of kids, but it’s terrifying. Maybe someone will find this after being at the ER and be relieved to know that while it COULD be something worse, there is something really simple and easy it could be. Feeding her peanut butter or cheddar crackers on nights we weren’t sure she’d met her caloric/carb/protein goals for the day was a lifesaver (she hated food), and Lance crackers were always in our house. She is a firecracker and skips everywhere she goes. Everywhere.
I have depression, sometimes. I track certain things to keep it at bay. I seriously “walk my dog” because if I don’t get outside enough and walk enough, it comes back. There is something about the rhythmic motion of walking that helps. For a long time, when my depression was at it’s worst, my gait changed. It was as if I suddenly was seeing the world in a different color, and it was terrible, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Then, one day, I listened to one of the first “summer strut” compilations by Slate Culture Gabfest, and something clicked. Music and motion are pretty amazing. And, even if it doesn’t work for you, taking one tiny step in trying to improve what is a horrible situation can really get the ball rolling. It’s mostly an uphill battle, but every so often you catch a dip to give you momentum.
I will talk about these things here, I will answer questions (within reason), I will make a damn fool of myself, because hiding and being ashamed is what got me into this situation in the first place. Feel free to tell me your experience. We should be in this together.