MIA and Zachary

Well, as you can see it's been quite some time since I've posted. That's not to say I haven't been thinking about my posts. I actually have 3 drafts started of notes of things I want to talk about, but I think I'll blame the weather for my lack of creativity and ability to write. Last year, I was diagnosed preliminary with seasonal depression. To say the least, it sucks. It hits me hard in Jan/Feb/ and March. So I'm dead in the middle of it. It's not quite as severe this year as in past years, probably due to the pregnancy, but I definitely notice myself MUCH more emotional and I want to be involved in less. I feel disenchanted from my mom's group...very much the outsider in a group of women I've grown to call my friends over the last year and a half. But suddenly, I'm feeling left out, forgotten, not just by them but at work as well. My mood is also such that I don't WANT to write. Even though now is the time I should.

In the meantime, I had my 25 week midwife appointment. Everything went well, I lost an additional 2 pounds making this a total loss of 12 lbs for this pregnancy. Woo! I love being pregnant for my weight loss. This time I AM going to keep it off after I have the baby! But just being pregnant has caused some extra emotion in my life, damn hormones.

So, that brings me to a place of extreme emotion and not wanting to deal with things, right?

Enter Zachary. As a mother, I want what is best for my children. I think all (well, at least most) mothers do. Last week, I was approached by Zachary's preschool teacher. The long and the short of it was he wasn't allowed to go out on recess because of his behavior. And then when he was told this, he went into a complete meltdown. Miss Pam informed me that if she had a day like that EVERY day she would have to ask us to remove him from preschool, it was that severe. We had had problems with Zachary and his behavior for about 4 days prior to that as well, just having some major issues listening, focusing, keeping his hands to himself, crying, meltdowns, tantrums, etc. This isn't completely atypical for him either but it definitely seems to come in cycles. I almost started crying with his teacher....I felt completely (and still do) at my wits end with trying to figure out how to deal with him. I asked her honest opinion about my oldest child and her response was that there would be no way that a kindergarden teacher could handle him and 27 students even on an okay day for Zachary. He's too high maintenance, too high strung, and has to be watched constantly. And on a bad day? Yikes.

We discussed how I've tried to get him seen by this psychologist who came highly recommended and had some suggestions at Zachary's "uniqueness". But after 4 months of calling, and no return phone calls on their behalf, I'm frustrated there too. Miss Pam explained about a program called KEEP (Keeping Early Education Positive) and suggested that we (as preschool and home) contact them and see what we can do to make his life successful. Miss Pam said that he's absolutely smart and picks up on things quickly and absorbs everything, but for as advanced as he is in that manner, he's just as far below socially and behaviorally. So, next week there will be a counselor coming to Zachary's school to evaluate him and talk to his teacher, Chuck and I and then make some recommendations on where we can go from here. Miss Pam suggested that Zachary will more than likely be referred out to a more in depth counselor/pscyhiatrist/psychologist because he has issues further than just being not disciplined at home.

While discussing this all with Chuck, I sobbed. Literally sobbed. I just want Zachary to succeed in life. He told me last weekend that he wanted to be an animal dr. At the rate he is going, he'll not be able to make that goal (if it's his goal at that part of his life). Not because he isn't smart enough but because he doesn't seem to have the ability at this point to focus and behave. I want that to change but I just don't know how!!!

The next day, Zachary explained to me that he wanted a new mom and dad. Ones that weren't so mean and yelled so much. I thought I sobbed the day before? Nothing at all compared to that day. Why? Children hate their parents sometimes right? Sure. But I do yell too much. I don't know how else to deal with him anymore. Nothing else has worked. Yelling isn't working, either, but I'm out of ideas. I emailed Chuck and told him I don't think I can be a mom anymore. Soo....a parent wants what's best for their child. What if what's best for them is to have a different mom? But I had to remind myself (after Chuck saying "well you are a mom! So we'll just have to figure out a better way to deal with him!") that God gave this child to me because I AM the best parent he can have. I will forge on to find out how best to handle him, how best to get him to succeed in school and life. Some parents, will say "well, they're just a bad seed. it's their problem and their fault". I know beter and will be an advocate for my child. It's just so tiring and exhausting in the meantime. And well, emotionally draining not to mention dehydrating from all those tears.

So, seasonal depression, pregnancy and a "spirited" child who needs special help didn't mesh well last week. I hope next week, the counselor can give us some hope. Chuck and I are both committed to doing what we need to do in order to give Zachary the best start he can have. I guess that's what makes me a good mom.


Christi said...

Oh, man, Lisa. I am reading this at a time when I am about ready to throttle my children! And I'm not joking, I'm dead serious. I watched Dr. Phil the other day and some mother abandoned her child at the park. I said 'who does that shit?'. Well after today I can see why!!! But they were talking about a 10 year old. My day has been a living hell and I'm not at the bright side of things yet. It's good you can see where you want to go with Zachary and where you need to take him. You are a good mom. You are looking at ways to help him be better. You are making sure he is looked after. Maybe he is too smart for what he is doing??? I know DH had this issue and often skipped school because it was boring. Maybe this is what is up with Zachary. Does he tell you anything? Does he say how he's feeling???? I can't believe he said he wanted new parents. I've often threatened to give Kamryn new parents but she pitches a fit and doesn't want to leave lol. I hope you let him know how much that hurt and upset you. This is a tough one, Lisa, but you are onto it. That's HUGE!!! I probably would have felt like the teacher was attacking my child. I don't know how I will take these things when it comes to my girls. Hang in there, Lisa. I know it's rough at times and it's also good to know you can vent somewhere and others know what you are going through. You're a wonderful mother :)

Lisa said...


I completely understand where you are coming from...some days I just want to run and hide and not deal with any of it!

I don't feel like the teacher was picking on him or attacking him, in fact, I felt validated. FINALLY someone else can see how "unique" he is and try to help us HELP him. We've known from about 18 months that he was different, but no one would believe us, telling us that he is perfectly normal. For a preschool teacher of 26 years, and an elementary teacher before that to say "No. You're not a bad mom. You're not wrong in thinking Zachary needs help" validated my concerns. That helps a lot. Zachary and I had a long talk that day about TRYING to do better, and TRYING to be better people and not yell and for him to TRY to listen and behave. His response:

"I try Momma! But sometimes my brain doesn't do what I want it to"

Hannah said...

Wow, Lisa. That is a lot to absorb! I'm completely amazed at the way you parent Zachary. You're a great mom. You knew before anybody else that he was unique and that he needed something else. I can totally understand how having the teacher agree with you on that would be such a relief for you - finally somebody else other than you & Chuck is really understanding your little guy. I'm positive that things will work out for you. You've got the right attitude about it. I'm convinced that Zachary was given to you to nuture because you are the BEST person for the job. Despite the fact that you have bad days and he says things like he wants new parents. I don't think that's all so unusual, he is just feeling frustrated and taking it out on the closest people around. Heck, I do that and I'm a grown woman!!
I have been driven up the wall lately by Ethan's behaviour. While we were away on holiday he was frightfully naughty and cried all the time about everything. I've been at my wits end as well about what to do with him. In his case, I think he was just overwhelmed with all the attention he got with my family and other friends around all day every day, and now he's back at preschool and kindy he seems much more settled and stable. But this time last week I would have seriously considered trading him in!! He was doing my head in. You're not alone in those feelings of utter despair, wanting the best for your child and not knowing exactly how to go about it all. But I'm sure you guys will make some real progress now that his teacher is on the ball too. Keep pushing for what you know he needs, and don't settle for wishy-washy answers. I know you'll do the best you can for him, and that's all you can do.
(((((HUGS)))))) to you, Lisa. You're a great mommy so don't give up!

noname said...

When I met Mike his son (with his first wife) had just turned 2. Michael (son, not hubby) was different. When he was 3 we took him to a doctor as we were desparate for help with him. We were told he was normal, just being a boy. By the time he was 5 we finally had found a doctor who agreed that something wasn't right. Michael was exTREMELY high strung and if you took your eyes off him for even a second, all hell could break loose.

After 3 years of testing they determined that he was ADHD with a bunch of learning disabilities. Socailly he was awkward...had to be the center of attention and wouldn't play with kids his age or older. In Kindergarten he was kicked off the bus for a week for HIS saftey. He'd annoyed all the kids so much they were hitting and beating on him. I'd already quit work by this time to be a stay at home mom. I did this because no one would agree to watch him for me, not even for me to go grocery shopping. Well, some would once but no one would twice. He's always been such a sweet kid with a big heart but...his behaviour was wild.

By the time he was 8 he was masking signs of bipolar due to being traumatized by his real mom. She wouldn't have anything to do with him and it hurt him deeply. He tested well, above average on IQ tests but we had to hold him back in first grade as he couldn't preform. (that was the severity of the ADHD and his disabilies) I spent hours every evening "reschooling" him on everything he'd done at school that day as he required one on one sessions. I can't tell you how many times I was called by his teachers and told to "come get this boy now! He's disrupting the entire class!".

I went years being afraid to even go out to eat as a family because he bounced off the walls so badly. He had temper tantrums at the drop of a hat, and I mean...big ones. We regularly had to restrain him to keep him from hurting himself.

Anyway...the ritalin was a lifesaver for him. It was literally a night and day kind of change. Thing was, back then, you weren't supposed to give kids ritalin on weekends or during the summer as they thought it would stunt their growth. When he turned 13 it was as if someone pulled the plug and drained all the hyper out of him. He's the laziest person you could meet now, lol. He went through a lot of anger-phases, again, because of the hurt from having a mom who wanted nothing to do with him.

He'll be 20 in July and is in college, studing to be an architect. He failed first semester but is turning around nicely this semester. He calls me reguarly and, I swear, thanks me for pushing him so hard and for always believing in him when no one else would. We had a lot of hairy encouters as he grew up that made me feel like the worlds worst mom. He has a long way to go and he's going to struggle in life a lot I think, but I know he'll get to where he wants to. It just may take him a bit longer as he still has major problems focusing. (the ritalin doesn't work anymore and he's had reactions to all the others they've tried so far)

I have 2 other sons, both possibly bipolar. (one hasn't been reevaluated yet but it's coming) Both of these 2 have hit me and one regularly tells me he's going to have himself removed from our home cause he hates me. I sat on the steps 2 days ago, crying my eyes out, just out of sheer frustration. I know they don't mean it when they say those awful things AND, I know it's the illness that hits me, not them. We're trying to find the right medications as this, like with Michael, is so treatable. It's hard, really hard, but I can't give up. I know it will get better. That's what you have to focus on. It's what got me through with Michael.


Lisa said...


You give me so much hope and peace that there is more than just one "Zachary" out there. Everything you described about Michael could describe Zachary to a T. He's INCREDIBLY smart but it helps get him into trouble too.

Bipolar is one of the conditions we are concerned about with him, and the first psychologist suggested it, as my husband is also bipolar. Chuck sees a lot of himself in Zachary but considering we're still learning how to cope with Chuck's bipolar it's all very new to us.

Thanks for sharing your story with me. It really did help me!!!


The other me said...

My now 17 year old was a nightmare, at 4 she was blacklisted by every babysitter, she head butted one and ripped her homework. She would clear the playground at school One day I heard a child say " SOPHIE'S COMING!" and no kidding that playground cleared in seconds, it was like watching a drop of dish soap on a greasy dish. She made me weep at least once a day. She is lovely now. Stil got a mouth on her that would beat a fog horn and she will never be a diplomat or brain surgeon, but she IS in college, she does look after herself, we CAN enjoy each other. ( and really, it was a long time before i could say that) I really believe that these children are sent to the people who are right for them. I also got myself through Sophie's worst times by telling myself that she had this amount of fight in her for a reason, that sometime in her life she might need that fiesty part of her and it would help her win some battle.
Actually, now she is older I can honestly say that the harder they are to raise, the more satisfying it is when they are grown. Not very helpful to hear when they are 4 though is it? It is good that he will be getting help soon though, when the schools get involved it always speeds things up.
Sophie used to tell me all the time that she wanted a new mummy, after a while i told her that I had tried to find her one but no-one would take her on, she was stuck with me. She stopped asking after that, good mum me!!
Good luck. Helen.


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