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Thursday, February 16, 2012


I've been having some issues with Alex. My darling little redhead. The only way that I can describe this kid is that he is what you would end up with if the Tazmanian Devil and the Energizer Bunny had a child - he never stops moving and he leaves a path of destruction everywhere he goes. He wakes up at 90mph and doesn't stop until he goes to bed at night. His mouth runs constantly as well as his body.

He is super smart and he has a memory that stuns me at times. We can go somewhere that we've never been before - like to a friend's house - and if we go back a year later, he remembers how to get there, can describe every room in the house, and will tell me what everyone was wearing during the first visit. He's amazing like that (and certainly doesn't get that trait from me).

Anyway, along with his energy comes a definite lack of impulse control. He does whatever he wants to whenever he wants to do it and doesn't think about the consequences. This is something that we have been working on for what seems like forever. Lately the big thing has been stealing food. Now, the kid is not starving by any stretch of the imagination. He's a big boy, yes, but he's built just like his father. He's active and his doctor has no concern about his weight - she feels that he'll grow into his body as he gets older. But I do make an effort to watch what he eats without making a big deal out of it. I try to limit all of the junk food that the kids eat but I'm far from being a health nut.

He has also been having toileting issues for as long as I can remember - something else that the doctor thought that he would eventually grow out of, but so far no luck. He's been having accidents both here and at school almost daily. I've talked to his teacher (who is wonderful) and we have both stressed to him that if he feels like he has to go, he doesn't even have to ask permission - he can just get up and go regardless of what the class is doing. He says that he understands, yet it still happens.

So, after a particularly trying couple of days with him, I decided that I was going to start with him writing sentences. Yesterday, he got to sit at the kitchen table with a spiral notebook and write a page full of "I will not steal food."....and a page full of "I will not touch other people's stuff."....and a page full of "I will not poop my pants."

And then he stole a container full of muffins that I had made yesterday - I found them under his bed this morning. Apparently, he didn't like them because he only ate half of one instead of all 6 this time. *sigh*

I talked to his teacher today when I picked him up from school and she has been noticing that he has been acting out a little more over the past few weeks. She can't really pinpoint anything "major", just little stuff that she has been having to warn him about more than she has before. So, she and I are going to put our heads together and try to come up with *something* that we can both do with him - some kind of a reward system - at home and at school to give him as much consistency as possible. And I am going to call his pediatrician tomorrow and see if we can come up with some explanation for the toileting problems.

I've had him in counseling before too. He went for a year or so, maybe more. The counselor couldn't come up with anything other than "he's just an active boy" and let it go at that. Not that I want him to be diagnosed with anything, but I need something to go on before I lose what's left of my mind. About the only thing that is saving me right now is knowing that even with the issues that he's having, he's still doing great in school - he's ahead of the class in just about every area (which I know, could be leading to some of the problems) and he loves to go to school.

So hopefully, in the next few weeks, after talking to his doctor and working out some kind of system with his teacher, I'll start to see some improvements in his behavior. Otherwise, I might need a vacation....in a padded room.


  1. No matter the direction you chose, I'll be there to support you with my ideas, my support and if necessary to tag in when you need a break.

  2. "Dumb question alert"... i've just started reading ur blog last week and really appreciate ur honestly... Ur regular readers probably know the answer but unfortunately i'm new and very hopeful that u are going to be as refreshing, insightful and humourous as supposedly 'Erma Bombeck' was; according to my parents, back in the day...
    How old is "Alex" and i totally get ur "Frustration" cuz i've been exactly in your shoes myself but just wondering at what age is this normal ? Also when should we as parents seek professional advise, beyond just our GP's ?

    And lastly, as a Post Script - Please tell me "Alex" is a fake name and that he nor his friends have access to this 'blog' now or in the future ?

    1. Well thanks for coming by and for commenting! I'm glad that you're here!

      Alex just turned 6, and he is in kindergarten this year. I don't know if this behavior is ever normal - he's the 4th of my 5 kids and the others never had issues like this, and the youngest one hasn't either. So I'm in unfamiliar territory. I always go to our pediatrician first and then take her advice, along with talking to other parents to get their insight.

      His name actually is Alex. When I first started this blog, I never expected it to get as big as it has, and did it more for myself than for anyone else. I do use first names, but never last names and not my specific location. So while we are not totally anonymous (how I wish I could go back and change that now) I do try to protect them as much as possible - and if it ever comes to a choice between the kids' safety or the blog, the blog will be gone. :)

  3. If he knows that he can use that bathroom and it still happens... maybe it's an internal problem. Have you ever asked him if he feels the need to go? or if it just happens?
    If he does feel the need, and just ignore it... it's a control issue. That he feels the need to want to go whenever he wants to, regardless of need, just because he can control the situation.
    He might be a normal kid, but all kids are looking for their own... independence.
    (These are my opinions, as I had a friend who went through the same thing, and these are what her child's therapist came up with).

    As for the food stealing... or is it hoarding... does he always eat ALL of what he steals? I have heard this from a bunch of my friends. Some of it came from past experiences... of when they didn't have a lot of money, and food was scarce. Others came from the children not getting the same types of food their friends have. Which is just a selfish thing, in my opinion.

    I'm sure you can (and have) sat down with your son and asked why he does this. And I imagine you get an "I don't know." as it is the easiest answer they know! hahahaha.

    Try to tell him that you're trying to help him...

    And.. I hate to say it, but make sure that it has nothing to do with the new influence of your amazing Dude.
    I know my son is a year or so younger than yours.. but when Klay came in to the picture, we had an adjustment period... a long one.

    Please know this is all just my opinion, and is coming from a good place. . . . a helpful place.
    I empathize how much it sucks, when your kid is acting out of character.

    1. Sometimes with the bathroom thing, he's distracted - too busy playing or something. Sometimes it just seems like pure obstinance, like when the teacher sends him to the bathroom, he sits for a while, doesn't go, and then has an accident 10 minutes later. We can't really figure out a pattern to it at all, which makes it even more frustrating. About the only pattern that we've come up with is that it doesn't happen in the morning - usually.

      He doesn't hoard the food - he eats it, with the exception of the muffins. But I think that's because he didn't like them. LOL Having enough food has never really been an option because even in our darkest financial days, we had food stamps and we were never hungry (thankfully). I've thought about that too - it seems like the food thing is more of him just being sneaky and seeing what he can get away with....

      I'm kind of wondering if the two aren't connected - he steals food and eats so much crap (oh, bad pun) and then his body revolts.....? I want to get him tested for allergies too, just to be safe. It could be something as simple as something that he's eating.

      I've thought about The Dude aspect too - I know that there will be an adjustment period, but they all seem to have taken it in stride (much to my surprise). He's not here all of the time so life is pretty much "normal" except for the one or two evenings per week that he's here - and even then we try to stick to the same schedule and whatnot. But it might have something to do with it too.

      I do appreciate the comments - very much so!

  4. Man, kids like to keep life interesting, don't they? They never have the same issues as siblings to make it easy on us.

    I hope that you get it figured out -- sounds like this is tough on all of you :(


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