Thursday, 10 April 2014

I made my son late for kindergarten. Again.

I made my son late for kindergarten today. Again.
8:10 a.m., he's eating cereal and watching Peg plus Cat, I'm heading for the shower. Time is tight but I can do it. I'll just check Facebook quickly.
(Insert sound of crashing truck.)
My brain knows it's disastrous, "no! no! no...," my conscience protests, feebly, even as my hand reaches for the iPhone. For the first time I notice that my iPhone even looks a little like a drug, all smooth and white and oval-ish. I see that moment over and over in my mind, the phone sitting there, my conscience resisting, my impulse winning, my long arm darting out like a lizard's tongue, grabbing it. Yeah, that's pretty melodramatic, but the results really are awful, aren't they? The results are hurting my son. I have to keep staring at that sentence. Of course I know it's true. So why do I keep repeating the behaviour?
Flop down on the bed, start scrolling...
[Ed. Okay, so this is embarrassing but I just checked fb and completely lost my train of thought. Where was I? Ah, yes, recounting how my last fb check derailed my morning and did a great disservice to my child. Well, the fun is gone, but in a nutshell...]
Suddenly, it's 8:27. No time to shower. Speed-pack lunch. Rush him dressed and out the door. 
The school is quiet at 9:10. I'm hot and sweaty with dirty hair. He's sweet and innocent and doesn't know yet. Past the office (I'll sign in after), to his class-room, here come's disaster. Hang his bag up, jacket's off. Open the door, NOPE - his wheels are off. 
My little one is shy, he won't go in. I don't want to go in because I look like I just got out of bed and I know it. My usual patience isn't there; I'm too preoccupied with my dirty hair. 
[Why I keep thinking in rhymes I don't know. Is it the Adderal XR or am I just in that zone?] [Damn that's annoying.] 
[Snap out of it! There is something very important to note because you (I) do not want to do this again!]
[Yeah, I think I do feel a weird chemical buzz of Adderal XR, citalopram, and my new doc's addition, modafinil, coming on strong... Maybe I need to start taking this stuff much earlier, so it can help me help my child.]
I guess the story's totally lost, but the bottom line is this. My son doesn't like being late. Who would? He's shy, he's anxious, he deserves my love and support and attention. He doesn't deserve a mom who behaves like this. He deserves the good me. He deserves the me I can be... right? Will be. I have to believe it. 
I'm lucky. I'm blessed. I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful son. I'm letting them down, huge. I'm letting myself down too. 
I don't want to do it anymore. I don't want to do the sign-in of shame. I know they recognize me. There's that mom, signing her son in late, it's 9:10 and she just got out of bed? Shift-work? Drunk? Well, no more. 
It's not about them, or even about me, so much as it is about my little one. I don't drink or abuse. But I don't use my time well. I'm late. Almost always. It's a life of panic for me. Maybe my brain even craves that little dopamine kick. But when it hurts my kid, it really hurts. Today as I drove home, full of shame, I thought (and not for the first time), maybe this is why moms start drinking. Maybe some moms. Maybe some moms know that their (sober) behaviour isn't up to their standards, they feel guilt and shame, they feel a drink would dull that thought. (It is tempting.) Dull that thought... and maybe someday even be an excuse. 
It's a dark world, this inadequate place. 
But no, I'll sip my water, and share my weaknesses here, and try my very, very, very best to be a better version of myself. 
First, today, a coffee -- I don't need that buzz but this headache is killing me -- change the laundry -- and hit the books. I have a Human Physiology final in four (four!) days and houseguests in two. Damn.
You can do this, you. We can do hard things, says Glenna. 

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