When the cat’s away, the mice all freak out

The weather here in Florida has been Africa hot, with a high probability of pollen that will ensure anyone with even an inkling of an allergy will be fit to be tied.

Jensen’s Atopic Dermatitis gets particularly festive during a long period of high pollen.  For the last month or so, I’ve been able to revisit his past, wherein he has behavioral issues that will challenge even the most seasoned of parents.  Not to mention ALL THE SCRATCHING.

We’ve had to duct tape socks (soaked in ice water) to his hands and feet at bedtime.  And the least little upset in his delicate nature will cause a fit of itching so severe I’ve had to tackle him to keep him from ripping himself to shreds.  And when I say upset, I’m talking about the teasing nature of two older sisters with a thirst for punishment that can come only in the form of GROUNDING THEM UNTIL COLLEGE.

We went to our beloved small group on Sunday night.  This is a time when we get to have blessed adult conversation with 3 other couples that have become dear friends, while our children frolic together.  All went particularly well, until Jensen had a dispute regarding dessert.  Which lead to a melt down.  Of epic proportions.

And no, we don’t give in to the melt down, because as we have learned from past experience, when you give in to the melt down, YOU ARE REINFORCING THE BEHAVIOR.

Which really stinks, because, OH DEAR GOD, you just want to do or say ANYTHING to get the screaming to stop.  YOU WANT ICE CREAM?  A PUPPY?  A MERCEDES BENZ?

Good times.

When it was time to go, he suffered from yet another meltdown because it was, well, time to go.  Fiddledaddy ended up picking him up football style, and depositing him into the van.  While his sisters held their ears.

We stayed calm.  Scarily calm.  And I knew that there was no judgment from the other bedraggled parents because WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE.

When we arrived back home, Jensen, now full of deep remorse, asked if he could film a heartfelt apology for his fit to the group to be sent to our small group.

Jensen’s betrothed, E, and her family are part of the small group.  When E saw the apology via e-mail, she turned to her mother, “What fit?”

Which is reason #236 why E is perfect for Jensen.  She manages to completely overlook all of his faults.

We’ve had an answer to prayer in the form of a two week job that Fiddledaddy has in Alabama.  Which started this week.  He had been feeling particularly uncomfortable with the idea of leaving me alone to deal with our three crazy children.  Especially Jensen, who makes HIGH MAINTENANCE look like a vacation.  I assured him that I will be fine.  (Translated:  there is plenty of ChocoVine in my refrigerator).

Don’t judge me.

When we dropped Fiddledaddy off at the airport, he leaned into the van to have a heart to heart with the children.  The gist of which was to BE GOOD FOR 2 WEEKS.

Jensen’s eyes grew wide.  “WE CAN’T BE GOOD FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS! ARE YOU KIDDING?”

I’m just trying to keep everyone’s dance card full so that no one hardly notices the empty chair at the dinner table and makes the time go by faster.

Tonight, we’re finally getting some much needed rain, which should ease our pollen burdens.  But the subsequent thunder and lightning and intermittent power outages are causing a rather high strung 6 year old to come apart at the seams.  In a brilliant parenting move, I removed his mattress from his loft bed, and moved him in with the sisters.  Revenge is best served steaming hot.

Which is the only way I’m able to get a post written.  And some semblance of sanity restored.

During times like these my heart really goes out to single parents.  I don’t know how you do it.  But you have my admiration, that’s for sure.

And as far as all of the issues that we’re dealing with now, with our boy, they will pass.  Just as they have in days gone by.  I look back on posts from years ago, and I don’t know how I got through it.  But by the grace of God, and a solid partner to walk with me through life, I’ll get to the other side.

For that, I could not be more grateful.

Bring the rain.

10 Responses to When the cat’s away, the mice all freak out

  • I’m praying for you, Dee. I think we have all experienced those melt downs. God bless you.

    I have to say, that was very creative of him to think of video taping an apology to the other parents. 🙂

  • Your honesty is an inspiration to us all. Have a great summer!

  • Love your blog and your honesty clothed in humor! It’s true, the years pass quickly. One day they’re six and then you turn around and they’ve actually grown up 🙂 The greatest hope we can have for our children is that they know Jesus as their Savior. Really, anything beyond that is just icing on the cake! I always like to say, enjoy the good times and endure the bad times because the one thing you can be assured of is things are going to change.

  • What a great idea Jensen had! Kudos to him for having the guts to film the apology. (And his beloved sounds like a keeper for sure!)

    Where in AL did your beloved go? Anywhere near Huntsville??

    Praying the 2 weeks goes by quickly for you. As the wife of a retired military member and guy who still has to spend some days/nights away from home, I can relate to the single parenting woes.

  • We live in AL. The Fiddle family is welcome any time, itchy boys and all. Seriously. I mean it. And that video apology? Brilliant and sweet.

  • Love the video he made and E response to it. YUP they belong together. Hang in there, Daddy will be home soon and the rain will help. God sent it for you to take a breather. So Breath all ready.

  • We live in Alabama, too, and you are welcome to come visit us and perhaps tour the Space and Rocket Center. Rocket Man would proabably be happy to take you to tour where they make stuff that actually goes to space. His shop is mighty cool…and we are war-worn vets with children…4 between us and 2 grandchildren whom we lovelying refer to as Death and Destruction. Y’all come on!

  • Yes there is always one in the family who makes life sooooo very interesting and challenging. Just wait till he grows up the music still plays!!!

  • Aw, we love our Jensen and loved the video even more. 🙂

    Julia’s comment was wonderful! I hope to remember this during our ‘trying times’.

  • I live in northwest Alabama, in between where the Tuscaloosa and Hackleburg tornadoes ripped through in April. If he were to get to craving a home cooked meal. And you should come with him next time – your kids would love playing with my dog!