The Shit Whisperer

We’ve been busy at Bebe’s for a while now. The current issue at home is poop. I once thought poop was hilarious, because deep down I am a 12-year-old boy when it comes to stinky humor. However I have currently become overrun by it at home and it’s causing me to really lose my mind when all I would really like to lose is my sense of smell.

The boy has been inflicted with chronic constipation since birth. We have tried everything to help him with it, and some days are good. Some are bad. This has developed into Encopresis, which is a behavioral disorder. He holds in his bowel movements as a matter of control, and to avoid pain while going. And this causes more pain when his body eventually makes himself go. And go he does. He might only go every few weeks but when he does, he breaks my toilet. I am not even kidding. We have done diet changes, bribery, rewards, kisses, seriousness, jokes, yelling, and against my better judgement I looked up the patron saint of constipation. He exists. The Catholics think of everything! In between shitting out meteoric sized balls into my now delicate and frightened toilet, his body compensates for waste removal by expelling brown liquid, day in, and day out.

It’s messy. It’s stinky. We have underwear drying out on every railing in our house. I smell like shit every night. I wipe it from remote controls, bath tubs, toys, walls, floors, socks, pants, carpets, beds and shirts. On some days, I get beaten up and scratched trying to get him for a sit on the toilet. I try to calm him down and let him know that I know he is angry and scared, and that’s okay. But hitting your mom or anyone out of anger and fear is never okay. Honestly though, if I didn’t have a fear of raising an abusive man, I would let him hit me all he wanted if it made him feel better. I will just lie and say I am in a roller derby league to explain the scratches. For a family experiencing constipation, we are in the throes of shit.

All of the time.

We do attend psychiatric counseling with the boy, to learn new parenting techniques. To try to understand where his mind is when this happens. To be less frustrated, angry and confused. It’s helped us as a family a great deal. I wish it could cure him but it hasn’t. My husband has learned a bit more about himself and his role as a parent, and even though our Saturday is really busy and sometimes sad, we are chipping away at years worth of issues that needed to be tackled. So hey, that’s good, right? All it took was my kid being in pain, afraid of what should be a hilarious rite of passage for any 4-year-old, and my sudden need to gag whenever I see anything brown, up to and including chocolate. Is nothing sacred, man?

I have questioned why I have been going through this and felt great sympathy for myself. Aggravation, frustration, disgust, and pure anger are also feelings that pop up now and then. It stays with me quite a lot, until I remember a couple of things. My kid is really fucking cool. No, I don’t really need to add the curse word to accentuate how much I love him and how cool he is. But some people deserve the added color. And he does. Aside from his issues, like his possible Aspergers, his SPD, his delays, and his iron strong will, he is healthy to the core. He eats, plays, grows, smiles, laughs, and has no other problems in life, other than future embarrassment of his parents, and with good reason. He is profoundly lucky and in turn, I am profoundly lucky. So many parents with so many more issues, their babies being very sick their whole lives. Or worse, dying. Those parents, they just do what they do. It’s not easy for them. I know that. I really do.

More importantly though, when my son is in pain, or has neurological issues, I just try really hard to know that this is HIS reality more so than mine. I am his mother and it’s MY job to help him through this and be strong, be patient, and be his biggest advocate when doctors blow you off and your best laid plans don’t seem to work. I cannot imagine what it’s like to BE HIM. I would love to learn what makes him tick, and I hope to really tap into that. So I keep working for it. If I have to be knee-deep in shit to learn to stay the course and keep fighting for my kid, then so be it. Jesus H, if you read my posts regularly you will know I just shit my own pants not too long ago. It’s my destiny, people! 

The Shit Whisperer. That’s my roller derby name.

Bebe

 

Advertisements

You Spin Me Round Round Baby Round Round

There is a lot going on in Bebe’s World, everyone. A lot. So much so that you are going to be subjected to about 3 events worth of babble in one post because it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. I’ve been struggling with this bizarre feeling that I hadn’t really been able to explain before but I finally managed to come up with an apt description. I have fallen off of my axis. I’m not quite spinning out of control across the ether or anything, but I just kind of feel like my gravitational sanity axis is amiss. I know why and how this happened. I am just now trying to figure out how to get it back so I can go on about my crazy ass life. You know I should state that I don’t like country music all that much yet somehow, someway, my life could be turned into a weird country song. I would title it “My Trash is Pearly White”.

So let’s start off with Theo McCancerPants. If you have been following along with my stories you will know that my mentally ill drug addicted brother is suffering from cancer. I went to see him a few weeks ago. We were supposed to attend a family session through his rehab joint to discuss how his decisions have affected our lives. We made it as far as the parking lot of the church it was being held. I knew he would back out at the last-minute and not go in. When we were kids he would mysteriously vanish right before family portraits. Security guards would have to chase him down in hospitals when he was sick with his stomach problems and he would try to escape. I knew when I pulled up and saw him sitting there that we wouldn’t go in. I explained that perhaps this flight philosophy he believes in so much isn’t working for him. It didn’t work though. We sat in the car for a while, and then went for coffee. It was the first time in about 5 years or so and we didn’t miss a beat when we saw each other. Still felt the deep sibling love, and the total inescapable feeling that I am sitting with an alien in my car.

By the way, in case you ever wondered what he looks like, I will go ahead and put it out there that he is from the stereotypical crazy addict school of design. I know that mental illness doesn’t always have the same face, body or spirit. Some look sharp and relatively normal, ala Patrick Bates. Others, like my brother, go the long scruffy beard and layers route. His vague notes of stale smoke and his grandmother’s polish cooking kind of permeate around him as well. I’m kind of shocked he is wearing shoes, as I remember a few years ago he vetoed them full-time, along with car insurance which he didn’t believe was necessary.

Aside from his physical appearance, health wise he looked ok. He tried to tell me his cancer came because of the nuclear disaster in Japan and called it The Simpson’s Theory. I can’t tell if he is serious or joking, so I just look at him sideways and he awkwardly laughed. Historically speaking this means he isn’t sure if he is joking or not either. We drink some coffee, we take a picture together, we hug, and I drop him off around the corner of his house and he walks through the neighbor’s yard. I wouldn’t be surprised if he crawled through the basement window to get in.

I talk to him briefly a few weeks later, and the following day I find out he arrived at court for a date with a judge regarding a prior incident he was involved in. He was supposed to have reported to a rehab facility a while back and didn’t. He is now in jail with a very high bond. I am not surprised or even disappointed. He is, relatively speaking, safe. He is warm. His medical needs are being taken care of. Perhaps he will be there long enough to become lucid enough to try and get it together just a little bit. The saga of Theo McCancerPants is not over though. Stay tuned.

The reason I only talked to Theo ever so briefly was because I was dealing with issues with my mother in law. Some of you may remember her as the culprit who has a brief shout out in Inflatable Metaphors for Life for bringing a Little Caesars Pizza to Thanksgiving dinner one year. She said she needed something to eat with her pills. So she brought an extra-large shitty ass pizza. Makes sense right? Yeah well, the issue with her was that she died. She hurt her back somehow, got stuck in her lazy boy, went to the hospital for 11 days and died. My husband traveled halfway across the country to be with her in the hospital because he just knew she was going to either leave the hospital and go to a nursing home, or leave there dead. This is all sad because it wasn’t necessary for her to die. Also, she was young. Really too young to be so old. I feel badly for my husband and his sister. They are good people, and their relationship with their mother was complicated at best. My relationship with her was almost non-existent. She was a hard woman to respect. I pitied her in many ways. But all I ever saw in her was the negative effect she had on her kids, who are mostly my responsibility. It’s like having 2 teenagers to take care of because their most basic emotional needs weren’t really always met. I have to give it to her though. I have never truly believed one could will themself to die. And she did.

I’m completely afraid of her haunting me. So much so that at the wake, I apologized to her for making so much fun of her to my friends. They all played Mother In Law Bingo at my baby shower. They should be sorry too. In case you were wondering, I created a list of things I knew she would do at my shower, and made a game out of it. In a completely coincidental event, I created a party game based on my life long friend’s equally as annoying mother in law who had her foot amputated. Needless to say, Pin the Foot on Peggy was a secret hit in our minds. We didn’t have the heart to actually play it live for real. Jesus, I’m as asshole. I am prepared for the karma I will receive when the boy marries one day. Fully.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I am certainly sad that she died so young. I am deeply saddened for my husband who is left with a vague memory of good moments with his mom. She is now in whatever better place she imagined herself to be  when her time came. I still can’t look at a Little Caesars without wanting to scream. But somehow the anger seems wasteful and sad now. So I will work on making peace with her, and with crappy pizza.

Last but not least, no post of mine would be complete without the mention of poop. The boy has encopresis, which is a behavioral issue that means he withholds his poops for fear of painful movements, which in turn, cause awful horrible painfully enormous movements. Humans are so silly with their survival instincts. It’s not at all uncommon among kids like him, and it hinders potty training like nothing else. He is on a special diet, stool softeners, extra fiber, the sticker on the potty chart plan, and “let’s kick mom in the face as many times as possible” self-defense plan.

Every night I come home after 12 hours of working to the boy and the dad. The dad tries his absolute hardest to understand that much of the boys poop problems are not within his control right this second, but honestly, dad’s best isn’t good enough. He is a nervous wreck that the constant pants pooping is going to destroy the boys chances of being President, or at the very least, an Elks Club Member. So I have to work on calming them both down. The boy poops a ton now, but the consistency is never typical, and mostly, it’s a mess. He tries to clean it up, but mostly, it gets everywhere. I mean it. Everywhere. Floors, walls, blankets, towels, me, him, pajamas, probably even the ceilings. I am covered in poop every night. Until I figured out that wipes of all kinds burn the living shit out of my son’s ass, literally, I would get kicked in the face. Every night. He wasn’t aiming at me, he just flails around in pain, and I’m just the right height. It’s awful to see my guy go through this. I know it will come together eventually. I know that we have made a lot of improvements. I know that a large part of being a mom is to be prepared for shit your whole life, one way or another. But honestly, it makes getting off the train, getting into my shit free zone car, and pulling into my garage nightly really hard.

Last night, a few hours after I had my axis epiphany and right after a shitty emergency bath, I am reading books with the boy in bed. He is reading his numbers, telling me the story, and gets pissed when I ask him to read the numbers in Spanish. It doesn’t matter to me really, I just like to outwardly acknowledge my kid is bilingual and confident enough to be all “screw you, only one language tonight!” I am not bilingual by the way. He just goes to a really fantastic preschool. I turn off the lights and lay (lie?) down with him for a while. This is a new thing. He usually tells me to leave so he can go to sleep. He has a spot in the bed, we aren’t to fuck with it. But lately, he has been kind of dependent on me and I like it. So help me, I like it. Just please goddess don’t let it get really bad. I’ve been slightly spoiled by a kid who loves to sleep. He whispers to himself that he is going to sleep by mama. He crawls up by me, and spoons with me. He holds my hand and buries his hair into my nose. He is perfectly still. I smell his hair. I pick up subtle scent of menthol from his Johnsons & Johnsons snot clearing bath wash. A slight sprinkling of fabric softener coming off his pajamas. A deep earthy whiff of shit, possibly vintage 2 weeks ago?  A dash of jerk here, a sprinkle of pure angel heaven there. When all of these scents combine I determine that this is what my axis must smell like. It’s within my grasp. Close by. I know it.

Bebe