Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I thought they'd be fun. I thought wrong.

So, when my doctor first told me that I'd probably never get pregnant, I was devastated.

One, I was under the impression that kids were fun! Worth it! A blessing! Would do the housework when they got older!

And two, having a child would give me a socially acceptable reason to stop working.

The idea of missing out on all that was just heart wrenching. Also? Usually when someone tells me I can't do something, it motivates me to find a way to do it anyway.

So, we started fertility drugs. They only made me fat(ter) and evil(er).

And then Ben sort of fell into our laps. I mean one day we weren't even considering adoption and then three months later we had a newborn to care for.

And I learned that kids were not fun, and they created more housework, and frankly, going back to work and letting a day care center do all the dirty work was looking mighty appealing.

Ben was (and is) a very difficult child. It started when he was about one. I know--you're thinking how can an innocent one year old be difficult? Trust me, he was. Everyone told me that it was because he was a boy and that's just how boys are.

After a few years, I resigned myself (with some relief) to the fact that we were only going to have one child. He was about to start school full time, and he could be someone else's problem for a few hours. I could (somewhat) get my life back.

And, of course, that's when I discovered that out of the blue, after 7 years, I was pregnant. And when I found out it was a boy, I cried for weeks. If Ben acted the way he acted because he was a boy I didn't want another one.

Turns out those people who blamed his behavior on his Y chromosome were big fat liars, because Liam turned out to be sweet and not too difficult. For awhile, anyway. I almost started to think that having kids was indeed fun! And worth it! And a blessing! But, over the past three years he has gotten progressively more and more difficult, and now he gets kicked out of school once a week, on average.

And then there's Amelia. I was so excited to have a girl. I strongly believe that girls are easier than boys. Will disagrees. Maybe it's not so much that she's easier, but that I understand her brand of crazy better than I understand the boys'. In any case, she has brought her own challenges to the family. She is the laziest child I've ever met. And oh, the drama with this one. Everything is cause for tears. I swear she's had PMS since she was two. And she's the master of the eye roll. Honestly, I can't imagine how her 13 year old self will ever be able to top the 5 year old version. Well, I can, I just don't don't want to because it scares the bejeebers out of me.

In the past four days we've found out that Liam likely has severe ADHD (predominantly hyperactive/impulsive), and Ben likely has Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Neither are firm diagnoses yet, but both the school psychologists and the pediatrician agree that these are very probable.

I've read an essay numerous times over the years that likens having a child with special needs to landing in Holland when you'd planned a fabulous trip to Italy. Holland's not a bad place--it's just different than the place you were prepared to go.

The problem is, I feel like I should never have even been on the plane to begin with, and the flight was nonstop turbulence, and the movie sucked, and now I have to deal with a bunch of Europeans who don't believe in deodorant or toilet seats*. It was bound to be a crappy vacation regardless of where the plane landed. And now the bastards have confiscated my passport and I can't go home.

That's what it really feels like.

*I lived in Europe for several years. I loved it. But they really do have BO issues, and a disturbing lack of toilet seats.

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