Raising a Blended Family

Kids will be kids

on May 30, 2013

These sage words came from my cousin, responding to a Facebook status I recently posted. The status was this:


Yes, he did. Only a five year old, right? He then proceeded to continue complaining (loudly) as we made him sit through the rest of class and watch his instructors teach the rest of the half hour. And the icing on the cake in this particular incident is that it came out of nowhere. He was just fine on the way to his class, smiling and chatting as we walked in, even greeted his instructor nicely when we walked in the door (and bowed, as is tradition). This temper tantrum was completely out of the blue.

Kids will be kids.

I suppose I should also apply this logic to the many other … events …. that have been happening around the house. In a home with five kids, there’s always going to be something interesting going on, right?

L came home from her last day of school yesterday with her report card. We had not talked much with her teacher during the last two months of school that L was with us, but when we did were generally assured she was doing fine. We diligently inquired to L about homework each night, and when it was assigned (not often), checked it for mistakes before she turned it in. We always asked how school was and we felt like we were on top of it. Imagine our surprise when her report card was full of, not the A’s and B’s we were expecting, but D’s and F’s instead. Mostly F’s. Further imagine our surprise when a call to L’s teacher, placed after school on the last day of school and during which I’m sure the teacher was wondering why we were bothering to call NOW, when there was nothing to be done, revealed that not only had L HAD homework every.single.day (there were many days she told us she didn’t; in retrospect we should have found that suspicious), her teacher had sent home multiple progress reports, make-up work packets, notes, and other attempts at communication that never made it home. We checked each day- they weren’t there. Now, apart from our anger that this teacher had not made a phone call or sent an email when she never got a response to her notes, there is the bigger issue: the kid lied. The kid lied BIG TIME.

I holy mother of all things good I cannot STAND to be lied to. Nothing makes me madder, faster, and I feel like steam comes out of my ears anytime I catch someone in a lie. Imagine how I felt at this revelation. Mad does not begin to cover it.

Kids will be kids. Oooooooohm.

We’ve talked about it, Shorty and I. We are going to be so involved next year with L’s teacher, we’ll make helicopter parents look detached. We’ve spoken to L, and she will be making up all the work she skipped out on over the course of this summer while the other children play. And yet, this was just the last (and largest) in a series of lies that we’ve caught her in and Shorty and I are really at a loss. We’ve really never dealt with a kid who lies before- Thing One does it every once in awhile (at her own peril) but not habitually or, I would say, problematically.

Kids will be kids?

And then there was the incident the other day in the ER. Involving Addie. She was crawling around on the floor and got ahold of Shorty’s migraine medicine. We did not know it was on the floor and I am ashamed to say that we did not catch her until she already had the pill in her mouth. I pulled it out, half-dissolved, and immediately called poison control, who told us to take her to the ER. We were there within ten minutes and they told us that because they had never had a child her age swallow this particular medicine, they would have to transfer her to a children’s hospital and keep her overnight. She ended up being fine, but it was a stressful, anxious, guilt-ridden night. They tried to give Addie activated charcoal- she was NOT having it. Luckily she didn’t need it. They had her hooked up to blood pressure cuffs and heart monitors- she looked pathetic, but also pathetically adorable. She was much happier when we transferred to the children’s hospital that had a crib so she could crawl around, rather than us having to keep her contained on a gurney meant for an adult.




We also had to call Addie’s social worker to tell her what had happened. She grilled us to the Nth degree, acting like we had done it on purpose, and then there was a new social worker at our door the next day, to “investigate an alleged incident of child abuse or neglect”. ARE YOU SERIOUS? Are we seriously the only ones whose baby has ever swallowed something she shouldn’t? The new social worked was very reassuring and tried to tell us, without being able to actually tell us, that the case will be dismissed. But it was still stressful and I felt like I was being looked at as a bad person. Ugh.

Kids will be kids?

Needless to say, things have been slightly stressful around here. We are going on an adults-only vacation in July and leaving the kids with Grandma, and I find myself thinking of it more and more as an escape from the stress. Going to my “happy place,” if you will. Kids will be kids. And adults will be adults who sit on the beach and sip drinks in order to get away from it all. Ohhhmmmm.


5 responses to “Kids will be kids

  1. pepibebe says:

    Oh goodness, that’s a rough few weeks! Definitely all kids eat stuff they shouldn’t – my wife drank bleach 2 or 3 times as a small child. (She still turned out pretty good.)

  2. Isa says:

    Jeez. Well, the good news is that however adorable (VERY ADORABLE) Addie is in that hospital gown, she will be back on your floor soon looking for plunder. I’m glad she’s ok. And I would have had a very hard time not handing L her own bunda (isn’t that a good word? Portuguese for bootie!) when I found out about that. I hope she gets through this phase–it sounds so much like the kind of thing a kid who has been mistreated acts. I’m hoping that as she is with you guys longer you break through to the good kid that’s buried in there.

  3. More Than Words says:

    Oh mamas, that’s a doozie. It sounds like you’re handling it like a pair of champs though. 5 kids cannot be easy and I won’t pretend to understand, but knowing my 14 month old and all the crap she picks up off the floor, you will get no judgment from me. I think it’s great that you’re having L make up the schoolwork she missed over the summer. If she’s in the house doing math and history while her friends are playing outside, I’m pretty sure this situation will not repeat itself. Parenting is at time tough… but as Dory says in Finding Nemo, just keep on swimming. 🙂

  4. meridith says:

    Oh my gosh. That is so stressful. Good luck with L – that’s incredibly challenging and I’m sure she’ll be grateful (eventually) for your commitment to her education. On the bright side, Addie is incredibly adorable (and safe).

  5. Oy. That all does sound stressful. One of the families PB works for has a dog who was on serious painkillers after a surgery, and they (the family) weren’t particularly good about making sure that the dog actually *swallowed* the pills instead of hacking them back on the floor. It was fortunate that PB spotted the horked pill before one of the kids did, or it could have been an ugly situation. One friend of mine’s daughter got a hold of her grandmother’s purse, and opened the non child-proofed bottle of ibuprofen. Because they weren’t sure if she’d swallowed any or not (turns out she hadn’t), they took her to the hospital, and also ended up with a visit from a social worker. This stuff happens, even to good, attentive, parents.

    As for L… oy. I don’t know that I have anything helpful to say, I’m afraid. I haaaaate to be lied to also (I get it from my mother, I think). At a guess, L probably hasn’t had the best role models prior to moving into your care, but still. Time to learn some better behavior, methinks. Although I do have to say I feel like the teacher could have handled things much better. I mean, if she made no effort to contact you all other than through L, who was clearly having some issues, that doesn’t really speak well of her.

    Hugs. July sounds lovely, and I would be looking forward to it too.

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