Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Batshit Crazy Defined

If you look up "Batshit Crazy" in the dictionary, I'm pretty sure you'd find my photo.

Let's face it.  We've all been there.  We have had those moments, or even days, when we lose it.  Our heads spin, our eyes bulge out of our head and we scream like banshees.  We say things that we regret and hope to God no one heard us.  Then we feel guilty and bad about ourselves.  At least I hope we've all been there?  I'd hate to think I am the only mom who stops everyone in their tracks at Target screaming at her kid.

It seems like with all the changes in our life lately, everyone is on edge and everyone's behavior is a little off, including mine.  My fuse is typically pretty short, but my fuse has completely disappeared at this point.  Colin has been more of a pain in my ass throughout the last several months. It is either the cause of my shortened fuse or he is being affected by it.  I can't decide, but one thing is for sure, shit is about to explode around here.

Let's just discuss the general state of affairs in my current life.  We moved three weeks ago and not only had to pack and move our house into Tom's parents house that we bought from them, we then had to help pack and move all of their stuff to their new house.  We lived in relative squalor for a good two weeks, and let's just say they have accumulated a great deal of "stuff" over the years.

Once we moved their stuff out, were all ready for our new furniture to arrive only to find out that it won't be delivered until the end of September.  The good news is our painter doesn't have much furniture to work around. The bad news is at the end of the day that includes battling to keep the kids entertained in between teaching classes,  unpacking, back-to-school shopping and keeping Home Depot in business thanks to daily visits, I have nowhere to park my ass at night. We also had to live three days without cable or Internet, which meant even if I wanted to retreat to the basement, where we actually have furniture, I'd have to stare at a blank wall.  

In the midst of all this, we had to get an Invisible Fence for our dog since the new house doesn't have a fenced in yard.  She kept breaking free from the lead in the yard and/or wrapping herself around trees, bushes and Malibu lights every time she went outside.  I had to chase her through the neighborhood in my pj's numerous times. Just to make things a little more exciting, she would go outside and be so distracted, she wouldn't do what she was supposed to do.  Instead she chose to do it in the house.  The other day the Invisible Fence trainer came just as it had started raining, and I got to train her in the pouring rain. As luck would have it, the once piece of furniture that was ready to be delivered came at the exact same moment.  I think the Invisible Fence trainer was about to save me like a stray dog from the shelter.  I was soaking wet, cold and looked miserable.

Let's see, in addition to moving not once, but twice, I had to get Maddie get registered at her new school and get her ready to start this week.  The other day we tried to go back-to-school shopping at Target.  I figured it was a good excuse to get out of the house since that was day the painters started.  The fumes were starting to get to me so I gathered my list, my coupons and the kids in hopes we could just knock it out and get gifts for three of the birthday parties we had over the weekend.  Immediately, Colin started whining that he wanted a toy.  I could barely get to the school supply section, when he ran off toward the toy aisle.  I told him to pick out a toy for his friend's birthday party and he kept picking things out for himself.  I continued to say "no" and he continued to throw temper tantrums.  I finally got him away from the toy section only to have him run back there five minutes later.  When I grabbed him and led him back to the cart in the clothing section, he told me I was "stupid."  I grabbed his little red, snotty, sobbing face and gave him my best teeth gritting mom voice.  I reaffirmed that I was not buying him a toy and he had better knock it off or he was not going to be allowed to go to his friend's party.

We exited the boys section and I was trying to find Maddie some clothes when he got completely out of control and kept screaming, "I WANT A TOY!!!!" At that moment I decided to ditch the cart and the kid and told him we were leaving.  I figured I could just come back at 10 p.m. when the kids were in bed.  The way the day was going, by that time, instead of grabbing a Starbucks, I would have to bring a flask.  Better yet, perhaps heading to the wine aisle and popping open a bottle for this particular trip would be better?  I figured that would just make matters worse since I was pretty sure DCFS was already on their way.

He followed behind screaming and crying, "I WANT TO GO TO THE PARTY!!  I went into what I call "hushed batshit crazy."  Which means, I didn't scream nearly as loud as I am capable of, but enough where at least 15 people stopped in their tracks to stare at me. Let's call it screaming like a banshee in an "inside voice." 

He seemed to get the point and once again we were off towards the school supply section only to have him continued on with his temper tantrum. Every 30 seconds he would whimper, "I want a toy." Do you know how hard it is to concentrate on the proper size glue stick, the difference between single-pocket folders versus plastic, 2-pocket only folders, College rule notebooks versus wide ruled all while making sure they have a peace sign or Hello Kitty on them with that kind of distraction?

In my estimation, Back-To-School Shopping alone is grounds for us moms to completely lose our shit.  This would explain the spontaneous support group that was formed in the school supply section of both Meijer and Target.  Throw in a crabby, constipated four-year old, and I just have to give into the fact that some things are just insurmountable.

I finally got at least three more things on the supply list and we headed to the checkout line.  He had been in tears for at least 74% of the shopping trip and as I was frantically loading the conveyor belt with no less than $100 worth of Target merchandise (because let's face it, it is NEVER less than $100), and suddenly Colin walked up with a smile through his tears.  It was a smile that said, "I just pulled a major dick-move on you, mom."  I figured he had snagged some stupid toy from the checkout line and smuggled on the belt.  The checkout lady said no, but there is no proof that Colin didn't slip her a $20 to keep his secret safe.

As soon as I swiped my Target Debit card and my 5% savings was deducted, Colin asked if he could have his gun.  Now, being that Colin is the spawn of Satan, I could have just brushed this comment off as something that Colin says on a regular basis.  Then he pointed to the bags and said, "the one with the bullets." 

I dug through the  bags and found a mini Nerf gun.  I promptly marched him to the Customer Service Desk and returned it.  When I got my $5.13 back, I handed it to Madelyn who had behaved for exactly 100% of the shopping trip.  We high-tailed it out of there and Colin went straight to his room when we got home.

The weekend rolled around and I was able to hand him off to Tom, who he is actually afraid of. His behavior improved and I was relieved Tom took Monday off for one extra day of help. However, come Monday we were right back where we left off on Friday at Target.  We tried to have a fun day with our old neighbors at a local park/petting zoo. Within 15 minutes of arriving, I was ready to call Tom to pick him up.  He refused to eat his lunch, and headed for the playground.  It wasn't long before I noticed him doing a potty dance.  Since it had been three days since he had pooped and he had a dose of Miralax that morning, I knew it was pretty likely had had to drop a deuce.  Besides, playgrounds and libraries usually do the trick when a stubborn bowel movement is in question.

He refused to go potty and even made me chase him up the jungle gym.  I saw red, my temper flared as he merely laughed at me as I not-so-gracefully made my way up the ladder.  And in a blink of an eye, out came the good old "Batshit Crazy." This time, I let it all out.  We were outside, after all.   I finally scared him along with every other kid on the playground enough to march him up to the bathroom.  He still didn't poop, but he peed and then I had to apologize to not only my friends who we were having our play date with, but some poor woman who had removed her children from the playground and was hiding a few feet away.  She looked a little scared of me, but said, "I've totally been there! I completely understand!"

And I think that seems to be the general reaction I get.  Sure, I occasionally get the dirty look like, "What is wrong with your heathen of a child?" or "Why can't you get your shit together, lady?" But for the most part, I get looks of pity followed by an unspoken knowledge that all of us lose it at some point in time or another and SOMETIMES it just so happens it is in the middle of Target and not in the privacy of our own homes.

I've tried methods like "1-2-3 Magic" and "Love and Logic," and have had some success.  However, when your kid basically gives a look that is the equivalent of the middle finger when you reach "3" and escapes even the time outs that include a locked door, there is no logic and certainly no love.  I try so hard to keep it together, remain calm and controlled. I know that I am the parent and I need to be mature and not throw my own temper tantrum, but they wear me down along with my wick and then BOOM!!! Batshit Crazy.

I did look up "Batshit Crazy" in the Urban Dictionary. Here's what it said: A person who is batshit crazy is certifiably nuts. The phrase has origins in the old fashioned term "bats in the belfry." Old churches had a structure at the top called a belfry, which housed the bells. Bats are extremely sensitive to sound and would never inhabit a belfry of an active church where the bell was rung frequently. Occasionally, when a church was abandoned and many years passed without the bell being rung, bats would eventually come and inhabit the belfry. So, when somebody said that an individual had "bats in the belfry" it meant that there was "nothing going on upstairs" (as in that person's brain). To be BATSHIT CRAZY is to take this even a step further. A person who is batshit crazy is so nuts that not only is their belfry full of bats, but so many bats have been there for so long that the belfry is coated in batshit. Hence, the craziest of crazy people are BATSHIT CRAZY.

Here's the kicker, after a miserable trip to the park and petting zoo, I dropped Colin off at home, and Maddie and I headed out to run some errands while our cable and internet were installed.  He called to tell me that the cable guy found a bat in our attic.  Tom was concerned about how long it had been there and even mentioned all the shit that might be up there.  Hmm.  Perhaps I've been absorbing batshit crazy through osmosis? Yeah, let's blame it on the bats. 

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