We’re Making Plans For Nigel


At some point I’m going to get a phone call from various defunct 80’s bands demanding some sort of restitution for all the titles I’ve stolen after a morning listening to Sirius XM’s First Wave.

I like to use the drive back from drop off to think about what needs to be done during the day and to formulate a plan of attack for whatever bizarre circumstances or unforseen disasters will fall in my lap thanks to my smallest child.

You see, despite the best laid plans and extensive help from all the most expensive professionals he still has some issues that prevent him from being ready for prime time.

Like the Saturday Night Live players but with less parody and more physical pratfalls.

So here I am, the grown up, struggling to hack my way through the thick brush surrounding the path back to normality for this kid.

Never have I been so confounded by another human being.

I lie in wait for the ramifications of each decision I’ve made on his behalf  dreading the large casualty laden explosion that is clearly imminent. Nothing is clear-cut and never have the stakes been so high.

Imagine if laid before you are a deck of a thousand cards and you must pick five or six to determine the path that someone takes at various important crossroads in their life.

Now take a look at the possible outcomes.

Steven Hawking or the Unibomber.

Churchill or Mussolini.

Yes, perhaps I’m exaggerating his potential but his propensity for extremes is legendary and being in his service for these long five years has taken its toll on the staff here.

It would be accurate to say we live in fear.

Fear of the next step.

Fear that the wrong choice will cause everything to go up in flames (don’t laugh, it’s happened)

Usually I have these things set up far in advance of the actual decision-making event but I happen to be in the middle of a long period of wait and see fence-sitting that’s really starting to hurt my ass.

And so, as I perch here and think about making plans for Nigel I’m still frozen with doubt and remorse over things I’ve not even done yet.



Filed under adhd, am I doing anything right?, average is so much easier, bad parenting, behavior problems in kids, better skills, boys with serious attitude, can I have a normal day, crazy ramblings, delinquints, difficult child, difficult kids, discipline, failure, fight or flight response, foul language in preschool, four year old love, getting it together, here we go, I have 3, I have HOW many kids?, I'm not as effective in a bad situation as I thought I would be, I'm all over the map, il duce is five, It's embarassing when you suck at something, keep the expectations low okay?, kids, kids and parenting, kids that don't fit the mold, kids that like cursewords, kids with warped minds, kindergarten options

29 responses to “We’re Making Plans For Nigel

  1. keepingyouawake

    Kids are resilient with a lot of margin for us to be retards when we make decisions for them. I was a total assbag to my parents, who took me in and did their best. We each break the mold to be a deformed, weird, sociopathic weirdo that finds like-minded friends. Somehow it just works as long as we are all kind & loving people who can empathize with each other.

    As long as you’re covering those bases, the rest will work out, I think?

    • I just noticed the grammatical nonsense I wrote. Your bouncer should have stopped me…

    • dufmanno

      I wonder if my sensitivity to other parents reactions to him and his odd ways colors my perception too much.
      The agony of seeing ten stern faces fall in shock when he lets something wildly bizzare rip is sometimes more than my nerves can take.
      Still, one day maybe he and Rollins can collaborate on a spoken word scream fest to make up for that broken arm he gave me. (Rollins, not my child)

  2. I am reading between the lines and going to assume that he is super smart, intelligent, way more mature than his age. The going to the extremes is a classic sign for uber intelligence. Yes I can see why you are worried. (I am not helping so far I know!) You and your hair-loving husband are setting great moral examples for him by doing the right things as you go about your daily life, by being kind to people including those who will not help us advance our social status or career, by being the awesome generous people that you are: he’s observant (again, I am making assumptions based on his intelligence), he will see and he will be a upright citizen simply by osmosis.

    p.s. How did I know you are awesome and kind and generous? Dude, remember that night you followed me around, afraid I was going to fall down due to drunkenness? You may have forgot but I will forever remember how kind you were to specifically come and look for me, and to help me first locate my shoes and then my purse. xxoo

    • dufmanno

      Although I will say you still looked stunning barefoot and without funds.
      Best part of that night? We weren’t finished by a longshot.

  3. Tom G.

    When in doubt, go light some candles. That’s what Mom did. Actually, that’s what she still does and my siblings are in their 50’s.

    That probably wasn’t very comforting. OK, let me try again.

    Kids raise us, as much as we raise them. Don’t put all the weight on your shoulders Mom. Sounds like you are doing your best to adapt your parenting, to his childrening. (Why is this not a word?). Does he love you? Do you love him? Then you’re both doing something right.

    • dufmanno

      We love him but sometimes he’s like trying to adore a bucking bronco.
      Funny as hell though. Well, he’s funny as hell if you like loud vagina jokes at Chipotle.
      Starting to suspect he might be the reincarnation of Lenny Bruce.

  4. I don’t have anything witty to say. Damnit, K.

    I was writing a chapter about my dad yesterday and a conversation we had about childhood – what was ideal and what wasn’t. His argument was that there is no such thing as an ideal childhood. But I disagree. Shit happens that is beyond a parent’s control, and lord knows I can’t speak to being a parent. But as a kid, I just always knew, without a single doubt, that I was loved – adored, even. And that while I could certainly do wrong, there was no wrong so great they would stop loving me. And I think that’s enough. That boy knows he’s loved. The rest? That will fall into place. Eventually.

    • dufmanno

      Here, let me help you.
      Brine shrimp like warm moist places and require some light to thrive.
      I’m pretty sure the tiny monarch throne encrusted in rubies will tip him off that we think he’s the shit.
      I’ve got a jester and butler costume lined up for the hubs and I to wear.

  5. As a fellow mom of a kid who just doesn’t fit, with that same sitting on the fence till I’m wearing it as a thong feeling, I can only say… you have to trust yourself, and forgive yourself. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    Let me know if that helps you at all, cause right now? It’s doing bubkiss for me.

    • dufmanno

      I know.
      I give myself this bone shattering pep talk that gets me all riled up and ready to advocate for my family and my kid and when I have to vault too many obstacles or hit too many people who make me deviate from my course I get hugely discouraged.
      It’s almost less painful NOT to make the decision and wait some of the stuff out.
      It sucks to know the path for this third one is going to be wildly different from the other two.
      Now watch I say that and the first two end up in reform school next year.

  6. i have no doubt in your abilities to make sound decisions or choices whatsoever. i know he is being raised by two amazing parents and a fantastic family and that is pure gold in the childhood department.

    in fact, i wish you were my mom. because you’re so thoughful, caring, loving, and have great taste in music. and also, those breasts. they’re every baby’s dream. and with that hair, you’re like the iconic madonna. forget the subdued anchor woman, you’re the iconic madonna.

    no, in all seriousness, don’t beat yourself up. he’s a lucky child to have you.

    also, i love loud vagina jokes in chipolte.

    • dufmanno

      I’m having visions of myself where I rip off my smart anchorwoman suit only to reveal flowing robes and Jesus sandals which totally makes sense because he’s my kid right?
      AANNNNDDD….here comes the lightning.

  7. I have a friend who once told me she was relieved I had a difficult child because if I didn’t I would be impossibly patronizing when it came to parenting. Having a “spirited” kid connects you to the Universe in ways you would normally be oblivious. I do believe it adds a bit-o-humility to the pot.

    Best advice I can give you is to remember to breathe. Oh, and ignore people. They don’t know crap.

    • dufmanno

      Oh the humility.
      The more people I talk to the more I realize that nearly everyone has at least one that broke the mold.
      It’s too bad I’m so wrapped up in what others think of my parenting skills.
      This from someone who let her daughter dress up as Snookie from Jersey Shore for the Halloween Sock Hop at school last night.
      Perhaps everyone is right to be concerned?

  8. I’m a parent and I have absolutely no advice to give you. Why? Because I suck at advice giving and I’m still trying to figure out how to be a “decent” parent after 4 1/2 years.

    I’m with subWOW, your child is probably a genius, so send him to space camp over the summer and I bet he’ll be asked to join the next mission to Mars or Venus or wherever we send rocket men nowadays.

    I just now realized how much I missed listening to XTC. They are so underrated. Like hot dog spaghetti.

    • dufmanno

      Now I want to go to Space Camp. Or at least I want to rent that 80’s gem of a movie where all the hot 80’s actors go to space camp.
      Is that really a movie or did I dream it up?

  9. Would you like to borrow my bota bag filled with tequila while you are out there on that fence?

    I’ll share for a little while.

    I don’t have kids which is probaby for the best because I don’t like to compete for the loudest inappropriate vagina joke in public.

    It’s all about me, Me…MEEEE!

    • dufmanno

      I’ll take the bota bag filled with tequila anyday. I’d like for someone to pack me a delightful picnic lunch for me to enjoy as well.
      Somewhere deep inside of me underneath all the mortification I was actually laughing at the vagina jokes he was making at the Chipotle. It made it special when he included all the strangers surrounding us.

  10. OMJ, girl, I will just email you because this could take a while, but seriously, the broken mold child who makes you the craziest in the beginning, yeah, that is the one who turns out to be the easiest one by the time they are a teenager. The ones who are following the rules and behaving really well until they hit about 14, they are the ones who you need to be nailing the damn windows shut! Just sayin’. If he’s telling the vagina jokes TO you, you are all good!!

  11. Wow. Beautifully written.

    All I can say here is I’m so relieved that my son is 25. 🙂 He does not have ADHD, so I know only what I’ve read, but as a mother, you do your best and they do the rest. Most frightening job ever.


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