Category Archives: better skills

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

This is you, as seen by me

There are some things we can all agree on regardless of how different we may be. Like the universally understood fact that  no one can raise a barn or make potato salad like the Amish AND no matter how perfect you are there is always room for improvement. That last part is a tricky one. I’ve thought long and hard over the years about ways I’d like to better myself. A sound mind and body, realization of my full potential (“would you like fries with that?”) mastering a lethal roundhouse kick, etc. But, I can say without a doubt that nothing makes me more determined to run quickly in the opposite direction of self-help, good fortune and prosperity than someone telling me what I’m doing wrong.

Have you ever had someone who decided to bless you with some “home truths” so you could better yourself after listening to their well thought out critique?  After lamenting your shortcomings and letting you know that there is always room for change where you are concerned there is always the pat on the head, and because you were tired or not your usual rapier sharp self you couldn’t come up with a  fitting retort for the situation. All you could do was stew in a vat of your own perceived inadequacies as you sat there like a whipped dog soaking up the criticism . 

This ALWAYS happens to me.

Not just because I suck in so many ways, but because thinking on my feet is not my strong point.   By the time I’ve thought of a way to say “hey, I’m not really that bad!” my urge grab a frying pan in a frenzy and knock the sanctimonious sneer off the face of my adversary has diminished.

So, the next time someone takes time out of their busy schedule to show you where you could use a little improvement just remember that the “fixer” probably has some serious issues of their own but occasionally the wisdom nuggets they drop around you DO have a bit of truth to them. Unless of course, like me, you could not be any closer to perfection than you already are.


Filed under 1, am I doing anything right?, better skills, inability to think on my feet, people with advice, self help, things I'm doing wrong