Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Death in the Family

A few years ago, my Father-in-Law passed away.  Princess was four.

Death is not an easy thing to explain to a young child.

But it was the reaction and words from my daughter that will always be with me.
Here goes...

The Warden's Dad passed away on a Saturday.  I was at work when she got the call.
While this was sudden, it was not a big surprise.
We are talking about a man who had a quadruple bypass heart surgery 11 years ago.
And still smoked, ate steaks, didn't exercise, and drank an occasional beer.
I am glad he hung on as long as he did.

While he loved his daughter and granddaughter, he lived three states away.
And on a retired man's money.  Only got up to see us about once a year.

We drove down to see the family.   They were more than happy to watch Princess for awhile when needed.
We made the arrangements at the funeral home.
We rested for the next day.

As we arrived at the church for the service, everyone was talking and greeting relatives they hadn't seen in years.
Princess looked at all the people and the flowers and asked an innocent question:
"What are we doing here?"
"We are here to say Goodbye to Grandpa"  I answered.
"That's a bad word." She stated plainly
"What is?"  I asked.  Puzzled at her statement.
"Goodbye to Grandpa"  She said.

All I could do was give her a big hug.  While we would all miss him, she said what everyone was thinking.
As only a child can.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Battling Depression At-Home

Depression is nothing to take lightly.
It runs in families and destroys lives. Turns bad thoughts into bad actions.

Most people hear about Postpartum Depression. Where soon after childbirth, the mother has thoughts of hurting herself or her baby. This can happen to men too.
Another is Bipolar Depression or Manic Depression. This is where the person has mood swings to the extreme.

Still there are many other types of depression that are harder to diagnose and therefore, treat.

I have what you would call Chronic Depression. This affects millions of people and are the targets of those commercials we keep seeing on TV.
While I usually can fight the signs, I have days, or a week where I just try to limit the damage.

This became a slight problem once The Warden went back to work after our first was born.
I had days where I didn't want to do anything.
Those days when I picked up Princess and had thoughts I would much rather keep to myself.
I would let her cry for an hour in her crib while I watched TV or went back to sleep.

I am not saying that I kept food from her. While she was bottle fed, I kept the schedule.
Or that I didn't pay any attention to her.   She is as outgoing as any child I know.
Believe me when I say that she did not suffer any physical or emotional neglect.
If you saw her now, she is 9 years old.  She comes up to my shoulder.
She is almost as tall as my mother.
She put on my wifes wedding dress and it almost fit!!!   The curves come later....*shudder*

But I am a lucky one.
I realized it was happening.
I knew when to pull myself together and do what I needed to do.
I have been to therapy.   I was even put in a "home" for a little while when I was 14.
I knew what those thoughts were and that I did not have to do them.
I made myself put her down in her bed and walk out of her room when my frustration would drive me to scream and shake her.
Some don't know.  Some don't care.  Some are driven to hurt the ones they are supposed to care for.
Some hurt themselves.  I value this life I have been given.

I am a lucky one.

When Monkey came along it was easier.  I had a pair of eyes watching me.
She questioned what I was doing.   She got jealous of the attention I was giving this other child.
She was able to communicate her needs.  And pull me up a little by her smile.

But now, those little eyes are at school.  And this "other child" is in school two days a week.
But again.  I know that this is happening.  And some days I let it win.
I won't go out of the house.  Monkey will spend an awesome day watching TV and having a lot of snacks.

It will always be with me.  And some days it will win.

I now have friends that will pull me out of it.  Get me to leave the house.
Get me to experience the world.  And for that I thank them.

I know this is what all the commercial say as well.
But it is the best advice.
If you see signs of depression and think it will affect your family.
Please seek help.  Talk to family and friends.
Find the help you need to not let depression win.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Tantrum

All in all it was a good day.
Until the tantrum.

We had friends over.  We have had them over before.
You all know Hossman.  And the Minions: Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss.
Monkey loves it when they come over.

So far it was a rough day.
I tried to sleep in.  But The Warden wanted the other vehicle today.  I had to get up and switch them.
I tried to go back to sleep.  But in her hurry, The Warden didn't feed our diabetic cat. (Story for another time.)
Again I tried to find the sweet arms of the Sandlady. (The Sandman and I have issues.)

But now Monkey is up and demanding food.  I'm wondering how much of his cereal he will spill on the floor.
Now I probably couldn't get back to sleep if I tried.  I look at the clock.  Princess needs to get up for school.
I get her up.  She gets dressed and comes out.  She wants to make her own lunch.  I look at the clock.
Almost 9am.  I go out to start the car.  With temps below freezing, our 11 year old car needs a little TLC.

As we pull up to the school at 9:10, Princess informs me that the bus, which is to take her to her gifted classes that day has already gone.  There is some yelling and arm waving for the ride to the other building.
Then Monkey wants to go to McD for breakfast.   More yelling and hand waving.

By the time we get back home it's almost time to go to playgroup.  I have to jump in the shower.
When I get out, I nearly walk out on a kid in the hallway.  Not my kid.  Hossman is early.
Little Hoss is in Monkey's room.  Bubba trailing after.

Hossman and I play some games.  The kids play their own.  Lunch is quiet.   We get our fix on games and talk.  Before I know it. Hoss and the minions have to leave.  There is a little loud talking to put away toys.
Then many hugs goodbye.  Little Hoss can't get enough when she leaves.

Finally!  Everyone is gone.  Monkey and I have the house to ourselves.

I say "You have been very grumpy today.  Too much yelling and screaming.  You are over-tired and need a time out."

My reflection just stares back at me.   I give Monkey a snack and walk down the hall to my room.
Ahhh.  Time out.  Just what the doctor ordered.