Monday, 28 September 2015

To the people who heard my son call me a fuckhead

It was 9am on Sunday morning, when you heard my son calling me a fuckhead. You heard him say it several times. He said it every time he fell over. He said it every time he needed a drink. He said it aggressively. He said it loudly. I know you heard it. I could see how disgusted you were. 

Your disgusted expression, is one I'm accustomed to seeing. I see it multiple times a day. Sometimes people come and tell me what he's saying. Sometimes I get unsolicited advice from total strangers. Mostly though, people sit back and give us the stink eye.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, why does she let him get away with that? Why isn't she giving him some stern warnings? Why isn't she dragging him back to the car and saying "Wait until your father hears about this"?. I know that 5 years ago, I would've thought that too. Unfortunately, those things would only cause his behaviour to escalate. 

Your next thoughts, would be that this woman is such a bad mother. Maybe she's a drug addict. Maybe she's just lazy. This kid needs some discipline. That woman shouldn't be a mother. 

What you don't know, is that my son has a brain injury and his behaviour has been out of control since he was 14 months old. Maybe you read generic parenting articles your friends post on Facebook. Maybe those articles give you all the ideas you need to keep your precious little snowflake in line. 

I read research articles, books about brain injuries and email specialists from various parts of the world. We have appointments with Psychiatrists and Psychologists. He's 4 and a half years old, so far, nothing I've done and no one we've seen, has been able to make things better. Some days, it is relentless. Our 'good' days, would be a nightmare for most. 

Perhaps, you think I shouldn't take my son to public places, when he's so wild. For the sake of other people, I should probably just lock him in a cage at home. That's much better right? But, skating is his outlet. What you witnessed, was actually the most calm he'd been all morning. 

People think, the day of Max's stroke, was probably the worst day of my life, but it wasn't. That honour belongs to every single day, which has come after. Have you ever lived with an out of control child? He assaults me and his sister every day. He destroys our house and he destroys my parents house. If there really is a hell, then I am living in it. 

I saw my son say hello to you. I saw you look down and ignore him. If you'd smiled and said hello back, you may have learnt, that my son is not a monster. Despite what you witnessed, he is also funny, charming, sweet and exceptionally endearing. It's impossible not to love him, if you can look past the other stuff. 

This letter is not just for you, it's for every person who has stared, laughed or judged us over the years. I hope, that if you ever see us again, you might be able to smile at us. Because such a simple gesture of kindness, helps me to keep putting one foot, in front of the other. 

I hope the rest of your Sunday, was an improvement on the time you spent in our presence. 

That fuckhead mother from the Skate Park


  1. Much love to you Mamma, you do your best all day everyday, you are an amazing strong woman. Please to not let the negative actions of a stranger ruin your day xxxx

  2. Oh Maxwell's mumma, I hear you. My precious, angelic looking girl, spews vitriolic abuse at me, all at the tender age of 5.
    This caring, loving and genuine child, needs her mumma as much as she needs air for survival. We sadly know the tragedy of Acquired Brain Injury, after Shingles led to encephalitis in infancy.
    Most days are as you describe, full of yelling, kicking and screaming. We try every new method to lead to better responses, but alas, the end result is the same.
    To those who judge us, we don't spend less time on behaviour management, most children learn from their consequences, ours must be taught the same lessons dozens of times a day, every day, every week for years and still don't get it. We spend time multiplied by hundreds working on these issues.
    Please show us and our children compassion.
    Hugs Max's mummy xx

  3. What a wonderful Mum you are. I've worked with small children and each and every one of them is different and each and every one of them has a contribution to make to this world.

  4. well done and well said. We can never know what is going on inside another family. Take care x

  5. I feel you, gurlie! I have a loving, caring, super friendly Asshole 6 year old. Sometime around the age of 3, a part of his brain switched into high gear and got stuck there. He's only calm when he's asleep and can go from sweet to jerk to crying and back, all in the same minute. Some days I don't handle it very well and we get into screaming matches. Some days I cry in the bathroom for an hour after he goes to bed. Every day I get the looks and the "advice". Every day I go to bed thinking I'm a terrible mom, hoping tomorrow will be better. And every day I start over. It's all you can do. *hugs

  6. Be strong. Before I had kids I used to judge other parents if their kids were tantruming or snotty nosed. Then my kids had tantrums and snotty noses. Hmm. You're a good parent.