September 16, 2012

so hard

My buddy has been so hard lately.  Who am I fooling?  He has always been difficult.  I feel like I keep waiting for him to grow out of it and I'm afraid it may never happen.  As he gets older, he just gets better at finding trouble and new ways of creating havoc.  He is still throwing everything he can get his hands on.  Time out seems to mean nothing... other than a few minutes of peace for me.

I have a friend who says things like, "Oh he is just being a boy." Part of that is true.  He does typical boy things but, at almost 4, he still has no impulse control and no ability to express how he is feeling.  Every outing ends in him throwing himself on the ground - either because he's not ready to leave or because he's beyond the breaking point.  I can't count the number of times I've hauled my buddy in full tantrum to the car under one arm with the baby in the other, my head down so I don't have to meet anyone's eyes.  Today, in my sleep deprived stressed out state, I blame Down syndrome.

I try and focus on my buddy when I have the chance, but most of the fun things I try with him end in disaster.  He eats or throws bubbles, shaving cream, paints, play dough, etc.  Coloring only lasts 3 minutes.  Throwing a ball or vrooming cars lasts a bit longer, but he still has a very short attention span.  I want to do fun art projects or cook together and eat different foods but that is just not possible.  The only thing that seems to calm him down and stop him from trouble is the TV or iPad.  I hate that he spends so much time "rotting his brain".  I am thinking of drastically reducing screen time to see if that makes a difference in his behavior.

Most days it's like talking to a brick wall.  My buddy rarely listens to me.  I have to look him in the eye with my hand on him and even then he often goes back to trouble as soon as I start to walk away.  I try and empathize, imagining how it must feel not to be able to express anything other than basic needs and being told "no" all day long.  But then he goes and hits monkey bear for no reason or kicks her nonstop in the car and I just lose my mind.  And throwing things at rara?  Pushes me over the edge every time.

Some days I am afraid I am failing as a mother and raising this out of control child who always gets his way because it is easier than dealing with the tantrum.  There are so many times when monkey bear complains about his behavior and all I can say is, "I can't stop him."

OK. I feel better now.  Some things you just need to get out so you can move on. 

September 12, 2012

potty talk

There are some things about parenthood that you never expect.  OK, there are a lot of things but at least they creep up one at a time.  The last few weeks have been full of potty talk... literally.

Monkey bear has started kindergarten and really loves it.  But she is really shy and afraid to ask for what she needs.  In this case - to use the bathroom.  There was a lot of holding it in.  There were a few accidents when she couldn't hold it any longer.  And now she has a UTI.  I have a good feeling that she has learned a lesson.

My buddy started in a new preschool class and we've had some issues with how clean, or rather not clean, his bottom is after he pooped at school.  I hate that his teachers have to change his diaper.   I wish that he were potty trained, but he is not.  Part of their job is to wipe his butt.  I had to first send a letter than speak to his teacher in person.  I do not like speaking to anyone in person - never mind having the topic be spreading my buddy's butt cheeks to really get in there.   But until my buddy can speak or do for himself, I need to be his voice.

It's funny how all kids - typical or special needs - face challenges that we, as parents, have to help them through.  I am always more aware of my buddy's challenges.  I guess because they last longer and are more apparent.  I also work a lot with my buddy in ways I never had to with monkey bear.  We have a little speech therapy session every morning and potty training will take a very long time to complete.  Once my buddy has the words, he will never have a problem speaking up for what he needs.  He helps monkey bear come out of her shell to be the best she can be.  He loves his two sisters more than any words could ever express.