But really, I am a pretty happy and optimistic person. I have grown to be that way. As a teenager, I was just as sullen as any other, maybe more so, but as an adult, I have become pretty strong and positive.
However, sometimes, I do get down. And my blog, as unfortunate as it might be for my readers out there, is a way for me to get out my frustrations before I end up jumping from a bridge or running away to stay at a hotel for a few days, telling no one of my whereabouts (I've done that before, by the way. College.)
I don't sugar coat motherhood on this blog.
And of course, it is all about motherhood. Particularly, being a mother to a child with a few more needs than other children. Now, don't get me wrong. I feel incredibly grateful for my children. They are both healthy and happy and such blessings in my life. But, having a toddler with sensory integration disorder and developmental delays can be exhausting. I feel selfish sometimes for getting so exasperated with him, wanting to "check out" for awhile, or wishing I knew for one day what it was like to have a typical child. I mean, at least he is healthy and his conditon could be much worse. And none of it is his fault. But, nevertheless, it is difficult, and some days feel dark and hopeless.
We had his occupational therapy evaluation and he tested off the charts for most categories, especially sensory integration, hyposensitivity to movement, fine motor skills and visual motor skills. I am so grateful that he is going to be getting help for his needs before he goes to public school in 3 or 4 years. I want him to be happy and functional, to be able to control the aggression towards his brother and others, and the frustration he experiences in everyday life, and I want the same for myself. I may need therapy to learn to control my own anger and frustration. But, that costs money we don't have. Until then, crying into my green tea may be my only release.
My life revolves around Max. More guilt, by the way, because I know that my 4-month old, Harry, sometimes gets ignored and can't possibly get all the attention he deserves. We are homebound most of the time because it is impossible to take Max to a restaurant or a movie. It is difficult to take him in public. Period. He has to be strapped down in grocery carts and he is getting too big for that. Plus, if my newborn is with me as well, he needs to sit up front in the cart. So, where does Max go? If I let him walk, I lose him the minute we walk in .
I spend everyday either taking him to preschool, taking him to various therapy appointments, trying to entertain him and keep him busy with "work" related activities, like carrying heavy objects, helping with housework, raking leaves, etc. (these types of activities seem to relax him - I have since learned that this is because heavy work patterns contract a large number of muscles and compress joints, thereby providing activity that helps calm him down), trying to keep him from hurting Harry or our dog, Meeko, constantly supervising his meals so he doesn't throw his food across the room or against the walls. By the end of the night, I have nothing left to give Harry or my husband. I am completely spent.
Some mothers wish their kids wouldn't watch so much TV. I would give almost anything to have mine sit still long enough to watch a Disney movie. Or a whole cartoon from beginning to end.
And I am terrified that Harry is going to grow up timid, untrusting, and frightened of the world around him because he is everyday being hit or having some hard object thrown at him by Max. Harry is much more sensitive and needy than Max ever was.
I have been learning a lot about sensory processing. An inefficient processing system can result in everything that Max has: attention problems, frequent aggression, unpredictable explosions of emotion, poor social skills, poor balance, over response to various stimuli, difficulty maintaining an alert but relaxed state. He is very hyperactive and there were signs when he was a baby. but of course he was too young to know anything back then. As a baby, he would constantly spin his feet when he sat in his stroller or in his highchair. He would also constantly shake his arms and hands while he was in his highchair. He could not be still AT ALL.
My days are really hard and most of them end up with me crying or with a stomach ache because I am so stressed out. I just pray that his therapy helps him and teaches us, as his parents, the skills we need to help him here at home. Our lives can't go on like this. They just can't.
Our sweet Max
Thanks everyone for listening. I appreciate it. I will try to write some more uplifting posts in the future!! But, Mother of Pearl! Can I get a freaking break? Oh yeah, and a money tree? Thanks.