Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Gig Ain't Easy

I have started this same post no less than 6 times in the last two months. Same title every time, and pretty much the same frustration.

Parenting.

This gig ain't easy. Just when you feel on top of the world because you think you've mastered raising a human, more things come up. One day your handed this precious baby with wrinkles and your first concern is how to get 'em fat. Nice and plump, so God-forbid, they'd have the fat they'd need to sustain themselves should they need it. You figure out how to manage not sleeping through the night and showing up in public with a smile on your face. You figure out when a fever is worthy of a doctor visit.

Then you teach them the alphabet. You teach them how to count in English and Spanish. You teach them how to use the potty by drawing boats on toilet paper and telling them to sink the ship. You introduce them to other little people so they learn some social skills. You enroll them in Itty Bitty Sports so they work off those fat rolls you were so determined they have in the beginning. You've got a schedule. You've got fresh vegetables at every meal. You've not introduced them to pop.

That, apparently, is the easy stuff.  You try not to fall in the trap of comparing yours with other children. You try not to even compare your own to one another. You see calm, mild mannered kids sitting down the eat. Nodding when Mommy asks them to eat another bite. So you smile and say "We didn't get that kind of dog." (Theirs a lap dog, ours a farm dog)  But you start to wonder if your child's behavior is something that just bugs you...or an actual problem.

So you start off by getting some second opinions from friends and family. They gently tell you that maybe discipline is the problem. But you feel like at least once a day you are putting your Wild Thing in a time out, or banishing them to their room, or taking away t.v. time, or in severe cases- spanking. You don't feel like any of these things work, but you do them anyway to teach that actions have consequences. Then suggestions arise that maybe it's a behavioral problem.

Behavioral? Now you're on high alert. Over analyzing all of their actions. Why yes, she does have a 15 second attention span. Yes, she does need to be told 100 times to put on her socks. Yes, she does this and that! Oh Dear! You're adding up all the times you've been pulled aside to talk to a coach or a teacher.  But wait - she's only 4 years old.

Now she's failed a hearing screening. You know what you need to do. You make the appointments. You get a game plan together. And you pray. Give me the wisdom to know if it's me. Don't let me have blinders if I'm the problem. Lead me to the right classes/groups/websites to learn how to shape her behavior. If it's a physical problem, lead me to the right doctor. If it's behavioral, let me not be afraid of labels. Give me the wisdom to sort it all out.

This gig ain't easy. And I'm starting to understand that it never will be. But I'm up for it. How could I not be?

5 comments:

  1. Having not met your little beauty I can't comment to the behavior thing...but can to the hearing thing. I don't know if you remember but Cameron is deaf in one ear...he was 3 before we found out though I had my suspicions (Dr. Rubin had "tested" him and said he was fine). It WAS comfusing as to his behaviour. Though he was generally pretty good (having watched his sister get disciplined he was very leery of it himself) there were times when he would just COMPLETELY ignore me and he was SO loud! It wasn't until a preschool hearing test that the truth came out. Part of his issue was repeated ear infections and so we ended up having tubes put in. It wasn't until AFTER the tubes and there still being a problem that we learned that his was two fold, an acute problem from the ear infections that DID clear up but also a complete congenital deafness in his right ear. There was a lot of behaviour modification that had to take place on OUR part to deal with the issue (for example, don't assume he is ignoring you, go face to face and be CERTAIN he hears you!). My two cents...do the hearing stuff they recommend, trust YOUR instincts and if you think there is more see more doctors (we ended up with Children's Mercy's hearing specialists because the regular ENT did not catch it all!) and above all DO NOT let yourself feel guilty for what is in the past...if some of her issues are hearing related YOU DIDN'T KNOW and were only doing the best you could to raise a daughter that you, and the rest of the world, could love and live with! Hang in there....love you!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement.Love you

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  2. My parents beat me with an iron rod. Sorted me out real fast. Okay not really. Praying for you. Yah this gig isn't easy. Even if you people do have a "lap dog" those parents are just "making it look easy" you know they lay in bed at night wondering the same things we do. Love you lots.

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    1. I can totally see you getting the rod. ;) I love knowing that when you say "praying for you" that you really mean it. BTW- congrats on Em rolling!

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