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Monday, March 2, 2009

terrible tantrums part 1

They say a picture says a thousands words. The one above certainly conveys how I feel about my (almost) three year old lately.

I don't know what it is. I must have been spoiled rotten with Jacob while raising him. Jacob never said "no" to me or threw tantrums when he didn't get things his own way.

He rarely whined. Not like now, he's nine and whines about everything lol, especially when we say no.

"No video games, no friends over tonight" minor things with minor whining against the decision made.

Pickle-boy however, that is a different story.

The constant whining grates on my nerves. I try really hard not to show it and to console him as he is discovering his emotions and figuring out how to and where to place them. But I have to tell you it's really hard.

Today while at T's (my girlfriends) house, PB asked for a drink. T went and got him one and as I was handing it to him I told him. "Now say thank you."

Well with the outpour of emotional torture that followed you'd think I asked him to salute her and sing O'Canada and do a variety of other things outside his capability.

I simply wanted some manners.

He kicked. He screamed. He cried and cried (sobbing wretchedly). All the while I hugged and told him I understood but he would get no drink without saying (thank you) first.

Each time he refused and screamed at me, hit me, or tried biting me. I put him down (gently of course) on the floor and told him to sit. I told him mommy isn't going to listen until we can behave nicely without yelling or hitting.

I'd heard about tantrums. I'd seen them before on television and in grocery stores where I used to look upon those parents of that evil child and chide them secretly for raising such little bastards to act such a way in public, embarrassing the shit out the parent and forcing them to leave the shop.

Well now I publicly declare my heart felt apologies for all those secret thoughts I had. My sympathies go out to you as parents of a difficult child. I'm sorry for judging you and thinking your parental upbringing of you child was wrong and that the fault lay with you and not the personality flow and challenges your child may have had.

Am I the mother of a difficult child?

Trace has always been a bit difficult. Since the day he was born; the birth the most difficult, amazing and frightening twenty five minutes of my life. I went into labor early. I was told to stay home, despite the fact I had miscarried a child (a girl) before having Trace. I was 33 years old and was sick throughout with troubles during my entire pregnancy.

I ignored the doctor and went to the hospital. I'm glad I did. By the time I arrived I was 10cm dialated even though my water hadn't broken yet. From that moment on it was a nightmare. The doctor didn't come right away. The nurses weren't allowed to break my water and the pain... The pain was so bad I actually passed out, several times.

Finally the doctor arrived. She broke my water and out my boy popped. He was blue and grey. He wasn't breathing. He was intubated as I watched in horror waiting for the sign every mother waits for, her child's cry. After several minutes I finally heard him cry slightly, before they carted him away to the nursery.

From then on the problems began...

Trace didn't grow properly right from the beginning. He was labeled a child not thriving and our journey with Children Hospital began. A year and half later of testing and dealing with Child Development, fears and heartache over trying to figure out why he wasn't walking, or how come he couldn't communicate. Trace is now almost three and has come so far.

He was diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy (affecting his legs). Sometimes he drool excessively and his speech still requires help, but he has the most amazing occupational therapist (Hi K) who works with him and loves him. Without their help I don't know where my sweet little boy would be. And sure he's still behind (just a little) and socially needs some help. But overall he's doing great.

Except for a few things...

He is sensitive to materials and wigs out. I mean literally wigs out. If he gets a drop of water on his shirt it has to come off or he throws a fit. If the kids rearrange his toys that he is playing with he freaks out on them (biting, hitting, throwing something) to hurt them. He always has to go first up the stairs, otherwise he sits on the stairs and screams and smacks his own head into the wall or cries and cries. When he cannot go outside with his brother to play (who is 9 years old) hockey with the bigger kids. He breaks down and repeats over and over again he wants to be with his boys.

No amount of consoling, explaining, holding and loving, ignoring, time-outs, spanking, nothing seems to be working. He doesn't understand, and yet he is so very bright with so many things. His feelings are genuinely hurt when he is told he cannot do something and explained why. Or he shows no feelings when he hurts someone because they have a toy he was playing with and hurt them to get it. He matter of factually states the person had it and took it, it's his and he wants it and ahhhhhhh I feel like I'm going crazy.

What am I doing wrong? How can I help him?


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