Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hit Me Over the Head with It

I read Jordan's post at Wonderwheel and admired how she found the good side of a clearly difficult day. She expressed her gratitude for the meaningful things in life, and asked why we are all grateful. Funny she should ask.
Just today I told my husband, much to his astonishment, that I feel really grateful that a few weeks ago, a box fell off a high shelf and hit me in the head. You see, today the Rooster got sent home from school early for biting his teacher. He did a poor job apologizing, a worse job listening to my attempts to help him learn from the experience, and followed it all up by fighting with his sister more than usual and writing on the wall with (Harold's?) purple crayon. So I am grateful that the toy box crashed down on me as I sat on the playroom floor a few weeks ago, because otherwise I never would have seen my boy run to the bathroom, grab the stool, drag it over to the fridge, climb up and get me the booboo bunny ice pack from our freezer, and I'd be sitting here thinking my boy doesn't yet have a single inkling how to empathize.
He does have the good in there. I know it is, because I saw him leap to my aid when I nearly brained myself. I have this experience to tuck into my locket and open up when I need something to get me through.
And I need something to get me through after my son bit a grandmother, my friend, for the second time in a week and got sent home from school.
Like Jordan, I am grateful for my family, our strengths, our home, healthy food to eat, work. But next to Jordan, I am a needy, whiny girl, and I am going to put an SOS out right here right now. Forgive me for it, please. But I am feeling desperate tonight, and I know that you are a networked, savvy, communicative, connected bunch, you readers out there, and I want to know if you can give me a little hookup:
Is there anyone out there whose child at age 4 1/2 behaved much like the rooster (aggressive, noncompliant, hyper, willful), and then things improved? If so, please, oh please, please, please, can you get me in touch with them? Sure, I would love to know how things improved, and when, and why, and all of that, but just to know that they DID improve would be a much lovelier way to hold on to hope than to have to drop boxes of wooden erector sets on my head.



redheadmomma said...

hey, babe. First, only an amazing mother like you could appreciate getting brained in the head like that. I LOVE it. Secondly: I saw it with my kid & my friends' kids....there seems to be some magical thing that happens between the ages of 5 and 6. This maturity happens that was not there before, and impulse control really improves, and things just get easier with the maturity. I saw HUGE HUGE HUGE differences in one year with Noah from age 5-6.

And a reminder: EVERYONE can have crappy days. I know they suck shit, I know I know. Sending big hugs. The rooster will amaze you in the future with how much he will improve, but EVERY mom has days where their kids are not acting like they usually do, and they wonder what the hell got into them. And it's okay, and I'm glad you blog about it because we can have the opportunity to send lots of virtual hugs and tell you that we're here for you. And boy, do we understand.


pixiemama said...

OK - I hear you and I agree wholeheartedly with RHM - The 5-6 year is a wonder year in terms of behavior improvement. HANG ON - it's just around the corner.

Prior to that year, we did have one other MAJOR break through. When Foster was 18 months - 3, he was so bad. He was just so bad. When it started, I thought "holy h*ll, is this the TERRIBLE TWOS or what?" He was so awful that we called his tantrum RAGES. He was the most angry little creature I had ever met - and much of the time I didn't particularly like him.

There's the desperate background. Add to it... We knew Reilly needed glasses, and the pediatric optometrist is out of town, so I booked an appointment for Foster at the same time. It turned out that the kid is practically blind. He has "amblyopia," which for him means that his visual input is so completely scrambled that he was attempting to make his way through a world that looks nothing like what I see without my contacts in. I was mortified. I had no idea he couldn't see. And I was terrified that this kid - who had snapped my own glasses in half out of utter defiance - would NEVER wear glasses willingly. I was wrong. Not only does Foster wear his glasses - he asks for them (politely! in big boy words!) each morning, and he asks me (politely! in big boy words!) to clean them for him when he needs them cleaned.

His behavior took a huge leap for the better when he could see better. (Even today, his vision is only corrected to 20/50 and his lenses are so thick that his irises look like quarters.)

So... Have you had his eyes checked by a pro? Might be worth a (long) shot.


Niksmom said...

I'm hanging on to your coat tails, sweetie! For a while yesterday I needed that inspiration, too. It's a damn roller coaster; one day up, the next down.

Hold onto that boo-boo empathy and let it guide & comfort you when you need it. xoxo