Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How will I tell you Mommy has MS?

This question has been running through my head lately. Of course we're not anywhere near this milestone, but still, it's a subject that requires delicacy. Children only understand what's right in front of them. Mommy's throwing up=Mommy's sick. Mommy's got a cut on her finger=Mommy's hurt. But how do you explain something that can have no outward signs (if you're lucky) or how do you explain the sudden onslaught of potentially scary things. Mommy can't walk=Mommy can't play with me. Not true, I know, but it's still something a child might think.

I'm fortunate that I have no symptoms. I take a once daily, painful injection to ward them off. And it's working. How long? Who knows.

I worry because my mother was sick. She both suffered from anxiety and from emphysema. Going out in public was difficult for her, let alone getting out with an oxygen tank and the fear that someone could be wearing obnoxious perfume that could send her into a asthmatic-anxiety tailspin. She didn't even make it to my college graduation.

I know I have a better chance being a more healthy mother than mine ever was, but will I be perceived as normal if I don't continue to do as well has I have been? Children are mean and naturally have bullish tendencies from all the hormones racing through them. I hope that my health never gets in the way of being the mother I always wished I had had and the mother Vincent wants and deserves.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Give him a break

Tonight I was doing online research about teething. Actually, toddler teething. And I found nothing except a handful of forum advice. Really? Do no other kids not have problems eating when they have no teeth? Just my kid?

I did discover, however, the average development of teeth, when they come in and in what order. I don't know why I hadn't been bothered up until now to read up on this more. Most likely because I quit reading all the books when Vincent dropped off the milestone hit list. It saved me the anxiety and stress of knowing what a normally developed child is doing. I wouldn't call it denial. I would call it acceptance of the situation and avoidance of the "normal." But back to teeth. After having discussed with my friend that her daughter is also teething, I thought, "How strange. She's been teething for like a year. Vincent's been teething for three months." And then it hit me: He's been teething for three months. Where other babies get more than a year to complete this painful process, he's getting hit up and hit hard.

So this week where we've seen meltdown after meltdown, him refusing to eat or drink, extreme tiredness even before bedtime, night wakings that must be ignored, well, he's growing a bit of exoskeleton. Duh. That is: "Duh, Mama." So while I've wanted to pull my hair out, texted my sisters and friends so much I'm thankful for an unlimited data plan, and maybe even taken it all out on my husband because of the frustration of it all (whiney and needy much?), I should have been taking a deep breath, giving Vincent lots of snuggles, cuddling up with him and reading books, and not gone cross when any food but yogurt was refused. Teething=hard work. Teething=over time in patience for mama.

A video of the current Vincent the Teether. He's no fun at all.

(Don't you wish I would blog about something other than parenting? Me too.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Terrible 17-almost-18-months

Forget terrible twos. We've hit them. The terrible part that is. Age is just a number, right? Vincent can take the wind out of your sail and make you exhausted in seconds flat. Where picking him up and going home used to be mildly enjoyable, it's become a headache lately. Just trying to figure out what he's throwing a fit and crying about is like trying to learn Morse Code—and I'm pretty sure that's  easier. To help, I've frantically been trying to teach him signs so we can communicate. The meltdowns seem to occur when there's a lack understanding on my part. Lately I've been resorting to carrying him around the house while he points out directions. I've never been so happy for a pointer finger. But to put it in perspective just how unreasonable he's been lately: This afternoon we went for a walk around the house. I do this so I can show him the birds flying around and so I can get a closer look at how I'd like to plan some flower beds. When we reached the back of the house, little mister wanted to go in the backdoor and threw himself back and started carrying on that we did not indeed go through that particular door. I explained to him that we couldn't go in that door because it was locked. There are just not enough toddler signs to explain that.

Coffee and watching the hummingbirds at my new feeder are what brings me peace joy these days. I know these moods of Vincent's will pass. I hope that they'll maybe get better when he's walking and can just go to wherever he wants to show me what he wants. That is if he'll ever leave my side. I'm not sure why his separation anxiety has suddenly got worse.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

On the upswing

Vincent had therapy on Friday, and it was the best session we've ever seen out of him. His therapist put together a ball pit in one of the therapy blow-up pools, filling it to the brim with balls. I've never seen so much delight on this kid's face. I regret not capturing it on video, but it's not a memory I'm likely to forget. He was transformed in there. And he was having so much fun that he was even brave enough to climb out of the chest-high tub and grab the cars and balls that slipped out. Each time he climbed in and out he finessed it a little bit more until you would have thought he had been doing it for a while. His therapist said that him climbing in and out was really hard work, and that if we could imagine climbing in and out of a tub that came up that high on us, it would put it in perspective just how far he's come. Um, yeah! She also tossed out some therapy speak about how the ball pit was stimulating his nerves and overwhelming his senses so he might actually feel more of his body and be more aware of limbs he's not usually aware of or know how to move. And you would have thought it was just new-age-therapy babble, but the kid walked so much better after he got out of the pit—and only holding onto one hand! I'm a true believer that therapy and early intervention are really best.

We did discuss his social and communication delays (i.e. not making eye contact and not smiling in response to our smiles) the doctor was worried about and that brought up the A word. Throughout therapy the therapist would ask Vincent to hand him cars and make him look at her. By the end he was making better eye contact, but only a few seconds at a time. Because of Vincent now being at such a impressionable age where therapy can make the most difference, we've decided to do once a week therapy sessions with this therapist in addition to the Infant & Toddler Services therapist who see him. Poor little man is going to get worked.

We're also inundating his weekends with stimuli. This morning we had a play date with a dear friend and her daughter who is only a month older than Vincent, but in my eyes seems off the charts in development. She was the perfect playmate for Vincent because she doesn't get in his space yet showed him how to be independent. After a few minutes of sitting scared on my lap, he crawled off and started playing. He did get a little threatened when my lap was claimed by his new friend, but she quickly vacated the area—but not before giving Vincent a little hug. Best moment ever!

We also took Vincent to his first baseball game. Although I worried how hot it was, we were able to cool down in some of the stores in the stadium. And because we came with family, Vincent was never without someone who wanted to hold him or wanted to walk him around. He was mesmerized by all the signage and people. Maybe a little overwhelmed at first, but he warmed up—especially when we gave him some fries. So healthy.

Exploring Kauffman Stadium. 
Tomorrow we're having lunch at the in laws. This house is never going to have down time ever again!