It’s almost too quiet, I’m not sure I know where to start when it comes to reflecting back on the past few months. I don’t think I could put my finger on a date of when I last did an entry. You know what though? That’s perfectly okay. I’ll be okay. Mainly because I’ve been reserving my energy for (drumroll) our baby #3 on the way in December. God is so good.
It’s been a HARD few months. Mainly for myself. Mentally. Emotionally. My heart is tired. A couple things have improved here and there with Chloe. There was one week she slept through the night about eight days in a row which was heaven! However – I knew it would be short lived, but it was amazing while it lasted. A big improvement is our “toy jail”. Toys get put in jail for bad behavior, but a sticker for good behavior (listening, sharing, being compliant, etc) gets one toy out of jail. Let me tell you what – I have never seen a child go above and beyond to clean a room just for a sticker. Winning.
She had a sleep study done. They didn’t find anything, yet. She did a fantastic job I actually feel bad they didn’t find any issues because putting her through that process with all the tapes, sensors and wires was basically for nothing. On the bright side, there was nothing major so I have to be thankful.
We are really struggling with the territory that every three, almost four, year old hates – sharing, taking turns, and waiting. With Chloe, she just doesn’t understand it. She is so compulsive, when she wants something she just takes it out of someone’s hand. The minute we wake up in the morning, Ava isn’t even allowed to play with a toy because Chloe MUST have it . THAT. SECOND. It’s a constant battle. And I’m so, so tired. No matter how you explain it, she “wants to share” and when she gets in trouble for ripping stuff out of Ava’s hands she “wants to listen”. I then have to tell her that she doesn’t know how to share or listen, but that’s okay because we are learning. . . Right? Funny, because I could have sworn that we are stuck between a rock and a brick wall with this.
Today it hit me that I can no longer feel guilty for screen time Chloe has been exposed to. 95% of her conversations involve TV characters, and her pretend play is scripted lines from the shows. I can almost guarantee you that without any TV she wouldn’t be nearly as verbal, so I am perfectly okay with it. This is also when her insanely good memory comes into play.
Like I said before, my heart is tired. Tired of the unknown. Tired of feeling like a failure. Tired of constantly worrying about my little girl and am I really parenting her to help her grow and blossom, or am I hindering her by constantly yelling at her? Should I just let her put everything -including knives – in her mouth, repeatedely spill her drink over and over because of her lack of attention and insane hyperactivity, carry Ava around until she hurts her or both of them, eat all the salt out of the salt shaker, lick all my windows, SCREAM at inhumane decibals, climb up my fridge, hang from all my doorknobs and balance on top of the swing set? Do I just let her ask me questions she knows the answers to, but just wants to be a button pusher? Do I ignore her when she asks a question, and I respond and she asks “what?” . .and I repeat myself about five times and her response is still “what?”, half looking at me and half zoning out but she gets mad if I don’t respond. I am so worn, frustrated and want to quit trying to communicate with her because I feel like silence is better than yelling.
I thought I was incapable and incompetent parenting Chloe. Then Ava came along and she was a breeze. Everything came natural. With my darling oldest – every. single. second . I am researching, contemplating, thinking, strategizing, formulating, thinking and going over in my head again and again how we can do stuff different. To just breathe and know that she will be okay. Another step in the right direction – we are officially on a behavioral specialist waiting list!! It’s about 12-14 month wait but we are also on a cancellation list. that’s 12-14 months closer than NOT being on it so THANK YOU GOD. It kills me to see how huge of a heart she has because she feels so much, and because of how powerful her emotions are, unfortunately anger equals the size of her heart so she’s constantly jumping back and forth.
There’s still so much that people don’t understand about her, which is fine I’m not asking you to. Please don’t assume that she’s perfectly fine and everything was a phase because she seems to be doing so much better. What I am going to ask you is to not compare her to your kid who hasn’t had any struggles like she has had and still currently has. I am going to ask you to not talk about her in front of her. I am going to distance myself from those who think it’s okay to call her crazy and out of control, as well as those who don’t want to give her the time of day when she’s having a meltdown. I am going to distance myself from those who don’t have any exceptions for those with special needs because all behavior needs to be acceptable around your child. When I see your child not listening to Chloe’s cues that she needs to be alone, I will step in and tell your child to stop because chances are she may actually hurt them.
She will be four years old in September and this has felt like ten years. It will all be okay. Just one hug and an I love you mom later, my meter for unconditional love keeps growing. I need that. We all need that. This whole world needs some sort of lesson about unconditional love because without it we get caught up in our broken selves. I am truly thankful that God has given me Chloe, so I can reflect on how she has helped me grow into a better person. With a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus – we can do this.