Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Drowning in a river

Gavin’s vocabulary is growing at such an incredible pace that I really need to start spelling out f.u.c.k. and s.h.i.t. before my potty mouth comes back to bite me in the a.s.s in the form of a hyperactive and extremely loud two and a half year old. In just the past couple of weeks, some of the words he has started saying are:

Who did that? (this is especially funny when said while spinning around to check his butt after farting)
Sheets (Lloyd was amazed when Gavin pointed to his bed and said “wash sheets” since no one had ever taught Gavin that. Ummmm, rrrrrrriiiiggghhht. I can think of a certain no one who, while Gavin watches, washes Gavin's sheets every weekend and her name starts with an “A” and ends with a “manda”)
Boo boo
I want (My suggestion for other parents is to NOT teach your kids this phrase because they want everything. It’s a given. No need for them to verbally express it, in my opinion)
Night night
Bye bye

His increased vocabulary is certainly making communication, and therefore our lives, much easier. For the past two years Gavin has thrown himself on the floor in a fit of rage screaming and crying for upwards of an hour while we played try to figure out what Gavin wants. Right! He wants everything! Now Gavin still throws himself on the floor in a fit of rage screaming and crying but it is because we told him “no” to his one millionth request for a Fig Newton cookie rather than because of our inability to understand his one millionth request for a Fig Newton cookie. See how much easier our lives are? See? See? Please, somebody tell me you can see that!! I talked to Gavin’s speech therapist yesterday and he is at or above normal in all areas of speech except expressive language. In other words, Gavin has difficulty putting words together to formulate thoughts. I should let his speech therapist have a look see at my blog and she would see that yet again, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. She also revealed to me that upon first meeting Gavin, her and the physical therapist were convinced that he was autistic but after getting to know him, he is far too attached, empathetic, and emotional to be autistic. She said he is just one of the worst cases of sensory integration dysfunction she has ever seen and that he is such a mixed bag of sensory seeking and avoidance and he is so rigid in his behaviors that she has found him difficult to treat. Well, I’ll see your difficult to treat and raise you one because he is such a mixed bag of pain in the ass a.s.s that I find him difficult to parent.

The conversation between me and Gavin’s speech therapist quickly turned from Gavin to Lloyd and as it turns out, that was her main reason for calling. Certainly brings family-centered care to a whole new level and I did commend her for looking at our family dynamics when looking the treatment for Gavin. See, Lloyd and I have two entirely different ways of parenting and I’m not going to say whose way is better (although I’ll give you a hint….. starts with an “A”…..) but to be perfectly honest, I believe I deal with the pressures and stresses of parenting better than the husband. I don’t think he is at fault; there are just innate differences between men and women and while Lloyd is definitely Mr. Mom in many regards- what with all the cooking and child rearing and therapist taking and bottle making- the Mr. in front of the Mom says it all. He is a man (a damn fine man if I do say so myself) and he is fighting to stay afloat in the river of tears and poopy diapers we live in and that has become achingly apparent to Gavin’s therapist over the past few months. Well, that and he has great taste in clothes (still not sure why she told me that but since I mentioned it, he does). She gave me some tips about what Lloyd and I can do to improve our situation: put Gavin in preschool (we’re doing that in August… check), get Lloyd out of the house (he bowls on Thursday nights… check), and have a date night (trying to line up a babysitter as we speak… check).

The thing that bothers me the most is that I would give anything to be the one at home with the kids and he would give anything to not be at home with the kids and no, this is not a case of the grass is always greener. Like I said before, Lloyd and I deal with parenting differently and I thrive in the utter and complete chaos that is life with the Gavinator and the Goose. I don’t know what it is about child bearing but I am almost deaf to the screaming (almost) and I am proud of the fact I can nurse a wiggly ten month old, mop the kitchen floor, fry an egg, chop broccoli, and unload the dishwasher at the same time. In fact, it is what I am the proudest of. Unfortunately, my staying at home is not an option. So while Lloyd and I have agreed all along that it is in the best interest of the kids and in our best interest financially to have a parent at home, is it still in the best interest of the kids and our finances if one of the parents is quickly losing it while staying at home with the kids? Losing it to the point I have a parent-therapist conference about my husband instead of my child. Losing it the point that the therapist feels if Lloyd is unable to relate to Gavin it will hinder Gavin’s progress? If it’s not in the best interest of our family then what the hell h.e.l.l. are we doing it for?

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Blogger Ally said...

Wow, a lot going on there.

Preschool - is Gavin going full time or parttime? Is Lloyd struggling just with Gavin, or also with Grace, or is it the two of them together + Gavin's issues?

While I am perfectly happy making sacrifices for my child, and both MD and I feel that's part of our jobs as parents, there is a line and if one of the parents is close to breaking, the line is being crossed.

There are many, many, many worse things than dc, IMO. Not sure if you're asking advice or just rhetorical questions, but since I'm pushy that way, I'll offer some! I'd see how Gavin going to preschool affects the overall dynamic. If that's the breather Lloyd needs and he's better able to cope, fabulous. If he's still hanging on by a thread, it might be time to explore more options - ft preschool, a mother's day out type of program for Grace, etc.

Hang in there. You are both doing a fabulous job. Those kids are lucky to have such caring, dedicated parents.

1:53 PM  
Blogger K said...

What Ally said.

I know what you mean about different parenting philosophies. Brian and I seem to have different triggers for different breaking points.

Wishing you find a fix soon.


9:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I'm with ally on this. If it's making a person close the edge, it's time to make a change. I agree it's great have a parent stay at home, but if the cost is coming at an emotional drowning, it's not worth it.

Hope you find the solution.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Hey everyone and thanks for your insight.

Gavin will be going parttime (Tues, Wed, Thurs from 9-12). g1 is obviously the most difficult of the two so it is mostly g1 but let's face it, caring for two young kids ain't easy.

We certainly aren't opposed to daycare but whether or not we can afford it is another story. Not only do (did?) we like having a parent home, we also liked keeping both our incomes. If they were in dc, dh would be working just to pay for dc.

Dh gets all of his hours in over the weekend and I would love for him to work two full days during the week and put the kids in dc two days a week so he would get a break and we would all be home together during the weekends. I think that working opposite schedules has gooten extremely difficult, too.

Sigh.... thanks, everyone :)

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I agree w/ Ally too.

You guys are doing a great job! I hope you and Lloyd can get some quality alone time soon!

I'm sure preschool will be good for both Gavin and Lloyd. I've seen miraculous changes in my wild child over the past year and it's SO nice to get a few free hours on my own...ok...I still have the baby...but it feels like free time!

Oh....and LOL on the S.H.I.T. thing. A few days ago I overheard my 3 y/o telling our dog to "Get out of the freakin' way!"

8:39 PM  

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