Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy V-day

IMG_3367 I’ve had a reoccurring dream for the last 15 years, a nightmare really.  I dream I am in college and I show up to class to learn that I have missed the entire semester and have shown up on the day of the final.  I am mortified by this and afraid of what the teacher must think of me.  I wonder what happened to all the other classes—why am I finally here now?IMG_3369

It’s been a long while since I’ve had the dream, but I had it again this week and it has always been pretty indicative that things are out of control in my waking hours.  The week before my last post was bad, despite the inner calm I had.  This past week it all went to hell.  I have picked up my camera twice in the last 8 days (incidentally both Sundays) not because there was nothing to shoot, but because I really didn’t want anything to remember this past week by.  Stuff at work has gotten progressively more challenging and not in a this-is-good-for-me-and-I-need-to-stretch-myself kind of way.  Too much to do, taking too much of it home at night.  On Wednesday daycare reported that Duc had been aggressive with the other children and when the teacher attempted to correct him he slapped her in the face.  Parents don’t want to believe that our children are the barometer measuring the stress of our lives, our homes, but they are.  At that point I knew I was in trouble and Duc was feeling it as much as I was. IMG_3371

I know this won’t last forever and I know at some point the stuff at work will cycle to a close, and trust me, I try to remind myself of that every time that ball of anxiety tightens in my belly.  Last night I was feeling anxious about it all over again so I cruised the web to distract myself.  I was looking up some photography sites and came across the blog of a photographer who’s infant son was recently killed by pertussis.  I sat there sobbing as I felt the pain seep out through her words, her photos.  And it hit me, despite life’s daily stresses I still have my son, I still have my family.IMG_3372

I am so grateful to my family—especially the women.  There are no other boys in my family so neither my mother or my sister know the joys or the struggles of raising a son, especially not one that is headstrong and hellbent on showing himself and everyone else that he can do things ahead of his emotional age.  And that is the struggle—a child that developmentally is 3 years-old, but who emotional and physically is still 18-20 months.  He is frustrated.  A lot.  This weekend has been especially difficult—he is refusing naps when he normally takes 2—1 1/2-2 hour naps each weekend day.  Come 6:30 pm he begs me for “night night” and I am more than happy to oblige.  If anyone has learned how to teach their child not to throw please advise me!  He loves to throw his food, his pacifier, and anything else he get his hands on (he threw a fork at me during dinner which ended his dinner and put him in time out).  At the same time he is clingy and cries if I won’t hold him constantly.  Normally he is pretty good about playing by himself, but this weekend he wouldn’t pick up a toy unless he was throwing it.  IMG_3379 copy

Thank God for chocolate!


Laura February 14, 2010 at 11:16 PM  

A few things:

- GREAT photos, as always. Duc is too cute.

- I'm truly sorry for all of the stress you're having with work and life. I hope that it calms down sooner rather than later. You're very correct - children are total barometers for our lives. Is there anything you can do to lessen the stress at work, or is this a ride-it-out sort of situation?

- Finally, what you just said about Duc being physically and emotionally 18-20 months, but a three year old developmentally and therefore going through a lot of frustration...that is EXACTLY the situation we're having with Molley. I've blogged several times over the past six months that I need to remember that she's only (fill in the number) months old, even though she acts a full 18+ months older. It’s very difficult for me to be the same patient parent I was with Mattix b/c she is so incredibly advanced developmentally, but "normal" physically and emotionally. I feel like my children are the same age based on their verbal skills and mental abilities (Molley can count just as high as Matty, has hundreds of words, knows colors, and more - all for many months now), but Molley is always frustrated b/c she can't do physically what Matty can (e.g., climb up the steep slide). And because she's emotionally on-track for her age, she can't handle the disappointment of "failure."

I know I'm rambling, but it's very nice to read about what you and Duc are going through b/c I feel slightly overwhelmed at times. It's a very different parenting experience when your child begins doing things that are developmentally WAY beyond his/her age. People talk about brilliant their children are and how far ahead they are and blah, blah, blah, but for me, it's not just about how special my child is! :) I don't even know if that makes sense; it does in my head.

ANYWAY! Fingers crossed that work and life become less stressful for you.


Kris February 15, 2010 at 9:27 AM  

wow E sounds like life has been very challenging lately. my heart feels for yours. i wish i had advice on the "no throwing"- i think the kind of discipline you are employing will sink in. taking away a privilege, or totally ignoring it might work too. don't react at all, and he'll get bored, as i assume he's trying to see what your reaction will be. just a thought anyway.

rachel February 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

I have that dream, too. Often. I hate it. In fact, sometimes it is so real that I don't realize it's a dream until hours later.

I hope things get better for you soon. I have no advice about parenting...what we tell parents is "tell them what to do, not what not to do" - apparently it works for lots of kids? Since I don't have my own, I think this entire paragraph sounds extremely stupid...but take that for what it is. (I do advise parents for my job, a role that cracks me up a lot these days.)

Kelli February 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

I have had the exact same dream many times. Sorry work is so stressful- hope it gets better soon. No advice on the throwing. We are dealing with head butting here...

a Tonggu Momma February 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

I TOTALLY have that dream, too... and I always wake-up in a cold sweat.

As for Duc, I so know what you mean. We went through a bit of that as well with the Tongginator. In terms of the throwing, what eventually worked best for us (non-meal times) was that whatever she threw, she lost for the day. I had a clear plastic bin that I put things in, up high, so she could see them, but could not have them. Every morning we emptied out the bin as a fresh start. It took awhile, but it slowly worked.

As for meal times, that one is simple. The minute she threw something, the meal was over. Period.

Lost and Found February 16, 2010 at 8:31 PM  

Okay I didn't read much yet but had to comment on those pics. He's just too friggin cute. Em got into my Godiva. That girl just loves stealing chocolate even though she had her own little box.

I remember the issue with the kiddos being ahead in some areas isn't always a "good" thing in regard to those who were in orphanages b/c they learned to be independent b/c it wasn't an option. This happens with E too, she is so bright and her receptive abilities always floored me but emotionally, she was her age which in itself was a tough age for expression and understanding disappointment, etc. Hang in there!!!

Michele February 17, 2010 at 7:16 AM  

I am so sorry that you have so much stress lately. You definitely need a break. I hope things start looking better for you very soon.

Big hugs.


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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