Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

The 10,000 Wars

Sometimes as I lay in bed in the morning, I instictively begin to prepare for the day, as a soldier prepares before the battle. Even before I open my eyes, I secretly wonder to myself, How am I going to make it through today? What will I say to him when he starts his first rage, when he ignores my requests, when he glares at the baby with his death eyes again? What can I do to make the day go by quicker, to make the screaming less piercing, to make my heart stop pounding and my hands to stop shaking? How will I comfort my babies and help them to see that they are still safe? What will I say to the police if they are called to my house today? Brace yourself, woman. Here goes another day, another 10,000 wars.

When I open my eyes, the big round faces of my two healthy children are starring at me, blinking, smiling, excited to see me once again. My daughter says, "Mama, it's awake time." My baby boy laughs and starts rolling around, over my tired body. Despite my exhaustion from the wars of yesterday, despite my fear of the wars I will ineveitably face today, and despite my saddness that I will have years of these wars to come, I smile and I reach out to them. I am so, so, so happy to see their faces smiling back at me. I draw them in close, hugging them tightly, and I feel their hearts beat, their chests breathing in and out. I think I feel my daughter try to wriggle away, but I hold her in tighter and I think "not yet". A silent tear drips down one cheek and slips into my hair behind my ear. I love my babies so much. Their innocence and gentleness and unconditional love is so powerful to me that I can literally not get them close enough to me to satifisfy how I wish to hold them. It's not even something I can explain. I just love them too much. Patsy Cline was right. It does hurt.

I will crawl out of bed, and carry both kids into the living room with me where I rock them in my infamous rocking chair — my son on one leg, my daughter on the other, both kids burrying their faces in my bosom, holding on for dear life. They want me to hold them so badly. They can't get enough of my arms. They fight for my space, my attention, my love. This little daily episode is so endearing that no amount of midnight waking, no amount of fussiness, or crying the day before, can take away from our morning rocking session. If their behavior affects our rocks at all, it would only be in the opposite way. The harder they were to parent the day before, the sweeter their smothering of me becomes. Because no matter what happens between me and my two healthy children, they still love me and I still love them. It is a natural occurance. Nothing in me chooses it. It just is because it is.

After a few minutes, I put down the kids, make a cup of coffee, feed all the animals, and then go get Tyler from his room. When I see him, I smile for him. Despite how forced it might be, I still do it. But he doesn't smile back. He won't even look at me. He sighs several times as if being in my presence absolutely kills him. I say "Good morning, Sweetie", and I try to pat his shoulder or rub his back. But touch to him feels "not nice", so I am always aware of an invisible barrier between me and Tyler. He keeps it up and if I break through it with a hug at the wrong time, or a pat on the back in the wrong way, I will send him raging, a rip-the-moulding-off-the-wall-kind-of-tantrum.

Regardless that I've told him two thousand times that he doens't need to ask, he chants his usual morning chant, "Mother, may I please go to the bathroom?" Even though I want to ignore him, I fight the urge to roll my eyes, and I simply answer "yes". Because I have learned too many times that ignoring his ritualistic chants result in breaking-windows-kind-of-tantrums. The kind that starts at 7:30 am, and I end up crying myself to sleep at 11 pm.

Tyler goes to the bathroom and then he walks up to me and chants his other favorite mantra, "Mother, what would you like me to do?" I say, "I want you to start creeping." He hunches over his shoulders, sighs a huge, depressing sigh, and then falls to the floor like a dying holocaust victim, where he finally begins to creep….and whine. He will stop several times and start crying. Or he will be "forgetting" how to do it. Either way, the timer starts over. 4 reps of 5 minutes each. This simple, 20 minutes exercise can last for hours. Meanwhile, I cannot leave the house, or answer the phone, or even leave his sight long enough to use the bathroom. I am his prisoner. And this goes on every day, day after day. Sometimes I secretly wonder, Who am I anymore? Is he the boss of this house, these children, my very will, or am I?

After creeping, it's crawling time, and the same battles ensue. The 20 minutes of crawling turns into an hour, or two or three, of control battles and tantrums and arguing. Me comforting the babies, me wishing to God that someone would for once comfort me. I sit in my rocking chair and try to read a magazine or try to wash dishes. But it is too hard and I am just pretending to be untouched by his screaming and kicking and otherwise emotionally vomitting all over me and my children and my house. And I wonder, How many more days can I do this? Are my babies as drained as I am? Can I keep protecting them while I help this boy? CAN I help this boy? I don't really know anymore.

After creeping and crawling comes patterning and masking. We also have sensory and vistibluar stimulation to get through. Another 2 hours of exercises if he does them straight through with no problems. But, that has only happened once. As with the other exercises, I am still his prisoner, he is still the one in control. My resentment builds, my sympathy for his feelings disappears. By afternoon, I am just hoping to get through the day alive and intact and still with two healthy children.

By dinner time, he sits at the table and complains about the food, gagging on every bite he puts in his mouth. Although he's spent half the day begging for and probably hoarding food, he now can't stand to feed it to his body. Like mama's love, the very thing he needs and wants, he won't allow himself to take in. My heart breaks a little more each time he gags. My babies stare at him and Daddy tries to pretend nothing is happening. But I can hardly pretend anymore. My whole day, my whole life, is devoted to this child who thinks he hates my devotion. I feel as if I have nothing left to give.

Sometimes I just lay in bed at night, at the end of the 10,000 wars. I am exhausted and hurt and very, very sad. My eyes shut, I secretly wonder to myself, How will I do this again tomorrow, and everyday for the rest of this kid's life?

May 27, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments