I’m having a really difficult time with my youngest son, JJ (formerly Boonshka). He just turned three and he is becoming more temperamental and unpredictable. I’m super reluctant to really try to be an enforcing parent because I am simply afraid. When I had my first son, Skas, I found it really easy to guide him and teach him how to be a decent kid. That first kid is always easy, right? Especially if you don’t get pregnant again for a few years? There was so much time we could dedicate to him; oh, plus I was lucky enough to find a guy that was ready to be a father even if it was somewhat unexpected. So, we have always had a two parent household and with two parents there is always one there to shine a light on their kid. Maybe this is different for upper class families? I wouldn’t know; we chose poverty and our son over daycare, babysitters, and grown-up toys like nice phones, name brand clothes and a brand new car. Plus, it helped that we both had/have this mindset that we aren’t the kind of people meant to be more than hovering around the FPL. Careers never were an option for us, neither were nice things. Bad choices and negativity can really mess up your past ideas of your future pretty quickly.
With JJ, he’s a fantastic kid and I love him with all my heart but things are way different. I’m disabled and quite limited and he is disabled in a way that conflicts with my disability. Most times I feel guilty because I am unable to handle him and for so many different reasons. I thought that I would figure things out by now but no, I haven’t. I am too impatient and easily discouraged. It’s just like with breast-feeding him. I don’t know how other hemiparetic mothers do it or if they are able, but I was not. I couldn’t figure out how to hold him and get him to latch on long enough to feed. I gave up pretty quickly. I will place a sliver of blame on each person around me at the time (my mother and Stilla) for being so negative and encouraging me to bottle feed instead of supporting me and helping me figure it out. If I could only map it out, maybe I could have been successful, yah? I don’t know and try not to think about it too often.
The thing about being hemiparetic and having a new baby, even if it’s your second little newcomer, is that you have to figure out a ‘new’ way to do pretty much everything. My little guy was not a squirmer, turns out there was a reason fo that… In a way, it made things easier or it would have if, as a person, I was stronger. I was not. A handful of incidents where the neck-hole of a onesie was too tight and “I can’t do this!!!” came flying out of my mouth. I fell into a deep depression, blah, blah, blah…
I feel like a really terrible mother. I missed out on that precious bond time with my son and I think it’s starting to show. I try to analyze it which is totally pointless because it could be so many different things from his CP to me being distant as a mother yet not allowing Kasper to have too much control over him as a doting parent at the same time. It could be that, unlike with Skas, I just don’t put in the effort. It could be that I am always comparing the two kids which is also pointless because they are two totally different people. They have very similar features but they are very far apart from each other in character; and yet, I am always comparing the two. It’s very frustrating.
JJ’s type of CP, which is related to his PVL, is known to create a temperamental individual. Or maybe all forms of CP does that? Do you call it ‘form’ or ‘class’? I don’t even know. These are things I should be looking up. Right now, I’m going off what his neuro told me about it. Either way, he’s very emotional and physically strong even though he has a slightly weak side. I try to avoid pissing him off rather than correcting the behavior. It would be best to correct it but I honestly don’t know how. When Skas threw a fit it was easy to follow through on any ‘threat’ I may have made. I was strong enough to pick him up and carry him to a corner, or chase him down if it was necessary. I can’t do those with JJ so I feel like my “mom voice” is pretty hollow no matter how deep my petite frame can get it to go. Counting is more similar to a seeker waiting for everyone to hide than it is threatening. It’s pathetic. He’s 3 years old! I remember taking Skas to the grocery store and if he started showing signs of a fit coming on, I’d grab his upper arm and start counting in a low deep voice close to his ear. I never had a plan in case I got to 5 because by 3 Skas was calm beside me. Not JJ. No, he doesn’t get it. It’s like he knows I can’t follow through. What’s worse is that I feel this way rather than whether or not he believes it to be so.
The other night I had to yell at Kasper and he gave me the silent treatment for the next couple of hours. I don’t know how to explain it to him that I think he may be part of the problem, which naturally stems from the way I may have “conditioned” him after we had JJ. I think he is still used to me not taking part (even though I’ve been far more active the last year+ than before). I think this is the reason he interferes so much when I’m trying to discipline JJ. So the other night I was trying to get JJ to the bathroom for a bath but he wanted none of it. I can carry him very short distances if he’s cooperative and even when he’s not but not when he is being squirrely. The trick is picking him up. If I can get behind him and slip an arm under his I can get him where I need to go. It took me a few tries this time but right as I picked him up finally, Kasper was there trying to step in. This made JJ freak out and start writhing in my/our arms. I started to panic because I lost sight of what was going on. I became quickly confused. I was too afraid to drop my arm from JJ because I was unsure of how much I was supporting him; Kasper’s arms and hands were all over the place because of JJ’s bumping around. It was pandemonium in my ONE arm! I told him that I need to learn how to do these things without him. He can’t be here all the time; eventually he will get his lazy ass a job and I will have only myself to rely on for a portion of each day.
I have to be calm when dealing with JJ because we are both so easily excitable and for pretty much the same reasons. His PVL/CP affects him the same way my stroke has affected me and I’m afraid of what it will be like when he hits that young boy version of puberty where he’s trying to find out what type of boy he is before finding out if he likes girls or not. I’m afraid of not being able to control him physically; I’m afraid of him seeing my weak side as a strong weakness (which isn’t wrong) and taking advantage of that. I’m trying so hard to be patient and strong but I think that in itself is tearing me apart. I’m playing this tug of war with myself and trying to hide the emotional effects this is causing as well. It’s all very stressful. I don’t know what to do. How do you gain patience? Is it like some sort of mana I can buy somewhere?