Sorry this is sort of a rambling post, but I'm posting it anyway. ;)
I tell ya, sometimes I think I'm going insane. It can't be possible that my two year old is saying some of the things he says. It can't be possible that my two year old is exhibiting some of the behaviors I'm seeing. Very few others see it, and it makes me wonder if I'm imagining things. Sometimes S and I just look at each other. "Did you just hear what I heard? Did you see that, too?"
We are seeing a new attachment therapist. She is excellent, and being very proactive about things. Our other therapist helped us make some progress at the beginning, but we felt it was no longer helping. (Obviously a long story there.) We have seen this new therapist three times now, and I believe it's going to be a great fit.
The downside? It takes over an hour to drive to her office. However, there was no one closer that had the same experience as her, and we know the drive is worth it if it helps. She is also recommending some occupational therapy to help N with his sensory integration difficulties. He didn't have any of the "normal" signs of this problem that I had been looking for, so we never considered it a real issue. After doing a long survey for sensory issues, we see that he does have some problems in that area, and the therapist believes he will benefit from the occupational therapy.
We also want to set up a thorough development assessment for N, just to have it done and see if there are any specific areas we need to work on. It will be interesting since we don't know his exact age, but it's close enough that the info should help us. We know he's extremely smart, but he's definitely emotionally behind (which is to be expected).
I did have a revelation the other night on the way home from therapy. The new therapist (we'll call her L) asked me several times how I'm handling N's extreme needs--trust me, they're extreme--as well as home schooling and everything else. And I gave my usual vague answer of "Oh, S gives me a break when I need it, and it's not so bad, and... etc." I realized that I'm so used to kind of blowing off that sort of question without thinking about it at the time. It's not an intentional, conscious thing, but I want to come across like a good mom. Like I've got it mostly together, like we're struggling but I'm handling things just fine.
And I realized I probably shouldn't do that when it's the therapist who is trying to help N and our whole family. So I've got some things to work on in that area. In case you were thinking I'm a perfect mom who is handling everything really well, you now know that you were wrong. (Ok, maybe I don't come across as Supermom like I intended.) ;)
There are some mornings where the only prayer I can pray is, "God, get me out of bed. Help me to get up, get moving, and love my boy today. Help me just get up." And then, "Ok, I'm up. Now please get us through until nap time. Please. I'm begging you. 5 hours and counting." etc.
L compared N to a dried-up sponge. He needs so much attention right now, so much physical contact, but it's never enough. No matter how much we're giving him we can't fill that sponge. And it's so true. No matter what, it won't be enough. As soon as he gets what he's asking for, we have another problem. He wants something else, or isn't happy with what you gave him for some reason. He needs this, he needs that. If I'm not paying enough attention to him, he will do something to get it.
Trying to home school has been a challenge. This last week we've been trying to get more done in the morning's before N's nap, so that I have some down time while he's asleep. Before, we were trying to fit so much in during his nap, that he'd usually wake up right as we were finishing with school, and that just wasn't working for me. N loves (I mean LOVES) to color, so we got him this cool new art desk that has a spot for his paper, coloring books, crayons, markers, etc. It's super cute, and I was sure he'd love it! We put it right by the boys' desks in our school room, and right next to where I sit, so he'd be right by me while I taught the boys. I hoped we'd get a good 20 minutes or so out of him coloring happily, since he often will color that long during the day.
What I didn't anticipate was his anger that I was reading to the older boys, or teaching them something, and therefore paying more attention to them than I was to him. Even though he was close enough that he could touch me, it wasn't enough. I was giving someone else attention, and he found that to be a threat. He cried, he whined, he wanted to sit in my lap, he wanted to move the desk around the room. When I turned my head for a moment, he used a marker to color a line across my teacher's guide.
Clearly, this wasn't going to work. So the next day I took a book into the living room with me. The boys found spots to sit, and I gathered N and his toys and had him sit right by me on the couch. His response? Screams of,
"No Mommy! No read! You not read right now! You read my story!" and so on and so forth.
The other night he was trying to give orders to his daddy. S replied with, "No, Daddy and Mommy are in charge. Not N." He screamed,
"Mommy says I'm in charge right now!!"
Good times over here. ;)
But to put it honestly, we're struggling. It's difficult on everyone in the house right now, and we struggle with feelings of frustration, loneliness, etc. I have some wonderful friends who really care about us and have been praying for us, and I'm so thankful. But it's easy to feel that we're alone in this journey, since no one really sees the behaviors but us. Out and about he'll be a very charming little boy, but that's not the same boy we see at home.