"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." - Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Now and Then

It is really strange to think about what caused our stress back in the day versus what causes our stress now. Two years ago, we were still rookies in this game. Not only were we first time parents, we were still learning all about the world of special needs. The things that caused us the most stress two years ago were things like learning to be comfortable with Marissa's trach, g-tube and how to care for them, how to deal with insurance companies, DMEs, doctors and therapists.

Today, we are completely comfortable with her trach and g-tube. We have settled into a routine when it comes to her "accessories" and other equipment. We figured out that she is a rough and tumble kind of girl and we don't have to stress out if she bumps her trach on the table or scrapes her g-tube on the bed when she is trying to get down. Her "accessories" are just a part of her now. I am more comfortable in dealing with insurance, DMEs and doctors. I know how to handle talking and negotiating with them when I need to. It feels like we have been living this life for years and we no longer stress about things related to her special needs like we used to.

Nowadays we stress about her behavior. Just to be clear, I don't think she has any special behavioral issues at this time. I just think she is a typical toddler who is trying to discover who she is and her role in the world and she expresses it in a typical toddler way. Which bugs the dookie out of me!! She is very strong willed, loves to ignore and disobey even when given consequences. Just last night she was put in time out for hitting the glass back door over and over, very hard. As soon as she was out of time out, the very second she set her feet on the floor, she ran over to the door and started banging on it again! UGH!!

She loves to act out in the exact moments when I need her to behave. For example, yesterday I was on the phone with the lady from the Early Childhood Education department of our school district talking about her upcoming evaluation. Very important stuff. Marissa decided that was the perfect time to walk up behind me and smack me as hard as she could on the arm. She also decided it was the perfect time to cause as much noise and ruckus as she could, banging on the table, yelling at the top of her lungs, jumping off the chair and hurting herself. She does this anytime I get on the phone.

She also throws what I call "flash" tantrums. Everything will be fine, she'll be perfectly peaceful and obeying me and the very next second she will be throwing an all out fit. Throwing herself to the ground, flailing around and screaming. The best example of this is nap time. I always let her know what is going to happen before I start doing something with/to her. I let her know it is nap time and I need to suction her and change her diaper. Then I tell her it is time to go upstairs and get ready for a nap. I let her know that if she behaves, we can read her favorite book, "Goodnight Moon". She will be sweet and obey me. She will walk up the stairs and be fine until we get to the middle of her room. Then, all of a sudden, she throws herself on the floor, bangs her head and screams and cries like she is being murdered. Everyday. Without fail. So frustrating!!!

Sometimes when I get frustrated with Marissa's toddler terrible two behavior and think I am at my wits end, I like to look back at old pictures and videos of her. It helps remind me of how cute she was (and still is) and how much she has grown up. It makes me happy and it takes my focus off how bad her behavior can be at times. I love to reminisce.

I thought I would share a montage of a couple of videos we shot two years ago when Marissa was about seven or eight months old. I apologize for the video quality. These particular videos were shot with our 8mm camcorder. We can convert them to jpeg but we lose the audio for some reason. So I recorded them from my TV. They were shot before she had a voice, before she was able to tolerate her speaking valve. So the Marissa voice you hear is her this morning, getting in front of me and messing with the camera, slamming Ernie into the TV and anything else she could figure out that might bug me. ; )

I can't believe she was playing peek-a-boo at 7 months old!! Isn't she just the cutest??


Lacey said...

Ugh i'm sorry your getting the terrible two's. That video is so cute.

Nana and PaPa said...

Oh the walk down memory lane...terrible twos...sweet moments with cuddles and hugs... obeying...and..lol....playing horsey! Oh my gosh! That seemed to be the ALL time favorite for each one of you kids!!! I definately got an arobic workout from that one!! It's amazing how Marissa has grown and changed in just 2 years. All I can say is just hang in there...this too will pass...(but I do have to chuckle...and you know why..lol)
Nana & PaPa

The VW's said...

SO CUTE!!! You guys are so good about recording Marissa!

I'm telling you, the ages of 2-4 are a nightmare! It comes with the territory! Unless you have a very abnormal child, these years are very trying!

Plus, like I've said, Marissa is a smart one! This makes these years even more trying on a Momma! Hang in there! It is worth all the gray hairs that you aquire.....at least I think so???!!.....You caught me on a week that I'm wondering why we even had children at all! :) (I'm totally kidding, but some days, weeks and years are just hard!)

Love and Hugs!!!

Janice said...

I'd laugh with your mom but my "Mother Paybacks" are suppose to be on Jeremy. So maybe while he's home spending his vacation time and sick leave with his family, Marissa will pull a Jeremy - like hide in a very small box until I'm screaming in a panic that my baby has disappeared! Then pops up grinning ear to ear as my heart crumbles from fear! I want to hear all the details.

And welcome to "My baby becomes an alien when I'm on the telephone!" They know when they've gotcha!

I don't want her to grow anymore - it's going by too fast. She was signing "camera" when she was 7 months old. How did I miss that! Her little personality was so established and evident. Oh man...I'm going to cry.

Big Big Hugs and Kisses.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Man, terrible twos are horrid! I'm sorry that she is being so trying right now. I knew though that your parents would chime in with "Haha". ;)

Look at her playing peek-a-boo so young. She is seriously a smart princess!

Kendra said...

She's such a cutie in that video! Behavior will get better...someday...Jack, my hardest 2, was much better by three, so hope for that! Sucks that once you start thinking you're getting the hang of the parenting thing, then you have a two year old rock your world again! :)

Sherry C said...

She is so cute I fab video and as for the behaviour all I can say is she is one smart cookie that is for sure. Sounds like your doing great being okay with all the special needs stuff when she is two .. My daughters is four 1/2 and I'm okay now with it all but between 2 and 3 was the hardest. I think it was just sinking in then that she was not going to out grow all this stuff.. denial in the first few years was big I guess and reality was sinking in. Sounds like your doing great.

I have older ones as well and it does get much easier as they grow but sometimes the problems get bigger, like involve the school or friends. Instead of just upsetting mom and dad.

Dana said...

I am sure this a frustrating stage for you. Maybe she will grow out of it. Perhaps the school system will have suggestions that will help. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I know this post is like a months old but I read this book that says your suppose to refer to your two year old as a "Terrific Two" instead of terrible two lol!!! It cracks me up, terrific my as..I mean butt..HAHA

I just completely ignore Anabella's tantrums. I dont know if that wrong or not but I think that if I gave her attention during one of her episodes it would just validate her bad behaivor.

I've also been hearing that a lot can be learned by body language. From day one as soon as Bella started disobeying I made sure she saw my facial expression of disapproval. So far I can honestly say its working. The goal is as she gets older I wont even have to say a thing just give a look and she'll know that I am not happy with her actions and they need to stop.

Of course my dear Bellaboo isnt even two just yet and I am certain it will get worse before it ever gets better. There is a book a friend of mine who is a child psychiatrist reccomended if I could just remember the name. She told me its the best Christmas present that you can get for your self this year.

Good luck with everything. "Terrific Two" aside she is still adorable and very smart. Marissa is the favorite of my Blog babies lol! Have a wonderful holiday and happy new year!

Anonymous said...

I found it, its called "1,2,3 Magic: Effective Discipline For Children 2-12.

Here's the Amazon link to check it out.


Anonymous said...

LOL lots of comments from me today..Sorry I forgot to tell you that there are other books that I have found on Amazon one specifically is for parenting strong willed children which is how you describe Marissa. Anyway, take care and again sorry for all the comments!