Chewed Off & Spit Out: Complaining Doesn’t Taste Very Good

Boy has this past week been ROUGH for me. I had surgery on Dec. 9 and am still recovering…slowly…ugh. I had a post-op Dr. appointment this past week and my surgeon said that he doesn’t like the look of the surgery site. He didn’t take the stitches out….dang it. AND to beat all…..the surgery site was already VERY EXTREMELY sensitive and hurt to touch….now it is worse. Much worse! The Dr. is concerned and making sure that there isn’t an infection….so I had to have blood work drawn. I haven’t heard any results as of yet. No news is good news, right? I can honestly say……It seems I’ve done nothing but complain, complain and complain some more this week..with good reason, too (at least in my mind anyways).

Complaining by definition is not a pretty word, is it? The following is the definition:

com·plain  (km-pln)

intr.v. com·plained, com·plain·ing, com·plains

1. To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.
2. To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.
 
Not pretty at all……not one iota. So, by definition, neither was I all week long.
 

 

Who likes to hear someone complain? Honestly? No one, not a single one of us, yet we all still do it. We feel justified in some way that “WE” have the right to do so, because our situations are different in some manner! Right? Well, we couldn’t be more wrong. And remember, our children mirror how we act and react to situations……keep that on the back burner in the recesses of your mind, your heart, and your very essence…..how do you want your child to eminate you? Just what ARE we teaching our children?

I’ve been in a perpetual bad mood all week…..naturally with some “ups” thrown and strewn in there here and there!!! Geez, I hurt like the dickens, no one is helping me to feel better and when I went to the Dr, he didn’t do anything except tell me he’ll see me in another month!! WHAT? Are you kidding me? I had even ended up in the Emergency Room one day…oh yes, the pain is that bad!

“A pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks!” Oscar Wilde

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and compalin, but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”  Dale Carnegie

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy;anybody can complain.” Henry Ford

“When a personfinds themselves predisposed to complaining about how little they are regarded by tothers, let them reflect ow little they have contributed to the happiness of others. ” Samuel Johnson

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” Confucious

“Realize that if you have time to whine and complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

I do ask this……hear my tears…..not my complaints….my tears are no longer complaining……they are hurting. Blessings to you and your children…….

Mama 249

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Post-Christmas: The Aftermath

Well, how did you fare for Christmas? Were your kiddos overwhelmed? Was it chaos? Was it better than you expected…..or was it exactly as you suspected….or worse? I’ve a story to tell……as usual.

First of all, I told ya’ll in my last post that I had recently undergone  surgery and am not allowed to lift MM for 6 weeks post surgery…..HOW, I ask, am I supposed to do that? We use the holding technique when he rages….let alone, holding for boo-boos, and especially holding for letting him know that mommy just loves him to pieces AND every night I hold him to help get him to sleep. Now, how do I stop all that…to tell a 4 year old, gosh, honey…..mommy just can’t do it for quite some time. Nope….he won’t understand. Not one iota!! And you know what? I was right….he didn’t understand.

Now…fast forward to last week. I have been experiencing some incredible amounts of pain (no…this post is not going to be completely about this subject…so you can read on if you’re interested in other than my surgery…LOL). One particular day, myself, dh and my MIL were taking MM to a local bounce house, and stopped to get something to eat first. Hey….can’t bounce without a completely full belly so one can experience the feeling of losing your stomach, right?! Oh, you mean that is just me? Anyways…..I cried and cried on the way to lunch…..in tremendous amounts of pain. Dh was really getting worried as was I….so I called my Dr.’s office. They said to get to the ER immediately. Well, “immediately” to me was AFTER we filled our bellies….we “were” hungry after all. Found out it was something to really keep an eye on from the surgery that went wrong…..not terribly wrong….just wrong.

Just telling you the above story to let you know how stressful the week was!! And how little I was able to do and am still not able to do. The pain continues. I go back to the Dr. this week to see what our next step is. Ho hum.

Now…..CHRISTMAS!!!! Wow…was that ever so cool, or what?! My MM is finally at that age where he REALLY gets it….and is super excited about it!! He woke up at, no kidding here….12:30 AM and said, “mommy, is it Christmas yet?”  Darned cute as a bug!! Dh and I had JUST, and I mean “JUST” put out the gifts…..so we ran to our room (he co-sleeps with us part of the night) to make sure he didn’t get up and proceeded to let him know that, Nope, Santa hadn’t made it yet….get back to sleep. He then, closed his eyes as tight as they could possibly be!! LOL!!

6:55AM rolls around and MM wakes again….this time, it’s a much more reasonable time frame….I can really deal with 6:55 MUCH better than 12:30 am!! He ran into the living room and he literally jumped up and down and his eyes were as big as saucers!! I fed off his excitement!! It is so refreshing to see and feel that much wonder and excitement, ya know. He started “rip, rarin’ and tearin” into the gifts……in a process that only a 4 yr old can do. We had to remind him to calm down and take it a bit slower. Other than that….he honestly did very very well!!!! I was very proud of him….the sensory stuff wasn’t too much for him…..yet.

He LOVES and ADORES Thomas the Train….and Santa, Mama and Daddy got him I think everything that is Thomas possible!! He and daddy made some awesome tracks!! I love that he can actually “SEE” what isn’t there…..do you understand what I’m trying to say? MM is amazing at puzzles……he finishes them quickly….he can do tracks…long and amazing train tracks that are kinda complicated….in no time flat….and he has this uncanny ability to figure things out in his head. It amazes me. No….rather…..HE amazes me!!!

Well, the day wears on and MM is playing, playing and playing with the trains and train tracks ALL stinkin’ day while I’m cooking for our family dinner at 4. We get to the Nephew’s house and MM is getting to the point that he’s getting overwhelmed. I can tell. He’s getting very very very antsy. We can’t NOT go, I mean it’s Christmas, ya know. It’s family and we’re all expected to be there. BUT, under no uncertain terms….IF MM were having a really rough time….I’d put my foot down. Dh…..feels differntly though….that is where we falter. We’re pretty much on the same page, besides a few small things….and that is one of them. Here’s another….and to me…..it bothers me a lot.

Dh will NOT tell his family about MM’s RAD or SPD. He feels it’s MM’s story to tell….gosh, he’s 4 and doesn’t even know it actually himself…so, he’s supposed to tell the family about it when he himself doesn’t have a name to it? I TOTALLY disagree!!!! I say, the family…..at least Dh’s mom, who babysits for us once in awhile, should know, so she knows what she’s dealing with when MM rages at her house. Well…..MM started to unravel at the nephew’s house….and nephew’s mom started getting onto MM…..I don’t like that at all….He’s our son…..let us take care of that, ok. If it’s important…yeah, say something….but I don’t tell her grandson what to do or not do simply out of respect. Then Nephew’s mom says to the others at the dinner….”Gosh, MM ‘really’ is having a time today! He must be behaving badly because Christmas is just getting to be too much for him!” (or something to that effect) It kills me when ppl (especially family) talk about MM in front of him…like he doesn’t hear them. No…..I didn’t say anything to her. I left it alone…..but I did take MM aside and talk to him alone. I refuse to embarrase him in front of ppl….what we have to say, can be done in private so as not to shame him.

After I spoke with MM, he sorta, and I do mean sorta…..calmed down a tad. He really was overwhelmed today! It is a lot of stimulus all around and add in all the family surrounding him and talking and talking…..that is brain overload, ya know!!! I did my best to keep him occupied and focused. That, alone, did wonders for him. What kind of things did you do with your kiddos to keep them regulated for the holidays? Oh….btw….the nephew has a son who’s only about 15 months or so old. And MM doesn’t like babies….at all. He loves his cousin…..to a degree…..as much as he can tolerate him….but at a distance really. MM has a hard time with kiddos who aren’t at his “level”……what about your kiddos? Are they the same? Different?

The aftermath of the holidays……peace has arrived once again….we arrived to a quiet house after dinner and played with trains until bedtime last night……and now it’s morning…..peaceful quietness……MM is still resting quietly……somberly…..while I await his roar of excitement to this day!!!! Bring it on!!!

(This is not a picture of my child.)

Blessings to you and your children,

Mama 249

 

Do I Listen to My Dr’s Orders? NOPE!

I had to have surgery a week or so ago and was given Dr’s orders to not lift anything over the weight of a milk jug (5lbs). Are you kidding me? I’m a mom of a 4 year old with RAD! One of the MOST healing things that the parent can do for their RAD child is the holding technique. I’ve been doing this technique for quite some time now…..and my Dr. wants me to just up and “quit” doing this for 6 weeks!? I think NOT! How can I un-do all the trust-building that we’ve been doing by not holding him?

This was very evident this week when at first I was taking my Dr’s orders and not holding MM. He was in a downspiral all week….each day progressively getting worse and worse. I would do my “best” and sit on the couch and have MM climb into my lap and “hold” him in my lap….gosh it wasn’t the same at all….it didn’t feel that way to me, and I KNOW it didn’t to MM either. I finally gave in one day, he was having a particularly hard day, I sat down with him and asked him, “are you upset because mommy cannot hold you since my surgery?” Yes, was his tearful reply. I knew in that very moment….my surgeon may have known what was best for “me”…..but he sure as heck didn’t know what was best for my lil man. MM was regressing. He was hurting and crying out…..his acting out was a cry for help….for me to hold him. I will tell you this, I held my suffering child in my arms, no matter my pain….I’m secondary to him in my eyes…..for over an hour!! I cannot convey in words how healing those 60+ minutes were for us. But I’ll be danged if I’m going to let this hinder his healing. Not for a second.

MM can throw ’em with the best of them. The rages are so intense that he kicks, hits, screams, pushes me…..and all the stuff you’re probably familiar with already. I, with the help of much reading and talking to friends of kiddos who also have RAD, started using the holding technique. Now, there are different ways to do this people believe as I’ve noticed. Some people will put their arms over the childs (so the child cannot use as a weapon) and wrap their legs around their child’s legs (also, weapons of kicking) fromthe backside (to not have them headbutt the parent) all the while trying to “calm” the child while talking calmly and telling the child they are “safe”, and other such things. Now, while this may work well for some (usually the older kiddos too), I know it won’t work for my Munchkin Man (who’s still only 4 and weighs 33 lbs). I feel he needs to be able to look into my loving eyes and see and feel the love I have for him.

I hold him just as I would hold him for anything else. I’m telling you, it works for us. MM will be throwing a major meltdown, and it’s a struggle to get him in my arms, which tells me that he needs it even moreso. The more they fight it, the more they need it. I can even begin to tell that he wants it sometimes. He’ll be having a meltdown and will put his body up against mine as if he’s “saying” ‘please hold me, mommy. I need to feel safe right now!’ Anyways, I pick MM up and hold him, letting him see the love I have for him in my eyes. I speak in the calmest voice I can, telling him, “Shhhhh, it’s ok, now. I’ve got you. Shhhhhh. It’s ok. I’ve got you. You’re safe with mommy.” He will struggle for a bit, hitting, kicking, pushing me away from him, grunting, screaming. And then it happens……it just happens in an instant. He melts into my arms. He lays his head softly on my shoulder and I can feel him wrap his arms around my neck and he starts to play with my hair. Then, I know. I know he feels it. Safe for the moment. But the moments are just that….moments.

MM doesn’t trust us. Why should he? He has lived the first 18 months of his life in trauma. Trauma that I wouldn’t wish upon any child. To tell you the truth, we don’t know it all…..we most likely never will. And that is ok, I don’t have to know the details, I just have to know that my (our) son had to live it. Sad, very sad. It’s painful to look into my child’s eyes and see distrust and fear in all things (Oh my the fear…..I can go on and on about the fears). It pains me to know that MY CHILD is so fear-filled. I cry just thinking about it. The fear has caused him so much grief that he can not trust anyone…..not us, not anyone. The person who gave birth to him, he found couldn’t be trusted. The family whom he spent the first 18 months of his life with, they couldn’t be trusted either….so why should he trust us, even though we continually show him we CAN be trusted? He can’t let go of that fear just yet. It is his survival. It is the only way he knows how. It will take a lot of HARD work on all of our parts….to get MM through this. It will not happen in a year, not two, and maybe not three…..no time limit is set upon this…..it will happen when it does…..when MM feels it, when he knows trust is worthy. That we are worthy.

And until that day happens……I will hold my son in my arms and look deeply into his soul……..and let him know….he’s worthy too.

This is how I see us now……I’m guiding him into the warm “waters” and letting him know that it is ok, safe and even though it is scary…..we’ll go slowly….just look at it first. Then dip your toe in and feel it’s warmth. Know that it is not going to hurt. I’m holding his hand…..letting him know that I’m always there….guiding him and keeping him safe. I will never let go of his hand…gently holding and guiding. You notice the boy in the picture is holding a bucket….I see that as he wants to go and “play”…..but needs all my love and guidance to know and feel that he won’t get hurt again. And if he does……I will show him that I’m there to pick up the pieces…..and move forward…..always moving forward….two steps back sometimes…..but always moving forward is our goal.

Pieces of his heart……someday they will be whole again.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249

What Did She Just Say?

A bit more than a year ago, dh, myself and MM went on vacation for our anniversary. We went to a lovely place….a place we try to go to at least once a year! A place we just adore. One evening, we all went to a pretty “well-known” establishment (I won’t say where to save face for the said establisment) and were walking around in amazement, having a wonderful time.

Dh and MM went off on their own while I window shopped around a bit. Now, I won’t mince words here…MM was being a bit loud in his excitement, but in no way was he being rude, or was he causing a problem and I’m not saying that because I’m his Mama….I’m the first to say if he’s causing a problem. I was in another section of the establishment and 2 lady workers were chatting it up while “working.” Then, to my amazement, one of the employees said to the other, while referring to my son and not realizing he belonged to me, “Now, THAT is why they have DayCares! Leave them there, ya know!”

I ALMOST went to her and said something. But no. I’m not usually one to cause a scene….mostly because I get lost in my words and want to say the right thing plus I HATE confrontations anyways. I immediately went to dh so she could see he was WITH ME…..maybe that would give her the hint that she misspoke. I told dh of her “opinion” of our son. He was furious, to say the least! “That’s it, we’re leaving right now! Put your stuff down. We will NOT purchase anything from them if that is the kind of ppl they hire!” I disagreed because the store, while being responsible, yes, for hiring ppl of quality to represent their establishment, cannot, CANNOT, be held responsible for what comes out of an employees mouth. Now….I do agree that it makes them look bad…yes. But responsible, no.

Dh was still furious and we left without our merchandise. I hate to say it….but it put a damper on the rest of the evening because dh couldn’t get it out of his head what was said about OUR son. Now, mind you, at the time, we were unaware of his RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) & his SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), but still, I assure you….he was just so excited….most likely sensory overload and couldn’t be quiet…..not screaming…..just loud. Saying things such as, “Wow, daddy, look at THAT!!”

When we got back home….a few days passed and it was nagging at me about what had happened back at the “well-known establishment.” I decided to give the manager a call…..now that my head was clear I could say the right things, calmly, ya know. She was so kind, and apologetic. She was going to get to the bottom of this, she stated. She sent us a gift card to use either online or next time we visit. Along with it a letter stating she spoke with the two women involved, reprimanded them, and used this story as an example of what NOT to do in her next meeting. No….they didn’t get fired…..or lose days without pay….just were told what is appropriate to say and not to say. That is all I wanted to happen….so another family wouldn’t go through this as we did.

Looking back after more than a year has passed, and I still have yet to use the gift card, I have had ppl say things about our son…..which I will post about at a later time…..things that have cut deeply, that hurt my heart….things that I hope and pray Munchkin Man didn’t hear…..and realized even moreso that I’m his advocate! I’M the one who has to step up to the plate for him while he’s so little yet….not necessarily to shield him….because the world is a cruel place and he’ll experience much, needing some thick skin……but rather to TEACH him that he’s ok. That ppl can and will be cruel to even the best of us…..and how to handle those moments. To not let those moments get him down on himself….or to let those ppl’s judgements shape who he is…..no way! To let him stand tall in the face of adversity and know deep in his heart of hearts, that he was made good by God….and that there’s a plan for him. My deepest want for MM is this……to have him be able to regulate himself and be able to healed of the RAD & SPD…..to live the life that God has laid out for him..and for him to be content and peace fulfilled with his life. Is that asking too much?

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249

 

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…

Here it is already…..December is upon us! This year seems to have just flown by. It is hard for me to fathom that Christmas is only a little over 3 weeks away!! Good thing we’re “almost” done with our shopping!! Which brings me to the subject for today’s post….the TREE!! Doesn’t everyone look so forward to going to get their tree? I know we do. Well, since last year that is. We’ve had a “fake” tree for our entire marriage, until last year when we finally broke down and decided it was time to have a REAL, LIVE tree!! Oh was I ever so happy, except for the constant sweeping up of the needles in my living room!! But it is so worth it for the smell of the freshness a real tree brings to the Christmas season in your home!

Munchkin Man and I went to the local Tree Farm and looked around for a suitable tree to fit in our Living Room….which dh told me would be a 6 foot tree. No problem…I can handle that. As long as someone else puts it in the back of the truck for me…lol. It was MM’s first time going to pick out a tree or being at a Christmas Tree farm….so to see his wonder and amazement was the best part of the day, honest. MM’s eyes were wide seeing the “humgoness” of them all, as he so eloquently put it. I only wish I’d of captured that look, his first look on my camera….but alas….I didn’t. It is etched in my memory forever though…..never to be forgotten.

MM wanted us to buy the Biggest and the Best tree we could find….and that tree happened to be about 12′ tall!! I had to break the news to him…..”Honey, daddy said we could only get a 6′ tree. That is all that will fit in our living room, I’m sorry, honey.” His little head hung with disappointment. Rather quickly, I might add, did his lil head bob up to see the tree he thought was “PERFECT”!!! Oh no…here we go again….”Honey, that tree is really tall. Let me show you how tall 6′ is, ok. Then you’ll know what to look for.” I showed MM….much to his disapproval, he agreed to find one on the rather “short” side. So we settled….and got a “short” and “honkin’ huge” tree….let me tell you….this tree is sooo big around….I kid you not!! It takes up so much room in our living room…..but it’s……..perfect!

MM touches the tree all throughout the day….saying how pretty our tree is….it isn’t even decorated yet. Isn’t that funny? Our tree looks like we have a tree growing in our Living Room…..and he loves it!!

This is what it’s all about…..the tree is all about……for us…..to bring a smile…..to evoke memories of Christmas’ long ago of our own childhood….and to make the best memories for our own child. I love that kiddo of ours with my whole heart, my whole soul….to the very depth of me…..and to see his smile, his laughter….to see him simply touch the tree and get excited…well, that just makes my day!!

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249