Honestly, I think the days have been progressively getting worse for a while now and I just didn’t want to admit it. I want Cooper to improve so badly that I think I have been lying to myself.
I read a quote on Pinterest that said, “It doesn’t actually get easier…you just get used to it.” Ding, Ding, Ding! That’s my life exactly.
Cooper’s behaviors are out of control. I am not going to sugar coat this on my blog. I sugar coat it in real life. I smile and act like it’s okay. Maybe I even lie. I don’t know what it is but here I am going to be real. And I’m not even sad anymore. I am so freaking angry. Jamie and I are really good parents. We LOVE our kids. And we are missing out. We should be enjoying Cooper. We should be laughing and playing. And we aren’t. We are holding our breath waiting for the next crisis to happen.
I watched Jamie in the nursery at church today with a bunch of kids. He was talking to a group of boys about flying to the moon. They were laughing about rocket ships and the different planets. I think my heart actually broke. We are missing out on so many moments like that. Silly moments. The moments you write in baby books and remember to tell someone later. “You wouldn’t believe the hilarious thing Cooper said today….”
I look at Cooper’s ‘issues’ in two parts. There is the NOT talking and there are the behaviors. Trust me, I know they are related. I’ve read the other blogs. I’ve heard from his therapists. But here is the deal. I can handle the not talking. I’ve honestly come to terms with it. I’ve cried, I’ve yelled, I’ve grieved. I have now accepted. It’s the behaviors I can’t handle anymore.
So what are the behaviors?
First, Cooper has stopped playing with all of his toys. He just wants to watch cartoons on tv, Netflix, computer or play on his Leappad. He has stopped playing trains and trucks. He will read books once in a while but other than that it is all technology based play. And we try so hard not to give in. We try to make him do other things. We try to limit the amount of time he spends in front of a screen. And why you ask? Because Jamie and I are not ‘screen’ people! We want to be doing stuff and we want our children to be the same way. Which leads us to the whining.
The whining is out of control. It will start the second he wakes up and goes until the second he falls to sleep. It’s high-pitched and it’s demanding. And I know this has to do with the lack of communication so I really do try to be patient. But it’s awful. I often wonder if Cooper is just a ‘chatty’ person. Meaning, if he was talking, I have a feeling he would be talking nonstop. But this isn’t even close to talking.
We brought Cooper to church again this morning and we spent the first half in the crying room. Cooper whined and cried and pushed over chairs. We brought him to the nursery to see if that would help. There were 8 other kids in there ranging from 3-10. Some were playing play dough and some were playing ‘rocket ship’ on the slide. Cooper wandered from toy to toy and knocked stuff over. He didn’t engage with the other kids and he didn’t play with any toys. It is so hard to watch.
And lastly, the lack of communication is really ramping up. We brought the boys to the mall yesterday in hopes of curing our cabin fever. We let Cooper run around and we pushed Sawyer in the stroller. Cooper was in his glory and so were we. Jamie and I have this mutual acceptance of Coopers arm flapping and whining when we are in public. It’s so hard when Cooper acts odd in public. It’s heartbreaking actually. But we get through it because we know Cooper is a great kid. We smile to each other in support. And it really helps that we are united.
As the mall began to close we told Cooper it was time to go home. It was like a switch was flipped. He didn’t want to go so he looked right at us, made eye contact, smirked, and knocked over a sign. And he was off. He ran from jewelry rack to clothes rack in full on destruction mode. He may be fast but I am faster. I caught him and tried to wrestle him in his coat. And in true Cooper fashion, he went limp. Eventually Jamie just grabbed him under his arm and took him to the car.
On the ride home from church Jamie and I talked about surviving right now. How are we going to make it through this. We always come back to the same thing over and over again. Everything is hard with Cooper. It’a all a struggle. Now yes, certain activities have gotten easier. Thank God. But, still, it shouldn’t be like this.
I need someone to tell us what to do. Please. Do we go to a hospital and start ruling things out? But honestly, what is that going to do? There is no magic pill for this. Do we never leave the house? Do we take away every single piece of technology in this house? What? I’ll do it.
I need life to get easier. I need to enjoy this child. I need to enjoy Sawyer. I think the scariest part for me is that it might not get better. I thought for the longest time that Cooper might just snap out of this. We might wake up one day and he will start talking and wanting to learn and participate. That hope is gone. And I sure as hell don’t want to live in survival mode for rest of my life. It’s a scary place to be.