I Thought I Had More Time.

4c9728ff5aaafc75a9bbf38abdb3ca5dI am spiraling down fast. I’m finally seeing it. The behaviors. The rigidity. And it makes it hard for me to breathe.

Jamie was on a fishing trip so I flew solo with the boys this weekend. Cooper was Cooper and than add in dogs and a toddler. It is what it is. The problem is I saw Cooper’s rigidity like never before.  I think I can say I watched him unravel before my eyes. It’s bad. And it’s controlling every second of our lives. Every meal was a fight. Every thing was a fight actually. It was very eye opening.

I’m so close to giving up. I’m not strong enough for this. At least my heart isn’t.  I feel like life is happening around us and we are hiding out in our house. I can’t handle Cooper and Sawyer alone in public. Cooper weighs almost 40 lbs and when he decides to meltdown I have very limited movement while holding a baby.

Case and point. The ‘new’ worst Cooper experience ever.

I took the boys to Lake Superior on Saturday afternoon. It was gorgeous out and I was sick of sitting around. And Cooper’s favorite thing to do in the whole entire world is to go to the lake and throw rocks. We had a few mishaps on the stroller ride to the beach but arrived all in one piece. I pushed the double stroller 10 feet or so through the sand because my wallet and personal stuff was in it and I wanted to be able to keep my eye on it. Then the boys and I walked 30 feet or so to the lake.

Cooper was LOVING life. This is the environment that he loves. Lots of stuff to throw and water. His heaven.

After 30 minutes or so Sawyer and I were getting pretty antsy to go. I started telling Cooper it was almost time to go and he progressively got more animated while continuing to ignore me. And my anxiety began to rise. Slowly at first. After another 10 minutes or so I realized this was bad. There was no way I was going to get him out of there quietly and there were people every where. Plus, how was I going to manage Sawyer and the stroller and the sand. I started to really freak the F out.

I began throwing out bribes for movies and ice cream and cookies and every single thing I could think of. I even offered an iPad. I was desperate. No go.

I realized I had to make my move. Let me remind you that Cooper is over 40 pounds and Sawyer is over 30. I was F’d. I grabbed Cooper’s arm gently at first and he lost his shit. I had to eventually squeeze his arm and that turned into dragging him kicking and screaming. If he ran I wouldn’t be able to catch him. And there is a lake and people every where. Sawyer started to fight me and I had him like a sack of potatoes. By the time I got to the stroller the tears were in the back of my throat. I couldn’t for the life of me push that damn stroller because of the sand. Plus I only had one hand. I got Sawyer strapped in and chased after Cooper. A woman saw me and walked over and offered to help me push it through the sand. Thank you God for this women. Cooper kicked and screamed and hit at her if she got too close. By the time we make it to the boardwalk we were both frazzled. I could have hugged her.

Cooper2I could make excuses here. Hell, the old Kate would have had a million. He was tired. New environment. Bad transitioner. I can say them all. Or, I can say that his behaviors are getting to be too much. I can’t handle the kids alone in a new place. But the real truth is that these moments make me feel more alone than I ever thought possible. I can’t even put it into words. Are there other mom’s out there like me hiding in their houses and yards because they can’t risk taking their kids out alone?

I spend a lot of time looking at Cooper. Observing most likely. I do this way more with him than Sawyer. I watch every move. There was no hiding anything this weekend. He doesn’t play. His play is wrestling, throwing and watches movies. From the second he wakes up to the second he goes to bed. And he’s never going to talk. This is it.

I thought I had way more time. I thought he would be at least 5 or 6 before we would have an incident where I couldn’t handle him. It’s just too soon. And I’m scared.

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23 thoughts on “I Thought I Had More Time.

  1. First….you need a big giant hug. Its not easy handling 2 young children on our own when our men are away but I like to say I have 2-1/2 because of our son who is a BIG strong boy for his age. I know right now you are scared and feel overwhelmed and I want you to know that its good that you let it all out here because you need to vent. Parents of typical children don’t understand. They think tantrum and all kids do this. It is indeed scary and as a Mom I know I feel vulnerable when I’m out on my own etc. I also confess that my daughter who is younger then my son had to learn to this day to sit in a stroller longer then she should because I was managing our son.

    Second..take a deep breath

    Third… my husband and I had to learn some tools and ways to handle things when things go “side ways” or to avoid the “side ways” times but then also learn that no matter what you do things can go “sideways.” Also…lots of fun and happy can also lead to “sideways”.

    Four….when my son is anxious due to massive changes (like Daddy being away or a tough week at school) he so needs to be doing something he loves that brings him bliss. But taking him away from that bliss can be massively challenging and resistance is big time. I have to remind myself that the resistance is because that fun thing is fixing him inside and he doesn’t want to let go and because he’s a little mess inside he is resisting. What I try to do is give him plenty of warnings about leaving etc but I’m sure you did that and things went insane

    Five…I learned in a course to teach my son how to deal better with the “extractions” fun bliss and to trust me or his Daddy. We had to be very explicit about what we were going to do, how long we were going for etc. We had to keep trying over and over again the beach or the playground so that through repeptition he learned that that he could have the bliss he craved but we would come back another day and it was time to go home. It is not easy and for now you might need your husband to help with this for awhile. It will change. Why? Because a lot of time our children feel that when change happens to their routines they need control because one thing that is expected is not there and their little minds go to “what else could change…Mommy leave..etc etc” and that’s why they hang on so hard to things that give them bliss.

    I hope this helps but let’s just say I have been on the floor of Wallmart by the sneaker boots kids aisle while my son cried his eyes out because he wanted spiderman slippers. He doesn’t even like Spiderman but Daddy was away and Wallmart is overwhelming for me let alone him and here I was with his baby sister on the floor while shoppers were looking at us. My neighbour was with us and was gentle with him and said if the slippers made his little world all right right now then that’s okay but a yummy yogurt drink would too. He snapped out of it and took her hand to the grocery sections and all was right in the world. I still have those slippers…he doesn’t wear them but it reminds me of “sideways” moments. Hang in there:)

    • Hey lady. Thank you so much for the help! Here is where I am at. I do a lot of foreshadowing for Cooper. I tell him the steps of what we are doing, etc. It just seems like his understanding still isn’t there. It’s hard to explain. He understands day-to-day things but if I was to say, “Cooper, let’s go on a date with mom and have icecream.” That would mean NOTHING to him. He doesn’t understand stuff like that. It’s hard to explain. Ugh. It was the perfect storm of disaster and it blew up in my face. Thankfully, we are back to normal now.

      • You might have to try making some little visuals to use. You can start by just taking pictures of stuff and pointing to the picture when you say new things like “go for ice cream” then later you can get used to PECS. They use visual schedules at schools a lot so you can ask to see them at his SLP appointment. They are very useful when a child is stressed and seems to not be understanding what is being said. It’s like their Audio is plugged suddenly and they can’t process what is being said properly. But wham plunk a picture in front of them cuts through chaos and immediate understanding. It’s worth a try. It helped a lot with my son. Just a thought.

  2. I’m right there with ya! Can you feel my big hugs? It’s rough, and painful, and sometimes it’s downright horrific, but just try to remember it’s not Cooper’s intention. It’s hard for me to remember on the particularly bad days that for as bad as I think I have it, Jonah gets it ten times worse. His actions are always a reaction to something, and it’s even more difficult bc he cant tell me.
    Hang in there. I’m here if you need to talk. Child harnesses have been a life saver for us…and sometimes, we have no choice. We must drag our children kicking and screaming through the sand, and you shouldn’t give any attention to those looking bc they know nothing of your struggle.

      • I bet! My cousin is staying with us for the summer and last night my husband and I went for a thirty minute walk alone…and was it wonderful! Have you heard anything about school yet? I have a feeling that once Cooper starts going to school you will see a massive positive change in him. But until then, keep being that amazing mom!

      • A 30 minute walk!! I can’t imagine. Do you guys ever have babysitters or family watch your kids? We are too far away from family and we don’t have any sitters yet:-( We need to get on that.

        Our IEP meeting is May 27th. The best result is that he starts a 4 day preschool focuses on language in the fall. Fingers crossed.

      • So far we don’t have babysitters. But my mother-in-law lives close;however, we don’t ask her. We found a babysitter we like…but she doesn’t get done with school until the 30th. Ugh.
        That’s the best result? Really? I mean, don’t get me wrong, that is great, but that’s not enough! I hope your meeting goes well, and maybe they will have cards up their sleeves and offer Cooper something more.
        Jonah’s IEP meeting is on the 30th. But we kinda already have a feeling he will qualify for everything they offer.
        My fingers will definitely be crossed for you! (And I’ll pray about it too. 🙂

      • Ohhh boy! Everything! 5 day developmental preschool, with speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, sessions with the school counselor, etc. If he has “behavior” issues, which range from tantrums to not transitioning well, the school counselor can help with that. They should have also been testing him for special education during all those evals. So if he qualifies for that, which just based on your blog, I would assume he does, then he should be in a half day preschool program and be pulled out if that program for OT and Speech. It should be a one stop shop!
        That’s how our district does it and ours is tiny. I would imagine that a district as large as yours would have many many options.
        Oh, and at the IEP meeting you have to set goals for Cooper. And they can focus on everything! Behavior, potty training, self help, language, social behaviors, etc.
        Make a list of the goals you want to see him accomplish and bring them with you.
        You have final say on EVERYTHING. So if you think he isn’t getting enough, you have to speak up at the meeting and ask for more.

      • I’m on it! Thankfully every one has been so nice and that includes times where I am so worn down by all of it. I really do hope they have Cooper’s best interests at heart. It’s so funny. All I want is for one of them to tell me that it is going to be okay…and no one can:-( Blah.

  3. Oh man. Just sending you some hugs. You CAN do this. Some days are just going to suck, and you pick your battles at that point. I’ve stayed home, in hiding, when Little Man is losing it. It’s not worth anyone’s sanity to try to force it. Take a deep breath. Dark days will come. They will. There just is no way around it. Allow yourself to own that this hurts. Then when the sun comes back, because it will come back, breath again.

  4. Can you get a water table for outside for Cooper? I know it is not the same as going to the beach, but I have found with kids like ours, you have to become “creative”.

  5. Big Hugs love. Situations like this are also to do with circumstances. I didn’t have too many situations like this NOT because Piper isn’t JUST like Cooper, but only because she is my younger child and my older was able to fend for herself while I wrestled with Piper. It’s the anxiety that you already have about Cooper that is adding to such a shitty situation. Right now is the hardest that it’s going to be. Sawyer will one day be walking and talking and will be able to fend for himself for the 3 minutes you need to sort Cooper out. It will change. Those things will come back into your life. In the mean time do things that are EASY. Onward and upwards lovely lady. You can do this.

  6. I know how you feel, this is my life. Doesn’t matter if it’s a familiar place or not. Mine’s the ONLY one laying on the floor having a tantrum, or running off from me, screaming on the top of her lungs, or refusing to leave a place. I dread every event we are invited too and have lost contact with several friends as things are just too difficult and I can’t face the groups we used to go too. It’s much easier to hide away at home!

    • So much easier. I can think of so many times that I have sobbed on the ride home from a place. And after ‘events’ like that I usually am so exhausted that I have to sleep. It’s such an emotional roller coaster.

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