I really was in a dark funk for a little bit. Sort of like having 6 weeks straight of PMS. After I flipped out on a stranger in a parking lot, I realized I really need to give up the cavey bit and crawl back into the light. The fact that we finally seem to be seeing the sun a bit is probably helping me do that quite literally.
I still am not what I'd call cheery, though. It's not any one thing, but a few larger ones mixed with smaller things. (Like still battling bills, not getting enough sleep.. well.. ever, and being on a diet. I mean, no one is ever happy to be on a diet, right?)
My morale at work is at an all time low. And that's saying something since I've never really liked my job. The pay is decent and the benefits are excellent. Considering the state of the economy, I know how incredibly lucky I am to have a job at all, never mind one that provides well, so I need to STFU. But honestly, my feeling is complete and utter apathy. Not even anger or misery or sadness (all of which I've had at work over the last 9 years there) just apathy. I think that's worse than anger even. I feel like a zombie when I'm there. It's just sucked the life from me.
Outside of work, I've watched a few friends go through some unpleasant things lately, and they trouble me as well. Friends going through things that hit close to home, so not only do I feel bad for them because they are my friends and I love them, but also because it dredges up some memories that I guess I hadn't quite put to bed yet.
And really, the biggest thing has been Robbie's therapy. I know I posted about this recently, but nothing has really changed.
I think part of it is that Robbie has been doing *SO* well lately. Is he a typical 21 month old? Or even 18 month old? No, he's not. But he's a helluva lot closer than he's been pretty much since he was born. Every day, he's showing me something new. Yesterday I laughed so hard to myself because he came walking through the living room almost looking like he was skipping, then I swear, he assumed the Superman position like he was going to take flight and just... leaped. Of course, he fell flat on his face and screamed his head off. But up until the face plant, it was really entertaining to watch. Where in the world did he get the idea he could fly? And who is gravity to tell him otherwise!?
His receptive language is exploding. Something as simple as telling him to stop playing in the trash and he actually STOPS PLAYING IN THE TRASH sometimes leaves me gape-mouthed. Holy crap, he understood me and actually listened. He's finally really responding to his name (which makes picture taking a lot easier, I must say.) He's been "singing" a lot. Mostly he sings the Witch Doctor song. "ooh eee ahh ahh eee eeh ooh ohh" but he'll make signs for other songs as well.
Feeding is really improving as well. He loves crackers of any sort. The other night he actually picked up a fried chicken leg and gnawed on it a while. He probably only consumed 1/8 oz of anything, but he looked like he liked it anyway. Tonight he finally put some cheese in his mouth. And after some cajoling, got him to taste a pickle as well. (In an unpleasant moment, I was sort of force fed a pickle covered in chocolate graham cracker crumbs, but it worked to get him to try a bite himself, and hey.. what does it mean to be a mother if not to sacrifice your own good sense and tastebuds once in a while?)
He still won't drink diddly, but whatever. Progress is progress.
He's also been a complete tyrant. Now that he knows what "no" means, boy he REALLY doesn't want to hear it. And take something he's playing with away from him? Holy mother. He gets hysterical. I get pushed away probably an average of 10 times a day. He definitely lets his feelings be known.
All of which is incredibly frustrating as a parent, but in a TOTALLY NORMAL WAY. I mean, it would figure the only developmental milestone he'd meet in a timely fashion would be the terrible twos. But I can step back from the ledge of insanity and appreciate it for what it is- Typical. We don't get a lot of typical around here.
Now, I know you're thinking "Trish.. weren't you whining? This all sounds good." and that's true, it is.
But I keep getting this negative reports from his therapists and man, they are just dragging me down. It's like having been a failing student for my whole life, getting to college and suddenly having a solid B average, only to have your dad say "why aren't they As?" It's like nothing is ever enough.
Right now we're in the process of selecting a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to come do an evaluation for Robbie. I'm not even that worried about his language. Yes, he is on the lower end of expressive language, but because I've seen such a profound improvement in his receptive language recently, I think it will come.
But Robbie's developmental therapist wants him evaluated anyway. She has said she's not sure he's going to qualify, but she's worried because he's so close to 2, and at that point they'll stop adjusting his age. So even if he's caught up to his adjusted age, once May 31 hits, he's going to be 3 months behind again. I find the whole "magic age of 2" thing extremely annoying anyway, but that's a rant for another day.
On the note of speech, though, from my perspective, he's now 21 months old, 18 adjusted. And she's already talking about where he should be for a 2 year old. In my opinion, there is a big difference between 18 months and 2 years, particularly in the realm of language.
And I'm not even saying he couldn't benefit from a SLP. Honestly, a SLP could probably help us with feeding issues at least as much as language issues, so she'd probably be good to have in our arsenal.
But at this point, Robbie gets therapy at least twice a week, sometimes three times. And every one of those appointments bring more judgement. I KNOW it's their job to judge. How he's doing, what has improved since last week, what hasn't. But I'm getting a lot of commentary about him being uncooperative. The insinuation seems to be that he's regressing. That just isn't the case. He's uncooperative because he's in a stage of exploring his independence and right now, he doesn't feel like biting that tube in his mouth 10 times. (Part of a bite program designed to improve jaw strength involves biting some tubing.)
I'm not a parent who sticks her head in the sand. I'm a worrier by nature. If you insinuate something is wrong, I will Google it until 2am for a week straight, wring my hands, and chug some mylanta for my anxiety induced stomach ache. But he's honestly doing great. And it's frustrating when I feel like they're not seeing the bigger picture.
Some of it is attributable to the fact that we're not communicating face-to-face. Most of Robbie's therapy is done at daycare. I've made a number of efforts to rearrange my work schedule (usually losing pay) to be there for appointments, and then a therapist won't show up. There's almost always a good reason, or some miscommunication that leads to it, but it just keeps happening and I'm frustrated.
Robbie comes home with reports stating that he's regressed to only eating stage 1 baby food. What? He hasn't eaten stage 1 baby food in at least six months. Where did that even come from? Well, daycare told the OTa something and somewhere along the line, someone was just plain wrong. That's not something that would happen if I could chat with them weekly.
I've asked his PT to send me an email once in a while vs just leaving the reports. Rather than relying on something written from a more medical point of view, something a little more personal might come across better. But instead, I'll get a text message saying "didn't have a chance to email. Robbie's great. Can I see him today at 10." (and this will be at 9am.) Um. Sure, okay. (Communicating via text message really frustrates me as well. Not just with therapists, but with people as a whole.)
It's just.. frustrating. When you add the fact that I really have my doubts about how much any of this is actually helping, it just wears on me.
I'm celebrating the strides Robbie is making but every other day or so, I feel like I'm getting a bucket of cold water dumped on me.
And now we get to add a FOURTH therapist to the mix. Whoopie!
I keep trying to tell myself it doesn't matter (I even stopped reading the whole reports- just focusing on the "what to work on" portion) but it seems like it sneaks up and smacks the life out of me anyway.
As much as I do take some flak about focusing on the negative, by and large, I'm a pretty hopeful person. I really enjoy being a mother (minus the tantrums and sleep deprivation) and I really just think my kid is damned amazing. Getting a thrice weekly dose of negativity just wears on me.
I really don't know what to do about it. I spend 8 hours a day at work in a less-than-stellar environment. I look so forward to coming home to my family, but then these outside sources take some of the joy from that, too.
What I really want to do on a purely selfish note is tell all the therapists to suck it, save my copay and time and just let Robbie be a kid. But I would never do anything to risk limiting Robbie's potential. As much as I feel skeptical about the benefits of the therapy he is now receiving, I wouldn't risk it based on that.
So for the time being, I'm just grinning and bearing it. (Or more accurately grimacing and bearing it. I'm not a good faker.) And mostly just keeping to myself, because I don't really want to spread my negativity around any more than what is necessary (sometimes a good vent session is needed to release some steam.)
If you would say a prayer for us, I would appreciate it. Prayers for peace & patience for me and speech & development for Robbie. And for all of my friends going through rough times right now. I know they'd appreciate it, too.