Sometimes when I'm feeling really down and defeated, I go back through my own blog and look where we were a year ago.. or two.
Tonight I was looking for an old post (which I never found, btw) and was reading through some of my NICU days posts. I wish I could say they made me feel better. For once, they didn't.
What I found myself thinking was "man, that sucked." I was also surprised at how upbeat and energetic so many of my posts sounded. I didn't feel that way at all. But that's a story for another day. Today, I just kept thinking how I thought our eating woes would be over once he learned how. How naive, I was.
It's really amazing what a few days of poor eating can do to my psyche. Robbie moves along as energetic as always; a little crankier perhaps, but never tired. Instead it as though he is drawing the energy he needs from me, leaving me exhausted and broken.
It isn't just the eating. There are other things. Some family stuff that has too much backstory to explain, some work stuff that sound trivial when written out but adds to my anxiety level nonetheless. Yesterday Robbie bit me in the face. He was angry because I was singing along with the Backyardigans (he hates that) and his only solution was to lash out. Unfortunately for both of us, my face was the closest thing to his teeth.
It surprised me how much it upset me. I mean, yes, it physically stung for a while. He didn't break the skin but he did leave a mark. That, however, was the least of it. After he'd gone to bed (with a very sullen bedtime routine), I sat in the quiet and cried. Biting is such a typical 2 year old thing to do. Certainly for a 2 year old with a speech delay that keeps him from expressing himself with words. But it felt like pretty much the crappiest milestone ever. Biting is so.... so aggressive. How could my sweet little boy bite me?
His daycare teacher was unsurprised this morning. She thinks he got it from two kids in his class who "are biters." That was a little comforting, but also worrisome. I don't want him to be bitten nor do I want him to bite anyone. I'm hoping that improved communication skills will help. His speech is improving quite a lot the last 2 weeks. We've gone from maybe 40 words to a lot of parroting and spontaneous words. Tonight he pointed to me and pronounced me "Mama!" Man, that felt good.
I wish I could say it made up for the last 4 days of crap, but it didn't. I know it will pass. A good night's sleep would do me a world of good. But I'm writing this from my bed- my brain too swirled with thoughts to settle down.
All night long I ponder and research. I mentally calculate the day's calories. I double check product labels to see which crackers have the most calories. I triple check to make sure he hasn't been eating anything with hidden corn in it, wondering if that could cause the eating slow down. I wish for the billionth time that he could just tell me what he wants to eat. I sneak into his room and watch him sleep, his even breathing and peaceful face reassuring that he is okay for now.
I was reminded today of a time back in the hospital when my favorite neonatologist told me that he wished he had a crystal ball. I might not like what he saw in it, but I would be okay. He might tell me that Robbie would have 4 infections and go home a month after his due date, but after I was upset, I would accept it and go forward. He was so right. I feel that way even now.
If I had a crystal ball. If I could look ahead and see Robbie at 5 or 15 growing and healthy and happy, even if I also had to see ages 2 and 3 and 4 or even 12 & 13 of him underweight and still battling at every meal, at least I could mentally prepare myself for that journey. But there are no crystal balls in life. You would think by now I'd accept that.
I think most days I do okay. But days like today, I'm just tired. I just want him to eat and grow. I don't want to know the entire chemical composition of a miniature Kit Kat bar. I don't want fret about undelivered medical supplies or if the bruise on his back is from a normal play or if maybe it's a sign that he's anemic. I don't want to have to explain a second belly button to children or wonder if the mom at the next table is judging me because my kid is eating Raisinettes for dinner.Sometimes, it all just gets to be too much.
Becky emailed earlier to ask how I was doing. My reply was as simple as I could state it.