Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Playdate or Play Disaster?
I remember being afraid to bring him places, afraid of what he might do or react. At around 18-22 months he was a huge pusher/hitter. Unless I was literally on top of him, I ran the risk of him hurting another child. I always felt like other moms thought I was blowing them off, and I suppose in a sense I did. I would "forget" or make up excuses all because I didn't want people to look at me and think I was a bad parent, at that point I thought I was.
I can remember one time I was brought to tears because I thought my child must be insane. I met up with some friends at a local strip mall to have breakfast and go baby shopping (I was about 5 months pregnant at this point). LP must have been about 21 months old and for some reason i felt like it was a good idea to take him out of my car with out his stroller. I suppose I wanted to look normal and stupidly thought my son could handle walking. So walk we did and we had breakfast.....well I had breakfast and he stared at some birds and ran around and ignored everything I said. I could see the disapproval in the eyes of my friends, I heard then implying I was not putting my foot down and that my son just needed tough love. After we ate I wanted to go get the stroller because the idea of walking around with this kid seemed impossible. Once again I listened to others who said my son needed to get over it and i had to stop babying him. Well let me tell you that's the last time I don't trust my instinct. Here I was, pregnant in the heat, dragging a screaming toddler who had no language and no way to communicate to me. He tried to run off in the parking lot, he slammed his head on the floor.....and the whole time I was stared at, everyone thinking I made my child like this. It was the first time I felt so embarrassed at my child, if I had known the problem I wouldn't have been, but at that point I thought it was all my fault and that my child was horrible. I did not leave my house to be with people that weren't family for another 7 months.......because 7 months later I found out this wasn't my fault.
Things are better now that we get ABA, I can take my boy out with friends, I can take him to the park. Its not always easy and sometimes I have to leave. For those who are just starting this journey, always remember to trust your gut. Also remember to tell people what they can do with their opinions. A lot of the mourning and crying I did was over the fact that i listened to others and believed I had a demon child and treated him as such. I'm not proud of secluding him or myself, I'm not proud of how I treated him. I felt I hurt him those months where I resorted to punishing him and spanking him because that had to be the way if he wasn't responding to everything else.
If you are the parent, remember what i said, listen to yourself forget everyone else and take you kid out to see the things they love. If they melt down, if someone looks at you or comments, tell them where to go. And if you are one of those people who is in the store or the park that wants to open their mouth about how someones kid is acting, shut your mouth and turn your head. Even if that persons kid does not have special needs.....no one wants to hear how you think they suck at parenting.