Saturday, January 15, 2011

If I Feel Like This, How Does He Feel?

Today while I helped Garrett protect his Thomas the Train rubber ball while playing in the indoor spray park and pool at our local YMCA, I watched and pondered the goings-on in his head. So many times each day, the girls, Grouchy and I get frustrated with Garrett's behavior, loudness, tantrums and such. And the pool was no exception. He wanted to get in this water fountain that looks like a giant mushroom with rain falling off the top of it, but while he woudl say he wanted to get through the water, he would scream and get mad at it. He would throw his ball through the waterfall it created, and the ball would get trapped on the other side of the water. Countless children got it out for him to help him, and each time he screamed at them. It gets so irritating to each of us. Most of the time I can hold it together, but sometimes it gets the best of me. I get short with Garrett and then short with the rest of my family. By the end of the day, while I should be lovingly enjoying preparing the day's final hot meal for my family (or looking gourmet warming up leftovers ;) ), instead I am running on fumes, emotionally done and feeling bitter. It is unfortunate and unfair to say the least, but it happens. It feels endless. It feels like Groundhog Day many days. It feels like insanity......telling a child the same thing for 4 years, hoping for the appropriate response, behavior, comment......but it not working. He will say he wants to do something, then I will agree, then he will scream he DOES NOT want whatever he said. He tantrums in the car and it is random. Some days we make it a few miles and I start to think, "Wow, this is like a normal family with 3 kids over 5 years old in a car!" But I have now started to dismiss that thought when it creeps in because as soon as I think it, it changes and he screams, kicks the buttons on our GMC vehicles' consoles until the knobs start to short and cause the speakers to hum over the music, and loses any bit of control he might have. He throws down things and then wants them right back. It's so insane.

But you will note the above paragraph that I intended to be only a couple of sentences focuses on who??? Me.

But what about Garrett? My dear friend Ganetta counseled me about Ainslee's poop issues a few years ago. Ainslee was constantly soiling her panties, completely seeming to un-potty train. But Ganetta reminded me that, "No 4 year old WANTS to crap on themselves!!" And she was right. Ainslee did not WANT to be scolded, fussed-at, frowned upon. She had a problem with her tummy, and once it was solved the soiling stopped.
Same with Garrett. I have to keep focused on the child, not the behavior. As distracting as the behavior may be, I have to remember that my SON is in that body. My son has no disire to be so aggravating. He doesn't even understand the world enough to aggravate intentionally very well. It isn't his fault. No one wants to scream and kick and spit and repeat this painful pattern over and over and over and over.......

So I journal here tonight in serious reflection of the hundreds, literally hundreds of times that I have let him down, lost my temper, temporarily "checked-out" as his mom for a few minutes or days. It has been emotionally exhausting, but that is a stupid, senseless, selfish thought. Just think about how emotionally confised and exhausted he must always feel.

Tomorrow I will try even harder. And each day I will renew my spirit to be more considerate and understanding and patient.

God, thank you for my beautiful child. Help me to love him the way you love all of us. At the end of the day I have no excuses that are useful. You know my heart. Heal me and help me.


1 comment:

  1. Feel for you.... You are so brave and STRONG. Even though you don't feel it today.

    Wishing you continued strength, CL.