I really don't even know where to begin with this. How do you say that you think there is something really wrong with your child? Oh, maybe just like that.
Seth has always been my challenge. His labor was not too terribly difficult, it was the pushing that caused both of us great pain. He fought me every push and consequently tore me quite badly. He came into this world fighting, I don't know why it surprises me so much that he fights me as much as he does.
I guess I had these expectations, these thoughts as to how it would be to have children. When I was 13 I became and Aunt. I had 11 nieces and nephews when I got married. I could change diapers in my sleep and was the prize babysitter in my neighborhood. I was good with kids and comfortable with them. I was the cool Aunt, I was Aunt Kimmy. The one that did sleep overs at her college apartment, the one who would tease the boys about girls and tell the girls to stay away from boys, the one who would rent movies and eat popcorn and just have a good time with the kids. That was me.
So, when Emma was born I was ready. I knew what to do. Except that I didn't. I knew what to do when someone else set up the rules, when someone else was in charge of discipline, when someone else had done all the hard stuff. I was good at the fun stuff. So, when I was suddenly (or not so suddenly..I did have 37 weeks 3 days to prepare after all!) thrust into this thing called Motherhood I felt like a fish out of water. I felt like I had no clue what I was doing, but that it felt so natural too -- such juxtaposition was alarming to me.
I loved being Emma's Mom. She was easy. She only cried when she was hungry, tired or poopy. Easy. Until it wasn't and she was gone and I was broken.
A little over a month later, in the fall of 2003, I found out I was pregnant. I just knew that Emma had gone up to Heaven and told her siblings that someone better get down to Mom NOW or she'll be up here with us. That was all Seth needed and away he came.
His pregnancy was nice, healing, scary, beautiful. I really started to embrace my pregnant body in a way I hadn't with Emma. I talked to him, I cried, no I sobbed; body shaking all encompassing sobs, I learned to love this little person who was growing inside me that wasn't Emma. I learned to love another baby.
So, when he fought me so fiercely during birth, I was shocked. Looking back I think that maybe I should have just let my body push him out, but I didn't know what to do, I'd never done this before since Emma was born via C-Section. The urges to push were so strong that they just overcame me.
He was born, he cried, he was perfect. He nursed like a dream and was such a sweet baby...for the first 4 weeks. Then the colic kicked in. We had to have white noise on almost all the time. Jeremy called him Screech for the sounds he made. He was miserable and so was I. He didn't sleep, he would arch his back when I tried to nurse him, he was just an unhappy baby. This lasted for 5 months. Then he changed and became this sweet little guy. He still needed white noise to sleep (but so do I!) and when he got super cranky. Other than that though, he was so mild mannered and sweet.
When he went to the nursery at church he was 18 months old. He went right in without a fight. His two best friends were there and he loved it. The older kids would sometimes take toys from him, but he didn't care. He was so laid back and my sweet, tender, caring boy.
In the last 2 years I have noticed a change in him though. When we moved to Logan he was almost 3. I didn't expect for nursery to be a problem for him. I took him in and anticipated staying with him the first couple of times. Three months later, Jeremy or I were still in his class with him. He would just melt down at the mere thought of us leaving. I was perplexed. Any kind of change that was happening now had to be talked about for days beforehand. We had to make sure he knew what we were doing and when so he didn't throw a fit.
This happened again when we moved into our new house. I just expect now that I will have to devote a lot of my time to helping him deal with the change. I can handle that. That is not a big deal. Spending a week in his Kindergarten classroom making sure he is comfortable with his new surroundings...no worries, I am prepared for that.
What I can't handle is the anger, aggression and downright rudeness that has started with him. I try to remember when this started and I can't. It just came about so gradually that I feel like I've just woken up and there is this person I don't know living here. This little man who gets so angry and so defensive, yet can be so loving and kind. This person who growls and scowls at people he doesn't know. This child who will be playing with kids on the playground one second and the next comes over to me to hide in my shadow. The child who is so bossy that other kids don't want to play with him. The one who when asked to help around the house tells me, "WHY?!?! I'm a KID! I'm supposed to play, not WORK". The child who is so obstinate, stubborn and sometimes just mean to me that he brings me to tears.
Deep down I fear that he is like me. I fear that he too will deal with the depression I've fought for so long. I fear that he is already starting to have to fight that battle, the one I despise, the one that takes his Mother from him when he least expects it.
I don't know what to do with him. I don't know how to help him. I feel that I am walking on egg shells, I never know what will set him off. I don't know what I will do or say (or what his sister will do or say) that will bring out the child that no one wants to be around.
So yeah, I am struggling.
And as I struggle to help him become the person I know he can be, to be a person of great character; I realize how very lucky I am.
I realize that I am so lucky to have him here to struggle with. I realize that so many parents would give anything to have a child, their child to worry about, cry over and kneel in prayer daily for. As I struggle with Seth, I am constantly reminded of the reason he is here. He came here to save me. He saved my life. His spirit is so noble and good and I realize that he needed me to be his Mom as much as I needed him to be my son.
I am meeting with a friend today. He is a Child Therapist and specializes in working with kids ages 2-12. We are going to the park, the kids will play and he and I will chat. I pray that he will give me some good ideas, some insight and will help me find my sweet boy again.