Are you a PG mama of a hi-needs 2 yr old? (need support!) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 04-14-2004, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is really hard for me. Really hard. Because I HATE labels and have resisted ever labeling my son (2.5). My profesisonal background is in child development and I have always insisted that ALL children are high needs. But I am starting to feel really scared about having another baby, bc in truth, my son is SO needy. I truly cannot see how we are going to integrate another child into this family, bc as it is, it takes TWO of us to care for ds. (I'm a SAHM and dh is THE most involved dad I have EVER heard of. And we are BOTH overwhelmed by ds's needs -- often, but not always, of course.)

He is not an unpleasant child -- on the contrary, people generally agree that he is delightful, gentle, precocious, funny, interesting, and loving. But he was a velcro baby and is now basically a velcro preschooler. Plus he has multiple food allergies which I'd love to vent about, if for no other reason than to have someone say, "Oh, that sounds so hard!"

I don't want to go on and on about all the hard things, bc truly, it is painful for me to feel like I'm complaining about my precious child, whom I adore. But I am really needing to talk to some other mamas (pregnant ones, if at all possible!) who are equally as stretched. I have a fabulous network of RL SAHM friends, and they support me tremendously, but it is very clear to me that none of them face quite the same challenges I do (others, of course, but I need to vent with someone who's BTDT or IS there DOING it!).

Can anyone else relate? If so, wanna start a little support thread for a while? I'd love to hear some of your stories and tell mine a little more completely. I know that just the telling will be so helpful!

Hopeful that others can relate,
Eleanor
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#2 of 48 Old 04-14-2004, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW, I was so specific about my child's age bc I think 2's and 2.5's are particularly challenging bc of their developmental issues . . . but I'm happy to hear from mamas of other aged "hi-need" toddlers. (the "hi-need" being your perception -- not according to someone else's definition)
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#3 of 48 Old 04-14-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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I'm not a pg mama of a 2.5 yo, but I wanted to offer some support because I WAS 7 months ago

It is HARD! Ds2 is 7 months and I am just starting to feel like life is going smoothly again (well as smoothly as it ever has been since ds1's birth :LOL ). Getting a good handle on ds' food allergies has been such a great help. Also, reading more about "gifted" children has really helped my understand some of his quirks. Just realising I wasn't alone was such relief.

Thankfully ds loves his brother and has learned how to deal with him (most of the time). He still collapses into a sobbing mess when ds2 cries, but I am getting better at comforting them both.

Things do work out. Everyone will fall into the new family structure. Just be gentle with yourself and with your ds. If you ever want to talk just pm me. As you've pointed out before, our ds' are a lot a like I can definitely sympathize with much of what you are experiencing.


 

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#4 of 48 Old 04-14-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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Hi Breathe!

I can definately relate. I'm the mama of a high-needs 27month old ds. Like you, I'm not fond of labels, and actually this is one of the rare times I've spoken of him being high-needs, but it sounds like you and I have alot in common, so I thought I'd join in.

Like your ds, my ds is brilliant and wonderful, loving and gentle, funny and sweet and charming, but is very emotionally needy. It seems I can give 110% of myself all the time and he still wants more. It can be very draining some days, especially if he (and I) haven't slept well the night before.

He also doesn't nap, so that makes it tough, especially as I'm nearing the end of my 3rd trimester (I'm 35 1/2 weeks).

I am lucky too, in the sense that I have a terrific dh and he is very involved and enjoys caring for ds, but he works very long hours, so most days through the week and every other weekend, it is just ds and I all day.

I wish I had some words of wisdom. I am blessed with a high tolerance level for sameness (which ds craves) and for pretty much going with the flow. I am also a sahm, so we can pretty much take most of our days at whatever pace we want.

Maybe I'm just being stupid or naive, but I'm not too worried about adding this next baby. I know there is no way in heck that this baby could be any more high needs than ds was, I've got several slings, nursing shirts and I plan just to attach this baby to me in the morning and take him off at night. Who knows, maybe I'm fooling myself, but I'm not afraid. We'll see what the next 5-7 weeks brings....

Let's get to know each other and hopefully some other mamas will join in!

lisa

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#5 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 12:21 AM
 
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Hey! I like this thread! And I like the way y'all are describing your kids! Ds is not quite 34 months, has a ton of energy, very bright, very extroverted, and also quite sensitive (and a redhead--Lucky One, is yours a redhead, too?). And I'm not quite 37 wks along. I identify with *so* much of what y'all have said.

When he doesn't nap, it's tiring for me, and I'm kind of expecting the nap may disappear for good after the baby arrives (but I'm hoping maybe the 3 of us can just hunker down in bed with some books and boobs...).

As he's getting older, it seems like I'm becoming more aware that he might be a little "different" from other kids; there's just so much in this relatively small package! I thought all kids were like this, but they're not! Akirasmama, do you have any reading suggestions?

In the last few weeks (and esp. today), I have been facing a little challenge with ds... I have him enrolled in a gymnastics class (he's pretty physically agile for his age, thought he'd enjoy it), and it became obvious to me that the instructor doesn't like ds and just doesn't know what to do with him. I'd been all freaked out, worrying if I was imagining things, and finally called the right people to discuss it... well, apparently, they know about the instructor's shortcomings and are this close to firing him anyway (because apparently he doesn't do well with kids who aren't all average--their words). They were *so* nice and apologetic and will try to work ds into another class with a more appropriate instructor or refund our money. It was really validating to hear that they believe high energy kids like my son deserve a good experience, too.

I think being pg has its ups and downs wrt ds. He's been very sensitive and kind to me when I haven't felt well, which is rather touching. And *I*'ve been very sensitive, which make experiences like the one above much more stressful than they need to be... And when he has a super frisky day and I have a tired/needy day, ug. The playground is a wonderful place.
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#6 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Phew! I'm so glad someone replied! Akirasmama, don't go away, 'cause I definitely wanna pick your brain, okay? And Lucky One and KKmama, I promise I'll be back tomorrow with more details . . . right now I must get to bed (see, I stay up really late bc ds doesn't go to sleep before 10 and then I HAVE to have time to myself!). I'm going to ponder that "gifted" idea. Could THAT be part of all of this?!?! Hmmm . . .
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#7 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 12:49 AM
 
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Breathe- Just wanted to lend some support. Sounds like our DSs are both very HN, but in different ways. I don't think the difference matters, though. I think it's the similarities-that it takes TWO of us to parent this child. I can TOTALLY relate.

I am feeling particularly low tonight after a not-so-great mothering day. It was just awful. I am 24 weeks pregnant, emotional, uncomfortable, going through some major hiccups in my normally solid relationship, etc., etc. I could go on. It's been rough, and the needs of my child, well, it's just been grueling!!!

So, just know that I'm out here struggling through this pregnancy, too. And some days really struggling to parent my HN 26 mos!!
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#8 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 12:56 AM
 
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Oh yeah, we've slowly been emerging from some food sensitivities in the last 6 mos or so, and goodness gracious, life is so much easier. And I feel some relief that ds can eat "normal" food as we're approaching preschool this fall...

Hang in there. Being persistent and careful sure paid off for us (and ds).

Bearsmama--I've always said that my secret to being a good mother is my dh. We tag-team.

Just think of what interesting adults our kids will be.
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#9 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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WHOA
I swear you're all just pulling information out of my head and putting down in here.
DS has been a high needs baby from the start. Hence why we naturally did the AP thing. He turned 2 in November so I'm for sure with you on the age, Breathe.
He still takes his morning nap (thank goodness) though he gave up his afternoon nap. However, in the afternoons I still put him down so we take a bit of time apart from each other. I NEED that sanity time. Just a little time without him being velcroed to me or asking 5 million questions about everything (it's important to me that I answer his questions when he's around).
Lucky One, like you I have a husband who loves the HECK out of his son. But he has a long commute right now so it's just us during the week. DH leaves at 6am and gets back between 7-8pm. It can be tough - feeling like a single parent without the support network set up for the single parent life.
I love my son to pieces. He has high IQ and EQ which means he's a blast to be around but also very draining.
Thing is, I'm not too worried about him and the new babe (I'm 23 weeks). There are a few things that could get sticky but for the most part I think the fact that he's so emotionally tuned-in will work in our favour.

LOVE this thread.

~Daednu
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#10 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 09:22 AM
 
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KKmama--don't have much time to write much else, but I'm not sure if I'd consider ds a redhead or not. There was a time when I would have very much said 'yes', but now his hair is taking on a browner tone. It's kind of weird, though. It really is a copper color--almost an even mix of red, blond and brown. My dh's entire family is a bunch of Irish redheads, so it wouldn't suprise me if some of our future children don't have carrot red hair. I love it!

This is going to be a great thread.

More later....

lisa

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#11 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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I am glad I found this thread. I am also the pg mother of a beautiful boy who has been hi-need since birth in August of 2001. Ds is very bright also, he just functions better if things are a certain way. He loves his mommy and who can fault him for that. He is also very attached to his Daddy but Daddy works long days so that leaves me holding the proverbial ball too.
Dh is great he comes home from work and makes dinner most nights because he knows I am whipped.
I am still in the first trimester so I am sick, tired and chasing him
around is wearing me out. Did I mention he is still nursing? We are trying to cut back because it seems to contribute to the nausea but he is just not emotionally ready for all that yet.

It will be interesting to hear how other mamas are handling this mix.

take care,

Stephany
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#12 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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Breathe,

I am happy to stick around, I wish I had a little more support for our particular situation when ds2 was born. Here is a link you might find useful:

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/

We tried to be well prepared but Akira still had a really rough transition. It took about 6 months for everything to really settle down. Having some special little rituals just for him has really made a difference. We go for weekly picnics and every day I slip a letter into the mail for him. I add as many pictures as possible to make it easier for him to read by himself (like a drawing of a house with HOUSE beneath it). I wish I would have thought of doing more stuff like while I was still pregnant.

Ah well, we are muddling through


 

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#13 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Akirasmama, do you have any reading suggestions?
I wish someone would write a book about kids like my ds. Raising Your Spirited Child was always recommended to me, but he is just so much MORE than those kids. I find that just listening to HIM is the biggest help. Even if he says the littlest thing is bothering him I take notice. "Discipline" techniques, no matter how gentle and respectful, are useless. He needs to figure things out for himself.and he resents my interference. I understand now that the BEST thing I can do for him is to set up a positive environment with as few distractions as possible and set a good example. Now that I've done that I just cross my fingers and hope for the best :LOL He is who is he is and not a damn thing I am going to do will change that


 

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#14 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 02:09 PM
 
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Breathe - I am right there with you. My dd is 27 mos. I am 15 weeks pregnant.

In fact, I am a SAHM and my Dh is super involved, too. Actually, he is an at-home daddy right now. It does take two of us to parent her. And we still get wiped out.

Everyone thinks Lucy is just amazingly delightful - smart, funny, very very verbal, energetic, goofy - she's great. But she is super attached. (She can't even be alone for a minute. If I run upstairs for a pair of socks, she has to come or she has a complete breakdown at being left.) I find that my family thinks that this is a result of AP. I think I am filling her needs, they think I give in too much, or baby her. So I don't get much sympathy IRL. (She also behaves differently around them because she isn't as comfortable - so they don't see the clingyness, tantrums, meltdowns, etc...they just see her best side.)

She understands fully that I am pregnant, and that the baby will be born and live with us. But obviously she has no clue how this will impact her life. I am really concerned. Some days I even kick myself for getting pregnant again while she is sooooo needy. I am afraid I will shatter her whole little world. I am totally alone in this??? I know a sibling will be great for our family - eventually. But I fear the transition.

I am so glad you started this thread. It feels really good to talk about this.
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#15 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 02:48 PM
 
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Funny - it looks like a lot of moms of boys on here. I've got one too - 25 months next week. Like you all adore him to bits. Is giving up his one nap, and staying up later. Not sleeping in any either. He is a lot clingier and the more I show the more he wants. I have a 9 mo DD also and am about 25 weeks along with #3. We lead a pretty structured life and we are big on the rituals. He is outgoing but when I put him in an activity he hates a) the structure of it and b) the fact that gives me more alone time with DD. We did gymanstics and they put him in with preschoolers rather than toddlers. Didn't work for me because I try not to push DS to be older or anything because he is the "big" brother. He's still just my baby - though we are not allowed to call him that... So, we slowed things down a lot and spend a lot of time with just the 3 of us or with special friends one-on-one. Again, we have a great DH so we alternate which kid we take and my brother lives nearby and helps play with one so I can just hang out with the other.
The first few weeks with DD were fine and then about 4 weeks DS wanted to know when she was leaving. They are so into each other now, she's trying to walk and when she falls he runs to help her and kisses her if she is crying - breaks my heart!!, but it's like having the first one. Once you think you have things figured out there's another curve thrown at you.
I think the hardest part is just not having the energy either to play or to keep it together on the even more difficult days. DH is working from home now which is great I always have a second set of hands when it all hits the fan but then his work suffers.
Biggest "I agree" is that the more space and less guidance I give DS the better he does. He has to do it himself and his way, I have to be there, just not doing!
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#16 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. I have so much to say. But my child (who is sick and exhausted) will not fall asleep and will NOT stay in his room for "Quiet Time" (a new thing I've invented, out of desperation for a break). He keeps running in here to my office, smiling, and when I carry him back in there (trying not to give too much attention), he says, "Dis is HILARIOUS!" :

So it'll probably be late tonite before I can back online and respond. Heaven help me. (where's the smilie with bags under her eyes?!?)
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#17 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So here I am, sitting down for my first break of the day at 8 PM! I do feel for you mamas whose hubbies work late -- that must be SO hard!

If it's okay, I thought I'd try to put down my thoughts about my ds, and then I'll reply to the many interesting points you've all raised.

First of all, here's what's wonderful about him (lest anyone doubt that I am head over heels in love with him!):

He is a gentle, kind, and compassionate little soul. When a child takes a toy from him, he's more concered about the other child being upset about having to give it back than he is about his own loss.

He is thoughtful, insightful, and just so interesting to talk with! I remember at 20 mos him being in the back seat and telling me as drove along all the things he could see that use electricity and all the things that don't. (How he knew that trees and people don't was a mystery to me -- we had never discussed it.)

He is playful, funny, cute, cute, cute, and incredibly silly. He loves to make other people laugh and is easily amused himself.

He is musical, mathematical, verbal, creative, AND athletic -- and seems advanced in all these areas.

He is incredibly social and adores his little friends. He just loves being around people. Any age!

And he is a world-class snuggler. He inherited his daddy's affectionate nature and he could just cuddle all day.

SO . . . you wise mamas are no doubt seeing already how many of the wonderful things above can also be quite challenging. So here's my "why I feel he is hi-needs" list:

He is still nursing. 3 X a day, no exceptions.

He has 3 lovey objects: his fingers, which he sucks ("babies who are BF on demand don't become thumbsuskers!" BITE ME, Dr. Sears!); my arm, which he must have access to at all times for stroking (I wear short sleeves every day of the year, even in dead winter); and my "milk pocket" (sticks his hand down the front of my shirt, inside my bra all day long).

He has NO INTEREST in toys. Unless I am playing with them. He much prefers musical instruments (which he cannot yet play, so someone else needs to) and puppets (which someone else must make come to life) and turning everyday objects into imaginative play (which requires assistance to make the fantasy come to life). I am a former pre-K and K teacher, so we have a houseFULL of dev. app. toys. He plays with none of them.

He can read about 10 words and ADORES books, but I can count on one hand the number of times he has sat and looked at a book by himself. Not even in the car. He'd rather be told stories.

He does not know how to put himself to sleep. Never did. He is bounced in the sling every day for nap time, and takes at least 45 min of back-rubbing and singing at bedtime (which is a HUGE improvement). He doesn't even fall asleep in the car on 5-hr car trips that began at dinner time. I am not kidding.

When I talk on the phone during the day, he sits on my lap. The WHOLE time. Doesn't get bored, doesn't venture away. Just strokes the milk pocket and listens to the conversation. (and of course asks all about it later)

By 9 a.m. every morning, he is ready for his first "HOOOOOOOOOLD me, Mommy!" session. I cannot even get the breakfast dishes cleaned up before he needs snuggling.

When we are busy, he is JUST delightful. When he has other children to play with, he is easy as pie. (altho still checks in for frequent snuggles) When he has a new toy, he'll play with it for about 5 min, and that seems like HEAVEN. But when we have no play date on a given day, or his toys haven't been rotated in 2 days, he is ALL OVER ME and desperate for entertainment.

Plus the food allergies . . . not his fault, but they are so extensive, I can't leave the house without tons of food I know he can eat, so that adds to the complications of getting anywhere. (He's allergic to wheat, dairy, corn, all nuts, mustard, bananas, and strawberries.) Not to mention that if we weren't hemmorhaging money to Whole Foods each month for his specialty foods, I could probably hire some help!

Holy Cow. I just wrote a frickin' novel. And it's probably totally boring to most of you. I do apologize. I guess I just needed my own little pity party.

I'll post now and see how many of you I can reply to before The Apprentice comes on . . . disgusting, I know, esp for a family who doesn't even have cable! I am a weak, weak woman!
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#18 of 48 Old 04-15-2004, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Crap. I have to make phone calls and turn the computer over to dh. May be a while before I'm back. In the meantime, anybody else want to get into the specifics of your situation? It's hard to capture, I know . . . just realized that I said nothing about the whining, about being pregnant, or about my fears for the future. You'd think I need therapy, but really all I need is my MDC community!

I want to hear about your amazing and challenging toddlers! Spill it!
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#19 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 01:03 AM
 
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Wow Breathe, your ds sounds AMAZING

I love the challenging children. Through the good and bad, they always teach us so much (if we are willing to listen to them and learn of course).

My ds is a little older. He just turned 3. He is full of imagination. He can sit and play with his car garage for HOURS. He parks them in perfect little formations. Its something he has been doing since around 6 months, lining things up in "order" (whatever his chosen order for the day). He has big ideas of all the places each one is going, who they'll see, and when they'll be home. All things relating to transportation has always been a big deal to him. He knew the names of every kind of big machinery by 18 months. Heaven forbid I call an excavator a backhoe. He would yell at me and correct me : When dh broke his foot (ds was 17 months) I had to drive him everywhere. We spent so much time in the car. Ds would point out the shapes and meanings of every sign along the way. He also gave directions (turn that way!) to every place we needed to go and was quite the backseat driver (green-GO mama!!). I thought we'd have to wait till the teen years before he knew more than i did, lucky me, I didn't have to wait!

He is also physical (he just learned how to ride a 2 wheeler with training wheels on his 3rd birthday ). He can kick a ball while running and has a great (and accurate) overhand throw. He is also a master tower-builder.

Music is also a big one. He can identify almost any instrument by its sound. He will also spend ages listening to his little stereo. His current faves are Pete Seeger and Jerry Garcia/David Grisam. He knows the words to many, many songs. He loves to sing the "Name Game" (Akira kira bo bira.....). We have entire conversations in song (Me: Its time for bed bed bo bed....... Him: No Wake up wake up bo bake bup..... and on and on and on).

He is a HUGE nurser. He was nursing 12-24 times a day when I got pregnant (I don't even know HOW I got pregnant with all that bfing). Even when I lost my supply during pregnancy he continued to nurse. At least he cut down. Now he nurses AT LEAST 2 times, but probably closer to 10. I limit him to "100 seconds" at a time because he was nursing more than his baby brother. His favourite number is 100 so he accepted that compromise (grudgingly).

He read me a book from start to finish the other day. He has been doing this for a while, but we thought it was because he had them memorized. This time it was a brand new book, he had never even seen it before. I was surprised. I knew he could read some words, but not a whole book's worth! He can also do basic math and just loves science.

I often feel overwhelmed. I feel that I can never keep one step ahead of him. He keeps me challenged in every way. I learn more from him than he does for me.

He also has food allergies. Corn and oats are our main culprets. Before I figured out the last remaining traces of corn in his diet he would wake up every day at 1 or 2 am for the day. He went to bed at 7 and doesn't nap (he stopped napping when I got pregnant, not sure why). He was always so exhausted, plus he was having behaviour issues because of the corn. It was so hard.

He cannot handle too much sensory stimulation. Strong smells, rough textures, too much noise, too much light, lots of people, they all freak him out. We cannot play with groups of kids. One on one can also be a challenge unless they are 5 or older. He cannot relate to kids his own age. He is getting better at it though, this is the biggest change since having ds2. He is understanding other children a little better now that he lives with one.

As this is very long I won't continue. My ds is so complicated, and I love him SO much Things have also gotten easier now that he is a little older. The challenges are different, but I am enjoying this phase so much!!

Thanks for reading!!


 

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#20 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Akirasmama, your post made me cry! Akira sounds so talented and so sweet and like so much fun. The similarities are striking (esp being able to identify different music artists), but I found the differences to be very interesting, too, and can see how we both have different challenges.

But I thinkthis is making feel sad and really pretty guilty. When I read what I wrote about ds, I thought that he sounded like a wonderful little person, and that the things I find challenging are really not so bad. I mean, he's not destructive or aggressive or withdrawn or hurtful. So how can so boldly complain about taking care of him?!? What if he ever were to find out that I was so stressed that I had to announce his flaws ONLINE to a universe of strangers?!? Really, I feel like reading about another precocious little boy has helped me put ds in perspective and realize that we really are just SO fortunate.

I can't really explain why I get so stretched. (I've been around and around with this on other threads, as many of you know!) But it does appear that I am prone to being overwhelmed, while life just keeps going on . . . I told dh last night that THIS (motherhood) is my life path. And at times, I get dragged down the path. But there is no other option but for me to hang and keep getting back up on my feet. Having another baby will undoubdtedly knock me down, but what can I do? I can't avoid the challenging things in life, can I?

And hearing from those of you who are farther along on your pregnancies really helps me -- you've clearly come to peace with the upheaval which is destined to happen, and you sound very calm. I suppose I'll get there, too.

Lucky One, your comment about a "high tolerance for sameness" sounds like an amazing insight. I need to think about whether or not that applies to me -- I always thought it did, and that's why I seemed to love being at home with an infant -- but now maybe I'm getting bored? Or maybe ds is just not boring enough!!! Good food for thought, bc that's one of the things SAHMing seems to require.

KKmama, I have not yet experienced someone not liking my child -- that sounds SOOOOO hard! I'm sorry you felt that way, even for a moment, until you learned that the instructor is not a good one. Having been a teacher, I *know* that some adults and children just can't click and that terrifies me to think someone might not LOVE my ds!
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#21 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bearsmama, How are you hanging in there? Want to talk more about what's going on? It's scary to me how you and I keep popping up in the same places with the same kinds of challenges! Sometimes it just seems like more than any one person can take on, huh? [[[[[[[[hugs to you!]]]]]]]]]]]]]

mom2radata, First trimester?!? Just hang on! That was TOUGH and there didn't seem to be anything we could do to improve things. And then at 14 weeks I regained some energy. And the enthusiasm and optimism slowly returned. I hope you're coping okay and not feeling too sick!

Lucysmama, NO, you are NOT totally alone in wondering if you're going to shatter your child's world!!!! At times, it kind of feels like a betrayal, doesn't it? 'Cause we KNOW what's gonna happen (well, sort of) and they are just going to be blindsided. My moment of feeling better about this came one day when I looked at ds in the rearview mirror and realized that he looked *lonely*. I could see that he will be ELATED just to have another little buddy back there with him and just with us on our adventures. For him, I think that I am simultaneously the center of the universe, but also just not able to meet all his social needs. He needs to be around other children EVERY DAY, and even tho I know an infant can't play with him, I think that he just needs more spiritual *energy* around him. Does that make sense?

You know, I failed to mention that ds has been sick 3 out of the past 4 weeks (and I mean, doubled over with stomach cramps kind of sick), so not only have we not been able to play with other children, but it has upped the intensity of his needs. Guess it's no wonder I felt pushed to post this problem now, huh?
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#22 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ketilave, just wanted to say that it sounds like you're managing two beautifully! You don't really even sound that stressed out! And it seems like you've done a really good job of reading your ds's cues and adjusting your expectations and plans and schedules to be easier on him. Way to go, Mama!
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#23 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 07:45 PM
 
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Thanks Breathe,
I have been better but it is not intolerable.

I know what it is like to think that you are doing your child a disservice to be stressed. DS is a wonderful little guy. I always feel guilty when I get overwhelmed by him.

He has been very needy from the start. I've often wondered if it is because I lost his twin and he sensed something but perhaps that is too far out there.

It is like Akirasmama said he just doesn't handle being overstimulated well and for ds nursing is his comfort thing. He doesn't have a blanky, a binky, a dolly or a favorite toy. He has his nursing. He nurses at least four or five times a day and is still nursing during the night although we have it down to once or twice a night. He is still co-sleeping although we do have a bed from IKEA next to ours so that eventually he might find it interesting.

He also doesn't have much interest in toys even though we have a train table and one of the Wooden doll houses with the wire people. He has a bouncy horse that he will ride for maybe a minute at a time and he does enjoy playing with homemade play dough but he usually doesn't spend much time at any one activity.
He enjoys dancing with mommy, being read stories by mommy, going on walks with mommy, washing the dishes with mommy and .......well you get the picture.

I know what you mean about being lonely although I do have the older girls. He loves "his girlies" but they are in school all day and so much older than ds that in a way he is like an only child. I know that he craves contact with other young children but he is also not very good at interacting with them. We are able to go to small play groups and the like but generally he still plays with mommy.
He is I am sad to say not so good at sharing. He has never had to. His sisters give into his every whim. I should have started going to play group earlier than I did.

Your boys sound wonderful and it is very interesting to read about other little people.

I think it would be fun to keep track of one day and everything we do with our little ones to share and compare the way we try to balance things. Maybe then we can offer each other some tips.

Stephany
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#24 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 08:27 PM
 
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I think a lot of these emotions have to do with being pg the second time. I was much more emotional and worried about how DS would handle it and how I was upsetting his world. Bottom line it's not really about him but how DH and I handle it. As tired as I am - you should see what I look and feel like here at 7pm after the carpet shopping, lunch/playdate with 2 toddlers and 2 infants, grocery shopping and then dinner - the answer is always yes. Sometimes, in a minute, but always yes I can read a book, pick you up, give you 2 mintues etc. Because DS doesn't understand why an infants needs supercede his wants. I meet needs first but I don't forget the wants. The acting and indifference got really bad for a bit when DD started crawling but I just had to make more time for DS and then he did better. No, I don't interact with him to the same intensity as I did before but because he is such a doer he has really started to do his own thing and then say look mommy. We also make ever attempt to tell DD, in front of DS, to wait it's DSs turn. HE LOVES THAT!!
DS did, and still does, everything before his friends but I just don't care. He has terrific manners, is showing amazing empathy and is just being my baby. When he gets attacked by other kids, usually friends who go to daycare, he just says ouch, we can play later and moves on to his own thing. I can't have messed him up too badly.
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#25 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 09:56 PM
 
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can't really explain why I get so stretched. (I've been around and around with this on other threads, as many of you know!) But it does appear that I am prone to being overwhelmed, while life just keeps going on
Being overwhelmed is to be expected in this line of work. Not only are you completely responsible for yourself, but you are completely responsible for another human being as well That task becomes even harder when that person is in need of so much from you. Throw a food allergy or two into the mix and.......

My ds got a bit of some corn product yesterday. He woke up every hour all night, then screamed, yelled, and was generally miserable all day. Ugh! I feel so bad for him because its not his fault and because I find it hard to remain patient with him when he is losing it. Its been a hard day! Poor babe is asleep already!


 

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#26 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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T

Corn is tough one to avoid, isn't it? Corn syrup is in EVERYTHING! We take our own organic ketchup with us everywhere we go. And for us, with the wheat allergy, all the gluten-free products are almost always out bc they use corn flour. It's insane.

I don't know about you, but every time ds gets wild or tantrums, I look at dh and say, "What did he EAT?!?" I'm sure it's almost always normal 2 behavior!
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#27 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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Breathe....
If I had any energy I'd write so much on the joys and challenges of life with my 2 year old...I just ordered the book Playful Parenting hoping to re-inspire myself...anyway...I want to tell you something interesting-- having my second baby has made things easier in several ways around here. It's put things into a different perspective and invoked some changes that have actually enriched the nature of my relationship with my older child.
Let's get in touch again and when I have more energy I'll be more specific!
Trust the Universe.
~Mary-Beth
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#28 of 48 Old 04-16-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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I want to reply in greater depth later, but I wanted to respond on the allergy front. Of course, food allergies never seem to be to anything obscure, like rutabagas... We had it with dairy and eggs (and now I'm wondering about soy)... Thankfully, ds can eat dairy and eggs now, but you feel like a freak sometimes when you're out and about, because you can't eat *anything* because it all has something allergenic in it.

Yeah, realizing that jerk gymnastics instructor didn't like my ds brought out the mama bear in me, though I wondered if I was just an out of control, hormonal pg mama. It was totally affirming to hear that the instructor was out of line. To be honest, I kind of do expect that as ds gets older, if he continues to be so exuberant and full of energy that we will have more experiences like this...
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#29 of 48 Old 04-19-2004, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Mamas,

I have a question for you.

Last night dh and I were discussing some of the challenges I perceive with ds and I realized that two things are going on right now. The first is that he and I embroiled in the classic struggle for separation, where he loves and hates me -- sometimes in exactly the same moment -- and tests and pushes buttons with me all day long. I KNOW this is developmentally appropriate, and I understand the psychology behind it.

But the second *really* hard aspect of my days is that EVERY SINGLE transition has to be negotiated. Heavily. NOTHING is done is out of a spirit of cooperation anymore. examples: getting in the car seat, getting out of the car seat, putting on clothes, taking off clothes, coming to the table to eat, leaving the table after a meal. EVERYTHING is done in *extreme* dawdle mode, and can be unpredictable. (If I go up the stairs without him, he lays at the bottom and insists on being carried up. If I offer to carry him up, he staunchly refuses.)

Sometimes he forgets to protest and then suddenly realizes that he's been cooperative and he quickly has to UNDO the behavior (like allowing himself to be lifted into his car seat, then realizing what has happened and INSISTING on being unbuckled so he can climb out and then climb in "all by mySELF!!!") I feel like I walk on eggshells all day -- trying my best to soften the blows of having to ask him to do ANYTHING, and just waiting for refusal, or stalling, or running away, or tears to set in. I'm also SO relieved (and amazed) when they don't.

I know this is *mostly* typical, and within his develpomental stage, but I'm wondering if the intensity of my child's behavior is MORE than what most children do. Is this hi-needs? Or just 2? Am I being unfair to him by saying that he is challenging?

Do you guys have any ideas?
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#30 of 48 Old 04-19-2004, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally posted by Breathe

But the second *really* hard aspect of my days is that EVERY SINGLE transition has to be negotiated. Heavily. NOTHING is done is out of a spirit of cooperation anymore. examples: getting in the car seat, getting out of the car seat, putting on clothes, taking off clothes, coming to the table to eat, leaving the table after a meal. EVERYTHING is done in *extreme* dawdle mode, and can be unpredictable. (If I go up the stairs without him, he lays at the bottom and insists on being carried up. If I offer to carry him up, he staunchly refuses.)

I feel like I walk on eggshells all day -- trying my best to soften the blows of having to ask him to do ANYTHING, and just waiting for refusal, or stalling, or running away, or tears to set in. I'm also SO relieved (and amazed) when they don't.
This is my dd to a T.

She also has MAJOR sleep issues, to the point where all three of us are frequently up from 1:00am-4:00am. She cries, screams, tantrums, insists upon laying ON dh all night, but then fidgets and fusses so that he can't sleep, either. I kick myself every day that I am not BFing her - I think she could REALLY use the quiet peacefulness of it. Esp. at this age/stage. We are all in tears a lot of nights. Most people have NO sympathy - they think we should lock her in another room and let her cry, or say, "That's what happens when you don't let babies CIO/bring them in your bed/etc..."

I feel for you pg mamas of high-needs toddlers. This is TOUGH. I have gotten to the point where I dread taking her out places alone - to stores, restaraunts, etc because I am SO tired, and it takes so much out of me to have to work her through so many meltdowns in such a short period, in front of a public audience.

I know this will pass.....but holy smokes. I am wiped.
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