I am so OVER the *high needs* thing - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think it's really the structure for us. I pretty much lean towards unschooling so we wanted DD's daycare to be very unstructured with lots of free play. The most they do that is really structure is take the kids to the playground once a day and when it's warm out they have baby pools to play in. For us, I really think it's been the interaction with other kids. She's insanely social and especially loves older kids. The daycare has all the kids mixed together from ages 0-12 so it allows for her to play with much older kids. Does he have any friends that he likes to play with in your mom's group? Unfortunately, I've found just because I connect well to the other mom, many times that doesn't guarantee DD wants to play with the other kid. It makes it so hard to talk because then our kids are constantly running on other directions!
Hmmm well there goes my 'homeschool' theory.
Well our mom's group is pretty big & different people are always showing up, but he's not all that interested in playing with ANY of the kids. Mostly he just pushes them away when they touch something he's playing with I know he's young & I would imagine still more in the 'parallel play' phase so I guess I don't know how much he cares about having certain kids around vs. just having people around in general (he is definitely a big people watcher) -- we also try to go to the library story hours, children's museum on the free nights, etc. but it seems in New England everyone kind of stays in & keeps to themselves so often there is no one at the playground or whatever... He does seem happier around older kids & our mom's group has a mix of kids his age & slightly older but most of them are still under 4 years old, I guess the older kids are always in school/camp/etc?


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Have you tried leaving the house and letting DH stay home with him? My DH is totally the same way. Unless he's in an extremely good mood and wants to eat out at night, he mostly just wants to chill at home with DD and I go out and do grocery shopping or what not (or sometimes go out to work too). Then he has a lot more options toyswise and he gets too freaked out by taking her to the playground for him really to relax (DD is quite the daredevil!), which means they both end up having less fun.
Yeah but I don't know where to go The library closes at 5 & I can't afford to go somewhere that costs $$ & I have no close friends in the area & we only go shopping once every 2 weeks or so. I sound pathetic huh....

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#32 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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OP, I have no real advice for you, but wanted to share... Maybe putting it in a different perspective might help your nerves a bit?

My son is 2.5, and other than the very nature of his age, he is not particularly high needs, at least not what I see described as such here. He's generally a happy, social kid. And yet... I could relate to your OP like he was my own, with a few exceptions! He has always been great out in public and a terror at home, even as an infant. If he was awake, we were not at home! I'd take over an hour just to get a few things at the grocery store, just so I wouldn't have to take him home and have him be clingy and miserable. Everyone (including friends) looks at him and says, "What a nice kid! He's so happy and good all the time." Um, no, only when there are other people to distract him. I used to sing him a song I made up -- "Anyone but Mommy" b/c he'd be happy and smiley for anyone and everyone, except me!

Even now, I don't use the bathroom by myself, he is potty-learned and refuses to pee unless I go first half the time. He is in the bathroom and/or shower when DH or I are showering. If I'm working in the kitchen, he is up on a stool, watching. Which is quickly becoming not enough. He needs whatever I have. If I'm cooking, he needs a bowl and spoon, and some of whatever food I'm stirring (not always possible, and ends in a struggle). If I give him the food, it has to be edible, b/c he will eat it. (Yes, this is the kid who refused solids til he was 18 months, and now he gobbles raw dough and raw flour by the fistful, but still won't eat his dinner.

I could go on and on.... But I'm wondering if some of this stuff that is "typical" just seems magnified by your LOs high needs and if it would help to know that a lot of what you have mentioned IS the usual intensity of having a toddler. (Yeah, I guess I'm saying you'd be going nuts anyway... Sorry!) I don't really know what my point is. I struggle daily with my temper b/c my son is so intense sometimes and it's just too much to take in. With a high needs child, I know that is all magnified, but maybe if you can separate some of these issues out and know you'd be having them even with a not-so-high needs child, the "extras" you're getting won't seem so overwhelming?

It's early. I'm sure I'm not getting my thoughts across well, but I hope it helps to know you're really not alone. Hang in there. Your boy knows you love him, and that's big.

As for places to go to "get out..." Mall. Even if you're not shopping. Especially at 5 (after the library closes!), it's likely to be empty, especially on a weekday. He can walk with you through the entire thing, go to the play areas, sit at the food court and have a snack (from home), go into stores and touch stuff. Just walking through our little mall without going into stores can take us 45 minutes (without stopping for snacks or play) b/c he is so busy looking at things and people. It's a good way to kill time.

Also a park or nearby school playground is great for after-hours play b/c it's quiet (and this time of year, cooler than daytime). Or even just a walk around the neighborhood, collecting rocks, looking at trees... We have also resorted to walking around outdoor strip malls. Nothing interesting in the stores, but to my son, the water features, benches, and potted plants were amazing. And again, you can kill at least a half hour just sitting on a bench, watching him play with the plants at a strip mall! And try bookstores -- our Barnes and Noble has a little nook in the kids' section with a Thomas the Train set set up for kids to play with. There are a few little chairs in there, and my friend (who told me about it) goes and gets a magazine and then sits and reads it in the nook while her son plays with the trains. They're open late, so you can do it after dinner, if you need to. (They also do story/song times for kids, although I've never been, but it's a good addition to the library to have more than one to go to if your son really likes those.)
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#33 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so bummed because I had been planning to do the walk-around-the-mall thing a lot this summer (yay for a/c!) but our local mall was flooded & won't be open again until almost Christmas!! I do sometimes take him to Target or something just to walk around, except he mostly tries to pull everything off the racks or wants to nurse when there is no bench to be found so it's kind of stressful. We go to the playgrounds but they are usually deserted and he gets bored when there aren't other kids playing. But I should check out the book stores & see if they have a kid's section. I should also try to get to the zoo more, he loves that & I tend to forget about it. I have a hard time taking him for walks because I just can't walk a lot these days (I'm really, really struggling with my illness) and I wish I had more energy to do things like that.

The other thing that's tough is that he's on such a different schedule than most of the kids around here. A lot of the groups/activities are in the morning before he's even woken up for the day. So we are kind of limited in that we can't participate in a lot of the things I think he'd enjoy. But we do keep pretty busy, it's just that random weekday afternoon when there's nothing going on & it's raining & he won't nap... then I'm just like, NOW WHAT?

I do think it's good to know I'd be struggling even with a non-high-needs kid & I always wonder if he is really high-needs or if I am just not cut out for parenting.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#34 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:12 PM
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I was just coming back here to post about ruling out ear infections, but justKate beat me to it! If there's been a dramatic recent change in sleep, in our household it's ALWAYS caused by an ear infection. I'd definitely go to the Dr before trying a psych eval. The Dr might also be able to refer you or give you more resources if he thinks your child needs one.
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#35 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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A bad mom???? You sound like a GREAT mom, in my opinion!!!

My child is not HN, but my sister's child is. I'm very close w/ my neice and I have witnessed the unending supply of patience and strength my sister musters, even when she thinks she can't do it for one... more... moment.

Someone posted that God only gives HN children to the exceptional parents - well I agree!

I have no advice for you, but just wanted to send you a big hug and tell you that you are doing such a great job!!!
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#36 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hm. I don't think it's an ear infection but he's never actually had one. He's always been like this but he has gotten worse in the past week or so and seems to have a slight cold so that's possible. But our doctor is on vacation... I think he comes back next week so maybe I could make an appointment if things don't improve a little...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#37 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A bad mom???? You sound like a GREAT mom, in my opinion!!!

My child is not HN, but my sister's child is. I'm very close w/ my neice and I have witnessed the unending supply of patience and strength my sister musters, even when she thinks she can't do it for one... more... moment.

Someone posted that God only gives HN children to the exceptional parents - well I agree!

I have no advice for you, but just wanted to send you a big hug and tell you that you are doing such a great job!!!
Thank you. It does mean a lot to hear that. I try my best but I don't always succeed.

I guess more than "bad mom" I just feel like my personality is not suited for taking care of such a needy baby. I can (and do) do it, of course, but I guess I feel like it just doesn't bring out the best in me and definitely doesn't help my mood. I feel like some moms have boundless energy & creativity & resources & motivation and then there's me.... the only 'craft' we've done lately is color a page in a coloring book & we actually had MOLD on our dirty dishes because they hadn't been washed soon enough.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#38 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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aaaaaaaah crunchy mommy you are my long lost sister.

first please know that you have an illness which makes it doubly hard on you. just being around a HNs child is extremely tiring.

you also have my dd's twin - just the opposite. she was over the top sensation seeking (needed messy hands and still does). also i think if you havent thought about it, from the little things you have said - i am guessing your son is 'gifted' too. (please i dont want to go into debate over this). and THAT by itself is further exhausting too.

dont be confused by all the checklist and to see what your son falls under. i know for my dd she had mild case which pretty much disappeared or toned down by the time she was 5. use that more as a guideline to figure out activities for your son.

the good news is your son enjoys sitting and playing. make your house a sensory place. at your son's age i gave my dd a pasta 'bowl' (i forget what the exact term is). i emptied out a couple of bags of those squiggly colourful pasta and threw in little articles from the house in there, like my tea strainer ball, little toys, spoon, small measuring cups, measuring spoons, textury things. yeah initially she would chew on the pasta but i kept asking her not to eat it and in time she got it. but she could literally spend hours mixing and feeling with her fingers.

at that age telephone was my big friend. i would be sitting next to dd but talking on the phone until she joined me or started pulling it.

at your sons age too i started the 'touch but not pick' rule.

and no my dd was one of those kids who didnt like dc/ps. she tolerated it because she knew we had no choice. but she was a mommy's girl and wanted to spend as much time with me. however we were doing a lot ourselves so she found being home much more fun.

i had a big tough computer or tv box. i put dd in there and then put in those air filled balls and a bunch of other things including scarves and handkerchieves that she could throw out. not only did she get to throw but she also got to understand how different objects fly.

easel and paint brush. i found a 3 x 6 table top and converted that into an easel for dd. then i got cheap newsprint from our newspaper office and giant paint brushes and water and let her go.

i think one key you need to also watch out for your son is he needs intellectual stimulation. if he is bored at the park show him things. like the wettish sand and the dry sand. the textures on the play structure.

when your dh goes for a walk with ds ask him to touch metal poles, the barks of trees... to pick up rocks, pebbles, twigs off the ground so your son can feel. and take longer to come home. show him shop signs. at that age my dd was a 'sign' fiend. she knew all the signs of cars and had touched and felt them. she also knew logos. that's the word. she loved logos.

does your city have a calendar of events happening. i took dd to a lot of free events. we also did light rail rides and bus rides for the fun of it. short ones.

a lot of her 'reading' material was my junk mail, kitty food cans, cereal boxes and smaller cans dd could use.

she wasnt a toys girl but prefered things from my pantry.

you know what i looooooved about dd being a HNs child is i was FORCED to look at the world differently. to discover what a treasure trove my house was. when i looked at a flour sifter it wasnt just a flour sifter. it was a cool toy.

the challenge crunchy mommy is you have to pretty much find ideas yourself. others are not really going to help you. that is why check into the out of sync activities books. it will give you tonnes of ideas.

btw where hunger and thirst is concerned even today my dd is like your son. she can say one minute i am not hungry and next moment wallop down everything.

also mama watch out for growth spurts. they usually follow a regular cycle. i think i became aware of it when dd was 3 but it happens at the same time - during summer and by end august and early sept dd suddenly shoots up. that takes a lot of energy and makes her v. grumpy and hard to handle and less sleep and emotional and always hungry.

last HAH!!!!!! you DO have a HNs child. esp. since you question your parenting. lady that aint the easy answer. just look at what you have on your plate. a hard child. a job. the house. and not a really helpful dh. excuse me mama but the last i heard, even though society IS heading in that direction, parenting was not meant to be done alone.

do you know there are cultures where stranger anxiety does not even exist. their kids dont ever get separation anxiety?

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#39 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Listen, my kid is as easy as they come, truly. And I STILL can't get it together enough to have the house tidy when DH comes home (not that he cares). And on those days when DS is acting needy and clingy? Well that doesn't bring out the best in me, either!

I requested a "pep talk" from my DH last night as I lay in bed nursing DS for the 3rd time in 2 hours since bed time (DS wakes approx 685 times/night). My DH reminded me that all this hard work is for a reason. We are giving DS a strong foundation for his life - he is learning that his needs will be met. He's learning that you can count on people, etc.

You are doing the same thing - you are giving your babe such a precious, precious gift. BUT, you don't have to be perfect at it! I think it is far more important to meet his needs in the way you described than being detached but doing some fun crafts and having a spotless kitchen!

BUT - perhaps between your DH and yourself, you can find a couple hours once/week for just you? Even just 2 hours that you can COUNT ON, that you know are coming, might help you to weather the storm.

Like I said before, you are doing GREAT and your baby is lucky to have you.
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#40 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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...
I do think it's good to know I'd be struggling even with a non-high-needs kid & I always wonder if he is really high-needs or if I am just not cut out for parenting.
Just b/c you'd be struggling anyway DOES NOT mean you're "just not cut out for parenting." It just means that kids this age are a challenge, some more than others, but all are a challenge at some point or another and it's harder than most people care to admit. I'm always amazed at how moms in my playgroup act like everything is so easy and perfect, and over time I've come to learn that the "good" days are all they ever mention. It's only when another mom fesses up first that most of them will say, "Oh yeah, we went through that a few months ago. It was AWFUL!" But a few months ago, they were claiming perfection. So it's really easy to start feeling like a bad mom when you're surrounded by all that, and then to come on here for help, and everyone seems to have such great little solutions, but what you don't see in most posts (simply b/c that's not what they're about) is all the struggling and awful feelings most moms have at some point. (That's where the blow-off line, "This too shall pass" came from. All phases end at some point, and no one wants to relive their awful feelings of inadequacy that they had while going through whatever phase it is! At least that's my theory.... )
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#41 of 41 Old 07-29-2010, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much. This kind of support is what I'm missing in real life. (I have some great friends but we're just getting to know each other & between the newness of the relationships & chasing after DS I really don't get to confide in them in the same way I can on here. And some things like my illness etc. I just would never mention.)

Meemee, I love the idea of a pasta bowl!!! I bet he would love it & it's not 'dirty' so he won't get annoyed that his hands aren't clean lol. All your ideas are great, I need to get back to that place of creativity, I get great joy out of being creative but the stresses of daily life have kind of squashed it all out of me.

OHHH and this afternoon I discovered DS is cutting a molar!! I didn't even consider that a possibility because he still doesn't have all his front teeth & I thought they'd come in order! So I think that's why this week has been particularly tough. Poor kid. His teeth often come partway in or cut through & then retract & then come in again, so I really wonder if a lot of his fussiness is due to literally CONSTANT teething issues.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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