Thursday, July 15, 2010

are we onto something?

Maddox had his 2 year old check up on Tuesday.
I went horrible.
They were running about 40 minutes behind and Maddox was restless.

He weighed 28.8lbs and was 35" tall.

He started out WAY bigger than all of the other kids his age... but he's leveled out along the way.
I made this at:
(but I can't figure out how to get the chart on here... so I took a pic with my phone!)

He screamed and threw a fit the entire visit.
I cried the entire visit.  Embarrassed and defeated.
Lance listened, and I think came away with some plans of his own.

I work night clinic 3 nights each week and 19 of our doctors rotate through it.  Over these last few weeks I would pick the brains of different doctors rotating through there to help me develop a plan of attack for Maddox.  

The night before our check up I worked with Dr. Hayward (Maddox's pediatrician) and were were dead at NC so we had an hour or two to consult.
She gave me a lot of advice that I had not thought about (I should have taken notes) but I am not sure that her and I have similar views on parenting as a whole.

*For instance:  At Maddox's check up, once his fit was over, I said, "would you like to tell Dr. Hayward that you're sorry?" and Maddox said, "NO!  I no sorry Dr Hayrrrd" and she stopped me before I could speak.  She told me that I gave him an option, "Would you like to..." and his choice was not to apologize.  So I had to accept that.  If I had told him TO apologize and he hadn't, then I could confront the issue there.  I realized I do that a lot.  So that is something I can work on.
*A thing that I didn't like: she said I should let him throw his tantrum without any communication with me, because he truly doesn't know what he is doing during the fit... ignore him if he hits or disrespects, but once it is over, explain to him what he did wrong and then put him in time out for 2 minutes.
Sometimes fits last 30 - 45 minutes.  Though her plan is understandable, I can NOT restart a fit once it is over.  I am exhausted and overwhelmed after a fit of that magnitude.  He knows when he is disrespecting me, that's why he says he's sorry afterwards without me asking, and its also why he pokes me during the fits now because he knows hitting me is an automatic spanking.  I remove him from his environment during the fit, and make him finish it in his room or away from me.
Which works well unless we are in public... then I'm lost.  Overwhelmed.  Embarrassed.  And pissed.
I hate taking him into public.  The anxiety of the fit that could happen, is almost worse that the fit itself.
She told me that when people are really mad and act immature, they try and make the person they are upset with feel as bad as they do.  And since I cried the entire visit, he was getting exactly what he wanted.  
I need to change me.
I need to stop being so emotional about it.
She tried to assure me that he is exactly on key for his age and that this is normal.  Normal.  NORMAL.
But she also said that my need for perfection and my anxiety were my worst enemy. She said, "he's not going to alphabetize his toys Holly.  He's 2.  His speech and mannerisms make you want to treat him like a 3 or 4 years old but he's 2.  He needs 2 year old expectations." 
She asked me what percent of our day was this stressful.
I said, "well we don't have a fit every day,  but there are days that he has two of these, maybe 3?..."
She said 70% is passing.  We are passing.
I need to breathe.
But that is soooooooo difficult for me.

After the visit, we went to lunch with Amanda.  I told her about our visit (and Lance had to take him to the car during our feast for his bad behavior) and again got sappy.  How can I be this bad at parenting?  
She too tried to assure me that he is normal and that all parents go through this at some point or another and that I am not bad at it...
but I couldn't accept it.

She also reminded me that I am PMS-y and it is kind of controlling my life.  And it is.  I never had PMS like this before Maddox and it is unbelievable now.  She encouraged me to go back through my blog and try to see if the last time things felt so out-of-hand was during my mother-earth!
I haven't yet, but I think she may be onto something.
Amanda has zero mean-bones in her body and she is an awesome mom, so I appreciate all the time she lets me pour my heart onto her plate.  She too has PMS issues now, that she didn't have before kiddos, so she can relate.  I just don't know what to do about it?

Last night I worked with Dr. Shaw.  She is the newest doctor of our practice.  Her husband is an emergency medicine pedi guy too so I thought she may have some better strategies for me.

We literally had TWO patients last night so we had plenty of time to talk.
One of our patients was 2 and was acting "terrible" as well.  I could see from the outside what the mom was doing wrong... she counted to 3, 3 times, got to 3 every time, but did nothing.  When he still wouldn't come, she tried to reward his bad behavior with a sticker...  I told Dr Shaw, after they left, that it was very clear to me what she could change... I don't do either of those things-- so why can't I see so clearly what I can change? 

She told me personal stories and books that she has read and different things that she liked from each program.  She told me about her kiddos-- and their hard stages.
She told me about an old friend of hers that talked to her kids just like the books.  Never raised her voice, went through the steps just-as-the-book-lays-out... but seemed so fake to her.
She said, "these guys don't have it right either, they are all just ideas.  I don't think you can live by any of the books but each of them have a little something to store in your brain for a day that nothing is working." 
For the first time in a while, I kind of felt okay.
She's right.
I can't change me.  
I would be fraudulent.  He would see right through me.
I am high-stress.  I am high-anxiety.  I am highly emotional and I lay all of my cards on the table.
She's like that too.

She told me she came from a very emotional family.  (as did I)  Her dad is Italian, so when he was mad-- He was really mad.  She said that she feared disappointing him because she knew the response could be harsh.  She said he did everything big.  Not only did he react big, and discipline big; but he loved big, praised big and was proud big too.  She said she can honestly give her dad the praise for being the person who made her so confident, independent and passionate.  
So that's not a bad thing either.

My mom is an emotional being herself, and I can say the same for her as to making me who I am.  
She's passionate.   
At times, as her child, I hated it; but in the big picture, I appreciate it.
I think I am that parent too.
And that's okay.
I am me.
And thankfully, Lance is not me.
He is close to opposite of me.
And that's good too.    
A friendly balance, we create.

I felt fulfilled when I left NC last night.  I am sure Daphne has no idea that she made me feel okay again.  
But she did.
For now.
I do love big.
Big sloppy kisses, tickle time, belly laughs, splashing together in the bath, learning our flash cards, crying watching his baby videos, making sure his baby book is completely filled, taking pictures of every breath, blogging our every milestone... that's me.  
Passionate parenting.  
That's my thing.  
I shouldn't care so much that this emotional person that I am is full of anger and tears too.  

That's all part of the package.
That's me.

****I am going to try to hang on to this new outlook.
I can not continue to cry everyday feeling beat.  It is not healthy.
Today has been a really good day.
Tomorrow may be bad...
But I am ready! 


  1. awww...good blog...but, you are left elbow is a JERK!

  2. I LOVE you SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH Sis! I'm sure you know how much now since you have Maddox. There's no other love than that of a mother and a child. I'm proud of the mother you've become, the wife you are and the person you've grown up to be. I love you deeply!! Mom