We’re coming off of a challenging few days thanks in part to weather, as my regular readers know. Now normally, I’m the kind of person who can shake stuff off and move on, choosing to believe that some kind of corner-turning is imminent. I’m having a hard time with that today.
The family finally got out and about yesterday after the kids and I had been shut in for nearly 2 ½ days straight. We just went to the bookstore and to this other shop we like that was having a moving/clearance sale. The bookstore part went brilliantly. We all left rather relaxed and with some new books for Stella. (I swear, y’all, my 3 year old is trying to read and doing pretty damn well. This goes above and beyond recognizing a page in a book she’s memorized. I can write random words and she reads them with scary accuracy.) The other shop is where all hell broke loose.
She just flipped out. There was no apparent provocation. She just went berserk. Will had to carry her kicking and screaming to the car, while I stayed with Felix and paid for our stuff. We were barely able to get her in her car seat after that. We were getting “looks” in the parking lot due to the ruckus.
Not 5 minutes before the outburst, we had been bragging to each other about how well she was doing and how amazing her behavior and communication was.
We’re just tired. We’re burnt out. Nothing has been easy with our daughter. We’ve done everything we’re “supposed” to do. We’ve seen therapists and doctors. At a recent checkup with her neurologist, the doctor A) felt that Stella had improved tremendously, B) maintained that Stella would outgrow this, and C) suggested that maybe some meds would help if we ever wanted to think about that – but no pressure. Prozac and Xanax were mentioned.
Y’all, I do not want to medicate my 3 year old kid. And the thought that I would give my 3 year old kid a psychoactive drug for the roughly 5% (if that) of her behavior that is just out of control is pretty unthinkable. Sure, it may be easier, but really? A 3 year old on Prozac?!
And that is really the worst part. Sure, she’s bigger and louder than most 3 year olds. But still most of her behavior is normal. She acts like a little jerk sometimes, pushing boundaries the way a normal 3 year old does. She talks constantly. And under most circumstances she exists within the confines of normal, plus or minus a standard deviation. It’s that 5% of the time (and to be fair, some days that percentage is a bit higher) that just completely shocks and awes me/us. And that 5% of behavior is so appalling and difficult that it makes me afraid to take her places or do certain things with her.
I live in a Wile E. Coyote world. Acmeville, where anvils threaten to fall.
I always feel on edge, like I have to have an escape plan ready. I haven’t taken her to a restaurant in months. Sure, she may do fine – and has in the past. But she’s also flipped out so badly that we’ve had to quickly abort, carrying her out as carefully as possible so that she doesn’t kick another diner’s plate off of their table while she flails and screams. I want to do things with her but I’m scared to death to even try sometimes.
I love my daughter with all of my heart. I just really want answers. The speech and OT is starting to feel like a huge waste of time, money, and energy. Will this really all resolve itself one day? What in the world causes it? Will I be able to take her clothes shopping or to the grocery store?
I have to try to stay positive. I don’t want her or anyone else out there in our day to day lives to feel like I am anything but confident that this is all a phase (or something). I’m just so stinking weary.
I’m also dreading the fact that it’s likely we’ll all be shut in together for another 2 days. It seems here in subtropical Louisiana that we’re about to get our second ice storm in less than a week.
As George Costanza would say, “serenity now.”