Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Keeping it real ...

So,it's midnight.I'm tired.And Joe ... he just went to bed.Yep,my 6 1/2 year old just went to bed.

Have you ever watched "SuperNanny"?We use to occasionally.Until we realized,we so could go on that show.Life with Joe would make us shoe in's for sure.We stopped watching after one particular episode.A family,had a little guy,about Joe's age and he was,how should I put this, perhaps "difficult", seems the most gentle.The striking resemblance to our family life with Joe, was bedtime.Once that little guy was put to bed,I believe he was out something like 80 plus times.No joke.Bedtime,and I use that term loosely,took like over two hours.Insane,isn't it?But in that episode,we saw our lives.Parents who did most everything right.Disciplined with love,listened,nurtured,the whole nine yards.But no matter what you did,or how you did it,the end result was usually the same.Because,in the end,it so isn't about discipline or lack there of.It is about the child and what goes on in the head of a constantly in motion child.A child who's body and mind,cannot find common ground.And when you have a child like that,life is challenging.Especially for the child.And as long as we are keeping it real,sometimes for the parents as well.

Joe has always,always been this way.Yes,even as a baby.No lie.No exaggeration.A diagnosis of severe speech apraxia paved the way for what was to come.Today we have the most amazing little guy.Funny.Like hilariously funny.Supersmart.As in scary, super smart.As well as and a very sweet little guy who now carries a few diagnosis' in his very own medical portfolio.Some I sit better with than others.All of which, make me yearn to help him.Even and most especially on the days when we both find ourselves at our wits end.

A child like Joe has this ability to change the tempo of the entire house.For the good and the bad.All of us have come to an understanding that Joe,on most days,just cannot help himself.It is strictly a wiring thing.As complicated and as simple as that.And if we can come to accept that Joe,cannot help how he is,any more than Miss Zoey can,than we will all fare better.Does that make it any less frustrating?Sometimes, no.On those days,I go to bed certain that my mother of the year sash will not be coming.I am but one person.Trying,trying,trying to give my all to each of my children.Big and small.Each with needs that differ from the other.None two the same and me,the last time I looked,sometimes just holding on by a thread.But I'm hanging.Haven't dropped into the dark abyss... yet.A running joke around here is that the old gene pool was just slightly depleted with each new addition.Humor around here helps.A lot.

Back to Joseph... I have been also know to say that I often feel much more equipped to handle Zoey and all of her needs than I do Joe.On days like today,that scares me.I don't mind saying that.Little minds,especially complex,still changing and evolving minds are kind of scary.And tonight,As Joe came down for oh,say the 20th time,I watched that body,jump,dance,literally bounce off walls and I felt sorry for my little man.And helpless.

Tomorrow will be interesting.I most likely know how it will go down.Same story.Different day.He will wake in the morning,ready to hit the world,until right before school at 9am, he will most likely hit a wall.We will manage to, reluctantly on his part,make it out the door to school.He will find his way through the school day.Come home.Crash.Sleep too long and then,the evening will be a repeat performance of tonight due to the long nap, except with fatigue being the wild card in how agreeable,obedient,and edgy his demeanor will be.Or rather, not be.

My poor guy.And I really mean that.Unless you have a Joe at your house,you will be absolutely clueless to what I am talking about.But if you do,well, you are most likely just nodding your head in sympathetic agreement.

Got to get to bed now, because,trust me on this,even though Joe went to bed at close to midnight,he still will be up around 3 am.In our bed.Possibly asking for a drink,going to the bathroom or perhaps asking me a question that is still whirring around in that ever spinning mind of his.

Just keeping it real for you all, as in this house, we are nothing if not real or is that surreal... hard to say.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, this poor little guy has everyone in a spin when he is having one of his "nights". It is so hard on you both and him too.

Let's hope tonite will not be a repeat performance.

And yes, having been around him a short time, this little guy is super smart! And Adorable! (loves to play Uno too!)

Hugs

Aunt Bluebelle

stephanie said...

What do I say? I don't have a Joe, so I don't know how it is...but I do have 6 kids and I do know the frustrations that they can carry and when they throw them your way how hard it is to catch them. Throw in Joe's diagnosis and I can at least see where your coming from.
Got a soft spot for Joe here in our home...
Hang in there H, love ya.

Lacey said...

Now friend, you know you are the mother I could only hope to be! Tanner is not the same, because he is not go, go, go like Joe is. I know Joe is on medication, but is there something they can give him so he'll sleep at night and be ready to tackle the day? Sweet little Joe!

libby @ ninesandquines said...

Joe and Zoey both needed extra special parents and that is why they were sent to you and your family - because you love them and take care of them no matter what the challenges are :-) And that is why you are such a special family that inspires all of us to just do a little more and just be a little extra patient with life's challenges....

Rochelle said...

So sorry about Joe's bedtime routine.
That is frustrating for everyone.

For what it is worth...our friends have a son who had difficulty falling asleep (he has autism) and then he couldn't get up in the morning. He takes melatonin (natural product) and it works wonders for him. He is a changed boy, his behavior is better because he is sleeping well at night. He even requests to have it at night because he sees the difference for himself.

I hope tonight is a super sleep night for all of you.

Kristin said...

We have a Piper, age 4. After transitioning from crib to big girl bed, bedtime was all over. She's scared of everything at night. We gave up years ago trying to normalize bedtime. Now she stays up until she falls asleep in my bed watching cartoons (Super Nanny's nightmare, he he!), usually by midnight, sometimes 2am. I'm a night owl, so we stay up together. If she doesn't nap and we get her to fall asleep at a 'normal' time, say 8pm, she's awake at 11pm, thinking that was just a nap, and she's up til 2am. Luckily we only have preschool a couple days a week. I don't know what we're going to do when we have to get up to go to 'real' school early in the morning. Ugh. I feel your pain.

To Love Endlessly said...

I don't have a Joe, just 1 little one and she occupies my time. I couldn't imagine having a Joe that'd be keeping me up so late. I see 9:00 on the clock & I'm ready to hit the sack. haha. From what I read though, I think you qualify for that mother of the year sash. You're one amazing mama that has learned to adjust to an array of things throughout the day and be kind and loving to boot! Maybe tomorrow he'll surprise you and opt out of taking a nap. who knows... ;-)

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Matt meet Joe, Joe meet Matt. Oh the stories we could share. I do so understand. Even Sarah shakes her head from time to time. I will say, with the onset of puperty, things have become a bit more stable. But I still got a call from the principal just yesterday:)

Anonymous said...

No Joe in my home, but plenty in my classroom. When they get on a bus to go on a field trip they crash. Otherwise, they never stop. Their little minds will not let them stop. Wish there was a good solid answer to this problem but there isn't. I just cannot imagine what it must be like to constantly feel the need to be in motion. Must be so frustrating for him.

Googsmom said...

{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}

Anonymous said...

Heather - That Mother of the Year sash does have your name on it and anyone that knows you sees it on you all the time. Wear it proudly...you deserve it.

kathleen

Brianne said...

So sorry you are dealing with such frustrations with Joseph. Have you tried some sleep medication for him or even some natural melatonin to get him sleepy? I pray that you will find the right balance with helping him get his rest so that ALL of you can rest, too. And, no worries, your mother of the year sash is totally intact! You are one amazing mama!

Kristy said...

Heather~ I broke out in a grin when you mentioned that if you have a "Joe" then you would be nodding empathetically~ I grinned because I was!! I have my Colin and oh boy I totally understand. Even at 20 years old he can go, go, go and it always happens at times when the rest of us want rest!! However, he is my most comedic and sweet being. He loves so effortlessly. So I'm at right there with you and please please you know you deserve your sash!!
Hugs from us!! xoxo

Mary said...

Poor guy. It's got to be rough on him (and you).

Angi said...

Oh man Heather...he's got the loveable and sweet so the rest is tolerable...right:-) Good thing you've got the super-mom gene:-)

Judy said...

Heather, I always said I could handle children with medical challenges (because of Bo and his prematurity/surgeries/legal blindness/etc). I felt equipped to handle adopting a child with medical challenges. I NEVER felt ready to deal with behavioral challenges. It's not my strength and yet God gave us Boo. I know what Boo needs and I work hard every day to give him what he needs. You know that Joe is different and parenting him is going to be different. Don't doubt yourself. You are an amazing mother. Trust your instincts. I'm always here for you. (((((hugs)))))

Anna said...

I wish there was a way he could have an afternoon nap right after lunch like many little people need, instead of so late. My husband must be wired the same way. He has to take ambien. I am glad its out there for him- since he still struggles with sleep issues. Has Joes thyroid been tested? If not have them check that. Overactive ones cause this trouble. Maybe even other vitamin or health issues?? Just a few random thoughts from an," up-too- late-mommy-to-be."

Dawson said...

I to, do not have a Joe, but I have a Dawson. And although his bedtime routine is not even on the same planet as yours ( thank God) we struggle with issues of our own. Mainly behavioral due to seizures and meds. All this to say... Sorry you have to deal with that on top of everything else you have on your plate. It doesn't seem fair, but hey, none of this does right??

Always praying for you guys