Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Problem With Beastie Boy

This morning U stumbled out of his bedroom, and sort of fell into the recliner. H and I were both all over him: "Are you okay? What's wrong? Was your handshaking? Do you have a headache? Do you feel weird?" He was ignored us half the other time and only managed to grunt the rest. By the time I had worked myself up into a panic, he had stormed into his room in tears. "There's nothing wrong!!!" He yelled before hiding under his blankets. H went in a little later and figured out that U was mad because he had "Nothing to do" and we wouldn't rent him Halo Reach (again for like the fifth time in the last two weeks). In addition, he hadn't see his complex buddy all weekend, and despite the fact that was nine am he wanted to invite him over. He didn't ask for any of these things because he knew the answers would not be to his liking.

He was also upset because our concern comes because of his epilepsy. U went from being pretty interested in learning about his condition to just pretending it doesn't exist. His medication is a sore point as it is and any mention of epilepsy is taboo. I've stopped trying to talk about it with him because I'm just not sure where to go with it. I don't want to push it on him but, on the other hand, I am a big believer that one should be aware of their own bodies and their own health. And I know that my fussy mom concern drives him crazy in that it's just a reminder that the epilepsy does exist. As we're approaching, the one year anniversary of his first seizure, I can't help but be paranoid.

And of course there is the factor of oncoming puberty (shudder) and the side effects of the meds. The meds make him moody and irritable. Puberty makes him moody and irritable. It's a volatile combination. I write this totally calm and with understanding. I taught teenagers (as has H) and we know this attitude is par for the course. But it's a bit different when it's coming from your own child.

I told H today that I think it's hard on us for a couple of reasons. We feel like we're really close to our children. We home school. We have very family centered life. We rarely go out without them. We include them in our own lives as much as we can. And then of course we practiced attachment parenting with all of them. I nursed. We co-slept. We wore them. So this pushing us off is a bit hard. We're letting him do it as it is obvious that is what he needs to right now but boy does it hurt more than I thought it would. Plus I am a big believer in compassion for all, and it's hard to deal with someone who can just be really mean.

For awhile parenting him seemed easy. There was this kind of awful period when he was a baby where I just felt like everything I was doing was wrong. He was my first baby and I was such a moron about it all. He was the baby with colic too so that didn't help matters. When he finally hit about 3.5, it seemed to just be great. He turned into this funny, sweet little guy that was so easy. I pretty much felt like it was smooth sailing up until now. And here we are entering a new phrase for us all, and suddenly it's that panicky feeling like "Shit I'm going to screw this up for sure."

Everyday is like walking among landmines. Sometimes he needs me to be right there and other times he pushes me away. If I step wrong, he explodes. His words are rude and angry. Filled with shrapnel and flame. He hasn't learned how to direct those weapons (thankfully) but it's still a wounding moment for me. I sometimes lay awake at night and wonder if I somehow screwed up with him and that is why he's turned into this rude, sometimes mean little person. I hear/read other people's descriptions of their wonderful sweet boys and wonder "Where did I go wrong? What did I not do well enough?"

It's a new path for us, and funnily I feel myself having to go back to that same kind of listening I used when he was a baby. Waiting carefully for his cues before acting. Shaping my responses in ways that work for him and me. Balancing his needs with those of the collective. And all the while hoping to hell that I am modeling to him so that when his body calms down he has something valuable to carry into the world.

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