Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It had to happen

Today was one of those days that just SUCKS. Most of the day was fine but hubby and I thought we could get out for a date night. We left Belle with Nana because she was already there and the three boys stayed with our babysitter. I double checked Sweet M* talked about everything and I thought he was okay.

I was wrong. Turns out that right around dinner his switch flipped and he went into survival mode. He tried everything he could to get in trouble. Deliberately disobeying by continuing to jump up and down on the couch and trying to climb on the stairwell's. The sitter was having trouble controlling him in order to keep him safe. At dinner he accused her of serving the other two boys more pizza than him (not the case). Than he went into his crazy hyper laughter phase. He was chasing the older boys and trying to push them. Cuddlebear claims M* tried to push him down the stairs... given the mood he sounds like he was in I believe it. And, worst of all the sitter was cleaning up in the kitchen and the boys were on the couch (in plain sight) and the sitter says Cuddlebear was yelling "Stop M*" and she turned around to see M* sitting on top of a pillow that he put on Captain's head. Captain is 8... M* is 5. This SCARES me. I am trying to remember not to let fear play a part. But, Captain is my son. I am his momma too. I am supposed to protect him and I feel like it is so hard to do sometimes with M*. Once M* goes into survival mode all bets are off. We don't know what he is capable of.

This has not happened before and it was a fear I had. Right now the boys share a room. Now I am thinking that I may need to rearrange the kids sleeping arrangements. I feel like I am handling this all pretty well. But I can't lie- it shakes me up. I know that I can't ignore these behaviors. Safety cannot be compromised. But, it is just like with everything in this adoption world... I feel like I have to run the scenario 100 ways in my head to figure out what I should have done. I always try to blame myself for what goes wrong.

Maybe I can't leave M* with anyone but my mom? Maybe we should have been back before dinner? Maybe if I would have done something I could have prevented it. But, here is the thing. I have left M* with this sitter many times before. In fact she lives with us now and has been very helpful with the kids. And, I have left M* many times to go out on a date night and nothing like this occurred before. Well... not true. The first time we left for an over night trip M* choked Captain really bad. That was a little over a year ago though? So, it is really hard to say what I should and could have done bc REALLY I should not have to worry about him harming the other kids. But, the fact is that I do!

So, I am saddened by the reality that I think my fears can't be ignored. And, while I don't fear M*... I have to put up the cautionary boundaries to ensure all of the kids are always safe. So, I think M* is going to need his own room. And, I think we are sticking with the rule that he has to play where we can see him (recently we were allowing him and the big boys in the playroom together... I thought as long as Belle wasn't there they were okay). And, I think regardless of if I think he is okay... I don't think I can leave him (unless he is alone) with any other kids unless it is with my mom.

Crappy day :(

1 comment:

MRK said...

Sigh. Crappy Day. Sorry. I do this, too, and I think we HAVE to - rework what happened after the fact to think of how we could have done and differently (but without beating yourself up for the way you did it - FORGIVE yourself. There were many valid reasons you didn't think it would be a problem, even if in hindsight you can see that you could have done things differently). I did this, too, last night...thought through all the things I'd done that had caused an hour long downward emotional spiral with one of our kids. I blew it in a little way, and I am forgiving mhyself for it, but I am thinking of how to change the limits and boundaries going forward. That is what you are doing, and you are right.

I learned from you to ignore the dishes while several of the kids kids are all awake together in the house. Because of you, we now leave the dinner dishes until all the kids are asleep. This is not only because it gives us more quality playtime with the kids but also because it ensures that we are there with the kids, keeping everyone safe and regulated. So maybe that is a rule for the sitter, too ? Tell her next time not to touch the dishes (except to put perishables away) and to be WITH the kids, especially wherever Sweet M* is, at all times? The idea of leaving him only with your parents might work, too, of course...

I kicked myself this morning for what I did at the bus stop because I should have learned before. The bus stops in front of the house next door to us. I can see it clearly from my front door. It is so close. My 3 kids are the only 3 kids who get on there. I used to always wait at the bus stop with them, but they're a little older this year, and I have often been sitting outside on our front stoop with our youngest, watching them at the bus stop. I do it because it's easier for me - I have to admit that. This way, the little one and I don't need shoes, we don't get our shoes covered in wet grass that sticks to us, I don't have to wrestle the little one back from being hyper as the bus arrives or keep him from trying to climb on with his siblings. But more than once recently, my other 3 kids have gotten into significant teasing incidents with each other or have had one hurt another in the 4 minutes that they are out there with me watching but not with them. It happened again this morning. At first, I was exasperated wtih them. As the bus arrived, I had to call them back over and made two of them stay with me for a talk and then a ride to school. It changed my plans for the morning. The kids left on something of a sour note which I didn't want. Exasperated. And then I became exasperated with me instead of with them. Given all that we've been working on lately, I should have realized that I can't leave those 3 out there alone. They need me with them to keep them regulated. They are not able yet to do it consistently themselves. I forgave myself and promised to change that one little thing. I will be waiting with them at the bus every day now for a while (or driving them or walking them).

There are so MANY little things like this. You can't be expected to predict them all in advance. We discover them when we miss them the first time, and then we just need to change OUR ways, because it's only us who can do this for our kids. The fact that you are processing this and thinking through what different CONSISTENT limit or boundary you will put into effect to help all of your kids just shows that you are continuing to do just what you need to do.