Monday, August 2, 2010

Mother Fail...

You go into this thinking you'll be a natural.
"They" warn you it may not be that simple.

I swear- Sometimes I think I really suck at this. Sometimes I miss the basic/easy stuff. After six months we've covered a lot of bases. Staying home with him for all this time, has given me every opportunity to be in tuned to his needs- especially when he doesn't quite have the verbal skills to express them. And yet- when I'm trying so hard to fulfill his needs on "this" and "that"- well- "The other thing" I totally miss. And feel like a novice.

He's a sensory seeker. Especially at night. I try to be there for him- while not contributing to inputting more sensory stuff. Fight him and it feeds on it. Get frustrated and it revs him up. Raise my voice- add an hour till eyes closed.

At the same time- it borders on ignoring him. And well... that is just too close to neglect... it is a very very delicate balance. One in which I try very hard to hold and at the same time- give him room to learn to self soothe (hoping for the day he can go to sleep on his own). 

Tonight was a big fight night. He was over tired. Fighting fighting fighting. Oh, the things he'll do to keep his eyes open!! At a certain point-  I turned my back on him, laying on my side. His foot firmly in my back as he keeps constant contact.

He moved closer. Closer. Closer. He sat up. He giggled. I didn't give him anything to feed on. I stayed put. "He needs this." I told myself.  "He's overtired. He needs sleep. We've done eye contact. We've talked Ethiopia. Just lay here. He'll settle"

Next thing I know- He's pulling at my PJ bottoms and attempting to lift my PJ top. (again, I'm back to, to him) I lay there. Still. Not going to give him anything. This is new.

"Just stay put.  Let him tire. He needs to sleep. Don't give him any sensory stuff back. He's trying to get you going. Don't do it." I remind myself.

Soon- he's in my pants. Literally. Putting a leg inside my pant leg and he's attempting to tuck his head and upper body inside my pj's.

All I can think is- "He's literally trying to climb inside my freaking skin! Are you kidding me! He's doing his best to piss me off"

And then... it hits me...

"They" told me. "They" said it time and time again. Skin to skin contact.

Of course- I'd been conscious of it early on. Months ago. But- here I am thinking I'm an old pro at this. Thinking all bases were covered. Thinking those basic needs have been met and moved on. Thinking I could tell what he needed and would automatically respond to them.

And here I was, ignoring him. Ignoring his needs. Fighting against them- oblivious of what he was asking for.

A natural -my ass.

I've still got a lot of work ahead of me.


Jillian and Crew said...

I am terribly behind at reading your blog and a few others I like to check in you know things get crazy. I am so sorry I haven't done better.

Some kids need a sleeping bag to sleep in on their bed, or a canopy to close over the top...people get real deep and say it takes them back to the womb blah blah and maybe that is true, but for my sensory seeker, it calms him. He is "safe" because he knows what is touching him. Bed against the wall, in the corner facing the door(so he can check it as needed), covers TIGHTLY tucked as if to hold him from movement and he finally sleeps. He came to us sleeping with his eyes most nights they are closed. (He does also have a night sleep medicine he has been on that had decreased his daytime violence because he can FINALLY get into REM sleep) Hang in there...You don't fail, you step forward with more knowledge and an open heart.

PS If you saw the post on "blue magic" this is a GREAT way for them to calm down before going to bed, but I don't think it would be safe to actually sleep in. A weighted blanket might also help.

Ladybugs appear said...

you have not failed at anything. you recognized his needs and will adapt. baths work well for us but I'm in a phase of needing more touch with her. it's a push/pull for us and I'm constantly trying to keep track. You're doing great. promise.

kristine said...

I have a sensory seeker. It's insanely hard sometimes. You figured this new thing out. Good for you. Really and truly great for you. It's hard and you're figuring out. I think that is a big success.

Gretchen said...

No you can't be failing because then I am failing too! ;) I am a mother of 4, who is truly exhausted. Yesterday it was so bad here, (my kids even locked me out of the house) I called my husband and made him come home from work so I could escape. There are days, I would LOVE someone take my kids, but then when Yohanna prefers my step-mom over me, I am COMPLETELY jealous, thinking truly suck at this mom stuff...:(

{Staci} said...

skin to skin. i have not been good at this with jesse. you're right. they say this but it's hard to remember they need it. at least Teg was trying to tell you. Jesse pulls away a lot, so I have the opposite problem right now.

whew, this stuff isn't easy, but i think you're freaking awesome. i learn from you every day. well, every time you post... ;)

Liz said...

Girl, we are totally in sync...Elfe had made so much progress on sleeping, mostly because I stopped trying to put an end to co-sleeping before she was ready, but in the last few weeks she has really regressed and I've been at my wits end. I've had the same thoughts too, that after a certain point I should just stop responding to her so she'll quiet down and go to sleep, with about the same results that you've had. It's such a two-steps-back-one-step-forward process that we're going through here...

hazel said...

I haven't commented in ages but just need to say I don't think you failed at all. You recognized what he needed. Nobody is a mind reader or a pro at this motherhood thing. There are so many things he could have needed/wanted at that time. You figured it out. Cut yourself some slack. I think you are doing an amazing job.