Miss W -->

   Tuesday, January 22, 2008  

Feeling like a heel

This morning a friend was IM'ing me wanting to get our kids together to play.  Her son is one day older than the lowercase.  But I sort of ignored her plea to get together today.  (In my defense, I did offer to take them to the children's museum tomorrow morning)

And there is a reason for it.  A reason that I'm rather ashamed of.  Her son is...off.  I thought it when they were babies.  There was just something about him, but of course all his mother saw was her baby -- the child who she loved more than anything and who was, to her, nothing short of perfection.  Pretty much the way we all view our babies.  But I wasn't the only one who noticed it.  Mr. W asked if this boy was alright...my parents thought something was off...another NICU mom friend met them and asked if he was ok...her mother asked.  It was pretty obvious, yet nobody could really figure it out.  We all just said it was something about his eyes and the way that he reacted to other people, to sounds, etc.  I was always concerned that he didn't care who was holding him...that in his mother's arms in a room full of strangers he would reach out to complete strangers.  (It wasn't that accidental reaching out to a stranger and then realizing it isn't someone you know, either)

When they turned 2 in the fall, her son still wasn't talking.  She kept saying that it was normal for some kids not to talk until they were three and that she wasn't worried.  And every time she brought that up, I told her that it doesn't have to mean something bad but that it is NOT normal.  I offered her the number for our county's early intervention office every time.  And then one day she took it.  And called. 

Her son has had a speech and special ed evaluation and they have determined that he is in need of both services.  However, they didn't do a full-scale evaluation at that time -- some case workers have changed and she's still waiting for the OT and PT evals.  They stopped short of labeling him autistic; he is, in their opinion, definitely on the spectrum.  They are on a waiting list to see a doctor for an official diagnosis.

And so I tend to avoid them somewhat.  Not because I'm afraid of being around them or of saying the wrong thing.  My lowercase is very verbally advanced.  He gets frustrated with my friend's son because he can't answer his questions.  Her son also has different sensitivities to touch (most markedly, he doesn't process pain correctly) and so his play is much different than the lowercase.  Her friend is sort of the proverbial bull in the china shop.  He just rolls right over everything in his path.  And that disturbs the lowercase.  He tells me he doesn't like that boy after they leave our house.  He doesn't like to have him play with his toys. 

And I just don't know what to say and how to handle that part...how do I explain to a two year old who is still discovering his own environment, what he can do on his own and how he can influence the world around him that he needs to be sensitive to another child?  And how do I deal with the fact that her child is more than 10 pounds heavier than my little boy...that his version of hugging looks (and feels) like strangulation?  And that the rest of his play is just as rough? Lately it's been that her son does whatever he wants and my child has to just suck it up and be the one to be upset.  (Her son's issues are such that he is, as yet, unable to follow verbal commands.)

I know on some level I should talk to her about it, but I don't know what to say.  She's a bit of a flake, and always has been.  Generally, our friends (and even her husband has admitted to feeling this way) view her as a small doses person.  So I'm sure that has something to do with it.  She's not someone that I feel I could easily have a discussion with about this -- at least not to any real resolution.

And of course she told me today that I'm one of the only people she can really vent to about her son's issues.  Her husband refuses to believe that there is anything wrong at all.  Others tell her he's just too strong-willed and that she should have stronger discipline tactics with him.  And I do get that when your child veers from the norm, others see fit to tell you that you are doing something wrong.  I felt that keenly with a lot of things that I did in the first year of life with a preemie.  (I was told that I was overly neurotic for asking people to wash hands before touching him, for not going out in public, that I was being too caught up in his feedings and worrying too much despite his tiny stature)  So I understand that side of it.  And I want to be there for her.  I just don't know how to do it for all of the reasons that I've mentioned.

What would you do?

   [ posted  @ 6:05 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (3) ]
   [ E-mail this Post ]

  Comments about my post, "Feeling like a heel":
Wow - that is tricky. But my gut says that it would be good for all of you if you could find a way to spend some time with them. The lowercase will learn tolerance and to be friends with all kinds of people, the mom won't feel so isolated, you won't have to feel like a heel, and your friend's son, of course, may benefit the most. I wonder if you all FOUR played together, with both moms actively involved you might be able to tone down some of the physicality and other issues you mentioned. Also perhaps if you meet in places like children's museums, open gyms (if you have them), playgrounds when it's nicer, there would be a lot of opportunities for gross motor stuff and parallel play which might help, too?

I totally get wanting to protect the lowercase, but that mom and her son need you guys so much! And it's much easier to TYPE all of this than to DO it, I know. But I hope that's what I'd do.
Um, what Jen said, yes.

I'd extrapolate more but really, I think she summed it up completely.

Of course, I say this but don't know how easy it would be do actually go through with it. Very hard is my guess.

Good luck with your decision, and the playdate, if you opt to go that route.
I hope you do get to spend time with them, and here's why.

My Max was that same way, about 8 months ago. Everywhere we'd go, he seemingly acted out. We'd get stares and rumblings under breath and sympathetic, yet annoyed, glances in our direction. But, it wasn't because he's a bad kid, he just needed some help.

We did much the same, had our local Birth to Three agency come in and evaluate Max, through which they discovered a speech production deficiency, and other minor developmental issues. He's been working with a speech therapist bi-weekly for almost 7 months now, and he's a different kid.

Now, he's calm. And happy!! And processes almost all things well and healthily. Jen hit the nail on the head...just try and spend sometime together. Keep an open line of communication with the Mom, keep your eyes open for anything that might put the lowercase in a situation he's not comfortable with, but most of all, if you can, just be patient. Likely, if he gets the help he needs, he'll be a success story just like Max.

Good luck, sweetie. I hope all is well with you!!!

August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
February 2010
May 2010
June 2010
March 2011
April 2011
August 2011

A Little Pregnant
Barren Mare
Broken or Not
Chez Miscarriage
Fractured Fairytale
Here Be Hippogriffs
Horkin Ramblings
Never Ever Late
One Pink Line
The RE's Muse
Scrambled Eggs
So Close
Uncommon Misconception
The Unproductive Reproductive
Wasted Birth Control

[=Powered By=]

[=Designed By=]

Customized by Miss W
Scripts / Code by "Mr. W"

Send Miss W. E-Mail!