Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good with My Bad

I am completely worn out. I have been going nonstop since Aiden started school. It doesn't help that last week we had at least one commitment every day. School, audiology, therapy, ECI, school. Nonstop.every.day.of.the.week.

This trip to Aiden's school twice a week is hard. We leave before 7am every morning and are still late ... and class doesn't start until 8:30/8:45! The traffic is absolutely insane. The ride home is fine, it's getting there that's the problem and I'm starting to wonder if I really made the right decision to start him at such an early age.

I have to get Aiden up out of bed by 6:15am and throw him in the car for our two hour trek into D.C. I promise you, the other day it took me 25 minutes to travel from exit 28A to exit 28B. No joke. I truly don't mind the drive, but what I hate is the fact that during this time, Aiden's CIs become breakfast so he has no sound for the whole trip. Top that off with dropoff crying fits (ok, they don't last long, but it still breaks my heart) and I feel like a terrible mother.

I can't help but think:

- I started him too early.
- I'm losing good hearing/language opportunities during our travel time.
- He's crying when I drop him off, and
- Completely worn out when I pick him up.
- He's completely off schedule right now.
- How is he going to stay an extra hour once a week for private one on one therapy?
- Then he has AVT the one day in between his school days ... when does my baby get a break?
- He's reverted back to wanting the bottle even more, and I give in. It's the guilt.

These are all things that have been going through my mind nonstop and it makes me want to take my baby and stop it all.

Then I remember:

- This is such an amazing opportunity - he's getting three and half hours of therapy in a language enriched environment.
- He's playing, having fun, learning, learning, learning ...
- ... all at a prime learning to listen stage in his life.
- This is one of the best oral school's for deaf that works hand in hand with his CI center/team.
- He's in a classroom with 6 hearing peers and one other CI peer.
- He gets excited when he see pictures of his teachers and classmates.
- I am truly enjoying the downtime with Ben's mom and getting to talk with other CI moms who just get it.

The time to enrich his mind is now.
- He's starting to say the animal sound when he sees a specific animal.
- He plays with the caterpillar and makes it eat the fruits as he makes the munching noise each time.
- He's starting to imitate more
- He's becoming more observant and vocal
- His teachers are documenting his day and in the last three visits alone, have picked up on things I haven't, such as:
  • Aiden says bah (ball)!
  • When they ring the bell for circle time or clean up time, he not only hears it, but follows his classmates and participates in whatever they should be doing
  • Sought out the teacher when his CI fell off! HELLO! He's NEVER done this at home ... until today, he SAID to me "on, on, on" and when I turned around, noticed his CI was off!
  • Requested "uh, uh, uh" (up, up, up) when he wanted to wash his hands
  • Is using the classroom climber unassisted ... remember, he's the only one in his class who is not walking, he's going to want to keep up sooner or later!

The hard work is now. The pay off is slow ... but it's definitely showing it's presence.

He is adjusting ... it's harder on me than it is on him ... emotionally and physically. Really.

When Aiden was born, I wasn't ready to hear he was deaf. I tried to ignore it. Not believe it, that there was something that would just "fix" it and he'd be fine.

But there wasn't a cure. So we grieved and forged forward.

Now Aiden's a full fledged toddler with cochlear implants. I'm not ready for this hectic schedule and feel guilty for how busy we are. But I can't ignore it. He's in a prime learning stage. I wish everyday that there was an easy fix for him. I wish everyday things were easier for him. I wish everyday he didn't have to work so hard to learn to listen and speak.

But he does. So we forge forward.

I wish I was as strong as he is.
He truly is one amazing little boy.


Landry said...

You ARE as strong as he is. Hang in there-you're both doing a fantastic job.

leah said...

Hang in there! It really will get easier- he'll adjust to the schedule and those drop offs will become MUCH easier over the next few weeks. I wish there was a magic wand to wave over the traffic, but it WILL get better. At 25 months, Nolan is leaving his aids on. All. The. Time. Even (gasp) in the car (though for short trips only). I honestly thought this day would never come, lol!

Christian and Lily's Mommy said...

Tammy, I promise it gets better. Our first couple months last year were brutal. The traffic, the schedule, the lack of schedule, and oh, how he was SO tired. Then, they figure it out, and get into a routine. I promise.

You've seen how cranky Christian is when I pick him up...we're going through a bit of a transition too these days....and you are right. It is SO worth it!

Lucas'Mommy said...

I hope life settles down a bit for you soon, friend. It sounds like Aiden is really thriving at River though, and that list is so wonderful! Thinking of you.............

Naomi said...

Sounds like you are doing a FAB job. On the car thing, I haven't tried it, but have been told that if you put floaties on your child's arms (you know, the little blowup things for the pool) then they can't reach their CIs and therefore can't pull them off.

Ben's Mom said...

Tammy, I am feeling all of the same emotions. This is hard right now, but I know it is going to get better. The boys did great today! You are a wonderful mom and your love for Aiden is why he is doing so well. These next few months are going to be huge with his progress and learning. It has already started!! I'm enjoying our talks over coffee, too. See you next week!

Jenny- Sienna's mom said...

Hang in there... sounds like Aiden has everything going for him, including a terrific mom!

Karen Putz said...

Ah, the lovely Mommy Guilt rears again! No escaping it unless you realize that you're doing the best you can with the resources you've got right now and remind yourself, "This too, will pass." Aiden will get older and it will be a bit easier to manage it all. (Until he becomes a teen, but that's a whole other ball game, LOL)
You might want to experiment with wearing the CIs in the car when you have a short trip and an extra pair of hands with you. If he keeps them on during the short trips, you can try it with one at first and then both during your morning and afternoon trips.
Of course, don't worry too much about not having them on during the trip either--it's good to have some down time, especially since he's in intense therapy throughout the day.
Remember to have some fun each day and let your little one be a little one. :)