The boy keeps me on my toes all.day.long. Being a sensory seeker and not being able to stay still for more than 10 minutes (unless it's for an episode of Elmo, with a binky, and a sippy cup of milk OR he's strapped into his high chair), there is much trouble to get into. Aiden's not a child to sit and play with his toys for too long, that is, unless I'm sitting right next to him entertaining (which I attribute to the COUNTLESS hours of at home play therapy). He'd rather climb to his sister's top bunk and take all the deco off her walls; or head upstairs to get into his brother's xBox gear; or into the bathrooms to stuff toilet paper in all the toilets and watch the toilet flush, then of course, wash his hands. All this, with spurts of a here and there tantrum, makes for a very long day for mom.
Other examples of our day include:
Bedtime. UGH. We start his nightly routine (bath, book, prayers, take off CIs, bed) around 7:30 and he's not sleeping until nearly 10, sometimes later. Aiden's now in a big boy bed. I would've kept him in a crib well over the age of three, but my little Houdini was a master of escape and I was terrified he'd break a bone sooner or later. He likes his bed, but getting him to go to sleep has not been easy. He stands at his gate and screams. I've gone in, put his ears back on, talked to him about how it's "night-night" time yada, yada, but I gotta say, this is wearing. CIs off, CIs on, CIs off, CIs on. It's not easy and so now I just leave them off, sign to him it's time to go to sleep, and let him alone (or one of us climbs in bed with him until he falls asleep - I know, not good). We added the gate to keep him in since he was getting up in the middle of the night to head downstairs for some late night tv and Nilla Wafers. Seriously.
Naptime is no more. Well, I do still stick him in his room for one, BUT 1) he either cries until I let him out or 2), he'll tear it up. Very seldom does naptime = sleep a.k.a. a break for mom. The other day I went to "check on him" and he had moved the rocking chair to his dresser, got the wipes out of his top drawer and pulled out eachandeveryone, (and ya, it was a new pack). This was after he decided to "clean out his closet". Good thing I caught him before he emptied the drawers.
Bathtime. It used to be easy, LOVED bathtime! He'd let me wash his hair without a problem, would play forever, it was simple. Fun. Now however ... water + a toddler who cannot hear = disaster. That's all I'm going to say. (besides I need to learn a few new signs ... NO and STOP are not working in this situation).
The cats ... oh the poor cats. Thank God one of them is patient and the other one can run fast.
Grocery Shopping. Reserved for my husband or for me on my husband's days off. I continuously torture myself to "try again", thinking it will be different this time, only to fight a screaming toddler to sit in the cart, strap him down, and then start all over because somehow, someway he always gets out (see above comment about "Houdini"). Honestly, I have had people ask me if I needed help.
Restaurants aren't any better. He's at the age where home or a park is the best (and safest) environment.
I'm working on him understanding that sitting in the "time out" chair is not a fun thing to do. He laughs when I put him there and tries to give me countless hugs as I try to talk to him about what he did to get there.
I'm working on trying to use other words besides "no" and "stop" (which he completely understands), and use these times as "learning to listen" opportunities.
I'm working on my patience ... or should I say, Aiden is working my patience.
I often remind myself he's a sensory seeker, most likely due to his vestibular/balance issues. It's easier for him to be constantly on the go than to sit still, feel off balance and become dizzy. I know he gets just as frustrated with communication as we do. At 2 1/2 with my hearing kids, they understood and could speak back. They could tell me if they "got it" or not. Aiden's been hearing bilaterally for just about 13 months and understanding what I'm saying or communicating back is not near as easy. I won't let his hearing loss or sensory issues be an "excuse", but most definitely know they're a huge factor.
and even though I say all this, I do have to say, Aiden is truly a happy go lucky kid with a smile that melts hearts, has hugs for everyone, is in constant exploration, and is all around, a very good boy. He has an amazing personality, one that will take him far in life.
and for all this, I am thankful.
Patience ... oh, and watching my little man hear and speak ... yep, that's truly all it takes (well, and a glass of wine doesn't hurt) to get through these "terrible, yet TRULY TERRIFIC", days.