Time for a post to round out Down syndrome awareness month. Not that I've done any other posts this month. This is not unicorns and rainbows.
Lauren is riding the struggle bus lately with behavior. Part of it is because I baby her and she acts a totally different way with me than she does for other people. And I've spoiled her rotten and she wants to be held 24/7. My back hurts a lot due to the lifting. She's learned to jump as I'm picking her up so that's really helpful! It's also super cute so that's an added benefit.
She had a meltdown at Toys R Us this weekend of epic proportions because I dared to make her stop sitting on a ride on toy. I ended up practically dragging her to the car to get her adaptive stroller to contain her. My Ryan was so super helpful during this time, asking if he could unlock the car for me, carried the keys, etc. Yesterday at a birthday party she got upset and hit me because I was trying to move her from one place to another. This is tough for me because Ryan never did this. He was always a fairly easy kid to reason with. I've tried, it does not work with Lauren. When she is fighting me and trying to run away from me, I can't physically manage her anymore when she's literally kicking and screaming. As soon as I put her down, she's fine. But she's also running away from me. Thank God my dad was with us at the birthday party! And my sister helped me keep an eye on both kids, on top of watching her own two kids.
At one point he did sigh and quietly say, "Mom, it's really hard sometimes having a sister with Down syndrome.". It made me so sad! I just gave him a hug and said, "I know buddy. You are the best brother for her!" I was so glad he was able to verbalize his feelings. I'm sure it IS hard for him sometimes. And he almost never complains.
I'm not sure if it's just that she's a fournado or a developmental phase. But lately, This. Is. Hard. I feel like I'm failing her more often than not. I feel like motherhood is not something I'm good at anymore because I don't know how to parent her in public when she's misbehaving. At home I can put her in a time out, take things away, speak more firmly. In public she doesn't have a bedroom for time outs. I feel like I can't yell at her or people will think I'm abusing my disabled child.
I feel like I'm failing Ryan because he almost never comes first and that's not fair. I did sign him up for soccer on Saturday mornings and he loved it. Just he and I went and we got a Slurpee afterward.
My mom and I talked about this recently after another behavior struggle at a family party. I said it makes me upset when she misbehaves like that in public because I don't want anyone to think my life is hard. She said, "But sometimes it is. It's okay for people to see real life.". The hard part is that I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me or for us. I would choose her again and again and again.
Sigh. I'm thankful for my stash of Halloween candy and good wine.