In the name of transparency, I'll just say it. This special needs parenting gig is HARD some days. Recently, most days. Lauren's behavior is really ruling the house and we don't go in public unless the planets align (and we have at least 2 adults present). She is so impulsive. This week she randomly dumped out a full can of diet coke I was drinking. And smacked a hot dog off the table (sorry Timmy 😂). It honestly didn't even look like willful behavior, it was like she just couldn't control herself.
Tonight was willful. She threw a full cup of water on the kitchen floor because it wasn't Sprite. She then completely redeemed herself by insisting that we do the Hokey Pokey together before bedtime.
Ryan has been SO amazing with her lately. He really seems to be getting that she just can't help it sometimes. It doesn't make her behavior acceptable, but it's extremely sweet to see him give his sister some leeway when she needs it. Their personalities are perfectly matched as siblings. She has no concept of personal space and he's fairly aloof. He helps teach her boundaries and she helps to bring him into our world sometimes! He is the best brother in the world. And she's the perfect sister for him.
I recently saw somewhere recently that Down syndrome isn't really a "special need" because every person needs respect, dignity, etc. I understand this concept and it's principles are true. But there's no denying that life is harder for us because of Lauren's behavior. She's different. She has special needs. But you know what? That's okay. It it doesn't make her less valuable as a person. I'm finding that it's okay to admit that I'm struggling and to admit that I need help sometimes.
Navigating the journey of parenting a child with special needs is winding, bumpy, and really freaking hard. It's really not a journey I would've chosen for myself. But it's always worth it. Without Lauren I would have missed so many hugs, so many kisses, and so much character building (that's how I'm now referring to frustration 😂). She has completed our family in the best possible way and I can't even begin to imagine my life without her.
On the days it feels like she's forever in the "terrible two's" I have to remember that this too shall pass and take each day as the gift that it is.