I should drink more.

by statia on June 20, 2008

When I was a kid, I had this recurring dream. It wasn’t so much disturbing in the sense that it was a nightmare, but kind of disturbing in the sense that a labyrinth would be disturbing. Unless of course you find labyrinths fascinating, in which case, carry on, then.

The dream started with me, as a kid, sitting in my old driveway on Long Island, in the drivers seat. I can’t see over the steering wheel, but I slowly back out of the driveway and into the busy street, where I proceed to drive down the road. I look up and see that it’s winter, as the trees are bare. I find it odd that I’m 7-8 years old and I can drive, and that I don’t crash, even thought I can’t see the road.

I can’t ever turn around and get back home. And it disturbed me, because all I wanted to do was go back home. Whatever the meaning of this dream is, I can’t say. I was young, so my guess is that it was a fear of something.

This week, I cannot seem to get back home.

Since the Mini’s 15 month appointment, the one where I tried not to worry so much about looming words like developmental delay and Autism, I can honestly say I failed spectacularly in that not worrying part. It’s my job to worry about him. I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of weeks watching his behaviors like a hawk. And also feeling like I’m a complete failure at parenthood, because I know that I’m not doing enough for him. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m not entirely sure how. We sing songs, we dance, we go to Gymboree or other classes at least 3 times a week. We hit up the pool, or the park at least once a week. And I’m sure that many parents are flipping me off because they don’t do nearly that much with their kid. Yet, I base my level of suckitude on whether or not my kid can point to something or scribble on a piece of paper.

My quality of life these days has gone completely down the toilet, I can tell you that.

My brain operates like that of a spastic retarded monkey. It’s not organized. I’m a space cadet. I get sidetracked very easily. I forget things. It’s a wonder that they actually allowed me to go home with a baby, and it’s a wonder that I haven’t a) lost him, and b)done something stupid that has put him in danger. I’m amazed that I remember to put the scissors away in a locked drawer so that he doesn’t get at them.

I know that no parent is perfect. And I know we all have our worries, doubts and fears. I’m sure most parents feel successful if they’ve all made it to the end of the day unscathed. But I beat myself up to the point where it’s crippling. Maybe this is a good thing to an extent, because it shows exactly how much I just want what’s best for him. I want him to know how much he’s loved and how much pressure I put on myself to make sure that he knows that. I don’t to be a perfect parent. By any stretch. I don’t want the perfect kid who can count to 100 by the age of one. I just want him to realize in 30 years, that we just did the best we could.

On top of all of this mess, I have to have surgery next month. I’m not going to go into details on why or for what. It’s personal, I don’t feel like talking about it. It’s nothing serious, I’ll be find, yadda yadda. I just didn’t need this right now.

{ 24 comments }

Merrin June 20, 2008 at 6:38 pm

{{{hugs}}}

Jonathan June 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Hey, let’s not pick on spastic retarded monkeys.

Just based on what I know, you’re knocking it out of the park as a parent. I suspect he’s just as fortunate to have you and the meester as parents as you guys are to have him as a son.

huy June 20, 2008 at 7:13 pm

It seems to me that you got it all figured out. The worry doesn’t ever stop. I bet even if we all had genius children that showed every milestone perfectly, we’d find something to worry about. Like, why are they so boring?

Oh, and labyrinth’s wouldn’t be so scary, but they have David Bowie in them.

donna June 20, 2008 at 8:21 pm

I know. There always seems to be something we aren’t doing or that we could be doing better or more of or less of. I felt like the worst parent ever when my daughter said fuck.

Surgery sucks but hopefully you’ll get the good drugs.

suzie June 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm

I feel like there is the perfect thing to say here, and I don’t know it (and am of course beating myself up about it, because I have my own Crazy living in my head) Instead I’ll say, the Mini is a happy, healthy and way cute kid. You are a great mom. I really believe our kids are going to be the kids they were born to be, but in your case his natural potential/fate/whatever is so much more because of YOU and your hubby and all the love he gets. That’s pretty awesome, and so are you.

MsPrufrock June 21, 2008 at 1:55 am

We’re all fucked up in one way or another, but you know this. Whereas most women would view going back to work full-time as failing their child, I don’t. I actually would have continued to feel as I did – that I was failing her by staying home. I could never think of enough to do with her, and felt as if there wasn’t enough educational and fun things I could cram into her days.

I’m not telling you not to worry, after all this is what we do. I worry until I get opthalmic migraines, shakes, and panic attacks, so I’m certainly not one to tell you not to worry. I have no solution for my own issues, but I hope you find one for yours.

Good luck with the surgery and recovery!

Fawn June 21, 2008 at 6:55 am

Hi, I lurk but I just wanted to say I think you have this mom thing under control! You’re right, the worrying never ends and when you’ve never worried about someone like that (hoping that most people don’t have to worry about their husband falling down the stairs or poking himself in the eye with a pencil) it can be overwhelming. Kids have super human bullshit detectors..your son’s best interest is your top priority that’s pretty obvious to me..so don’t worry so much..it is and will be obvious to him.

electriclady June 21, 2008 at 7:40 am

From what little I know, you seem like a great mom. We are all just doing the best we can. And I am a firm believer in the fact that, barring terrible abuse/neglect, there is not much that we as parents do that truly ruins our kids. I’m sure the Mini knows he is loved, and will know that 30 years from now. And that’s the most important thing.

Meredith June 21, 2008 at 7:43 am

Don’t be so hard on yourself. (Easier said that done when mothering, I know.) First, chances are good that the Mini is just fine. Finn is well ahead on some milestones, but hasn’t met a few others. He doesn’t have many words at all and isn’t great about pointing to things in books. He point in real life, but rarely when we ask him where something is. That doesn’t trivialize what you are observing. I just mean to say that perfectly health children still can develop at their own little rates that aren’t perfectly on track.

But…of course you’re going to worry. That’s one of the reasons I KNOW you’re a great mother! And I so wish Finn got all of those activities. His number one outing involves staring at the chickens in the back yard.

mel June 21, 2008 at 9:12 am

if there is anything I can do, please let me know. I am worried about you and want you to know that we are here for you, even if you just want to scream and hurl cans of green beans or whatever! *hugs* I’m thinking about you.

ewe_are_here June 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I have no doubt you are a wonderful parent to your Mini; it’s so obvious.

As for developmental milestones like pointing and talking and scribbling, these really have a huuuuge variance of when kids do them at these ages. Fine motor skills are required for holding a pen well, not to mention a decent attention span and desire, and lots of kids don’t have these things at 15 months old. As for speaking, again, I really don’t think most kids have much in the way of words at 15 months, at least not enunciated understadable words, especially boys.

As for finger pointing, I’ll admit that Baby Boo, who is the Mini’s age, is an extreme pointer, points at absolutely everything in exhileration, to the point of driving us nuts sometimes. BUT his big brother never did this (probably because we told him what everything was before he had a chance to ‘ask’), and by ‘never’, I mean he did not point at things at this age. And there’s nothing wrong with him. Kids just develop differently, at their own pace.

You really do sound like an awesome mom. Mini is lucky to have you.

Deltus June 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm

If ever you want to chat for serious, or even for stupid, you know where to find me. I do either fairly well.

Melissa June 21, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I know you don’t care what I think but I am the said parent who is flipping you off because I do not do nearly half of the activities you’ve mentioned with my child. It sounds like you and the meester do as much as possible to make this little guy happy and I am sure you do a GREAT job at it!! I hope you feel better soon!!

Tonya June 21, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Well crap. I’m sorry this extra kink has been thrown into the works, and I hope the surgery goes off without a hitch.

If you have any questions or want to vent to a parent who has had a kid evaluated for Autism Spectrum disorders, please feel free to give me a shout. We’ve been through a psych eval and Occupational Therapy with my girl, and are signing her up for some Social Skills/Social Thinking classes. Not to say you have anything to worry about (15 mos. is very, very early and there are such huge variances, yadda yadda)… but just sharing so you know some of what we’ve been through.

Hang in there, chicka.

jesser June 22, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I proably can’t say anything helpful, but I hate that you’re stressing so bad over this. But it sounds like if effort has anything to do with any of this, your kid will be just fine. You totally put me to shame! In the mean time have a giant margarita.

DD June 23, 2008 at 7:23 am

I’ve been thinking about this post all weekend hoping by the time I came back to it I’d have something insightful to say that would both be intelligent and make you smile.

As you know, I’ve never had anything intelligent to say so I’m not going to risk coming off as more of an asshat than normal; as for the smile, I know that The Mini is helping you with that part even through your concerns, whether for him or for yourself.

Lenni June 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

Kids are pretty resilient – you can’t screw him up too much! I’m just kidding, I can’t imagine the kind of uncertainty and worry I will feel when I’m a parent. Why doesn’t the kid pop out with a user manual – uteruses can totally gestate that too, right? I think you have such a great approach to parenting and I hope I can do as well as you when I’m at that stage.
Sorry to hear about your surgery – I hope everything goes well. If you need a hand, I’m not too far away and babysit/clean/cook like a champ.

aithne June 23, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Being a parent is scary stuff! It never ends even when they are older…I think you are a wonderful mom. A little check and balance thing within our heads as to how we are doing as parents is normal. It is when you don’t question yourself is when it goes wrong.

Let us know what So sad about your surgery. But you will be fine!

Christine June 23, 2008 at 9:41 pm

In my experience, the best parents are the ones who think they’re screwing everything up, or worrying that they’re not doing enough. You are a rockin’ mom. I promise.

geeky June 24, 2008 at 6:51 am

Sorry to hear about the impending surgery! I prescribe lots of booze and painkillers, but you know, not necessarily together, or you might not wake up until sometime in 2011.

motel manager June 24, 2008 at 10:17 am

You seem like a supremely kick-ass mom to me. And it sounds as if you are doing ALL of the right things.

Mamba June 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Hi there…I’ve read your blog for awhile and thought this a perfect time to delurk…
You are doing a great job, please keep your head up! A friend of mine’s son has suffered through development disorders his whole life (he’s now 10), and my friend and her husband are stuck in so much denial they do nothing to help him. This is extremely frustrating to watch and I just wanted to say that the mere fact you are doing as much as you can to ensure his life is filled with nothing but happiness and opportunity is something to commend. So pat yourself on the back, treat yourself to a glass of wine, and smile because you are a very lucky woman. Keep up the good work.

Mamba June 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Hi there…I’ve read your blog for awhile and thought this a perfect time to delurk…
You are doing a great job, please keep your head up! A friend of mine’s son has suffered through development disorders his whole life (he’s now 10), and my friend and her husband are stuck in so much denial they do nothing to help him. This is extremely frustrating to watch and I just wanted to say that the mere fact you are doing as much as you can to ensure his life is filled with nothing but happiness and opportunity is something to commend. So pat yourself on the back, treat yourself to a glass of wine, and smile because you are a very lucky woman. Keep up the good work.

becky June 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm

dude. you have got to quit beating yourself up so much. you’re going to drive yourself to the loony bin.

but i do get it. i worry to the point of distraction. i wonder if i’m giving him enough attention or too much. should i be reading more to him? is it too early to matter? this shit is hard, y0. we all do the best we can.

i think he’ll know he’s loved and that you tried. and some day he’ll appreciate it.

ps) always available for commiseration, dude.

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