Relax!

by statia on February 6, 2009

It’s a word that still haunts me.

Back in the days of fertility treatments, it was the bane of my existence.   As any infertile can attest, just hearing the words come out of some “well meaning” stranger’s (or close relative) mouth is enough to cause your sphincter to creep up into the nethers of your spinal cord somewhere.

I should have known that once you have a kid, that exact word, is sure to illicit pretty much the same effect.

While I consider myself a pretty private person, I was open with my fertility on here, and again with the Mini’s issues.  If only for two reasons:  documentation and to help someone else who may be going through the same thing.

I’ve gotten a lot of shit from people regarding all of the things we’re doing with and for the Mini.  And really, I don’t think we’re doing so much that it’s having a negative effect.  But, I find that the comments of “relax! he’s just a baby.”  or “He’s perfectly FINE” is actually worse to hear than hearing “just relax” during the days of trying to get pregnant.  For one thing, these people don’t live in my shoes.  They don’t deal with him on a regular basis.  Sure, to you, he may very well seem “normal.”  But you stick him in a room full of mainstream kids and there’s just something not quite right.  I’m not saying he’s a social outcast, or that he’s so far behind his peers that he’s going to be ostracized when he’s older, but he’s got some minor issues.  That’s just the way it is.  It’s not the end of the world.   But why just let it go, or worse yet, why take a wait and see approach when I can deal with it now, while he’s still in the prime learning stage, and when he won’t remember?  Why would I wait until it’s a holy mother fucker of a problem and he’s having a hard time connecting with peers because he’s got a hard time communicating with them?   Kids are assholes.  Learning to make friends early on, pretty much shapes your whole way of making friends in the future.  Why should I wait so that it makes it harder for him?   I get that kids change a lot in the first couple of years.  Especially the 2nd and 3rd year.  But the problems we face are those that are likely to manifest itself into a bigger problem later.

He’s young, yes.  But he’s hanging onto his Echolalia much longer than he should, and his pragmatic language is painfully slow to develop.   It’s very frustrating to deal with all day (Me:  What do you want to drink?  Him: Want to drink?  Me: Yes, what do you want to drink?  Him: Want to drink?  and on and on and on until infinity or I jab a butter knife in my jugular, whichever comes first), especially when you’ve been dealing with it for months.

He’s an insanely smart kid.  He’ll be fine.  This will pass at some point, but fuck those well meaning strangers who tell me to relax and just wait and see what happens.  Relaxing is not an option.

{ 11 comments }

Peeveme February 6, 2009 at 5:35 pm

They have no idea what they are talking about. Early intervention is the way to go. Something small can turn into something bigger if not dealt with early on. Sure it may resolve itself if you do nothing but I would not be willing to take that risk. If somebody else wants to play the wait and see game with their child be my guest.

donna February 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Yep, you and the Meester are the only ones who live with him and you know. And every professional will tell you that early intervention when possible is best.

Besides it’s not like you are cutting off his arm and waiting to see if that helps. Sounds like the things you are doing can’t hurt him at all and most likely are helping him. So screw ‘em.

Kathy February 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm

The bottom line is, YOU are his mother. You know him better than anyone. I know you’re neurotic *ducks* but what you’re doing for him is what a mother SHOULD do if there is even the smallest doubt. Besides, it’s not as if you are letting him smoke pot and drink tequila…

Mmm tequila…

Dotty February 6, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Jab the butterknife up their assholes and tell them to shut up! He is your kid and early intervention is the way to go. You know what’s up and what doesn’t feel right. Damn, people can be so annoying with their well-meaning advice. Just shut your holes, people!

Flicka February 6, 2009 at 9:29 pm

But ahve you tried vacationing in Jamaica? I hear that works.

In all seriousness, I’m with you 100% on this. All the more so because I used to be one of those assholes who used to know what to do with everyone else’s kid. Then I got one of my own and he’s challenging in so many ways I never dreamed. I have been humbled and humbled and humbled, let me tell you. The humility police waterboarded me and I deserved it. So tell the advice-givers to mmphmm off. You know what’s best for the Mini. That’s why YOU are his mom and no one else.

Tonya February 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Sing on, sister! You know my story and know I’m behind you 100%. All the early interventions we’ve done with my daughter have paid off in spades.

Does it mean it isn’t still challenging sometimes (and some weeks, a LOT of times)? Nope, but it’s better… SO much better than it would have been if I’d gone with my initial head-in-the-sand reaction. You know your kid best, and everyone else can take a flying leap.

They’re really just saying those things to make themselves feel better. Plus, it’s much easier to judge or boss others than to truly try to understand or empathize.

ML February 7, 2009 at 12:56 am

We’ve had some difficulties with our younger one. I explain it as her autism-spectrum-thing as she tests “normal” but has issues. I live with her. I know. She’ll be fine. I know.

You’re doing great. It’s difficult and tricky and draining and fine (sometimes). I don’t know why they say the things they do – most likely because they don’t know what to say and want to alleviate your concern by assuring you they see no problem.

I did the infertility thing, too. Just wanted to tell you that you’re not alone. I admire your effort and eloquence in doing what is right for your child. Collectively, let’s plug our ears and la-la-la until they shut up.

Betty M February 7, 2009 at 12:25 pm

It is very frustrating to be told to relax in pretty much any situation and even more so when the statement comes from people in a position of ignorance of what you are going through. Yes lots of kids grow out of stuff that could be warning signs of difficulties ahead so maybe waiting would be fine but if you have a nagging sense that waiting is not for you and Mini then intervention is the only way to go. A valid debate can be had about what kind of interventions are good/ work but the choice to start interventions is yours alone.

Suzanne February 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Ugh, when exactly is “relax” ever good advice?? I’m a “sooner rather than later” kind of gal, with fertility and kids. It’s one thing to worry about something you cannot change but if there’s something within your control that could help or solve a problem – why would you sit back and wait for it to resolve itself? That’s just stupid.

I have a friend whose son is having some developmental issues and I think my responsibility is to be a good friend; listen to her, be concerned about his well being, and not offer advice.

Tracy February 7, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I have to be honest…pretty much anybody giving me parenting advice that hasn’t gone through what we go through REALLY cheezes me off. #1 offender is my MIL. OMG. She has nothing to do with the kids 99% of the time, but sure enough that 1% of the time she calls or comes to visit, she can tell us how we’re doing everything wrong! Uh.huh. Never mind that she admits she was a horrendous parent.

The drink was just an example, but if you rephrase what you ask, to say “Hey, do you want juice or milk?”, does he tell you juice or milk then? Or does he just repeat “juice or milk”? I just ask, because I know when my daughter was that age, she didn’t care half the time what we gave her.

geeky February 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I’ve found the quickest way to get punched in the face is to tell someone who is already aggravated or anxious (in any context) to “just relax”.

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