Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunshine after the rain

I am posting something today that is a little different, a little bit down.  It's reality though, and I am not so self-involved to think for a second that I am alone when these feelings strike, though we can all feel that way from time to time.  Regardless, read at your own risk. ;)

I am happy to report I am feeling much more sunshine and rainbows about life lately.  I had hit a funk, and thankfully, I have an awesome hubby who, despite his own sleep-deprived challenges these days, helped walk me through that funk and back out the other side.  I just hope I have been able to do the same for him on his less-than-stellar days.  We should all be so lucky, right?!  

I'll share a pic or two to make it worth the visit today. ;)


Bugga and Papa sharing a drink of water. =)  And then sharing a smooch.



Failure.  What a word.

Well, FAILBlog has been giving me some good chuckles lately, my new favorite for oft-innapropriate humor.  (Seriously, warning, some may find the humor in FAILBlog offensive; please refrain from judgment of what tickles my funny bone, thank you!)

And being involved in rescue, the term "foster failure" is one I know well.  Though, in reality, it isn't such a bad thing and I really think a new term needs to be coined for making a foster pet a member of your family permanently.

Back to the point:  failure.  It is term that keeps bouncing around in my head in recent days.  I debated internally for some time about whether or not to post any of this because really, no one likes a negative nellie.  But the fact remains, I've just been feeling like a failure lately.

Bugga is rapidly approaching his second birthday and for some reason, I am gripped with fear over whether or not he is "normal."  Why?  That is a great question.  Somehow, before now, I never really fretted over it.  I was never that uber-competitve Mom, comparing my child to other children, counting all the ways he was "advanced," or pushing him to do this thing or that just so I could say "hey, my baby {sat} or {walked} or {said "watermelon"}.  Not that I haven't thought my child is amazing and wonderful and everything most every parent thinks about their child. ;)  The knowledge that there is GREAT variation in how each individual develops kept worries at bay, and helped me to circumvent the need to play that game, the "my baby is better" game.

So now that he is almost 2, all that worry that I pushed aside and thought I had successfully avoided has suddenly chased me down, tackled me to the ground, and is biting my hind end ferociously.  There's an image, eh?!  

I still don't the know the why of it all.  All I know is that I can't stop wondering if I should be drilling things into my young son's brain--like colors, the alphabet, numbers, world geography, mechanical engineering, and maybe a little abnormal psych thrown in for good measure (okay, that last one I may just be able to provide his own personal case study...oy)--or if I should be letting his own natural curiosity soar and guide what he is learning for now.  My heart screams for the latter, but that outside pressure and internal war lead me toward the former. ={  Yet, when I try that, the "drilling," I end up in situations like yesterday, when I was trying to go over an alphabet book with him and every letter was "d," because he just really wanted to explore "d" at that moment.  Hmmm...maybe he was hinting at the whole "drilling" idea.  Never thought of it that way...

Why all the fuss?  And why NOW?  I wish I knew.  Bugga will be 2 years old soon.  Instead of being thankful for every moment with him, his good health, his every ability, skill, and trait that I adore, I am worrying over any possible way I may have failed him to this point.  What a waste!  And believe me, I know it, but it is gripping at the moment, despite my efforts to shake it.

Compounding all that fun, J is in the midst of 6 weeks of 12-hour shifts at work.  Olive, our current foster, is young, drive-y, and generally dislikes her crate, making any attempt at dog-free and child-free "quiet time" an utter joke.  Paisley is my good girl, keeping me sane in so many ways.  So I trudge on, attempting to see the bright side through the haze.  I know it's there, maybe if I squint....hmmm, not today.  Maybe when I wake up tomorrow.  We'll see.


As I previously reported, I'm feeling much better.  Whew. ;)  It really was my own attitude that was tripping me up.  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  I'm back to being pleasantly entertained when Grady says every lego is "geeen" and all the numbers are 2.  It's alright.  I know from my interactions with him that he is just fine, that he understands so, so much and that what he "knows" now will not define his future.  

Annnyway.  Hmmm, what else?  Little Miss Olive looks to be competing with Timon for the title of "shortest-term foster dog."  She's been here 2 weeks, and she has 2 pretty great homes vying for her family member status, so she will probably be leaving us soon.  We feel so blessed to have had her with us, for any amount of time though!  


Of all our fosters, she is the most like our own Paisley girl. Not in looks of course, but in personality, in abilities, and also in challenges. ;) Even with her short stay, we have fallen quite hard for this little gal. I know, same story, 7th verse now, right?! We're already lining up our next foster too, so you'll get to hear the 8th verse as well. Lucky you! =)


nathaniel, elizabeth, & grace said...

I was just reading the other day that two year olds MAY be able to string together a couple of words. So I an uber-impressed with the fact that he knows any color and any number. I say, great job, momma! :-)

G&M said...

Ok... so I just got a chance to read this. I don't log onto this computer much anymore, and this is the computer that has the link saved to your blog...
here is what I have to say...
YOU and Jeremy do an awesome job raising a very warm, compassionate, caring, loving, smart and funny little man. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with him at all. And as you said, each child learns and grows at their own pace.
You are his parents, you guys decide how you want to do things, and quite frankly there is nothing wrong with how you do the things you do!! (right now I am singing a song in my head... how you do the things you do...) you hear that song girl!?
I hope our visit didn't put you in this funk. Do know this... it is only a natural instinct to compare. I don't know why... but it is. We all do it. We look at our child's peers and compare compare compare... sometimes not even realizing it. It can drive us mad at times! You are doing right by just enjoying what your child wants to learn, wants to explore, and wants to imagine! And don't be angry for comparing, it's human nature. Just practice telling yourself, it's ok to be different, it's ok to do things differently.
Girl, I compared our children to Grady... umm hello... Grady knows sign language, has been potty trained MUCH earlier than my children, interacts with you guys on a much different level (I at first was like... Grady is more connected to his parents) like the "bee" thing he does... that is cute... and that is SMART... Mason definitely doesn't interact on that level.. and I am sure it has a lot to do with our parenting.
We parent differently, we all have different priorities and slightly different "values"... with that in mind... no matter what... no two children, even from the same household are EVER going to be the same.
Because of my background in education, and teaching preschool, I just do things different... I may "pound" into my children's brains colors, the alphabet, numbers, shapes, etc... but it's just part of our own value system and what we want to do with our kids. Neither of us is wrong in our parenting techniques or ideology... we are just different.
So... with all that said... I hope you understand what I am saying... and know that you two are truly blessed with an amazing spirit of a child... he is awesome, and I wouldn't change a thing about him. And I think he is moving along just fine...
and oh... by the way
Gabby wasn't able to learn her alphabet until she was well past 2 and a half, almost 3, then it just came to her... same with counting and numbers... shapes and colors came about 6 months before that...
Mason calls all letters G A B because he hears Gabby spelling her name constantly when writing her name... he tells me he wants to read his GABs. Mason could care less about colors and shapes... really doesn't get them... but I still do them with him, because it is what I choose to do... not because I think it is what everyone should do, or that it is the "proper" thing to do... it is because that is how I choose to parent and incorporate learning and education into my parenting!
So... don't get down about this again my dear... you are an awesome mommma, doing a great job... and just keep up the good work. I love you!!

deldobuss said...

Hey, it is perfectly okay to be not normal! What would our world be if every child developed the same way and learned the same things?

I recommend books by John Holt, especially How Children Learn, How Children Fail, and Teach Your Own.

They will learn when they are ready, and when they are interested. Colors and numbers aren't important or necessary to him right now, but when they become so watch out! Denna decided the other day that she wanted to read, so we sat down with some phonics toys and books, and she is sounding out 3-letter words, all on her own! (With a little guidance from mom and sister)

They need time to be children, to explore and understand the world around them, and they begin to make sense of the order of our world.