Friday, June 12, 2009

Two Handfuls

Whether or not you begrudge my many descriptions in this space of how lovely my kids are, please begrudge me this one vent on how challenging they are. I suppose before I start pointing fingers at my two little angels, I should note that any kids would be hard for me and Amy to handle, workaholic and independent and introverted as we are. And yet . . .

* Aaron has such a temper, and very little in the way of self-soothing skills. So when he wants something and he can't have it, he can become very difficult. And this happens a lot: Jada's playing with a toy and Aaron wants it, he wants a popsicle but we tell him he has to finish his dinner first, and so on throughout the day. So a lot of our interactions with Aaron, truth be told, involve us putting him in time-out, him begging for his pacifier and then hurling it across the room, and our ears ringing from the alternating of piercing screams and irritating whines. We realize he is two and learning, and as we encourage him and give him more words, these behaviors will improve, but it is still very trying.

* Jada's issues tend to be more verbal. She doesn't have conversations as much as recite past ones, so communicating with her can be difficult and repetitive. The non-sequiturs are particularly tiresome when we're trying to make an important point, and are met with such common phrases as: "I like cats," "you took me to the dinosaur museum," and "you're my girl." Not that she's without her behavioral issues, too: although she's more well-behaved than Aaron, her verbal weaknesses cause her to not respond when prompted, talk back to us, continue in inappropriate behavior even after repeated scolding, and fall into a heap of tears when our disapproval and chastening finally sink in. We realize we have to give her room and encouragement and instruction, but it can be difficult to keep on.

Between the two of them, we are low on our patience reserves, and I will speak for myself that I have had far too many explosions back at them, especially when both are whining or crying or fighting or disobeying. We love them fiercely, and we actually like them a lot, too; but their special needs and extra speech and behavioral issues are very, very tiring to deal with and work on. And I have it lucky, being largely shielded from the constant scheduling, shuttling, and follow-through Amy has borne with all the special instructors and therapy sessions and administrative forms. Suffice to say, our two are a handful: worthy of almost daily praise into the blogosphere, but, like today, also worthy of the occasional venting.
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