|James with his cousin on Grandma's phone|
A few months back when we were planning a trip to my parents' house in Texas (which turned out to be the trip that we were on when one of my mom's close friends got us in to see a great developmental pediatrician who, in the end, diagnosed James) and I had a text conversation with my sister-in-law.
Now, a disclaimer, I am a very blunt, sarcastic and cynical person, but really, everyone who knows me knows that I'm really that way to keep from being ooey-gooey emotional all the time. So here we go (I did make a few grammatical fixes and other notes):
Tina (my sister-in-law): I'd love to see you and the twins everyday!!
Ginger (which is me): Not James.
T: He's a cutie!!!
G: I challenge. I'll take Lily and the girls for a day (the girls are my nieces, 5 and 3 at the time), you take James, including bath and getting ready for bed. And iPad or iPod for only four hours (not as much as it sounds).
And getting him to eat at least one bowl of cereal for breakfast and half a can of Spaghettios for lunch (that's right, I didn't mention dinner because he never eats dinner).
Oh, and staying outside for at least a half hour (with no John Deere ride-on).
And that challenge doesn't even include keeping him from hurting Lily (*I have a footnote for this comment) or having to listen to Lily ask 1,000 times 'what are you doing?'
T: Haha do I get to use Ki (my brother)?
G: Not until around 7 (bedtime is 8:30). But you only get him for bath time and to help get James ready for bed. Mainly to hold James down so you can dress him and then shove his medicine down his throat. Oh and keep James from standing up in the tub and/or drowning in the tub.
You can also have Ki if James doesn't eat during the day at all. Otherwise Ki is in the other room doing homework.
I won't throw in the 'uncles' interrupting every diaper change and every meal.
And if you feel up to it you can take him grocery shopping with him buckled into the front part.
And mom can only babysit during nap time. But don't worry, I won't throw in one of his therapist visits but there's always his 'learning box' exercise. Oh, and you have to read him a Dr. Seuss type book at least 3 times during the day and keep him from ripping any of the pages. Oh, and we've been working on 'no hitting' and 'no pulling your diaper out from under you' and 'no hair pulling' rules. Those aren't going so well (there's also 'no laying on top of Lily' but since I'll have her that one's kind of null).
T: Is he really that wild?
From about 7:30 in the morning to nap time at 1:45-4:00-ish (but I give him his iPod during nap time otherwise he won't stay in his crib) and then 4:30-8:30
T: Wow. That's intense! I'm sorry =/
G: Yesterday he had a great day. We were even able to brush his teeth at bedtime but he didn't eat lunch but we were able to go to Target without having to turn the dvd player on in the car (on the way there). I did have to run in and get popcorn and then he had his ipod the whole time but he did eat half of the small fry we bought him on the way home.
T: Wow! Is there anything he likes to eat?
G: Easy mac, Spaghettios, yogurt (but it has to be raspberry), apple slices (with no peel), potato chips, some cereals, sometimes a glazed donut (yeah, he usually ends up feeding it to someone else), bananas, shredded cheddar cheese, black olives (for the record these are the foods that he would eat that month and all of them he would like one day and hate the next. I learned my lesson, he went through a vienna sausage phase and a mandarin orange phase, so I bought cases of them, and he wouldn't eat them the next day). His FAVORITE food (and the only food he will always eat) is French toast with butter and powdered sugar but it has to be fresh. And mini m&ms.
And with everything he either has to touch it to his lips before he'll eat it or dump it on the floor and eat it off the floor.
That was everyday for me.
Even with all of the help I had around me I still felt alone, all day, every day.Thus running away to Texas for a month and James getting diagnosed. I wasn't devastated, I wasn't even surprised, I just wasn't expecting it.
|Lily and my nieces, aka The Grand-girlies. Would you believe that these three are easier than one James?|
*So my footnote about James hurting Lily, James flaps his hands pretty wildly when he's mad and when James get really upset Lily gets really upset and just wants to hug him and make him feel better. He does not seek her out and beat on her or anything. And we do remove Lily from the situation and take her to another room or move her across the room. Part of me thinks that Lily knows that he doesn't mean it. When he's tantruming or something of the like and he ends up getting physical with her she doesn't get upset. And the next time it happens she still brings him his blanket and sippy cup and rubs his back.
And he loves her, when she gets really upset he does too. And James will try to steal my blanket or Chris' blanket but he never tries to take Lily's (unless they're passing toys back and forth between their cribs).