Yesterday I updated you on Bubs’ diagnosis-filled story along with Sweet Pea’s. Today I want to fill you in on Little Man and Peanut.
Let’s start with the “easy” one.
The baby of the family is now 2 1/2. As much as it breaks my heart, we don’t have a baby anymore. (When people tell you it goes fast, they aren’t kidding.) He is learning to express himself with words and in socially acceptable ways. He truly is an angel child and doesn’t push too many buttons. This doesn’t mean that he is perfect but when he gets out of line, simple discipline technique persuade him to return to center.
He loves to put together puzzles and play with his siblings. He is learning colors and shapes but in no way is advanced in these areas. I have learned that there is so much more to toddlerhood than being able to spout a bunch of academic facts! I am using the 2 Year Curriculum with him which he is really enjoying.
Peanut is my lover-bubber and he showers me with kisses and hugs. Love, love, love. Lately I have blogged about potty training and independent play. I will continue to share toddler tips along the way.
If you are still reading, you now know that we have one child who has issues from a birth defect, two textbook children, …….. and then we have Little Man.
If we had only had Peanut and Sweet Pea (our textbook children), I would have written books on the simplicity of consistent discipline. The arrogance would have been thick enough to cut with a knife. But God gave us two other children who typical parenting books don’t explain. Bubs is teaching me understanding and compassion. God is using him to teach me to love the “unlovable.” Little Man is God’s way of showing me that I don’t have it all together. I don’t know it all. I do not have it all figured out. Little Man is my “humbling” in life.
Little Man came out of the womb thinking. What happens if I do this? How does this work? I wonder…. He crawled at 5 months and walked at 10 months. He could say sentences before most kids say words. He could say the books of the New Testament (in close to perfect pronunciation) at age 2 and the entire 66 books of the Bible at 3 years olds.
I have a lot of bragging rights don’t I?
No, I don’t. Because I have learned with the other kids that I have nothing to do with his advanced abilities. He is raised in a home with a brother who is severely delayed. Both exposed to the same things, same activities, same experiences. Totally different outcomes. Little Man is advanced because God made him that way. It has nothing to do with me or what I have done.
This would all be great except Little Man has one huge problem…impulse control. At just 18 months his teacher at church said, “He has impulse control issues.” And she was right.
If Little Man wants something, he takes it. If he wants to do something, he does it. It doesn’t matter the consequence, it is worth it.
In a post from January 11, 2011, I wrote:
Our spirited guy (age 2 1/2) allows his curiosity to get him in trouble all of the time. He struggles big time going directly from point A to point B. There is almost always something in between that pulls him away. His energy level is unreal. As far as conversation and comprehension, he
really is too smart for his own good. He talks like a child a year older. When Little Man gets into a bad pattern, he is going to make sure he takes everything and everyone down with him. He has defied most all parenting books and has won battles against almost every adult in his path.
Little Man has baffled more professionals (teachers, pediatricians, therapists, psychiatrist, and behavior psychologist to begin the list) than you can imagine. Once I explain that his room has been stripped for over half of his life (think jail cell), they change their turn and realize they will have to move to Volume 2 of their professional books for ideas. Sadly, even those ideas aren’t helpful.
He tore up board books, sneaked out of the house at all times of the day disappearing more times than I could count, and continues to disassemble everything possible. He has keyed the walls, peed on the walls, and made dents too deep for putty. He has flooded bathrooms, refused to leave outside water spouts alone, and poured water all over the floors of our home. We have received bad behavior reports from church, Mother’s Day Out programs, and babysitters. All of this and I can honestly say, we have been the most consistent parents that I know. (And my friends will back me up on that statement.)
I will be honest, there are many days that I have wanted to throw in the towel. Raise the white flag. Run away. I get tired of being tired. Tired of trying to stay one step ahead of him in order to ward off a disaster. I fear for his life, what he will do to himself or another innocent follower.
It is hard. Hard on my pride. Hard on my emotions. Hard on my endurance.
And yet, he is our most loving child. Little Man loves to tell Daddy that he is going to marry his Mommy. After he is disciplined, I receive the most sincere apologies and massive hugs. He begs to know that I still love him and show me he still loves me.
Adults are drawn to him. They want to talk to this preschooler because they are amazed by his conversation and deep thought. Peers look up to him. When he leaves a room, the other children shout loud goodbyes to their “leader.” Little Man is going to change the world, one way or another. My fear…will it be a positive or negative change?
Little Man desperately wants to be good. Even at his worst points, he is repentant. But something in him is driving him to be impulsive.
About a year ago we created a mental list of things we wanted to try. We heard stories of kiddos doing “x” and it helping tremendously. We have tried:
- Occupational Therapy – help with sensory issues
- Speech testing – Is there a language issue?
- Allergy tests – Is he so uncomfortable with allergies that he is impulsive?
- Removal of tonsils and adenoids – Sleep apnea?
- Psychiatrist and behavior psychologist
- Tae Kwon Do – focus and attention
As I shared on yesterday’s post, Little Man has made some gains. He is in no way out of the woods but gains are gains. And for his momma, gains are hope. I praise God for hope.
Some of you have a Sweet Pea or Peanut in your family who you desire to train to be godly men and women. I am going to share stories on what we are learning along the way. Ideas for family activities, teachable moments, and traditions that you can do as well.
For others, the stories hit a little too close to home. You see your child, a nephew, or a friend’s child in our story. And I pray that you feel hope. Hope that in our story, you can find answers to your story.
Sweet friend, that is my prayer.