Has it really been two weeks since I last posted?! Please, someone, tell me that's wrong! Sigh.
I guess it's hard to go from there... to here. Add in a holiday (I'm referring to Black Friday, of course!) and some illness... and work and school and Taekwondo... And you get two weeks of silence I guess.
So, let's just pretend we didn't have that two weeks of silence, ok?! I mean we are all friends here... right?!
First, and foremost. The appointment with the pediatrician went... OK. I guess that I was really, really, really hoping that I would go in, go over all the issues and she would say "Well, lookie here... I have this top-secret cabinet in my office and it's filled with magic wands. They make even the most difficult children behave... and I save them for the parents who really, really need them—like you!" Guess what? There was no secret cabinet filled with magic wands. Huh. Instead she told me things I already knew, like my kid is awesome and he's going to be on the cover of Time one day (yes, she actually said that.) but right now it's just really, really hard. She also said that she has no medical concerns based on what I was telling her/what she had seen... but she did understand that a lot of things had to change. She also said that while we will watch him closely over the next year or two, there are no labels that she wanted to associate with him right now. (Which we are firmly on board with, FWIW) She also said that there were no attachment issues other than he's doing exceptionally well in that area. So what I was perceiving as a potential attachment issue, she was seeing as proof of strong/solid attachment. So we have that going for us... even though I still feel like we need to keep an eye on it. But that could be my exhaustion speaking.
All of the above is really good news. Awesome news, in fact.
But you will notice that there was not a lot of magic solutions offered up. And people, I needed solutions. I needed tricks. I needed whatever it was going to take to get this train back on the tracks.
Enter, the permission phase of the meeting. This was the part where she told me that I'm not raising the normal child, I'm raising a spirited child, an exceptional child. And that in order to do that, we do whatever it takes. If it means we lose the time-outs and the rewards charts, so be it. If it means that I choose to sit in his room until he falls asleep, so be it. (Sitting in the room = better sleep. I'm not sure why, but it works.) It also meant that I had to pick ONE battle and stick with it. And give in more on some others. (That was a tough, tough pill to swallow given how much is wrong right now. I finally came to terms with the idea of choosing NOT to battle it. Therefore, I still "win.") We talked about schools, schedules, and other things. And she reminded me of how I *used* to parent Spencer, and we compared it to how I do it now. Aha! Lightbulb moment. A lot of that had changed. Mostly on my end. As things worked out and resolved, I revamped how things worked. A lot of times to fit what I perceived to be "conventional" methods to raising a pre-schooler. Silly me. I'm NOT raising a pre-schooler, I'm raising a Spencer! So she encouraged me to go back to basics on some things, and see how life changed.
The moment of the meeting when the heavens opened and the angels started singing.
She told me that she was giving my some numbers for parenting coaches. SAY WHAT?! I don't know where I've been all these years, but I have never heard of anything such as a parenting coach. So, obviously, I said "A what?!" when she told me this. Guess what... it's exactly what it sounds like. (go figure!) It's a person specialized in helping parents with children that are a little more "difficult" to raise. They act as a sounding board, a source of validation, and a brainstorming partner. Oh. My. Word. Sign us up! If for no other reason than to provide validation and support. (You all do that as well too... but it's hard to write to the whole wide interwebs how horrible things are going, you know?!) The downer in all of this is we really need to wait until post-holidays to start this, but just having those three names and numbers in my possession makes me feel... well, empowered. Very, very empowered.
So, I left feeling that, while I had no magic solutions, I had a course of action. And that was a much needed relief. I'll be honest, I'm still not sure if there is a light at the end of the tunnel... but I'm hopeful now that even though I don't see it, it exists.
We've already changed up some things, and have seen an improvement. Not a huge, life-altering change... but an indicator that we may all survive this. And me choosing not to fight certain battles has resulted in a lot more "yes, mamas" ... even on things I would have sworn would have resulted in a "no!" or a "I don't want to!" So there's that. I'm also acutely-aware of the fact that we might just be on the upswing of our roller coaster here. I guess only time will tell. But we do seem to finally be moving forward. Even if it's in teeny, tiny, impossible-to-see-with-the-naked-eye steps!
And the proof?! Lots more of this face smiling at me...
Reason enough to keep putting one foot in front of the next in this battle.