Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Undertaking of Understanding

As promised, let's time warp ...

Okay, this is how I ended up calling CHEO back about Austin to have his speech assessed, not an easy story to tell, or memory to relive, but here goes ...

When Austin was around 2 years old, I tried to put him in a time-out one day, easier said than done (this is not a proud moment for me) .  All I wanted the child to do was sit on his bed for two minutes, two little minutes!  Totally impossible, at that time anyway.  Why did I think this was important?  Because someone told me they thought that something was wrong with my child and he could not be controlled.  I took it as I was a "bad parent" and had no idea of what I was doing.  So, I figured, I can get this child to listen to me and stay in time-out, I am sure of it ... wrong again ... :(

I put Austin in his room, on his bed, over and over and over and over and over ... I could go on and on ... I became so frustrated ... what was I doing wrong, honestly, what?  It got to the point that I told him he was not coming out until he sat on that bed.  (I know, not proud at all.  The tears start to flow as I type this ... tough to look back ... tough ...).  I stood at the door holding the handle ... Austin started to cry ... I went in again and pleaded with him "Please, please, please just sit on that bed for two minutes and I will let you out!!!!".  Not a chance.  I went back for the door and turned to see Austin crouched down on the floor beside his dresser ... crying ...  I shut the door again and as I stood there listening to this poor child sob (for only a minute or so) when I felt like my mother overtook my body or something (she is not a good woman, and a terrible mother, I know that is not a nice thing to say but it is true ... that is a story for another day).  Now, if there is one parent that I want to be nothing like, it is my mother.  I took my hand off the door handle and shook my head "What on earth am I doing?  What am I trying to prove?"  I opened the door to find my little boy crying in the corner ... frightened ... yes, frightened (horrible, horrible feeling ...).  I couldn't believe the look on his face.  He had no idea what was happening and why.  I could see it in his eyes.  I called him to me and he ran into my arms, I scooped him up, hugged him and burst into tears!!!  I just knew, he didn't understand what was going on at all.  I still hold so much guilt over this day.   I never, ever tried to get him to sit on his bed for a time out again. 

As I said in my last post, Austin's speech improved.  The next time that it was addressed was when his preschool teacher told me one day "I don't think he understands".  OH MY GOD!  I looked at her and said, "That is what I have thought in the past".  What had I done?  Why did I cancel that appointment?  I thought because he didn't repeat anymore he was okay, well, he wasn't.  He was repeating to the teachers at school because he was anxious and did not know what was being asked of him.  My mind warped right back to that horrible "time-out day".  I needed to fix it.  I called CHEO back, booked an appointment.  The man I had spoken to previously had nothing but empathy and understanding.  He assured me, things would be okay.

After my call to CHEO, I went and found Austin.  I asked him, "Do you understand Mommie Austin?".  No response.  Again I asked, no reponse.  He would just look down, avoid eye contact.  I held his little face in my hands and looked at him ... I told him that I knew he did not understand and I was going to fix it, no matter what.  I would not stop, I would not give up, I would fight with all my heart to help him understand ... "I promise!"  He had a response "Okay Mommie ..." with a hug and a kiss, I held him as I sobbed and knew this was the start of our journey forward and we were in it together!

I ADORE you my little boy ... you are the gold at the end of my rainbow!  ;)  OX

HUGS to all!


Jaxmom said...

Oh my goodness, Mommie! I felt the pain in your words while I was reading this. How very brave of you to share this story! We all have moments as mommies we're less than proud of, but I just think it was so brave of you to write this and admit it!

My son wouldn't do time outs, either. We used them more as a "cooling off" time, rather than as a punishment. There were times when I would go in and sit on his bed with him.

We all do the best we can do, out of love and wanting to do what's best for our children. None of us is perfect and we all unfortunately make mistakes. I can tell, though, that your children know how much you love them. That's the most important thing of all, isn't it? (((HUGS)))

Mommie That Gets It said...

Hi Debbie, thanks so much for the support and feedback. It is a tough story for me to tell. I feel so badly about that day and as I look back.

Austin is great about time-out now. I usually only have to count. He has an iPad and a Wii that he values a lot, so he never wants to hear 3!

Thank you. Yes, we try our best. It has gotten so much easier with Austin. He is truly a lovely little boy. His 3 year old sister is giving me a run for my money though! LOL!

Thanks again. I really do appreciate your comments and support. (HUGS) :) Heather