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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Perception

Six years ago we lived in Indiana. We had been married for two years and didn't have children (although we had been trying the whole length of our marriage). A year later I started fertility treatments. This involved me taking pills that made me have bigger mood swings than normal and cry all the time. After a few months of that, I had a surgery. Then, I had two cycles worth of shots that made my ovaries so sore and full I thought I was carrying around bowling balls. I went through all of this so I could have a baby.

During this time, I was super sensitive to other people and how they were with their kids. I was judgmental and sometimes rude. One family in particular had kids that were out of control. They would run away and get lost in the church building. Oh no! I thought, "What's wrong with these parents? Don't they care where their children are?". I saw moms that didn't hold or console their babies when they cried. How could a mother do that? Don't they realize how lucky they are to have those kids? They should take better care of them.

Well, I've learned a thing or two. I'm now the lucky parent. I have two precious children. I have no doubt they were meant to be in our family (I especially believe this about Caleb). I've also learned a thing or two about what it means to take care of kids.

Let me backtrack. The whole reason for this post is that on another blog I saw some comments about how appalled one of them was that there was a mother in Hallmark with a screaming newborn and she wasn't doing anything about it. She was just shopping for cards while the baby was crying. Five years ago, I would have totally agreed with this commenter. Not now. Some babies don't stop crying no matter what you do. This lady probably endures this kind of judgment each time she leaves her home. Should she never leave her house? I'm learning not to assume. I'm so mature. ;)

You know the family with the kids that would run away? We have become that family.

Caleb has started to see a behavioral psychologist once a week. He's getting diagnosed this month so we'll know where he falls in the spectrum. I've had to fill out loads of paperwork and surveys about his behavior, communication and social skills. I really hope this lady can help us. Caleb is getting so big that it's hard to restrain him when he lashes out. We need to find something that works with him...and fast.

In the waiting room at the psychologist's office, a lady came in and I overheard her conversation. She needed to sign a release so the LPD could get information about her child. A person had called DHS on her because they saw her doing a full body restraint on her daughter when she was flailing around avoiding getting into the carseat. Five years ago...that could have been me on the phone. Today? I turned to Carl and told him I'm glad that we haven't been reported yet. Carl told me that people that don't have kids with "issues" don't understand.

I don't want this to sound like we shouldn't step in when we know that there is real abuse happening. But, can we avoid the comments? "Oh, Timmy...look at that mommy! She's too busy to pick up her baby and that's why he's crying." "That kid is too tired to be shopping."
"Looks like he could use a whippin'."

I don't wish that people have to go through having a difficult child to understand what it is like. Just know that you don't always know what's going on.

13 comments:

  1. Christy- I admit it has been a while since I've been on here, but today it must have been meant to be. I love this post! I was just talking the other day about judgement and how we never know what someone is going through or has been through.

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  2. I always make sure to smile at the Moms that are having a rough day at the store. Especially when I don't have my kids with me. The other day I was at Target and a little one ran right into me and her mother was so apologetic. I said, "Really, it's fine, I have 3 at home that would do the same thing!" It's so much easier on everyone if we just be a little more empathetic.

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  3. You are sooo right! i'm always trying to smile at parents. some times my kids are behaved... but most times they are not. usually i'm sooo RED in the face of embarassment! i know what people are thinking! UGH it does make you think differently.

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  4. Well said. Hang in there. I hope the psychologist is helpful.

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  5. Well said! I've been very humbled since having kidlets of my own. My son in particular is a little fireball, and unless I have a death grip on one of his limbs he will be off and running. He was also colicky as a baby, and sometimes I just had to get out of the house for a little while for my own sanity. So yes, that did mean shopping while he cried. And cried.

    I was one of those people who used to look at other people and their children and make all sorts of judgments. God knew just what I needed, and provided our our firstborn...

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  6. Yes, I agree, that was very well said.

    I want you to know that I admire the way you are with Caleb. Hanging out with you last year really taught me a lot. I was only there for a some of the melt downs and you handled them so well. Really, like the time at the mall when his balloons kept getting tangled together. You just held it together and were as calm as if you were sitting on the beach. I'm sure that's not how you were feeling inside, but Caleb knew you were calm and I think you being calm helped him calm down. I don't know I'm not an expert or anything, but I can tell he loves you a lot and watch you and how you react!

    Then, there was that one time at the house when Caleb just lost it. I know you remember this one. I’m sure there were some worst ones that this one, but I was there for this one. You were so worried about him hurting himself more that what was happening to you.

    Christy, you are a great mom! You are awesome! Not to mention that you also know when you need to take a break or a step back. So, kudos to you, Yeah you! Oh and when is the next “Girl’s Weekend”?

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  7. What a great post. I used to be the same way! I've learned a lot since having 2 kids, one with special needs. You are such good parents to face the challenges of your son head-on and get him some intervention.

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  8. shelley - from breckenridge7:58 PM

    Amen, Christy! Kellie told me to read this post. Having Camron has made me realize how judgemental I used to be. And now along with having a baby with special needs I have to be accepting of others judgementalness or I will go crazy. Here is a question for you... How do you deal with the stupid things people say?

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  9. shelley--HI! I don't always deal well with the stupid things people say to me. Most of the time I cry because it makes me remember that there will probably always be people like this that will say things to me and it's not really something I can get used to. I guess, just know that there are a lot of us out there that aren't judging you--in fact, just the opposite!

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  10. Hollie- Oh yeah, I remember all of those times! There have been a lot worse than that but I'm getting A LOT of help right now. It's great.

    I'm ready to start planning girls weekend 2 anytime!

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  11. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Christy I think you are amazing. There is nothing like parenthood to open your eyes!

    Shanna

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  12. One more thing, speaking from experience, I don't think anyone thinks straight when they are on fertility drugs or going through treatments. That is just a crappy, time.

    Shelly, you're awesome. I hope you don't mind, but I forwared that e-mail to Christy. She would really appreciate it, don't ya think? Hahaha

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  13. Yeah, I don't know why I put a comma there.

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