I was honest with myself today, and it felt good to get some hidden feelings to the surface and out so I could deal with them.
I saw my counselor today, and went into the session feeling blah. Usually I go into our sessions knowing what I want to tackle, but today I really didn’t. We usually talk about Grayson, our family, and my emotions concerning those two. I’ve written before about how she has helped me accept that although I couldn’t love my son more than I do, I am mourning the loss of the “typical” child I was expecting.
We talked about Christmas, and my unnecessary guilt that we didn’t give Grayson a big, splashy Christmas morning with a bunch of presents under the tree. My reasoning was G didn’t need any more toys (he doesn’t), we couldn’t afford a lot of presents (we can’t) and he wouldn’t have a clue anyway and couldn’t open packages (he didn’t). But then I saw posts of people’s magical Christmas mornings with their little ones SO excited about their loot and those made me sad. We did have a wonderful Christmas Eve with Ryan’s family and Christmas Day with mine, but Grayson melted down during Christmas Eve gifts and slept through most of Christmas Day present opening. So this just wasn’t our year. We’ll get there, and will have plenty of years worth of excitement and Santa gifts, so I just need to let 2011 go.
After that, we talked about the new year and getting back into the old routine, and like any good counselor, she picked up on things that even I didn’t realize I was feeling. After a few minutes venting my frustrations about Grayson’s physical limitations, I admitted that I am….bored. The long hours Grayson and I spend at home consist of rotating him from one apparatus to the next- his excersaucer, therapy chair, bumbo, therapy stander, and swing. In general, he doesn’t tolerate any one of these for more than 5-10 minutes (except the swing) unless I am right beside him, entertaining him. We read books, but he wants to eat the pages. We work on eating, but it’s so frustrating because most times he refuses to get food anywhere near his mouth. We go on walks and he loves to swing at the neighborhood park, but I’m sad he isn’t climbing, exploring, or doing anything independently like a typical toddler.
I hate to admit that I’m bored. I feel like I’m insulting Grayson. But because he can’t sit up, crawl, or communicate verbally, I feel like I have a fifteen-month-old-five-month old. And five month olds are great- cute, cuddly, and in a lot of ways, easy. But what I would give to rescue Grayson from the top of the slide, chase him down as he grabs a handful of dog food from Hank’s bowl, or teach him to sing his ABCs. I know I need to celebrate every accomplishment he does make, no matter how small, and I do. But right now, I’m impatient, and feel like I’m not getting much back.
So the solution to this boredom and frustration? I need time to myself, a few hours a week, to get away and do something that doesn’t involve Grayson and his issues. I know, easier said than done. I can’t just enroll G in mothers day out because the structure wouldn’t be developmentally appropriate for him. Ideally, I really, really want to go back to the schedule we had July-October (up until he went in the hospital). I worked two days 8:00-3:00 and Grayson went to a little daycare center right up the road from where I work. It was perfect- we had plenty of time to get ready (I refuse to wake him up in the morning) and got home with a few hours to play/eat before bedtime. Then we had 3 days a week to do therapy, doctors appointments, playdates, and anything else we wanted to do. I am hoping after Grayson recovers from his surgery at the end of the month and is (hopefully) off continuous tube feeds during the day, he can go back to daycare.
Until then, I will keep treasuring the time I have with this sweet little boy and focus on being thankful that I am able to stay home with him and focus almost all my energy on meeting his needs. He may not be toddling yet, but he sure looks like a toddler now, doesn’t he? Cutie pie.