Another tough few days. I seem to be saying that a lot recently. Will start with some of the better moments and then you can stop reading halfway through if you like!!
Finally, after about three years off and on issues with my hips, I took the brace step of going to see a physio. Now as a doctor myself, it is pretty much guaranteed for me to be a terrible patient. I am terrified of seeing health professionals myself, and avoid it really at all costs. I joke that I decided to become a doctor so that I would never have to see a doctor again, and I do my very best to stick to that. But… seeing the physio was really useful. She identified a weak sacroiliac joint in one side, and a really stiff one on the side to try and compensate. She’s given me some exercises to try and some strategies for when they’re bad, and I’m feeling really positive about that. It is easy to just ignore things like this, as there always seems to be something more important, usually about somebody else, to deal with. Plus, my genuine anxiety about these things, also makes it quite easy to choose to prioritise other things, as a way of avoiding having to face it, something I am very guilty of doing on a frequent basis.
In an effort to spend less time carrying my boy on the one hip, he surprised me by being very keen to come up in the carrier, and we had a lovely, cuddly walk to the shop to buy some Christmas decorations
The decorations haven’t gone up yet. We like to wait a little longer as we have had a birthday in the Grace household, and we wanted to focus on that. Daddy, who is the centre of our little world, turned another year older. A certain little boy really enjoyed helping me bake his special birthday cake.
It was a pretty laid back affair, and I don’t think my decorating skills would be winning any awards, but it did taste pretty good.
A very nice, relaxed day, all went a little tits up by the end, with another, particularly horrific melt down from our girl. They have been a regular occurrence this last week, and even a day visit from my lovely Mum didn’t prevent one earlier in the week. They usually only occur at home, with only us present, and it’s a bad sign when they happen around other people.
I’m starting to feel pretty much at the end of my tether with her. At the same time I (mostly) don’t blame her for the situation as it does seem to be completely out of her control. I did react particularly badly to the birthday meltdown though. I was so angry at her for ruining what was supposed to be a special day, and what had been a wonderful day up to that point. I ended up pretty hysterical myself, and my behaviour ended up being pretty horrendous too. I had quite a bit of apologising to do myself.
It does seem though that the particularly bad times do seem to regularly coincide with special events. It is common for birthdays and special treats to end up being a total disaster, or for her behaviour to deteriorate dramatically just before or after them. I’m sure I’m also more sensitive to the signs at these times too, which maybe descends into a bit of a vicious circle.
At work I often see parents desperately searching for a diagnosis for their difficult child. There seems to almost be a relief when they’re told there is actually something wrong with their child. It’s like they can then say that it’s not their fault anymore. There have been questions raised before about possible autistic spectrum with regards to our daughter, and I have to say I was a little relieved almost the first time somebody mentioned it. It is just so impossible to know whether the behaviour of your child is just a totally normal behaviour for a child of that age, and that I’m just over reacting, that I’m just a useless parent, that I’m just not very good at coping, that if I did things differently she wouldn’t be like that. Or that there is actually something else going on. When somebody outside the situation suggests it, whilst it is a scary idea, you almost want to cheer that you’re not just imagining it.
Since those early discussions though she has come on such a long way, and the suggestions of educational psychologists and assessments all faded away. But once again I am feeling totally out of my depth, and like all the things I’m trying just aren’t helping. Whilst I don’t want to pathologies her behaviour, I have found myself reading about Pathological Demand Avoidance, and so much of that seems to ring true with her behaviour. I just don’t know though the distinction between pathological and just being a totally normal five year old who doesn’t want to brush her teeth or get dressed for school in the morning. I don’t really know where to even start in trying to get any further help. School aren’t worried, she’s totally acing her work, and is entirely compliant with them. Plus I worry of the consequences for her if we do pursue any formal help.
So for now we continue to muddle along, and have the constant expectation of rages hanging over us, whilst desperately trying to do whatever little things I can try to make things easier. It does grind us down, but maybe that’s just normal life with kids. Hmm, I promise I’ll try to make the next post cheerier, ’tis the season to be jolly after all!