It’s nearly the end of 2019, and boy has this year been a challenging shit storm. It’s not all been bad, but it’s been very tough at times.
At the start of the year we had no plans to move, I was enjoying being a new mum of two (Reece was only 4 months old, and new borns are piss easy!) and I was on maternity leave hoping not to go back to work.
Fast forward to December and we have moved cross country, I am working more hours than ever and I am still learning how to navigate this motherhood lark! Even after nearly three years of toddler D and almost 16 months of being a mum of two!
If I am honest the thing I that I have struggled with the most is what people think of Dylan. This year has been a bit of an emotional learning curve, because while I am old enough to not care about what people think of me (mostly, about 98% of the time!) and my parenting choices, it turns out that I get really hurt and upset about what people think of my kids!
In 2019 I have had the following said to me –
“You should take him to the doctor about his behaviour”
“He will struggle at preschool”
“I have been talking to a friend of mine, who knows a place that you can take Dylan to help him”
All of the above was from one of the volunteers at a Devon toddler group that we used to attend. I love unsolicited advice, don’t you?!!!
“It’s too early to tell isn’t it?”
“Have they said any more about Dylan?”
Two recent statements from mums at Kent toddler groups, while I have been chatting about D’s behaviour and him starting preschool.
“Does he not like loud noises?”
“It doesn’t matter, he is still our granson. We still love him”
“You just need someone to tell you what to do with him to help you cope”*
My mum fishing there and self diagnosing toddler D. And then on a recent visit upsetting me while D was having an epic meltdown. My mum is old school and likes to follow the rules and thinks the professionals know best etc. She did apologise the next day for saying that*. Its behind us now.
“He is a little shit. A nice little shit, but still a little shit”
That was Rob’s dad agreeing when I was saying that he is a little shit. Look OK, I am allowed to moan about him and say that he is a little shit, but no one else is! I still dont like people saying it to me!
Oh, and I also experienced my first time witnessing someone deliberately upset toddler D. It was another mum at a Devon toddler group who kept making D cry by grabbing a blooming Peppa pig toy off him to give to her inmobile baby and telling him off for screaming. WTF? I think back and wonder how I managed to keep my cool with her? Grrr! Maybe because I am a decent person who was bought up to be polite and nice to other people?
Yeah, so my feelings have been hurt a few times in this year. I know that on the whole people mean well when they say stuff like that. But I really need to toughen up and not be so sensitive about peoples opinion of him!
I am the first to admit that Dylan is difficult. He is hard work. He is very behind with his speech. He is not potty trained and his behaviour is bloody awful at times. He screams, he shouts, he doesn’t do as he is told, he gets frustrated very quickly, throws tantrums left right and centre, he is physical with his little brother and other kids (seriously, it’s like a WWF match round my house) and he does not want to share any toys that he is playing with.
He is also a very sweet little boy at times, passing Reece toys and food, and he giggles away playing chase with R. Basically he can play with R only when there are no toys involved.
Its been hard this year because D and R still don’t have much of a relationship. I naively thought that siblings close in age (we have a 20 month age gap) would mean that they would have more in common, be close friends and play together nicely. Its not happened yet, but hopefully in the next few years it will happen. I frigging hope so anyway!
So despite what people think of Dylan, he currently has no diagnosis. Its too early to tell.
We do not know what to think. I worry that I am thinking too much about it and not enjoying him, then on the otherhand I worry that I am burying my head in the sand and being in denial. Time will tell. If he has a diagnosis, he has. We still love him with all our hearts. He is still our much wanted baby boy.
Its hard because when society sees a challenging child they want to know why and put a label on them. He might just be behind with his speech, frustrated because of it and in his terrible twos.
Its hard because society sees a challenging child and thinks its because of something that the parents are doing, or not doing. Believe me, we are doing the very best that we can. We really are trying our best.
So yeah, I think that in 2020 my new years resolutions are to toughen up and stop caring about what think of my kids. To push, push, push for speech therapy for him and get what help I can from the services available. To enjoy my kids the best I can even though they can be little shits (Im allowed to say it OK! Not you!) And to stop bloody googling this label or that label etc because it is not a fun internet rabbit hole to fall down!