Payton thrives on structure. Our intention for our long weekend was to just stay home and relax, keep Payton on her routine and pray for a good, peaceful weekend. And-that's exactly what happened. Payton was a princess. No major tantrums or outbursts and life was pleasant. The hard part is knowing that life can't be like that. I love a good routine, too, but the fact is life throws curveballs. We can't make each day exactly the same, but boy would I like to. The difference in Payton when she is in her routine is amazing. She's a completely different child and I needed to see that side of her again after the past two weeks we'd had with her.
Koen ended up with a virus over the weekend (I had taken him to urgent care because he had been waking up about every hour thru the night for the past week and finally began to run a fever). Well, it seemed way to familiar and I just knew he had an ear infection. Sure enough, that's what the doctor at the ER told me and he gave us some antibiotics. After the three days of antibiotics I was suprised he was still running a high fever so I took him to the ENT. She was frustrated at the ER doc (shocked he would say Koen had an ear infection when in fact he did not) and said he has the virus that's going around....run a fever for 4-5 days and end up with the stomach flu. Sure enough, that's what it was. Needless to say, he didn't need an antibiotic and the tubes were still in his ears (yeah!).
Since I was taking Koen to the doctor yesterday we decided to go ahead and send Payton to Dawn's. I don't feel right even saying or thinking this, but I realize how difficult of a child Payton is when I just have Koen. Although Koen is three years younger than Payton, it sometimes seems that we can communicate better with him. Yesterday at lunch Bob was watching Koen and he said it was so strange because it's like Koen just 'gets it'. He doesn't need constant explaining - or sometimes any explaining, he just understands things. I try not to let myself think back too often of what it was like when Payton was his age. It still hurts too much, but the difference is undeniable.
After realizing how amazing Payton does when she's on her normal routine, you would think I would be smart enough to realize that I shouldn't go and pick her up a couple of hours early from Dawn's. However, I was thrilled to be off of work and have an extra day with the kids (even if part of it was spent running Koen to the doctor), so I ran out to pick Payton up so we could spend some time outside playing. As soon as I pulled in the driveway, I heard the words "Daddy home?" come out of Payotn's mouth and I knew I was in trouble. I tried explaining to her that Daddy was still at work..."Remember, Payton, mommy came and picked you up early so we could play outside", etc etc etc. Ofcourse, reasoning or explaining doesn't do any good with her. I tried to entertain her, bring her out of her 'funk'....the blank stare started up (that look saddens me beyond belief....I would love to know where she goes, where her mind takes her). Soon, we were at the yelling stage, and eventually the full blown tantrum. Oddly enough, someone that barely weighs 30lbs is able to get handfuls of my hair, break my sunglasses, and kick my head like a soccer ball. Like Nancy has said on her blog before, these are things she would never even have considered doing to her parents. Me either.....and the behavior I see in my child makes me feel like a failure as a mother. I can't really explain the feelings this gives Bob and I......we get down, discouraged, exhausted - we feel like we have tried EVERYTHING and nothing is working.
Once Bob got home, I told him I needed about thirty minutes to get myself together - reenergize myself, so I went back to sit in the bedroom. Quiet is not good for me. I think too much when it's quiet. I've never been angry at God for giving us a special needs child....and I've never really been one to think 'Why me?'.....I usually think 'Why not me?'....I mean, I would be scared to death to see Payton in any other home.....it requires so much patience and if someone didn't have the patience, she could easily get hurt. But, this hurts. My heart breaks. It's odd when you love someone so much and you know in your heart she loves you, but yet she turns on you so easily and you almost see the hatred in her eyes. She bites, she hits, she pulls hair out, she kicks - and yet she wants and needs me when she's scared, when she's anxious, and when she can't sleep. I love her so much it hurts and I just wish I could fix this.
I have Friday off with my kids. Do any of you ever feel nervous about being home? I remember feeling this way for the first year after having Payton. I don't know if nervous is really the way to describe it......maybe it's a mixture of scared, nervous, and anxious. There's really no way to describe it to anyone on the outside because I'm sure it sounds so ridiculous. Afraid to stay home with your children? No, not really. Afraid of what's going to set Payton off and how to protect Koen. We'll be walking on eggshells.....I think this is when we feel the most 'alone'.