Ok, this post is going to be hard. No one wants to admit to being a Sh*t mum. But I think I may have been a little bit lately. I’m going to go back a little while and introduce you to my children.
Oliver, Oliver, Oliver, what can I say about Oliver. He was the original, the first. He changed my life forever, taking me from me to we in a heartbeat. I can’t believe it’s been •SEVEN• years, I have watched him go through so much already. First steps, first teeth, first words (not quite first love just yet) and in return I have experienced many firsts too, first time being pooped on, first time having my nipple almost bit off, first time experiencing that mama instinct which tells you that something is wrong, he was only 5 days old and it turned out he wasn’t meant to be that yellow, even if he was a mixed raced baby. Oliver gave me a Mother’s heart and I am truly grateful for that. Oliver is kind, stubborn, loving, excitable, impressionable, funny, sarcastic, gorgeous, imaginative, thoughtful and so much more.
Zachary, our darling Zachary. He was our rainbow baby. We had 4 early loses between Oliver and Zachary. We were so thankful to see this little man when he came earth side. He was and is my only natural delivery. This boy knows how to make an entrance. Barely anything for 15hrs then BAM, the midwife was saying “I can see the head” and asking my bestest friend Rida to get some scissors (if I remember correctly) and basically help deliver him. He was born in the SAC this is supposedly lucky and is quite rare. I am very lucky to have him and he is a rare find, so maybe it’s true? He has ASD and it has preoccupied us for a while, but we are getting into the swing of things now. Zachary is a spunky, energetic, funny, loving, noisy, smiley, quirky, happy little chappy.
Darwin, let me think how we introduce Darwin. “We thought Zachary was hard work, then we had Darwin, hahaha”. He is a mini whirl wind a tornado of destruction. “Don’t let that smile fool you, he is the worst out of the lot”. Darwin loves to smile. He has a gorgeous smile and he will smile whilst smashing you in the face with a toy, throwing his food all over the floor, walls and windows and causing a general sense of havoc. Don’t get me wrong he is a cutie, but he is hard work.
So this post is about changing my point of view about Darwin, God forbid if he ever grows up and reads this post. He will have proper issues. No, in all seriousness, I love my little man, but I am tired. I’m tired from doing too much and not enough. I’m tired from giving him too much and not enough, I know it sounds crazy, but it will all make sense.
For anyone that follows my blog, nothing in my life is simple and that goes for my parenting journey for each of my boys. It was around 6 months after Darwin was born, we began in the journey of getting Zachary diagnosed with ASD and SPD. During that time, we also discovered Darwin is bowed legged, allergic to Penicillin,has G6PD, is suspectible to bronchilitis leading to hospitalisation, nebulisers and inhalers. He is sensitive to cows milk and gets severe diaherrea when he has too much, he has random potential birthmark thing on his leg, he has had an ear infection for almost 3 months.
Darwin like any other 18 month old loves to climb, tables, chairs, people, bunk bed ladders, window sills, the higher the better. He loves to smash toys into eachtother, bang anything he gets his hands onto. He is frightened of the hair dryer and vaccuum cleaner. He swats instead of sitting and don’t even try and put him in the shower. All of this and a lack of speech, 3 clear words, has lead to a referral for his hearing to be tested and also an OT assessment to see whether he too has SPD too.
All of this and then at 14 months old, mum up and left and went back to full time work and Darwin was put in nursery fulltime. Then in the new year, mum up and left for 2 weeks (I was on training for my job, which I have now left). Darwin had to go cold turkey without his nightly (and during the night) breastfeeding sessions. Writing it all out here, I feel so bad for my wee man.
I have done my best working full time (as has my hubby) caring for 3 children, 1 with additional needs. Trying to be a hands on understanding child led parent, but somewhere along the way I have fallen short. Darwin has become my scapegoat. Oliver is the eldest and he can do so much independently and Zachary has his needs, but we are far too busy celebrating his successes to use him. So it falls to Darwin, he is the one that we talk negatively about, sometimes even begrudge, when you sit down and say “I just want to eat my dinner in peace”. He is the one when you hear his crying begin at 10 o’clock and your heart sinks because you know you won’t make it back down the stairs again that night. I’m sorry, I’m sorry it’s taken so long to see and I am sorry I have wasted so much time.
Yesterday, a day where I feel my eyes were really opened. Darwin is clever, very clever especially compared to where Zachary was at the age. He doesn’t have many words but he can sign, he signs, food, car, row row, In the night garden. His understanding is really good too, he knows where his socks go, I can ask him to get his shoes and he can, he nods if you ask if he wants to watch Mr Tumble. It was such a long time ago that Oliver was this age and Zachary has only mastered some of these skills in the past 6-12 months, so it seems far too early for my baby to be doing these things.
I have started to realise that Darwin isn’t some out of control child, who just smashes and bashes for fun. He is trying to communicate, he wants attention! Yes we cuddle and kiss him, but he wants more structured attention, he needs time exploring and learning. When he pulls all the shoes out, it’s not just to make mess, but because he wants to try each and every one on, he wants to steady himself and work out how to twist and turn his foot to get it in and when he does he feels accomplished and he wants to show and share that by clapping and smiling and he wants us to notice and join in.
So I am beginning to change my point of view and see past the tiredness that cloud my judgement and see what he really wants and needs. So when I introduce Darwin now we can me positive about him and take away our negative words, even if we did think we were joking, kind of. We can say, he is very clever, enquisitive, smiley, active, energetic, he communicates through signing and pointing, he likes books, being cuddled and spoken to and is learning the rules of the interaction.
This is a very honest piece and I know many of my friends and family would jump to my defence, saying I was being too harsh and maybe I am, maybe I am expecting too much from myself? Nonetheless, I am going to try. I love all three of my boys so very much and I am going to try more and more each day to show them that. Who knows maybe if we get this right and sort out some of the chaos in our lives, somewhere in the not so soon future there might be time for baby number four?