Thursday, December 10, 2009

Better Check for Strings

I preface this entire post by saying that I am nearing 3 months of being allowed to sleep a maximum of 4 hours/night.  Last night's rest was terminated at 11:40.

Some people are gifted in their ability to see the silver lining in an unpleasant situation. (I can sometimes do this; if well rested and well fed. And if the unpleasant situation is not too unpleasant.  Ok. So basically, I can't do it at all.)  But what I can do is take something good and worry incessantly about it.  Far more ready to engage in thinking conversely to that "lemon-lemonade" philosophy,  I scrutinize the "desirable" to be sure I haven't misunderstood.  Maybe it is no good at all.

Me, I look for "the strings attached" to all things that I assume agreeable.

Here are some recent examples of my "string" thinking.  
  • Both my boys were voracious in their nursing for the first year.  My supply was great and their demands matched.  But the incessant feedings were demanding to the point of my hysteria.  I  justified the commitment and my exhaustion with  my confidence in countless endorsements for frequent breastfeeding and hardy appetites. Still, I would not accept that everything was going well. I kept recalling a disturbing Dr. Phil show (because they are not all disturbing, right?),  featuring children nearly insane in their fixations with eating.  They would become violent over food and suffered a whole host of problems.  The syndrome was called Prader Willi.  My sons do not have Prader Willi.  Now, I beg them to eat.  Oh god, maybe they have, what's it called...
  • My older son,  a terrific sleeper and napper from early on,  enjoyed deep and long sleep at night and 2 hour naps twice daily.  I felt satisfied in my completion of many non-mommy tasks. With a fluid routine, I showered and brushed my teeth regularly (meaning not just hoping for and jumping at random opportunities to care for myself).  I exercised, read, organized, and cleaned.   Not only did I accommodate his precious resting rituals, I benefited.  But many days, I considered that he could be fatigued from a rare blood disease or sleeping sickness.  Then I would feel all shitty for loving his nap-time so much.   I loved it just as much when he woke.  Racing to him, I could not get there quickly enough.  Andy and I regularly would compete on weekends to see who would get him from his crib.  He still sleeps a lot and I still worry.  Baby Bert is clearly not afflicted with this condition of sleeping well and regularly.  He clearly has the other one.
  • Ernie, also easy and independent in his play.  Since birth, able to focus and extend his own play for periods of time greater than the average child of his age.  Great.  He can focus.  He is curious and industrious.  He can entertain himself.  And he is was soooooo calm.  Maybe he has some form of autism?  Ridiculous because he shows no signs of autism.  However, he does have some sensory issues which have been addressed 5 days a week for the last year and a half. (which are considered on the spectrum of autism) which one day I hope to be brave enough to blog about.
  • Ernie (turning three in 2 weeks)  was always quiet(until recently).  He prefers quiet people and environments.   Turns out, he has a not so mild speech delay which has been addressed daily for the last year and a half and maybe nearly resolved.
  • He was always very mellow.  Some kids are labeled "active".  He is unlikely to ever receive that label...  He has delays in his gross motor development that may have contributed to his gentle and subdued ways.  Also being addressed in daily therapy for the last year and a half.
  • Oh, and he is so meticulous,organized, and clean.  You know detail oriented.  Great....  or not.  He becomes concerned when ritual or placement of items varies/breaks protocol.  Life will be less comfortable for him if we don't each him to be more "flexible" as they call it.
Anyway, many of the qualities that make our Ernie easy to be around are the same ones which will cause him stress.  This saddens me. 

Always in search of "the strings" and something to feel guilty about, I generally score.
Yes, I am in therapy and have been for yeeeeeeeearz.....and hope to forever be .


  1. I hate how the scale always has to balance like that. You get some difficulties right along with the good stuff!

    Therapy should be a requirement for all of us!

  2. It's normal to worry about your kids. The smaller they are, the more 'out there' the worries.

  3. Perhaps your sleep deprivation is making things seem off kilter. I know I feel that way when I don't get enough sleep. And I think all moms have the tendency to look for strings ... and sometimes there might be a string but sometimes there isn't -- just our worried, anxious guilty minds trying to do our best. Take care of yourself.

  4. Why do we do that as moms.. always look for something to beat ourselves up about.

    I am the most selfish person when it comes to nap time. It is my time I am not going to do any cleaning, and chores it is all about me. So when my kids give up that time it is really really hard.

  5. I'm a mess when it comes to worry. If you find a way to cut the strings, let me know.

  6. My husband and I have worried about our kids showing weird signs and symptoms since the beginning, and they usually all turn out to be passing quirks (hoping my daughter's current fascination with poking her own eye is one of them). But we were also saying just the other night that we're lucky to be living in a time when expert help is available to us for nearly every challenge we could think of. I'm glad the therapies are helping your kids. Like Blueviolet said, we could all use a little help every now and then!


Your thoughts are welcome here. As long as they are kind. Or maybe just not unkind.