Friday, May 27, 2011

The Behavoiral Pediatrician and Moving Again

As Ian got older we noticed that he would become very agitated when there were  bright lights or loud noises, and he was really bothered by scratchy clothes and tastes and textures of foods.  We bought sunglasses for situations where there would be bright lights.  We bought ear muffs for loud noises.  We adjusted to the fact that he was only going to wear certain clothes.  We also adjusted to him involuntarily throwing up at the table when he put some bite of food in his mouth that had a texture that bothered him. 

We, and everyone he talked to, also noticed that he had advanced verbal skills;  the words he used and the way he used them correctly, were way above his age.  By the time he was 2 1/2, he could have a conversation with anyone, using complete sentences and vocabulary that should have been over his head.  People were always so surprised when they talked to him, but I didn't realize how unusual it was until years later when my other kids got to be that age, were speaking in 3-4 word sentences, and WE could barely understand them, let alone anyone else.

When Ian was 3 years old Husband and I went on a short trip, and Ian stayed with my mother.  When I called to talk to him, the first thing he said, very earnestly, was, "I don't miss you, Mom."  Broke my heart =(.

Also around this time, I took him to see a Behavioral/Developmental Pediatrician because he was WEARING ME OUT.  At the end of our visit the doctor said, "Well, I really hesitate to label children this young, but he definitely has some issues...he has a behavior pattern with anxiety, oppositional defiance and aggression...and I think he would benefit from play therapy."   It was frustrating to still not know exactly what was going on, but it was a GREAT RELIEF to learn that Ian's behavior was not caused by my parenting skills (or lack thereof, as many people thought), and that I was doing everything *I* could do to help him.

When David was about 9 months old, we had to move across the country for Husband's job.  Ponder that for a moment:  driving across the country for about FIVE DAYS with a 3 1/2 year old and a 9 month old strapped in their car-seats.  Oh, it was bad.  Ian's behavior was OFF THE CHARTS as he tried to deal with the changes in his life, and David slept even worse than usual.  I was pretty sure, about 2 days into the trip, that both boys were sick, so we stopped somewhere to have them seen, but they doctor said he just couldn't tell and we'd have to try again in a few days.  When we got to where we were going, we took them in again.  Both boys had ear infections, and David had to have a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia (NOT FUN trying to hold a screaming baby down so he can get an x-ray!).

David never liked being on his stomach either, and was using furniture to help him walk around by the time he was 10 months old.  He babbled a little but was mostly content to point and grunt (or screech, LOTS OF SCREECHING).  He ADORED Ian and always wanted to be playing with him, but Ian was not so keen on this.  David walked by himself shortly before his first birthday! 
Whatcha got there, brother?

Are you SURE you don't want to play?
David started what turned out to be a 3-child-tradition of acting like his birthday cake was made of poison he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do with his birthday cake.
You want me to EAT this?!
We discovered around a year old, that David was REALLY EASY to put to bed for the night if we would tuck him in with his favorite blanket and puppy and give him a sippy cup of milk (this turned out to be a BIG MISTAKE);  he would drink the milk, roll over, and go to sleep.  I would go into his room before I went to bed and fill his cup back up and put it in his crib so he could find it when he woke up in the night.  We were desperate for sleep, so this was really wonderful....until he started waking up in the night wanting another milk refill, sigh.  (A year or so later, when Husband got tired of a little person pattering into our room in the middle of the night with his cup in hand saying, "Moo (more) oke (milk), Daddy!" he decided to break David of this habit cold turkey;  this resulted in David sitting in a corner, shrieking like a wounded animal and throwing his cup, which had been filled with something nasty water, at Daddy....more than once.)

As we settled into our new place, Ian switched from TRACTORS, TRACTORS, TRACTORS to FIREFIGHTERS, FIREFIGHTERS, FIREFIGHTERS!  He wore his firefighter hat ALL DAY LONG, insisted his name was "Firefighter", wanted his clothes/dishes/blankets to be RED.  He WAS NOT ever getting married or going to college or anything because HE WAS GOING TO BE A FIREFIGHTER!

Moving was a really hard change for Ian, even though we had done our best to prepare him for MONTHS in advance.  He frequently threw screaming tantrums, seemed very angry, and often yelled at me. 

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