Sure, as parents, we love our kids unconditionally and would literally lay down our lives for them. It's not the kids themselves that make you crazy.... just some of the goofy things they do.
And of course, there's always a little bit of self-inflicted guilt when some of the things your special needs kids do drives you batty.
I mean, really, Lily has enough to deal with and it's not like she's doing it on purpose, right???
While some of Lily's behaviors are not her fault (motor planning, speech....), I'm beginning to recognize that mischievous little glint in her eye. That spunky look on her face.
You know the one I'm talking about.
The one that says, "I'm about to do something I absolutely know I'm not supposed to do just to watch you lose your very mind."
Manipulation at its best.
Lily will run over to outlets with something plugged in, touch the cord, and stare at me.
She will grab the handles of her dresser drawers, act like she's going to climb it like a ladder, and stare at me.
She will open hand slap the i-Pad and stare at me.
She will fling open the refrigerator doors and stare at me.
Are you noticing a trend here?
The direct eye contact that sends the message, " What'cha gonna do, Mom? I dare you to say no."
And so I do.
I say no.
To which she then skips off, laughing at me and looking for something else to get into.
Now, I've never really been a mom who struck terror in the hearts of my children but I'm also not the mom who waits for dad to get home so he can discipline the kids.
But I've always admired the fact that my husband can simply say, "No!" in a firm and authoritative way and daughters all over this house crumple.
I found myself engaged in this conversation a few days ago:
Me - "I don't know why Lily doesn't listen to my no the way she does yours."
Ryan - "You're not saying it firmly enough."
Me - "No! NO! N-O! NOOOO!" (that was me practicing for Ryan)
Ryan - "That's better but you need to look unhappy while you're saying it."
Me - "This is so hard. I want to make her cry like you can. You're so lucky."
Sad, I know.
Secretly, I think part of the reason I can't seem to drum up the emotion to give a good "No!" is this:
Deep down, I'm happy to see her act "normal".
I'm glad to see her doing the exact same kind of crazy-making behaviors that her big sisters did.
I like the fact that she's testing the discipline waters like every preschooler on the face of this earth.
A very small voice in my brain can't help thinking, "You go, girl. That spunkiness is what's going to see you through many challenges in life."
Some of you reading might think I need intensive therapy.
And you're probably right.
I'm not saying this is wonderful parenting advice.
I'm just saying I like the challenge. And I'm up for it.