Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Spirited Child {PYHO}

I could write about so many things, but want to write on a topic that I haven't ever talked about on my blog. It's actually taken me a few years to come to acceptance and talk to my mom about this. It won't be easy to write about, but feel like I need to get this out. Maybe my story will click with another mom or dad.

Deep breaths. Here I go...


When Isabella was born I honestly had no idea how a newborn baby should act like. Sure, I knew there would be crying. Dirty diapers. Sleepless nights.

She cried. A lot. Screaming. Crying. Nothing would soothe her. Nothing.

Leo and I would walk around the house to try and hope that she would finally, at last, fall asleep. We pleaded with her in our heads. I prayed that she would just sleep. She never really did, though. Still to this day I have a hard time getting this girl to sleep. It's crazy, but something that we have grown accustomed to.

She remembers everything--seriously. She will ask me if I remember an event and it blows my mind that she can fully grasp onto that memory. Her memory amazes me and I think that it is fabulous that she has such a great one. I'm jealous to be honest.

She is very sensitive to changes. If there is a lot of noise, activities, people, she shuts down on me. It's as if her sweet self can't comprehend what all is going off. I want to say it's a sensory type of thing--but her pediatrician has blown me off in the past when I have brought this up. Case in point: we recently went to a children's museum. She was so excited to go--talked about it, happy and jabbering away a mile a minute about how excited she was. We arrive and it's as if I have a different child. She shut down. Crying. Anger. Hitting out of frustration. Now that I can recognize these signs I had Leo take her to another part of the museum that was quiet and not so sensory overloaded as the area that we were in.

Loud noises frighten her. To the point of hysterics. Screaming. Attacking whoever is closest for her to lash out on.

Same with bugs. She melts down even spotting a bug within radius of her. She isn't just scared, but is terrified. It's heartbreaking as a mother, as a parent to see my child so scared of normal things. I don't like bugs, but I don't break down when I see them.

When she was younger the tantrums were awful. She bit. She hit. She scratched. It hurt me to see her lashing out at everyone who would come into contact with her. It hurt me to apologize on countless times to children and parents who were injured by my daughter. No parent wants to see their child hurt another. It broke my heart. What was I doing wrong?

I thought perhaps this was my fault. Had I failed my child? Had I failed my oldest daughter? What could I have done to prevent this?

Then I gave birth to Madelyn and eventually Brynlie. It has taken me 4 years to realize that I have done nothing wrong in raising my Isabella. She is spirited. Some will say a handful. Some may even call her difficult. Sure, we have difficult moments. Who doesn't?

But she is different. I have finally, after FOUR years, accepted that she is different. She is simply spirited and I have taken steps to understand her better. I recently bought a book about raising a spirited child. I have spent countless nights pouring over the internet and soaking up all of the information that I can so I can help her.

I can't imagine having some of these things that my sweet girl goes through on a daily basis. Could you imagine? I love her with all of my heart and vow to learn as much as possible about spirited children. This isn't something that she can help. This isn't the path that she chose to go on. But I can take her and guide her with the best of my ability.

I don't want this to come across as a whiny post about an ill behaved child. She is far from ill behaved. She is smart--as in very advanced for her age. She has one of the biggest hearts of anyone that I have ever met. She loves helping me with tasks around the home. She is an amazing dance student. She is wonderful in so, so many ways. I love my daughters and as their mom I will do everything that I can in my power to make sure that they are equipped with the right tools in life to succeed, have a joy filled life, and to be happy little girls who grow up into happy teens, happy women.

Sorry this was so long. Hey--it's called Pour Your Heart Out for a reason, right? Happy 2nd Anniversary, Shell!


Shell said...

I hope the book helps! xo

Anna @mommy_padawan said...

I am so glad I found this post. This sounds so much like my son (3 years old) and I have also wondered if I did something wrong. He also hates if places are too crowded or even too many kids at the park, loud noises and has been a terrible sleeper since day 1. But he is smart beyond his years, sweet and loves to make you laugh. All children are different but it is tough sometimes. I hope you find some good, helpful information in your book and online. Really enjoyed your post!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the book!

Elaine A. said...

My oldest exhibits some of the same behavior so I can relate in some ways and well, that means I just want to hug you!

But I'm especially glad that you know it's not because of YOU.


momto8 said...

well..our first child was a dream..quiet, easy happy..we constantly told ourselves it was because we were such great parents...well...child #2 put all those ideas to rest!!! hahaha on us. they are now happy adults though.
i am your newest follower...pls follow back if you can.
good luck!

amanda said...

proud of you friend. proud of you for writing this. proud of you for sharing and most importantly proud of you for loving her so very much!

she is one lucky little girl!!


Vanessa said...

I cried while reading this, for you just described my oldest daughter, whom we have known is spirited, to a T. I just have never really shared it with anyone before. The few times I have, I have received critisim such as, "You need to spank her" or "You need to be more firm on your discipline". It breaks my heart because I know those are not the issues. If you ever want to talk, I'm here. Just know that you are not alone and maybe one day I'll be brave enough to post my own blog post!

Anti-Supermom said...

I'm pretty sure you know that Wyatt is the same way, it's amazing how gifted they are, but so hard when they challenge you.

Ugh. I totally feel what you are going through.

Meg from Megs A Mommy! said...

You and I? Soul mates, I swear.


His frustration often comes out in lunges, bites, scratches - you name it. If he's sad, he hits, if he's concerned he scratches, if he is around a ton of other people/noise, he hides, and if he can't hide wooboy, you better stay out of his face!

He also has a hard time sleeping.

My family has a saying: Logan is just Logan. He's going to do it his way, and it might not be the "normal way" (whatever that is) he's just going to be Logan.

For a long time, people would tell me he was autistic just because he didn't do things like the other kids. But he's not in the slightest. I would get so tired of explaining him to other people.

Logan is just Logan.

And Isabelle is just Isabelle. *hugs*

I swear it's because they are so smart. She sounds like a gifted young lady!