Monday, April 28, 2008

I wasn't ready for him to learn this yet

Alex had his three month growth spurt last week which meant I was not the best of moms to either of my kids - getting your sleep in 1 hour intervals will do that to a person. Between the hell that is extreme sleep deprivation and my poor little man's reflux issues, Michael has definitely been getting the short end of the stick and I've been trying desperately to break the cycle of any attention equals good attention. We went out on Saturday morning to one of the local playgrounds so we could get out of the house and Michael could play for a bit. They were having a flea market to benefit the playground, so I took a quick look around to see if maybe I could find a truck or car for Michael. I lucked out with finding this past year's Hess truck - a monster truck with a pair of motorcycles in the back. It makes some awful noises which was my objection to it back at Christmas time, but they let me have it for $5 so I got it for him (and thankfully the batteries have just died).

We then went into the playground. It was an older group of kids - my guess is that most of them had parents involved in the flea market. One of the boys zoomed in on Michael and his flashy toy. They seemed to be playing well enough together (i.e. the older kid wasn't being too manipulative), so I sat down with Alex to have some of my coffee. Then I saw this kid rev the monster truck up and launch it at Michael's face. I ran to get Michael (only a small split in his lip, thank God), and this kid told me a few times how it was an accident. I was comforting Michael and trying to explain to this child that even if it was an accident, you don't throw things at someone else's face and the Michael was hurt. He protested once more about it being an accident and then ran off. The part that bothers me the most is that even with my agreement that it was an accident and the fact that I could have been screaming bloody murder at him with some choice swear words and I wasn't - there was never an "I'm sorry" to Michael. Michael was really hurt and told me so after the boy ran off. It was the first time I saw a crack develop in his innocence and it was all I could do to not sit down and cry with him too.

Michael calmed down after a bit and resumed playing. I had to step in once again when an older child's version of playing was rollerblading away with one of the motorcycles. After that intervention, the first child came back and Michael started whimpering, "He hurt me," every time he saw him which just broke my heart. At that point I just gave up and packed us up to head for McDonald's for lunch - a day for it if there ever was one.

I think we'll be sticking with weekday park visits for a while. The worst part is that we were just starting to break the negative attention cycle but this lovely trauma pushed us back into it again. Lots and lots of deep breathing and reminders that he still needs a lot of loving even if I'm tapped out from coping with Alex and his GERD. I'm counting down the days to May 6th when we see the GI at CHOP and praying that I can get Alex some more relief. The spitting and the no-naps thing I can cope with, it's the screaming fits that I want to get rid of because they are the hardest for both me and Michael to deal with, not to mention the pain Alex must be in to scream like that in the first place.

Off to have dinner - then it's Fullmetal Alchemist and to bed.