Since I last wrote about our challenges with Brandon I have been overwhelmed with abundant support and kindness from everyone. To the point that I haven’t had time to answer all of the lengthy and truly appreciated emails of support and stories that have come in. (I’m working thru it in-between work, I promise I will write you back if I haven’t yet. I’ve just been busy night and day for weeks!)
But first let me tell you about the last couple of weeks because they’ve been amazing. We’ve gone from daily, stressful, I’m-not-sure-how-much-more-I-can-take tantrums to one single tantrum that diffused faster than ever in TWO WEEKS!
Three weeks ago (ish?), I filled out a 300 question (!!!) child development inventory that was intended to get a general idea from our perspective of where Brandon stands with development in a number of areas. The result? All areas came back significantly delayed except for one. It’s not at all a diagnostic tool, but I felt it was useful in guiding our specialists in where to start.
If I filled out that questionnaire today many of my answers would change. Many of them. Possibly even half.
I’ve seen progress since that inventory that has amazed me. Behavior, communication, they’ve both been astoundingly good (relative to before).
I have no clue what happened. Brandon’s daycare teachers are sad that he’s leaving because he’s been such a joy and that makes my mama heart so proud. I’m equally sad as we have grown very attached to the five or six lovely women who are responsible for his care while we are at work.
This daycare centre was but a temporary stop from the beginning. We knew it. They knew it. Next week he starts at the daycare attached to his school. And though we’ve gone in and met them and I feel good about the environment he’ll be in, I’m very scared of the transition.
I’m trying to temper my fears because children are far too perceptive for me to let those fears take deep root. I don’t want him to sense my fear of this change and make him insecure. I want him to flourish and thrive through it.
But the hard part is that he’s in a good place right now. He’s happy, having fun and excited about everything (for the most part). We’ve had so much fun with him the last couple of weeks and I just don’t want this change to disrupt that.
I thought we’d have to be very careful how we prepare him for next week. Tell him too early and we risk great disappointment and upset leading to a major tantrum when he doesn’t get what he wants now. Tell him too late and we risk great disappointment and upset leading to a major tantrum when he is forced to do what he doesn’t want to do now.
Much to our surprise, our current daycare centre took the initiative to begin preparing both Brandon and his fellow classmates for Brandon leaving after this week. They’ve been brilliant, celebrating the time he has left with them and getting him excited about where he’s going. When I walked in Monday evening to pick him up, half of the children gave Brandon hugs as he left. I was so touched by these children and their unconditional friendship to Brandon. I don’t know if he feels attached to any of these children, but they clearly like him. One even asked him to come to her birthday party as he was leaving, which was so sweet.
To say that this change had my nerves on edge is an understatement. Yes, I’m aware that what I describe is no different than any child. There is a difference, though, and I find it difficult to quantify other than that my little boy has so often upset himself to the point that he passes out (asleep). These “tantrums” are the direct result of being unable to reason with him about things that other children deal with differently.
We haven’t had to deal with that level of upset in two weeks. It’s done wonders for our stress levels during a time when we were a bit stressed about some other areas of life. Thank goodness he chose now to calm down, even if it’s only temporary. I still don’t know how to communicate effectively with him to prevent his upset. That’s a challenge that I know we’ll work on until we find the answer.
All this past weekend, I kept thinking about how thankful I am to have him, regardless of what’s going on. Today I got word that we’ll have an appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician in just two weeks. I feel optimistic, no longer alone, and I needed that.
I want to leave you with this video. This is excerpts of Jason Goldsmith, who founded The Big Blue Hug, speaking at PAB about his son, Ellis. I wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but the video wasn’t quite ready. I think when you see it, you’ll see why I was so profoundly affected by hearing Jason.
He spoke to me right where I’m at in life. And that is powerful.