Little Man has tantrums, outbursts, and meltdowns. Whatever you call them, they are unpleasant. The people around us don’t always know what to do, let alone what to think when he starts down that path. If we’re in public, we try to leave fairly quickly. If we’re at home he goes in time-out or time-in depending on how bad it gets. When he is being watched by someone other than a family member we just pray it doesn’t happen and if it does we come back quickly to take care of our little guy and relieve the caregiver who simply can’t or doesn’t want to handle it. There are a few people who, I feel really really try and who really really love our little guy. Then, there are those who look at me with huge sorrowful eyes as I am taking my Little Man home and say in an exasperated tone, “what are you going to do with him?” Today, I responded, “I’m going to hug him, and kiss him, and put him to bed.” What else could I say? I didn’t have time to explain that we are in therapy and that I too desperately want to know what to do! I didn’t have time to say how scared I am that he will never get over these types of outbursts. I don’t want to even think about the very real and soon approaching possibility that he will have to handle being ripped away from me after I’ve been the only mommy he has known for the last 14 months. Any biological family member who “could possibly” raise him has poverty, drug history, mental illness, troubles with the law and/or bad life choices to overcome in addition to then adding a very traumatized toddler to the mix. Will they or can they handle him? Will they be patient and kind? Will they spend hours holding and cuddling him after a meltdown? Will they tuck him in “just right,” so that he feels safe and comfortable enough to sleep at night? All of these things, we do as a family each and every day for our Little Man. It is a kind of a “dance” that we do to keep him happy and calm. Oh, how heavy my heart was tonight with all of this on my mind. I have been reading and searching the scriptures about prayer and worry this week and here is what I’ve found.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
So, I found my encouragement for today! I will lean on HIM, my holy savior and trust HIM to make the right path for me AND for my Little Man.
Little Man, Baby Girl, and I packed up the diaper bag on Tuesday morning and headed to our second therapy appointment for Little Man. We met with a different psychologist this time. The appointment lasted one hour and we walked out with two more appointments scheduled.
I love therapy! I walk out of that building feeling like a million bucks. Not only is this person sitting there totally trained and educated about child development and child psychology, but for that hour they are totally concerned only with my Little Man and me. Little Man doesn’t talk much to them. We are doing what they call “play therapy.” The psychologist talks a lot with me; however, and watches every move Little Man makes while he plays. Children communicate through behaviors. Little Man may not be able to tell the therapist how he feels about something verbally, but his behavior sure tells the therapist a lot.
At the end of our session the therapist said, “God bless you! You’re doing great with him!” It was all I needed to hear, that one sentence from a precessional! I’m doing okay! I’m not totally screwing up! That validation was all I needed to keep going, keeping loving, keep caring for, and keep giving my all to Little Man even when it gets really hard.
So, tonight when my Little Man was frustrated and bit me in the stomach. I didn’t feel like a failure. I didn’t think to myself, “I’m doing this all wrong,” or “If I was a better mother he wouldn’t act this way.” Tonight, I calmly gave my Little Man a “time-in,” knowing that every day is a therapy day in our house. Every day we are making connections. Every day we are working towards healing!
So, we had our very first therapy session or rather therapy evaluation on Monday for Little Man. He has been in our care for the past 13 months and although things around our house have gone from roaring tornado to more of a light hail storm, there is still so much more we can do to help this precious little boy.
I guess the ultimate decision to start seeking professional psychological help for Little Man came after he graduated from speech therapy. He had been receiving services at the house since January and as of November no longer qualified because he had officially reached “normal” as far as communication and speech is concerned. Praising God for that, since a huge problem in the beginning was his inability to communicate his needs to us. Communication is no longer the problem. Little Man can communicate very well. It is the way he communicates which is extremely stressful for the household. Screaming, tantrums and consistent aggressive behavior is still the norm at our house.
So, to therapy we go and Monday was a great day. We met the therapist who will evaluate Little Man and see how she can best help him with play therapy. We are so excited to start this new journey with Little Man. It’s just one more step in his healing. We can’t wait to help him to be able to become a content, happy healthy little boy!