Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On Madam and the Universe

It's strange that I don't write that often about Madam, considering that she's so central in my life. Part of it is that I have not yet mastered the gift to converting our little inside jokes and outings into stories that would interest anyone except immediate family. Also, whenever I am inclined to complain about tantrums, etc, I like to take a little time to let those particular feelings blow over. So I end up not writing much at all.

But, honestly, the main reason is that I am waiting for the day that I can write about all of the cute things she says.

We're not there yet.

I've mentioned that Madam is having speech difficulties, yes? After some dithering about whether or not to screen her for possible intervention, we finally decided to go forward and test her.

It's a peculiar feeling, watching someone test your child. I was sitting on my hands the whole time, to keep from jumping in. I wanted to pass Madam a cheat sheet, or something. I wanted to tell the nice tester that “she KNOWS this, no really...she does.” Mostly, I managed to behave (although I may have blurted out an answer or possibly two). The whole thing was complicated by the fact that Madam is EXTREMELY shy around strangers, thus, I could barely get her to say ANYTHING to the teacher, or to follow her directions. It took a very long time for her curiosity to overpower her foreboding.

I knew the tester was not getting an accurate picture of Madam. But there was no way for me to prove it.

She's gotten evaluated a few more times since then, and while now she can say some words, they're pretty much unintelligible to everyone except TEG and me. So she's been recommended for services—not just speech therapy, but also possibly occupational therapy to help with the shyness.

This is all good news. But as a mother, of course, it's hard not to feel that I've failed her. We've been working on all this for so long-the shyness, the speech, but I just couldn't help her. And of course, I start questioning every decision—have I been too lenient? Not lenient enough? Does she remember those days in NICU, and not feel sufficiently bonded with me? Did I eat too much tuna while pregnant? You get the idea.

So, I've been a trifle blue the past few days. This has been compounded by the weather—I have SAD and it's been consistently gray for over a week. And my loneliness—I feel like I AM loneliness lately, and people have to recoil to protect themselves from my contagion.

And just forget the writing. Why did I sign up for Nanowrimo 2007? Oy.

Last night, as I went to bed, I was worrying all of these issues around like beads on a mental string. Thoroughly worn, I did something I have not done in a while. I prayed...just a simple request for relief. “I just want something good to happen.”

Well, today, I went to check my mail and there it was. A Laini's Lady and Not for Robots pin! Just a little treat from one of favorite people.

So, thank you, Universe. That is EXACTLY what I meant.

Now I'll be getting out of my own head and helping my Madam in anyway I can.

PS: Please excuse any misspellings or weirdness in this post--I have scratched my retina (I think) and so I can only see out of one eye--barely. :(

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Blogger deirdre said...

It must be difficult (at the least) to see your child struggle and know you can't fix it for her. You're giving her just what she needs by getting the testing and therapies - and being a far better mommy than you give yourself credit for.

I hope your eye is better soon. Sounds distinctly uncomfortable.

Don't you just love Laini's Ladies? Finding one in a bookstore was what led me to blogging.

9:29 AM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Becca said...

Sometimes as parents we give ourselves too much credit-as if we have the power to fix everything about our children and make them perfect. As Deirdre said, by finding the proper experts and therapies for her, you're doing just what a good parent should do.

Once upon a time, my son, who was extremely verbally precocious, was chosen by the director of his school to be interviewed on the radio. He was probably seven or eight at the time, and normally talked everyone's ear off as if he were 19. And he played at being a radio announcer all the time, speaking into toy microphones and such. But when placed in front of the real thing, do you think we could get him to say a word? He was completely monosyllabic. It was horrible.

Parenthood is such a delightful grab bag of surprises.

2:56 PM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Leah said...

it must be so hard to sit by and watch your daughter get tested, but i hope it leads to all good things!

p.s. i'm having trouble reading your blog in bloglines as the type is super duper teeny tiny!

4:50 PM, October 18, 2007  
Anonymous bella said...

It's so hard not to question ourselves as parents, and I totally feel you on the emotional front here! There's a lot of outside pressure too with toddlers to be on the mark with different developmental stages by a certain age, "or else!!"...
Thank goodness that today, there are therapies and outlets that can help when kids need them.

I remember a time period when my girl was not talking at all.. and then a couple of months later I was praying to the heavens for her to shut up because she talked way too much. It happens as fast as that sometimes.

I hope your eye feels better. Ouch!

10:48 AM, October 19, 2007  
Anonymous tinker said...

I don't know if this will help, but I hope it will - one of my granddaughters has had speech and occupational therapy, and now, just a few years later, hearing her speak, you wouldn't even know that she had ever needed it. Just wanted to share that with you, in case it would help ease your mind.
I think it shows what a good mom you are, that you're worrying, but try not to blame yourself - sometimes things just happen or just ARE the way they are for unknowable reasons. This is the beginning of her path - and maybe this little bump is there, so someday she will be stronger for having gone over it...that's what I've told myself, at least, in similar situations. Though it's so hard to see the little ones we love, struggle with things - you're doing what you can to help her through this stage, and that's what really counts.
Sorry to have gone on and on...

Lucky you, getting a Laini's Lady in the mail! I love Laini's Ladies - so cute! I've been buying the cards to give to everyone in my family for birthdays this year, and they all love them now, too.

I'm glad you're doing NaNoWriMo - I love reading your Sunday Scribblings stories. This is my third year participating, and I'm hoping this is the year I'll finally cross that 50,000 word finish line. This comment has gone on so long, I think it may qualify, lol.
Sending good wishes your way!

12:31 PM, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Lisa said...

Things will get better soon. The testing is tough, but it's always better to seek answers than to worry and wonder. My sympathies are with you on your eye too. I did that once and it was miserable! Feel better. Hug.

12:33 PM, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Tori said...

I hope your retina is ok!!!
Bravo for you for doing all that you can for your sweet darling.

6:46 PM, October 19, 2007  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Hello, YOU! I'm trying to catch up on about 5 weeks worth of posts in my Bloglines today--ACK! Sorry I've been absent...have been busy reading and working and socializing (a rarity), etc. I'm here to catch up. I can only imagine it must have been very hard to watch that testing. If it's any consolation, my folks would tell you that my brother (VERY verbal and quick) really only spoke mostly jibberish until he was about 4...I used to translate for him...and I swear I understood every word...and couldn't understand why they didn't. ;) Hugs...I know it can't be an easy thing to go through...what with all the worrying about what ifs... xoxo

3:41 PM, October 20, 2007  
Blogger Jessie said...

madam is a beautiful shining star and we both know it. i am in love with that little girl and even from my outside perspective i can see that it's all there and that, one day, that girl is going to blossom into the most beautiful and expressive little flower in the entire world! :)

i've been thinking about you lots lately. i'm sorry i haven't gotten a chance to call or email. it's been busy and work and night time comes too fast these days! i love ya though..and i'm looking forward to our date on Oct. 28th--so far away! geesh. :)-

louis sends puppy kisses to madam. he also told me that he understands her perfectly and that everyone else will soon enough too. ;)

12:06 AM, October 21, 2007  
Blogger frida said...

Just letting you know I'm here, reading - with absolutely no words of wisdom about parenting, but plenty of experience of being lonely and glad that someone sent you a gift at just the right moment.


1:13 AM, October 21, 2007  
Blogger kate said...

What a hard space to be in, my dear, but you're doing all the right things. Early intervention can work miracles, and just getting the help Madam needs is half the battle. But I do know what you mean about the weather. It doesn't help anything to wake up to dark clouds every morning. What can you do to treat yourself?

1:11 PM, October 21, 2007  
Blogger Earnest and Game: Heather said...

Hello! Let's talk when you can--don't need eyes for that. I'm having eye weirdness too. I hope your cornea is soon soothed. And that tooth. Oi. I hope that things with la petite madame feel less worrisome. That was a total Liz Gilbert moment, that mail pkg. Ha, ask and you *shall* receive. Sending Xs and Os, xoxoox, Heather

1:21 PM, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Hmmmm I wish I had the right words. being a parent of a 2yr old I often ask myself similar questions-have I been too lenient not lenient enough? It seems normal to worry when you are a parent. Especially when you have tried to work on something and you don't see the changes you hoped for.

A relative of my husbands had early intervention for her son and a year later now he is a very eloquent little boy-and you never would guess he needed that little bit of help.

Oh and I signed up for writing in my blog every day in november. Oiy-what was I thinking?


1:06 PM, October 28, 2007  
Blogger Amber said...

Hey there.
I feel this mom guilt ALL THE TIME. Today, trying to get Wyatt out to school on time, he stopped and says to me, "Mom. When you yell at me like this, it makes me feel like I am a bad kid."

Oy. Oy. More oy. And also, an I Suck. ;(

Whatever is going on with Madam, you did nothing to make it so. This mom stuff is hard, man.

ox Hope your eye is well soon, love. I am going to check out that book.


6:12 PM, October 29, 2007  

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