Thursday, February 28, 2008

A biting story

I know that no one ever said parenting was going to be easy. And believe me, it's not sometimes. Yesterday was one of those times.

To put it mildly, Ethan had a horrible day at preschool. His impulse control was basically zilch, and he ended up biting a child (who is normally his friend)......bit him TWICE, and hard enough to break the skin and cause bleeding. And to top it all off, this child had already RSVPd to come to Ethan's birthday party in a couple of weeks. AAAAHHHHHH!

As I came to pick him up, the teacher pulls me aside to tell me what had happened and to have me sign 2 incident reports that will have to go in his file. Apparently, they were on the playground, and Ethan bites for no clear reason (which I believe, because he's done this at home too), and gets taken inside to the director's office for time out. The other child is tended to, cleaned up, etc, then Ethan is given a chance to say he's sorry. He does so, and they hug and the other child is nice about it, says "that's ok", etc. They're holding hands and walking back out to the playground, and Ethan reaches over and bites him AGAIN! WTF??

I'm sorry, I do not understand this behavior at all. And how can I help him if I can't understand it? As strange as this sounds, I feel like I often can relate to Andrew (even with his ASD) he is a perfectionist personality, very sensitive and soft-hearted, etc. But Ethan? He's in a whole other dimension, and I'm lost there with no idea how to help him or make a connection with him about these kind of behaviors. He's almost 4, for God's sake, biting shouldn't be a problem any more.

But my typical tendency is to blame myself, and shut down because "it's just too hard, I can't do this" etc. I was in tears yesterday as we left the preschool, just totally at a loss for what to do next, how to get through to him. I don't think he's mean-spirited, I don't even think he truly wants to hurt others.........but then how do you explain it? And truthfully, I'm scared about how we can get things under control before Kindergarten, because he's destined for trouble in school if these behaviors aren't any better. Actually, if this weren't our church's preschool, where I"m on the Board of Directors, Ethan might not still be enrolled there......because they probably would be asking us to leave due to his behaviors. And what would we do then? We'd be SOL, I suppose.

I feel like such a whiny baby sometimes, but I want to know when our road will stop being so bumpy.......every single step of the way, from conception onward, has been a struggle and at times a life and death struggle. I'm lucky to even have the boys, for them to have lived despite the extreme prematurity and difficult births, but...........I secretly wish for a parenting life that doesn't have acronyms. That's it, that's all I'm asking for. No NICU, no ASD, no ADHD, no BPD, no SID or OT or PT or IUGR or PDA or any of the rest. And every family and every parent has struggles, bad days, etc, I get that. But I think I've had my share already, and really do wish for some smooth, newly-paved road ahead. Maybe even a chance to use cruise control, but at this point I haven't even discovered where that button is, much less used it.


Jen said...

HUGS Jen. Parenting former preemies is never easy, is it?

Try switching around your thinking a bit. Perhaps as he gets older, he'll have more impulse control???

I know. I know. Maybe I'm being too polyanna, but E is such a miracle to begin with. Please stop blaming yourself. Deal with the behaviors and I know you'll continue to love E along the way.

lyndsey said...

(((((Jen))))) I know it's rough. Some days crying seems like the only solution. It will get better. I don't know when or how, but this too shall pass. (((hugs)))