Sunday, May 20, 2007

Circle Time

I haven't been writing much lately. I'm really struggling. I know this will pass but man it really sucks. I've often read that other moms of special needs kids say they become better people because of the challenges that they face with their children. This isn't true for me although I wish it were. Being Oliver's mom makes me want to be a better person. But that isn't the same thing, is it? Being Oliver's mom just seems to magnify my short-comings. It shows me where I need to make improvements to BE a better person but it doesn't make me any more able to make those changes. I often find it ironic that the one critical trait that is so important for being a good mother to Oliver -- patience -- is the one thing that I most need in greater reserves.

Oliver is doing so incredibly well these days and I've said before that I think we are on the right track for him and for our family. I still feel that way. But the thing about RDI is that in order to progress, Oliver needs to be kept right at the edge of his competency. And he needs to have just the right degree of challenge and motivation. So when we start something new it is a delicate balance -- I want him to be challenged and successful -- but if I don't get it right there is a high degree of frustration for everyone. I haven't been getting it right. And the more I don't get it right the more effort it takes for me to want to try again. But the very worst part is that I know this is exactly how Oliver must feel everytime I don't get it right. It is a vicious circle.

Not to end on a completely down note, though: we went for another hike today to the very same place I described in my last post. I took the camera this time and got lots of great pictures. Now if I can only figure out how to download them I will try to post a few. I think I have about 270 pictures on the camera since we bought it in December though so it may take me some time to wade through them.


  1. I read your post last night and I wanted to comment, wanted to think of something to say that would take it away for you. But I kept coming up blank.

    When I came back to it this morning, I realized why this one is so hard for me. I've been feeling a lot the same the last few days. Feeling not quite "on" in my role as GP's mom.

    A wise friend recently said to me, "be kind to yourself." And, so I try. Hang in there, Christine, hold tight to the fact that Oliver is doing well, and be kind to yourself.

  2. You JUST started stage 3, you can not possibly be expected to get it RIGHT right away. Remember the marathon. Do not be so hard on yourself. We could all use more patience, but we do our best and like you said, "Oliver is doing so incredibly well these days". I am sure he will continue to do well. Does that mean there won't be difficult days? Of course not. We will continue to hit bumps along the way on this journey, but we will all continue to grow because of the fact that we will try again the next day.

    Looking forward to the pictures :-)

  3. Christine- My kids brush their teeth about once a week. Talk about wanting to be a better mom- my sights are set pretty low. One reason I have not jumped in to any kind of therapy for Henry is because I doubt I could follow through on it the way I would need to.

    I tell him I love him every day, and when I'm getting frustrated I say "aaargh- I'm getting frustrated!" You do all that and more, and you're the best mom for Oliver! I'm sorry you're feeling down- hope we can all help lift you up a little.

  4. Anonymous10:59 AM

    hang in there. i KNOW the feeling. i do. our kids can take our learning curve. they can. you'll find your way and oliver will be right by your side, referencing, experience sharing, and ready to coordinate.

  5. The worst thing anyone ever told me was "God never gives you more than you can handle". Hello?!! More than I can handle!!!! My advice (FWIW) stick to the stage 2 objectives you had fun with, and slowly change them into co ordinated activities. If it helps, we ALL feel like this sometimes. I know I don't feel like I am cut out for this MOST of the time. I can't wait to see the pictures too.

  6. I thoroughly relate to your feelings of inadequacy. I go through the same thing. In just the short time I've been reading your blog I have been blown away by your knowledge and dedication. Really. Be kind to yourself.

  7. 270 photos! Each worth a blog spot----we've so often hit "plateaus" with Charlie. He'll be doing so well and then we feel like, let's make it harder---up the ante---and he protests, in words and other ways. Keep at it, work through, and you are "more better"---really!

  8. I could copy Kristen's post word-for-word and say the same exact thing. I read your post last night and completely empathize with you. Having a special needs child means so much more than anyone can possibly understand, especially when it comes to our own self-esteem. It never seems to be enough, does it? We ARE good moms and we all have to remind each other of that. A LOT.

  9. I don't know much about RDI, but I know a lot about feeling frustrated and inadequate! :)

    The advice to go back to something that's fun and that he can be successful at sounds good to me. Then hopefully you can both gradually try the new, harder things.