Short Update

A short update is all I have time for. I am writing incessantly and I am reviewing constantly for Divertir publishing and then there is the writing group that I started that I am back working for that is taking all my time. Between all of that and cleaning the house and occasionally taking care of the toddler and spending what little time I have left over with the wife I don’t know how to breathe anymore.

I love it all though. If I could find a job I would love it even more. Would not cut anything out, I would just rearrange stuff to give me time to work. Give me a job universe and I will give you my all.

As far as a job goes I need a desk job so I can sit due to my arthritis and degenerative disc thingy, not to mention the nerve disorder. I also need something relatively low stress because of the schizophrenia and the anxiety attacks.

There’s my update. Ask me questions, really, and I will answer them. Please ask me questions.

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Stressing Over A Two Year Old

A two year old was made to induce stress in any living human being that cares for it on a regular or even a semi-regular basis. They refuse to listen, do the exact opposite of what you tell them to do, repeat what you don’t want them to repeat and more.

I know I am not alone in saying that I get so stressed out that I have to walk away from the situation at times. At least I can walk away at times, for a single parent with little to no support life with a toddler must be something like what a believing person would imagine as hell without the fire and brimstone – okay maybe a little fire, but that is a different story.

I also know that I am not alone in my inability to handle the little stresses and anxieties of life let alone the big ones. I, like quite a bit of the world, have a severe anxiety disorder. Yes mine is a very severe case, but I am medicated enough to make it a normal case and I still can’t handle not finding my shoes in the morning after the, you guessed it, two year old moved them “somewhere”. I certainly can’t handle the screaming, spitting, hitting and licking that my two year old exhibits on an hourly basis, not with all the Klonopin in the world.

She is always right, kind of like her mother, and she thinks she should always get exactly what she wants, kind of like her mother. She can’t understand consequences yet and wouldn’t care if she could.

She wakes up too early, naps too rarely and goes to sleep only if she is drugged. I haven’t slept more than six hours a night in over two years and I really wish that was different.

At the store she is a terror and that is being nice. She refuses to sit in the cart, runs off when she is on the ground, hides, refuses to hold anyone’s hand and screams at the top of her lungs for no reason other than to piss me off. She does a lot of things just to piss me off. My wife takes a laid back approach, but I refuse to let her walk all over me like she does my wife. She gets what she wants, when she wants it and still throws fits.

Spanking doesn’t work. Time out doesn’t work. Taking away TV or toys doesn’t work. If we put her to bed early she just screams and throws everything in her room if she can’t open the door.

She is a redhead and I know that comes with a certain temperament, but dear deity I won’t have any hair in a couple more months due to stress.

Routinely I have to walk away. I used to smoke, but my wife whined until I quit. Now I scream, a lot. I can’t write much because with the level of stress I cannot collect enough thoughts to get something legible down.

Today we went to Chuck-E-Cheese. For those of you that don’t know what that is, image eighty games for kids and tunnels for them to crawl through aided by singing and dancing characters and pizza, cake and ice cream. Hell for parents.

I spent most of the time running after my daughter trying to catch her. I lost her, literally lost her, four times in four hours. I cried three times and my wife sat there and complained. I wanted to die. My stress levels were so high I started to pass out … while driving. My wife doesn’t understand. Now she wants me to have my right to have a license go back under review. If I lose my license I am screwed and she doesn’t understand how screwed we will be. I can drive wonderfully as long as I am not overly stressed or under medicated or over medicated.

Stress sucks, but it is built in to having a toddler. I am getting better, but I doubt I will ever be perfect.

Did I mention I want another one?

The Day Of The Twenty-Four Month Doctor Appointment

At least ten minutes of the day was destined to be, to date, some of the worst ten minutes of my two- year old’s life, or at least that is what she thought.

The day started out nice, for the toddler and for mommy and daddy. After a night of peace filled with the quiet, content breathing of a sleeping two-year old, we all got up late – later than the regular 5:45 am when my wife usually got up anyway. We lounged about for a couple of hours and then the significant other went to her dentist appointment. I have an unhealthy fear of dentists, well of their instruments, and an appointment for me would’ve ruined the day. My wife did not share my common cowardice so it was not much more than a simple block of time taken out of her day. While she was out my princess and I cuddled and played with her toys; it was a good time. Mommy came home and we went out to Costco.

We picked up a car seat for the babysitter (my wife’s aunt) and a few other things. After dropping off the perishable items we had lunch at a wing joint where the baby ate two big grilled chicken tenders with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing along with a few french fries (a treat as we usually do broccoli or some other veggie). Still in a good mood, we took her to another store to get shoes but ended up getting bows and a coloring book instead (she’s not spoiled or anything). Running short on time we rushed over to (her friend) the doctor’s office.

We were happy until the nurse came back into the room after we disrobed our toddler. Screaming ensued and a prick to the big toe didn’t help. She refused to keep on a band-aid so we held a towel to it until she was convinced to wear on (we had to wear one first). Even with the aid of stickers we could not stop the crying when the doctor tried to check her ears. She was intelligent and backed off to let my daughter calm down and get to know her a bit. When she used the stethoscope and the reflex hammer the kid actually laughed, but she still didn’t want her ears checked and let us know by screaming in the doc’s face. We had to ultimately hold her down for a few seconds and then attempt to listen to the doctor as her screams slowly subsided. When the doc left our little on was almost smiling. That happy face was quickly shoved away when a nurse came in with a needle that was quickly thrust into her thigh and covered with a band-aid that was actually well received; her pant leg was pulled down and we were left to gather our things. For the toddler it was a rough visit, but, all things considered, she didn’t do all that bad. For us it was informative. Disappointment and some assurance was thrown in there as well.

The Q&A session with the doctor while the screaming child was cooling down was the part I was most looking forward to (it was the main reason I actually went to the appointment as I usually let mommy handle the doctors on her own and fill me in afterwards). We discussed some mundane things, like eating (she had lost a little weight – six ounces), talking (enormous vocab and sentence structure for her age), walking and more, but what sparked the long part of the conversation was when we got to sleeping habits. As I have written about, we have some issues in that department.

A quick review: She does not put herself to sleep – I rock and sing to her in her room. She sleeps with two night lights, a projection unit, a white noise generator and the door open. When she wakes up at night, which she does on most nights, she does not put herself back to sleep – if she goes back to sleep at all. Every time she screams we come running and cater to her every whim. She understands how to manipulate us and what and how to use guilt. We cannot stand to hear her cry – it breaks our hearts and causes us to cry and TV is our pacifier. We are doing almost nothing right and we have no idea where to start in order to fix things because we have tried many methods and have failed at all of them. We did attempt to let her cry it out when she woke up on Sunday (after I rocked and sung her to sleep) and she slept through the night Monday.

The doctor told us that it was our choice to do what we thought was best for our daughter and us, but the method she preferred and recommended to all of the parents of her patients was let her cry it out. That was what I expected as I had been told that by more than a few people and read several studies on it. She also confirmed that there was no trauma for the child at this age (the parent’s trauma was a real concern however). When we told her I put her down every night she balked and strongly recommended that that stop as soon as possible. She also wanted us to get rid of the lights and shut the door leaving her in darkness, the white noise was okay. She suggested that we do everything in stages – it could take a week or more for each transition to stick. My wife and I looked at each other and nearly cried. We knew that we would not last three weeks or more. We left the doctor’s office with quite a bit of information and things to discuss at length.

We agreed that things had to change and since I was the one to deal with sleep she basically left it up to me but wanted to be informed of my decisions. I decided to rock and sing her to sleep at least one more time as I was dreading giving up my daddy time with her as she was falling asleep in my arms. It was difficult to think that I would not be singing and rocking my daughter to sleep anymore. After she fell asleep I made a decision that that was the last night. I cried for five minutes after I left her room. I removed the lights and white noise generator and put her to sleep with the door closed. If she wakes up tonight she will have to put herself back to sleep. Tomorrow night I am not staging it out, I am getting it all over with at once. If there is no trauma for the child then why put the parents through their trauma for any longer than is necessary?

She’s down now. Sleeping heavily. With the door closed. I keep checking on her, but she is fine. My bed is calling my name and I am not going to ignore it’s cries any longer. If she wakes up I will wake up and deal with it then. Hopefully this will not drive me to drinking or back to smoking. Lots of Klonopin and breathing exercises, not to mention support from the other parent.