I can't even begin to describe how odd and often surreal this week has been. There's nothing like having two days off in the middle of the week to completely throw you off schedule. Per my previous post, I found out first thing Monday morning that my Aunt Karen had passed away Sunday night. That wasn't a surprise, as I knew it was only a matter of time, but from that point on I officially knew I had a crazy week ahead. I worked on Tuesday, though I was planning on taking off an hour early so we could head to Craig's mom's Mardi Gras fundraiser and get there reasonably on time. Well, that plan was thwarted by Chase Tower's Elevator 1, which promptly trapped me for 45 minutes as I was leaving the office. It dropped about four feet and was stuck there until the elevator people came and did their thing, which merely dropped me down to the next floor and allowed me to take another elevator down to the ground. I wasn't panicked, just bored and annoyed. So, we got the fundraiser about an hour and a half late. We ate, tried to get Jacob to eat (no luck), and let him run around like a maniac with his cousins. He went to bed late and woke up bright and early, but he did sleep through. Small victories.
We had two tentative plans for Wednesday and Thursday. Both plans involved getting me to my parents' house and Craig taking Jacob back to Rochester so they could both have a normal day of work/daycare. The splitting point was whether they came back Wednesday evening for the end of the calling hours and Thursday's funeral, or whether they stayed in Rochester through Thursday morning, when Craig would leave Jacob at daycare and come to the funeral solo. Knowing what a handful Jacob has been lately, I strongly advised him to do the latter, as neither of us would be wanting to chase him or keep him quiet, and funerals are the last place you really want to be worrying about that anyway--both for your own ability to mourn as well as the risk of disturbing others in their sad moment. And in the end, he did go with the second option...thank goodness.
It's been a long time since I've been away from Jacob overnight. The last time I can recall is last summer when I did my day trip to IKEA and came to NT the night before. That's a long time ago now and it really hit me how much time I do spend with Jacob. I suppose that some parents are never away from their kids, but when my point of comparison is Craig, who's on the road a lot, it's definitely a contrast. But regardless, in the midst of his current behavior, a break was that much more welcomed. I will say that I appreciated the uninterrupted time with my family, time to chat with my cousins, aunts and uncles, time to sleep in a bit, and time to just generally not worry about Jacob running around with his stick of choice wreaking havoc. Part of me feels guilty for feeling some relief, but part of me wonders if I should get more breaks here and there, if only to maintain my mental health in the midst of a tough stretch. Not that I want to spend more time away from Jacob or put the burden on someone else, but lately it's just been hard. I don't know...I guess I can't win. Regardless, the time with my family was great and the funeral was very nice. It was obviously a sad time, but there was much to celebrate as well, as we are completely sure that Aunt Karen's in heaven.
When we came back yesterday, we spent a little time home alone before I went to pick up Jacob. For the third straight day he had a questionable report--generally that he's having trouble listening and following directions. He threw his shoe at a teacher the other day (and actually voluntarily told another teacher that he did it), so it was truly disappointing to hear. He was a royal pain from the moment I got there, running away and being generally difficult, and at that point, I had had it. I told him that as a result of his behavior, we would be taking away his hockey sticks until his behavior improved and he was listening better. That, of course, led to a meltdown in the car, and just as I finished telling Jacob some of the reasons why (including throwing his shoes), I had a sock sail by my head into the front seat. If the deal hadn't been sealed before that, that certainly did it. So, the sticks are put away until I see a definite shift in his behavior. It's a big step and I'm not entirely sure how he's going to earn them back (which is probably a no-no in the world of discipline), but something HAD to be done.
In the meantime I've been making myself crazy trying to figure out why he's being so ridiculously awful. He's fighting us on everything, even routine stuff he should be totally used to. It's making life pretty darn awful a lot of the time. I actually asked his teachers this morning if they thought we should be taking him to see a professional. After all, his tendency to hit, kick and throw things is a little disturbing, and he knows when he's done something wrong but laughs and smiles about it. What is up with that? They said no, but I still wonder. At the same time I keep wondering if he's still sick, because his naps have been short and his mornings have been early. That's definitely a change of pace, but geez...we just got over another round of meds. Could he really be sick again?
I feel like I spend the majority of my time yelling at him, and that's an awful feeling. Awful. I feel myself withdrawing from him a bit--because he frustrates me, because I don't understand him, because I don't know how to play with him sometimes. I'm having a hard time finding a balance between showing him love but also showing disapproval (and in some cases withholding attention) when he misbehaves. It's incredibly hard. I don't understand how he can be the sweetest little boy sometimes, but then have hours at a time when everything is a test or a battle.
I was pretty down this morning, but got a serious reality check when I got to my work computer and saw the devastation in Japan. Unbelievable. It makes our challenges seem like nothing. I did have another one yesterday, too, when we noticed that this little boy that was at the funeral, probably around Jacob's age, had a trach tube sticking out of his neck. I can't imagine what that little boy's illness is, but man, was he cute. But it sure was sobering. Either situation makes you realize how lucky you are, even if our situation still involves a daily struggle. We're blessed.
Tonight involved another rough pick-up at daycare, and an equally rough trip to Wegmans, but dinner and post-dinner playing went really well. His bath was great, and while bedtime had its moments, it was manageable. It was probably the longest period of peace we've had in a while. Tomorrow will no doubt bring on a new set of challenges, but at least I can sleep okay tonight knowing that we had a good evening. But what a week it has been.