Your child will be well trained to follow the rules. She will sleep through the night. She will clean her plate. She will come when you call. She will answer questions when asked.
Enter into the picture: Dear Sweet Evelyn
There is no book on Evelyn. There just simply isn't.
It started very young for her with her food and sleep issues. It's not normal for a child to suddenly stop gaining weight for 9 months. All the while to be sleeping worse than a newborn, up every 5-10 minutes for hours at a time screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.
I don't know if what we are dealing with now is a result of that time, or if it's just part of who she is.
But I do know that life now is a constant challenge with her. I want to look forward to my time with her throughout the day, but there are days that I dread it.
Away from home and around other people she can be a completely different child. Sweet, quiet, introverted. But when it's just her and I (or Scott) at home...
This week has left me exhausted. It's been days and days of battles and behavior that I don't even know how to begin to tackle. Each isolated incident is not that strange for a 3-year-old, it's the combination. It's the fact that it's not a singular event in the week, it's an all-day every-day thing. The whole time we are outside I have to tell her over, and over, and over again to not throw dirt on the driveway, throw rocks, destroy plants, go past where she can ride her bike, get things out of the van, etc.
She won't answer your questions when you ask. She won't do what you ask of her. Everything is a battle. Even leaving the house to run to the store has become a war of wills.
Her attitude is better when we are outside, it's just her behavior that isn't.
She ate her usual breakfast this morning, the only thing she will eat in the morning: yogurt, granola, and raisins. And they have to be in that order. This morning some raisins got underneath the granola and the world just about came to a screeching halt. It was disastrous for her.
Then while I went upstairs to sort laundry, she got a large cup down and filled it with water from the fridge multiple time. Each time dumping it out on the floor of a different area of the house. I came downstairs to a virtual flood that managed to wet down even the surface of all the cupboards and appliances in the kitchen. While I was cleaning up that mess she melted into a screaming puddle because her pj's had gotten wet in the process. After disciplining and feeling like she understood, I went upstairs to get her dry clothes and bring down more laundry. While I was up there she dumped another large glass of water all over the dining room. Sigh.
So we don't know what to do next with her. She is already seeing multiple doctors for her Celiac and food intolerances and now has the addition of weekly appointments for speech therapy. Do I drag her to more specialists to try to get more labels attached to her? Would it even help?
How do I deal with the judgment I feel from those around me that say things would be better if I just did x,y, and z? Disciplined more, used a different method, took her off more foods, gave her more attention, gave her less attention. And if I ignore the judgment of others, I suppose I would have to then deal with the judgment I impose upon myself.