Friday, March 16, 2012

Where To Go From Here

I read a good amount of parenting books and blogs and such before having children.  The general consensus was good parenting in = good children out.  If you are consistent, and set boundaries, and discipline using this method, your children will bend to your will and your days will be enjoyable.

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.


  1. Behaviorally, all I can say is I have been there. I don't really have any advice other then do what feels right in your gut and don't let anyone's judgments bother you. In our experience it does get better with time. Some of it is just personality and no discipline will change that.

    Food wise we have been there too. My son is gluten free and it hard because he is so tiny I hate limiting his diet but we have seen real improvement since going GF.

  2. Wow, sounds like you could use a break! I have no advice, but just wanted to comment and say not to be too hard on yourself, I'm sure you've tried lots of tactics. I really hope this is a phase that stops soon. Dd it just begin recently? The only thing that caught my eye was that you said she started speech therapy recently, did her eacalating bad behavior corollate with starting that?

  3. It's pretty much how she's been her whole 3.5 year life. We've only done the speech evaluation, therapy will start next week.

  4. She may have some rotten behavior but those pictures reflect one happy child, so you're doing something right - at least some of the time!! :) Sometimes I think they just like to test their boundaries. This too shall pass right?...right? LOL

  5. Allan & Diane ZadowMarch 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Lizzy, our prayers are with you. Your Godfather and I were so sad to hear all the challenges that have come your way. God bless you as you try to meet these challenges. As for advice Uncle Allan has always said if each child came with a manual each one would be different. Nobody knows what happens in any one else's home. So follow your heart we know that always works best.

  6. I totally feel you on this! I, honestly, am feeling relieved going to the specialists now- it makes me understand what is going on better- so there is less pressure on both of us...and I beat myself up a little less...

  7. I have similar problems with my son. Now that he has turned 4, however, things seem to be getting a bit better. Everyone tells me that 3 is just really hard. Sounds like maybe she is very smart but is not able to express herself as clearly as she wants due to her speech difficulties. Perhaps as she improves in that area, her behavior will improve as well. Now that my little boy is 4 it seems like I am able to reason with him a bit more. Hang in there. I know how exhausting and frustrating it is.

  8. I just found you blog by surfing and I just want to say you're on the right track. You are doing good mama. I know you didn't want more advice but like Maura, I too had behavior issues reversed by taking my celiac son off of gluten. He had to go both gluten and dairy free at first but after his gut healed he was able to do dairy again. It's worth a try. The protein in milk is too similar to wheat for an unhealthy system to tolerate. Check medications too, fluoride tablets were making him sick after I thought we'd eliminated all gluten.

    It's remarkable that I found you today of the millions of blogs on the web and as I started reading this story I thought, "I wonder if she is celiac". Then you said she is.

    Hang in there. I will pray for you and your darling little gal. I too have celiac and know first hand how it can effect my behavior. My son used to throw horrendous fits where I thought he would hurt himself even foam at the mouth and spit. I worried he was autistic. He was smart but would selectively listen. Would act out and wake up sweating and screaming. It took probably 6mo before that all went away. You'd never know it now. He is 10.

    Anyway, I pray your little girl too is on the way to fully healing.

    1. Thank you so much for this. I have debated taking her off dairy from time to time, I just never thought we really saw a reaction to it. It may be that her behavior is being influenced though. It would just be breakfast really that would have to change as I would have to find a dairy-alternative yogurt that is acceptable to her as yogurt is the only thing she will consistently eat at breakfast.

    2. I'm so glad you didn't feel nagged or bugged by my comment. I give my 2 dairy free kiddos rice milk. Although I bet almond or coconut milk would work too. As for yogurt that's a toughie. Sometimes because its processed they can tolerate it. I have one that can and one that can't. One that can have hard cheeses (like Parmesan) but no soft cheeses like mozzarella. You could experiment. Maybe she'd go for corn grits for breakfast. I'd never eaten it before going celiac but it's not bad. You can mix in all kinds of things. Email me if you wanna keep up the conversation. :) I'm sending up a prayer right now before I go to bed. I hate the place you are in and I remember all too well! jessie[at]jessiegunderson[dot]com

      You could also be dealing with hidden sources of gluten and the continued healing process is a long one for some people. Took me over a year to be really healthy feeling. Even now if I get a tiny bit of gluten I have a whole down day where I'm unexplainably cranky as well as the intestinal problems and often a headache.
      Bye for now, I've gotta get my beauty rest. ;)


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