~"We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves.":~ May Lamberton
I was cooking dinner ..well, putting a frozen pizza into the oven the other night when Oscar walked in and said to me (in a very bad Italian accent) "I don'ta eat mushrooms...mushrooms gonna give me the poo poo's"..Which of course made me burst out laughing. "What?" "Mushrooms! They give me the poo poo's!" "Oscar.....You've never eaten mushrooms in your life! What are you talking about?" "I'm talking about the mushrooms and the poo-poo's.HAHAHAHAHA!!!!" and off he went..Leaving me a bit confused until I found him on YouTube..watching a Mario episode..."Mario Farts". *sigh*.....Mushroom mystery solved.
He's at that age..where everything toilet related is a riot..which is a change from the stage when everything "nipple" related just cracked him up. I find this this is so much more preferable to the time when he wouldn't even use the toilet-so I'm not going to complain ..too much. Because I know, that just like "Farmers Nipples" this too shall pass. It's funny-I don't always notice when my kids go through changes..do some growing-until they take a "next" step. Then all of a sudden I think "Holy crap! when did that happen?"
I really haven't spoken much about the early years with my kids. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing them a disservice. I like writing about our lives now-but I need to remember what our lives were like back then-especially when I worry about what the future holds. They have come so far and worked so hard. Sometimes I kind of forget that.. Sometimes it is good to to revisit the past..shake up the dust..visit the ghosts...take stock.
Oscar was my toughest baby...my most challenging toddler..and now...now, he is my most joyful boy. When did that happen? More importantly-how?! I look back to the time when he never slept,( well hardly ever if you want to count two hour naps between thirty six hours of awake time) when he didn't speak..when all it seemed he could do was scream..When I say scream-it feels like an understatement. He would scream until he passed out from exhaustion..and then wake up and start all over again. Sometimes banging his head..smashing his face into the glass windows..throwing pictures or any other thing hanging up or on display in our house...or taking it out on me. Did I mention he screamed? As for autism... we didn't have a diagnosis until he was four and a half. I know it sounds crazy-but there you go. We were told it was a phase..maybe ADHD..that he would outgrow it...He just needed more attention. The professionals we took him to weren't concerned because "he made eye contact".... So, for a long time-I thought I was just awful at parenting. That we were concentrating too much on Sam and not enough on Oscar. So, diagnosis(-when we finally got one) was to us- a godsend. Yes, we suspected-we had been working with Sam..But Oscar was so different than his brother...he was more present-certainly more demanding..definitely louder. I remember feeling as though I didn't know how to listen.
Sammy tells me that he stopped talking and responding (when he was little) because the world was too busy, and that words sounded jumbled and didn't make sense. He says that he felt better when he was in his head. Oscar does not have the words to tell me why things were so hard for him-yet. I hope that one day he does. Right now when I ask him "Oscar.. do you remember why you used to scream so much?" He'll tell me "I used to scream." "Yes, but do you know why?" "No, why?" "I don't know, I was hoping you could tell me." "Tell me what?" ....I stop myself before it turns into an Abbot and Costello parody of "who's on first?"..he just isn't ready for this conversation-yet. That's o.k.-we have plenty of others-they are just poop related.
I think that the hardest part of being a parent(to any child) is the worry. I know that I can wind myself up into a gigantic stress ball just thinking about the "what ifs" and "whens"..I have to remind myself to look back sometimes...to dredge up the ghosts-if only to recognize how far we have all come from those dark days. The past is important to remember when the present time doesn't seem to be enough. And right now..my kids..all of them, are more than enough-even better.
Right now, I am listening to Oscar squealing at the computer and yelling( again with the bad Italian accent) "Don't put a the farts in the fire!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!" *sigh* He can still be so very loud....but at least in this moment, it is joyful. I'll have to work with him on the accent though...