The past few days have ended with Ian walking through the door and me saying:
"please! please put her in the stroller and take Luca and Tessa for a walk for 15 minutes!"
To which Ian responded, "but it's raining"
And I returned with "I don't care!"
Off he went with the two of them into the rain. What a trooper my husband is.
I threw my body onto the floor, closed my eyes, and focused on breathing, in, out. The feel of my lungs filling. Counting the seconds it took to fill my lungs. Then releasing all of that air and counting as I did so. Repeat. Thinking of breathing in cool, calm air. Breathing out hot stress. Release.
You know those days where everything is going wrong and you cannot figure out why your child is screaming for the umpteenth time? Yes, we've had a few days in a row like that. With Luca's communication issues, I sometimes just get exhausted trying to figure out what she wants. It's like playing 20-questions just to understand that she wants the blanket corner turned this way, or her dinner on a different plate, or a different kind of hummus for snack. Now think of all the peculiar things toddlers ask for or what and how precise things are, and imagine playing the 20 question game to get there every single time.
It is tiring. I feel like we are constantly playing a game of charades - her giving me clues that I have to guess. I jump around the room pointing to various things trying desperately to make the whining stop. This? That? How bout this? A diaper? You don't need a diaper! Oh a diaper for Elmo? OK! Oh, no. I must have put it on wrong. She wanted to be the one to put it on. Oh a cloth diaper? I am so confused!
Sometimes, I am good at it. But some days, I just cannot figure things out and the whining turns to screaming with real tears streaming down Luca's face.
I end up breathless, exhausted, exasperated, desperate to figure out what her quick brain is trying to tell me. When the whining turns to screaming, I sometimes end up in tears, scooping her up and rocking her back and forth saying "I am so sorry I don't understand. I'm trying."
Sweet girl. My heart breaks on these days. And not just for how frustrating it is for you, but how frustrating it is to be your mama and not be able to figure out what my child wants or needs. I feel so in sync with you the majority of the time. But this communication is a barrier that needs to be broken down.
Every single day, I pray for Luca's speech. I pray to please allow me to understand what she wants and needs. But on these days, I want to shout at God and say, "hasn't she been through enough? Please let her be understood."
In that same prayer, I am so grateful that her brain is working beautifully. She clearly has these high thoughts and problem solving and pretend play ideas in there. The communication part is where she is struggling.
I am told her speech is improving and we certainly hear it here and there. But the process is slow and I find myself overwhelmed by the homework involved to keep the improvement coming. God, please give me the patience I need. The power to get through this. The grace to get through this period with respect and understanding for what this is like for Luca. And please, dear God, let the speech come!
And thank God for Ian - even on rainy days he takes her off my hands so I can sit in the quiet and regroup. Allow things to become more clear. And when they walk back through the door, I can look at my child with clarity and be grateful.