Post-Christmas Blues

Yesterday was a good day.  Last weekend and even most of this week has been actually pretty great. It was the first really good few days in over a month. It has been really rough lately. Stomach flu and cold for all of us, sleepless nights with the baby and many behaviours from Sofie especially… which didn’t make my life particularly pleasant. Even Livi had a few meltdowns this month. They don’t happen often for her but when they do, they are epic.

We expected some residual issues with the post-Christmas blues. Kids and adults, alike, generally have the ‘blahs’ afters Christmas. I feel like it hit our home, or at least me and Sofie, a little extra hard this year. Sofie had a mild form of the flu for the first two weeks back to school and Livi got it quite bad the next two weeks which ended with us taking her to the ER for dehydration. Then I got it.

I didn’t realize what was going on with Sofie at first. She is quite disconnected from her body, so she doesn’t always tell us what hurts. She wasn’t really running a fever but was having some MAJOR behavioural issues. She was throwing everything, clearing table tops, hitting, screaming, flailing and she even pulled our hair, which she hasn’t done in years! I was getting disheartening reports from school and she freaked out in her car seat and managed to get out while we were driving home one night in order to attack her sister. I ended up having to sit in the back with her. We’ve never had to do that before.

It’s been hard with Sofie this month. At least I think we have a reason for her behaviours but it didn’t make things any easier. I didn’t know how to help her through it. She regressed. We were at a loss. I’ve found that my patience with her has been shorter since then too.

I felt alone.
Parents of typical kids don’t get it.
I don’t expect them to ‘get it’, I just wish they did.

It is a lonely place sometimes. It’s hard to empathize and listen to friends complain about their kids not doing their chores or having to take all their kids to one child’s doctor appointment, while I’m waiting for the day Sofie helps get herself dressed even and I, at least once a week, cart all my kids to some kind of appointment which usually interferes with Evie’s nap time. I don’t want to compare our lives but we live in such different realities sometimes.  I do have a network of other parents with special needs kids, but we are all to busy and exhausted to actually put energy in to developing relationships! On respite weekends when Sofie is at my sister’s house I have a taste of what it would be like to just have two typical kids. It is a completely different world. I think I would be bored. I’m sure I’d be back to work full time!

I don’t mean this as any type of regret for adopting Sofie or judgement on others. We don’t have an easy life but it is nothing compared to some others. We love our chaotically boring life, most of the time… It is just my life and right now I’m entertaining bad, yucky, blah-day feelings. They come every once in a while but they seem to be staying a bit longer than usual right now. I thought maybe writing them down on the blog might help me get over them.

Sofie is truly amazing. She seems to be mostly through all the upset. She is speaking so much more. She can spell her name. She is developing her pre-writing skills. She can run, jump, and of course loves to dance! She likes school and is learning what is appropriate. We are learning how to help her better too. Livi is incredible. She only wants to spread love. She adores her sisters and helps out so much. She lives for making Evie laugh and hugs both littles every day. She is learning to read and loves school. Evie is joyous and such a climber. She is loud and starting to communicate more. Her smile lights us up and we love hearing her laugh at her big sister’s antics.

I do have friends and family who surround me with love, non-judgement, and support in whatever mood I’m entertaining at the moment. I got to visit with one of those friends on Saturday, which helped make last weekend much better. Although Sofie flushed her sons electric toothbrush down the toilet, there was no anger or expectation for me to replace it. I know that her response was genuine too, not just being polite. Friends like that are few and far between, at least in my world. I’ve never been one to have a huge circle of friends, just a small handful that I would trust all my deepest thoughts and fears with. I am so thankful for them.

Despite our household’s sleepless nights, slight depression and ailments, there was real joy this last month. Jon and I did get to go away for a night. The first time we’ve had a night with out kids in over a year! It was lovely. We had a friends wedding in Seattle and decided to stay over night. Sofie was assessed for her letters and she knows at least 10 of them and can spell her name. There has been much laughter and love between my girls who absolutely and completely love each other. Sister love is a beautiful thing. Evie’s hair is finally long enough to put in some adorable pig tails. I got a special, full shopping day with just Livi who continues to astound me with her courage, kindness and desire to help others. I am also just loving watching and listening to Livi learn to read!

This past weekend was Family Day long weekend. Although it is a new holiday and we didn’t have any big plans, we got to visit with some dear, real friends we haven’t seen in a while. Jon’s sister and brother in law where in town so we had a family dinner and a good, much needed family meeting. Livi got to have ‘respite’ at her Gramma’s house for a night. And, we got to take the big girls ice skating for the first time where they had SO MUCH FUN! Sofie was able to stand in the skates but hated them. Once we let her slide in just her shoes she loved it. Livi amazed me with her persistence and ability! She was zipping around using a bar and ventured out quite a bit without one!

I think writing this all down has helped. Not sure if I made any sense, but I’m not sure if I make sense on a day to day basis. I guess I’m okay with that. It’s my life, in all that is beautiful and broken.

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