Sunday, July 23, 2006

At Least we Tried.......

I posted a while ago about how difficult it was these days to deal with Noah. The terrible twos are here already and coupled with his intense personality, hyper-active tendencies, almost non-existant need for sleep and refusal to eat more than one whole meal most days, it's been rough. I posted about how every time we go out, whether it be something fun like a new park or something quick like an errand, it always includes five battles and ends with a tantrum, all of this usually after about 15 minutes. We just never seem to get a peaceful day, let alone hour. Noah's been into screaming lately, and hitting, biting and scratching, things that just aren't fun for us to be part of. I talked about how these problems have kept Jon and I from doing many things that we would love to do. We stay home more than we would like, we don't take vacations, don't meet up with friends and their kids too often. It's like, "head the tantrums off at the pass."

I posted all of this and then felt guilty about saying such things about my son. So, I took the post down. Mind you, it did begin with a paragraph full of great qualities that Noah has. I didn't want it to be a totaly negative post, so I was sure to talk about his wonderful points. He's a sweet little guy who amazes me, he cracks me up laughing all the time.... I just think between Noah's inherited smarts from his Dad and the hyper-activeness from his Mom, it's melded together to form a very intelligent baby and now toddler that wants to constantly go go go, explore and do everything on his own terms.

So, after taking down my post, Jon and I thought a bit more. We know that sometimes we really do need to attempt things with Noah. Sure, we go to parks daily, but for the most part avoid places that don't include wide open spaces and require more than ten minutes in a stroller and/or shopping cart. This morning though, we decided to try again and headed for The Birmingham Farmers' Market.

The market, it was fabulous! Jon and I loved it. Today we drove over, but next time, I think we'll bike, we just need to get a seat for Noah, tune up the bicycles, and we'll be set. I wish we lived closer to downtown than we do now, because you can walk in for a movie, a band, a bar, some dinner, great shopping, parks, books and the Farmers' market!

Today on the way to the market, we stopped at this great, fairly new educational book/toy store called Mind Candy. It was adorable inside, painted in candy colors, filled with the best kids books, neat educational toys, a tutoring room and a candy room! Any kid's dream. Noah got a little train engine which we hoped he would hold and play with in his didn't work...

So we went to the market which was full of beautiful bunches of flowers, plants, fruit, vegetables, baked goods, fresh roasted coffees, soaps and so on. We came home with Rainier and Bing cherries, fresh, sweet corn, one really pretty head of purple and white garlic, a bar of vanilla almond soap, a tart cherry and a cinnamon apple muffin just baked and two great iced coffees. Sounds like fun, huh!?

Well, sort of. We didn't get to stay too long. Can you guess? Noah, he was acting up. After about four minutes he wanted to get out of the stroller, regardless of the new train, sippy cup full of yummy juice and a delicious muffin. In a moment of impaired judgement, I let him out, thinking Noah would this time, for some reason behave. Noah decided to take off and drag the stroller after him. We struggled to head him over to the live band which did entertain him on and off in one minute stints, after which he'd take off running. In the end, I told Jon to go off and shop and I chased Noah all over. He got what I wanted, but I wish that I could have been able to explore more of the market with him too. After a while, we had to call it quits and go home because Noah had run into one too many old women while angerly protesting our attemps to hold his hand. At one point just as we left he grabbed a tent pole and shook it violently. Yeah, that's when we left.

We felt sad and defeated. Wow, it's stressful! I know all of my friends have many stories of times with their children acting up when they go out, but why do we go through this every time? I know someday it won't be like this. I just can't wait to live our lives again, to visit museums and travel and go to the drug store without having to leave five minutes later with a toddler hitting me in the face.

I will end on two good points though. First, we ran into our wonderful friend Alan, as in Alan and Rebecca from our "Happily After the Chuppah" class last spring. They are an amazingly sweet, outgoing and creative couple that we met. Get this, not only do they happen to live just blocks away from us, they also moved back here from San Francisco! Pretty ironic huh? I wish we saw more of them. Jon and I need to keep in touch better. They're just really great people.

The other positive, I got Noah to stand on a chair for three minutes at the market's craft table for children and he made the most gorgeous paper bag puppet I have ever seen, I love her! Her name is "Organic Annie" and although Noah tried to chuck her into the river that ran along side the market, I think deep down he loves her too.


Judy said...

Oh girl, do I ever know what you are going through!

Tyler can be MUCH the same way, except when Travis is around. If big brother is there, he's entertained by him and trying to copy him, so I get more done if I'm out and about. However, when it is just me and Ty-tornado, going out is a CHORE!

I have found, however, that our better outings (do not read as good - just better) tend to be places that are not so "busy" - too many distractions and the boy is out of control! There is a huge difference between taking him to our Starbucks where there are a zillion things to distract him (and to get into trouble with, even with the cool toy area they have) and taking him to another local coffeehouse which doesn't have as much STUFF going on.

Tyler is also a colorer. I have a hefty stock of Color Magic markers and special paper in my diaper bag for such the occasion. And, for shopping trips, one of the best things I've done is give him something we're going to buy - baby wipes, a toothbrush, a can of SOMETHING, a shirt...whatever. Usually, he stacks a few things next to him in the cart and it keeps him busy until the next item comes his way.

Good luck. I hate to tell you, but once they can talk well, then the whining starts ("Why can't I have that?" "When are we going home?" "What time is it?" "I don't like that kind."). UGH. DRIVES ME NUTS!

Kendra Lynn said...

Sigh...wish I had more advice, advice that actually works; but I don't.
Merry is a stubborn one too.
Its drivin' me crazy.
I love ya.


Lauren said...

Thanks Judy! I can always count on you for good advice. :)

Ok, that's what we need, another kid! NEVER!!! I can see how Tyler would have so much fun with Travis. They always look like they have a lot of fun together, such cute brothers! Maybe I should find a little boy in the neighborhood around Travis's age to come play.Noah would love that.

I like your points and ideas, which would work for most toddlers, but Noah, he just goes wild. I'm not trying to be dramatic or "out-do" any other little guy's activity level, but seriously, it's above and beyond normal and I'm worried.

For example, you have the best point about finding places with not too much distraction going on. That makes a lot of sense not to over stimulate the guys. Yes, our local Starbucks or Carribou is too much. I have tried a couple small, family owned, low key coffee shops and he can't take that either. He won't sit in their chair or in the stroller, or play with toys or draw.Noah just wants to run around the place and scream or throw things and try to get out the door.

Noah loves to color too! I love it. I've invested in color wonder magic markers and the paper, the coloring books, crayons etc.. The only thing, he colors for two minutes tops. (At first, a few months ago, he was good for 5 minutes, maybe even a few more). Why can't I get him to just focus on coloring if we are out somewhere like a restaurant, or at home for that matter!?

It's funny you mentioned the toothbrush in the shopping cart today. Jon and I thought, since we were both there, we would be ok to tag team a very quick trip to the grocery store for dinner. Um..NO! I had to walk out with Noah because he was having a fit. We gave him a few things as we went, mainly a new toothbrush. A minute later, it went flying. He was so angry to be in the cart and threw anything he could get his hands on in anger. Nothing works now, especially in the carts. I'm so frustrated, I can't even tell you. :(

The whining has started too, it just sounds like this: whaaaa whaaa, I go bye bye! (Louder) Whaaaaa whaaaa go bye bye!! (A scream) WHAAAAAAA!!!! GO GO GO WHAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Judy, your ideas make so much sense.I like them. Tyler and Noah are just little toddlers, I don't expect amazing things to happen, I know these distractions can only work sometimes. I don't expect too much.

It's just that, I'm scared. I see something really...different in Noah than most kids the same age. It's hard to really see easily. The best way to explain is it's the amount of anger and frustration he shows. He yells at bigger kids on the playground that make him mad and he throws chips at them or shakes his fists and turns red. It's that I know at their age you can't expect them to focus for 10 minutes, but he can't even do 1 minute. The exception, he hyper focuses on trains. This all worries me. The exagerated anger, the hyper activity and lack of focus and then the hyper-focusing on things, it all points to ADHD.

I don't want him to have inherited this from me. It makes life so hard. I've posted about it before and as much as I don't want to label him at such an early age or have something wrong, I sense it. Noah is a lot like me, he always has this little motor going.

Judy, you are a wonderful wonderful Mom and a great friend. I will keep at your ideas here and keep trying. I appreciate it a lot!
Let's share color wonder finger paint stories soon. Did you feel that stuff!!!? :)

Judy said...

Lauren, if it does turn out to be ADHD, how wonderful for Noah that you totally understand what it is to live like that. And, things are getting better and better as far as techniques and interventions.

If I can get two minutes out of Tyler on Color Wonder, I'd be thrilled. Usually, it is a minute of coloring, attack the sugar packets, distract with a cracker, back to coloring for a few seconds, play with the spoons, have another cracker, put the napkin on the head, etc. I'm not trying to say that Tyler is like Noah, but he also doesn't sit for 30 minutes and color. If that were the case, I'd have a babysitter that was willing to sit for me! HAHA Every person I've talked to about babysitting gets all jittery when I mention I have a 21 month old --- hmmm...wonder why??? LOL

Hang in there, girl. You are your child's best advocate. If you have concerns, TELL YOUR DOCTOR. Even if they sound silly, Noah can't voice his concerns yet - you have to do it for him.

You are a GREAT mom, Lauren. (((HUGS))) to you!!!

Patty said...

Lauren, Judy may have hit on something - places - like the Farmers Market, etc., that are just too much for Noah to handle. He might be on sensory overload. Maybe a run in the park before going to the store, or market to wear him out a bit, may make his stroller a welcome place just to rest and take in the scenery. Yes, I know that's easy to say, but I remember taking you to the mall, when I needed you to be too tired to walk - then I could get something done! (Of course, I had to weigh the stroller nap time to home nap time - which one did I want more) Just remember, this too will's the only constant in raising kids. I give you and Jon a lot of credit for trying so many things because it's difficult to find which one works for your child, especially when you've never done this before. One hint: start collecting little things for the 'grab bag'for good behavior when he starts understanding that concept. It worked better for you and Jeff than getting stars on a chart. It also helped temper you wanting toys (big ticket items) when we went shopping for the necessities.

Judy said...

Lauren - had to come back and add that Tyler whacked the crud out of my knuckles with a tire pump thingy this morning - ON PURPOSE. He was so mad at me and ran over, hauled off and hit me.

He spent some time in the naughty spot FOR SURE!