Will things ever be easy?

I walked over the green hill, past the ice cream truck, I felt good, I was on time to pick up my kids from summer camp. I parked at the very far end of the park so I could enjoy the walk. It was a beautiful day, a bit windy, hot and dry. August quickly approaching. I expected my kids to be super happy they weren’t the last ones to get picked up, I’m always running late, savoring that last minute of alone time.

“Mommy!” Fiona said. “Jack mommies here”

Fiona gives me a big hug.

Jack leaned against a tree.

“Can we get ice-cream?” Jack said.

“No, Not today. You had a special treat in your lunch box.” I said.

Yesterday I bought them each one of those cute sandal cookies with blue frosting from Panera bread.

“I hated it; I hated the cookie” Jack said.

Fiona was playing with a bottle of sunscreen a kid had left, she was spraying it on the grass. I told her it wasn’t good to do because of the chemicals and that it would hurt the birds and bugs and grass, Fiona understood. The whole time Jack began to cry and whine and ask over and over again why we can’t get ice cream. I tried to reason with him, explain to him why not, as he kicked Fiona’s camp bag, smashed a hat left on the ground by another camper, then he threw an acorn at me that almost hit my face.

I told him that was very bad behavior and I began to walk towards the car with Fiona. Jack cried the whole way, having a meltdown. Right before we got to the Ice Cream truck, I said to Jack that he better walk by without incident or there would be no ice cream the next day either. He agreed and I gave him a hug and he hugged me back and held my hand. Fiona ran to the Ice Cream truck and wanted to show me the picture of the ice cream she wanted to get the next day. Jack had calmed down enough to do the same. I thought I was in the clear.

When we got to the car another meltdown took place because Jack wanted to sit where Fiona was sitting, even though it was her turn to sit there. I sat there in the car as Jack melted down and I waited until he decided to get strapped in. It was horrible. During this time Jack hit Fiona multiple times. Then Fiona hit Jack back. I don’t know what to think of this behavior. I don’t understand it. I try to stay positive most of the time or at least calm. I get anxiety and stressed, but I don’t yell or hit or say mean things to people. I don’t know why Jack is like this and it is starting to bother me.

I thought it was maybe because I spend more time with Fiona, she’s always had her doctors’ visits and the extra explanations I do and giving her that extra attention she needs. I started making sure I would give Jack special time and play basketball with him, but Jacks never satisfied and the end goal for Jack is always a toy or a treat. Or to watch u-tube. I hope this is a phase. Because I need Jack to be on my team.

When I dropped Fiona and Jack off at camp this morning, Fiona’s friend was already sitting down. For some reason this friend doesn’t say hello or anything, she barely acknowledges Fiona is around. I feel bad for Fiona because she loves this little girl with all her heart. They went through the Early Start program together. There was one chair by the little girl and Jack sat there. Even though I’ve already told Jack to give Fiona space with her friend and that he should make some new friends. He didn’t listen. I tried to encourage Fiona to sit by another little girl at the table. I want Fiona to make new friends. But instead she squeezed another chair in between her brother and her friend. That’s when I left.

This is not easy. I feel very sad today. For the past month I’ve joined several ASL groups and Deaf/HH groups on Facebook. I learned a ton. But yesterday in one of the groups there was a post about mixed group, hearing/non-hearing dinner parties. It talked about everything I know, how it’s very difficult. I live in that world everyday at home. I see all the things Fiona misses when the family is all together talking at once. I can only hope that when my family is fluent in ASL Fiona will feel like she’s totally included, even though I’m not sure she will ever use ASL 100% until she’s older? Anyhow the post the person made was so depressing to me I left that group and all the other FB groups I’ve joined lately. I just can’t take the salt in the wound right now. I’m trying to figure out what else I can do to ensure Fiona has a chance and has an enjoyable time in Elementary School. I’m at my breaking point. And when I left Fiona in that room, clinging to her one friend, knowing she would have a very difficult time understanding what anyone said, with her brother being kind of a jerk, I just feel sad. They are only five, I can’t expect him to have the kind of empathy and compassion I need him to have. Even though Fiona does. Her whole being is empathy, compassion, love, all good.

She has to work so hard and she’s so nice and so sweet and the world is pretty sucky and people can be really sucky. Really sucky, even her own twin. I have noticed the unthinkable lately. Jack was always so good about repeating things when Fiona asks “what did you say” to Jack. He was so good at helping her pronounce words she could understand. It was so sweet. For those reasons I wanted them to even be in the same class in Kindergarten. I thought Jack would always have her back. At least she would have her brother, I thought. Now they will be separated in Kindergarten. I really hope this is a phase for Jack. I hope it doesn’t last long.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist