Monday, December 7, 2015

Parenthood: Week 130 – Coming Around

My relationship with Ollie is starting to turn back around.

Like with any relationship, my relationship with my son has ups and downs. During October and into November things were going really well. He would seek me out to do read books and do activities. Then I went away for a week in early November for my 5th grade trip and since then things have been a little rocky.

Over thanksgiving break when we traveled to Seattle, he was very clingy with my wife Diana. If she was in the room he would immediately want her to hold him. In order to give her some space and time for other people to play with him, she would have to go to a different room.

When we got back from Seattle, he started doing this thing where he would protest “no, dad NO!” when I would offer to read a book with him or take a shower with him, an activity, just a couple weeks earlier, he would ask for enthusiastically. There were even times in the car, when he would just scream, “no, dad, NO!” in response to nothing.

This has been a difficult one to decipher. Having me be away for a week obviously threw him off, which is understandable. Ollie doesn’t have the language skills to express how that made him feel, so even though he seemed fine right when I came back, it makes sense that there may be some other feelings that later came out about the trip that he is working through.

Ollie’s language is developing at a rapid pace and there’s a good chance that he doesn’t actually know what the meaning of what he’s saying when he rejects me. At the same time, it’s important, as we have been doing, to let him know that this is not the way to talk to people that we love in our family.

It’s frustrating and it’s hard not to have my feelings hurt when Ollie protests against spending time with me. At the same time, I know he doesn’t fully understand the meaning of what he is saying especially when he feeling different emotions or dealing with being tired or other physical issues.

Last week has been good though. We had three nice bath times and he happily let me read him a book without insisting that “mom do it."  It’s not like we had some long talk followed by hugging it out. He’s two years old and I don’t know what helped, but things are better.

Maybe it was the fact that I didn't loose my patience with him (though I got close at times).  Or maybe he just needed time to work out his emotions.   Either way, I really enjoyed some really nice moments with him last week.

One thing that helped was sending him "love bombs."  I continued to do things to take care of him, many of which he didn't notice like cleaning stains out of his clothing.  This allowed me to feel good about what I did for him, which made it feel like, that Ollie coming around was inevitable.

I know that things will continue to go with waves with Ollie, and that things once again will get rocky between us, but more importantly I know that things will eventually get better.

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