So Elliott is getting close to three years old now. And I'm terrified. Benjamin turned into a maniac just before he was three, tearing posters from his wall, peeing on the floor, yelling in our faces, kicking his toys, etc. He wouldn't sleep. He wouldn't listen. He was in time out almost every hour. Ryan and I looked upon that time as a war of sorts, a war we were determined to win. And though homeboy has his moments, Benjamin is a sweet boy who generally listens to and respects people and is happy overall.
Now, Elliott is getting close to three. And he will not sleep. And he has hit us. He yells no in our faces and throws books at our heads. Last night, we got about 4 hours of sleep. We had to wake him up at 7 for his therapy and he was miserable for the entire first hour, tossing his body to the ground, banging his head up against chairs, etc. When I finally got him to calm down, I served him breakfast and he nearly choked on a bite of pancake. I had walked into the kitchen to get his juice, and suddenly he came around the corner, making a strange noise and looking terrified. I reached towards him and he started coughing (which is a great sign--air is getting through) and he choked the piece down and started crying, heaving into my chest. I was so grateful again that he allows me to comfort him now, and I just sat there with him until he was done crying that jagged, after-cry that kids get when they are very upset. He was completely fine, and he ate the rest of his pancakes withotu incident but it really scared me.
His therapy was interrupted for longer than it's supposed to be interrupted, and the therapist just sat there taking notes for a really long time. I'm grateful for the work she does with him, but it is very structured, and our lives our so unstructured and unpredictable and sometimes I struggle to reconcile my morning chaos and whatever chaos is going on in Elliott's head and Benjamin's demands with the three hours of therapy every morning, with the person sitting in my living room, telling me how to do everything, taking notes on what percentage of the time I provide Elliott with a prompt for a word. It gets intense.
And, still, I saw this couple taking their newborn on a walk in the stroller on my way to work and I felt so happy for them. I sit in the middle of the night with Elliott against my chest and I am exhausted, but the feeling of his body against mine, the complete trust he has in me, is incredible. It's difficult to describe all of this without being cliche, but what I will say is that I am grateful for this opportunity I have to be a parent. It pushes me to the brink sometimes, but it has also saved me so many others.