Friday, May 25, 2012

Serenity Now

God Grant Me The Serenity
To Accept The Things I Cannot Change
Courage To Change The Things I Can
And Wisdom To Know The Difference

I have gotten away from the Serenity Prayer.  I haven't said it in a long time and that is not good.

Today was a day in which I should have utilized the Serenity Prayer.  Today was a very difficult day for Sarah & I.  For lack of a better word, Anna had a few "fits" today.

The ironic part about Anna's behavior today is that I discussed Anna with the girls' pediatrician at their 5 year wellness check-up yesterday.  The pedi made a few points.  Two things he said were:
  1. Is her behavior affecting relationships in the home? (He gave an example of a couple who were facing a split because of a child's behavior.)
  2. What is going on when she acts like this?  Is she hungry?  Tired?
So #2 first...Anna's behavior today could be (partly anyway) explained by the fact that she got two shots yesterday and was up a couple of times over night. She was tired, for sure.

#1..Anna's fits today (trust me, they were fits!) had a very bad affect on her sisters and her mommy and daddy.  It was ugly.

The key line of the Serenity Prayer, of course is Wisdom To Know The Difference

I need to pray for direction.


Danielle said...

Hi Rich,

I am unsure if Sarah has told you my "story" of my Zarlee who is about six months younger than your girls. How I relate your Anna to my Zarlee! In my soul searching as to why Zarlee is... Well Zarlee, I have come up with a few things that help me through.
Firstly, she realises she is different than the other girls (I have two older girls, as well as a younger boy), and...well sometimes it just sucks being different. Being apart of the family, but being different just plain old sucks. So naturally, they take it out on those they love. Over here in Australia, our kindergarten is different, where we have five day fortnights, full 8.30 to 2.30. The days Zarlee is at Kindy, she comes home quite a bit happier, seeing the wider world, knowing there are other different people. Full time school next year I am hoping and praying, will sort my Zarlee out, as with your Anna.
The second thing my mother always tells me to think of is what an amazing adult my Zarlee will be. She will never let anyone push her around, and will not take no for an answer, which, although a difficult quality for a child to have, will be a fantastic quality as an adult..... And in your Anna's case, an even better quality for an adult with a disability.
So there is my advice. When she tests your patience, just tell yourself you are doing an amazing job raising such a strong willed adult. It does help. It's just the "getting them to adulthood" that's the hard bit!
Good luck!

Sarah said...

Danielle - thank you for your comment. It's what I needed to read.

Dad to Triplets said...

Sarah beat me to it, Danielle.

YES, your comments are exactly what we needed to hear.

Thank you!

Julia said...

oh dear, I too know what fits are. My girls have always been "fitty", from the very beginning. Those tiny almost unhearable newborn whimpers were never heard at my house, it was full-fledged red-faced deep-lunged screaming every time. I agree with Danielle that it will probably be so good for them when they grow up, though of course it is so hard to reason that way during the crises. There have been times when we had 3-4 20+ minute long screaming fits a day. Each. I have researched and read, and we have dieted and offered more attention (both Daddy and I work from home, full time myself and he with 2-3 days a week out of the house as well) and tried to work around the tiredness factors. The worst fits are always when they are too tired, and because that is often the time we are also more tired, it is very hard to remember and take it easier, not to say that there is a point past which it does not matter what we do.

On the other hand, also on line with Danielle's comments, when they have a "meek" period, or when they give in too easy to my requests in the beginning of a fit, I have very contradicting feelings, as if I was "breaking their will" and making them weaker by doing that. I would hate for them to grow into "obedient" kids who do what we tell them out of fear or resignation. So, while we don't learn how to really help them sort out their feelings or they don't learn it by themselves, deep inside I think I'd probably rather have the fits.

Julia said...

Now, on the same note as your ped, but treading on dangerous waters: it is very ugly to judge, but I find it so hard to accept that a child's behavior can split a couple up, or to blame that sort of thing on a child. Either a kid has SERIOUS problems (I don't know, maybe autism, or something in that line, or even the struggles your Anna has) or I feel it is much more probable that unresolved stress between the parents or from one of them ie. both in whichever case, hehe) is probably a major factor in the behavior in the first place. I think it is so sad, and even the more so coming from a doctor, to place that much responsibility (a couple's relationship) on a child's shoulders. I can tell for myself that ANY built up stress between Daddy and I is sensed by them, and esp. in relation to how we handle their routine and behavior. So much that the worst fits never happen when either of us is not present. Besides the obvous stressors such as lack of attention (due to excess work, something we all can relate to, but here also lack of the "right" kind of attention, such as just sitting and being with them for play for a more prolonged while) or tiredness, I feel a certain "overdoing it" on our part may also contribute. Because we are both at home for long periods of time, we often talk to them together, discipline together, take turns, reinforce what the other one has said, etc., and maybe they feel overwhelmed or overcontrolled. Maybe that is something for you to think? I have not inferred this from any of you or Sarah's posts, this is really just sharing my own experience.

Julia said...

And I am printing that prayer and pasting it above my desk!