A stressful week

So the past week or so have been pretty stressful for me. Trying (and so far not succeeding) to find a new home for my dog, getting ready to move, Adrian’s ear infection, being broke, and getting getting very little support from Dylan for it all is taking it’s toll on me.

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We found out on Thursday that Adrian has a ruptured ear drum. It’s not really as bad as it sounds, and he feels much better from it now. He just has this nasty yellow infection that oozes out of his ear all the time now. It pools up in the bottom of his ear and pours out all over him, then it gets crusty when it dries and his hair sticks to it. Yeah, pretty gross. It doesn’t seem to be hurting him anymore though, and he’s letting me wipe it off a few times a day, which is helping his appearance a lot. I think it’s getting better already. I was doing some research online about ruptured ear drums, and read that they can ooze like this for up to three months! I hope to God Adrian’s doesn’t last anywhere near that long. And we have to be very careful not to get any water in his ear, because it might go into his ear drum and do serious damage. So not only is his hair all crusty, but he can’t take a bath and he only rarely will let me brush it. I guess you just have to let it go sometimes, he’s only 1.

On a better note, I took Adrian and Linna (his best bud we nanny) to OMSI this morning and we all had a great time. I love just watching them play and interact with other children. They learn so much by being able to explore on their own. At one point Adrian was playing with this ball machine (very difficult to describe, but his favorite part of OMSI), and there was another little boy who came up to play too. The other boy’s mom directed his almost every move, showed him how to do it, and again and again moved his hands to the “right” places so the machine would work correctly. She was kind of looking around in regard to Adrian, like she was thinking “where is his parent to show him how to do it?”. Adrian was doing just fine on his own, exploring all about the machine and the different things he could get it to do, learning from every action. The other little boy quickly bored of this, probably because he wasn’t allowed to manipulate his own body, the balls, and the machine to gain any satisfaction or learn anything meaningful.

It has taken me a while to reach this point in my parenting where I can take a step back and let kids do what they want to do, whether it’s the “right” way or not. It sometimes feels like I’m taking a very back-seat approach and not being much of a parent at all, but I know really that I am letting Adrian learn and explore at his own pace, which is ultimately much better for him than me “showing him how it’s done”. I mean just think about it, do you learn better when someone shows you how to do something or when you figure out how to do it yourself? Of course that’s not to say that he doesn’t still need guidance and support sometimes. I think the key is to give him as much freedom as possible, while still being there watching him and reading his signals, responding when he needs something more.

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