Okay, so here we are, Day 55, and things are starting to get a little harder. Sarah has reinstated herself a new bedtime of midnight, and refuses to go to bed before then, and just when I had her back on schedule! It is also harder to re-instate her potty training this time around for some reason, and she has gotten waaaaay too comfortable just going right in the pull-up, so I have decided to just bite the bullet and put "big girl panties" on her while we're at home. More laundry for me, but something has to be done. In the meantime, I am a little overwhelmed with all of the excess cleaning and short-order cooking that has to be done, and Sarah just hasn't been herself lately so the tantrums are becoming increasingly frequent and even violent. I'm not exactly sure why, but my sweet little girl has taken to biting, hitting, and pinching me whenever I am within reach, whether she is upset at me or not. Playground rules would dictate that I hit her back, but being a mature adult and liking the fact that I'm not in jail, I can't do that. Besides, one of us has to have a mentality above four years old, and I'm guessing it's not going to be her, at least for another year. So, I guess that leaves me. The problem is, I have never encountered a child so stubborn in my life! I have read child-rearing books that tell me to either do what I'm already doing but that is not working, or tell me to do things that I can't do right now due to her illness, like let her run off her excess energy outside.
I think that may be a part of the problem. The one child-rearing book that makes a modicum of sense says that one needs to understand that it's rough being a toddler. Imagine being wrong all day long. You can't do anything right, even when you try. You're constantly being told no. That's pretty damn frustrating. Okay, point taken. The tantrums make a little more sense now from a toddler's perspective. Now, imagine that on top of being your average, run-of-the-mill toddler, you're a toddler with cancer. Not only are you doing everything wrong all day long, but you feel like crap on top of that. All day long, and you don't understand why. And as many times as the average toddler is being told no, you're being told no twice as much, for things that you know all of the other toddlers get to do! No, you can't go outside. No, we can't go to Disneyland right now, even though we have passes, and extra cash. No, you can't play with that kid, he's coughing. No, you can't take your mask off, because there might be pathogens on the freaking wind. No, you can't freaking eat, you have a procedure! WTF? And I expect my very intelligent four year old to just accept this. And I wonder what the hell her problem is. What is wrong with me?
Not to mention the fact that it's a hard transition from hospital to home, especially emotionally. Not judging the parents who have no choice, but I don't ever leave Sarah in the hospital. If I do have to leave for whatever reason, either my mom or my husband is there with her, I don't ever leave her alone. I am there with her twenty-four hours a day, and I don't ever leave her side. The bathroom is five steps from her bed, and I don't get to use it unless she's asleep, most days. My sole purpose for being in that hospital is to attend to her every need. Mommy doesn't have to clean, or cook, or do laundry. The room is small, and Sarah's toys are copious but limited, so clean-up is a lot less time consuming. Then we get to come home, and I am still alone all day with her, but there is no maid to clean every day, and it needs to be done every day, not just once a week. There is no "downstairs" to call when she wants to eat, Momma has to make it fresh, set it in front of her, clean and disinfect the kitchen immediately afterward. Floors need to be swept and mopped, vacuumed every day. Laundry is done as needed, but it piles up and being the only one home all day, I need to do that, too. And that's on the days that we stay home. Appointment days are even more hectic, because chores get put off until we get home. I have a lot more responsibilities and a lot less time to just sit and play with her. I honestly believe she is acting out.
So, I made a schedule, factoring in "Mommy and Me activities, as well as "free play" several times a day so that I have some time to get things done. So far, it's been two days, and I have stuck to maybe 50% of the schedule. And she has thrown 50% less tantrums. I am hoping that once we both fall more into a routine things will settle down some more. I am exhausted, and I am anxious to get this house and this life into some sort of order so that it can be less stressful for all of us. Who is this person I've become? I was never a "structure and schedules" kind of girl. I was a "see where the wind takes you" kind of girl. But I guess when the wind can kill your kid, that all kind of goes out the window.