Another major medical procedure is drawing near and Miss M is totally starting to freak out.
She has become a little leach – stuck to me, attached and unwilling to let go. I can’t go to the bathroom, leave the room, take a shower or make a phone call. Her tantrums are out of control. Anger. Fear. Sadness. Worry. It’s all there – in her precious little 3 year old self.
I don’t blame her one bit. It’s hard enough processing everything as a 38 year-old with some life experience, let alone as a fresh faced pre-schooler. This is hard on everyone. I get it. Cancer sucks. And we’re all a little angry and fearful and sad and worried.
But it’s so damn hard dealing with her out of control behavior. And not knowing what to do about it. The other day we were stuck on the side of the road for 45 mins while she just screamed & yelled & cried and refused to get in her car seat. And of course I can’t physically gain control in these situations because every move she makes has me immediately sheilding my chest – scared she’s gonna break my breast expander or dislodge my medi-port. So what do i do? I just sit there. I sit there and listen to her scream and cry and wail and whimper and spit up all over herself. And I wait for it to end. I don’t know what else to do.
I realize these extreme moments mostly happen when she’s tired or hungry. (Isn’t that always the way?) Plus, right now we’re transitioning into the “no more naps” stage, which I’m sure isn’t helping matters. Nor did the recent time change.
I also know she’s pissed that i’m going to New York without her on Monday. When I told her she immediately asked if she was going too and looked heartbroken when I told her no. How do I explain to her that it costs a lot of money to keep flying us both out? That i don’t want her to keep missing school? That sometimes it’s easier to go to my appointments without her?
What’s a mom to do?
I know her feelings are very close to the surface. She’s trying to process what’s going on and what’s about to happen. And on the flip side of things, she just started telling me over and over again, throughout the day, that she loves me. “Mamae… I love you.” Over and over. At random moments. It’s so damn adorable. I love her too. So so much.
Thank god for therapy – hers AND mine. Miss M’s therapist (also a fellow social worker) is amazing. And Miss M feels totally comfortable talking to her about stuff. It’s great. Apparently Miss M spoke about her worries that I was going to die… Her fears about the pain I might have in surgery… And her questioning if we’re still keeping secrets from her. The two of them are brainstorming ways Miss M can help me after surgery… Bringing me water… Laying down & reading books with me… Giving me hugs & kisses… And they talk about ways for her to vent her frustrations… By hitting her pillow or stomping her feet.
Thank god she’s talking about this stuff with someone.
Hubby says I just need to give her extra love right now. Which makes sense. So I’m trying. More focused attention. More play time. More hugs & cuddles.
I swear, being a parent is by far the most difficult thing I’ve had to face in this life. (Well, ok – facing breast cancer is up there on the list too). I remember my mom always telling me I was her biggest teacher. I get it now. I understand mom.
And that’s all I can do… Try my best to understand… And then remember often times there is no answer. No understanding why. It just is what it is. Nothing more. And you gotta just deal with it.
You can’t control the hand that you are dealt, but you can choose how to play it. And sometimes, if you play your cards right, you can even win the game with a really shitty hand.