Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Trooper

Our Elliot is such a sweet boy.  Well, most of the time--there have been some Terrible Two moments, I'll admit.  But he really is just so terribly sweet.

Which is why it broke my heart a little when he was blessed as a baby (as is custom in our church) and not one but two times, it was said he'd face great trails in his life.  Granted, that could very well be the words in any blessing for anyone, but the thought of my baby, my sweet innocent baby, having to face a lifetime of trials.  Oy.  And it was the first thing I thought of when the ophthalmologist handed me a prescription for glasses when he was eight months old and my heart broke a little more.  And again when he told me he needed to start wearing a patch 3-4 hours a day a few weeks ago.  I know that there are many other children who face much more difficult trials, especially with medical conditions...but this child is mine and it's still hard to see him face trials, even smaller ones than other children.

But he adapted to those glasses remarkably well.  Exceptionally better than I had any hope that he would.  I put them on him and he pulled them off a few times an hour the first day, a few times total the second day and then not at all unless he was tired.  He rocks those glasses.

We have been patching for just over a week, and it's been a bit more work.  But he's also rocking his patch, too.  He knows we put it on first thing in the morning, and he patiently lets me do it.  The first few days, he pulled it off many times.  Sometimes Paxton did it, too.  He got abrasions on his skin where the adhesive was, but I've learned to destick it a bit by putting the part that goes on the most sensitive of his skin on my hand first, and it cleared up and hasn't been a problem since I figured that out.  He's been pulling it off less and less and the past few days he's even come to me to ask, "All done patch?"  Today was the first day he made it the whole 3-4 hours and didn't take it off once.  Not a single time.  I guess he's figured out that if he does, I'll just slap another one on him until I say it's ok to be All Done.

But it's been pretty remarkable to me to see how well he's adapted to this little bit of adversity, too.  Today hasn't been the easiest day--there have been a non-zero number of fits and he starts pulling on that dang patch when he gets upset.  But not today.

And as if this weren't enough, I've also taken this week to really, really, REALLY transition him into the toddler bed.  We knew it would be harder this time than it was with Kendra because it was just too bizzarely easy with Kendra...we put her in the bed and she wouldn't leave it until we came to get her the next morning for at least a year and a half.  Not even to get a toy or blanket that fell out.  With Elliot, we've given it a half-hearted attempt a few times over the past few months but more of an experiment to see if he was ready.  He wasn't.

Monday night was the first really for realsies night, and it was...not nearly as bad as I thought it might be.  It took me a while to figure out that what I'd read wasn't going to work for this child, but again, I figured it out.  And after about forty-five minutes, he finally got out of his bed for the last time.  Then he played a little, in what seemed like he'd be doing anyway if he were in his crib and after about fifteen minutes of that he grew very silent and still.  I stayed at the doorway for an extra half an hour just in case, but nothing changed and I quietly shut the door.

The next morning, I opened the door and expected him to come out automatically (Kendra rises much earlier and closes the door behind herself).  But he started calling out instead.  I went into his room and asked if he was ready to get up, which he enthusiastically indicated that he was.  I took that as a good sign.

The next night, as I tucked him in, he asked me something to the effect of, "Can I get up?"  I replied, "No, baby, you need to go night-night."  "Go night-night?"  "Yeah, you need to get some rest now."  "Okay."

And that was that.  I kissed him and took up my perch at the doorway.  Not a peep.  Not a movement.  So again, half an hour later, I shut the door.

This morning was like unto the first, he waited for me to come and get him before leaving his bed.

Tonight when I tucked him in, I didn't even bother with the half an hour.  He's got this down.  For now.

For certain there will be days when he rips the patch off too early and there will be nights we'll have to put him back in bed...but wow.  I'm super impressed.

Mortality at any stage is just...HARD.  I've accepted the fact that there is no point where it just gets easy.  Granted, some things get easier as time goes by, but new challenges will always come to replace the ones that are no longer challenges.  And it starts from birth--I am so utterly convinced that birth is just as difficult for the baby as it is for the mother!

So I am just in awe of my sweet little two-year-old who handles these hard things...the things most children his age don't have to handle, like wearing glasses and patches as well as the things everybody has to do like learning to stay in a bed even when you're physically capable of leaving it (though technically he started learning that a few weeks ago when he proved he was fully capable of leaving his crib and reentering it without assistance at will).

He is simply a fantastic little person and I am so very blessed that I get to be his mother.

(His siblings are also both fantastic little people in their own regards as well and I am incredibly blessed to be their mother, too.  But this post is just about him.)


Danielle said...

Aww! What a beautifully written post. I want to snatch him up and smother him with hugs and kisses! What a great kid you've got!

Charlotte was so good about staying in her bed too at bedtime... until a few weeks into it it dawned on her there were no bars keeping her in bed and then she would not stay in there! :P Grant was at least hobbled with his braces so he *couldn't* get out of bed without some difficulty. And Jesse, well, every night he falls asleep on the couch or the floor or the chair and then we carry him to bed. :)

Stephen Pollock said...

Beautiful writing! Goodness Gracious Saints Alive! You are truly a Mommy of the 1st Rate! Hip Hip Horrray for Elliot's graceful transition thru early trials! Profound expressions. Thank you for sharing so eloquently