I am probably the only mom that was HAPPY to go back to work, delighted to let someone else care for this child. My mom came up from out-of-town to care for my son the first two weeks that I began working. This eased my mind knowing he was in good hands. I came home at lunch to nurse him and see if mom was having better luck than I did. My mom would report that he continued to be uneasy, irritable, screaming, fussy and wanted constantly to be held. Nothing, she said made him happy. Nothing could get done around the house because he needed constant human touch it seemed. If he was bein held, chances are he was calm, or calmer.
After the initial two weeks of my returning to work Zack began going to daycare and this brought along its own set of problems, you see, Zack also hated riding in the car. He screamed so hard I actually thought he was going to die. We never took him anywhere because it was too stressful. We would be so stressed and tense upon arriving to our destination it just wasn’t worth going anywhere. I tried once taking a trip to my parent’s house that live about one and a half hours away and having to stop ,many times in the first 30 minutes of the trip. I finally called from my car phone ( car/bag phone 🙂 it was huge, we have come along way with cellular phones for sure) to tell them I did not think we could make it. I could not get Zack to stop crying or screaming. I stopped every few minutes to look at him because I thought he was hurting himself due to the extreme crying and screaming. He also did not like riding in his stroller, he screamed then too. Now, however, I HAD to put him in the car to take him to daycare, this 10 minute ride became known as “the ride from hell”. Zack would scream so hard I actually thought he may bust a major blood vessel and kill himself. How silly that sounds to say, but I was fearful of his safety and what he may do to himself with such intense screaming. Many mornings I would pull over 4 times just to make sure he wasn’t bleeding from some orifice on his body due to the intense screaming. My knuckles would be white and I would be in tears by the time I dropped him off at day care. Upon picking him up in the afternoon, more than likely he would be in the outer office with a daycare worker because he cried and screamed so much he disturbed the other babies.
Along with these obstacles he began developing ear infections, from the very day he began day care he came home sick, and these would continue until he was 15 months old, when he had to have tubes inserted. Zack had an ear infection in one or both ears continuously, from the age of 6 months old. We did not know it then, but this would be detrimental to his speech and learning at a later age .Once the tubes were inserted we had no more problems with him getting sick.
Days turned into months and we were able to enjoy our son like all new parents, we were just much more worn and defeated than most. Zack did not scream All the time by now, just most of the time. There were some moments of calmness, and by about 6 months he rode a little better in the car so taking him places became a little easier. He reached all milestones at the normal time or maybe a little earlier. Zack crawled at 5 months and walked at 11 months, however he was not making any attempts to say words. I tried not to worry, many children speak later, but at 2 years of age and still only one or two words I began calling speech therapists.
Along with the concerns about his speech he started having terrible, lengthy, rages every day after day care. These “rages” not tantrums, went on for hours and not minutes. Being my first child I still knew this was not normal behavior. He may have several rages a day, totaling several hours, leaving me totally drained and bewildered as to what to do. I decided perhaps being in “school” (daycare) all day may be too stressful for him so I quit working to stay home with Zack. The rages did not stop; they continued to occur every day, and for hours at a time. The smallest thing would and could set him off. The oddest, most insignificant things could put him over the edge, even as a toddler. His reaction to any disappointment or transition was so odd, so over the top and exaggerated.
I tried every form of discipline I could think of or read about, it seemed he was oblivious to anything I tried. I went to seminars to listen to knowledgable Doctors and specialist speak, like Dr. Ferber on the Ferber method. Mr. Rosenberg on parenting. The list goes on. I could not put him in time out, sounds silly I know, but he would not stay, he would get up no matter what I said, over and over again, this would go on for hours. If I spanked, if I took a special toy, even if I locked him in his room he would beat the door, kick it, and throw toys at it. He just didn’t care. All he could think of was what he wanted, what his mind was locked in on and he could not and can not understand that yelling, kicking, and screaming will not produce the desired outcome for him. No matter how hard I tried, how consistent I was, how much we talked or the consequences nothing worked. NOTHING WORKED, NOTHING !!
(pg 3 tomorrow)