The Princess arrives

PAGE 6 SIX SIX SIX

Kelsie Elizabeth Hix arrived in our lives on October 24, 1998.

A beautiful baby girl, the result of a smooth, uneventful delivery.

No forceps, no suction.

 Zack adored his baby sister. He did not have any jealousy issues that we were afraid of. I have admitted this to very few people, but I was so fearful of having another baby boy. We did not find out the sex during either pregnancy, so it was a surprise when the babies were born. I told myself during my pregnancy that it did not matter if it was a boy or a girl, either would be OK, but secretly I prayed for a daughter; for fear that I would have another boy that acted like Zack.

When Kelsie was delivered and they announced “it’s a girl” I cried out of joy that it was not another boy. Hard to admit to myself because I love my son, I adore him, but he was so hard to live with, so hard to handle, so hard to be around most of the time. It’s a terrible thing to be a mom and say “some days I don’t like being around my child”. Especially when you love them so much, and when they can be so charming and loving, and when no one else sees that side of them (the difficult side).

I told very few friends of his behavior. Most of them would find it hard to believe.  It is really hard to adequately explain all the things he did and how he would act. After some of his rages I would have bruises on my arms and legs from where he would pinch me while I was restraining him during a rage. I’m sure many people thought my husband beat me, and at times I felt like I would rather them think that than to know my 3-4 year old did these things to me. I know everyone will say how can your child do this, you can’t allow it, but what could I do??? I would try to restrain him, but somehow he always managed to grab a piece of skin, then what could I do? Tell him “you don’t hurt mommy” then spank him??

I was so conflicted over this, and still am.

I don’t have anything against spanking, but to tell a child you don’t use violence or hurt other people, then hurt them, I could not make sense of it. Don’t get me wrong, Zack has had many spankings; however they are all a waste of time because he doesn’t learn anything from them. They don’t stop him from the behavior he is being spanked for, it just happens usually when I run out of things to do, when I am all out of consequences. I have learned that consequences for kids like Zack don’t work. They do not respond to the typical positive or negative reinforcement. Their inability to see past the current moment greatly inhibits their reasoning.

  Zack is a child of such conflicting and contradictory emotions and moods, he is the most loving, kind, charming and fun child you could meet, then turn on a dime to be angry, hateful, disrespectful, all within a few minutes of time.

He can be so full of personality.

One example is of a birthday party he went to with older kids, maybe 4-5 years older, and upon picking him up the father and mother came to greet us and said “we just wanted to shake your hand. Zack is the coolest kid I have ever met.”, and he is. He is the coolest kid I know, and I know that sounds bias coming from his mom, but he really is, just so cool, so witty, so funny. However, as always, everything is relative when we talk about my Zack, he is all of these things when he feels good and most of these things even when he is in a bad mood, but many days the anger and irritability take over and the real Zack gets lost somewhere. When the bad days take over he seems to be aware, however unable to control his mood. He is either yelling, or crying and will make statements like “I’m such a dummy,”  “nobody loves me,”  “why am I so mean?”, “I’m stupid”, “you hate me”, “kill me”.  Heartbreaking for a parent to hear.

We now had another reason to aggressively seek out help for Zack, and for us. With every rage every defiance we knew it was affecting our newborn daughter. She deserved a good life, a stable and calm environment to grow in. Kelsie, thankfully, was a wonderful, easy baby. We often joked she was like not even having a baby she was so quiet. I really don’t think she cried until she was 6 months old. She would nap 6 hours a day and sleep all night. I could put her in a swing, on the floor, in the playpen and she would be content wherever she was, and this was such a blessing because Zack was still taking up most of my time. I would take her out to the malls on days Zack was in mother’s morning out and she would sleep the entire time, many times I thought I had left her somewhere because she never ,ever made a sound in the car. No two children could have been more different. (cont)

Kelsie and her dog Poncho

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