When you’re 6 it is difficult to express your feelings. There is so much going on in life that everything becomes a jumbled mash-up of emotions and everything comes out all wrong.
Two events are happening in the life of our 6 year old that are causing him to be a less than pleasant person to be around.
The first is that I am gradually going back to work (almost) full time. It is full time (actually more) if you count my second job, but I do that from home so there isn’t the same impact. Over the Winter I have worked 10-7 on Thursdays and 10-6 on Saturdays. On the 4th of March I added Fridays and today I add Wednesdays. That means I work 10-7 three weekdays and 10-6 Saturdays. That’s a lot of work. Add in that the boy gets on the bus at 7:40 in the morning and gets off while I’m at work, I see him for about 40 minutes each week day. It is hard on me and him. In addition, we’ve hired a good friend to be our two day a week babysitter and my mom the other day. Oleg is used to my mom watching him, but having someone else, even if it is a very good friend, is change. He hates change. It took about a week for the symptoms of “missing mommy” to show up. When they did it was an all out whine, rude, screamy mess. We thought we had about another 2 weeks to go to get used to the new schedule and then life would return to a minimal level of whine, rude and screamy. You know, normal.
Oh we though wrong buddy.
Tuesday afternoon I got a call from my Father-in-law asking if Derek could come down to help him with Mom. He needed assistance at home and was taking her to the doctor to see if they could do something. When Dad asks for help we drop what we are doing and go. A long story that involves medical transport and a visit to the ER later, Mom was checked into the hospital… again.
Here a little of the background. Mom has what is called “rebound.” It is swelling of the brain from the after-effects of the radiation. Her brain is currently more swollen than it was post surgery. To help bring the swelling down they have her on steroids. The combination of the rebound and the steroids have made her very fatigued. We’ve watched her slowly decline into immobility. She can’t get up to use the facilities and as a result she’s developed a bladder infection. On top of that she doesn’t eat and barely drinks anything. She was dehydrated and had a UTI so thus the checking in to the hospital. Our hope is that they can release her to the in-patient rehab facility to help her regain some strength. The doctors are fairly confident that she’ll come out of the rebound and return to the functionality she had at Christmastime.
With Grammy being in the hospital again that brings up another set of emotions in the boy. The last time we scrambled to find someone to watch him and we didn’t come home until after he had gone to bed and the next day he spent with my mom because Grammy was having surgery. He worries about his Grammy. To him, is this another long-term stay in the hospital? Will she be even more different than the last time she came out?
Grammy isn’t the same as she was 8 months ago. Grammy had some remembering problems, but she was still able to play and laugh. Now she can’t do any of that (although she does still crack jokes and laughs). Grammy won’t be the same as she used to be and that’s hard when you’re 6.
As parents we have to learn to be more patient. That’s hard when you are screamed at. That’s hard when your child flips you shit all the time. But it’s even harder when you’re 6 and your whole world is changing and there is nothing you can do to stop it.