Hard Not to Compare
Finally get to post this. I was working on this days ago when the laptop keyboard died and erased the majority of my post. So, I will pick up where it leaves off and hopefully not miss anything important.
I know doctors and friends say not to compare your kids but it's impossible not too. Especially when both my children are girls and only 17 months apart. We wanted to have another child pretty early after having Etta since she was such an easy baby. We kind of assumed we'd have another like Etta (what were we thinking?!).
Chloe came early (not as early) like Etta, she had red hair, and blue eyes too. So far, pretty close to big sister. Chloe has never been as good of a sleeper as Etta, she seems more easily disturbed where Etta is a hard sleeper. Chloe's a pretty good eater like Etta was and we wonder if she'll go through her picky stage as Etta has.
Once you start to compare personality, there isn't much to say. Etta has just always been easy to take care of. She was sweet and friendly with other people. She was always easy to leave in the gym or church day care. She didn't even go through terrible twos, just whinny threes. She was even relatively easy to potty train. Then there is Chloe...
I remember the switch in behaviors. I was taking Japanese night classes in Monterey while Eric took care of the girls. One night I came home to a screaming Chloe and Eric said she refused to take the bottle from him. From then on she was a different baby; she was only three months old then. She would basically scream if anyone other than me would hold her. She refused the bottle. She even just screamed to scream. We would put her in the crib just to get a break and hope she'd fall asleep. That's been our method since; if you are screaming you go to your crib.
At all of her check ups I've brought up the fussy factor and the doctors just shrug and say she probably is frustrated she can't ______ (fill in the blank). So, we got used to saying, "She's upset because she can't roll over." "She's upset because she can't sit up." "She's upset because she can't crawl." "She's upset because she can't walk." "She's upset because she can't talk." That's where we are now and we are hoping that when she can talk some of the craziness from 'Crazy Chloe' will dwindle.
How bad is it you ask? It's not that bad. We sometimes feel that we can't make it through the day but then we realize we have food on our table, a roof over our head, and healthy children. It's just that Chloe can't go 10 minutes most days without throwing a fit, a tantrum, a screaming match, or throwing something. Granted there are days when she is good and those are typically days when she doesn't see much of Etta. Something about them being together makes the house much more loud and chaotic. She can't sit down and play with a toy for more than a minute. She just goes from one thing to the next frantically.
We figure that if Chloe had been an only child we wouldn't have nearly as many problems because I could put 100% of my attention towards her. Help her with whatever she is doing (and can't seem to do anything without me or she'll throw a fit), give as many options as she wants for meals, and just overall give her more love.
As it is, I have a hard time pulling myself out of bed because I know it's the start of a long loud morning. I long for nap time to get some peace and quiet (with just Etta) so I can mentally and physically make it through the rest of the evening. Once nap time is over I just count down until bed time. This is not that way one should live! Heck, I'd go back to work if I was in America right now.
After some talking with Eric, we decided we needed to be frank with Chloe's doctor at her two year check up. I was darn near tears during her check up and I think he got the hint. He asked a lot more questions than most doctors have asked and he noticed her communication scores were below average. Since he was new to the base he said he'd talk with a speech therapist and see if Chloe would be a candidate.
A couple of days later we got the call that the speech therapist wanted to evaluate Chloe. Well, we live three hours away. It would be tough to do this regularly and surely there is no English speech therapist here in Shizuoka. They passed us off to a closer base, Atsugi Naval Base. They called the next day and set an appointment for Monday morning (tomorrow). Since it's the last day of Etta's summer break we've decided to all go (just in case Chloe is accepted, we both need to know how to get there). We'll make the two hour drive tomorrow morning and spend the afternoon there. I pray that we'll find out that this is what Chloe needs. If speech isn't the problem, I'm worried about what it really is. Eric and I are more than willing to sacrifice a day a week for this. Anything to make our lives a little less dramatic would be nice.
I breath a sigh of relief, not only because Chloe is in bed right not, but because of the prospect of getting long needed help for Chloe's behavior. I haven't really talked about Chloe's behavior so openly before, because it seems so faux pas. It never looks good to complain about your perfectly healthy children, plus don't all children go through phases? Chloe is working on a two year phase in my mind! I'll write more when we know more from the speech therapist. Please pray for answers tomorrow.