October 14, 2010

#14/31 Ugh

Most days are good.

Some are lousy.

It's not been an "on" day for Hannah.   She just isn't listening.  My interpretation is that she's ignoring me.  Which doesn't make me happy.   In fact, it makes me pretty angry.

I can get angry quickly, if I've got a reason to.  And yes, I overreact.  And I'm loud.

I'm sure I am scary to the one who receives my wrath.  Nobody likes to get yelled at.

And yelling doesn't really solve the problem.  But it sure feels good to be the yeller.

When I yell at Hannah, she gets quiet.   She will sort of try to fix whatever it is that she's messed up, or try todo what she's instructed to do.  But she will never, ever apologize.   At least, not in a reasonable time frame. I'm sure that tomorrow I will hear a heartfelt apology.   But that doesn't make things better today.   It's really frustrating.


Yes, I do get frustrated with Down syndrome.  Why can't Hannah understand something today when she understood it a few days ago?  Why does everything have to take sooooo long?   Why can't I be more patient?

I actually am pretty patient with her.  Of course, we both overdose on each other on occasion, with just the two of us together every weekday.

And now, I can't tell if Hannah's having trouble today because of some neuronal glitch caused by excess genetic material, or if she's just behaving like a typical adolescent.   Is there a real reason for her behavior today?  I mean, is there a physiological reason?  Or is it just a random adolescent mood swing that makes her unaware of any one else's existence.

Am I asking too much of her?  I don't think so.  When I say, "Take a quick shower" she usually gets right down to business.  Today she had two reminders to get out.  I was busy with other things and was ticked off when she was still wasting 25 minutes of water (we're on water restrictions in our county).  After that, she was careless with her laundry.  Not sorting correctly (she does know how to do it--she's been at it for 8 months), not using the right settings.    Then there were several other lapses. Nothing huge, just totally annoying.  I expect my children to respond to a question.  I expect my children to obey a command (the FIRST time).  Generally, my expectations are met. Today I'd give an instruction, and she obviously chose either a) to not listen  /or/ b) couldn't process the information.

Now that I've settled down some,  I think that the answer must be b.   And where does that leave us?  Stuck with a faulty main frame processor, with no means of servicing it.

And that is what frustrates me.  I don't want to "fix" her.  I don't think there's all that much "wrong" with her. I wouldn't know where to begin imagining what she'd be like without that volunteer chromosome (that one that grew without intent).  But that chromosome is inexplicable.  I wish it would give out an error message, telling me the status of the processing unit.  Is the WiFi slow today?  Are there too many tabs open?  Is she using Internet Explorer when she should be using Firefox or Chrome?

I know just a few days ago I wrote that I couldn't tell what is Down syndrome and what is Hannah.  And I still don't.  When I wrote that post, I was content with Down syndrome.   And now I'm frustrated with it.

It happens a couple times a year.   A little burnout on both of our parts.

And now, to not leave you in despair, here is a little story that happened yesterday.

At dinner, James asked her what she liked at school time today.   She couldn't remember a specific thing (retrieval of information is difficult--it's in there, but won't always come out of the mouth or pencil).  I prompted her with a few cues (Look at the other end of the table (where we lazily left out all our schoolwork)! Look for something red!   It's a c---).

Aha!  She said, "I liked using the count-you-later!"

I guess when you use a calculator you are really going to count those numbers later.


Holly S/NC said...

Ugh...I completed understood everything you said in that post. If you figure out how to access that error message, please tell me how!!

Anonymous said...

In a selfish way, I am happy to read your frustration because it comforts me to know that someone like you gets frustrated like me! (Don't yell at me! :D)

I could have wrote your post myself but I'm just not that articulate. I dance between that "typical behavior" and behavior induced by Down syndrome" areas all the time. And it's hard because if I'm not beating myself up for being too hard on Gabe, I'm beating myself up for not keep my expectations high.

At the end of the day, I know I've done my best and tomorrow I'll try harder.

As a side note, I'm wondering if Hannah is feeling that hormonal influence. I know that my not-so-good days were hampered by hormones, especially as a teen. Just a thought...

My name is Sarah said...

Ditto for Joyce. I appreciate this message as it's good to have validation every now and then from another mom.

Brandie said...

Sorry about the bad day. They stink. I'm new to this whole parent of a preteen thing. The other morning my 11 yo daughter took over an hour to get ready for school. How good do you have to look to do school in the kitchen?

Mel said...

Can I say I have a 6 year old (non-ds) who has trouble with all of the above! I think he has his brain too busy with other stuff, like imagination and lego, to worry about listening. At this stage I am not so patient with him and much more patient with Luke. I wish I was a patient mother, but I am not. Glad to hear I am not the only one!

Stephanie said...

Ha ha! Count-you-later. :) Sorry about the rough day. I have days like that with Nick, too. I think he lives in his imagination so much that real life is sometimes an unwelcome intrusion. And I'm occasionally super mean when I feel like he's tuning out. It's one of the most frustrating things ever! Hope today's going better for you and Hannah.

kim said...

i'm late in reading these last few posts. i'm sorry you were feeling so "ugh". just wanted to tell you that i love you, pal!