Saturday, May 31, 2008

Seeing Myself

We spent Wednesday at the hospital while O had surgery. She finally had the rotten stent removed and her doctor did some work to the underside of her lip. It was a pretty easy surgery without any complications. It was good.

What wasn't so good was O's behavior pretty much the entire time we were in the hospital. It ranged from uncontrollable sobbing out of fear before surgery (completely understandable) to utter nastiness after surgery.

The nurses were trying to be kind and tactful when they said, "Oh, this is a girl who likes her glasses," after she woke up in recovery without them, couldn't see, and began barking orders for them to, "GET MY GLASSES!". (As a side note--why wouldn't you let a person take her glasses with her into surgery so she could see and not be scared out of her mind afterwards?)

The nurse who was very graciously trying to offer her anything under the sun to drink was rather taken aback when O sat up and yelled at her, "I need loneliness! Leave me alone!!!!!!!!!"

One could blame this hostile behavior on the trauma of surgery, or the anaesthetic, but the thing is, O is like this in a lot of different situations in her life. She's extreme. She always has been extreme. From the moment she came into this world, she was very strong willed and determined. These two qualities served her well when she was struggling to breathe and survive in the NICU, but at 5 1/2 years old, these two qualities transfer into B-R-A-T.

I'm not calling her a brat. She isn't a brat. She's usually a very nice little girl, but she reminds me of that nursery rhyme, "When she was good, she was very, very good and when she was bad, she was very, very bad..."

The startling realization I made at the hospital the other day is that she acts pretty much like I did when I was pregnant with her and L. I was extreme. When I was nauseous, I was very, very nauseous. From my constant moaning about trying not to vomit, to my utter breakdown while lying on the cot in the school office (I was teaching at the time) about how I couldn't possibly go through life so sick, to my emotional breakdown at my doctor when he put me in the hospital on bedrest indefinitely because L was having issues with his cord.

It wasn't pretty, folks, just ask my husband.

Seeing this mirror of myself is uncomfortable. I'd like to say my emotional regurgitations are few and far between, but that would be lying. I'm not quite so extreme, but I still have a tendency to lean towards the passionate side--shall we say?

Does passionate sound any better than, "over-dramatic emotional mess?"

Watching O have one of her outbursts is difficult. However, I can totally understand WHY she's feeling what she is feeling. My husband shakes in head in utter disbelief when she gets upset because of something small, and while it irritates me beyond belief when she acts this way, I get her.

What I don't know is how this will translate into teen years. Will I be a more understanding mother, or will I just become caught up in all the emotion and cause more of an issue?

This is why parenting is the hardest job on earth and why I need to pray hard and often.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

You are a FABULOUS mom and O will probably realize it once her teenage angst is done. "Getting" her is the greatest gift of all. That's how I feel about my mom as I was/am... ummmm... interesting in my moods. :) The irony is that my Dad now tells me all the time that I 'get' him and I completely know what he means. "Getting" someone is the greatest gift of all. The ultimate expression of love and worth. I hope someday she knows how much you love and admire her.