Thursday, November 7, 2013

Angels Come In All Shapes & Sizes...

For about the last week and a half, Juliana has been going through a difficult phase.  I'm not sure what brought it on, and I can't wait for it to finish.  She has begun throwing her tantrums and screaming for no apparent reason again.  It's like her senses go on overload and she doesn't know how to process it and the only alternative left is for her to scream.

It started last Monday.  She didn't want to go to swim lessons, which was weird.  She's been so proud of herself ever since she moved to lessons "without momma", but on Monday she didn't want to go.  We got to the Y, and Noah got ready for his lessons.  Then, without reason, Juli began to scream in the locker room- I hadn't even asked her to start getting changed.  I was getting looks from other people in the locker room as she just stood there and screamed and screamed.  I got her calmed down a little bit, and talked her into putting on her swim suit.  Then she started to scream again.  I calmed her down again and talked her into just sitting on the bench with me while Noah swam.  She sat next to me on the bench and screamed (honestly, I just wanted to put her bubble on and put her in the water, but her instructor was a sub this week and was like 17 years old and he had a terrified look on his face of being trapped with a screamer).  After 15 minutes she stopped screaming.  She was still sitting next to me on the bench, but she was quiet (thank God, because I had a migraine).

Then, a different instructor approached me.  Her name is Kenya and she had the more advanced swimmers.  She asked me if she could try with Juli.  I said, "sure".  She sat next to Juli and we talked.  I told her that Juli isn't afraid of the water.  I explained that sometimes she goes on sensory overload and doesn't know how to process except by screaming.  She told me one of her sons was the same way.  Somehow she talked Juli, even though she was crying, into the water and into the last 15 minutes of her swim lesson.  Juli cried for about 3 more minutes, and then Kenya had her swimming all over the pool.  She even convinced her to jump in.  Juli made it through her swim lesson and I thanked Kenya profusely for everything she did for Juli.  Not a lot of people understand what it's like to have a child like Juliana.  When people see a kid screaming like she does, most people cast immediate judgement that they are a spoiled brat and that is why they are tantruming.  I can assure you that I do not spoil my children, but I have experienced the judgemental look plenty of times.

On Tuesday I picked Juli up from the sitter and we went home.  I got out her speech folder to do our nightly speech homework, but before I could even get us started, she began to scream.  I don't even know why.  She screamed the entire 30 minutes before we left to pick Noah up from school.  She continued to scream the entire walk to Noah's school (that was a fun walk, let me tell you) and she screamed the entire walk back home. 

Wednesday & Thursday pretty much started the same way.  Once we got Juli out of bed, she began to scream until we dropped her off at the baby sitter.  This made for very stressful mornings for all of us, because you can barely hear yourself think when she is screaming so communicating to the other people in your family is difficult as well.  I picked her up from the sitter on Thursday, Halloween.  She was good.  We picked up Noah from school.  She was still good.  I got them changed into their Halloween costumes for trick-or-treating.  Still going well.  We left to go trick-or-treating.  We had been out for almost an hour, and Juli had only had one small episode of screaming and after Noah had told her that she was ruining it for him she had stopped. 

We were getting close to our house, and Juli tripped and fell on the sidewalk and landed at the feet of a hispanic man (he turned out to be the dad of a girl in Noah's class).  He picked her up and brushed her off and the 2 of us checked her out to make sure she was okay.  She had a small cut on her hand and that was it.  She cried a little bit, but was okay, so we decided to hit a few houses on the way home.  All of a sudden Juli began to scream.  I ran up to her, thinking I had missed something when she had fallen, and her hand was covered in blood and her sleeve was soaked in blood.  The dad ran back to see why she was screaming as well, and he helped me search her arm and hand looking for the source of the blood.  Neither of us could find anything except the very tiny cut on her hand.  I ran her home, Ryan could hear us and as soon as he saw all the blood, he grabbed Juli and ran her to the sink.  Once we got her hand and arm cleaned off, all we saw was the tiny cut on her hand, and a splinter.  Apparently that was the source of ALL that blood- we had to soak her shirt and wash it multiple times to get the blood stains out.

Juli continued to scream after we finished cleaning her up.  I figured since she was already screaming, I may as well take the opportunity to remove the splinter.  That was a poor decision on my part, as Juli refused to let me near her.  She screamed like someone was killing her and kicked the wall over and over again, in between hitting and kicking me.  I gave up before I snapped and left her screaming upstairs as trick or treater after trick or treater coming to our house looked at us with huge eyes.  She continued to scream upstairs all by herself for another 20 minutes and then came downstairs.  Ryan was able to get the splinter out of her hand, but that also resulted in another bout of screaming.  By the end of the night, I was emotionally drained from the screaming from the week, and I was in the middle of a bad migraine cycle.

By the time it was the weekend, I was exhausted emotionally and physically from my migraine as well as from all the screaming that had been done by my daughter.  I was also thankful for the 2 angels who helped me this week: Kenya at the Y and the dad who was out with his kids trick or treating.  Instead of judging me or my child, they accepted her and her issues and helped us.  I will be forever grateful for that.