So the fam was at the pool the other day, like always. We are big swimmers. It's a cheap rain or shine activity for three active toddlers. Most of the regulars know that we swim at the same time each week and avoid the pool like a plague. This being a new year there are a bunch of new year resolutioners out there and they are in awe of our baby swimmers.
The one thing I can count on with little middle boy is he is in on everything. On Sunday one lil ol' lady was chatting me up about how precious our babies were and so amazed that they were swimming so well at such a young age. Well little middle saw and stashed away that information for later use.
I was not in the pool, but on the side observing closely. Hubby was in the pool, the new lifeguard came and asked me how well the babies could swim. I told her they could each swim at least the width of the pool if they had to. She went back to her post, but again lil middle noticed.
It was not too long before the attention had turned away from lil middle. He does not like not being noticed. I was focused mainly on him, the lifeguard and the little ol' lady turned their attentions elsewhere. So what does lil middle do? He swims to the middle of the pool and starts screaming. Well I'd never seen clothes fly off so fast as that lifeguards did. I yelled at the lifeguard that he was ok and to not go in after him, lil ol lady got him and I had a few unpleasant words with her, thus the title of this entry. Ok, now that you think I'm the worst parent ever let me explain.
Lil middle is not your normal three year old. He has an attachment disorder. He feels the need to control all situations, but it conflicts with his need to know his parents are in charge. He was unable to trust his primary adults in his life. Not once, not twice, but six times before he came to us he had adults who could be manipulated by him, and who gave up on him when they were tired of not being in charge.
He cannot (usually) manipulate us. He is smart and we are human so occasionally he gets away with stuff, but not when we are on our game.
The pool situation bothered me in several ways. First, we are pretty darned good parents. We have evidence by having pretty darned good teens. It bothered me that a stranger would think otherwise. Of course they only saw a dad goofing off with his other kids and a mom not even bothering to get in the pool. They could not see our hearts. Secondly, a total stranger was able to undermine our authority with this child. I doubt that lil middle now thinks of us as incompetent, but if these things continue to happen it might give him pause one day.
So you'll be happy to know that while Ma & Pa were being lectured on water safety, lil middle was off diving for rocks in the deep end. The responsibility for educating the public on my child's psychological disorders falls mainly on me. I need to come up with something better than "get your hands off my child".
We love this child as our own. We have more to lose than anyone else should something happen to him. Know that we will not put him in danger, but also know we expect him to know his limits and will let him experience some pain and hardship should he choose to go beyond them. We know how amazing he is and we only have fourteen more years to teach him to see it in himself. He can do it on his own so please let him, even if it's hard to watch.
Cast of Characters
- BOB - Born of the body children
- BOTH - Born of the heart children
- Roran aka Big Girl - 18 year old BOB daughter - recently booted from the nest
- Big Boy - 15 year old BOB son
- Radical - 9 year old BOB son who fyi is not RAD
- Felpsy aka lil middle - 4 year old BOTH boy who is RAD and is the cumin in our soup
- Booger - 4 year old BOTH boy, sib to Felpsy, Twin to....
- Princess - 4 year old BOTH girl. Diva,