Our little Malachi is growing up! This week we have dealt with lots of meltdowns and had to work through some pretty big 7 year old emotions.
As we prepare for Jake going back to work tomorrow we are trying to reconfigure nighttime routines. On Monday I suggested to Malachi that maybe he could start sleeping in his big boy bedroom all by himself and he had a HUGE meltdown. He sleeps in the bed with me so I can reposition him throughout the night, but lately he has not been sleeping well and I am confident he will wake up Levi if he is sleeping in the same room with Malachi and I.
The thought of being in a different room hurt his feelings so we tabled the conversation and tried it again at the end of the week. We talked it up as the week went on, telling him what a big boy he would be and how it would be a good example to Levi. I also bribed him with ice cream, which in the end was the big winner.
Last night Malachi slept in his big boy bed for the first time in years! Now I barely slept, anxiously watching the monitor to make sure he would remain safe. With his tone and his seizures he has the ability to fling his body and I am terrified he will find a way to accidentally smother himself. The pillow is a new thing, but with his shunt I just feel like it is more comfortable than laying on the mattress.
He still isn’t sleeping very well, but managed to stay in his bed from 1:30-6! Tonight I will be attempting to get Levi into his bed after he falls asleep. Wish me luck. If I am in zombie mode for the next few weeks you will know why.
Malachi had several other meltdowns this week for various reasons. He has become very vocal if he feels like he isn’t being included and shed some tears this week when we visited with some friends. I have to say that this is one of the hardest things for me to manage as a special needs momma. It makes me so cautious to not take him into scenarios where he can’t do the things everyone else is doing. But there is also the balance of letting Levi do those things with friends. It is such a hard balance to find.
Both of the boys have sincerely missed hanging out with other children. We spent some time around cousins this week and seeing them light up reminded me of how important playing with other kids is.
His final high emotion moment was on Friday when we went to pick up his new AFOs (braces). He was supposed to get these at the beginning of July but as we were loading up to make the drive they called and asked to reschedule. The make-up appointment was Friday and he was so excited to get his new shoes. We ordered superhero stickers several weeks ago to decorate them with and he has already picked out which characters get to go on them.
We made it to the appointment only to find out that the gentlemen had accidentally left them in Chattanooga. Malachi’s excitement turned to disappointment when I told him he would have to wait a few more days to get his new shoes. He was vocally mad when we got home empty handed so we took a few stickers and put them on his current braces to give him something to be excited about. That worked like a charm and he was content with the gesture.
Although dealing with his emotional swings is new territory for us, it brings my momma heart so much pride. I love to see him be so opinionated and vocal. I love to watch him make the effort to have his voice be heard by others. When we were freshly home from the hospital seven years ago Malachi was almost too “go with the flow” and didn’t even cry a lot when painful things happened. Watching him form opinions has been so encouraging.
This week I have been working on paperwork to officially homeschool Malachi. Students with disabilities are annually given an allotment of funding to help the school system provide them with a free and appropriate public education. In the state of Tennessee there is a special program where students with disabilities can homeschool and receive the child’s allotted educational funding on debit cards to be used for curriculum, therapies, tutors, etc. We are working towards this route for the school year as in-person learning is not an option for him and remote learning wouldn’t meet his unique needs.
Levi has officially become a toddler tornado. Our house is a total wreck within 5 minutes of him being awake. His energy is fascinating to me.
And he has developed an obsession with his hats. Which is totally okay with me because he is a cutie. He has strong opinions on what he wears each day and is slowly morphing into a tiny control freak, but we are hoping that is just a phase.
Jake and I both have continued to be in a state of mourning this week as we count down the days until he returns to work. Life is so complicated but with both of us tackling it, it didn’t feel so bad. I am about to be abruptly reminded of how intense our days can be. Even thinking about it has been sending me down the rabbit hole towards some negative thoughts and attitudes. But my radar has been going off as I head those directions, reminding me that I have to stay focused on the good.
Whatsoever things are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, excellent think on these things.
This week I will be taking a deep breath and repeating this verse over and over again, imprinting it onto my heart. Contentment is a choice. It is a path you have to choose to travel. My prayer is that God continues to grant me a heart of contentment no matter how complicated our life may get.
Philippians 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Please join us in prayer this week that we continue to draw strength from God instead of trying unsuccessfully to manufacture it ourselves. And please pray a hedge of protection over our family as Jake re-enters the world.