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Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have been blessed with wonderful children, each who has a very interesting disease.

Yes, I said blessed!

Yes, I said diseased!

My 14 year old son is afflicted with a particularly interesting brand of OCD! He absolutely needs to have a complete schedule in order to operate happily. Well, perhaps the proper way to describe Gibson's disease is more like an extreme desire to know exactly where the day will take him - in complete and total detail. If we said we would be somewhere at 2:00 and managed to be early or late by even just a few minutes, Gibson was traumatized. Unfortunately for Gibson, I am not a 'schedule' person. It took me a long time to realize what it was that my child needed in order to make his life easier. Even now, I have a hard time complying with his needs regarding schedules and itineraries. I try, though. We learned early on that Gibson does not like surprises. We can't plan anything as a family outing without telling him where we're going. I have found that giving him a general idea of our plans helps both of us. He knows what is going on, and I don't have to stick to a schedule. It's a barely adequate compromise, but it works - for the most part.

My 4 year old Kira has her own little disease. She has what we call a 'sensitive soul.' She feels things more strongly than most people. She has a sense of deep awareness that causes her to be a bit over reactive to certain situations. As she gets older this sensitivity will serve her well, but without the maturity and self control that comes with age - well, let's just say that her sensitivity is a real sensitive issue around our house. We've had to learn how to cope with the occasional moments of unexplained tears or the deep and certain heartbreak of a child who's determined that the world has come to an end because her little sister doesn't want to play the same game. I love Kira's sensitivity, but there are times when I wish she was a little more tough in order to face the realities of life. Just tonight she snuck off to the living room while we were all piled on my bed. We heard a bit of sniffling and went to investigate, only to find her silently sobbing on the living room sofa for no apparent reason. It took me a good ten minutes to pry her thoughts out of her. She was so upset all because I asked her not to walk on Daddy's back while we were piling on the bed because she might hurt him or get hurt herself. For whatever reason, she became heart broken and slunk off to cry alone. It took a good ten minutes of snuggling her up close and rubbing her back in order to get her calmed down enough to even tell us what was wrong.

And then there's Marisa.

Dear, dear Marisa is 3 years old and owns the entire universe. Yes, really - she does. Just ask her and she'll tell you that she owns the universe. She'll tell you quite emphatically that it is all hers - only hers - nobody else's - and NO SHE WILL NOT SHARE UNLESS SHE FEELS LIKE IT!!!!

I diagnosed Marisa when she was just a few hours old. Her disease is truly a rare one and was quite obvious from the very beginning.

"Her diagnosis?" you ask.

Well - it's the very rare disease called ZFT. Yes - ZFT - ZERO FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE.

Those of you who say this is just the normal affliction of every toddler in the world - you're wrong. This isn't your everyday, typical level of frustration. Marisa isn't like other children who test their limits or seek out higher levels of independence. She simply does not tolerate frustration. NONE - ZIP - ZILCH - ZERO!!!

We figured this out pretty quickly with Marisa, but like most parents, we expected she would outgrow her issues. Yeah - we were pretty delusional.

Marisa is the only child I have who experienced an extensive amount of tantrums. I don't imagine I helped very much because I would regularly lay down beside her on the floor and join her in the kicking and screaming. After all, if she was going to have tantrums then she needed to see how to do it correctly. Trust me when i say that she did not find my antics to be amusing. When most children would stop and laugh at their Mommy having a tantrum, Marisa would become enraged that I would dare mock her in such a way. (She wasn't even 2 years old the first time I did this...) Marisa has even been known to spank herself for doing something right after she was told not to do it. So how does a parent go about reprimanding a child who spanks herself then giggles?

And oh the drama... Marisa is definitely the queen of drama. When she laughs, she embraces the laughter and immerses herself in the moment - heart and soul. When she cries, she embraces the tears and immerses herself in the moment - heart and soul. There is rarely an 'in between' for Marisa. She's an all or nothing kind of girl. Oh - and she's definitely a Mommy's Girl. She occasionally graces her father with a momentary glance, but when it comes right down to it - Mommy is the onliest one. This can be quite irritating at times - if your name happens to be "Mommy."

As is fitting for the queen of drama, you should note that Marisa received several paragraphs in this post while Kira and Gibson only required one. There is no doubt which child requires a bit more thought when it comes to dealing with her issues...

Ah - I must go now... my Queen is calling, and nobody ignores the call of the Queen.

(Disclaimer: You may notice that I failed to mention my oldest child, Angel. Well - her disease changes regularly. Currently she's afflicted with a case of newadultitis... There's just not much to say about that.)