The following post was from a little over two years ago. A post on a group reminded me of it. That and I’ve been going NUTS with this child’s “staring” rather than answering when I speak to him. I really wish I was as empathetic as I used to be. I’m working on it. I saw a few other posts when looking for this one. Maybe I can get back to being more gracious.
A week ago, we had a situation come up that really helped me see how solidly T-lo is operating in a state of fear rather than actually being *here* sometimes. All the other kids had gotten down from the table. T-lo was playing with his second piece of broccoli. He had eaten the top off the first piece. It had been 20-30 minutes. This is something we struggle with not stressing about due to his growth issues.
I turned his chair to help him down (we have one of those bar height tables AND he has a booster seat). I picked him up and told him “I love you. No matter what happens I love you. I. Love. You.” He looked terrified. I asked him what I had said sure he couldn’t have heard me or he would seem so scared. He said, “get down from the table.” I tried again and he replied, “eat.” I tried one more time and he went back to his first answer. The child was so terrified when I picked him up, that he could only guess what I had said.
I hugged him tightly and a few moments later repeated what I had really said. This time he heard me. “I love you too, Mama.”
So that was quite an education. A lot of times he seems to blank out, zone out, just not be there when we say something to him. Or he’ll start crying though what is being said or done is not cry worthy (sometimes, quite the opposite). It’s like he’s responding to something else.