Thursday, July 2, 2009

Toddler Induced Anxiety



Patrick sends quivers down my spine at least once a day. My heart drops into my stomach at other times and I feel all the blood drain from my head. As I lay in bed trying to sleep each night, I have to physically shake my head back and forth just to get the "what if" thoughts out of my head. I must refuse to go there.
Patrick is SO active. I know he's normal, he's my 4th boy! But am I? I'm in a constant state of anxiety. Really. The pool...no matter whose it is...is just torture for us. The front yard, walks on the sidewalk, the baseball park....he is attracted to the ONE thing that could hurt him....he'll find the parking lots, loves walking in the street, can't choose the quiet strolls, but fights to walk along the busy sidewalks with the cars whizzing by. No back yard for him...if the door opens in front he makes a mad dash across the room to push his way out. He climbs, he runs, he disappears in seconds. I swear he possess's special invisible powers...he's never where you thought he was 1/2 second ago. He'll disappear before your very eyes. I carry on no conversations in public places. (It's a lonely life for me right now!) I check locks twice, three times. I keep my eyes glued to his backside. I trust no one with this little guy...I'm spend more time with him than anyone and only I know all his tricks of the trade.
My life right now is fully dedicated every single waking hour to makings sure no harm comes his way.

25 comments :

  1. Sarah, you sweet thing! I can feel your pain. My 2nd boy is on a mission to leave our house. We're new to it and it's a rental, so it's not my own to put into lock down mode. But, we've added dead bolts and rearranged the house to keep him safe. All of this....and I'm still a wreck. Bless you!

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  2. Thank you so much for a reminder about boys. I have three boys who are now 12, 10, and 5. I have been taking for granted every day that my daughter drives me up the wall by wanting to be in my skin with me instead of pulling a vanishing act every other 1/2 second. I really appreciate her a ton more now that you've reminded me of the difference!

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  3. 2 year old daughter, that is. Whoops!

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  4. I soooo remember this stage! It's a good thing it doesn't last forever! It is soooo exhausting! Hang in there!

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  5. Aah, it's good to know I am not alone! I have a 12 month old who is busy busy busy (my 3rd boy) and I spend my day constantly watching him. He's been walking for 2 months and is in turbo mode. I don't trust sitters with him right now. He puts everything in his mouth. It's a rough phase. I'm glad to know there are other moms in this phase with me!

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  6. I'm getting to that stage with our little girl, it's absolutely exhausting. But she's a girl! you might say? She's not your typical girl. Our first daughter is. Doesn't like to get dirty, very girly-girl and she listens! The second one has beautiful red hair and she is a firecracker. You can see it in her eyes.

    All this to say that I feel for you! The good news is that they get big quick, right? (Tell me that is right)

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  7. Yeah, talk about anxiety. I just walked the packed streets of DC with four little ones---the 9 year old thinks he's a grown-up and can go investigate whatever interests him and the 3 year old is a spaz. We had five adults among us and it was still a stressful experience!

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  8. Did you say Patrick or Caleb? I know what you mean and I think they laugh on the inside as we freak out.

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  9. Oh bless your heart! What an active little boy! I have 4 children and never had a serious issue with that (other than the pool, that's another story though!) Deep breath and count from 10 backwards! At least that is what my Mom always told me when I panic! :)

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  10. I feel your pain... and worry. My son, who is 3, is the same way. I will never forget the day that he escaped out of the house... we found him walking down the block in his pajamas with his little blankie. I cried for an hour. The worrying never stops, does it?

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  11. It's truly remarkable how no matter the number of kids you have, no two are ever the same. Some are easy and you never really have to worry that much, and others have you reaching for an oxygen mask to stop the hyperventilation. It's never easy or expected, is it?
    It's all an opportunity for growth, right? growth for the little one and you. ;)
    *Tricia

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  12. oh my goodness, I am so there. but I only have one! but he is such a little adventurous boy and wants to CLIMB everything.

    I must say your little one is adorable. and I just think your photo is too cute.

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  13. http://www.totsafe.com/products.asp?cat=3
    I had one daughter that was an escaper , I still have locks all over the exterior doors , on our sliding glass doors , the front door has a solid lock just like they have in hotels , it has saved us many escapes .
    You are normal , some kids just give us more cause for concern , there was a local child here that woke and went outside onto a main road and was struck by a car while his parents slept in the dead of night, anything can happen , we just need to be prepared , I am sure you are.
    Pools scare me so much , I have spent many sleepless nights at the inlaws because of their pool , recently we got an above ground pool and that first night I could not sleep and I was constantly checking to make sure my children didn't take up sleep walking , maybe I am not normal either , of course my husband slept like a baby , how do they do it ?
    Oh and my girls are now 11 and 8 so I think it is just more intense when they are toddlers , for sure .
    One more thing , I always had a wooden baby gate at the top of our stairs so that if my youngest woke she could not even get downstairs , that helped me sleep well.

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  14. I only had one boy and I was forever worried about him. I cannot tell you how many times he climbed over the baby gate and fell down the stairs to the family room that had a slate floor. Going outside in our yard to play was sometimes a nightmare. He would just run. We couldn't sit and play, no he had to run and up and down the street. Going shopping was torture as well. I think I stayed in the house for almost 3 years before I ventured out again! Hoping for peace for you!!!

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  15. I feel your pain. I only have two boys, both rambunctious, but my second is so wild and only 4 yrs. We've had dermabond, escaping deadbolts at 2, the roof at 2, countless bloody noses, bruises, a few black eyes, and I carry neosporin and band-aids everywhere with me. I'm still waiting for the first ER visit. It will be more of a relief to get it out of the way that a surprise when it happens.

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  16. My girl was the one who gave me anxiety. I never knew a baby could get into so much trouble before I had her (and I'd been in childcare for years!).

    I remember once, after catching her on top of the kitchen counter, happily stirring a big mess of wet dog food WITH A KNIFE IN THE TOASTER, I called my husband in tears. "I can't keep her safe!" I sobbed. But luckily they do grow up. She's turning five next month and the daily anxiety has given way to maybe once-every-three-weeks anxiety.

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  17. Oh my - I'm going to get bad dreams just reading this! My toddlers have caused me more gray hair than anything else.

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  18. I feel exactly the same way! I also lie in bed and push thoughts from my mind on the what-ifs with Nicholas. We are leaving for Hilton Head next Friday and will be sharing a house with a total of 16 people. The house has a pool right outside the door. I am looking forward to the trip, but dreading it at the same time!

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  19. My daughter is 5 and I am the same way. The anxiety is overwhelming sometimes!

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  20. It's good to be cautious - Maggie just fell down the stairs as my hubby was putting the boys to bed. Nobody's fault, but now we put her to bed first!!

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  21. Oh, I know what you mean. I only have three boys, but I remember those days when my youngest was little. Some days it seemed that he was intent on hurting himself. . . courting disaster day in, day out. Thank God for naps. Seriously. I kept him IN THE CRIB until he was nearly four years old. I put blackout curtains on his windows and kept a white noise machine going in his room. Only when I felt that he was "safely" asleep in his bed did I dare to do much.

    But, oh, now he's a tween. And some days I wish I had a little one to watch out for.

    The days are long, but the years are short.

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  22. LOL...I had one of those boys, and I'm sorry to inform you that at 25 he isn't out of that 'stage' yet. He climbed to the top of the piano at six months. No car seat made ever held him long enough for me to get into the front seat of the car. He ran away and walked down the length of a diving board at 18 mos. I was having a heart attack a block away looking for him. The woman who owned the fenced in pool was having one in her kitchen when she saw him stadnding there looking down at the water. He locked himself in my car trunk at 4...I lived, you will, too. And after a bit you'll become mistress of the anxiety attacks.

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  23. Hey! How did you read my mind! I'm going through the EXACT same thing! Isn't it at least nice to know that you aren't the only one out there? I just wish I could relax! Have a great-anxiety free, ha ha-weekend!

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  24. I cried reading this post - I'm so releived to hear someone else say the same thing. I thought there was something wrong with me being so panic stricken with the 3rd one (so I can imagine how you feel with 5). I also wake up from a dead sleep panicked with 'what if's'. I too think it is from being so busy and distracted with more kids - always so afraid I'll drop the ball. I just don't remember being this way while the others were little. Thank you for helping me feel 'normal'!!! Love your blog...

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  25. I have 3 boys and a baby girl and it's so nice to know we are not alone!
    It's peculiar how some kids just seem destined to live on the edge! I worked tirelessy with my oldest son and taught him as best I could, all while keeping a close eye on him. I taught him to worry and even a few fake tears on my part caused him some grief when he'd do something dangerous!
    But as my 3rd son is 4 now, I see the light at the end of the tunnel!
    I remind myself that all kids were born with God given talents and whatever those wild, adventurous, curious kids turn out to be as adults, it will be a huge "ah-ha" moment for the parents who wondered what might be wrong!!
    My oldest mischevious, traveling little inventor is now 9 years old and all his actions are proving to be examples of the articulate, creative and smart boy he was destined to be!
    Now we will see if it's a boy thing....my first girl!

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