Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

DSAM17 – Day 9 – Sometimes fun is hard

on October 9, 2017

We knew that fun would sometimes be more challenging, but the surprise for me is when, and my own internal conflict about it.

Sometimes Tessa struggles with loud places, or places with a lot of stimuli around her.  This is especially true for things that happen around bedtime or when she should be napping.  For example, this weekend, we attended a birthday party at a local restaurant during the early afternoon (nap time).  It was in a back room, but the music was loud, and the people even louder as they enjoyed their time together.  We took one step in the door and Tessa immediately shut down.

The odd thing about this is that we could have walked in the same environment 2 hours earlier, and she would have been fine.  But even stranger, we were in the exact same scenario one week earlier at Lauren’s baptism party (same time of day, perhaps even more noise) and she didn’t struggle at all really.  Some laughing freaks her out, some just makes her laugh.  Some loud noises cause a meltdown, others pass with no reaction.

What we are left with is a conundrum.  We have two choices: avoid the potentially upsetting environments altogether, or keep going and make her learn to deal with it.

This is where parenting Tessa gets a little messy for my soul.  When she struggles, it pains me.  My eyes well up with tears, and I feel panicked.  Clearly it hurts her also, because otherwise she wouldn’t be so upset.  But I also know that we cannot avoid all of the triggers.  I cannot always keep her safe from those situations.  She will eat in the cafeteria someday, or want to go to a party with friends, or go to a bar with live music!  But when we are struggling with one of these situations, and I am forcing her to deal with it, I feel mean.

It’s not fun.

There is no nice, neat way to tie this up, no pretty ending or poignant final thought.  It is a struggle.  Not a debilitating one, but one that weighs heavy on my heart.  I did not, and do not, feel this way with Ellie (and trust me, there is Mom Guilt about that, also).  I suppose I’ll just keep on trying new solutions until we find something that fits. 

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