- to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction : guard
- defend or to maintain the status or integrity of
- to foster or shield from infringement or restriction
- to provide a guard or shield
It's not been easy, but - I have learned to protect myself. Yep - I've learned to protect myself from (are you ready?) humiliation, emotional injury, from letting my guard down and I am the only one who can do this. I have to be on constant guard or these things will happen when I am out with the kids.
During this time of healing, I need to be sure that we are in "good company", because even if my child acts "different", it doesn't mean that he is unaware of what is going on around him. He knows if people are treating him differently. And it hurts me - sometimes I think MORE than it hurts him.
For example, our two youngest children went to the dentist today to get their teeth cleaned. For some unexplainable odd reason - they love to go to the dentist. Any dentist will do - they love the dentist! Think about it: everyone is nice to you and all you have to do is lay there, and if you are good, you get a new toothbrush, a pencil and a sticker too! How cool is that?
Well, it should be fun and it should be cool to go to the dentist. But - today, it was not. Not at all. Poor Nicolas had a "temp" for a hygienist and she was something else. Older than me and younger than my mother. But - with an attitude. I don't think she liked kids. Period. I dunno. She quizzed him about his piano lessons... and about how many teeth he had in his mouth. Odd. Is it because we home educate? Or because she didn't know what to talk about? It was odd.
I waited two whole hours, after we were home - and finally went to my laundry room and made the call. I had to call and let the office manager at our dental office know that I would take tooth decay over that hygienist and I honestly told her that it was not only disappointing, but - unfair. No one should be treated in a "short" manner... let alone a child. And, my child was being sooooo good. Exceptionally good!
Nicolas is very literal. What you say, is what he processes. For example, if I said that you were "pulling my leg", he would get upset because he wouldn't understand what it meant, as he could clearly see that no one was physically pulling my leg. Get it? Yeah - I knew you would... anyway...
The hygienist told him to "scootch-up", meaning that she wanted his head up a little bit higher in the reclining chair. He just sat there and didn't move. He didn't know what to do. I was standing right there and watched the whole thing. She just kept saying it, meaner and meaner. DUH!
I reached out and touched his knee, he turned his head toward me and I (super) sweetly asked him if he would sit up a bit more, and of course, he did. Just like that - situation resolved.
In the first 90 seconds, I could tell this was going to be a long, long 20 minutes... and it was.
I was proud of Nicolas for not acting up, even after she hurt him a little with her "picker" instrument. ((Grrr...))
He didn't complain once. Oh - and no cavities! :)
Our regular hygienist had our 4 year old in her chair and they were chatting it up about doggies and counting teeth and I just kept peeking my head in on her... she was fine. No cavities!
I had many errands to run and did not. It wasn't worth the stress and I wondered if Nick would have a delayed emotional episode... and he did. About 15 minutes later he was getting louder and louder and... we went home and had some egg salad sandwiches for lunch, preventing a blood sugar drop. I turned "Martha Speaks" on PBS, gave the kids some fresh grapes and all was well again. Well, for a little while.
The point is I didn't push it. I protected myself (and the kids) from some un-needed stress, by going home. I didn't run errands or go to the library all afternoon. I will pay the $1 late fee on our video. It's worth it --- to prevent a meltdown in the library. I've been humiliated there so many times, it's a wonder I even go back. But, I do. Nick needs new drawing books each week and Liv needs a new Barney video each week as well. I don't need stress. And, today - this time, I dodged stress. I'd better not get too proud, tomorrow is lurking...