Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I can't hear you to obey

Ever since we went to a new doctor and learned that Addison has hearing loss due to a problem in her middle ear (specifics to be discovered during a sedated test soon), her obedience has rapidly gone downhill.

"Addison, will you please walk toward the house?" As I lift her out of her car seat onto the path in front of the house. No response. Nuthin. Total ignore as she flies down the driveway toward the road.

"Addison, please don't dump out that bowl of snack." Nuthin. She dumps and then grinds them into the floor with a small victory dance.

"Addison please go to the bath." As I unbuckle her from the dinner table. Nuthin. She wanders off into the living room to find remotes to demand "SING."

"Addison, do you need to go potty?" Nuthin as she runs off to go terrorize Carter in a new, previously undiscovered way while gleefully going potty in her diaper.

I was becoming increasingly concerned about her hearing loss. Was I being too hard on her? I was disciplining her because she was disobeying, but was she disobeying because she couldn't hear me? It didn't seem fair to put her in time out for a command that maybe she didn't even hear? I started to rethink my entire parenting strategy and feel guilty for past decisions on how to handle her disobedience.

I was also becoming very frustrated. She wouldn't obey a single command- and Carter was learning and growing with his obedience like a champ. WHY WOULDN'T SHE OBEY?

The only logical assumption was that she couldn't hear me. The more I let up on her (because of this conclusion), the worse her behavior got.

And then, last week during music class (which Addison LOVES)...

The teacher said "Let's pretend to sleep on the floor" And Addison immediately dropped like she was born to pretend sleeping on the floor.

The teacher said "Tap your sticks together!" And Addison tapped her little heart out.

The teacher said "STOP tapping your sticks" And Addison stopped.

The teacher said "Find a circle on the floor and sit down." And Addison found a circle and plopped right down. No need to ask twice!

The teacher sang into her microphone "Yoo-hoo" and held the microphone to Addison's mouth and she sang back "Yoo-hoo" right in time.

The teacher said "Let's dance around in a circle." And Addison danced.

You get the picture.

After this class (and hearing another parent talk about how their three year old was going through a very stubborn phase), I realized- Addison might have some hearing loss (we'll know for sure after her test), but more importantly? She has the diagnosis of being a three year old. (A three year old who hates her mother...apparently.)

A very smart three year old who heard a doctor say that she couldn't hear very well...and immediately adjusted her behavior accordingly. A very smart three year old who knows JUST the right facial expressions to pretend like she doesn't understand and to send her mother in a tizzy, rethinking every single request and consequence.

You know you're a special needs parent when you're both incredibly frustrated and yet undeniably proud over the exact same behavior.  Now, if I could only figure out how to best my little genius at this game....we will all come out winners.

Anyone else go through a phase like this with your three year old? How long did it last? How did you work through it?

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