I read a lot of blogs. Many of them have families where at least one child has Down syndrome. Most of the kids are similar in age to Claire.
I read these other blogs, get glimpses into other families, and I am consumed with jealously.
It's not the perfectly decorated houses, the perfect parties, or the perfectly organized homeschooling moms I'm jealous of. The sentence that I am most jealous of is...
The kids were playing in the living room while I was in the kitchen....
Yes, sometimes sentences like those are followed by crashes where something gets broken, or it is followed by tears as a toy is stolen or someone is pushed, but I'm still jealous.
Because I can't leave the girls alone for even one minute.
Claire is still scratching/biting/pushing, and her favorite target is someone smaller, slower, and younger than her. Bridget's face always has at least one scab or scratch in some stage of healing. A couple of days ago Bridget was bitten twice, once on the cheek, once on the hip, and she was sporting teeth marked shaped welts for days. There are days when Bridget will start crying when Claire simply looks at her.
I literally cannot leave them alone for a second, and it is exhausting. I'm not talking about long stretches of unsupervised time. I mean I cannot leave them playing in the living room while I load the dishwasher. I cannot walk down stairs to start a load of laundry. I cannot wash my hands without making sure that Bridget is tucked between my legs and the cabinet so that I can block Claire's attack with my body if I need to.
I know we will eventually get this behavior stuff under control, but right now I am sooooo tired of it. I'm tired of fighting with her, I'm tired of time out not fazing her, I'm tired of having to be "on" when ever I am alone with both girls. I'm just tired.