Here is a post I wrote about a month after Ryker was first diagnosed with JA. A year and a half later, it still holds true….
The “Daddy’s Home” Phenomenon
If you are a mom, especially a stay-at-home one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All day, one or more of your kids has been a complete terror and you are at your wits end. You’ve given your husband a play-by-play throughout the endless hours he’s at work and beg him to come home at warp speed! Then miraculously as soon as he walks in the door your child becomes the sweetest little angel to ever walk the earth and you look like a big, fat, lying, drama queen. Yep. That’s what happened to me today….
With Ryker getting the steroid injections yesterday, I was eager to see how his usual joint stiffness would be this morning when he got up. Not to worry, he hopped right out of bed like he had never had a problem. He started walking towards the potty like he hadn’t a care in the world… and that is where the tide turned. In my haste to see how his joints fared I forgot to bring a fresh pull-up with me. Sometimes he stays dry through the night, but more often than not he needs a new pull-up and sometimes a new set of jammy pants. As he made his way to the upstairs bathroom I informed him that we needed to use the potty downstairs because I didn’t have a pull-up.
ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE
The kid doesn’t like his routine messed with… I get it. He obviously gets that from me but… come on! It’s the potty for crying out loud! I had to carry him kicking and screaming down the stairs (while 18 weeks pregnant) and then spend the next 5 minutes convincing him to sit on the potty. Needless to say the day continued to spiral out of control from this point forward…
He was moody and aggressive. The littlest thing would set him off crying and he wouldn’t be able to stop for 15 minutes despite my best efforts to bribe or distract him. At first I thought he might still have anesthesia in his system from yesterday; then, I was convinced he was just being a two-year-old. After he hit me a few times and then tried to bite me I chalked his extremely unusual behavior up to the steroids. That HAD to be it. No way did my sweet, fun-loving boy become a defiant naysayer overnight. Not to mention he was completely eating me out of house and home! The rheumatology nurse practitioner agreed with me later when she called to check on him. But honestly, it didn’t matter why he was acting that way…. I still didn’t know how to deal with it! Am I supposed to just give him a wide berth? be extra patient? or treat him like nothing is out of the ordinary and reprimand him for every single indiscretion? I spent the entire day trying to make an “action plan” and second-guessing every decision I made. This has pretty much been my “mommy life” for the past two months….. My baby is sick and I want to comfort him and let him do whatever makes him feel better…. but I also don’t want him to be a brat! He’s probably utterly confused because some days I’m extra lenient and other days I’m super strict. Today I had no patience at all which I always feel super guilty about when I’m laying in bed at night. Where do you draw the line? How do you know when they are acting out because they feel bad versus when they are just testing the limits? It is a conundrum I fear I will be facing for an inevitably long time…. Blek!
Anyway, by the time Justin got home I had passed my breaking point. We ate a quick dinner, I wished him luck, and then I escaped to the bath tub! Imagine my surprise when I return from the bath only to hear how happy he has been the whole time and how he asked to go to the potty. WHAT?! You have got to be freaking kidding me! I have done nothing but fight with that kid all day about going to the potty. Unbelievable!
I don’t understand it.
I probably never will.
Scientists should study it.
In the meantime, I’m going to use the explanation that the steroids had started to wear off by the time Justin got home and therefore Ryker’s mood swings had stabilized. That sounds plausible right??