Devon was born on the 20th January 2010 weighing 8lb 15oz and he was just a bundle of joy, he started off life a very content little boy but that quickly changed when he was feeding from me every other hour for an hour at a time morning and night meaning I was unable to do a lot. Added to this he would spend alot of time crying and seemed uncomfortable and was struggling to gain weight, this meant a lot of to and fro from doctors and eventually after being told it was just colic I tried him on lacto free milk and from the first bottle he was like a new baby! Eventually a referral to the paediatrician confirmed what we already knew that he was lactose intolerant.
All throughout his life Devon has had so much of my attention and when he was 2 years 2 months his little brother Myles came along, I thought it was going to be a breeze going from 1 to 2 was easy and everyone said 2-3 was even easier. Well for us it wasn't the case at all, Devon was very much still a baby he was a very young 2 year old nothing like his sister who was older than her years so it was a struggle and despite having a baby in the house I found myself spending a lot of time with Devon.
From a young age he could throw a mean temper tantrum, a tantrum that could go on for hours with no distraction and he would go on and on, even now at the same age Myles can throw a temper tantrum but is easily distracted or he goes in a huff.
He was very much a true mammy's boy so much so his dad found him very hard to deal with, Devon would not listen to a work he would say, he wouldn't go any where with him and for discipline you could forget it and therefore their relationship was very broken. Looking back maybes I didn't help it by allowing him to be very much a mammy's boy even my own mam said that I spent more time with him than the others and our relationship was different to that of the others.
When he was three things seem to spiral out of control and his dad was at the point he could no longer stand to be around him as his behaviour was so bad and challenging and that sounds awful to say, at the time I could not understand how he could feel like and it was really depressing his dad, so we called on the help of our health visitor.
After trying all there techniques and the health visitor acknowledging her was a very active little boy, he wouldn't stop from the minute we got up to the minute he went to bed it was an agreement that we would go on a parent course together and show Devon we were a united front, and we signed up for a parenting course called 1,2,3 Magic.
Well between agreeing to the course and the course coming around his dad and I separated and I ended up going on the course myself which seemed mad as I wasn't the one struggling to cope with his behaviour and for a while the techniques I was told to use worked well especially as I was told to ignore time out something we had really struggled with as Devon thought it was the best game ever and 2 hours later he still couldn't manage his time out! For a while life was so calm and content and Devon's behaviour seemed to improve massively.
Fast forward a few months and Devon's behaviour seemed to increase ten fold and it was now it was me struggling to cope with his behaviour and 1,2,3 Magic was no longer working and nothing I seemed to do was working, one of my status was that I didn't want to fill Devon's stocking as he had broken me into little pieces. All of sudden he was being as good as gold for his daddy and at home it was a battle day in day out, I found myself in tears so many times and considered running away on a few occasions. His dad didn't seem to want to help out at all and that his behaviour was my problem etc, it would appear single life had go to his head!
Luckily whilst all this was going on I had a massive support network made up mainly from friends who I never had met in my life yet seemed to have the right words to keep me going and my mam was always on the end of the phone, and I cant thank those people enough.
I went through the motions and spent the majority of my nights crying, feeling exhausted trying to juggle looking after three children, working and working out how to pay the bills, all the while trying to understand what had happened with my little boy who I loved so much.
In March this year our health visitor came out to do his 4 year check and Myles 2 year check and Devon showed the true extent of his behaviour, he was sitting nicely and quietly when the health visitor came and then all hell broke lose because I wouldn't set up another train set because we had another one already set up, I removed the train set he was trying to get out and put it on top of the cupboards in the kitchen, so he climbed on the bench to get it down. It was then put in the garage and the door locked and so he went to all the keys trying to open the door (key was hidden) and afterwards when he realised he wasn't getting it back he tore around the house destroying everything.
It was such a relief for someone else to see how he behaved and that there was no distracting him, I had lost count of the amount of times he had hurt his siblings and was completely unaware of how people were feeling and when they wanted to be left alone. He ticked all the boxes for ADHD but one thing that confused the life out of me and made me feel like I was to blame was that he was absolutely fine at nursery, he was the model pupil in terms of behaviour and always helping to tidy up and waiting his turn. The only thing was that he tended to play alongside children rather than with them and couldn't tell me any of the other children's names. The health visitor felt he was emotionally and socially delayed which was causing these outburst and asked permission to write to the childrens services team to ask them to see him and I was more than glad that something was finally been put into place to help us. The health visitor agreed his behaviour wasn't to do with the separation as it was present before hand hence the parenting course, it appeared that he could only attach himself to one person and no I was the bad guy and daddy was fun daddy as they get to do fun stuff when there and it was an adventure.
I was delighted that he was mending his relationship with his dad and they loved being together, but when I asked his dad what he thought about him being referred for his behaviour his response was they he didn't see the issues as he was good as gold, cue me feeling the worst mother in the world had he forgotten the confessions he had made to me that he couldn't stand to be around him and that he struggled to cope, in fact I had it all in an email he written. In fact it was now me that felt like I was been broken into little pieces and didn't want to be around my child, what does that make me a monster?
When I said that he could live with his dad and he could deal with his behaviour I was accused of not loving him, in fact completely opposite I had loved that child from the moment he was born, I was there for him every second possible. But I was at the point where I wanted to escape so earlier this month I planned a get away whereby Devon would be staying with his dad for a few days and Myles with his grandparents and I was going to spend the time with Alana as she had done so much grown up and been pushed out alot whilst I had been dealing with Devon's behaviour but this caused me to be told I was selfish but I needed to do, I need a break was that so wrong?
I had such an amazing time away and missed my boys so much but within a few hours Devon made me feel like I wanted to run again, I felt so much shame in that feeling and for a few days he made my life hell but I guessed it was to be expected he had 121 attention something he thrives on, no -one to compete with.
But then all of a sudden something seemed to click into place and all of sudden he was talking to me about everything and was more engaged in things going wrong, he was being kind to his siblings, he was helping me around the house. I found myself feeling so proud of him, praising him so much for the little things and then this week we brought in a star chart something that I had previously tried and he wasn't motivated by it, but all of a sudden he was excited and couldn't wait to earn stars.
Hang on a moment has someone switched my child, yes I still had to remind him about things but I could go to the shop and he would come away without any temper tantrums, he stopped when I asked him when walking, maybes all we needed was some time away from each other. We are onto day 5 of the reward chart and its going so well I haven't had to tell him off once at all today and I feel so proud of him. He told me yesterday about having a book at nursery to practice his letters and was very excited about something he has never showing before, and the other week we were in the hospital and a little girl started talking to him and he talked back to her something he had never done before.
Maybes I was expecting too much of him, maybes I forgotten he was only little and I was expecting him to be older than he was, I have cried so much writing this post, I have felt guilty what mother says they want to run away from their child but I know I have dealt with so much and because of it I am a stronger person, a better mam to my children.
I love all three of my children with all my heart and will be there for them but I also know that I need to take a step back every now and then and let them grown and also take that time for me.