Thursday, May 6, 2010

It was not always about singing

No, Peter's life was not always about singing and dancing, although that filled his time and kept him focused. Life with Peter did not always end with a round of YMCA and High Fives. Nope, there were those times that weren't so rosy. At times, his teenage years were, what would be a good term, excitable, turbulent, crazy at times, as his small frame was filled with raging hormones. With a mind of a youngster, he was not in control at all times. Normally, hormones are hard, but when you really have no understanding, how do you give meaning to that?

When Peter was the tender age of nine, I started noticing changes in his voice and body that indicated he may be going through puberty. Feeling, like, come on, not one more thing...this is not fair, Peter and I took the trip to the Children's Hospital and met with a specialist who confirmed my fear. Yes, it was true, Peter was in the small percentage of children who went through puberty at a very early age. And yes, we could bring him in on a regular basis to receive injections that would stop the process. Peter, who already was developing a strong dislike..make that phobia of doctors and hospitals, just did not seem to be the candidate to subject to weekly "shots". So, both I and the medical professionals agreed, it was probably best not to pursue this mode of treatment.
So we returned to life, and Peter began his trip into puberty, never quite knowing what hit him. He still was a small child, and because developmentally behind, we still carried him around like a toddler. Now, this toddler like person, was developing facial hair, his high squeaky voice was now cracking and becoming lower, and you were other things changing. He was the only child in elementary school to have a mustache. Really, heartbreaking at the time, but what are you going to do? It is what it is or was what it was, so we just dealt with the development.

Unfortunately, along with the facial hair, came years of on and off outbursts. The trick always being one step ahead of the outburst. Prevention, if possible, in the form of food and out thinking. Chair time outs, not working! And Peter, who has not one ounce of fat on his body, developed muscles...strong muscles.

So, on occasion things went flying...I became very good at catching, spindles broke, and at times life was tenuous. We put up our guard, and spent days making sure we stayed one step ahead. Learning, the best way to react to these outburst was to ignore them. Hard when things are flying by your head! His favorite, slamming the door to the garage. he was so good at that, I thought the house must be moving on it's foundation. Raising a voice only increased his agitation and lack of control, so the more upset he became, I learned to slow it down a notch. When I thought I had no patience left, I needed to dig even deeper in the patience bank and make another withdrawal. Nice easy deep breaths.... I needed to make decisions about what was important to discipline, and what you could let go. Not ever really sure if I was making the "right" decision, but someone needed to decide and be in charge. So, at least I convinced myself I was making the right decision.

The good news, the hormones have settled. At time, an occasional door is slammed. He may need to be reminded that he does not do that anymore...he has outgrown that. He does try and sneak it in. He has grown, has matured, and seems to even have a bit of an understanding of his body. I really do think living with three other males his age has helped with that growth and understanding. So again, when times were tough with his development and hormones, his need to play with the neighborhood children, that would be him, age 20, and the kids, 5 or 6, hormones slowing down, but still there, God opened the window and I found his group home. Amazing, simply amazing!!!

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