Marshall is not a fan of tag. He doesn't like it one bit. Yesterday after school, Marshall and I picked up a friend of his and went to the mall to run and play on the slide and dinosaur skeleton. When we got there, his buddy Carrson started running away from Marshall, happily playing tag. Marshall kept coming over to me crying because his friend kept running away. I tried to explain the game to him but Marshall didn't understand it. Later, other kids joined in the game but this led to even more tears, more angry outbursts, etc. I tried playing with him and explaining how to play tag. I showed him and played with him. He tried to play again but kept falling down. One time a boy tagged him a little too hard and Marshall fell down. The tears came again. He was not happy at all with this game. He has times where he WANTS to play with other kids but it's like he doesn't know what to do. I finally gave up and brought him and his buddy to my house and let them play with LEGOS. Carrson would build different things and play with them. Marshall built Cogs (robots from his most favorite game, Disney's Toontown Online).
Marshal's mood has been sprialing downward. The last few weeks he was rarely happy. He cried a lot, got angry, hit, kicked, pinched, and bit me and his friend and Nate (thankfully not too hard). He woke up a lot, and every meal was a battle just to get him to eat a little bit of food. I can not even begin to describe what it's like to have a 4 yr old with so much anger inside him that you worry about how you will possibly remain positive and happy for him. I try VERY hard not to join in that negative mood. I shower him with praise over the TINIEST things he does right. I know I'm too demanding sometimes and I am working hard on that. I need to offer more praise and less demands. What child likes a parent who doesn't appreciate the good things they do?
Isn't tag something that just comes natural to kids? The other children at the mall were laughing and having a great time. Poor Marshall was completely stressed out. These last couple weeks have been really tough. Marshall has been so angry and it only got worse every day. It could be because he can't sleep that well. Marshall still has obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. The apnea wakes him up, then his legs start twitching and it makes it hard for him to fall back asleep. Brian is wondering if the reason why he wakes up scared every night is because he can't breathe and it scares him. It would scare me!!!
No matter how DIFFICULT Marshall is, I'm so glad he came to our family. He is a beloved son of God and I just try to love him as much as God does. I pray that I can see my children as God sees them. It helps during the REALLY REALLY tough times. Thankfully, yesterday was a really good day. I'm hoping it lasts. We're going to visit Grandma for the weekend and I hope he will be happy there.