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Worried about my 3 year old

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My 3 year old has been acting out a lot the last few days and I figured it comes the age. Well, the a few nights ago she stayed at my parents' house, my step daughter went to TX to visit her birth mother, my husband is stationed in SC, so that left me and my son for the night. Well, he's 2 so I decided to take him out on a bike ride just to get him out of the house and to get in some exercise for myself. On our ride we found this baby bird near a mail box flopping around on its back. I checked the mail box for a nest (it had one) but it didn't appear to have any babies; unless they were REAL good at hiding from my hand. The nest itself looked like it was hanging half out like either some animal or kids had pulled it out. It was a newspaper box and I know bluebirds are known for making nest in them because my Mom has one make nest in hers every year.
Well, our bike ride got cut short to about a 15 minute ride and lucky for the bird I have a basket on my bike lol. So we took him home, went to a pet shop, and got the supplies to take care of him. (A special note: I use to work in a pet store so I've hand raised baby birds before and one wild bird as well, a little starling). Well, the baby bird made it through the night and through the next day and into the evening.
My 2 toddlers (ages 2 and 3) fell in love and my dog ( a shepard mix) apparently thought it was a tiny puppy. Which is scary considering the tiny baby was only about the half the size of a chicken nugget. It was funny to see this 60 some pound dog follow me around every time I fed this tiny naked bird. He'd whine and whimper until I let him sniff and check the baby out and get his approval that I wasn't going to hurt it and then he'd let me feed him. The baby didn't have its eyes open yet, not feathers, was mostly just pink and grey skin, with a little fluff on its head and back. I want to say it maybe a week of maybe a week and a half old at most.
David, my 2 year old, got to watch all the feedings. He was very excited since he was there when we found the bird. My 3 year old only got to see the baby fed twice since she had spent the night we found him at their grandparents' house. Sadly, however, the last feeding was very tragic and the baby aspirated and passed away. My son wasn't really affected by this he just figured the baby was rested, since after every so many cc's of food the baby had too anyways since it was so young. But my 3 year old is so much smarter than most give her credit for. She suffers from speech apraxia so its hard for most people to understand her sometimes. Both my children go to speech therapy. My son for delayed speech and my daughter for the apraxia.
Anyways, as the baby was turning blue and I was doing my best clear his air way she kept saying over and over "Oh, man, Mom!" and getting closer to my shoulder. The when the bird finally passed away. She said "Mom bird dead." I found myself giving this bird cpr for 20 minutes for my 3 year old daughter as she stood by my side saying "oh, man bird dead, Mom" over and over. He's now buried in our garden under our dying between our dying tomatoes and sunflowers. My hearts broken for him and for my 3 year old.
Today I had to put her in time out for acting out on a totally different matter and when I asked her to talk to me and tell me what was going on she wouldn't at first. Then I asked her if she was mad at me and she told me no. I asked if she was mad at her brother who she had been fighting with on and off and once again she said no. The she said she was just mad. I asked her why and at who and she said "me, Mom." When I asked her to tell me why this is all she would tell me. "Bird dead" and she hugged me and walked away to look out the window. The bird died 2 days ago. No one has spoken a word about it. Shouldn't a 3 year old have forgotten it by now? Why is she taking the blame herself? How in the world do I handle this? Am I a bad mother? We've talked about Heaven and death some before because my grandmother passed away when she was 1 and then just not long ago (in another blog) my friends lost their 6 month old baby. So we talked about how death is like sleeping and not waking up but its not bad and you go to Heaven and its okay. But how do you deal with a child that is too smart for her age that can't really communicate? This is just so frustrating!
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  • READYIN2011
    Wow.. tough one. Little ones always amaze us with their understanding of life and death. Just keep explaining to her that it is not anyone's fault. It does not make you a bad mom so don't beat yourself up. You gave them an opportunity that few other children get...to try to save a bird! THat is a wonderful opportunity for them, to see how vulnerable a new born baby bird is. Hang in there with her and remember it is ok for her to be sad, death is always a sad thing.

    2438 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    Death is hard for all of us, even if it is "just" a bird. Kids struggle with the concept, I know my little one (just turned 5) regularly and randomly asks questions about death and heaven. Actually seeing the bird die and your efforts to save it was a huge thing for her, of course she will remember it. Give it a few months and she might not, but by 3 years old a few days isn't that long to remember.

    I'm sure the acting out comes from frustration too. As much as you are frustrated not being able to clearly understand what she is talking about, it has to be even more frustrating for her (even at her young age) to not be able to clearly express herself.

    Hang in there - you are a good mom, so don't think otherwise.
    2441 days ago
  • MOMMA48
    She maybe isn't taking the blame upon herself, but she's showing a caring, loving emotion for a life and one that she wished she could have saved. But she knows that you all tried, saw the care you gave it and that's part of being a great Mom that you are! Those young little minds are so fascinating and it's always great to hear of a little one that shows the care and tenderness - and in whichever way - but knowing, seeing and hearing it, to me, shows you're doing great, Mom! You've just taught another lesson of life and she has learned something from it also -- try your best, don't give up and accept that at times some things we wish for, work, and other times, not. But, despite the goods and the bads of the present day, tomorrow is another new fresh day.
    2441 days ago
    My 3 year old daughter also has Apraxia and is smart as whip but because of her communication issue others always think differently. I understand your daughter remembering things like that days later. My 3 year old was looking for something around the house none of us understood her so we made her take us all over the house with no luck so my 13 year old and I gave up and told her dad had it. Since dad is in Missouri doing some military training we figured we would be off the hook. He calls 4 days later, 4 long days later and my 3 year old gets on the phone and starts yelling at dad about the item we told her he took. She tells him he's in trouble and that mom is going to put him in a time out because he took her special princess shoes. Yeah we finally understood what she was looking for as she was yelling about it. My son and I couldn't believe she still remembered what we told her. She does things like that all the time so there's no promising in my house because she will remind you every 5 minutes. Also when me got here my youngest had just turned 1 years old and we didn't get a cake because it was so hectic. My 3 year old was so upset because she thought we forgot her brothers birthday. For like a week she would remind us that her brother needed a cake and we should buy it now for him. Your not a bad mother it's probably her way of dealing with it. I would just try to explain it to her. I know we have tried to explain things to our daughter and sometimes it is frustrating because we are not too sure if she understands because at times it's still hard to understand what she is talking about. emoticon
    2442 days ago
    It is hard when they can't say what they mean (I have a daughter with dyspraxia). She'll be ok, I'm sure, right now she's just trying to wrap her head around the whole thing. emoticon
    2442 days ago
    Kids are amazing little people, aren't they? I wouldn't bring the bird up to your daughter but if she brings it up, I would ask her to tell you about the bird dying. I think that will give you clues about whether she thinks that she caused the death or not. That will also open the conversation of death/dying again and it gives you another opportunity to explain that death is part of living (though I would steer clear of the 'everyone dies' line, I blundered that one big time with my son when he was little). Death and other topics (like sex) are the ones where kids will lead you. They will only ask or talk about what they are ready to know. Trust your instincts and your daughter - let her take the lead. It will all be fine. Blessings to you and your young family. Karen
    2443 days ago
    Aww. How sad. I'm not a parent, so I've never had to deal with those issues yet. I hope that by talking to your daughter some more, she will feel better and you will too. emoticon
    2443 days ago
    My guess is she's just mad at the world being unfair, and feels sad for the bird. She'll be ok, I'm sure.
    ~ Laura
    2443 days ago
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