overwhelmed mom of a toddler looking for advice

Miranda - posted on 07/22/2019 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I don't know what to do or what to think. My son will be 2 in sept , so he's like 22 months old. I have some concerns with him.. I don't know if it's because I'm 100% on my own with him , (his father is not involved), I have very little family and they aren't helpful (or around much) and I don't have ready any friends as I'm new to the area. I have a dog and I live on the fifth floor apartment (meaning she has to be walked 4+ times a day.and he has to come) that means if it's a blizzard in February, I just had a tooth extracted and have strep throat and literally want to die... I'm out there with the baby and dog regardless, 7 days a week rain or shine sickness or death.) I also don't have a car and live on the outskirts oftown . The nearest convenience store is like a 30 min walk each way. And grocery store( and everything else)is not even within reasonable walking distance. Doctor appointments, groceries, and any other normal errands are unusually time consuming and stressful and expensive. I struggle financially. I can't work because I have to care for him and have no way around. He does go to daycare 3 days a week. But that has just been as of very recently, less than 2 months ... Im a first time mom and I'm im just way over my head. Any advice would be appreciated and sorry I'm advance this is probably gonna get long.

So the concerns I have are... He doesn't talk, doesn't even say mama. But boy does he yell. Taking him places is so embarassing and I usually end up leaving before I'm done because he's unbearable. He'll yell and scream and take his shoes and socks off, throw his stuff and thrash around in his seat. Taking him out of the stroller is not an option because he bolts the second he's free- and he runs FAST. Every single place I ever go people are always commenting "wow he's fast!!" Like thanks captain obvious. He beelines for forbidden areas like the back area of a store or behind the counter . I will be carrying 100 lb grocery bags struggling to carry them up to my apt and he's already at the end of the opposite hallway and I have to sprint to chase him. I don't even like taking him to the park because he runs in the opposite direction as fast and as far as he can. He would run into traffic if I didn't stop him. It is so frustrating.

He barely eats, even of you give him something like a cookie or ice cream or something other kids would be thrilled for, he refuses it ...or picks it up and inspects it with this repulsed look like as if I gave him dog poop. He throws food off his high chair constantly.

Although he doesn't talk, I know he understands alot. He points to every single body part correctly, if i say we're leaving he'll go to the front door, if I say time for bath he'll start stripping and head to the bathroom. We have Flash cards and I'll set out 3 and ask "which one is the red circle, blue square, yellow triangle, etc?" And I'd say 8 times out of 10 he gets it right. He seems very smart. Between 6-12 months or so, I kid you not... He would fake sneeze for the attention . I would say" bless you! " And he would do it again 100 times in a row if I kept going. He loves peek a boo so much too. Cars and balls he goes crazy for. He points to everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) for me to tell him what color it is or just what it is in general. I've tried to experiment and say he points at something white I'll say "orange" and he just kinda stops and waits for me like ummmm no it's not orange stupid say the right color so I can move on to the next thing. Another time he was pointing at letters and it was a Z but from the angle I was sitting it looked like an N. So I said N and he turned it, almost felt like he did that so I could see that it was a Z and correct the mistake. But he will not say a word. He doesn't even try. It's very strange. He makes exactly 2 animal noises; a snake (ssssss) and a lion (arrrrrrrrr)

He seems like, attention starved. Seriously if Im doing the dishes/cooking/tidying up/getting ready/folding clothes/ anything at all except for directly interacting with him, he becomes destructive and trashes the place. Even if I look down at my phone for half a second, not even long enough to read a message never mind reply...he's throwing stuff and knocking things over. He puts hot wheels in the toilet, takes poop out of his diaper(that has recently pretty much stopped but it was an issue for a month or so) knocks over dog food and water... The list is endless.

Another thing is, he has no fear. I have a 130 lb dog and he'll walk right up to her and take her ball right out of her mouth, or slap her, or grab her fur and twist it. She could easily fit his whole head in her mouth (but she's very gentle with him and quite submissive to him, I'm just saying- shouldn't he be afraid of a huge giant dog? ) When you scare him....like I'm talking totally scare the living shit out of him....he thinks it's HILARIOUS. Like laughing deliriously , he loves it.

When I'm holding him or carrying him, he is pinching my arm or scratching me ,sometimes he bites. Sometimes he'll just randomly hit me right in the face or pull my hair. On the rare occasion someone other than me watches him, they seem to think he's a dream baby. I'm general, he smiles and laughs and is very social and happy go lucky. But with me, it's like I have to be holding his hands staring into his eyes every waking moment or he's pissed right off. Like the audacity I have to think I can read an article on my phone is just outrageous!

It is just flat out not realistic for a very overwhelmed single mother with no support at all. My stresss is thru the roof . I love him so much it's sickening . But sometimes I can't control my emotions and I lash out inappropriately or overreact or just basically have a meltdown. Recently he was sick and couldn't go to daycare for a whole week. Everything got so badly behind that now I don't even know where to start. I'm already spread so thin and some days I don't even know how I'll make it til the end of the day.

Am I doing something wrong? No screen time is an absolutely ridiculous thought to me. I don't believe anyone in the world actually follows this absurd rule. If I didnt have screen time, children services would take him away... because my house would be filthy and in an unlivable condition not suitable for a child.

Does it sound like there could be something wrong with him developmentally? I legit learned how to be a mom from Google/YouTube .... so I'm far from an expert , and basically I'm just winging it here. I'm open to anything any experiences or stories or proof of why I'm crazy and wrong.

I don't think autism for a few reasons .. he shares enjoyment with me, toys and such.. I got him a baby doll to see what hed do, and he pretends to feed her, etc. He doesn't line up toys or spin anything, he makes great eye contact, doesn't walk on tip toes, he's very social( like a little Mr congeniality.).. Laughs and smiles almost constantly. He is not attached to routines. Has slept 12 solid hrs a night since he was 4 months old. I had a public health nurse come weekly thru the first year (I went thru alot in his first year of life- left an abusive marriage with nothing, lived in a shelter for 2 months, moved a total of 4 times in 11 months by myself while caring for him , plus my dog, among many other very difficult things)

During the year the nurse came, he made all his milestones on time with no issues. He was my rock thru all of it and I really just focussed everythkng inside me on caring for him to the best of my ability. Even when the world was crumbling around me. He was my happy place and I did my very best to leave my own problems at the door . I think I'm so bonded to him that I know what he wants before he does, so he never has to ask or even gesture, it's like subconscious for me. He also doesn't hear me talk to a spouse /other kids/etc the way alot of other kids likely would..maybe that could explain the delay. I have no idea. But I have started the process of involving a childrens speech therapist/developmental screening agency specifically geared towards developmental issues. but it's just in the beginning stages, and I'd just like to hear any outside opinions /experiences so hold me over til I hear something. everyone is taking holidays , and there are waitlists, so things are being dragged out a little bit. In the meantime I'd just like to hear any opinions/advice/reassurance because I'm just overwhelmed and basically willing to try anything or hear any opinions at all. Even suggestions of what I could do differently or improve on. He's my whole world and i just want to make sure I dont screw him up or make mistakes out of sheer ignorance/inexperience if I can avoid it.

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Mindy - posted on 07/25/2019

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You are legit describing my son at that age. No safety awareness, he didn't talk but would make the same friggin annoying sounds over and over he was just terrible in public and it was embarrassing. I didn't get my license till I was 22 and I had him at 18 so girl I can relate so much. It's hard it really is and nobody understands what you are going through. Even today and my son is 7 he still likes to wonder off he's ADHD not diagnosed till age 7. I pushed so hard for answers to the behavior starting at age two.

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