Tuesday, 11 April 2017
The Kitten has upped her elopement game, and I can't run worth a damn.
I have plantar fasciitis and am about as non-athletic as you can get.
She has bolted into traffic when I release her car seat, when I have turned to hang up my keys before locking the deadbolt on the front door, and, memorably, out the gate, down the alley and up to ring a neighbour's doorbell before I caught up to her.
Any lapse holding her hand or task that requires me to let go for even a second results in her bolting off with no awareness of personal safety, no response to my calling her name or saying stop! or chasing her down. She shows no particular anger or distress before or after these incidents. She doesn't have a problem with holding my hand, but as soon as she sees an opportunity to run, she does.
The constant vigilance required is draining my energy and taking the fun out a lot of the activities I like to do with her, like the playground, or shopping. I want to let her play with the other kids when we go to pick up the Monkey at school, or even to just run around the field, but I can't. There isn't a fence around the schoolyard, and she is just so fast.
I am terrified she will get hit by a car, or fall into a ditch or hole, or get out of my sight and disappear.
I'm not looking for advice. We have had lots of input, asked for, and not. I just wish more people understood the pressures of caring for a child who is functionally non-verbal, non-responsive, and with no danger sense, who wanders and bolts without warning. We are never off duty, never able to just let her do her own thing in a public place. Add the pica and her penchant for random digging and dumping of stuff, and it is a miracle she hasn't had a choking incident or got hurt badly.
I have had the parental duties of taking care of a toddler for four years, since she was actually 2 years old.
So, please don't ask me why she runs. We have been trying to figure it out for years. If I knew why, it would solve half the problem right there. Please don't suggest that she is running to, or from something. Much of the time, she just runs in whatever direction is clear, and when she tires of running, she stops, and I can catch up to her. Don't accuse me, or her dad, or her brother, of being abusive or neglectful, because whatever my inadequacies as a parent, I do not, and my family does not, abuse our Kitten. I am just so tired of fearing for her. Of fearing that the tiniest lapse on my part will lead to tragic endings.