Raising a mini-me

Our youngest daughter Chelsea is a DIVA, has been since birth. She was blessed with HUGE eyes which are totally expressive, you can read her every emotion through them.
She is one of those little girls who is FILLED to the brim with life and loves sharing that enthusiasm with anyone around her. She will walk up to complete strangers and compliment their attire, hair, pretty jewellery or anything she is struck by.
She wakes up chatting and singing away, albeit very grumpy like her Mum…not a morning person at all. And chats all day long to the point when I’ve been known to beg her to be quiet for 60 seconds.
She loves music, dancing, glitter and generally anything girlie.
She’s my DIVA to the core.
The first time I realized that she could manipulate people and had this side to her was when she was about 2.5. There was a backyard full of kids playing and being wacky while I read a book on the deck supervising in the sun.
Chelsea took a ball and threw it over the fence, cheered for herself and enjoyed this new skill. She then realized the ball was gone. She looked around and called to one of the boys who was about 6. She gestured and babbled baby talk at him while looking decidedly cutesy and the next thing I knew the wee lad climbed the fence and retrieved the prize for this Princess.
She was overjoyed, squealed at him and hugging him into embarrassment.
Pretty innocent still….until she did it again. And again. I think I watched her accomplish this 5 times before the boy was distracted by a game of tag the others were having.
What struck me was the look on her face, the realization I watched occur. She understood EXACTLY what she was doing.
Hubby and I are seriously concerned about her teen years ….her skills with winning people over just seem to sharpen over time. I hope she used them for good not evil.
Chelsea has a very high pain tolerance, we actually had to take her to the Doctor when she was young to see if she actually felt pain at all. This child would fall, get cuts and bruises like a normal active toddler but she didn’t cry or show any discomfort.

So as time went on and colds came eventually Chelsea got ear infections, the only sign we had was a fever or the one incident where she complained of pain 5 minutes before her eardrum burst.

She had ear tubes surgically inserted 3 different times. The last time was last February by a different specialist who agreed with me that a child shouldn’t need multiple surgeries. It went well and the DIVA was back in action that evening.


I have a million things ways this blog of Miss Chelsea could go, she’s so full life it’s amazing. But today oh today I shall not be winning any Mom of the Year awards.
We had battled a cold over Christmas and it hasn’t fully left our home. Each of us has had times of mal a laise, coughs. Chelsea has had a cough and before our Florida trip she was at the Doctor’s for her 5 year check up and got a clean bill of health except for the cold…no big deal of course.
Well lately Miss Chelsea Belle has been grumpy, like in your face screaming, throw yourself on the floor because you don’t want to wear socks grumpy. A handful to say the least….amazing how much a difficult child can stress a marriage hahaha I’m soooo leaving that one alone for today.
Miss Chelsea Belle hasn’t had hearing issues at all since last February’s surgery, which is a miracle in itself as it had been every few months for years before then. So I shouldn’t feel badly that I only realized this weekend that the poor little girl is practically deaf and walking around in frustration right?
I can only imagine how she’s felt lately. She is feeling unwell, constantly being yelled at to get her attention, facing a frustrated parent, not understanding why they are upset with her. We’ve been unable to get her attention or have her comply when she’s asked to do something. My normally chatty and inquisitive child had become my biggest irritation at times….asking the same thing repeatedly and totally unfocused.
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Sooo I got it, it clicked and I had the Big Moment of Realization.
This morning I took my girl to the Doctor, my approach having changed dramatically with her over the weekend after the Big Moment of Realization Chelsea was relaxed and in better spirits.
I was totally prepared to hear that she had an ear infection, get a prescription and get her to gymnastics. Nope.
Here’s the applause for the Clueless Mom of the Year Award…..Doctor check her out and informs me that there is indeed a minor inner ear infection but the real concern is that little cough.
The cough, the one she’s essentially had since Christmas?
Yes that one, it’s pneumonia….
PNEUMONIA?? Without a fever or other symptoms?
So there I sat mentally beating the snot out of myself while imagining what her inner world has been like over the last week. This girl is so used to not being able to hear that she’s adopted the ability to mimic understanding. She has watched my body language to understand my desires/demands…..she’s doing what she has to in order to get by.
I mean the illness will be quickly remedied, prescription and time off school to rest but my concern goes deeper. My daughter didn’t know she couldn’t hear. We will take her for a hearing test in a month, the Doctor is fairly certain she’ll be fine and for that I’m glad. Rock on Diva Chelsea!
In this I don’t feel shame or guilt, the situation will get better and so will our wee Diva! Where in the past I would have bashed myself repeatedly I don’t feel the need now.
But it is interesting how we can become conditioned to accept discomfort, frustration, illness and pain. We can become numb to it, just accepting it.
How it changes us, our actions and behaviors.
Chelsea was fine with her hearing loss, she figured she would just “turn up the sound”.
I used to do that in my life, turn up what I wanted to hear and ignore the situations I didn’t know how to resolve. I don’t do that anymore, time to begin teaching my girls.

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9 Responses

  1. Once again sister we have something in common. Our oldest child (16 yr. old Alex) has a super high pain tolerance as well. At age three he had pnemonia as well as a double ear infection and all he said was "my ear sort of hurts". He was coughing this dry unproductive cough and being the hairbrained mother that I was didn't notice. We were in a book store and this lady came up to me and said, "I think something is really wrong with your son, you need to take him to a Doctor. So I did and I was so embarassed. Another time Alex and his cousin were swimming in the late evening, goofing around on an inner tube when my nephew went backwards and put his head into Alex's eye socket. All Alex said was "ouch". I mean you could hear his eye socket squish. He refused tylenol before bed and the next day he woke up with a pitch black eye that was swollen to the size of a tennis ball. He had to have an MRI! Grace had pnemonia this past fall. I swear I can't win. I run them to the Dr. when it's nothing and when it's huge, hello I'm the last to know. Sometimes I wonder if it's not my alcoholism. Because my children mean the world to me I'm terrified of something being really wrong with them, and it makes me procrastinate. I need to snap out of it. But your angel is beautiful. And I am so glad she is going to be better soon. I've always been a good munipulator, and it can come in handy once in a while, like when we all want to leave early on a Friday afternoon! Give her lots of hugs and kisses and I'm glad you're not beating yourself up. Like I always say to my oldest, "just remember none of you came with an owner's manual, I'm just flying by the seat of my pants!"

  2. We do become complacent. If I had paid any attention to Katelyn's wounded knee from soccer yesterday, it wouldn't be so swollen and purple today. I thought she just had a cut and never bothered to look at it. I keep telling myself she's 17 years old and if it was bad she would show me.

  3. Well, I have had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Chelsea and I have to admit, it's in the eyes!!!! LOL A sweet beautiful young girl who steels the heart of everyone she meets!!!! Very much like the ways her whole family is, one word LOVABLE!!! Talk Soon!!!Jeff

  4. My sister was like that with the ear infections. No warning – she was so used to them she didn't really get that she was in pain. Glad your little girl is diagnosed and that she has a great mommy to teach her.

  5. "But it is interesting how we can become conditioned to accept discomfort, frustration, illness and pain. We can become numb to it, just accepting it.How it changes us, our actions and behaviors."I needed reminding. Thanks Julie!

  6. Scary that she's had pneumonia and didn't even express severe pain or discomfort to you. I've never wished pain on anyone before but, in her case, a little extra sensitivity to discomfort would be a good thing.

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