Did My Brain Fall Out?

Haven't we all asked ourselves this question? There are days I am quite sure my brain did fall out - I can barely put one foot in front of the other and I forget everything. I know you can relate!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wishy-Washy Mojo?

C2’s therapist told me that I am wishy-washy. That hurt my feelings. We have some real crap happening here at the house and I HATE that I AM wishy-washy. So, am I wishy-washy because of the culture in the house or is the culture of the house because of my wishy-washiness? And can we come up with a better term than wishy-washy because it sounds awful when I use it 5 times in one paragraph?

For so many years I have walked around on egg shells, and autism parents can feel this; I’m sure I’m not alone. I avoided situations that would throw C1 into a meltdown. We stopped eating at our local Pizza Hut because the door squeaked and would set off her supersonic, bionic hearing, leading to an under-the-table-top-of-the-lungs tantrum. We swore off restaurants all together because she would pitch a tantrum every time we went out to eat.

And here is where I know that I have become complacent, or wishy-washy, that I have lost my mojo, because there was one night where we headed out to dinner for hubby’s birthday and C1 pulled her usual performance, and I sat in the car with her while the rest of the family went in and ate dinner. Now, I could probably have picked a better night than his birthday to try the tough-love-tough-shit strategy, but that night I was strong enough to do it. I sat in that car for 90 minutes while she screamed that she wanted to go in and eat (this was after the 30 minutes of screaming the entire way there that she didn’t want to go “there”!) until, finally, she stopped. And you know what? SHE NEVER THREW A TANTRUM ON THE WAY TO OR AT A RESTAURANT AGAIN!

So, knowing this, how have I become a lazy parent? Because it’s easier and faster to just give in, that’s why. This goes for both my kids. Giving in takes 2.3 seconds where toughing it out can take hours, sometimes even days. Who has that kind of time? 

And I hate conflict. I really do.

So now we’re going through non-autism issues with C2 and I am so ill-equipped for it. You know, part of me has always had that “it’s autism” excuse, but with C2 I don’t. There is no excuse other than the mansy-pansy parenting and rationalization I have employed…the self-speak of “I’m doing the best I can,” and honestly I thought I was. Now I see I could be doing better.

And I know it’s going to be hard. I need to go back to trusting my parenting instincts, to do what my head says is right, to not be ruled by worrying that I will hurt C2s feelings. I need to be a parent and to do that I need to trust myself again. I need to get my parenting mojo back, because somewhere, between IEP meetings, OT appointments, mama bear mode, my fears, my career and all the barnacles of life, I got scratched up, banged up and started to drown.

I’m coming up for air, so sorry kids; I’m washing off the wishy-washy. Mama is BACK. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Whoah...Freaky, Dude

So last night I had this really disturbing dream.

In the dream C2's friend was over with his dog but the dog didn't have a leash (somehow this child carried this squirmy, flea infested large Border Collie mix many miles to our house, which by the way is NOT the kind of dog he owns?!), so I sent C2 to the car to get the leash (yes, this is how we end up with all those wayward animals - we keep a leash in the car). It took her forever to come back, so I went out to the car only to see that the leash was still in there.

At this point I must mention that we suddenly weren't at our own home. I've never been in a house that looked remotely like this one. We were obviously transported to in order to have the next event occur. I went looking for C2 and found her in this barren family room that had a fireplace. My husband was there and C2 was on the ground. Hubby told me that C2 had hit her head on the fireplace and couldn't even crawl her way into the adjoining room to get help. C2 kept repeating "I don't feel right," so we decided to take her to the ER.

In the meantime, though, we can't manage to corral all the dogs (suddenly there were 15 dogs!) behind a kiddie gate with a hole in it so we can leave. At this point we managed to accumulate four of five more kids, the likes whom I have never seen before, who we can't corral into the car.

At this point I woke up.

So, when I picked C2 up this morning from her sleepover imagine my shock when she told me that at 3am she rolled over and hit her head on something!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lost It

I don't know why, but I was in a serious funk today. I knocked heads with the kids all day, and lucky for my husband he worked all day or he wouldn't have escaped unscathed. I am sitting here exhausted from my awfulness

I love my children more than life itself. That being said, I have been really struggling to keep those balls in the air (this sounds like my cardboard house post), picking up the kids on time and remembering where I'm supposed to pick them up, remembering to pay my bills and my mom's bills too. Remembering everything. Remembering. That's where the trouble lies because my memory is failing me. Honestly. I'm scared at how badly this is happening; I could be in the middle of sentence and completely forget what I was saying. This isn't a great trait for my career either.

I think I'm tired of remembering. It's exhausting.

Today was exceptionally bad - I yelled and screamed and cursed over a To Kill a Mockingbird Project. Because CL1 wasn't understanding, and I explained it, and then she deleted everything she had done over a two hour period. Atticus would be so ashamed of me. I'm ashamed of me.

You know it's pretty bad when CL2 goes out of her way to help CL1...true story. This phenomena happened today in the kitchen while I sat at the computer and cried my eyes out.

So reality hit home today when, locked in my room, I realized that I will never get a break from remembering. I will forever have to help CL1, reminding her to look at her calendar for due dates, reminding her to wash her belly button, reminding her to hang up her pants when they come out of the dryer, reminding her to rinse her bowl, reminding her to eat, reminding her that she needs her uniform on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Reminding her when I can't even remember myself. That is scary to me.

And I'm ok with all of that. I am, so please don't judge me any more harshly than I already judge myself. When we had to get guardianship because CL1 was turning 18 I had another moment like this.

So, having a child who is an adult and has autism is uncharted territory and we are out here alone, floating with no land in sight, like Pi and the tiger, and it reminds me oh so very much of when we started this journey into autism a short 18 years ago.