Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today has been one of those days. I had a great morning at work. I love my job. I even got to hold my boss's newborn for a while. I came home, DH went to work, and it was business as usual. I ordered a pizza for lunch for the three of us and everyone was happy. Then we went to play out in the yard. I was raking and cleaning up and 2DS (18mo) was "helping" me with his own rake. 1DS was back by the fence, he's a big boy, he can play by himself for a bit. Then he started to cry very hard. He cut and bruised two of his fingers, but I wasn't looking at him when it happened and I don't know what happened. He cried for an hour and a half. His crying set off 2DS. I had to give 1DS his Leapster and a glass of milk and put him in his room for 15 minutes so I could regroup. He just kept crying and couldn't or wouldn't tell me what I could do. I ascertained that his fingers still work, and he didn't scream any louder when I squeezed the sore ones than when I squeezed the other fingers, so nothing is broken. I got down to nearly begging him to tell me what I could do to make it better. I told him "Use your words and tell me what you want and I will get it for you." I was willing to do just about anything to get him to stop crying. Then he hit on Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, and everything was OK. I started reading it to him and then he took over and was reading it to me. I don't know what happened, I don't know if Brown Bear is what he wanted all along, or if he just saw it and decided not to cry anymore. I was fighting tears myself because both boys were so upset, and then he started reading Brown Bear to me and it was just like a fresh spring rain that washes away all the snow. Everything was right with the world again.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sometimes I think about what life would be like if we didn't know 1DS has autism. I think about all the kids like him who are undiagnosed and not getting the services they need. It makes me so sad.

I am a very hands-on mom. I breastfeed, babywear, make my own baby food, and so on. I enjoy being involved in all facets of my kids lives. So when it was suggested that my not yet two year old needed help that I couldn't provide, that was a big pill to swallow. I did not want to accept that my toddler needed more than I had to offer. He was still just a baby, and to me all a baby needs are his loving, caring, involved parents and grandparents. I didn't want him to need anyone else. Even though he was difficult, he was never a burden to me and of course he still is not. I don't ever wake up in the morning and think 'oh no, another day with the kids all day, what am I going to do?' I get my me-time at night when they are in bed, and every now and then I leave them with daddy to go shopping. How could a stranger, ESPECIALLY a childless stranger, possibly know what's best for my son better than I did?

But then I also realized that I couldn't just bury my head in the sand and pretend the A word didn't exist. I couldn't pretend to know enough about speech and occupational therapy to handle it myself. In order to do what was best for my son, I had to swallow my pride and allow people to help us. I had to admit that I could not do it myself. But I did it for him. It's not about me. It's not about me being a bad parent, it's not about how many stories I read to him, or how I would buy him grapes to eat in the grocery store so that he wouldn't scream while I was grocery shopping. It's about HIM. It's about making his life easier. It's about making him happy. It's about teaching him how to enjoy the beautiful gift of life he has been given. How could anyone turn a blind eye to these things?

I don't know how, but I do know it happens all the time. There are so many "difficult" and "naughty" and "shy" and "fussy" and "high maintenance" kids who could be making more of their lives if their parents could swallow their own pride. I know it isn't easy, but once you do it, it pays off in a big hurry.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is how it works with Autism.... This morning 1DS didn't want to pick out a shirt, and then he threw a fit when I picked one. He even hit at me. A couple hours later, he's happily trotting away from me with a bowl of chips saying "Fank oo Mama." We have so many ups and down, often within the same day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

He pedaled! He pedaled his big wheel!!! I've been trying to teach him to pedal for almost a year and he finally did it on his own!!! He also said today "What does cat say? Meow! Great job. Can I get high five?" and then came and high fived me! It's been an incredible day. We didn't make it to Wash Pav, and he had a meltdown at WalMart when I wouldn't buy him a train or a car. But with everything that has come after it was totally worth one tantrum. I still don't believe it, he really actually pedaled!
1DS has discovered the letter S and how to use it at the end of a word to make it plural. When counting he used to say - one cup, two cup, three cup, etc. Now he is saying - one cup, two cups, three cups, etc. We've been practicing sssssssss, making the sound a lot. It's so much fun to watch him learn and discover. I enjoy the smallest things that most parents probably take completely for granted.


We are going to the National Agriculture Day at Washington Pavillion today. I think 1DS will really like it, but it's going to be me alone with both boys. If it goes badly, it's going to be pretty bad.