Saturday, April 24, 2010

People say to me all the time, "I don't know how you do it." Not the least frequent of whom is my own husband. I've never really known how to respond to this. I just do it. And then it came to me. Yes, we have plenty of bad days, and bad times. And when it's bad, it's pretty bad. But the good days are so good, that it makes it easier to get through the tough times. The euphoric rush I feel when he does something for the first times is 100x stronger than despair of the worst times.

He answers questions now, which has made a tremendous difference in all of our lives. Today he was playing downstairs while I was upstairs cleaning. He came upstairs and said "Mama, I need help please." Keep in mind that eight months ago he couldn't talk at ALL. This is a huge accomplishment in itself. I asked what he needed and the best he could do was "downstairs," so I went down with him. He wanted me to carry his Little People garage upstairs for him, and he pointed to it and said "Mama take upstairs please."

We went to Target today and I bought him a car, and we made it through the entire store with no tears or shouting whatsoever. Later we went to WalMart and I explained to him that we were not buying any toys and he didn't even whine. Again we made it through the entire shopping trip, very busy on a Saturday evening, with zero tears. On the way out the greeter gave the boys stickers and she asked him to smile at her. I took a deep breath and prepared for the inevitable screaming and hurt feelings. He doesn't like me to talk to anyone, he gets always gets upset. So I told her "He's autistic so he isn't even going to make eye contact with you," but I did at least get him to say thank you. Turns out she has two autistic neices and a bunch of connections to advocacy groups and parent groups. She wrote down a bunch of information for me and gave me her phone number. She was a little chatty and 1DS never got upset at all. The little guy got a little impatient, but the big boy was calm and quiet and cool. Not an easy feat for him.

Days like today are the reason I can make it through the mud and the blood and the tears and the head smashing. This is my life and I love my kids with everything I have, even when I want to take my earplugs and lock myself in the bathroom for an hour. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

1DS asked for bbq sauce with his chicken strips today, so I gave him some. Now he is walking around fussing, trying to wipe the bbq sauce off his tongue.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

After almost two weeks of spring break for 1DS, preschool is back in session this week. It's nice to be getting back in to the swing of things. He likes preschool, and he's usually excited to go. But he melts down every single day when I pick him up. He never says he doesn't want to go, and the teachers aides always tell me he's fine until he sees me. I don't know why he gets so upset, other than it's a transition, but he doesn't take any other transitions so badly. He doesn't cry at all when I drop him off.

I made pancakes and sausages for the boys for dinner tonight. 1DS wouldn't try his food, so I pried his mouth open and put a piece of pancake in. Lo and behold, he loved it! He ate all three of his (small) pancakes. He didn't want to try the sausage, and since he was eating the pancakes at least, I didn't force the issue. I knew he wouldn't like the sausage but I wanted him to try it anyway.... but if I had forced him to taste it, as odd as this sounds, he would have held it against the pancakes and stopped eating them. This is another one of those things that I do not understand, but I figured it out and we work with it.

He has started to sing lately. That's fun. Every time he does something for the first time that normal kids pick up on their own, I want to jump up and down for joy. Having had one c-section and one VBAC however, I don't do a whole lot of jumping. ;-) Anyway. It is absolutely amazing to watch him sing along. It's something I really didn't think I would ever see. As miserable as autism is, it definitely gives a parent the opportunity to savor every little accomplishment. Things that are taken as a given in neurotypical kids make our hearts dance for joy. I wouldn't with autism on anyone, but it isn't all doom and gloom. The bad makes the good seem just that much better I guess is what I am trying to say.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We went to the park today, and it was a LOT of fun. But it's always a huge fight when it's time to leave. The whole way home he cried "Different home! Different home!" It was very upsetting for me. We spent last weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's and it was an amazing time. The boys were great and had a lot of fun. But again, when it was time to go home it was an absolute nightmare. When I picked him up from therapy on Tuesday he was crying to go to Grandma's, and crying her dogs names. He fell asleep in the car and I let him sleep a while. When he woke up, he was really angry that we were at home, not Grandma's. I think he thought since he slept in the car that when he woke up we'd be there. He understands that "we can't go to Grandma's" but he does not understand why and he gets so angry about it. It's so hard. :-(
Yesterday I had a half hour argument with 1DS, which consisted of:

Do you want to go to WalMart?
Yes WalMart!
Then you have to put pants on.
No pants!