July 6, 2011

The Rules

Posted in Life's Little Moments, My Take on Autism tagged , at 8:56 am by autismmommytherapist

“But I want to see the END!!” my four-year-old cries, and the end sounds good to me at this moment too, because this weekday morning has been hell. Zach’s mad at me because I won’t let him see the conclusion of the nine minute movie I put on the television in an attempt to appease my other irate boy. I’ve misjudged the amount of time my youngest had left in the house before the bus comes, and as God is my witness, whether my “Baby Genius” selection is finished or not, he’s making that yellow slice of sanity.

Justin’s been furious at me as well ever since he realized he’s not going to school, because unfortunately, it’s an in-service day. Once I made the grave mistake of letting him see me place his bathing suit in the bathroom he’s been enraged I haven’t devoted every second of my life to getting him ready for the beach, despite the fact that his little brother is clearly still home, and needs my attention too. Jeff is asleep upstairs because he worked late last night, and I don’t have the heart to wake him, as this chaos is technically my fault.

At this particular moment, mommy needs a time-out.

Eventually I’m able to carry a half-sobbing child out the door to the sidewalk just as his bus pulls up to our driveway, leaving the other child in a full-on sob in the foyer, cataloging our progress. I have to lug our usually joyful son up the stairs to his waiting aide, and watch him make his way to his seat, still crying. He finds his place, regards me out the window, and takes a deep breath. With tears still streaming down his cheeks he attempts a brave smile, and executes a half-hearted wave while wiping his eyes with his other hand. I return the gesture, and in my imagination, remove the butcher knife embedded in my chest, all because I read the time on the clock incorrectly, and disrupted my son’s required routine.

Mean mommy strikes again.

I shuffle back to our front door and am greeted by another tear-stained face, however this one is grinning, as he’s now realized I’m completely at his disposal. He takes my arm and propels me toward the bathroom, and when he  once again sees the suit, lotion, and Tivas I thought I’d surruptiously placed in there to surprise him, he laughs and hugs me. All angst is immediately gone as he begins his wardrobe change. He is eager to embrace the day, and is perfectly fine.

I, however, am not.

I know these types of mornings happen in all households, whether or not autism resides there. I had my children much later than most of my friends, late enough to listen to a myriad of morning and evening hour horror stories, some of which almost made me reconsider that whole “reproducing thing”. I am aware our family hasn’t cornered the market on crying pre-schoolers, or elementary students for that matter either.

Today however, I’m just sick at heart because with autism there’s so many damn rules, and sometimes, I just can’t remember or adhere to them all. I know that Zach will be fine by the time he gets to school, will forget he missed the captivating conclusion of that film he so desperately needed to view. My oldest is already over the drama, is in fact shoving the Banana Boat bottle at me with a huge grin, eager to achieve his intended destination and immerse his toes in sand and sea. Both boys, if they haven’t done so already, will shake this off.

I take a deep breath, and instead of indulging in my usual pattern of anticipating what else could possibly go wrong with this day, I try to emulate my sons. “Let it go” is my oft-repeated mantra. If it won’t bother you on your deathbed, let it go.

I’ll try. But today, I know it will take a venti frappaccino to get there.


  1. LZ said,

    Liam has suddenly developed an ear-piercing screech that he lets out when he is upset with one of his brothers. At 6 1/2, his lungs can belt it out longer and farther than even the most tormented 2-year old ever dreamed of doing. The sound makes a very sudden appearance, and seems to come with the breaking of a rule known only to him. This screeching is new to us, and the as-yet uncontrollable feelings of anger, hurt and frustration that come through in his voice make me cringe and want to curl into a ball. It baffles my older children when it happens, and if any of us tries to calm or distract Liam, he only amplifies. We had been lulled into a false sense of routine before this showed up, and it was a vivid reminder that our lives will be full of the brilliantly unexpected.

    There are days that I want to cry, and I ask myself just how many more new challenges I will be presented with through my beautiful son. I often feel like I’m on the brink of breaking as it is, because at times, raising him can be exhausting, overwhelming and heartbreaking, and there are no answers to any of it.

    And then he smiles, or comes over and puts his little hand up to my face, and that daunted feeling disappears. I mentally stand up and shake myself off, ask for renewed patience, intuition and perhaps a few new skills, and move forward.

    I’ll have to try those frappacinos.

    • I am so, so, sorry. We’ve been there with other issues, and sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, they simply fade away. Fingers crossed for you and the boys. I think frapps can solve a lot of the world’s ills….

  2. Mom said,

    Reminds me of the “lost night’night” event when you were three!
    And I don’t think you remembered that before I reminded you. The same will be true with the boys– the brain can only hold so much!

  3. Misifusa said,

    You are a great mom…keep ahold of that thought and never let it go.

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