Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring break

I’m beginning to hate breaks from school. Hard to believe I’m writing that, but it is true. I mean, getting to visit family, do some out-of-the-ordinary things and not have to keep to a schedule is nice, but it also really throws T off. With all this down time (and the weather outside being cold & gloomy), his days are spent going from one stimmy activity to another.

So play with him, you might say. I say that to myself, too. It’s not like I ignore him, but here is how it goes:

I get up in the morning when I hear him start to coo. He’s peed through his overnight diaper so I make a mental note to change & wash the sheets as I take him for his morning toilette. But first it’s down to breakfast and the assembling of all the supplements: mixing some in nut butter which I have made, stirring some in juice in a sippy cup (did I remember to wash one last night, or are they in the dishwasher?) Damn, I forgot to run the dishwasher – or I ran it and have to put the dishes away. Start to peel his fruit and assemble his SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) breakfast…there goes T over to the heating vent to rub his hands over it and grunt & grind his teeth. “Come on over here, sweetie, it’s time for breakfast.” Okay, here he comes. Ah, he’s eating. Check off the supplements & meds he’s had from the list I have on the fridge. Unload dishwasher – or run the thing if I haven’t already. Put tea on for me – coffee gives me headaches now. Curse you, caffeine gods. Encourage T to come back to the table again. Go upstairs while he’s eating to get his wet sheets. Take to washing machine – sonofabitch, there’s still wet wash in there from yesterday and the clothes in the drier aren’t dry yet. (I probably forgot to turn it on. Rob can confirm this for you.) Leave peed-on sheets in laundry room until later. Look at the clock, but it doesn’t matter – no therapist is coming today to keep him occupied. It’s all up to me today. Okay, start making my breakfast – I do have to eat. T is done with his and he’s off to the heating vent again, or downstairs to find something to spin. Take a few minutes to read the paper and watch Good Morning America as I eat my oatmeal with a side order of guilt while I hear T downstairs by himself. He’s grunting and grinding his teeth; he’s found something to stim on. Finish breakfast & go downstairs, check on laundry in drier. It’s dry now, so I pull it out, lay it flat so it won’t wrinkle but I don’t have to fold it right away & put on sofa. Finally put peed-on sheets in wash. T still stimming. Would like to shower, so I put on a video for T. On the way to said shower, I walk by computer and check email. Should be showering, but I’m not. Finish responding to email and video is over. Haven’t showered. Put another video in or turn on PBS and get in shower. Dishes from breakfast haven’t been done – kitchen is a mess. That will have to be cleaned up at some point, but I have to get in the shower. Okay, now I’ve showered. Dishes are waiting to be cleaned, so I do it. T is now going on at least 60-90 minutes in front of the TV. Great. Remember a recent posting about Baby Einstein viewing causing autism and curse the stupid people who wrote that rot. Go downstairs to play with T, and he’s happy to see me (joy of joys) but the stimming monster has set in and it is hard to break. Hard to get him to break out of that. Remember that I wanted to look at new recipes for his diet, so I go to the computer and fall into the abyss of checking the new posts to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet group & recipe websites, all the while telling myself that I’m helping him by doing this. I am, but clearly I could be trying to play with him.

And this is only 10:30 a.m. The rest of the day is similar.

Honestly, sometimes it’s easier to do all these tasks instead of trying day after day, moment after moment to connect with my son. Don’t get me wrong – I do connect each day, several times. And when I do, there is no better high than that. It’s just hard emotionally, and some days, it’s just easier to sit at the computer and research. Especially when it’s all me all week.

So spring break ended and we are now getting back into the routine. What a relief.


EA said...

Well, there it is. I hear you.

Rob said...

And what she hasn't mentioned, however, is the work she has to do to prepare for the therapists to visit. She literally is a human database, pulling together all sorts of components of his Verbal Behavior program till about 10:30 PM at the earliest.

Yeah, she just sits around eating bon bons all day, my wife. NOT.

No need to feel guilty, my Sweet. You do lots more than most other parents we know (said with all due respect for our friends & relatives with typically-developing kids).

nonie said...

I second Rob's comment whole heartedly...and with love.

nonie said...

I second Rob's comment whole heartedly...and with love.

lemming said...

Wish that I had words of wisdom, or brilliance or insight... I can only say what I've said before, which is that Moose is a truly wonderfully happy little boy, from head to toes, and that is because he has parents who love him as much as you do. You cannot do it all, but oh do you do a lot.