Right now I sit and watch my son stim out. It's a common term regarding repetitious autistic behavior. He is back in a rut and it's hard. It's becoming my version of normal though. Which has been scaring me a little. I was slapped out of it twice in that last few months and I want to try to tell both stories. Blogging has been very very difficult because I am trying hard to not call my daughters bio mom a crazy string of cuss words. Aidan misses Hallie terribly and it isn't good for him. But some selfish people only care about child support. Sometimes life is imbalanced and you just wait.
A while ago I was having a great time enjoying the things my son can do. Which lately seems to be a shrinking list because of regression. A downside to the magical monster that is autism. I was really engrossed in eye contact and songs and walks outside. Making the most of the times that are fun and less stress for both he and I. Taking him to the store has even become more complex because he gets so frustrated and now screams like he is being murdered when I can't understand him. On one such trip to the fabric store he lost his ever loving mind because I didn't ( and still don't) understand what "Nnnnnnnnsnana" means. I stopped and leaned in close and tried to repeat it and hugged him while he cried, and took him out of the cart ( he is HUGE and 3.5 so this always looks stupid to other people) and snuggled him while he screamed into my shoulder. And I became embarrassed. I felt my cheeks flush. I tried to remind myself of the kids I once taught who hit themselves, and bit us teachers, and I mentally recited " I don't have it that bad. I don't have it that bad." desperately trying not to cry. I was not helping him at all. I was being self centered. I took him out when he wasn't tired, was totally full and happy and dry. But I still felt like I must have missed some sign that It wasn't a great plan to adventure out with the boy in tow today. But what day would be better.it is such a lottery.
Standing like a lost fool holding a lump of tears who was cooing in my ear now instead of being a siren, I decided to abandon my cart and come back another day. Maybe when I had an adult cohort to make me feel less crazy about feeling overwhelmed. As I gathered my purse and kid and rummaged for my keys I noticed two ladies giving me the over the shoulder shit eye from the checkout line.Apparently they had watched the whole sideshow that is my parenting. One older woman met my gaze with a disdainful look of snide disapproval and actually had the gall to say without hesitation " If you cater to him he'll never be any better for anyone else you know".
I died inside.
Anyone who knows me at all would assume I just got fired up and punched her square in the bitchy bat face. But I didn't. I just left. Left my cart and found my keys and put the boy in his car seat and cried in the front seat gripping the steering wheel. Because I'm not sure why I am being tested like this. I can deal with illogical stuff. I have proven my patience time and time again while dealing with my Dad and Alzheimer's. I have a co-parenting/step parenting saga that makes NO sense. I have shown my stripes in the real world. So why am I being tested like this.
Being a parent makes you change all of your personal rules you set for yourself. I knew what I was made of but this boy, he changes all of my ways. And lately I am having some pretty major struggles with it. He can't speak. I can't fix it. It's all too much some days. And just one old See-You-Next-Thursday caused my facade I keep mortering back in place to crumble to the ground.
It's not that all people are ignorant bitches. It's that people can be so mindlessly hurtful with opinions best kept to themselves.
No one knows better than me what my son is. And I didn't correct her. Or punch her face.
While downtown running errands with my mom friend, dropping of consignment stuff in local shops we are both lucky enough to be in, we like to trek around. Aidan has to be in the stroller for this because it's just not possible otherwise. But it can be really fun some trips. This was a busy but good one.
The winds were somewhat warm still but it had that weird hint of fall to it. Aidan loves the feel of wind so much. Closing his eyes and smiling so big. Waving his hands around and honestly looking like a baby wizard conjuring the breeze out of nowhere. Both my friend and I were really enjoying how happy it was making him. But It did rev him up a lot. Which means happy screaming. Ear piercing as all get out but I refuse to shush him because damnit, he is happy.
Times like this I brace myself for apologizing to annoyed people in public. I just do. I feel you saying "aww that sucks" or " you shouldn't do that" but I do it a lot. I just say it with a shrug and a polite I'm sorry. It's just life.
We needed to stop for lunch but quickly changed gears from any type of sit down venue because duh. I spied Elephants Deli and we bee lined for it. The place was packed and as we made it around the horseshoe of a line that curved past cold foods and hot foods and beverages and chips the boy continued to scream happily. Which made me blush and hurry. I grabbed a pack of chips and opened them for him hoping to calm his outward excitement with the best currency. Snacks. Nope. Still squawking. I met the eyes of a couple and both were smiling at Aidan. Who was playing his favorite game again. It's where he stares at a person and then when that person makes eye contact Aidan laughs sooooooo hard and looks away. He doesn't even care if you know you are playing. This couple though he was hilarious. I felt myself calm down a little. The line made its way around and soon it was our turn to pay and leave. On our way out a man in a business suit held the door for us. And looked right at Aidan who then lost his mind laughing. The man didn't miss a beat after I mentioned he was playing a game and didn't realize he had been. He looked away and looked back quick, thus sending the boy into shrieks. And did it one more time as he walked off. Making my whole day. Maybe month.
I got a little teary when I thought about it. Every employee laughed with him. The place was crowded with patrons and not one acted annoyed by the screaming. No one was judgey. It was sort of a first. Not everyone can see him as awesome. That day no one was a dick.
I am having a tough spell of parenting and coping and dealing. I just need there to be less dick-ish people. And more people who laugh with me.
I am working really hard for some major things I think will change this rough patch for us. Winter always brings less outside activity. So I have been sewing and selling on etsy to save for a swim membership for the boy. And purchases from KungFooKids goes towards Aidans adventures to help his growth and development. Around this time of year I usually donate to the Autism society but this year I am donating to his needs instead.
Addition: I thought about this post while I jumped in the shower and really went over the fact that I pour my strengths and flaws out on this interwebity voice box. I know very well what my strong points are and I love to shout from the rooftops when I know I have been awesome. But I am just a human. And I know damn well I have major work on me to do all the time. No person is perfect. My strengths are just the handles I use to swing that big ass bag of guilt, weakness and worry over my shoulder to carry every day. Everyone has their own bag.