You got a bloody nose yesterday morning. Coupled with fatigue from a day or two of erratic eating and sleeping, it pushed you over the edge.
You couldn’t stop moving and flailing your arms and crying. You had a king-sized tantrum.
The blood dropped big red polka dots all over our beige tile. The sight of it disturbed you even more.
At the height of your misery, you screamed “no school” at the top of your lungs. You were shaking when you tried to scream it again. It came out softer and more defeated the second time.
So I let you stay home.
My decision put visible peace on your face.
As I used some windex and a mop to clean up the floor, you took a pen to your dry erase calendar and circled the rest of the week. You said “today, no school. Tomorrow, yes school.” You understood the trade off. I let you stay home and you go without complaint the next four days.
We go through odd cycles with you. There are weeks, sometimes even a month, during which all is well and somewhat uneventful.
Then there are the bloody nose days. Or the “no sunny!” days. Or the “no-all-gone-the-too-much-cheese-goldfish” days.
We can’t plan for those. They are what they are. They happen when they happen.
Your daddy and I have to roll with the emotional punches. We wait out your tantrums, try to feed you something, try to calm you down, and then move on. And we have to do it without defeat and without concern for what anyone else thinks of us, or you, or how we handle things in our family. That’s not always easy, but we do it.
We start over everyday.
This morning you were upset that I wouldn’t give you 60 minutes on the timer to play on the computer, but you got up too late for that. And you dawdled. Ultimately, you conceded to eliminating most of our time at the grocery store on the way to school. You are a crafty time manager.
Miraculously, we made it just as the final bell rang. I didn’t even get a satisfactory goodbye from you before I had to walk away. I hate that – leaving before I’m certain you consciously see me and know that I’m going. It makes me worry.
I know that you recover from your upsets quickly. I’ve witnessed the return of your cheery demeanor quite often. It usually just take a few bites of peanut butter and jelly to bring it back.
By the time I get back in my car each morning, I feel like I’ve run an emotional marathon. I usually have to sit there a minute and collect my scattered thoughts before I can start the car and drive to my next destination.
Whatever the mood between us when I drop you with your teacher, I can’t wait to see you at the end of each day.
I am sorry that we’ve had a difficult few mornings.
I will try harder to be the right mommy for you, because you are absolutely the right little boy for me.
You are the sweetest, smartest, cutest, kindest, most beautiful baby boy that ever lived.
I love you.
P.S. We took that top picture of you at Legoland a few weeks ago. The bottom picture was taken at the Zoo in March. You love to hug the characters. 🙂
You are, more than likely, the best loved daughter in the entire universe, and I know, for a fact, that you are the best Mother.
Not true! You are, Mama!
Lots of love and grace to go around. You guys are awesome.
You are an incredible mother. (Although having three incredibly sweet, smart, cute, kind and beautiful sons myself I’m not convinced about *that* line!)
Thanks Karen! Loved your mindful disconnection post.
Pleased that it made sense to you. I haven’t worked much with autistic children, do you think it would work with children on the spectrum too?
Absolutely. It took a long time for us to learn to do that and even longer to let go of the guilt we had in turning or walking away for a moment. It’s so important to reinforce their understanding that the bad behavior doesn’t command your attention the way the good behavior does. It was really hard for us when Thomas was young. The louder and more out of control he got, the more we seemed to make noise right back. I wish we’d known then what we know now about all of this!!
I loved this post. You are an incredible mom and you constantly inspire me!
Right back at you, my friend!!
I’m very proud of your honesty and humor. You remind me so much of your
Gail, that is maybe the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Thank you so much. How are you guys?
I added a p.s. don’t know what happened to it.
P.S. “AND, OF COURSE, YOUR MOTHER!!!!”