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You Should Have Seen His Face

Mothering a PDD kid is frustrating.  While he craves routine and structure, he seems to change on a daily basis in his likes and dislikes. Some things I can count on, but just when I feel like I have a grasp, he flips. Sometimes I think he does it intentionally just so he can see my head explode for a change.

Just like I knew it would happen, the sunshine didn’t last. Getting out of “normal” routine spells sure disaster in our household. The unstructured days and nights of vacation push his limits.  It’s difficult to keep a routine for one when the other two don’t have that same need. Sometimes I feel like I’m punishing them just so he can have what he needs.  The two weeks off of school had highs and lows.   What I thought would make  him happy didn’t. What I thought would drive him to tantrum…..did and then didn’t. We took a trip to the Safari Park. Normally, this is something he loves.  Animals are one of his “things.”  I don’t know what was different about this trip, outside of the fact we had his uncle and three of his cousins with us, but he was unhappy and uncooperative from the minute we got in the car. I was frustrated. I was sad for him. I will admit, I even got angry at one point.  He wasn’t deliberately trying to ruin the day for everyone, but it felt like it at some points during the day. Then just when I was reaching the end of my sanity, M gave him a job….use his map and route our way to the next animal. Ethan had to be the “leader”.  Worked like a charm. No more whining. No more tantrums. No more dragging his feet. No more tears.  When we reached the condors (the animals he really wanted to see), his face lit up.  He was talkative, he was engaged, he was laughing.  He chose elephants next and as his dad and I stood next to him, he chattered on and on. Again, engaged and laughing.  I didn’t want the moment to end.  I saw the E-man we’ve only had glimpses of the past year or so. While I was so happy my heart nearly burst, I wanted to cry at the same time.

We went to the neighbor’s for a family friendly New Year’s Eve party.  This could have gone completely sideways. There were lots of kids, the dinner choices were not his choices, there would be LOTS of noise. I was mentally prepared to leave early and bring him home.  He only fussed once. Then he started playing along with the game we were playing, and he was fine. At one point, the kids were all dancing to the song of the hour (LMFAO – the “every day I’m shuffling” song) and he was right there in the big middle of it.  The look on  his face…..he was so happy.  We rarely see him well and truly happy like that.  Again, I would have stopped time if I could. It was the best gift of the New Year to see him so happy in that moment.

Living life with him is completely draining.  His emotions, while usually negative and angry, can change in a heartbeat.  The happy moods rarely last and it seems he’s set off by the smallest things. I live for the moments he is smiling.  I would pay big money to hear him giggle and belly laugh. I store those memories up – the ones of him smiling, laughing, happy.  I have to.  If I didn’t have any of those to look back on, I’d have no hope at all.

2 thoughts on “You Should Have Seen His Face

  1. Wow, Donna. All I can say after reading this is that you are one amazing mom. You are giving everything you have, every single thing to make sure that your kids know they’re loved, to make sure they each have the very best chance to reach their greatest potential. I know you feel like you’re failing a lot but you know what? You are amazing. Your kids may not appreciate it now, but they will. At some point in R’s and G’s and E’s lives, they’ll look back and say, “My mom gave me her all.” and they’ll thank you and be in awe of you, just like I am right now.

  2. Donna,

    YOU are a rockstar mom! The facts alone that you’re “trying everything” and preparing ahead of time for “what may come” show that you “get it” and you’ll do what it takes to see him through each and every day/every moment! Apparently he loves being the “lead” and knowing he is in control (don’t we all)! 🙂
    I hope with time and “figuring it all out” you experience many more happy moments and I can tell you, as he gets older and gets a firmer grasp on “his” emotions, he will get better and it will get easier! You will figure it all out, trust me, but then as you said, it changes. I know you well enough to say you’ll change with it and y’all will grow together/earn together and keep going through life. Ry and Grace know that you’re only trying to keep the chaos in “form” and keep things in control. They know you do things for them as well and change things around their needs as well! I trust they see you are doing that with E as well!

    HUGS my friend…it’s not an easy road but you are figuring it out and I’m praying for strength and patience for you…two of the hardest things to maintain when dealing with this!
    Love you!

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