There are days I just feel so ill-equipped to be a parent…days when I’m exhausted, drained, overwhelmed. Every little thing is Too Much. Raise your hand if you know what I mean.
In the midst of all the fun this past weekend, we had some of those dark moments. There were food battles, meltdowns, and frustrating/heartbreaking revelations. I had/am having one of those mornings where I just don’t have it in me. I feel incapable.
In the midst of party-prep Saturday morning, I received an email from Little Man’s teacher. God love this woman – he’s put her through hell this school year. I’m fairly sure she’s as perplexed as we. Anyhow, the email contained good and bad. She let me know he had a good week behaviorally. She also let me know he’d decided to wander around the classroom and go on the computer rather than complete his “must do’s” last week. Awesome. They were in his backpack waiting to be completed. Fabulous. I made him get it out and finish it before the party was even close to starting. And I let him know, in no uncertain terms, this was totally unacceptable. Must-do’s are just that…he must do them. He cannot choose to do something else. ARGH!!!
We also found out on Saturday that he rarely, if ever, eats his lunch at school. He either gives it away or throws it away. I wanted to cry. This child….for the past few years we have been struggling to get weight on him. He is ten (tomorrow), and struggles to stay above 50 pounds. He is concerning to look at. I want to cringe when he gets in the bathtub. We have gone round and round on this with him. I know part of it is a control thing for him. If we don’t fix his meals, and if we don’t stand over him, he simply won’t eat. Well, check that, he will snack forever most days on Goldfish crackers, popcorn, and Lucky Charms, but when it comes to actually eating meals, we do battle. The Failure to Thrive clinic won’t see him (which I’m thankful for in a weird way). I need to make his appointment with the endocrinologist. In the meantime, I have no clue what to do with this situation at school. They are doing so much with him and for him. Can I possibly ask they have someone monitor him at lunch time to make sure he eats? Do I need to go to the school every day and stand over him while he eats?
Then we have the whole situation with him perseverating on “every single bad thing he’s ever done” and how that makes him a horrible person. It almost makes you feel like you can’t discipline him as that might reinforce his terrible opinion of himself. But there must be rules and there must be consequences, regardless of autism. He cannot run rampant doing whatever he wants, lashing out, and not have consequences. We repeatedly remind him the difference between how we feel about him, and how we feel about some of the choices he makes. He gets stuck on everything bad about a day, thus making every day a horrible day in his mind.
I’m too tired. Today, it’s too much. It’s breaking me that I can’t just fix it. Right now, it feels like there’s so much to fix, I don’t even know where to start. Today, I don’t “got it”.
As for the NaBloPoMo prompt…If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
If I could change one thing about me, I would lose the shyness and insecurity that persists. I was painfully shy as a child. I never spoke in class unless I had to. Recess and lunch time, especially after we moved before fifth grade, were just torture, until I found my group of friends in seventh grade. Speech class in 8th grade made me want to throw up on a daily basis. I worked hard to look like I had it all together, because I thought then maybe people would like me and want to be my friend or just accept me. It was my armor. That somewhat backfired. When you’re quiet, and look like you have it all together, you can come across as a stuck-up snob. I guess I still carry that with me even now.