Wish

I wish you could see…

I wish you could see what he’s like when no one is around, when no one is watching, warily sizing him up.

The funny boy he is when he’s not trying so hard

To impress you

Make you like him

To appear smart

I wish you could see into her heart

That she loves fiercely

Is loyal

That she really just wants what we all want

To be liked for who we are regardless of what we wear, the stuff we have or the place we call home.

I wish you could see that behind his awkwardness, his desire is connection.

I wish you could see that behind her striving and attention seeking, what she wants is to be marveled at and delighted in.

I wish you could see

That it’s hard to move and say goodbye to friends, and difficult to make new ones.

I wish you could see the way he cried when you called him dumb, carelessly throwing words around like it was no big deal.

To him it was a very big deal. Small things are big things.

I wish you could see the hurt in her eyes when you told her she was ugly, green envy soaked words aimed right where you knew it would hurt the most.

I wish you could see.

I wish you could see the progress he’s made, the milestones surpassed.

I wish you could see the way she smiles from her toes when she nails that cartwheel, backbend or some other contortionist feat; her joy when she learns the new song on her keyboard.

Her determination exceeds her age.

I wish you could see that what looks like disrespect often is his literal, robotic, fact-based way of seeing and relating to the world around him.

I wish you could see what I see.

Instead of judging what you don’t understand.

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Inevitable

I entered the school cafeteria with my brave I’m-not-really-a-volunteer-type-person-but-I-want-to-be face on. PTA? Ugh. Being one of “those” moms? Please. Not for me. Always put together with makeup and hair completely in place? Not hardly – even if I wanted to be!

Exhibit A:

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I do not have the hair to pull off being one of those moms. Think Christina Applegate’s character in the film Bad Moms. Plus – I’m just not that good at pretending. I’ll take real and authentic any day.

I was shown how to ring up purchases at the school book fair, where things were and we were off and running. A couple of the volunteers were chatting about their kids, life, and some family dynamics. Then they came to the subject of one of their son-in-laws.

“But is he a good person? Does he love your daughter?” the one volunteer asked the other.

“Yes, but…” the other hesitated, then continued, “Basically – we think he’s autistic,” she said laughing. “He’s so abnormal. Just weird…and awkward…”

And that’s where I stopped listening. I figured it would happen eventually. Heck, if a presidential candidate thinks it’s okay to mock people…why would it be a big deal? I guess I just wasn’t prepared for someone to say it like that, in a school setting where there are likely far more spectrum kids than just mine. Never mind the fact that I had only met these women 30 minutes prior.

I had visions of being snarky and speaking up, but I didn’t. Should I have? Perhaps. I still had 90 minutes of a shift left so selfishly I chose to be quiet and remove myself from the conversation.

We sold books to kids, we straightened and organized. I volunteered and got out of my comfort zone. My retail and banking skills came right back. I came back the next day and volunteered some more.

It is inevitable. People are going to speak without thinking – myself very much included. Sometimes if just kind of sucks.

Parenting Confessions: Rotten Days Suck

Those days. You know the ones. You’re out of creamer, you oversleep and everyone coordinates the day to get out of bed on the wrong side. They then proceed to bicker and argue and antagonize each other (and the dog) until the moment they walk out the door to go to school.

Yep, that’s me. Right now. Right smack dab at the end of a really rotten one. I’m sitting on the couch calming myself down so I don’t scream. I hate being screamed at. But that’s what my first instinct is to do. I hate yelling. I hate being angry.

My dear daughter decided it would be funny to put her pajama pants in the toilet to pretend she had peed her pants. This was after she’d put half a tube of toothpaste into the sink to see what an “ice-cream swirl of toothpaste” would look like. For. The. Second. Time. Today. It’s not like I’m not paying attention. I’m not sitting on the couch watching TV. I’m doing homework with one kid, while the other one is “going to the bathroom”. Or so I thought.

I was given a bit of parenting advice when my first was just a few months old. It was that “whatever you do, you have to live with the consequences; good, bad, or indifferent.” At the time, the issue of our days was whether or not to co-sleep. With our son – it’s worked out beautifully. He is now six and sleeps like a champ, often going to bed on his own. We thought the day would never come when we were in the midst of mattresses on the floor and playing bed-switcharoo for a few years. We have friends whose kids (the same age) say, “I’m tired. I’m going to bed. Goodnight!” and will promptly walk upstairs and go to bed. Our kids have NEVER done this. Some may say we created this with our choice to co-sleep. But now, while he likes someone to lay with him until he falls asleep, he goes out very quickly and without a big to-do.

Our lovely little girl, on the other hand, is having a real rough time of it. We do our normal routine, dinner, baths, teeth brushing, stories, etc. But once it’s time to head to dreamland, she throws the biggest fits – needing a drink, needing something more to eat…anything to prolong the actual act of sleeping. It’s wearing on me. Big time. We then usually receive a wake up call around midnight or 1 a.m. We’ve been walking her back to bed, and she’ll go back to sleep, but it usually involves tears and crying.

I have patience (and have learned not to pray for more!) and most days it’s manageable. We are going on about 2 months of this. Looking at the big picture – we’ve had some big upheavals in our world (moving, starting 5-day a week preschool, etc.) and I am sure that has a lot to do with it. But with no real basis of comparison (Jake being entirely different) I wonder if some of her behavior is just normal 4 year old girl stuff. Either way, it’s rough.

Parental confession: Rotten days suck. It makes me question everything. I know in my head, it’s just a bad day. I know that there will be better days. When these days occur, I tend toward thinking that the volume and quantity of tantrums is directly correlated to my parenting skills. It’s not rational. I know that if a friend confessed this to me, I would instantly remind her that we ALL have bad days – even our little ones. So I remind myself that in fact, this too shall pass. It’s just a bad day.

What is your parental confession? How do you cope with the life stuff that drives you bonkers and makes you want to scream? Please share, raise a glass of wine and we can toast each other’s rotten days!

This Day.

It can only get better. It can only get better. It can only get better.

5:15: “Mom! I’m cold. There’s not room for me in the bed. I’m coming in,” says dear son.
5:16: Roll over and realize daughter is also in bed and sleeping. When did she climb in? Roll over and pretend to still be asleep. Curse loudly in my head.
5:22: “Mom! There’s not room. Hannah won’t move over and I’m afraid I’m going to fall off the bed.” Think to myself that perhaps sleeping in his own bed would eliminate the problem entirely. Curse again. Also thankful that I went to bed at 9pm so at least I got some sleep between nose-blowing, mouth-breathing, and snoring because I can only breathe out of one nostril currently. Still irritated.
5:25: Dog licks my face telling me he has to go out. Silently shake my fist at the sky. Why must they all conspire against me?!
5:29: Come back in with the dog and sneak over to Jacob’s bed and lie down. Perhaps if I’m really quiet, they’ll think that I’m still outside, thus buying myself just a few more minutes of snooze time before I really have to get up and moving.
5:30: Damn. They found me.
5:31: Give up and get up since I have to blow my nose (again).
5:32: Hannah peels a banana in the kitchen, while peeing. She laughs. I, however, do not find this funny because on top of all the other morning activities – mopping was not on the top of the list. Mopping is now priority numero uno. (silently growl about the fact that I JUST mopped this entire floor 2 days ago.) When asked why she didn’t go to the bathroom she replied that she was just too hungry.
5:45: Shower a resisting daughter, son gets dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast consumed and out the door we go to school. Drop them off. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonder that is school.
8:01-10:45: Enjoy a walk with the dog, a strength workout, and some quiet. Head off to pick up daughter from school.
11:30: Arrive back home, am told by daughter that she’d like yesterday’s lunch again. Heat it up, devour a bowl of it myself, daughter’s gets cold as she sits not eating it. She says she’s full, but this is not my first rodeo.
11:45: “All Finished” she says. I set it aside because like clockwork…
11:55: Dear daughter says she’s starving and wants something to eat. I kindly offer to reheat her lunch. She throws minor fit, but gets over it. She has no choice. We aren’t wasting food, especially when it was her choice.
12:00: She’s eating happily. I go put laundry away and discover a “rip” in my favorite comforter. Initial thought is that the dog must have ripped it. I say out loud, “Oh, man! My favorite comforter is torn!” Daughter enters the room and informs me that she cut the comforter with scissors she found and that she was sorry. I ask her when and she tells me it was the other day when dear hubby and I were hanging curtains. (And the scissors were out providing way too much temptation to resist, apparently.)
12:15: Celebrate the idea that bedtime is less than 7 hours away. Wish it was now.
12:16: Fold laundry and consider running away from home. Far, far away to a land where I can breathe, my throat is not sore and I have 24 hours to sleep in a comfy bed where the comforters are not cut by minions.

Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.
Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.

I’m ready for do-over. Wait, scratch that. I don’t want to do this day over. I’m ready for evening and bedtime and for THIS day to be in the books!