Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Diary Of A Guilt-Ridden Mom

I'm sick. Like can't breathe out of my nose, or swallow the pins in my throat sick.
I'm a tiny bit claustrophobic and have a history of sinus issues, so not being able to breathe out of my nose sort of sends me into a tailspin.

And where did I get the latest sickness? M. M who won't stop putting his hands in his mouth or stop chewing on germy things. We get sick way too often around here and yesterday I got really angry about it.

I'm solo parenting until I take M back to the mother ship tomorrow where the other half and B already are. Solo parenting a kid who doesn't feel well while I also don't feel well is not a very good recipe. Add to that the fact that M would not go to sleep on Monday night until he finally crashed (with me in bed beside him) at 11 pm.

He must have gotten out of his own bed four times before I finally gave up any chance of alone-time and went to bed with him. So when he decided to play the same game last night even though I thought I was being wise by starting him in my bed, I blew up. I was a mean Mommy. I talked loudly to him in complicated strings of emotional blubber that I know he never could have totally understood. I made him cry when I yelled at him to JUST STOP MAKING THOSE SOUNDS FOR ONE MINUTE! How horrifying to not be in control of those sounds and then to also not be in control of someone twice your size getting angry at you because of them.

I feel absolutely terrible about it.

The other half called during this time and I said more mean things to him. I told him that I didn't know what to do with this child who has spent the last 48 hours in constant, vibrating, sing-songy sound and motion. I wondered aloud if it was time to put him on medication to make him stop. Just for one freaking minute. I said that I didn't care that he was sitting on the steps below me waiting for me to lay down with him AGAIN because I didn't feel good either and DAMN IT, I deserved a break too.

In other words...I sounded like a big freaking bratty baby. I know I did and I freely admit it. I have a lot of making up to do to him today and the worst thing is that he'll readily accept it rather than dish back to me a bit of what I likely deserve.

Sometimes not getting any feedback from your non-verbal child is way worse than any of the behaviors they emote. It's like talking to a wall, except that you're looking at your beautiful child and just wishing they'd say, 'Mommy, I love you! I'm sorry I made you mad.' -or- 'Mommy, please stop yelling at me. You're hurting my feelings!' I have heard Miles say he loves me--genuinely said it without prompting--twice. TWICE. And both times I bawled my eyes out like a baby (like I am now at the thought) because I needed so desperately to hear those words and to know that he was capable of loving me. Crap. This has taken a turn I hadn't intended and now I think I probably just need to take a moment to myself before he wakes up to ask for forgiveness from the universe. And then I will begin working on his forgiveness too. Clearly he's needed me more than I have been capable of giving the past two days and I need to make that up to him.

Parenting is hard, isn't it?


Hetha said...

I have had several regrettable moments with E-boy without even having the excuse of not feeling well, so go a little easy on yourself there tiger. Sometimes I think about how young E-boy is and hope like hell that he's not going to have long term memories of some of my less than stellar moments. All parents have lousy parenting moments and what you and I do on a daily basis is extreme we've gotta cut ourselves some slack when the need arises. You're doing right by him in countless ways and it's okay for him to see that you struggle with emotions too.

Yesterday I was coloring with Ethan and I noticed at a point that he stopped and just wanted to watch me color. I'd sign "your turn" and hand him the crayon and he'd push it back to me immediately. Then I started to scribble all over the page and he smiled and picked up his crayon and joined in the fun. I took the pressure off of him to color a pretty picture and just color it in his own way.

I think the same concept can be applied with our behavior. I would imagine that in some ways it's a relief to them to see that we share in some of the same frustrations and anxiety, and by showing them this, we also have an opportunity to model working through it.

Valerie Foley said...

Deb, you are a human... you can't be ahead of the game every minute.

And I think, perhaps, the positive of autism is the tendency to live so actively in the moment.

M's unlikely to carry much of it forward.

You can both make all the horrible noises you want, and get as grumpy as you want too. Hopefully that will clear the way for a few more of the 'I love you' moments too.

You do an amazing job of this.



sarah said...

You are an amazing mom, Debbie. I hope you can cut yourself some slack.....hope to see you soon.