I'm very pregnant right now. When I told my OB that I was feeling a bit "Wreck it Ralph" I think it alarmed him. I had to explain it was the quote "My emotions bubble close to the surface"
I sat there and basically started tearing up and explained how "I just feel on the brink of tears like when they suggested he be transferred to a specialized classroom I went home and lost it-cried uncontrollably"
He sat there (and for the record I love him and think he is a great doctor) looked at me and clarified "who is they?"
And this made me laugh because my first thought was "Oh my gosh he's concerned I am hearing voices!"
Any parent has growing pains-as in learning what it is that your child needs and each child is different. Learning to cope and adapt with these needs.
And OK stepping back I am reminded that when you are pregnant emotions are often brimming.
I could cry for a sad commercial, to see a baby smile, that I can no longer shave my bikini line because my stomach is too big to maneuver around but all these smaller things aside I have to asses my own loss of maybe the hope of a different kind of normalcy.
I have learned that in many ways I am grieving at times the loss of my own dream for my son. I can just see now hell raining down from other parents who would say to me "never wish for a different child!" And I think I could just look at them politely and say "I don't wish for a different child-I wish I knew better how to help mine in the perfect way perfectly so that I never had daunting exhausting moments!"
Actually, probably back that up. I don't' think I could say that politely but I think in a snooty, absurd and immature way I imagine I could just turn up my nose and prance away in Prada heels while they smelled my Chanel no 5.
Because I sometimes too-can only tantrum to express my feelings-I would just figure out how to do it in a very haughty way that I am sure I would feel guilty about later but be very satisfied at the moment. Like a good ol' "Well you smell like mustard".
Last week I had a big crying moment. After talking my son down from throwing large rocks at me and the others who were at the 'playdate' getting him home, getting him some peaches (I knew he was probably hungry as well so his coping was down) and he self regulated and cheered up I had to go to the bathroom close the door and cry to myself. I also texted my sister. Because I am a person who knows I don't like to cry by myself.
Sometimes it just feels like a lot. It feels exhausting. When the everyday norm doesn't feel like the norm it feels very very heavy.
I think this is a very real part of having a child that has special needs.
So after years of being told that my son was "typical" and me doubting my capabilities as a mom when it seemed that other families did not have the same issues we were dealing with, doing tons of reading of parenting books, online research,
After years of this to go from "HE doesn't need testing" to "We think he would benefit from transferring to a specialized classroom for next year" it was kind of dumbfounding.
This was in the space of like 2-3 months.
I think I was so bothered by it because I think in a way when for so long was validation but when I got it I was sad that he really did need it.
It wasn't just about maybe I was a bad parent, that I wasn't crazy for worrying about these things and dealing with them but that the normalcy that I knew in my education growing up was not what was going to be best for him.
I knew this but when the suggestion came, when the test results came back and the school saw more of the pieces of my child it kind of solidified this path.
For technical purposes I'll be more clear. My son does not qualify for AUTISM. And Autism spectrum disorder is not included anymore in diagnosis for federal autism testing. My son is high functioning, he is verbal, he does not really fit a classic diagnosis of Autism or Aspergers, he has lots of pieces of each. And as I told his school psychologist "I understand this but maybe he is a new niche".
I recognize a big difference in the struggles between parents with children who might be able to be diagnosed as what I might Say is Classic autism (I really don't know if there is a politically correct way to say this-so if its annoying I guess I need to click my Prada's at you for now). I am only somewhat e d u m u h c a t e d.
I am relearning to have empathy for parents with 'typical' kids. My husband does not like this term typical. Because all kids are unique and have different challenges (he is an amazing spouse to have at IEP meetings and BIP meetings btw) but to me in order to be able to recognize the amount of effort I do put in everyday and not judge my own self for not being able to 'control' my child or teach my child by direct example (where they observe and mimick naturally) I needed a way to support my struggles so it is a term I use. And to not feel so frustrated at times "This worked yesterday what kind of day is today going to be like????!" I needed to differentiate between my struggles and others.
And to validate so that I did not keep comparing myself to other parents. What your child doesn't play dead and scream like a feral animal when they are overstimulated and tired and if someone giggles (even not at them) not understand their meaning they don't try to scratch them? hmmm..thats weird.
I have had to come to terms (and I am learning everyday) to have empathy and love for any parent with a child of any age tantrumming (ok this has to be a real word but I can't figure it out...yes see below I am not a perfectionist personality-but my spell check is angry at it right now) because sometimes I want to say while wagging my perfectly manicured finger "Uh, Uh, you have no idea-calm down and stop complaining".
Despite wondering at times if my son would be better off with a mom who was a lot more type A red personality (if there is any real validation in that- I am a yellow who is easily distracted) I realize with my sons naturally very defiant tendencies, it has been good that my quirkyness has benefited him.
And I have to take my own advice at times. It is normal and healthy to have breakdown moments. For any parent of any child to feel tired and overwhelmed. It does not mean I do not love my child it means I care deeply about them and do worry if I can do enough. If I can get all the right help for him and support to help make him a successful human of planet earth-and whatever that means for him.
When you deal with tantrums its like your emotions need to be put in a box in the back of your mind. Your social embarrassment, your anger at the choice they are making. It needs to be locked up so you can deal with it calmly.
And those feelings need to go somewhere and sometimes that is into a tissue in a dark bathroom with the door locked.
My son lives in a world where he is going to have to work extra hard to understand and cope with and my daughter has this amazing ability to verbalize all her emotions whatever that might be which I love and admire and really encourage.
So, tomorrow is a new day. I have my basic routines down with my son and being large (38 weeks along) and swollen (I call my foot a stump because its the same size as my leg currently) I have to be grateful for all that I have.
I can recognize the hardships, challenges, the long exhausting journey I feel like this past year as especially been for our family but the fact that I get to be a mom if frickin awesome.
And if one day I upgrade my worn rainbow flip flops for prada highheels and decided to take the time to get my nails done regularly on my hands then double hallelujah for me-I've probably made it.