I’m sitting here in a relatively quiet house early on a Sunday morning. There is rain pounding against the window and siding near me. I’ve got a hot cup of tan & sweet coffee and Charlie is up but he’s decided to go back to his room and look out the window.
Something is up with Charlie. He’s always been differently verbal than Miles, more intentional with his speech although there was very little of it. He has a habit of telling you “Charlie” with a Hodor like frequency for his responses. Something has changed.
He came over to me yesterday and handed me the tv remote “I want Snoopy”. Honestly, I was thrilled. You want Snoopy? OKAY dude you got Snoopy good job talking. Later it was “I want HALLOWEEN SNOOPY, I WANT THANKSGIVING SNOOPY…” yes – he was asking for specific Peanuts specials.
That’s pretty big. When we were first diagnosed with severe Autism one of the glaring signs I missed as a parent was that they didn’t express need – other than screaming. Over time that’s changed. It’s been a pretty big deal when I get them to touch which cereal box to tell me the one they want. Bigger even if I can get them to say that word. There have been a few things over time that they’d tell us which of something they want with regularity and truly, that’s been pretty big.
Charlie just this moment walked in, handed me the remote and said “Christmas show, I want Christmas show.”
You got it buddy.
But yesterday, well yesterday Charlie was a bit of a terrorist with his new words. Something has happened inside his brain and he’s figured out that this means he can say words and get things. What that meant yesterday was that Charlie would demand something every single time you thought you had a moment to do ANYTHING. Additionally he has a little speech impediment and I couldn’t always understand him. “Toy fly, I want toy fly…” I never figured out what that one meant. That resulted in tears. His brother couldn’t figure it out either.
A fourteen year old who isn’t getting his way when he’s saying the magic words isn’t pretty.
Add on to this Charlie’s new obsession which is to aggressively dump out cups. He’s been known over the past week to race across a room, grab a cup out of Miles hand and rip the lid off, pouring the remaining water and ice everywhere. Miles thought it was hilarious which didn’t help. You must be ever watchful of all drinks, don’t leave him alone with them. Don’t turn your back, not for a second. Pray that it’s only water in the cup when he gets a hold of it.
Add to this that he kept closing doors that have child lock covers on them and then insisting, frantically, that you open them. Reminiscent of your toddler throwing a toy and you have to fetch it ad nauseam, this version presented by your 14 year old who can, I promise, deliver one hell of a tantrum if you don’t.
Add on to this that for the hour I tried to nap yesterday with my husband (door open don’t get any ideas) and my 16 year old was watching him, he got in to the kitchen and used the sprayer to hose down the whole room and part of the hallway.
Add on to this the fact that he’s 14 and wears a diaper. Yes, that’s like changing the diaper of a grown man. Have I mentioned he has had some kind of issue where we think that over the past 72 hours he’s pooping out every single thing he’s ever eaten ?
I mean the up side was, he TOLD me about it. “I did poop! I did poop I need diaper!” But you know, he said it six times.
This is a recipe for parental madness. I sat and cried at lunch time because I just wanted ten minutes to sit down and rest and do NOTHING, I was desperately craving NOTHING when Miles came along and told me HE needed a diaper and then well the time told me it was also time to make them lunch and I actually cried.
It was 1 pm and I was mentally fragged for the day.
Charlie just came in and took the remote and said “To Infinity and Beyond. Toy Fly…to Infinity and Beyond.”
TOY STORY HE WANTED TO TOY STORY OK. I only have Toy Story of Terror on the DVR. Not sure this is going to do, when I put it on he said “Christmas I want Christmas.”
Today I’m going to be a better parent. Sometimes, for me anyway, dealing with the Autism Chaos is a matter of mental fortitude and if my feet don’t hit the ground fully armored and prepared it hits me sideways and I cry over lunch.
That was yesterday.
Today I’m going to remember that if he were being a two year old terrorist I’d tell him no and deal with his tantrum. Just because you’ve just figured out how to speak doesn’t mean that you get every single thing you want at the moment you want it.
He is basically a 2 year old. He just happens to be as tall as I am. I have to take a deep breath and tell him no, despite the fact that this is going to mean screaming, and I mean some crazy ass screaming.
He just came to me and handed me the remote and said “To Infinity and Beyond I want Infinity and Beyond.” Kid i don’t have it up here. Now he’s fussing.
I put on Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas on the DVR because despite his protests it’s actually one of his favorites. He’s sat down and is watching, but it fussing intermittently.
I’m live blogging my parenting isn’t this FASCINATING?
I guess my point is, I think a lot of people harbor some misconception about us having our stuff together, or some great mental strength when it comes to our situation around here. Yesterday I was bullied all day by a 14 year old who decided he was going to use words to force me to do his bidding. I failed him as his parent because I let him overwhelm me. He needs to understand boundaries, because the rest of the world has to deal with him. His teachers and future caregivers when I’m dead and gone need him to understand boundaries. I failed – all day long.
He needs to understand NO.
Today we’re going to have a better day. We’re going to make turnovers for breakfast, going to have our baths for school, maybe we’ll play a game together I don’t know. There will be some tantrums, he’ll probably spill a cup.
But I’m not going to cry over lunch or anything else.
Except maybe menopause because this shit is killing me.
Now Miles is up and it seems that everything is wrong in his world, so I’m going to get off the shiny box and go parent.
Wish me luck.