Laura's books-i-have-read-in-2017 book montage

The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

Laura's favorite books »

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Student of the Month

Two days ago my daughter opened up her school backpack and announced that she had an important note for me from her teacher. Now up until now most school notes sent home with one of my children have had something to do with behavior and asperger's. They also have usually involved my son. This was my first sealed note sent home with my daughter.

With a bit of apprehension, kindergarten was when we started getting notes sent home with my son, I opened the note. Was this starting again? I read out loud and was excited. My daughter was selected as student of the month for reading for pleasure. Then at the end of the note it says don't tell your child, they don't know yet. Ooops, though seriously wouldn't you put that at the top of the note? If it was at the top I would have read it silently to myself.

Well she was excited. She has been reading books to her classmates for a few months now. She brings in her favorite books and reads them until the pages fall out. So many nights I find her asleep in her bed next to a pile of books that she has been reading. Often after she goes to bed I can hear her reading aloud various stories. It is so much fun to listen to her read.

Somehow we managed to get her to compose herself and she did a pretty good job of pretending she didn't know. Wednesday morning when I was obviously getting dressed to do something and neither of my children seemed to connect it to the assembly they would be having later that morning. I was excited and patiently waited for the bus to pick the kids up so I could make my way to the school.

We got there and my son's class was just entering the gym. He was all smiles and behaving rather well. The monthly assemblies must be a part of the routine now. Then I notice he has his shirt on inside out. Of course! Daddy talks to him I assume to mention this to him and nothing happens. I get his teacher's attention and she manages to get him to leave the gym to fix his shirt. How did I not notice that in the morning?

The principal starts to talk about the students of the month and what their teachers wrote about them. Reading for Pleasure was the theme for the month. When she mentioned students giggling aloud when reading I could picture my daughter doing that. She gets so into the books I read to her or she reads that she often reacts out loud to what is happening in the book.

The principal reads my daughter's name and she leaps up from her spot. She is obviously excited and is flapping her arms (which makes me cringe because that is sign of autism/asperger's and I hope is just her mimicking her brother's behavior.) and is all smiles as she walks forward. Te principal even comments on how happy she is.

The assembly is over and the students go back to their classrooms. It was a great way to begin the day. I am a very proud mommy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

So Frustrated

He is back to yelling at me because I spend money. I spent $45.00 which was not even close to enough to "Bounce us". His reaction was to scream at me and tell me I am sick in the head. Honestly I just give up. If he spends money on the kids that is okay, not a problem. But if I do, I am really spending the money for me and it is unnecessary. I don't even say anything back to him anymore. I just let him scream and swear at me and don't react. A reaction just feeds into it and drags it out into a huge argument. He gets mad at me for things I might do in the future, he gets mad at me for things I did in the past over and over and over again.

Now if I get mad at him, I am over reacting and whining. Or even better it ends up being "my fault" In his eyes he can do no wrong and I am at fault for all the things that go wrong in our world.

The other day we went to a fish fry. I knew how to get there, at least the usual way. So when he turned off the expected route I casually asked him where he was going. Now we were turning toward a bank and a grocery store so I didn't know if he needed to stop there first. Big mistake. I had forgotten that he will take odd turns to avoid stop lights. He flipped out and started yelling at me calling me "Dummy" in front of the kids. He just wouldn't stop.

Today he told me that if I eft him no other man would have me. He said"I don't care how you look, but other men will." He knows I have one foot out the door and is trying to groom me to feel so worthless that I won't leave.

I started saving money which is hard with him so focused on watching how I spend every penny. I am looking for a place to rent. It is the first time I have had to look for a place for multiple people and I want a place with a yard so the children can play. I bough supplies to build a garden that are easily moved so I won't have to leave them behind.

I have a few applications out so hopefully I will get a job soon. If not I am going to advertise as a tutor on Craigslist. At the same time i don't want to be away from the house in the evening because when I am nothing gets done. Sometimes I come home to find no dinner has been served, homework isn't done and no baths have been taken. He leaves for work and I have less than an hour until bedtime.

Since I have had my meds adjusted I have been feeling so much better. I have been happy cooking in the kitchen and yes I spent some money hoping to organize the house better. It is so frustrating when it all seems to be going well and then suddenly it all falls apart.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The World is Perfect

Sometimes it is so hard. Chaos seems to rule. It is not that I never know what will happen. It is that I know the unthinkable will happen and it does. Sometimes it is fun and amazing. Other times it makes me want to scream. It is something all parents have to deal with I know. But why does it seem to be focused on one child in my house? Is it just the Asperger's that drives me crazy?

He had a research project due this week. He knew how to look things up with Google but he had no idea what to do next. So I helped him. I helped him after he did his regular load of homework. His regular load that has quadrupled because of state testing. I just wanted him to go to bed. He was bouncing around and he has these facial expressions that are so unusual. He talks with a voice that just grates on my nerves. I am his mother. How can I get mad at him for facial expressions and sounds that deep down I know are part of the Asperger's?

I have to close my eyes and take deep slow breaths, I need to not snap. I need to forget that it is almost an hour after his bedtime. Just breathe...

Finally the homework is done. The research project is done, he might have learned how to look things up on the internet, take notes and put the data on a graphic organizer. Now he wants some snuggle time with me. Snuggles, will he let me hold him? I never know.

No holding tonight. At least not during snuggles. He pulls away from me. We talked about the day. What did he like about it? Some how it always involves pizza. Pizza is a word that could mean anything. It could mean pizza or it could mean anything else. It can be a name or an action. It is his catch all. It is his safety. It is his summary. Today was pizza!

At last it is bedtime. He is off to bed. I am ready to crash. I just want to turn the TV on and watch shows I DVRed that I want to watch without interruption. It is my escape at the end of the day. It is my closure. He sees the book we are reading and asks me to read to him tonight. I look at the clock and it is so late, he needs to sleep, I need him to sleep. But he looks at me with those eyes. He is so darn cute that I fear he could get me to do anything right now. Okay I'll read.

I lie on his bed and open the cover, I turn to where we left off and start to read. He snuggles up next to me and leans against me. There is the snuggle I crave. His head now touches mine and the world is perfect. It can be so hard, sometimes I don't think I can do but right now, in this moment the world is perfect.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Help I'm Trapped in an Adult

How do people do it? How can they work, be a parent and a spouse, come home cook and clean, and have time to garden or putter around the house? Today I woke up exhausted, yesterday I woke up ready to go to bed. I couldn't manage even the simplest task. I crawled back into bed after two hours and almost cried. My kids were in school, what if they were home?

I look into the backyard of my house, the snow has melted away and revealed all the evidence of my children playing. I see a mitten next to the garage and a broom (Why? I don't think I want to know.) Some scattered legos and my kitchen tongs (So that's where they went!) are by the fence. A winter's worth of fun. Where was I? In the house, curled up into a ball.

I hurt, physically and mentally. I want to look into that yard and see a garden. I want to sit in the yard and watch my babies play. Heck I want to play. I want to chase bubbles and throw a Frisbee. There is a child in me that wants to come out and play. Unfortunately there is a hurt worn out adult in the way.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Destructoboy Strikes Again

I love my son, I love my son, I love my son... Deep Breath, Breathe...

Yes he is still alive! But my kitchen cart, I am afraid it has seen better days. I love my kitchen cart. Not as much as my family, but it is a perfect fit in my kitchen. The color is ideal, it has great storage and I got it for a bargain. The kitchen is my room in the house. I have it set up the way I like and it is a personal almost spiritual room for me.

He lulled me into complicity lately. His Asperger's has been on the back burner lately. The book incident should have been a clue. He is like an ocean. There are calm days and they can go on for a while, but don't turn your back on it. It can change on you in an instant, with no warning. The ocean right now is choppy and I can't help but think that a storm is a brewing.

I cried because of this. I know that there are times he gets compulsions. Today it is ripped paper or scratched table surfaces, but what happens next. We never know when the destruction will happen and he can offer no explanations about why. I wish I could just look into his head and figure out how I can help him.

Being a parent is hard. Add on top of that marriage issues then multiply that by a child with Asperger's and that is the equation of my life right now. The solution is unknown right now and I don't even know how to find the solution. Just breathe!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

An Aspie Night

For a while now I have been reading to P from Madeleine L'Engle's Time series of books. He is interested in them and for the most part is settled and attentive as I read to him. It is our special time every night. We snuggle together on his bed and discuss the book as I read. Tonight however a wrinkle (Not a Wrinkle in Time) was thrown into the mix. There was "Nothing" for snack.

Now before we go any further let me say there was a variety of choices for snack from butterscotch pudding (purchased at his request, but after I bought it he decided he only liked homemade butterscotch pudding, even though he has never had homemade butterscotch pudding.) to fruit. Of course the snack he really wanted (Yogurt) was devoured as quickly as they could eat it. I said once it's gone it's gone. No more until I shop again. It was snuck into the basement and eaten as they hid in their hideout. No more I said, and I meant it.

When he realized what he wanted was gone the tears flowed down his cheek. His cries sounded like he was in mourning. Nothing would help. The world was ending in his mind. It is horrible to watch your child go through this. I know in his head this behavior is rational. I have to fight my instincts to get upset with him for this display. He can't help it, he can't stop it until it has run it's course.

I wish I could gather him in my arms and just make it go away. But when he is in this state a hug is not accepted by him. He goes in his room, his safe place, but even that is not helping. When he calms down I think we have been through the worst of it. We have told him if he doesn't pick a snack there is nothing else we can do. He will have to go to bed without a snack. We are not running out to the store to get him a snack. It is not going to happen.

I go into his room with the book. The book I read to him every night AFTER his snack. That is when he knew we were serious. It was bedtime, he chose not to have a snack, so now it is story time. The realization was too much for him and he just broke down. He was so upset and was flailing around on his bed. I told him I couldn't read to him if he acted like that and he declared that he didn't want a story that night. He just wanted a snack.

Finally he calmed down enough to realize that he was hungry and would have to eat snack from what we had. He picked oatmeal. I swear I had a different son at that moment. There was no evidence of the attack he had mere moments ago. He was smiling and happy. We made his oatmeal and he ate it. Then he came over to me, hugged me and leaned his head on my shoulder. "Mommy" he says "I really do want a story tonight."

Instead of two chapters I could only read one. I explained that too much time had past and we only had time for one chapter tonight. Oddly enough that decision makes the book end perfectly on Sunday night. That gives me an extra day to find a copy of the book. Luckily in two books we have only had Asperger's effect us one night, one Aspie night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back in the Kitchen

I am taking back my kitchen. I started by reclaiming the grocery shopping. He took it away from me. Just a little bit at a time until there was no more trips to the grocery store for me. I know some people would be glad to not have to go to the grocery store but I love it. I enjoy finding new food, comparing pries and nutrition. I love the hunt for a bargain and the joy of finding the perfect ingredient or my favorite product on sale. It helps make me me.

So I told him that I wanted to shop for groceries again. He uttered a meaningless protest and I just took it back. It was a thrill to be back in the store shopping cart in hand. I slowly went up and down all the aisles and placed my desires into the cart. I admit I went a bit overboard the first time. It was like asking a child to go into a toy store and only get one toy. Mom I want more!!!

So then I started buying ingredients for cooking again. Since he was buying all the food it has been mostly boxed meals. Just the things he knows how to cook. I stopped cooking. I shouldn't have but I did. How many times can you cook Rice-A-Roni before you never want to see it again? I loved to cook. It was another of my great pleasures.

I love to experiment with flavors and adjust recipes to make them mine. I love to try new foods and welcome change to my palette. My husband however would be happy eating tuna casserole and sloppy joes for the rest of his life. He hates trying new foods and will find all sorts of ways to avoid it.

So I started buying ingredients to make a cheesy tomato soup. It may use some canned soup as ingredients but there are other things I add to it to make it less canned and more Mommyfied. Once I make it and taste it, I am going to try to make it from scratch. My son was with me when I was shopping and I told him about the soup I wanted to make. He instantly asked me to make Cream of Mushroom soup.

So I looked for some recipes and I went out to buy the ingredients. I also found an inexpensive enameled cast iron dutch oven and bought it too. It was perfect to make soup in. I found the perfect recipe, I purchased the ingredients and made the soup.

The family went out to play golf, not something I enjoy and I was all alone. I went into my kitchen and got ready to cook. I tied my apron on and assembled all the ingredients and kitchen tools I would need. I was myself again. I diced and chopped, added and stirred. The pot bubbled and the aroma was intoxicating. Magick was in the air, and I added it into the pot. The soup was finished just before they walked into the door.

It tasted wonderful, full of life and love. Of course my son who can be as picky as my husband saw the chopped parsley in it and decided before he even tasted it that it was "Icky". I didn't take offense, even if I did make it for him. The rest of the family loved it.

I saved some for my brother and froze some for another day. I was alive again in the kitchen and intend on keeping it that way. No more will I be removed from doing things I love. Progress is being made and I can sense an improvement. Since I have taken back the kitchen there have been few, maybe not any arguments. Can it last?