Someone, please… remind me why my children are supposed to be the Lights Of My Life. I love 'em and all, I swear. But there are just some things I didn't sign on for. And maybe I'll piss some people off here, but one of them is having an autistic child. Please don't get me wrong, I truly love all of children equally, if differently, and I simply adore my Asperger's Disordered daughter. And we're having more good days than bad most times, but this week is not one of them.
She is severely testing my patience and testing her boundaries. She is acting out on every impulse she feels. She is breaking established rules all over the place. She is mocking discipline. Just an example or two, if you'll humor me.
Last Friday, my darling 5 ½ yr old Aspie girl graduated from preschool. I am so very proud of her, and she handled the entire ceremony and party afterwards very well. She wouldn't stand on the stage with her classmates to sing and she wouldn't stand there to get her diploma. I can understand that, because the hall was just packed with adults. It was intimidating. She DID go halfway up the stairs when her name was called to take her diploma, but I had to hold her hand and walk up with her. Then immediately moved back and away from the stage. I'm thrilled that she did that much. And she really did have fun eating and playing with the other children. The problem occurred when she didn't want to leave, but we had to. On the way to the car, she said something under her breath, but mostly screamed and had one of her tantrum-like episodes. She had trouble calming herself down, and it was raining, so that aggravated things.
We had a busy weekend, and took things as they came at us, and Grace did pretty well. She had her moments but used her newly learned coping skills. Then Monday, we had a class picnic for Juliana. It was close to 100º so it was in the classroom. She wanted to stay and be part of Juliana's classroom, and even found an empty desk. I couldn't get her to leave by simple coaxing, and she when I managed to get near her, she kept weaving around other desks. I finally managed to grab her wrist, which immediately started a new episode. I gently, but firmly, held her wrist, rounded up Anneliese, and my purse and heavy picnic basket. I SWEAR the walk from the classroom to the mini-van was 1/3 of a mile. Don't laugh. The entire way, down the hallway and out the door all the way across the parking lot in the boiling sun, she was screaming with the satanic voice that makes your ears bleed. And when we were about 10 yards from the car, and I was thinking just how freaking FAR that distance was with 98º of humid heat and a blazing sun with a heat index of 106º, Grace dropped the F bomb. Not once, but twice.
"Don't fuck with me. You're making angry, Mommy. You're fucking with me."
I was too shocked and hot to do anything but pause and drop my jaw. Then make those last few yards to the car, which I forgot to crack the windows on. Tantrum the whole 6.4 miles home. All. The. Way. Thankfully, as I was getting them out of the car, Grace's best friend (my best friend's daughter and her Daddy) were pulling in for me to babysit. Grace perked right up, declared "It's too damn hot out here!" and she gladly went into the house. Later, I talked to her privately and told her I'd heard what she said. I even repeated it so that she'd know I had said it. She cringed, covered my mouth, and profusely covered me in kisses and hugs. Her eyes begged me to forgive her. I warned her that the next time she dropped the F*bomb, she would get her mouth washed out with soap. And she knows I'm serious, because when she called me a bitch several months ago, I swiped my finger along the top of the dish washing gel and dragged it across her tongue.
So today was another trying day, but we had nowhere to go. We used it as detox, and I even stayed in my own pajamas all day. She did great, until it got close to dinner time. Climbing in the fridge. Spilling everything she touched. Emptying out most of my dish washing gel to clean her feet in the bathroom sink. I could go on and on. But the one that was dangerous, and the one that made me completely flip my shit was the fact that she kept climbing the counter in the kitchen even after dinner was over. She was just perusing the cabinets. I removed her, and threw out my right shoulder again.
Sitting down at the computer to sip some ice water and tidy up the desk, I heard her climb AGAIN. I got up, ready to chastise her yet again, and heard a heavy thud and simultaneous crash. The sound of a body landing, and glass shattering. She had fallen with a blue glass bowl that I had prepared pizza dough in. What it was doing where she was climbing, I don't know, except she was probably examining the flour residue because "it's cool." I told her not to move, and grabbed something for her to step up onto. Miraculously, the child wasn't cut. She was simply a little startled.
I, however, flipped my shit. I may have said that already. The glass bowl just shattered in its own little pile, and yet it managed to spread out the tiniest chips across the kitchen. I have tiny cuts all over my feet and ankles. Somehow, even though Juliana wasn't in the crash zone, she stepped on a small shard simply by handing me the vacuum cleaner hose. She's OK, it was very small. It took me half an hour to clean up. I had to pick out the largest pieces, and vacuum up the smaller pieces as well as the sharp yet powdery and sandy mess. I'm still shaking, but the doubled Wal-Mart bag of shards is safely in the outside garbage can.
The positive thing about all of this is that I have one less bowl to wash from dinner.