Pull up a couch because I'm needing a quick therapy session. We had a hard morning here (nothing terrible) just one of those everything goes wrong kind of mornings.
My hubby is out of town this week so I'm playing single Mom which is never a gig I would hope for full time. My kids are older now so this generally isn't too bad. He used to travel ALL the time when the kids were little, taking several trips a month. One month (May 1999 when Riley was 2 and Alex was 5) he was only home 2 days out of the entire month. 2 weeks of that were spent in Japan and without all the technology we have today I didn't even get emails from him. That was probably one of the lowest points in my life because the kids were both at very difficult ages, especially Alex. I remember when we went to pick my husband up at the airport that Alex wouldn't even look at him for about 2 days after he got home. He couldn't cope with the whole thing. Broke his Dad's heart.
That said...I'm feeling pretty good about how things are now. It is much easier when hubby leaves and he really only goes a couple of times a year now. In some ways we enjoy the time (no offense Jeff!) because we don't have as much of a schedule to follow. Dinners are even more casual than usual, and we try to do some fun things. It is hard though when a member of the family is missing, especially the head of the household. It doesn't feel quite right and we all miss him a lot.
We had a naughty dog incident in the middle of the night - a bad one! And it turns out the cleaner I used (and have used for years) bleached out a part of our carpet that is less than 2 years old.
That was what I woke up to at 6 a.m. as I was trying to get the kids ready for a drive up to my son's bus stop. He only has 3 more weeks of school before we start homeschooling. We have to leave here at 6:45 a.m. to make it in time so I was already a little time crunched. Then we had to put on his shoes.
What is the big deal about shoes you say? Well he is learning how to tie them. He is 12 and he can read on an adult level, but he can't tie shoes. This is what is referred to in the autism world as "Sawtooth development" - certain areas of development are normal or even advanced, while others are delayed or deficient. He has always had fine motor skill problems. He still can barely write legibly but he is very good at typing at least.
We have worked on the shoe tying several times over the years and it always ends up being such a frustration that we abandon the effort. Now he is big enough that he is wearing the smallest size in men's shoes, the issue has forced itself. I have not been able to find any velcro or slip on tennis shoes. We could probably get by with sandals and then slip on loafers in colder weather, but with the help of his teachers we decided to give it one more shot while we still have their assistance during the day.
Major meltdown this morning. Hard to explain. Hard to appreciate unless you've been through one with him. Been a long time since we have had a lot of meltdowns but we have had a couple in the last week. Makes me so grateful for how far he has come because we used to have giant sized meltdowns several times a day. Now it is very rare. He wouldn't let me help him because he said I was doing it wrong. He liked the way his teacher showed him instead but he could not do it no matter how hard he tried. I do tie my shoes a little differently than most because my Grandpa taught me his special way. They hardly ever come untied but I guess it is not the Alex approved method.
I got a little desparate and cut a deal with him. We quickly made him a chart that says if he practices tying his shoes 3 times a day for 3 days (without getting angry or crying) then we will go to Barnes and Noble. That at least got him in the car to go to the bus stop. We made it in time but he had another mini meltdown when he realized I took him to a different bus stop than dad usually does (Dad takes him to the one by his work) Somehow he made it on the bus and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he makes it through the day.
Remember how I said he earned most of those 500+ books in his room in the layout I posted last week? You wouldn't believe the collection of fast food toys we have also! It's not bribery, it's motivation and it works. Someday I will have to do a layout about all the charts and programs we have gone through around here. Bottom line is they work. Alex can do most things for himself now like getting dressed, brushing teeth,keeping his room clean, and generally being just a delightful and wonderful guy. I will do whatever it takes to help him succeed. Always have and always will.
Ok, I feel better now. Kind of funny how blogging can be therapeutic like that. It's like there is someone out there listening.
I also felt better after making my blog rounds this morning because I saw that the funny dance guy I posted about a few weeks ago was on the Today show this morning! Can you believe his clip was viewed more than 18 million times?
Also found another cute freebie on Paula's blog
I talked to my sister in law on the phone for awhile this morning and we discussed the wonders of blogging. It helped me realize how much I enjoy having blogs to read. Somehow it makes a difference to be able to gain ideas and inspiration from others. After all, we are all just trying to be mommies, or daughters, wives or friends and for my few guy readers out there...husbands, dads, sons, brothers etc. It's just everyday life right? And we are all trying to do the best that we can at it.
This may very well be the wordiest blog post ever for me. I'm sure some of these words will make it to a layout sometime soon!
I leave you with this thought. While listening to Harry Potter Book 6 yesterday I heard something that really stuck with me. HP is very deep stuff in my opinion.
This moment of enlightenment came to Harry shortly after he and the headmaster discussed more about the prophecy and the enormity of the task ahead of Harry.
From page 512 of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince:
But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death, and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew
-- and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents-- that there was all the difference in the world.
Keeping your head held high is what it is all about. That is the difference.
Katie the Scrapbook Lady