In the grand scheme of things a peaceful dinner is not really high on our list of priorities; however, Christmas day turned out to just that, a nice family dinner with no fights, crying or anyone throwing things – just family and friends sitting down to dinner and having a good time celebrating the season. Our son not only stayed at the table, he happily volunteered to lead the prayer, thanking God for being surrounded by his beautiful family and friends. I was – to steal a well-known phrase – in shock and awe, and I confess a tear or two was shed into my turkey. It was such a great proud Mum moment for me, not because he led the prayer but just that he WANTED to be a part of the celebration and acknowledge his family in a way he hasn’t before…
If I had to write my blog that day I would have said, done, dusted, finished… nothing left to say. The journey of normal has begun! Hitch up the wagons, let down the tents, this posse is moving onto bigger and better pastures 🙂 B-U-T Like all great days, you know only to appreciate the day with open arms and a willing heart, mostly because of the fear and loathing of those not so great ones rising up to bite you in the rear!
The last few days have been tough, I guess it’s the anti-climax of a great Christmas vacation, they both had so much fun and tolerated each other’s presence better than they ever have, but the stress must be getting to them, lots of fighting and tons more “I hate my life, I am going to kill myself” from B. Doesn’t take much at the moment to send him into a blind rage with clenched fists and a serious “I am going to explode” face. Not sure what prompted this change in attitude to a less tolerant kid than we have been seeing of late. Could be that the holidays are over, or that my sister left to go back home, not sure, but he certainly is struggling right now. Last night, I climbed into bed and he growled at me, then said “I am going to kill you!” and launched both feet with force straight into my back, he almost knocked me flat assed onto the floor – I was beyond stunned. I just told him straight, no more, I am done with this. You do not get to hurt me, threaten me or physically assault me anymore, it’s done, over! Anything from here on in has to be rationally talked about or you need to find a different punching bag! I am so over it… anyway 5 minutes later he was sobbing hysterically and apologizing over and over and over. We calmed down and started back to sleep, only to be woken up again 30 minutes later with him screaming over the pains in his legs. Now I know there is no such thing as growing pains, but he’s had x-rays and examinations and the sleep studies and they can find nothing wrong with his legs, except the periodic limb movement disorder that we thought we had left behind, the twitchy kicking time, before we discovered iron supplements. But at night, every once in a while he will wake up screaming in pain. I gave him Tylenol and rubbed his legs with oil and he drifted back off. Fast forward to today, just another day of a nasty little attitude and aggression. Ay yi yi… I want that Christmas boy back… give him back, please just return him right now ~ please?!
It’s not all bad news though, the tantrums are really not as intense, he is just not as obnoxious, and now when he launches and screams or hits, he will instantly apologize and will tell me what the real problem is. I can actually talk to him now, he can tell me what he is feeling, how he is trying to cope. Usually it’s simply that he wants more attention from me, so I sit and watch him play a video game, or we cuddle and read, or play Lego’s or just something and five minutes later he is fine again. He is starting to understand!
That was our Christmas vacation in a nutshell – a wild and crazy, fun, happy two weeks. Right now though, they are both upset and annoyed by school starting tomorrow, but I personally can’t wait! I think I remember feeling the same way at their age. This too shall pass as they say – whoever ‘they’ are! Personally I am certain it will do him good to go back and focus on things other than his Lego’s and Mario Cart!
All I wanted to really say is this: If you are just starting to figure out that your son or daughter really doesn’t seem to have all the autism traits, isn’t really truly oppositional, doesn’t really fit the ADD profile, or the plethora of other things our kids get diagnosed with along the way, I can honestly say that for us, life truly did and does get better. Talking, connecting and crying is helping us all heal. The trauma starts to fade, the intensity is replaced by some sort of peace and my kids are learning to move forwards without constantly looking back. Its hard, its stressful and it’s draining, but seeing mine laugh and laugh and laugh this Christmas makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.