I love writing. It’s so therapeutic, yet I always find excuses not to do it. Busy, not much to write about, who really cares anyways. But when I have a few particularly frustrating days or encounters, I know it will help me express and move on. So, here I am.
One of the hardest parts of parenting an autistic child is dealing with the disrespect. What is within his control and what is the autism? Afflicted or asshole?
One afternoon last week went something like this: It’s time for group bud, let’s get ready. I’M NOT GOING! I HATE GROUP. Your friends are waiting with popcorn, you always have fun once you get there. I SAID I’M NOT GOING. C’mon buddy, let’s not lose our afternoon technology. FINE BUT I’M BRINGING A TOY. Sorry pal, no toys allowed, you know that. THEN I’M NOT GOING, YOU IDIOT!! Ten, nine, I HATE YOU, YOU FOOL (kick, swat)!! Eight, seven…I SAID I’M NOT GOING, STUPID. I’M GETTING A TOY (swat, kick, kick)! Six, five, four….You get the gist. After many blows to the shins, he’s finally in the car throwing verbal assaults to the front seat. Aaaaand I lost my shit.
I screamed calmly said YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAAAALK TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
SHUT UP MOM
He made it one block and then cheerfully announced that Mad Science was coming back to school. Like the last 5 minutes never happened. I MIGHT have said GFY under my breath….might.
Jekyll and Hyde. In the aftermath I know he can’t help it. His switches flip so quickly. But in the moment, I want to put him in a sleeper hold. How many times can I be kicked or insulted? An hour later comes the onslaught of apologies. “I just don’t want to leave my house, mom.” “Sorry to hear that, but I’ve already moved your things out to an apartment. Good luck to you son.” And so on goes the pattern. We cuddled, had a talk and all was right….until the next morning.
I was blissfully awoken by the sounds of the devil spawn screaming in my kitchen. YOU BETTER WAKE MOM UP AT 6 AND TELL HER TO GET SHOPPING CAUSE SHE’S LAAAAZZZZYYYYYY!!!!!
Now, I am many things. Bossy, CHECK. Control freak, DOUBLE CHECK. I wouldn’t disagree with him had he told me my decorating skills were deplorable and I lacked a modern sense of style. Agreed.
But LAZY? Ohhhhhhh child.
Upon racing in a fit of anger casually strolling downstairs, I find a screaming child who is upset because we ran out of waffles AND his preferred brand of almond milk. I explained Trader Joes was out of his beloved red carton to which he started berating the franchise and how they should increase production. I suggested we take a ride over so he could have a chat with management. He didn’t like that idea.
So then I resorted to a basic inherent skill. Mockery. OH NOOOO, HE’S CRYING. HURRY DAD, HURRY RUN, RUN TO THE STORE, GET THE BOY A WAFFLE SO HE WILL STOP CRYING. HOW CAN WE MAKE HIM HAPPY? OH LET’S RUN, RUN AND BUY ALL THE ALMOND MILK IN THE WORLD SO HE WILL NEVER, EVER RUN OUT AGAIN. HURRY DAD. HERE COMES ANOTHER MELTDOWN, BETTER GO BUY ALL THE WAFFLES SO HE WILL BE HAPPY!
He didn’t like that either.
But it did make him pause for a moment while his eyes widened as he watched his insane mother flit around the kitchen waving her arms like a rabid orangutan. Message received?
I realize in that moment, he is not thinking rationally. And I also realize no amount of post meltdown conversation is going to prevent the next one. He is not emotionally mature enough to stop, infer and apply previous lessons, and won’t be for some time. So how in the moment do I stop my feelings from getting hurt? He has called me a dummy, a stupid Jesus lady, an idiot, and often tells me to shut the hell up, all with no reaction….but when he told me I was a bad cook, or that I’m lazy?! SCREEEEEECH!! HOW DARE YOU, YOU ******! “Those words hurt my feelings, bud”
I guess I need an even thicker shell.
I share a lot of these exchanges with friends because they are funny. And they are, although mostly in hindsight. Maybe the spawn has a point, I have gotten a little lazy with buying GF waffles. There are a lot of ingredients in there that I am not thrilled about, like soy. SO, I’ve decided to go out and get myself a waffle maker! Coming soon, more natural, gluten-free waffles that I hope to stock pile in my freezer to avoid another rude awakening. I’m sure he will stop being an asshole, praise me and tell me how hard I work, thank me one day for not strangling him.
And this is why we drink pray.