This close!

We were this close to having only one child tonight.

I was wetting myself with excitement at the thought!

We went to my mother’s house for dinner tonight and at one point I asked Mum what she was doing tomorrow as she didn’t have to work due to the long weekend.

She replied that she was out to prepare the flowers where she goes for Philosophy classes. The girl has been a few times with her in the holidays and loves going for some reason.

The girl heard her say that she was going, and asked if she could go as well. Mum said of course she could, and asked if she wanted to stay the night at her house as well.

The girl said yes, and didn’t blink an eye when I asked what she wanted me to bring back for her to sleep in. Lucky we only live a few streets away and it didn’t take me long to drive home.

As we were leaving tonight, I went through instructions with the girl and pointed out the bag of clothes I had thrown together for her.

‘Tonight’? She says.

‘I don’t want to stay tonight’, and promptly cried.

And complained all the way home with tears streaming down her face that she wasn’t tired at all!

How dare I get my hopes up about a night off!

A big week for the boy

This last week has been a bit one for the boy. He turned 8 on Wednesday and had a school sleepover on Friday night followed up by his party on Saturday. No wonder he is tired today!

The sleepover at school has been on my mind for a while because the boy doesn’t do sleepovers anywhere. We had been speaking very positively and enthusiastically about the sleepover at school for a while, that he would be with all his friends and in a room with 30 or so boys so it’s not like he would be alone….. etc etc.

On Thursday night it all came to a head and he went to bed crying that he couldn’t sleep without mum or dad there and he just needs us. It was decided that Dad would stay the night as well at school – not ideal but if it meant the difference between him staying or not then Dad would stay. He was happy after that.

At the end of school the next day I spoke to his teacher to tell her about the boy’s anxiety about the coming evening and how the man would be staying, and she said that she would prefer that he didn’t, that they would try to get him through the night by themselves. I asked that she be the one to tell the boy, as he wouldn’t believe me if I were to tell him that Dad wouldn’t be staying. So she did, at which he promptly burst into tears and said he wouldn’t stay then.

Fantastic!

I then didn’t say anything else about it, and drove home with the boy being very quiet in the back seat. I said we had to via Nan’s house to pick up a sleeping bad and he got a bit cross with that because he was in a hurry to get home and pack!!

Phew!

By the time we pulled into the driveway at home he was happy again and very excited to be going again. I had sent a message to the man earlier making sure that he wasn’t going to be home until after I had left to go back to school. Didn’t need to set the boy off again…

We went through a few strategies together that he could do if he got a bit homesick. Things like take a deep breath and thoughts like how proud he will be of himself when he has done it. And of course how proud we would be of him. When we were ready to leave he said, ‘If I get worried I just know to just get through it!’. Wow I thought!

I dropped him off at school and helped set up his bed, and didn’t see the boy again. He had taken off with his group of friends the minute we had finished in the room. I hardly got a ‘good-bye’. I wasn’t complaining!

It was very strange without him at home that night. I haven’t had a night without him for a long time, and if I am away somewhere then he is with the man at home. We went to bed with both mobile phones next to the bed in case we received a phone call in the night. But all was silent!

I asked him the next day how he managed to get to sleep, and he said that he just shut his eyes tightly and put his head under the blankets. Whatever works!!

We are so very proud of him, and how he has started to help himself though problems. We have noticed that he needs time to adjust to new situations and does a lot of internal talking and working out of problems.

Again, whatever works for him!

 

Just a bad joke of a day.

Yesterday was not a good day. So good in fact, that I gave it up for a bad joke and went to bed when the kids went.

The day’s plans went to pot about7.30am when I received a phone call from the mother of the boy that was supposed to be dropped at out house at 8am. I was going to look after her son for 3 hours whilst she went to work, then she was going to pick both boys up and take them back to her house for the afternoon. Unfortunately she ended up being called into work for the whole day so her husband stayed at home instead.

The boy went back to bed and sobbed his little heart out. He had been looking forward to spending the day with his best bud. If I had been more awake at the time of the call I would have said to bring the friend over for the day. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.

First mistake of the day!

The girl had spent the night at my mums house, so I had to go over to pick her up at lunchtime. The boy wasn’t the least interested in coming because it hadn’t been on his agenda, but I got him there eventually.

All was fine for a few minutes – until the boy realised that neither his sister nor his cousins who were also there were interested in going outside to play with him. He loves being outside at the moment, either kicking a ball or riding a bike or just generally being loud. The catch being is that he needs someone out with him. Actually, I correct myself. His 2 yo cousin would have gone outside but the boy said that he was too young to play what he wanted to play.

So, instead of accepting that getting them outside was nigh on impossible, he threw a tantrum and got his sister in a headlock and kicked her. Thereby securing his position as a contortionist. Breaking up this fight was fun. The girl was screaming at the boy and the boy was yelling at the boy and at me. As soon as I spoke to the boy he started mimicking me which really drives me up the wall.

I left him after telling the girl to go play somewhere else. Let him calm down a bit I though. Except when I left the room he immediately let himself out the front door and went and sat on the car bonnet. As long as I didn’t see him walking down the road he would be ok. At least I couldn’t hear him out there.

Eventually he calmed down and he came back inside and proceeded to sit next to me and draw and relax. I decided it was time to go anyway as I had promised them a trip to the ‘new’ library. New as it had just reopened after a couple of months of refurbishment. Anyway, as we were packing up the toys and cleaning up a bit he walked past me just as I moved my arm and he walked straight into my elbow.

‘Why am I just having a bad day?’ he wailed through his tears. The poor boy just can’t cope with changes.

Eventually we made it to the library and he was happy. A big pile of books on his favourite subjects of sharks and spiders and all was right with the world.

We even made it for a bike ride to get rid of some more energy. Fingers crossed, I thought, that there would be no more tears or meltdowns.

I spoke too soon.

Just after dinner the boy mentioned that he couldn’t find on of his drumsticks. You know, the kind that they use to drum on everything they can find and drive you batty with the noise!

So the girl jumps up to help him look on the couch and in the process of both of them ‘helping’ each other, the boy accidently knocks over the girls drink that she had left on the floor. Of course all hell breaks loose… what else!

So the girl yelled at the boy and he started shrieking at her and more yelling, then the boy  called the man a fricking idiot because he had dared tried to calm everyone down. Then the man smacked him on the backside, so the boy told him to fuck off. I couldn’t help myself by this point I was so angry (no wonder everyone else has a problem!) so I stormed after him as he ran into his bedroom. Meanwhile the girl is still shrieking about her drink and how the boy kicked it over and it was on purpose. Oh my ears!!

I sent her to her room still shrieking and I sat down in exhaustion.

Eventually the boy came out and apologised to me ‘for using those bad words’ so I gave him a cuddle and sent him to bed.

Then I gave up and crawled into bed myself.

 

 

 

 

Social night!

I am sharing a computer at the moment which makes it hard to write as much as I want to. I have all these ideas when there is no computer to write on.  And when I have access to the computer it is really late and the ideas have been long gone. Anyway….

Last night I took the girl to her Aspergers Girls group. There are about 10-12 girls who are between the ages of 7-15 who all have aspergers. The girl loves it. She can relax with girls who take her as she is, who can relate to each other and be themselves. Us adults sit in another room and have a chat about what is happening in our lives, and offer support to each other.

I didn’t feel like going out last night. It was Friday night and it had been a long week and I was tired. But I needed to be around people who knew what our life was like, where I could relax as well and not have to pretend that all was good. There are parents there whose children are either newly diagnosed, or have been diagnosed a long time ago. We all seem to go through the same challenges though.

Schools are big on the agenda. We are all concerned about where our children will go when they need to go to secondary school, or they are not getting the right support from their existing schools. Unfortunately there is not a lot of training in schools about ASD. Thankfully we seem to have one of the good schools, with lots of support for both the kids and us.

Sleep is another concern for us. Children on the spectrum don’t need to sleep as much. Unfortunately us as parents do. And the routines the children need to get to sleep is so time consuming and tedious night after night after night. Most kids don’t seem to go to sleep until very late, or save their meltdowns until they are in bed when their mind has time to process what has happened that day. Try dealing with a tantrum at 10 or 11pm at night when you are trying to go to bed yourself.

We need this support, and this outlet for ourselves. We would go crazy if there was not anyone to talk to about what was happening. We already isolate ourselves from the world too much.

And the girls have a ball!