How to torture the boy…

I decided many years ago that as I spent all of my time in the gym I might as well get paid for it, so I became a Personal Trainer.  Now I help other people get fit and maintain their sanity whilst maintaining mine! That is a win for everyone, better than drinking wine.

Maybe…

I also needed another goal, as taking up running many years ago wasn’t cutting it anymore so I thought I would give bodybuilding a go. I could torture the boy and get fit at the same time. Awesome!

It gave me something to focus on and required lot of training and willpower to not eat the peanut butter (peanut butter is awesome by the way) for the five months of leading up to my first show but I made it. And boy did I enjoy eating afterwards. Especially peanut butter…. and bread. And bread WITH peanut butter. And Vegemite toast…. Do you get the picture?

I did enjoy torturing the boy with ‘the terminator’ pose as he called it. Actually anything involved with bodybuilding scared him! The thought of his mum in a bejeweled bikini on stage was appalling! There was no way he was coming to watch me compete,  both kids were horrified…. How rude!

Last year I did another show but didn’t enjoy it as much and it was a hard slog. I was glad to see the end of it. I took some time off training and now just exercise to keep fit and healthy. There can be a balance – I think – I have an addictive personality so I tend to hit any interests hard and don’t go into anything half-hearted.

And I will keep the bikini close by for when I need to punish the kids some more and put it on.

It is a parent’s job to embarrass their kids yes? bodybuilding me

Time to go train again methinks!

 

Camp part 2….

So we decided not to force the boy to go to camp as it was doing my head in….if it was causing that much stress then it wasn’t worth it.

So as I sat eating my breakfast on Monday morning, with no bags packed and the bus due to leave in 40 minutes the boy uttered the immortal words….

‘I don’t know if I want to go on Camp or not’

I have never moved so fast in my life. I knew that I had to go with it, that if he wanted to go on camp then I would get him there. Of course as soon as I said to get dressed he said no. I suggested he go on the bus and I would follow him up to camp in the afternoon, I really wanted him to experience something else. He couldn’t get dressed quick enough then, and he made it to the school bus on time.

That afternoon I drove the 2 hours up to camp. The boy was so excited to see me and started demanding that we leave immediately. He had decided he was only staying for the day. There was no chance of me sneaking away whilst he wasn’t watching……

I watched him go canoeing with his group and then we left the camp after dinner – there was no wine!!!! How do the teachers cope?

By the time we got home the boy was tired and not feeling well. By morning he was vomiting. So so glad that I didn’t force him to stay – it would have been a nightmare!

I received a message from another parent who’s child was at the camp asking how long it took to travel there as she had to go and collect her child who was sick as well.

It is now Thursday and the man and I are sick as well, the boy is still sick.

What a week this has been!

Is it over yet?

 

 

Don’t throw out the wine!!!

Sometimes I have a laugh about the search terms that bring readers to this blog.

A lot of them feature teeth brushing problems, which is normal as Aspies hate the taste of toothpaste and feel of the toothbrush in their mouth.

Obsessions with paper is another one which is normal, as is sleep – or lack of sleep. There are a lot of sleep deprived parents who keep the caffeine business going.

One of the more interesting search this week was ‘little girl boy brushing teeth girl puts toothpaste and sprinkles on boy’s head’…..

Hmm not sure what was going on there – were they sprinkles that you put on bread? And did the little girl think the boy was a snack?

Another one from today was ‘when he gets angry he throws out all the wine!’  What the…?

Not sure why anyone who searches for wine would land on my blog! 😉

And why would anyone throw out good wine, regardless of whether they were angry or not!

That’s just kooky talk!

Head hurts tonight!

The girl dances on a Friday night. She loves dancing, and she looks so free and happy when she does.

Tonight she came home hungry. Not unusual as she is always hungry, but she didn’t know what she wanted to eat.  The problem is is that she only eats about four things and she didn’t want any of those.

Pasta? No

Weetbix with Vegemite? No

Toast?

Sandwich? No

All options exhausted then. Cue tears….

I put one option on the table – the one she hadn’t finished from before she left for dancing – and told her to go sit down at the table. Once she saw what it was she started crying that she didn’t want it, but couldn’t tell me what she did want. I said that if she didn’t want to eat then she should have a bath and go to bed, as she was obviously tired.

Apparently eyes hanging out of head and tears doesn’t mean you are tired! Just so you know…

I lost it at the point and said it wasn’t a restaurant and she was out of options. Cue more tears and collapsing on the ground this time.

I left her to it and went into another room to cool down.

A few minutes later she stormed past us to go to her room, where she proceeded to collapse on her bed this time, conveniently bypassing the bathroom and ignoring the fact that I’d told her to have a bath if she wasn’t going to eat.

After physically dragging her off the bed and into the bathroom, I then had to undress her, which is quite difficult when she is trying to put her clothes back on at the same time. I picked her up and dumped her in the bath (so so glad she is little!) and walked away… after saying that if she was not careful she would have to go and live with another family because I can’t look after her anymore.

Five minutes later she is calling me from the bath.

‘Now I’m worried that you are going to get rid of me’.

After reassuring her that I didn’t mean it and I was just frustrated by her behaviour, she got out of the bath.

And proceeded to get upset about everything else that was going on in her world. Like her body hurting everywhere, and her knee hurts as well, and the German Teacher at school is convinced that all kids with Aspergers are going to try to run away like a girl did in Prep who has it, but don’t ask her how she knows this because she can’t tell me. And she doesn’t want the German Teacher to know she has it because she will tell even more people about it, like her best friend in Year 4 did after promising to keep it a secret then telling everyone who then proceeded to laugh and point at her. And there is a mean girl in the Softball Team at school who keeps picking on her but she is in the Year below her and she only knows her first name but she is really mean to her and she is really missing her computer game and when can you get a new computer so I can play it and it’s not fair….and can I have some Tuna please?

This was all told to me in about two minutes flat, such was the speed of her talking.

I know that she holds everything in until she feels she is safe enough to tell us and then she erupts, but we have to go through the meltdown to get to what is upsetting her.

Hurts my head and now I need a drink. And chocolate. Or both….

Pass the wine

We are just in the middle of one of our nightly fights with the boy. Apparently because we are trying to make him brush his teeth we are bad parents who don’t care about him. He has just been literally dragged kicking and screaming into his bedroom and been told to put himself to sleep and that he has to stay there all night.

By himself.

Impossible!

It breaks my heart to see him act like that. I hate being told I am a bad parent by him when I love him to bits and would do anything to not see him hurt.

I don’t get why he has to shut down every night when asked to brush his teeth. Up until that point he is a happy cheery boy, and it’s like a switch just flicks inside his head. He won’t tell us why he won’t brush his teeth. He does it without fighting in the morning so it is not a sensory issue.

Drives. Us. Crazy!

The girl is in her room shouting for everyone to be quiet and that she is trying to learn her spelling words! She couldn’t care less about what is happening. I wouldn’t expect anything else from her though.

As I have written all this I caught him sneaking out of his room to go and brush his teeth. I don’t get why he does this after 15 minutes of screaming about it, and making the man and I sad and upset in the process. Now we will sit here all evening feeling like we are failures.

Where’s the wine tonight? Anyone….

I’ll update you on the sleeping issue later.

The morning and the tiredness

I am exhausted.

It is only 8.30am but the girl’s morning antics have worn me out already.

She has choir at school at 8am which she loves and refuses to give up but she doesn’t help us get her ready to go.

Yesterday I gave her the day off school to give her some time to unwind after a really busy weekend and she was awake at 6.45am. Today when I need her up early I had to wake her at 7.20am and she still refused to get up. Sounds normal I guess….

Three different drinks were tried before she finally settled on a hot chocolate (with added ritalin). She didn’t want the orange juice that she asked for, nor the apple juice because it had lumps in it, so a small amount of chocolate milk was finally a winner.

I had dressed her as I yanked her out of bed because sometimes that is easier than fighting the flailing limbs when she is finally ensconced on the couch, so all I had to do was get her to eat breakfast, go to the toilet and brush her teeth. Easy!

Except we had 0.56 minutes to do this in.

After asking for an apple the girl sat and looked at it for 10 minutes before talking a microscopic bite out of it.

Telling her it was time to leave made her run and hide on her bed because I was being mean and was scaring her! Dragging her out of bed again and shoving her shoes on her feet I asked her to get in the car, at which point she went to the toilet.

Banging my head on a convenient wall nearby and counting to 500 did nothing to help me…..

After five minutes of sitting on the toilet the girl finally comes out and dawdles to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Luckily that doesn’t require too much time because the ritalin has finally kicked in and she is doing what she is told.

I love ritalin!!

Finally at 7.59 she is ready. Did I mention that choir starts at 8.00 and it is a 10 minute drive to get to school?

And what has the boy been doing in all of this?

He got up and ate his breakfast and got dressed and brushed his teeth and was packed and out the door and waiting in the car for the girl.

In his words  ‘what are we going to do with her?’  He cracks me up!

Is it too early for wine?

 

The boy and his tennis

image

What a morning!
The boy was supposed to have tennis today.
He loves playing tennis, and I love him playing tennis because it uses up some of his copious amount of energy….although he has usually fully recharged his tank by the time we get home.

This morning it was just not happening. I had already left home at 6.50am for a running session at the local track for an hour so by the time I had got home at 8.15am I was hot and tired. The boy just didn’t want to go along with the plan.

I asked him to get dressed a few times and he just buried himself into the couch and frowned.

He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. Not then and not either of the 375 times I asked him after that.
I am embarrassed about how I lost my temper and ranted at him and quite possibly made him feel worse. I just wanted him to speak to me and say WHY he didn’t want to go.

I had a voice in my head telling me that he doesn’t speak when he is stressed, that that is how his aspergers comes out, but I couldn’t calm down.
It. Drives. Me. Crazy!!

Anyway, I finally told him to write down what was bothering him and he wrote this message.

Finally, an answer! When I asked him why he couldn’t have told me before the lesson and avoided all this stress for us both he couldn’t tell me. I (tried) to explain to him that is there is a problem he can tell me and I can try to do something about it, instead of having a massive meltdown about doing something he loves. And yes there was a boy that was awful to him a few weeks ago, and really upset the boy.

It’s all part of the syndrome! There is no hope for us then. Perhaps 10am was a little early to start drinking but it certainly was tempting!!

Not feeling the love today!

I got this comment on my blog earlier today. I was initially very upset and angry because…. well because it is obviously hurtful.

I got on the defensive and felt like listing all of the reasons and giving examples as to how much I love my children, and all I do for for them, but then figured what was the point!  The author of this comment clearly has aspergers as well and wouldn’t get what I was talking about anyway. She has also missed the whole point of my blog, which is a place for me to vent in a safe place. A hell of a lot better than beating small children with a stick (that was a joke there if you didn’t get it, my dear comment writer!)

Anyhoo…. after making me feel very sad this evening I went for a run to get it out of my system. Also much better than drinking myself into oblivion (although not as tasty), feeling much better now.

Make of this what you like! But perhaps don’t judge me too harshly 😉

Drum roll…………

“Children with aspergers (as well as adults) need routine. You can NOT break that routine, such as expect them to put socks before clothes. What you will get is a meltdown EVERY TIME. Brushing teeth… Have you bothered figuring out that it may physically HURT her? She cries when you do it because you might be HURTING her. Toothpaste might be BURNING her. Toothpaste may have a disgusting texture to her. Toothpaste can ACTUALLY sluff off the skin in her mouth. You really think a little girl who finds tooth brushing painful or disgusting is going to want to do it????? She has communication issues.. you REALLY think she is going to be ABLE to tell you this herself?
When she CAN’T make her breakfast she REALLY can’t. She is NOT faking it just to make your life difficult! You think she likes to feel incapable????? It is terrifying to be able to do something one day and discover the next it is like you NEVER have done it before!

You rant poor me poor me… open your eyes and actually try to understand how much your daughter is SUFFERING. Her actions may frustrate you.. but I can tell you from personal experience. YOU WOULD NEVER survive two minutes in her world.

Educate yourself on her needs. I bet you would end up in a happier life. Even better… Your DAUGHTER would have the UNDERSTANDING LOVING parent she DESERVES!

Your post disgusts me. Aspergers lack empathy? Pffft… YOU do.”

 

And by the way, our frustration comes because the girl CAN and DOES brush her teeth, make her breakfast, etc, WHEN IT SUITS her. The frustration never comes from what the girl can’t do, always from what she WON’T do.

Ok, rant over!

Maybe I will get the wine tonight….

 

 

 

England and the journey over here

Greetings from the other side of the world! We are in England for Christmas and boy it is cold!

What an adventure we had getting here though….never again am I getting on a plane. I would rather pull all my teeth out than get on that Jet!

The day we left seemed never-ending to the boy as he couldn’t wait to leave but our flight didn’t leave until 10.25pm. The poor boy was nearly beside himself by that point. Apparently you can just turn up earlier at the airport and the plane will leave when you want it to leave! Yes boy…sure!

Actually the only reason he wanted to board the plane was to start watching the hundreds of movies that there was on offer. What more could a boy want!!

And yes, a couple of hours into the 14 hour leg we got asked the dreaded question, ‘Are we nearly at Dubai?’ Arghhhhh!!!!

Then the boy got sick.

Then I got sick.

Longest. Flight. Ever.

Then we got to Dubai and had to transfer to another plane.

THAT was the longest flight of my life. By then I was really sick and the steward had to call the doctor on the ground to authorise medicine for me which allowed me to doze a little bit for the remaining 5 hours.

The boy was fine and had been since Dubai – how unfair!

The girl had sat and watched the little airoplane on her screen for hours inbetween asking what the time was and what could she eat?

And for reference, children with aspergers would never eat the plane food – and I am a little unsure how ‘normal’ children would find the food provided appealing. Luckily I had taken some food for them, and of course there is always McDonald’s at the airport if you get really desperate.

We arrived in the UK to snow – the kids were thrilled having never seen it before. No, we have never taken them to see it at home. That would require too much effort to get there.

They threw a couple of snow balls at each other and played around in it – then complained that they were wet. I guess movies have a lot to answer for!

Thank god for wine!

Which I enjoyed thoroughly when I was well enough (the next day)

 

 

Ahh I love the holidays…

This is the last week of Term 3, we have two weeks of holidays.  Two weeks of not having to race out the door to make it to school on time, no choir rehearsals, no basketball training or tennis lessons. Bliss!

Except that the boy hates not going anywhere during the day. He is active and he needs to be busy.

By 8am on Monday morning he will have had the school directory out and made a list of all his school friends phone numbers so I can ring their mothers to arrange play dates. Then have a tantrum when I tell him it is too early to ring anyone.

I can’t even open my eyelids at 8am on the first day of the holidays….

By 8.15am he will have had the craft cupboard open in the kitchen and emptied it of the paint, glue, paper and stickers that are in there.

Then decide that he didn’t actually want to play with that stuff after all, but leave it all over the floor just in case he wants to play with it later!

He will then start bugging his sister to play with him, and all she wants to do is stay curled up in a blanket on the couch all day, so that negotiation will end with him yelling at her then her kicking him then him hitting her back.

I then creep into the cupboard and take a bottle of wine with me. 

The girl is happy as long as she has a pile of paper to cut out, and maybe some food!

The cat is then picked up and put down, chased around the house because ‘she loves playing chasey, see mum, she tagged me’. Finally in desperation the cat runs head first into the closed back door hoping that it will open on impact.

I will be propelled outside to kick, hit or catch a ball, find some butcher boys to put in a bucket and maybe have to feed them  with some grass, jump on the trampoline (hang on to your pelvic floor ladies) and finally go for a bike ride… is it lunchtime yet?

I can hardly wait for the holidays to start! Can you tell I am being sarcastic?