Where do I start? My world is made up of many different things. I have one child the sees things so beautiful and bright most days, I have one that sees things negative and always someones else’s fault, and then I have a few who fall in the middle. We live day to day. Most days are peaceful until all five little loves are home and then you can count on one thing, I will play the referee among at least two of them until bedtime.
Autism and RAD could not be any different. Its like day and night. Wild man is for the most part easy going. He sees things in a totally different way than most kids his age. Autism has given him an insight to the world that many of us overlook, he can find beauty in everything. Yes he has meltdowns, but for the most part he is the sweetest, loving, and caring child I have met. He looks at the ordinary things ans sees something extraordinary. Then we have diva. From the time she wakes up till the time she goes to sleep its a fight. Bad behavior at home and at school is always blamed on someone else. She shows little emotion, and if by chance she does its almost always negative. She can’t help it, the drugs and alcohol birth mom done while pregnant with her have helped plan her fate. It’s heartbreaking, its sad, and it oh so tiring. The two could not be any different if they tried. Which brings me to the last few days.
Last week wild man and diva had a short school week. Classes were cancelled due to the flu both Monday and Tuesday. Wild man was perfectly fine staying home with me were as diva blamed me for the school being closed. Come Wednesday school was back on a normal schedule however by noon wild man was sent home with a high fever. When I picked diva up she was mad that wild man had got to come home sick. Not that she wanted to be home, she just didn’t want him home. The next few days proved to be difficult because he was sick and she didn’t like that he was getting “treated special” (I guess making him stay in bed with a blanket on the floor to catch his vomit made’s for special treatment in her eyes)
Sunday night around 630 she was getting ready for bed and said her tooth was lose and needed to come out. Sure enough it was and I asked her if I could pull it. She bit me as I got a hold of the tooth, which fell into my hand. There was no blood for the tooth was barely attached to her gum. I go downstairs so I can place the tooth in a baggy so the tooth-fairy to find it easier. I get to the bottom of the stairs and she starts screaming and kicking the wall, her dad runs up to see whats going on only to be told that “mommy is the meanest mom ever she pulled my tooth out of my head and then took it for herself. She made me bleed daddy. She is so mean” My husband told her to calm down that I was only getting a baggy to put the tooth in so the tooth-fairy could find it. He told her I was not being mean and that I loved her every much, none of which mattered to her. Monday rolls around and she wakes up fighting mad. She was mad that the tooth fairy had not shown up to take her tooth ( I tried several times to get the tooth but she was up over 15 times that night. Every time I went in she asked me “what are you doing in my room?” I played it off as if I was checking on her baby sister) She screamed as I brushed her hair, she yelled because we only had chocolate granola bars instead of peanut butter ones, she could not find both of her gray shoes so instead of just putting on another pair she throw the one gray shoe across the room and said she was just quieting and never talking to us again. What should have taken 15 minutes to get ready took over an hour and a half (thankfully she had gotten up and was wide awake at 5:30) Off to school she went.
I pick her up from school and ask how her day was, to which she replies “You can read check the note yourself” I knew at that point the day was not great. Upon reading the note the teacher wrote I discovered she was on black (color code for bad day) She had 1) refused to follow directions 2) refused to come inside after recess was over 3) standing on her desk and 4) she had cut up her shirt(a brand new shirt I had bought her) during art time. I asked her to take off her jacket and sure enough the shirt was ruining. I asked her why and got the standard “I don’t know” answer.
Tuesday morning I was hoping would go better. The tooth-fairy was able to come so we were hoping she would be excited. Instead we were met again with an angry 6 year old. The morning went much like the previous morning. By the time she went to school she had started two fights, one with wild man over who was sitting on the couch and one with baby girl because she wanted the blanket that baby girl was carrying, she walked out the door happy with herself that baby girl was screaming. When I picked her up she greeted me with “Don’t ask just look at my folder” Again we were on black for the day. This time it was for 1) skipping line, 2) back talking the teacher, 3) not following the rules 4) not doing ANY classwork, and 5) eating glue and gluing stuff to her desk. Again I asked what was going on and why she was asking out to which all she did was scream and say “I don’t know” The evening went down hill. She refused to do her homework, she picked fights with her younger siblings, she did not like what I made for dinner and she was not happy I was making her go to bed early. (I thought maybe she just needed some sleep where she had been walking the halls the last few nights) As she stomped her way the stairs she was screaming “I hate you. I hate your rules. You are the worst mother ever. and I hate everything about you” I placed her in her bed, told her goodnight and that we would try for a better day tomorrow. I closed the door and she started kicking the walls and slamming herself against her bed.
I sat outside her door and cried. I knew I could not calm her down but I could not walk off either. She’s my girl, my daughter, and I hate seeing her like this. I needed to be close in case she would fall off the bed or hurt herself from kicking the wall. After she settled down I went back downstairs and found our three little boys playing cars while baby girl had fallen asleep in her playpen. I could not help but cry again. They are so use to her acting out like this they have grown numb to it. I tried to pull it together and put on a fake smile but wild man could since that I was not okay. As I sat in the floor Big Al handed me a car to play with. Wild man just sat there and looked at me. When I told him everything was okay he climbed over and sat on my lap. He wrapped his little arms around my neck and gave me the biggest hug and said “It’s ok, I’s love you forever mommy” And he just sat there hugging me and patting my back. Big Al and Elmo saw him and they quickly joined in. So we sat, in the middle of our living room floor all three on my lap, and hugged. I’m not sure exactly how long we sat there but its exactly what I needed, and wild man knew that. Eventually he let go and looked at me as if to say, “Its okay she does not mean it mommy” He kissed my forehead, guessing he has seen his daddy do that, and smile then went off to play taking the other two boys with him. And I felt better. God knew exactly what I needed. The evening wrapped up without any more outburst or meltdowns.
Sometimes a question why God picked us to go on this path. I know He will not give us more than we can handle, but there are days I don’t know why He thinks I am strong. No one really knows what its like unless you have a child that deals with these same issues. People can say,”You need to do this when he or she acts that way or I would never let my child behave lie that.” The truth is it’s easy to judge from the outside. I’ve done it myself, maybe that’s why I’m where I am now. God knew I needed a lesson on patience and understanding. Days like the past few make me feel weak, so so weak but He will get me through He always does. I don’t know what set off the chain of events over the last couple of days. I may never know. But I am thankful for the moments when God shows up and says “All is well child. You are strong enough, You are more than enough, You will make it through this storm” I am thankful for wild mans calming ways. I am thankful for Big Al and Elmo’s happy giggles. I am thankful for text messages from my older kids at just the right time. I am thankful for baby girls babbles. I am thankful for mornings diva smiles. Today was a better day. I am thankful to be their momma. It is not always an easy journey but it is one I would do all over again if asked.
From our beautiful chaos to yours in the storms of life remember God loves you. He shows us daily that we are enough. And on those really hard days, He uses those around to let us know we are never alone.