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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This is the only parenting I know.

I've gotten quite a number of emails from readers and Facebook followers that praise me for being so accepting of my son's autism diagnosis.  Asking me how I came to terms with it. How can I be so flip and positive online?  Always cracking a joke.

Here's the thing. I've just gotten used to it.  He is my only child by choice.  I absolutely know no other way of being a mom. This is the only parenting I know.  I have realized though I pick my battles.  Be it the littlest thing, they wind feeling like winning major award when he is successful.  It may not always feel like things are getting easier.   I think we as a family are just getting better at handling it and dammit, I will take my victory lap when it's been well earned. Which usually is more like a big glass of wine from a bottle with a screw top while I sit in my pajamas watching the Real Housewives of some city does it even matter I'm just checking out their shoes and handbags while they roll their eyes and screech at each other. 

Like here's the latest big thing and I am knocking wood as I type this, he's finally eating. This is a HUGE thing.  It did not just happen overnight.  I did have to do a dance with this kid more complicated than Paso Doble night on "Dancing with the Stars".   We are currently seeing "Magic Speech Therapist" who is trained in feeding and food issues.   So before you ask me how I did it, well that's how.  Ask around.  Google.  I can't praise it enough.   A big part of it was trust and it took till he was 8 till we were worthy of it.  This is my second go around with feeding therapy with this kid.  We tried a few years ago.  He'd do it for the therapist and then not for me.  I backed off.  I let him have that round.  He wasn't ready and I had to accept that.   I love to cook and I had a kid that refused to eat.  Eating that, pardon the pun, was hard but worth it in the end.   It's still a challenge as we try things out and occasionally have to let some things go that he just does not like.  (like my homemade slap your mama it's so good Mac and Cheese)  So he just prefers pasta with red sauce.  Big deal.  I can get veggies into him that way.  I accept it. 

Independence in the bathroom is finally being shown.  From toileting to teeth brushing.  Again you new folks to Club Spectrum are all like "Dude how did you do it?"  I can only say one thing, TIME.  He's 8 and just getting it.  So if your kid is 3, well sorry, you got some years ahead.  I know that sucks but keep trying and tell your partner to stop by the liquor store on their way home from work.   Best advice I can give you is work with your kid's teacher.  How are they doing it at school?  Replicated it at home.  Consistency is your best shot.  Notice I said shot?  Yep, nothing is 100%.  Text your spouse and tell them to spring for the big bottle of wine at the store. 

And from the two steps forward one step back department, it's not always sunshine and roses at French Fry Inc.  Especially when sleep is concern.  Now we just had a nice stretch the kiddo finally PRAISE THE LORD going to sleep in his own bed.  HUGE for us.  HUGE!  I thought we finally had our "Come to Jesus" moment with the kiddo.  He was going to sleep in his own room.  Yeah, guess where he was last night?  Guess who got to sleep with Lighting McQueen and Mater last night?  This gal right here.  I was pissed.  I still am but I will keep trying.  Waking up and being confused to where I am, boy I thought those days were long done. 

You know how I am always going on about I'd rather be laughing that crying?  Well it's because it's true.  I have had more breakdown ugly cries over this kid than I care to count and as good as it is sometimes to do this, it really doesn't do anything for him.   When I'm happy or at least pretending to be, he's happy.  So yeah, I fake it till I make it for his sake.  Anxiety feeds anxiety,  It's hard to remember that in the heat of a battle, but it's important. 

It's also important to order another side of fries. :-)

18 comments:

  1. I love that I found your blog and Facebook page! I love hearing about your wins (gives me hope for ours) and your struggles (yay I am not alone!)

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  2. Love it ! So true ! People always say, "Oh how do you do it ?, I could never do that!" Really ??? What's my other choice ?? Sorry Bob, there's nothing behind Door#2 ! He's mine, I love him, just do it. Good days and bad, some just horrendous, and then you get that day where WOW did you just sit through that whole movie ?? Let me feel your head, are you dry? Then there's the "I smell pee do you smell it ??" as you wonder through the house searching !and anyone who is around them, get on his schedule and work together !! Point is your have to have humor, patience, knowledge (GOOGLE), and periodic time outs with Chocolate and White Russians in the bathroom. Bedroom door locked, bathroom door locked, okay 5 minutes till he picks them ! :) Thanks for your blog and humor !

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    1. Yeah what choice do we have? You play the hand you're dealt. It's all we can do. :-)

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    2. love reading your blog - keep your head and chin up - you're doing a miraculous wonderful job with the amazing gift of a child you're dealt <3 love to you and your family <3

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    3. love reading your blog - keep your head and chin up - you're doing a miraculous wonderful job with the amazing gift of a child you're dealt <3 love to you and your family <3

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  3. Love this. You always crack me up. As parents, we just... parent. And yes, keep something alcoholic or a sedative- for us- handy! lol. If you can't laugh, you cry and that just sucks the fun out of life.

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  4. Love this! *clinking wine glass*

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  5. yes....all so true. I raise my glass to you, fry mom!

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  6. good stuff, Fry. "he's finally eating. This is a HUGE thing. " Lily has been eating much better over the past few months...it is ENORMOUS how much stress is relieved by better eating and/or fewer potty accidents.

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    1. Doesn't it just make life so much better? Full tummies make happy kids. Happy kids make happy parents.

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  7. Great post! I can so relate.

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  8. All true! I actually don't think I'd have cope with anyone but my two...I understand them so well now!
    Another great post! (secretly hoping you'll scooch over to mine and have a little looksy? Www.autismandlove.com) x

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  9. LOVE it! Exactly why Liam is my only kiddo. He has stolen my heart, and I know I could not have another, and give him the attention and care he needs. Also, my hands and heart are full :)

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  10. Food. Sleep. Peeing. Those three and you're golden (uh, I didn't mean it that way...)

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  11. So nice to see your out look. I get asked all the time "how do you do it?" It's not me its my son not every day is a great day and its hard but the little victories are really big one's. I never went through the shock factor he is who he is and I wouldn't have him any other way. His therapist laughs at me when I get eye contact even if just for a moment wether he is in trouble or not I like to smile and say "HI!" I explain this moment as short as it is he sees me and I make it a point that in that moment he sees me smile. Like I said every victory I a huge one! So even eating or sleeping for them is huge and in those moments grab a big glass of wine and let yourself soak it in. You earned it!

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  12. So happy I found your blog....it's refreshing to read someone who 'gets it'!

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  13. Your comment about how this is the only thing you know totally resonated with me. I often have old friends ask me how I "do it" and whether I'm sad. I don't know anything but what I know. My son is 3. He's my only. This is what I know.

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  14. So true... all of it. We have three kids but they are all on the spectrum so this is all we know too. Some of the more challenging aspects have gotten better (with time, lots of it), some things we're still working on. Totally agree with the comments on eating, sleeping, pottying. Especially sleep for mom and dad, it's amazing how much easier it is to get through the day when you had more than 20 minutes of sleep the night before ;).

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