Monday, December 12, 2011

The little things :)

Happy Monday everyone!

Being able to appreciate the little things in life is a fantastic gift to have. Our lives are soo busy with our children, that we tend to miss the small steps and even take them for granted.

That is one of the benefits to having an autistic child. Autistic children's small steps are HUGE. One of the gifts that Patrick has given me is to TRULY appreciate the little things in life.

I remember a couple years ago, Patrick and I were at a play group with 99% typical kids. At this point Patrick wasn't formally DX and I still was in the "my child will grow out of this" la la land (which I think all of us have been at some point). These kids ages ranged from infant to about 5 years old, with most of them being 2 or 3 years. Now what are the typical "complaints" parents have when there child is of that age?

"They just learned the word "NO" and it is driving me crazy"
"I miss the days when they didn't talk at all"
"Only if they listened"
"They don't sleep long enough"
"They are not eating there veggies"

The list goes on....

Back to the play group. I was sitting and talking with a mom and she was telling me about how her little girl (super smart, sweet sweet sweet little girl) was talking her ears off and in a common way she said "I miss the days she didn't talk at all, haha" or something like that. As I replied, jokingly, "I wish Patrick talked!" with a laugh at the end, a light bulb clicked in her head as in.... wait... I should be thankful she talks. As this was not my intention and we were making small talk, Patrick quickly taught this mama to be thankful for a speaking child.

The little things...

I get caught up at times with "typical" behaviors, I think we all do. We went to a train show yesterday and it was magnificent! The display was off the wall and Patrick LOVED it. As Patrick is jumping his little butt off watching Thomas, James, and Percy chug around, I notice the other parents sitting back while their child was pointing out things. "Look mommy this" "Look daddy that". AND there parents don't even know how precious that is, how special that communication is, how... for a lack of a better word, fortunate they are to be able to share those moments in that way. 

I feel that every parent knows that they are lucky for their child's presence, period. Whether they are "typical", autistic, physically handicapped, or purple. BUT do they really really reeeeeeeally know truly how good parents to "typical" kids have it?

They have no worries doing outings.. well besides the typical worries. No worries with big functions. No worries about family get togethers. Birthdays are seamless, Christmas is fantastic, "fitting" in is not a problem.

Outings make me nervous, I have to plan every step. Do I have EVERYTHING and ANYTHING for him, Blankie, paci, itouch, mobigo, mum-mums, enough juice, books, more mum-mums.... because if one is missing that is the end of it. Forget about birthday parties for friends. I have to think 10 steps ahead to make sure he doesnt have a meltdown in the middle of "happy birthday" or that just totally loses it in the bounce house. Christmas... hmmm... well he hates opening presents and still has no concept of a "present", so honestly Christmas is just another for him.

Now I dont want to turn this into a Lisa pity party or anything but honestly this has been bugging me. Everyone one of us has had the "they are lucky" thought. Whether it makes you feel the sh*t for saying it or not. I have!

I wouldn't trade Patrick for 1,000 "typical" kids or 1,000,000 "typical" moments though. Patrick makes me truly and honestly appreciate the little things. How special every moment is and how, as a society, we move waaay to fast and get caught up in it all.

Lets make an effort to take note of 1 little thing our child does in a day and truly thank them for it, praise them, hug them, make them feel like you really ARE watching. With out that, what do we really have?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

All With Good Intentions....

So as the Christmas season is upon us, all this special stuff comes up for our little ones. Pancake Breakfast with Santa, Holiday light parades, Tree Lightings, pictures with Santa, special shows, etc. I was at work the other night and one of my co-workers gave me a flyer to a holiday train show at a doctors house that works at the hospital. AWESOME! As I really dont do any of the above with Patrick, he LOVES trains and I figured this would be right up his alley.

Now, I had envisioned an awesome train display in this doctors basement. The kids would be free to look around and enjoy the trains running. I envisioned Patrick having a BLAST! So I dressed him in his I love trains shirts and his conductors hat and off we went.

He was in a great mood when we got there, tummy full from lunch and everything. This house was GORGEOUS and like I envisioned the display was in his basement. We walk down and there are two rooms. One big one with a train table and two small train displays running and a smaller room.... this should of been my red flag. The smaller room had a HUGE table set up with a magnificent display. The man had EVERYTHING! Every little knick knack for a train display was there and everything moved. So we all packed into this room, as per the doctors orders.

WAIT A SEC! The trains aren't moving and this place is getter smaller by the min. People keep packing in and packing in. At this point we are crammed far from the door (other red flag) and Patrick is starting to get antsy... he wanted the trains to move! Now the doctor starts a little speech about his trains and blah blah blah.

Patrick is now biting his shirt and I'm thinking.... once this thing starts he'll be happy, just wait... hold out!

So he starts the thing! WOOHOOOOOOO! Patrick's eyes are so wide taking everything in. This is great! Everything is spinning and lighting up and the train is zooming around. He is instantly HAPPY!


Than the train stops..... oh goodness..... and the doctor starts "telling" a story about how the train needs to pick up this and the train needs to drop off that. All fine and good, just get the train moving again, is all Im thinking. Patrick doesnt understand any of this and is now whining. He just wants to watch the trains. So the train moves for a min or two and it stops again, doctor "tells" a story and the train moves again. This goes on for about 10 mins (seemed an hour lol).

Patrick is now crying.... Just run the stupid train!

Now for the Pièce de résistance....

The lights turn off... all the lights. It is pitch black. Patrick is now clinging to me, totally over whelmed.

Lets recap the situation for a sec....

Small room
No space
Tons of people
It's HOT
He has no clue why he just can watch the trains run
And there is NO escape routine, unless I mow over 20 people


The doctor now starts "telling" another story about how they get the lights back on... just shut up and turn them on is all Im thinking at this point... I got a scared, over stimmed child! So slowly all the lights are back up and Patrick is DONE! All he keeps telling me is "ALL DONE, ALL DONE" and all I can tell him is SOON.

Im sweating and beet red and Patrick is a mess. The doors open and he blots for the door and of course NOBODY it letting me through. Cant u see I have a mess of a child, god knows they heard him through this whole thing. GRRRRR

FINALLY AIR! Patrick than goes over to the train table in the bigger room and it is packed. No matter how big a train table is and no matter how many trains there are, there are NEVER enough. The train table quickly turns into the table of tears and that sends Patrick one step closer to the edge. So I quickly swoop him up and take him to another display were there is a Thomas train running around the track.


Well at least until he wants to touch the trains.......

STICK A FORK IN HIM! Tears are running down his face, snot is running out of his nose and he is bitting everything is site.


I had such good intentions and so did this lovely doctor. All I wanted is my son to have a fun time watching trains and all the doctor wanted was to show off his trains and to put a smile on kids faces.

My poor son fell asleep the MOMENT we got into the car and I feel like a witch bc I took him.... ALL WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.....