Thursday, March 17, 2016

Don't do it. It's a trap.

Dear new mom,
Let me do you a favor here. You're young and fresh and all excited about motherhood. It's an amazing ride and it's so much fun to watch your little ones eyes light up as they discover the world. So when you're scrolling through Pinterest or "networking" on Facebook you are sure to come across a cute idea to implement on some random upcoming holiday. 
There are many. In fact you never realized how many there are until you become then all of a sudden St. Patrick's day is a thing, Presidents' Day is a thing, Dr. Suess's birthday is a thing even Valentine's Day is more of a thing. Obviously this is on top of the actual things like Christmas, Easter, Halloween. You see where I'm going with this. 
So young, new mom you're going to think to yourself "how fun I'm going to surprise my little darling with leprechaun tracks in our bathroom or green eggs and ham for breakfast or a Valentine's Day scavenger hunt."
And you'll do it, and it will be a great success, and your child will think you're the greatest mom ever. You'll pat yourself on the back with a feeling of great satisfaction. Until 364 days later. when it all of a sudden is hits you that, oh shit, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and I don't have any freaking gold coins to sprinkle around their bedroom.
Or you've misplaced your food coloring. Or, to be honest, you're tired and cranky and on your second glass of wine and you frankly don't really feel like building a flipping leprechaun trap!
Oh, but my friend, it doesn't work like that. Therein lies the trap. Because tomorrow morning your little cherub will wake up expecting magic. And if it's not there there's a good chance that little cherub will turn into a little demon in two seconds flat. And trust me, it's not fun to start a quasi-holiday with beatings. Not that I know from personal experience or anything.
I urge you, new mom, take my advice and resist the urge to give in to the Pinterest pressure. Start out mediocre and you'll never disappoint.  One day you'll thank me.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I just need a vacation

I almost don't even know where to begin this blog. I'm feeling so emotionally depleted right now.  But I just have to get this off my chest.

As Jake is getting older the social issues are becoming more apparent. Or, at least, the other kids are noticing his differences more. And unfortunately that's resulting in more instances of borderline bullying.  In fact we've had two issues in just the past week alone. So last night when I got a call about something that had happened drama I didn't know what to expect. It was one of the moms who is been very involved in the show calling to tell me about how Jake reacted inappropriately on stage when one of the kids was struggling with his lines. (And by inappropriately I mean he said in a loud voice "this is so embarrassing "). 
Of course I felt bad for the kid, I felt bad for what Jake said, and I wish it hadn't happened. But the way I understood it seemed like a some of the  other parents there thought it was more serious than was necessary.
So I talked to Jake about it and we had a good discussion. He agreed that if it happened again he needed to stay silent. But the next part of the conversation really challenged me. He wanted to know why he needed to be nice when this child has not been nice to him all year. This child who is probably the most popular kid in fifth grade. This child who Jake has done nothing but try to emulate as he seeks ways to behave appropriately.
That was where huge internal struggle happened to me.  Because this kid doesn't need an extra hand or pat on the back. From what I've seen his self-esteem is just fine. He isn't put down and taunted each day. He isn't constantly on the periphery you trying to fit in. He doesn't get left out of parties and play dates.
Oh but wait, it gets better. Because Lacey is too awkward to just leave it at that.  I have a friendly enough acquaintance with the kid's dad so when I saw him at drop off this morning I tried to approach him. My plan was to apologize for what happened, to make sure he understood why Jake doesn't always understand what things are appropriate to say, and put a plug-in for the fact that some kindness from his child towards Jake would go along way. To say that it didn't go well is almost hilarious in how massively it understates the truth.  I actually started crying while this man completely rebuffed me. It was deeply hurtful.
I so often wonder how in this day and age, when we know so much about bullying and kids with autism, how kids can still be so unkind. And then I have conversations like the one this morning and it makes me feel hopeless because when their parents are like that how are the kids ever going to be any different.