Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting autism

Today I had an interesting time parenting TJ's autism. We were waiting while Peter had his guitar lesson and TJ was playing on his iPad with headphones. He was whispering - I think he was reciting Spongebob (side note - in Montreal they call it "Bob L'eponge". I love that for some reason). Everyone could hear him and he was getting some strange looks. I tapped him on the shoulder and reminded him to be quiet, which lasted about 2 seconds before his arms were flying in the air, and Bob L'eponge was being recited again. He had a huge grin on his face.

I love that grin. I was uncomfortable with the way people were looking at him, but didn't want to take his grin away. I had a moment of panic when I thought maybe I should let everyone know that he has autism, so the looks would stop. But TJ didn't have a problem with the looks, it was only me. So I decided to let him do what he wanted to. He continued to flail away, joyously.

As we were driving home, I explained to him that everyone in the waiting room could hear him and didn't understand that he has autism, and asked if he was bothered by the way people were looking at him. He said no. I told him he could do whatever he wanted to do, as long as he was comfortable and not hurt by some of the looks he gets. If the looks bother him, I want him to understand why he is getting them. He said he was fine and had fun.

In the end my head knows that that is all that matters - that TJ understands what is happening around him and is ok. It doesn't matter how uncomfortable I am at all. It's a tough pill for me to swallow.

But his grin always makes it easier.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dreamboat is Dreamy

This post just proves that there is nothing I won't fess up to on this blog. That's how honest I am. You're welcome.

We have a second refrigerator down in the basement - we call it "the beer fridge". The only other thing we put in it is food around the holidays when our upstairs fridge is packed. That and the boys' Halloween candy that I may or may not invade randomly.

Now in my defense, it IS called "the beer fridge". Since I don't drink, what business do I have going into "the beer fridge"? Please keep this in mind for the rest of the story.

The other day I was grabbing some frozen waffles for the kids out of the freezer part of "the beer fridge". I noticed a stench coming out of the fridge part. Lo and behold, there sat 2 casserole dishes from....wait for it.....Christmas.

Now don't start acting like you've never had anything rotten or stinky in your own fridge - everyone has at least once! You know it's true!!!

Anyway, tonight Sean said to me....actually, let me rephrase that. Tonight, Dreamboat said to me, after my return from bazoom, "Are you going to shower now or later? I ask because my Valentine's present to you is that I'm going to wash those awful dishes from the basement, and I'm going to need a lot of hot water, and don't want to disrupt your shower."


Seriously, he is the greatest. He must REALLY love me a lot.

And that's Valentine's Day around here. Have a happy one!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blessing in disguise?

Best line of the week - TJ got in the car as I picked him up on Monday and said "Mom, there was a lizard in science class and he had a b-o-n-e-r." I love that he spelled it.

I remember 7th grade being a tough time - a time when you are trying to figure out how to be cool, surging hormones, and massive insecurity. Well now my TJ is going through it, but it's a totally different story because of his autism.

Or is it? I see some familiar behaviors that seem to be "typical almost 13". But the friend piece, the being cool piece, isn't there for him.

I've heard that some boys in his class are having a hard time with being friends with so-and-so one day, then not being friends the next day..typical teenage stuff. But TJ is completely removed from any of it.

I'm so torn over how I feel about it. I'm thrilled he is spared from any heartache or teasing - these great kids really look out for TJ. And no one wants to be the kid who targets the kid with autism - that's way too obvious. But another part of me is sad that he doesn't get the experience of going through it. It's like a right of passage. Maybe it would make him stronger, like it made me.

I don't get to go through it either, as a parent. When it gets to be Peter's turn I won't have any previous experience to relate to. Maybe that's selfish of me, but that's how I feel. I have missed out on a lot of firsts as a parent, and I don't usually think about it like that, but for some reason this situation really puts me in that place. Another glaring reminder that my kid is different. Sometimes it really sucks.

Anyway, that's where I'm at.

My next one will be funny, or at least less whiny, I promise!  This is a direct result of mid-winter blahs.