You know you’re an autism mom when you have to peel every crayon in the box before giving them to your child. The wrappers are gonna end up on the floor and he will be handing me crayons to help him unwrap anyway. May as well do it myself. At least he will be happy with me, new sketch book and crayons makes for a happy kid. Love my little artist.
This may just be random ramblings today, I can’t help it. I’ve started about three different posts and deleted them all because they just fell flat to me. I have a few things on my mind that seem to be consuming me. I woke up in Brody bed, I fell asleep while putting him to sleep last night next to him. His arm was slung around my neck, laying on his side facing me. Last night he was clinging to me like a little koala, didn’t let me stand up without clutching me and pulling me down. His sensory issues have been all over the place lately, he has been craving compression, wanting me to lay on him (obviously I don’t use my full body weight) and just be wrapped up in my arms throughout the day. He has also been hitting his stomach very hard and in the last few days he’s been hitting himself in the head.
Being Brodys parent has been such a blessing but leaves me constantly questioning myself and what to do. I battle with knowing why he does things, what I should do about new behaviors that arise, constantly trying to come up with solutions to allieveite the anxiety I can see consume Brody sometimes. Watching my son be in his own world with limited ways to communicate his feelings and worries sometimes keeps me up at night. I battle with my own feelings too. Feelings of frustration, stress, exhaustion and a just feelings of falling short as a parent. I have arguments with myself about wanting to be selfish, to have alone time or just time to enjoy myself without Brody around just for a mental break. When I do break away, I’m thinking about Brody, wishing he was with me and wondering what he’s doing. Sorting out these feelings can be so hard, I know I’m doing the best I can and that a lot of what I feel is common for parents to feel.
This brings me to my next set of feelings and while some may not make the connection it is in my mind. The mass shooting that occurred last night has left a pit in my stomach that just won’t go away. Thinking about all the parents and family that are left behind to deal with such a senseless tragedy breaks my heart. Parents who have struggled with similar issues as what I described above, who’s sweet babies are now in heaven watching from above. Even now as I write this I’m choked up because I can’t imagine losing such an important person like my son. The sleepless nights, the tears they’ve wiped away, the homework, Disney memories, the pride and joy they’ve felt because of their own children… Ripped away from them in an instant. This mass shooting has caused a ripple effect that I know I’m not alone in feeling and it makes me hug Brody tighter.
My mom always told me I’m a bleeding heart and she’s right. I’m sitting at my dining room table, listening to Peppa Pig playin on my tv as I’m finishing eating my breakfast with my dogs at my feet. Brodys off at school and while that’s a daily thing the bottom line is that this type of horrific event can happen anywhere at any time and that’s so unsettling to me. I know I’ve been rambling today and that this post may be hard to read and make sense of but my heart is doing the writing today, not my brain. My family takes great pride in being open and expressing our feelings. We always say I love you when we hang up the phone, stay in constant communication and throw around hugs and kisses as often as possible. My bottom line here I suppose is take that time with your family, take in even the small moments. Make time for them and really get that mental photograph, every moment with loved ones is a treasure. Things happen, life’s not fair and not eveything doesn’t make sense and that’s my main thought. Don’t let things like this stop you from living your life, however. I love my son more then anything in this world and my family as well, I pray we never have to cope personally with a tradgy like Orlando or any of the other mass shootings this year. Rest in peace to all the souled lost, my heart goes out to all family and friends trying to cope because of this. I truly feel my heart breaking for them. End of my rambling.
It’s a dark and gloomy day here in Nothern New York today. The rain is coming down and I’m stuck inside looking at the aftermath of the tornado my puppy and son have left behind. There’s a chewed up flip flops in the bedroom (Thanks Nellie), crayon wrappers all over the living room floor because Brody likes them off all 45 of his crayons and popcorn trails throughout the house like Hansel and Gretel. I just went into the bathroom and found a lemon and three eggs sitting on my drawers…. I’ll never understand Brodys obsession with these food products he stashes but it’s actually kind of cute.
Now that I’ve described the battlefield I’m up against you get the picture of what my house looks like. Brody and I have been seeing a local holostic Doctor who I absolutely love. At our last appointment she strongly advised that we try to go chemical free in our household. I was worried that his would be expensive, a pain, and just unrealistic to get as effective results with all natural products. I dove right in and did hours of research, read reviews and posted on Facebook asking for advice and personals personal experience with this subject. I got some great advice and opinions and decided to dive in so naturally I suffered through a Target trip. I know it’s hard to tell over the Internet but this is complete sarcasm, Target may be my favorite place on earth.
I am, no doubt in my mind, the most indecisive person I know. I am infamous for picking items up, walking around then putting them back. I then feel regret and go back, get the items then purchase them. Trust me, it’s bad. I swear I stood in the cleaning aisle for an hour making my selection. I never realized how many options were out there for all natural products. I scoffed at some items, $7-$10 for a cleaning spray!? I am in no place to be purchasing those items considering I am a stay at home mom at the time. I started to panic, maybe I can afford this and then my mind went in a million directions. I felt guilt, poor Brody deserves a home environment that is chemical free to help him. I instantly jumped on Pinterest looking up DIY cleaning products but that was even more overwhelming. I had to stop and regroup. I kept browsing and then I saw Method products. These are the same price as the chemistry filled items I had been buying on the regular, the packaging was cute and colorful and they were all natural.
I was giddy at this point, I started filling my cart and vowing to come back and buy more once I ran out of the products I already had at home. Here is a list of what I bought and I encourage everyone to check it out!
- Method kitchen lemongrass hand wash
- Method French lavender naturally derived hand wash
- Method antibac all-purpose cleaner (wildflower)
- ECOS laundry detergent
- Method air refresher (wild poppy)
I have loved all of these products so far and I feel so much better as I’m cleaning knowing that these products are green and better to use around my special little boy. I don’t see a difference in how effective they are in cleaning and I actually enjoy these scents more. This air refresher smells amazing and better then any spray I have ever used.
Anyway, I know this is a long winded post but I wanted to share what my newest quest is in this journey. I encourage all of you to do your own research and take a few minutes longer when shopping for products and see what options are out there. I see nothing but beneficial things coming out of this and with no change in cost, no one is complaining. So on that note, I’m off to put these products to good use.
I’ve learned in the three years that I’ve been a mother to Brody that timelines for kids are all different. Once you throw autism and a sensory processing disorder in the mix you may as well throw that timeline out the door. What works best or comes naturally for one child literally means nothing when it comes to another. When Brody was a baby and was attending an at home daycare I was trying to provide him with the best food possible. I was tirelessly making my own baby food, freezing it, individually packing it, well, you get the idea. Some red flags had been raised about this daycare and the care (or lack there of) that had been given to my child. He was always crying, screaming, and just overall cranky which is very unlike him. “A”, we will call the lady in charge, told me she was having a difficult time with him and was going to bring someone in from the state to evaluate the situation. To summarize it, Brody was being left in the pack and play and basically thrown cereal puffs, not included in group activities and not fed the food I was packing. He would eat fine at home for me and was a very good kid with little crying so is was quite a setback in his progress. He hasn’t touched a spoon or fork since then and through research and discussions with therapists I realized this is common with kids who have Brodys disabilities. His occupational therapist worked on this using vibrating toothbrushes, wrapping starburst on spoons and many other things to get him used to using a utensil or toothbrush. Nothing seemed to work and he has since switched schools and therapists with no progress made.
With almost every meal I put down utensils on the plate just Incase it seemed appealing. Last night my husband got a craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As always, he left out his plate and all the ingredients on the counter for me to tidy up this morning (so sweet) and Brody seemed to notice when we woke up. He pushed my hand towards the peanut butter and said, very excitedly, “YEA”! Considering his limited pallet with food, I was not going to say no. He cycles in and out of liking peanut butter and I know usually this is a big mess and don’t allow it before school because of this. For some reason this morning I felt brave and scooped him a small bowl full and put in a spoon like usual. He toddled right into the living room, set the bowl down, grabbed the spoon and started shoveling peanut butter into his mouth. I caught it out the corner of my eye and had to do a double take. I tiptoed over so I wouldn’t spook him and grabbed my phone to get a video. I was seriously in disbelief that this was happening and no one was here to witness this moment with me. I posted all over social media to my ever supportive friends who excitedly liked and commented and shared in my joy.
I swear, I could have skipped down the sidewalk and told everyone I passed the news. I told his teachers as I brought him to school, of course I called my mom and told her and thought about it the whole time I did cardio this morning. It’s just funny to me how my Facebook feed is splashed with babies ranging between 4 months and a year using utensils and proud parents gushing and I’m doing the same with my three year old. At the end of the day, although we are all on different paths and timelines, I’m just so happy for these sweet children and love witnessing their progression achievements. I hope they feel the pride and swelling of our hearts as we watch from the sidelines cheering so hard for our little ones. Today was a good day.