I spend a lot of time trying to decipher between what’s normal boy behavior, what’s normal 3 year old behavior and what’s autism. I sorta have this need to know that their are different parts. Trust me, I get that it all runs together but for my own mental state, I tell myself that he isn’t just autistic. There are other parts. But as he gets closer to 4 it’s getting harder to decipher.
I am so sick of everything being so dang hard. I just want to be carefree and relaxed. I don’t want to always have to be 3 steps ahead. Or be weighted down with worry. I am so sick of it. And there is never a break.
School starts in 6 weeks. 6 more weeks of daycare and worrying nonstop that one day I am going to pick up Cooper and his daycare provider is going to say that she can’t handle a nonverbal autistic boy anymore. She hasn’t given any indication of that but I know it could come at anytime. Our interactions are even a bit strained lately. For the longest time when she would tell me about Cooper’s day, like throwing or not eating or not participating, I would always apologize. It was the only thing I knew how to do. I felt like each comment was being piled on top of my shoulders and I honestly didn’t know what to say besides, “I’m sorry…we are working on it at home.” And then I would ride home with either Cooper screaming or in silence and I would cry most of the way just wishing he would tell me about my day.
Now, when she tells me these things, I just smile and shake my head. I don’t apologize anymore. I can’t. I can’t change him or fix it. She loves Cooper and he loves her and I just need to get through these next 6 weeks and onto my next worry. “What if I have the only child that school doesn’t help?”
Last night I convinced Jamie to go out for dinner. He argued with me that he would only go if it was take-out and if we could leave the boys in the car while one of us ran in and got the food. It annoyed the hell out of me even though I knew he was right. We ending up going to a new place and neither of us knew the menu so we all ventured in. I saw a BIG line and my stomach freaking dropped. Cooper doesn’t do lines. He doesn’t do waiting or patience or quiet. And I know that the worse Cooper acts the more frustrated Jamie gets and the more stressed out I get.
It didn’t go well. Imagine holding a 40+ pound wet noodle who thrashes at the waist. And try to act natural while doing it. In the 10 minutes we waited, Cooper alternated between Jamie and I 4 times, which meant passing Sawyer back and forth as well. We made it through the line but we were exhausted afterwards. It’s like weightlifting and cardio at the same time. I hate it.
On the ride home we talked about how we won’t be able to bring him into places once he gets to big to hold. That’s a really scary thought. It actually makes me feel claustrophobic as I type this.
Maybe I’m not one of those strong autism moms. I guess I haven’t fully embraced it yet…even though we have been living it for 3 years. Autism makes me want to hide. It makes me scared and worried. And I’m just plain sick of it.
I’m sick of pillows being thrown on the floor and my furniture being pushed all around from being ran into. I’m sick of Cooper throwing all of the toys and deck furniture off the deck. I’m sick of hiding the remotes and unplugging the TV. I’m sick of teaching and fighting and walking on eggshells in my marriage and overcompensating for Cooper’s behavior. And I’m so sick of movies being on ALL day and waking up at 5 am to put cartoons on. And I am SO SICK OF THERAPY that isn’t working. And most of all I am just so tired of everything being so hard.
Let me end by saying that Cooper is the love of my life. ALL OF HIM. Without a doubt. But, God it is hard. Yesterday I missed him nonverbally telling me that he peed through his diaper. It was 4:57 AM and he laid on the floor and put his legs up in the air. My eyes weren’t even open as I pressed play on the DVD player and I walked to the couch to lay down. Cooper melted down in less than a second and it lasted 10 minutes and woke Sawyer up. It’s just hard. And then I think, why is my life so hard? And then I tell myself to suck it up and that it could be a lot freaking worse.
And a little reminder for myself and all the other mama’s of nonverbal kiddos…