Not-so-pithy complaints

by arianne

I haven’t had a chance to update my blog about the latest going’s on with Charlie, our special needs son. We got a “second opinion” from a speech therapist who was slightly p.o.’d that our Pediatrician’s office had suggested Charlie has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. They believe Charlie does have speech delay as well as other behavioral/developmental issues, but those things can be present in a child and the child not have an ASD. So we are one to one, I need a third opinion to break the tie, I guess. We’ve spent so much money on all this already, its very stressful. I mean, you can’t very well just decide not to give your child therapy that big important therapists think he needs. We are working through some state funded channels to help offset the gi-normous costs involved in all this. Hopefully they come through.

You know, its really hard to be pithy or clever when writing about these kinds of things. I want very badly to find the funny, sarcastic side of all this. Well, I don’t have to dress my kid unless we leave the house because wearing pants freaks him out. That’s a plus, right? Less work! He’ll only eat about 3 things on the planet due in part to his Sensory Integration Dysfunction, so meal planning is a moot point. Again, less work! He’s been having raging, screaming tantrums for so long that his brother Jamie has been used to hearing them since he was in the womb. A tolerant brother…again, less work for me!

I need to try to find the “plus’s” sometimes. Because, the truth is, parenting Charlie is one of the hardest things I can imagine. Sure, it could always be worse. Many parents have to deal with children that have full blown autism, severe handicaps, mental retardation, etc. I’m sure they have to be so much stronger than I do and deal with many more harrowing circumstances.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Charlie takes every ounce of me every day (and night). Problem with that is that I also have a husband, a newborn, a home business, other family and many more things that want/need/require my ounces. And I want to give them those ounces. I don’t like having all my ounces in one place. A person can go crazy (or just get REALLY depressed and stressed out) having all her ounces in one place.

I’ve confessed this to some people already, so I might as well confess it to you, Internet. Sometimes I really don’t like being Charlie’s mom. Of course I love him with every drop of my being, so don’t go thinking bad thought about me. But sometimes I just let myself drift a teeny tiny bit into the puddle of self-pity and wish that I didn’t have a kid like him. Or rather, that HE wasn’t the way he is. Its a constant on-your-toes kind of draining, every-little-decision-means-the-world world that I live in. I’m perpetually 1000% drained mentally and physically.

Every day as Jamie gets older and starts doing new things, it sheds more light on how NOT normal Charlie is. Since Charlie is our first, I had no idea, as he’s been growing up, that kids aren’t generally as hard to parent as Charlie is. Jamie is such a piece of cake, I sometimes feel bad for him that Charlie’s extreme demands will naturally pull me towards him more often than Jamie’s occasional needs. I often find myself wondering what parents, who’s first baby is “normal” like Jamie, are complaining about when they talk of “lack of sleep” or “he cries a lot”, when truth is they don’t even know the meaning of those words.

No disrespect to parents reading this, I’m not judging. Its just that, sometimes, when I’m still in that self-pity puddle, I feel a bit of envy for families who don’t have kids like this. They are able to easily have a babysitter because diverting slightly from their bedtime routine won’t throw off their kid’s sleep schedule for weeks. They can buy their kid clothes that snap at the waist instead of only elastic because elastic is only cause for a minor freak out. They can go out to eat! At a restaurant! They can talk more than a whisper in their house after 9pm because their kid doesn’t hear people talking across the house (even thought the white noise cd in his room is playing THIS LOUD) and wake up, therefore being up for hours afterward. Their kid actually doesn’t take hours to go to sleep each night only to wake up 45 min later and keep waking every couple hours even at the age of 2. They can brush their kid’s hair without so much as a peep. They can-horror of horrors-WASH their kid’s hair without a screaming session every time. Their kid can get ONE DROP of water on his forehead and not completely melt down. They can blame even extreme behavior on “the two’s” because their kid will grow out of it. Their kid doesn’t have any disorders. Yes, I’m venting now.

I’m glad that I have this forum in which to vent a little. Ok, a LOT. Thanks for getting this far, if you’re still reading. I’m sorry to sound like such a selfish ungrateful person. I know there are women who can’t even have children, blah blah blah. I KNOW.

I’ll make you a deal. I won’t complain on their blogs. Just mine.

Oh well. I guess the fact that Charlie is one of the two cutest boys on the ENTIRE PLANET kinda helps his case a bit. That and the fact that he’s so freakin hilarious I swear he’ll be a professional stand up someday.

“Hey Mom! I’m a freak, but at least I’m a really funny freak! At least I make you laugh when you’re not crying, right? You don’t REALLY want me to be normal, admit it.”

He’s right. Or at least my pretend quoting of him is right. But maybe just a normal day once and a while Charlie? Pretty please??

Status quo…he just screamed “NOOOOOOOO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOO!”. Guess it doesn’t help to say please.

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