A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Amber Is The Color of Your Energy

It has been a pretty good autism day which is the first sign that something super stupid is about to happen. I had played Hungry Hungry Hippos, painted the toenails of the girl and listened to her read two books. Lunch and breakfast were without incident. I did legs and core, and some more core later. Things were quiet. All was well.

That's a harbinger of doom.

I was watching Forrest Gump, letting my own to toenails dry and texting with Laura when it occurred to me it had been some time since I saw the twins.That's when the smell hit me.

Poop.
Twelve year olds with poop that's been waiting for relief for any amount of time isn't a fun time for anyone. The intimate details of what that sort of clean up involves I'll save for my closest friends (Sorry for the mental image Laura) but let's say it's unpleasant. Sometimes there isn't anything for it but to bathe them, just like when they were babies.

I'm endlessly amused by the names of the man soap available to me in the bathroom. I have to admit, it makes the poop-removal scrub down entertaining as hell sometimes. After I wash Charlie with dandruff shampoo I finish up with with a scrub singing along to the name of the soap "Desssssssperaaaado.....why don't you COME TO YOUR SENSES?"

I entertain the hell out of myself.  It helps me forget that I'm washing my 12 year old because he still poops his pants. He laughs because I'm singing and getting wet. They laugh and dance around in the shower because it's fun.

Next child of course needs the same attention but this time it's time for the smell of "Goddamn dirty hippies" as my Dad would say. AMBER. A patchouli something or other smell goes all over Miles to remove the horrible poop and pee that's been there too long smell.

I'm a bad parent. I can't believe I left them so long without changing them. "OHHHH AMBER IS THE COLOR OF YOUR ENERGY!!!" I sing. (That's the only line I know from that song because I'm not a goddamn dirty hippie.)

Oh fuck off that's a joke.

Now they're clean and one smells like a guy who's been out riding fences and the other like that dirty hippie thing but I've got to say, despite all the poop scrubbing and soapy singing it's still been a pretty good day. Now take that into account and look at my face.
Seriously, this is a good day.

You want no part of a bad day.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Fairytale of Solo Pooping and Other Autism Parenting Nonsense

There was a time when I would often find myself sitting upon the toilet with a small boy perched upon my lap. I would be there to answer one of nature's calls, and the child would find me sitting (having sought me out as I'm not allowed to stray) and would climb upon my lap.

This presents a number of issues. First of all no part of my toilet training ever included "How to void one's bladder or intestines while holding a child." In fact, I can admit I never was able to accomplish is regardless of how desperately I might have needed to do before that moment. They were confusing and frustrating times. How do you explain to a child that doesn't understand that THIS seat is different from every other seat? When I sit on THIS seat you can't sit on my lap, but on every other seat we're good?

How?

I'm not sure how we actually ever graduated from that phase except there was probably some screaming and some locked doors involved. Locked doors might seem like the obvious answer but the twins have an intense need to be ABLE to get to me. Their father gets away with pooping on his own. I, however, can at LEAST count on someone chanting/counting/stemming/singing outside my bathroom door at the minimum. They seem to need me to acknowledge them, to confirm a small piece of object permanence maybe they're missing. "I'll be out in a minute," I'll call. "Everything is OK Mommy will be right out."

Sometimes they simply pop open to door and look at me. They don't stay, they take a look and leave - swinging the door wide open so it doesn't accidentally shut again. The oldest child has come upon me more than once, moaning in horror "MOM WHY IS THE DOOR OPEN" and shutting it. I'm not sure which of us he's more embarrassed for.

Dude sometimes I gotta poop, what do you want from me kid? I can't ALWAYS GET UP AND SHUT THE DAMN DOOR AGAIN.

If we return to the subject of locks, you might just say "Damn woman, just lock that door." Well I do, on occasion. There are whole days that pass when I can safely lock the bathroom door, do what nature requires and exit feeling lighter with hands scented delightfully from some fancy soap. Those are damn good days, I gotta admit. However there are many more days where me locking the door equals a 12 year old boy in full on autism panic yelling "OPEN DOOR OPEN DOOR" when he realizes I am behind a door he can't get through.

He can't be separated from me. He might not need to be with me 24/7 any longer but he requires it as an option.

Some days this one thing makes me feel like some bizarre alien. All parents experience this with their small children. We tut-tut and giggle over the joy we get when solo showers happen, or being just alone in the bathroom with no spectators. But the prospect of that being your LIFE is sobering. It stops being cute.

It is a form of torture played out on a minuscule scale. A small human dignity shall be disallowed. You won't be harmed by it. It's not worth truly complaining about. In fact compared to all the terrible things that happen in the world you're just fine and seriously hush, you haven't got any problems. Yet, there is it, this thing that other people can expect from their 12 year olds that you as an autism parent can't.

It's unfair.

Life isn't fair, my mom used to say. Get over it.

She was right. It's probably the most important thing she ever taught me. It's pretty much all that gets me through some days.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Because I'm Afraid OF WORMS Roxanne !

So for the purposes of education worms were put into these little plastic cups which were named WORM hotels. The cups were clear, and the worms could move about and the kids could watch them do their "eat dirt make dirt" routine.

Science, I suppose.

There is actually a part of me, the part who's brain has been softened by the internet I guess, who thought "Well that's terrible THAT POOR WORM I BET IT WAS TERRIFIED."
I've lost my damn mind. It's a WORM. I pulled off the packing tape which was on the top (by the way teachers - the worm COULD have gotten stuck to the packing tape across the top which would've made for a worm tragedy) and we set him free in our garden. I'm growing metal things there, nice right?
I'm a kid who used to spend summer evenings after the rains running through backyards with a flashlight and friends, hunting under dropped lily leaves, near and around gardens, for earthworms who were mistakenly sliding along the soil. We were hunting nightcrawlers, the biggest and tastiest worms, for the men of the neighborhood to fish with. My grandpa, other grandpas, other people's dads would come by the next day for a coffee and take coffee cans full of moist soil chocked full of these fat worms.

We made great bait hunters, we truly did.

I am completely unsure where I was going with this story, but I found it sitting in drafts this morning when starting a different project. So I'm hitting publish anyway. My boat my rules.

Also, I'm pretty sure that worm was dead but I played it off. #acting !