On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Morning Foibles

Sissy tried her crap again this morning. HATE HATE HATE the morning crap. I can't open my eyes fast enough before she's head long into the crap. "Exhausting" just doesn't explain it.

I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up her med and grab some donuts, a Saturday treat. All of this meant leaving the home for 25 minutes. We did as the therapy team suggested, we had Sissy pick the activity (from a list of "safe" options) that she would do in her space while I was gone.

This was NO GOOD. Mushroom cloud explosion. And yes, I could have just taken her with me but she wasn't dressed yet and a trip to the pharmacy and Dunkin' with Sissy is invariably double in time just because she's with me. I just wanted to go and come home.

We upped the ante for severe consequences if she continued her nonsense (no swimming for a week if she continued to escalate) so she turned it off quickly and did as she was instructed without further ado. I left, hoping all would be fine. Praying, crossing my fingers, holding my breath, all of the above.

At the drive up window at the pharmacy, the employee was so nice, so smiley, so kind, using such kind, heartfelt words all about the silliness of medicine and I nearly cried. As i pulled away from the window I said outloud Self, WHAT did this woman's kind attitude stir in you?

She was kind. She spoke kindly. She smiled, she was nice, hey eyes said "kindness". All at 10 in the morning. I was overwhelmed by how painful this truth was, that genuine kindness and a kind face is so rarely seen in my daily life that when a stranger at the pharmacy has these qualities, it is so off-putting it catches me off guard and nearly makes me cry.

As I pulled into the driveway, still mulling over these thoughts, I said, "God, I can't do this every day, be hated by my child, be treated so poorly, manage her rage, every day, all day, it's too much!" I gathered myself as I laughed at the hummingbirds fighting over the feeder at the front window and went inside to try to convey the morning's lesson to The Dad but he was stressed already by Sissy's foibles. I just wanted to tell him the truth I'd learned but our conversation crashed and burned and I just stopped everything, hugged him and cried, "It's not you! it's not me!" We have got to try harder to out love this insanity, to kill it with kindness, to sweep away the stress and capture the kindness of a pharmacy employee every single day despite the insanity.

WG hugged me and said as she held the palm-sized New Testament she'd gotten at VBS this week, "if you read this, it will change your life," the controlling theme of this year's program.

Hysterical! Her timing couldn't have been more poignant. Really. REALLY! "Yes, WG," I hugged her back as I laughed, "it will change our lives."

We served the donuts and sat at the table and I read the fruits of the spirit passage from Galatians in WG's little bible. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-control. And we laughed and giggled and shared some of those fruits while we nommed on donuts.

AB told a joke. What is Chicken Little's favorite pizza? Little Caesar's. Get it? LITTLE Caesar's. Because his name is Chicken LITTLE. See?

The Dad told a joke. I can bend minds with my spoon.

WG told a joke. What do rabbits like on their pizzas? CARROTS!

I laughed the whole time.

Sissy ignored us all, refusing to participate or laugh and when we were all done giggling and began clearing our plates said loudly in a monotone voice, "Can I have another donut?!?"

I sighed and rolled my eyes so only The Dad could see me. "You can have fruit." (Our "free foods" rule [1]) But The Dad had an idea.

"Sissy, we couldn't tell if you were paying attention to us when we read from the bible. If you can tell us three of the eight fruits of the Spirit, you can have another donut. If you can't, you can have a FRUIT ... of the counter."

Sissy spouted off three, without missing a beat. Honestly, I was surprised. VERY surprised! I gladly opened the box and let her chose whichever donut she liked. "Wow Sissy! Great job!!!" I told her and she smiled.

Many thanks to the pharmacy lady, whose kindness went further today than she could have imagined, and to WG who listened to the Spirit's leading that we should read the word of God.

and one more joke, compliments of AB (because Aspie jokes are so literal you can't help but laugh): What is it when sometimes you might get tied up? You are hypnoTIZEd. Get it? TIZed? That's what it is when you are tied up.

[aside] AB loves Amelia Bedelia because "she's so dumb" and I think that's downright hysterical because if there was ever a literary character that had Asperger's, it would be AB, er, I mean, Amelia Bedelia. His therapist also had him read the story All cats have asperger's and AB said, "I don't get it. What is this book supposed to be about anyway? It doesn't even make sense." Seriously. I could not make this stuff up. AB kills me sometimes!

[1] idea compliments of tudusamom
free foods: to help prevent hording and over eating behaviors typical of RAD kids, the children can have one helping of the main entre and unlimited or "free" fruits and vegetables until they feel full. It has helped immensely. Sissy still gorges but I don't care if it's fruit and veggies. It takes a whole lot of stress out of mealtime, preventing RADical explosions.


Corey said...

Free fruit should help with the poop issues too.

Corey, the practical one

Bren said...

I Love Wonder Girl! If you ever doubt for a second God's love for you, look at that little girl....He gave her to you specially! Like a reward.....for service well done! ;)
We have free food here too, but for Charlotte food given means nothing....food taken means survival. If I catch her stealing something and tell her "It's ok...you can have that." She will NOT eat it. Her first 3 years were spent in hunger and she was failure to thrive, so I guess this will be our life until she can get her own groceries....I wonder how she will manage to steal from herself....?????

Gwenith said...

I'm sorry that even amidst this joy you had so much stress, but I'm so glad that a random act of kindness was able to go such a long way, and that you were able to spread the kindness further by writing this post.

Hopefully the gorging on fruits and veg will help keep Sissy regular as well as prevent hoarding etc.

peacechaser said...

Way to turn the day around there mom!

GB's Mom said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing. Here's praying a little kindness falls into your lap everyday. {{{Hugs}}}