Saturday, July 5, 2008

Flailing On The Fourth

I am not a mom who takes this whole "Asperger's" thing lying down. I am not an advocate mom like some of the really great mom's I know. I need to get out there and do that. I just haven't been in the pool long enough to get in the deep end just yet. I am a mom however who does not tolerate any garbage when it comes to people dealing with my kid. 
The Fourth of July is one of my least favorite holidays. I know that you probably think that is all "UN-American" and horrible, so sue me. Seriously though, throughout my life it has proven to be crazy. If it was not spent in the ER for hives, pink eye, or some other freaky ailment that I managed to catch at a summer barbecue, something weird happened when we were out at some big fireworks display. (For example my springer spaniel ate an ENTIRE CHOCOLATE TEXAS SHEET CAKE in my grandmother's kitchen. When we got back to her house we thought that the dog was dead. She wasn't. She was in a sugar coma for three days.) 
With Bacon and his Asperger's the Fourth has been less than fun. When he was two he was so terrified he screamed for two weeks every time we went out side about the scary fireworks. It was SO MUCH FUN. Last year he had a great time with the other kids watching Mr. T and the other dads blow stuff up. This year sucked. There were way too many kids most of whom know that Bacon likes to watch the fireworks but doesn't like to touch them. Still these same kids kept pushing and pushing for him to touch them. 
Finally when the neighborhood's biggest pain in the butt (She is 12, she has two pet GOATS, and knocks on everyone's doors at 9pm looking for someone to play with.) was chasing after him with a sparkler and trying to grab him I lost it and yelled at her. 
"EMILY! Leave him alone. He is four, he told you he is afraid of the fireworks, and if you don't stop I am going to have to ask you to go home." 
She of course ran to her dad and cried like she was 4, and her dad gave me the stink eye.  I could have cared less. She is OLD ENOUGH to know better. He is old enough to know that she should not be chasing after a little kid with FIREWORKS, especially when that kid is freaking out. 
I am mostly frustrated because there is another boy that lives close to them that has Asperger's that they treat with kid gloves. Not that I want them to treat Bacon like that, but I also don't think that I should have to staple a sign to his forehead reading "PLEASE TREAT ME NICELY AS I AM NOT NEURO-TYPICAL" 
Was it not obvious from him freaking the hell out all not? Was it not obvious when he was running in circles and smacking himself in the head? Or do people think that is normal four year old behavior? It had me freaking the hell out, and I had taken two Xanax and drank some wine! 
How do you handle this? What do I do? I know I can't forever bully all of the nasty kids out there. (Although technically I didn't bully that little snot.) I just don't feel like I have the right answer or any control. So now as an adult the Fourth of July still sucks, but for a whole new reason, because I can't keep my son safe or under control. 
*My name is Faith Tantrum. I am a 31 year old mom to a 4 year old son who was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. I blog almost every day at Momma's Tantrum about our life with Asperger's, Coffee, the crazy antics here, and more. I do have a fierce potty mouth so if you are easily offended, just cover your eyes and hum loudly!*


  1. Sh*tballs. J lost his sh*t last night too (in a good way, but still lost his sh*t and neuro-typical adults STILL don't understand when our blinky kids do this to not be mad because its a GOOD losing his sh*t and not a BAD losing his sh*t). I mean if a kid stepped on my hand acting like a rabid animal wearing construction site sound blocking head phones from Home Depot I think it might tip me off that there was something a bit off with the child... no?

    We finally had a good 4th though because I have finally figured out the magic formula (for J) which I will share in my next post.

    HUGE hugs of understanding for you Faith.

    *nodding my head in understanding*

  2. How ridiculous, I wouldn't let my kids chase another child around with fireworks regardless, especially if they're freaking out. Any 4-yr-old could be scared by that.

    This was the first 4th of July that didn't turn into a disaster (or that we didn't just sit out at home). We kept it low key and managed to have the little man sleep through it but big brothers had a good time which was great :).

  3. Faith, I know exactly what you mean! This was the first year that Spiff sat OUTSIDE the family car to watch the fireworks. He sat way back though. A neighbor sat with him, and he had a great time with his hands over his ears. We're used to it.

    Don't ever feel bad for sticking up for your child. If that parent knows you and your family, they (and their child) should be understanding. You were in the right, and that father had no right to give you the stink eye.

    Keep up the great work and the great posts!


  4. i like this post faith, i can only imagine the self control it takes not to react badly to the other kids.

    i think i've told you before, i threatened a boy who was picking on my daughter when they were in middle school.

    some people are just stupid.


add your voice to the conversation!
(spam will be cheerfully and swiftly deleted)