Monday, August 11, 2008

Go ahead, take advantage of me - everyone else does.

Hi, I'm hellokittiemama and you can take advantage of me. I'm the mother of 2 children - one with Autism, and therefore that means I have nothing better to do than watch everyone elses children for hours on end without reciprocation. I know that childcare and babysitting options for an Autistic child are few and far between. Why do you think I am home every day in time for the bus and that I do not work outside of my home? It isn't because we are dripping in money and thriving on a single income... but don't I wish? The truth is that it is because I have no place for my son to go after school or when the nurse calls me at 8:30am to tell me that he threw up or had a bathroom incident and needs to be picked up. It is my obligation to my family and to my children, and I don't regret the fact that I am at-home though I wish it were under very different circumstances. You see, my child has Autism so instead of being out and about I have to be home for the daily bus drop-off. I'll be home, so what does it matter if I have another child or two to chase after? After all, I have a child with Autism already so I'm used to it, and I can watch your child with Autism also and their siblings - heck, even one or two of their friends too- even if it completely disrupts my own child(ren)'s routine(s). Don't worry, they'll be fed dinner also - only the best organic fruits and veggies, overpriced 'designer' chicken nuggets & juice. Eat me out of house and home, go right ahead. Even if, we had made family plans and I let you know about them - so please be back by 5pm - you can still show up at 8pm and everything will be 'ok'. And the next time you ask me because you need a favor - I won't say 'no', because I can't. When in the past 5 or so years since my 7 1/2 year old son got awarded his very first "A" - that would be Autism, did I lose the ability to stand up for myself? I spend every day standing up and fighting for my son that my own defenses have become annihilated. Hi, I'm hellokittiemama and I'm a mother of 2 very special children, living at the Jersey Shore. You can find me blogging my mad life, motherhood, autism, diva siblings, and the gluten & casein free diet over at The Bon Bon Gazette - because you know that stay at home moms really do sit around all day watching soaps and eating bon-bons.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why I Don't Open the Can....

As an advocate parent, I have been told more than once that I don't show my vulnerabilities. I've also been told that I seem to 'have it all together' by some moms who felt like they were holding on by their fingertips. It makes me sad when I hear that because I so clearly don't have it all together, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm trying to one-up them on this struggle we're all in on together. I am pretty organized (Type A) and structured (anal-retentive) and I do believe those qualities are good in the management and parenting of a special needs child. I have come to find over the last few years what works for me and my family, and I use those discoveries the best I can. But why am I not vulnerable? Well, that answer has come to me in small little stops and starts lately.... Like when I was standing in the kitchen of one of my favorite girlfriends in the world and burst into tears looking at her kids' drawings. Or when I've sat on the beach on various occasions this summer watching families have the time of their lives while my child is back at the house....unwilling to even come close to the shore. Or today......the ultimate in vulnerability. I was cleaning through things in my child's room as I make room for his big-boy bed and had to go through his keep-sake box. It has everything right from the very beginning: ultrasound pics, hospital bracelet, baby blankets, teethers, bottle, cups, birthday cards, you get the idea...... I went through it pretty quickly because I knew if I didn't I would get really sad. I was only transferring all of it to a much bigger sterlite box anyway.....none of it was going anywhere. So I sifted. Moved it. No attachment. No vigor. No tears. Until I came across one little thing. The sports strap from my child's first pair of glasses. My little boy has been wearing glasses for lazy eye/farsightedness since he was 19 months old. This strap, as tiny as it was, is what I always seem to symbolize with the beginning of knowing there was something different with my kid. And so I looked at it. Held it. Cried over it. Actually cried for a pretty good while as I thought about the baby I had.....the baby I still have......the child he has become......will never be......all of it. When I was done I put the rest of the memorabilia away but kept out the sport strap and stashed it in my own nightstand. So maybe when I feel like I need to have that moment of vulnerability I'll go there and have that. I'm not trying to be stronger than you....this is just the way I need to handle it. I hope the other moms, the ones who think I have it 'so together' will understand. I am The Chick.....I'm a SAHM living Down South where I write about my life.....marriage, friends, music, activism, fads, oh.....and the life of a mom with a 6 year-old boy with autism. Stop by my farm for more!