Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fired for Sure


"I. Need. To. Sleep!" growl-shouts Jacob when I go to wake him up this morning at O-dark-hundred. It's hard to get back on track after three day weekends, after school vacations - scheduled or unintentional like the week he just had off for Hurricane Sandy. But he's never been like this.

The whole morning, getting ready for school is filled with Jacob growling and sobbing and angry-crying and clenching his jaw, grit-grinding his teeth, overwhelmed by waves of frustration.

Besides this, his begging for more sleep, he is also demanding "My. Skittles!" a holdover from our struggles yesterday to curb the upwards spiraling trend of candy consumption in our house, engendered by the one-two punch of Halloween and hurricane.

"I'll get fired for sure!" he wails, his latest script - culled from Sponge-Bob - in response to any admonition I make, no matter how gentle.

Me: "Jake, please keep it down, everyone else is still sleeping. I know you're unhappy but you can't scream at 6 AM."

Jake: "Oh, no, I'll get fired for sure!" (cue sobbing)

And I am also pretty sure he doesn't know what "fired" means, afraid he has conflated it with the idea of things catching on literal fire - a frequent of occurrence on Sponge-Bob - and is somehow terrified of becoming actually torched, set aflame for his wrongdoings.

I repeat over and over that "being fired" means losing your job, and he doesn't have a job; that his only job is being my kid and he can never get fired from that. But I can see in his eyes it's just words washing over him, none of it sinking in. A conflagration of misunderstanding sweeping over all.

It breaks my heart when he is this unhappy. Shattered into a million glittery pieces. It breaks my heart that I get angry and frustrated with him, too, at these moments, watching the clock tick away knowing I have only so many minutes to get him dressed and fed, medicated and jacketed and downstairs, ready for the bus. Legally, they are allowed to wait for 3 minutes, and then they are required to speed off.

So I alternately scold and cajole, hug and hustle and DO get the kid on. the. damn. bus. 

And then after waving goodbye to my boy, still alternately crying and grimace-grinding, I come back inside to pick up the heart shards. And they cut deep, so deeply; yet another set of guilt lines, criss-crossing my invisibly battle-scarred arms.


Just Write

22 comments:

  1. Oh, it is so hard when they don't want to go to somewhere and you have to make them. I hope things get easier next term for you both. ((hugs))

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  2. Oh, mama. {{{{hugs}}} for you and for Jacob.

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  3. To be sure, this is a tough gig.

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  4. Oh, Varda, I so get this. The sadness, the frustration, the anxiety. It gets easier in some ways, harder in others. I hope you get the chance to go back to bed sometimes.

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  5. I totally understand. But I think you're doing a great job.

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  6. It's so hard when they are spiraling down (or out) and all you want to do is hold them and reassure them that it's going to be ok but you can't in the moment. Those experiences always leave me feeling blue. Sending you hugs and hoping for peace to return for your son. And for you.

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  7. Oh, honey. You keep going, which is really all any of us can do. Hang on.

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  8. What a rough way to start the morning. I hope that you can get into a routine again soon.

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  9. My challenges are different from yours, but I feel you on the getting out of the house battles. Sometimes I think it doesn't matter who your kid is if they're the kind predisposed to not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to put on shoes, not wanting to eat, etc.

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  10. http://www.barnmaven.com/2012/11/on-guilt.html

    Mary, another autism mom, shared some perspective on this topic today. I resonate to both of your posts.

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  11. It is terrible for everyone when the day begins with a battle (or ten). I can feel his frustration and yours as well and all the emotions chinked between these moments.

    Life is hard. Parenting is hard. Caretaking is hard. Love is hard. But your words? Your words are beautiful. Thank you for taking time to share them with us, to open our eyes, to help us understand.

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  12. What if you dressed him in school clothes at bedtime (so what if he's a bit wrinkled?). He could sleep a little bit more.

    And I'd probably make him a "get out of getting fired" card (ala Monopoly 'get out of jail free'). Let him carry it, it protects him from getting fired.

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  13. This is probably the most poignant post, I've read in a while on the challenges of living with autism. Thank you for your words.

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  14. It stinks when we have to be strong for our kids and push them on that "bus". Whatever the bus is, it stinks to be the one to have make them get on it. Stopped by from Shell's place. Great post!

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  15. i read this yesterday and all I wanted to do was call you and tell you I was hugging you from over here.

    mornings are a nightmare in my house too..and while I would never compare, I have empathy and hugs....and booze..if you need it.
    xoxo

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  16. You told this so well I could almost imagine what it must be like.

    Hope some easier days are coming your way...

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  17. I'm so sorry, for you and your struggling little boy. Holding you both in my heart.

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  18. I feel this pain at times, too. Our kids' diagnoses are different, but there are time when Max wails and cries because he's frustrated about something he can't do, and it physically hurts my heart.

    Something to make you smile: When I read the title of the post, I thought it was going to be about him telling you you're fired. When Sabrina was little, she watched Trump on The Apprentice and once, when she got mad at me, said "You're fired!"

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  19. I, too, expected you to be the one who was "fired"! I got called a "son of a loserhead" the other day, so close enough, I guess. Mornings can be very tough at our house, too, and then it shatters your whole day. Hoping you have lots of better mornings to come!

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  20. Beautiful ending. It's so hard to see our kids in pain, emotional or otherwise.

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  21. I could feel each emotion..those heartaches linger and never leave us through the day. Jacob is lucky he has your strength, pushing on..

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