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The Longest Day

27 Apr

Yesterday didn’t go well.

Yesterday was full of mood swings.  Some of them caused by eating cupcakes for breakfast before Mom was up.  Some because Mom said no more tv.  Some because we stubbed our toe.  Some because the sky was blue.  Some because a sibling dared to walk into the same room.  Some because because.

But it was a very long day.

I started writing about it on Facebook, in between running around trying to diffuse each situation.

Woke up at 7 am to Maura giggling and watching cartoons on my computer. got dressed, came back out to find her eating a cupcake.

By 9:30 am, I was tired of her being all ADHD on said computer by starting a show, listening to a minute of it, then switching to a new show, then listening to one bit, then switching to another show…

By 10:10 she was sobbing b/c I had disabled the touchscreen feature, so the one show ended, and the mouse wouldn’t work so she threw it, so I said she was done.

10:19 and she’s giggling with her My Little Pony dolls and I’m trying to figure out how to get through the rest of the day with Miss Mood Swing, what with my already supreme crankiness.

Now, usually, she’ll go through a hissy fit and calm down and that’s that.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday, it just kept escalating.

10:35 – she was happily playing downstairs…watching tv…
10:36 – she was screaming b/c I turned off tv.
10:45 – she was happily playing with her dolls in the living room.

11:00 – I caught her in the dining room with a laptop which doesn’t work, trying to make it work.
11:01 – I give up on trying to do anything productive, like laundry or brushing my own teeth, and open a beer.

Yes, this all happened while I was trying to do those regular household things.  No, I did not open a beer.  And not just because there was none in the house.

11:06 – she sets up a laptop and mouse on the ironing board. I tell her no
11:06:10 – screaming fit begins. She slaps my hands away, whacking one of my fingers really well.
11:07 – screaming on stairs (her not me)

11:09 – she’s once again happily playing with dolls.

Let me just state – it’s not normal for her to lash out like that at me.  But I was pointing at the stairs trying to get her into a time out and she was protesting that in her own way.

11:43 – from the bathroom, I hear Maura screaming in a “Go check that out” sort of way (vs a “My will has been thrawted” sort of way) Run out to find her on the stairs, screaming at Mim, yelling at Collin, neither who had done a thing. I think she bent back a toenail in playing. Realize her toenails have grown a bit horribly. Go to trim nails, which leads to her kicking me in the back with the free foot until I clip a tiny bit of toenail. Then she’s all “I DID IT!” and allowed me to trim the other nine.

Then she asked for tv. I said no. She threw her dolls and screamed.

So, exactly when will the neighbors call CPS on me? LOL!

No CPS was called yesterday, despite the screaming.

12:04 – she’s once again playing happily.

At some point, I have to leave and forage for food stuffs. I don’t want to take her with (because Friday, she had a melt down outside the store and I barely convinced her to get dinner there) but I also don’t want to burden the teens with Her Moodswingness.

See teens?  I do care about you too!  Even if you do eat all my food.

12:50 – after slightly trashing my room and being told she couldn’t play in there, Maura happily left said room without screaming. Made my escape to buy more food.

Yes, I was able to leave the house and go shopping for food.  And by “slightly trashing my room”, upon further investigation, she dumped out all the clean laundry of mine that I hadn’t even gotten to think about folding because I was too busy playing referee to her moods, and emptying out half a closet.  At one point, as I checked out of Target with a Cherry Coke and Reeses, the cashier asked if I wanted those left out because he would, haha.  I told the nice young man that yes, I did want them left out, because it was still too early to drink.

I probably wasn’t fit for human consumption at that point.  But I did return home, where nothing was in flames and no one was sobbing.  So, you know, there’s that. I used that time of peace and quiet to actually eat food.

3:26 pm – it’s quiet. Too quiet. Both boys are out. I go to find Maura, and she and Mim are on Maura’s bed, watching My Little Pony on Mim’s school laptop.

I’ll let this slide and enjoy the peace.

3:45 pm – quiet time over, as is the show. Girl now sobbing on me.

3:50 – much howling and dramatic running upstairs to sob in her bed as I turn off the tv

3:59 pm – I’ve told her to go lay down, after screaming, howling, sobbing, biting her hand, stomping her feet, hitting her hand off the stairs in anger and frustration…all over the tv. 

4:01 pm – the sobbing and howling has stopped. Part of me hope she naps, part of me is afraid she will nap because it’s after 4 pm now. Part of me thinks I should check and make sure she’s still breathing…I think I’ll go peek…

4:05 pm – I can hear her doing dramatic reenactions with her dolls in her room.

At this point, I couldn’t even twitch, I was so over it all.  I knew there was more going on than her just being a brat, but since she doesn’t have the ability to explain just what all was going on with her, I got a face full of screaming and mood swings.  You hit this point where you either lose your ever-loving mind, or you get weirdly zen about it all.  I’ve perfected the weirdly zen way thank goodness.  Yes, it would have been easier to just give in and let her have the blasted tv, but it wouldn’t be worth it in the long run.  My persistence paid off instead –

4:49 pm – she has had pizza and another cupcake and is genially playing in her room with her ponies and the dollhouse.

Thank you Jesus.

Okay, the cupcake probably wasn’t the smartest move, but it was after she at a lot of pizza and fruit and other good stuff, and it wasn’t a hill I was ready to die on. And after ALL of that…Maura was back to her old regular self for the rest of the evening.  Even when told no, she didn’t lose her mind, but accepted it.  I tucked her in bed ten minutes early anyway, just to be safe.

And this morning, I happily stuffed her onto the bus and waved good-bye with a big smile before emailing her teacher to warn her of yesterdays moods.  I may even clean up the carnage from yesterday.  Or just sit here drinking coffee and poking about Pinterest and listen to birds chirp outside.

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I shouted at my disabled child

13 Apr

Oh yeah, I shouted at her.

She threw a shoe at her brother because she was angry with me for turning off the tv.

I turned off the tv because she was screeching at her sister.

Mind you, these siblings did NOTHING to earn such responses from their sister.  She was just being moody and awful.  She was already heading for a time out when she took off her shoe and threw it straight at her brother’s face.

I will say, her aim was excellent.  I was kind of impressed.

But her over-the-top reaction needed an over-the-top-in-her-world reaction from me.  Which was me saying very loudly and very sternly “MAURA!  NO! You do NOT throw shoes at your brother! You do NOT throw ANYTHING at ANYONE!”

She started to howl, and I said “HUSH!”

She hushed.

Because while my child is cognitively disabled, she does have the bare basics of right and wrong down.  Shoe throwing is wrong.  Even she knew she had crossed a line with that.

It’s hard with Maura at times, because she doesn’t get so many concepts.  I can’t take something away for a day or a week, she doesn’t have a great grasp on time. If she is in trouble, that point has to be made at that moment, or else it’s forgotten in her mind.  Her moods can come and go so quickly.  She gets basic things – like “If you can’t control yourself, we have to leave” and time outs.  Even then, time outs are more for her to calm herself down.  If we try to stay in the situation, she will stay in it emotionally, which is why you’ll see me walking her out of somewhere quickly as she is carrying on.

If she’s upset because something isn’t working right, I try to talk her through it.  We try talking through things first.

But sometimes…she’s just being a bratty little sister, and should be dealt with as such.

Like yesterday.  Throwing shoes at the brother who had the bad luck of being right there.

And you know what?  It’s okay to shout at her for being a bratty little shoe throwing sister.  She learned a lesson and hopefully won’t be using her siblings (or anyone else) for target practice. She spent some time in a comfy chair, Monty Python Spanish Inquisition style, and we hugged it out afterwards, all was forgiven.

In a weird way, it was a bit of a normal moment.  She was being horrible, I shouted at her, we hugged it out afterwards.

No one said all normal moments would be fun.

 

 

My Ridiculous Life

6 Apr

It’s like an NPR show, but less heartwarming and more head-shaking. But it is what it is, and I have learned long ago to go with the ridiculous flow.

This morning, I had no intentions of really leaving the house – definitely not with Maura in tow.  Which is why I grabbed her some bad but comfy pants and a shirt that is at the “We’ve probably outgrown this” stage, told her to dress herself.

I, at least, was somewhat presentable.

But then my oldest called me with a bike issue and in need of a ride home.  Fine.  I’m nice, and there’s a drive-thru Starbuck’s on the route.  I went to the bathroom, came downstairs to tell Teen #2 to watch his sister, who was standing on her scooter watching a movie, patio door wide open.

Um…yeah…keep an eye on her.

However, as I pulled out of the driveway, Maura opens the front door, then I see it shut, and I know I can’t just drive off like that, I had to make sure the situation was secure.  I get to the door and the teen is telling me “Yeah, I made the mistake of putting her scooter back outside…she got away from me…” as Maura’s grabbing her coat, her feet in Crocs, going “Bye Collin!”

“I’m Sean.” says Not Collin.

Ugh.  Fine.  She can come with me.  It’s okay that she looks slightly ridiculous in her mismatched clothes and hasn’t brushed her hair yet because we’re just getting the Actual Collin.  Except I called a friend to see what was up, and it turned into “Hey, let’s meet up.” and I was all “What the heck!”

So we get Actual Collin, and Maura freaks out because we drive home first even though I told her we were meeting my friend, whom she adores.  But then she calms down as we throw Collin out to the curb and head back out.  We made it through lunch fine, because Maura’s usually well behaved when food is involved, but we decided to hit up Joann’s.

Now, Maura loves a fabric store.  She’ll go in, pet stuff, find a piece of fabric she likes that turns into doll blankets.  Last time, she was happy with fat quarters.  So this time, we’re wandering through Joann’s, my friend finding what she needs, and Maura and I wander to fabrics, where we spot a bunch of My Little Pony fabric.

“OooooOOOOoooo!”

Maura grabbed the multi-ponied rainbow fabric.  We got a number – 82.  I looked at who was being served – 77.  I watched the one girl go on break, leaving just one person cutting fabric.  I sighed.

“Poopy?” Maura said.

“What?”

“Poopy.”

Oh God.  “But you went this morning, can you hold it?”

“Poopy.”

“Can we wait until you get home?”

“Poopy.”

Luckily my friend came along and offered to wait for our turn.  We ran to the bathroom, and sure enough, Maura pooped.

“High five poopy?” she said from the throne.

“High five poopy!” I said, as we high fived.

We went back to the cutting counter, which was now on number 80.   At some point, the person holding #81 had given up on life, and a second gal came to cut fabric.  It was our turn, and I took the bolt up as Maura squealed with joy and asked for one yard of fabric.  One yard was cut, and I asked if we could get whatever percentage of fabric my friend needed for her project when all hell broke loose.

Because for the first time, Maura didn’t understand what it meant to just get a cut of fabric.

So she freaked out.

She freaked out loudly and screamingly, flailing away, causing a huge scene and then running off.

So I followed her, caught her, and she dropped to the floor, kicking her one shoe off.  I noticed that both shoes were missing, and I vaguely wondered where her other shoe was as she screamed and groups of women turned to look at who set their child on fire.  I crouched down and told Maura that if she couldn’t calm down, we’d have to go outside, and grabbed her one shoe.

One lovely woman stopped to tell me that I was being a good mom as Maura calmed down to only slight sobbing and I babbled some sort of thanks and platitude, and then said “Oh, there’s the other shoe!” with a laugh (it was behind me.)  I crouched back down to Maura level.

“Did you just have too much sugar yesterday?” I said.

“Yes.” she replied.

Okay, so she really doesn’t get the question, I just have these conversations with her for my sake.  Sometimes though, her answers are quite accurate.  Like at that moment.

She calmed down as quickly as she had gotten worked up.  My friend came along with the fabric, and Maura cheered up again, and laughed and just like that, it was all over.

I may have referred to her as Miss Mood Swing as we walked out, her still cheerful and laughing just minutes after screaming and sobbing hysterically.

Oh, and in between it all, she asked my friend, the cutting counter woman, and the cashier “High five poopy?!”  My friend understood, and meanwhile, I was happy Maura’s speech is just unclear enough that the other complete strangers didn’t quite get what she was saying.

We headed home, not without yelling because I drove past Starbucks, then laughing because I let her have the window down, then freaking out on her brother for using the tv without her permission once we got home, to sneaking to cupcakes with a smile, and yelling at her brother again over the tv.

And this is my ridiculous life.  Or as we call it – a Monday.

We’re going to watch some My Little Pony now so I can rest up for whatever Maura throws at me next.  Hopefully not literally.

what usually happens behind me as I write - you know, when she's not pestering her brothers for the tv

what usually happens behind me as I write – you know, when she’s not pestering her brothers for the tv

 

 

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